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Coronavirus Update: Information regarding the remainder of the semester

Dear Colleagues,

I know how disruptive the last month has been to UTSA, our mission and our community. As we navigate forward through the rest of the semester and the remainder of the year, we will continue to face expected and unexpected challenges.

You all have already stepped forward to prepare for transitioning to online course delivery and alternative operations. I am immensely grateful for your willingness and enthusiasm to do so. Our pivot is essential for being able to serve UTSA’s core mission of delivering a meaningful educational experience for our students.

For the last two months as we have been preparing for these events, we have used these as our core guiding principles: (1) sustaining the health and well-being of all our students, staff and faculty, and (2) preserving the successful academic progress of each and every one of our students. With that in mind, I share the following updates.

Online Instruction

As you know, all UTSA classes will be conducted online beginning on March 23. Thanks to all faculty for engaging in the rapid remote teaching resources and training, and participating in collaborative college-specific efforts to support this transition.

After careful consideration, online instruction now will continue through the end of the spring semester. This extension for the entire spring term provides both planning certainty and pedagogical continuity, a benefit to both students and faculty. We are working through the college-level academic planning, led by Provost Espy, to evaluate and determine what strategies for final exams might be recommended (and in what pedagogical contexts) in an effort to alleviate stress for both students and faculty. We will share that information as soon as practical.

For those students who are graduating this semester, degrees will still be conferred in May. However, in-person commencement ceremonies previously scheduled for May 16-17 will be postponed. It is possible that a ceremony will be held later this summer or fall. Again, we will share that information once a decision has been made.

Student Residents and Services

At this time, all students who are able are being asked to return home and stay at their permanent residences for the rest of the spring semester. We regret this change, but must recognize that reducing the number of students on campus decreases the potential health risk to the larger community. 

We are developing plans to reimburse students on a pro-rated basis who have paid for on-campus housing, dining plans and other specific related campus services they cannot use as a result of this requirement. More details will be forthcoming, although it will take some time until the specific information is available for each student.

On-campus housing will remain available only for those exempted resident students who do not have any other suitable living options. Select student services, such as the Roadrunner Café, will remain open to serve remaining on-campus student residents.

Telecommuting and Campus Operations

As we begin this next operational phase, UTSA will implement a primarily remote telecommuting workforce. A follow-up message will be sent by the end of this week with more information and specific guidance on telecommuting for faculty and staff.

At this time, we are continuing to gather necessary information on employee work expectations and associated technology needs. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we finalize our preparations. The resultant plans will be implemented in the coming days.

With the upcoming changes to campus operations, limited campus services will be available starting next week. The following services will remain open on campus:

In addition, some employees who are essential to campus operations will remain on campus to provide critical functions to the university community.

As always, these plans are subject to change depending on the evolving situation.

Upcoming Town Halls

I encourage you to attend one of our upcoming virtual town hall meetings which will provide an opportunity to learn more about this next phase and ask questions.

Faculty Town Hall
Moving Forward Together – Faculty’s Role in UTSA’s Response to Coronavirus
Sponsored by the Academy of Distinguished Teaching Scholars
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Noon – 1:00 p.m.

Staff Town Hall
Mark Your Calendar!
Friday, March 20, 2020
Noon – 1:00 p.m.
Watch your inbox for a link to access this town hall coming soon 

Travel and Self-Isolation Reminders

Finally, I’d like to remind you of our travel guidelines and the importance of self-isolation for those of you returning from any international or hot spot domestic travel.

I have great faith in UTSA and in our ability to come together as a community during these challenging times. Though we may not all be together physically, I know our Roadrunner spirit is strong and enduring. We promise to keep you all apprised of developments and communicate regularly. Please use our UTSA coronavirus website as a daily resource.


With deep appreciation,

Taylor Eighmy

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Integrity • Excellence • Inclusiveness • Respect • Collaboration • Innovation