JULY 8, 2020 — Editor’s note: The following message was sent via email today from President Taylor Eighmy, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Kimberly Andrews Espy, and Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President for Business Affairs Veronica Salazar Mendez to all students and their families, faculty, and staff:
We are writing today with some updates regarding our ongoing planning for fall 2020.
These last few months have been challenging, and we are all concerned that the pandemic situation in San Antonio and in Texas remains very unstable. The health and well-being of our entire community are constantly at the forefront as we develop adaptable plans for the fall semester. Importantly, our plans are designed for flexibility so that all those wishing to learn or work completely remotely this fall will be able to do so.
Though there are many unknowns about the future, we are certain of this: By bringing our community together this fall—in mostly virtual formats—we are safely fulfilling our promise as an educational institution and an essential service for our students, our city and our state. Indeed, UTSA has been open and operational these past five months with over 600 Roadrunners on campus serving our residential students, conducting essential research and sustaining operations—all with extensive health protocols in place.
Highlighted below—and detailed to a greater degree on our new Roadrunner Return website—are important guidelines for resuming instruction and student activities at UTSA this fall. All are based on the recommendations put forth in the reports by our tactical teams on Undergraduate and Master’s Education, Advancing Belonging and the Out-of-Classroom Experience, Research Excellence & Doctoral Education, as well as the evolving efforts of our Public Health Task Force.
These guidelines are subject to change based on further guidance from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, UT System and public health officials. Some decisions—such as the opening of the Campus Rec Center—require more time and monitoring of the pandemic over the next few weeks.
Our fall semester is based on flexibility and accessibility.
This fall will look different for every student. Most course instruction will be online and delivered asynchronously, while incorporating additional synchronous learning experiences. Students will have the option of living in one of our residence halls or off-campus—whether here in San Antonio or another city.
These are very personal decisions for our students and families. As such, we are committed to providing flexible options so all students can engage fully with their coursework and student life regardless of their comfort level with in-person activities. Any student who chooses to take all their coursework online will have the ability to do so, since all in-person instruction will have the same content available and accessible online.
Similarly, we will integrate flexible workplace policies for faculty and staff. Options are being explored so that those who can effectively conduct their work from home can do so.
Importantly, we are designing the semester for maximum adaptability in the event we need to move all instructional and operational activities online. Our overall goal is to ensure widespread access to a high-quality academic experience for all students, regardless of the unpredictable circumstances ahead.
We have set up a series of town halls to highlight these and additional aspects of our fall semester plans. Moderated by Provost Espy, the town halls will feature an update from the Public Health Task Force, brief presentations from the chairs of our two tactical teams, and an overview of the planning process for workplace modality determinations. All town halls will end with a Q&A session with the panelists. They will be recorded so they can be viewed at a later date. The two faculty/staff and students/families town halls will cover the same content.
Faculty/Staff Town Hall #1
Students/Families Town Hall #1
|Faculty/Staff Town Hall #2
Friday, July 10, 12:30–1:30 p.m.
|Students/Families Town Hall #2
Wednesday, July 15, 1–2 p.m.
More detailed information, FAQs and ongoing updates regarding our fall semester planning is available on our Roadrunner Return website.
You can expect more updates from us in the weeks to come:
We owe a debt of thanks to our tactical teams for their dedication and diligent work in developing guidance that prioritizes exceptional in- and out-of-classroom experiences for our students, while also promoting the safety and well-being of all Roadrunners.
And, as always, we are grateful to all of you for your support and patience as we continue to develop and adjust our plans in the weeks to come.
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The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property - for Texas, the nation and the world.
To be a premier public research university, providing access to educational excellence and preparing citizen leaders for the global environment.
We encourage an environment of dialogue and discovery, where integrity, excellence, inclusiveness, respect, collaboration and innovation are fostered.
UTSA is a proud Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) as designated by the U.S. Department of Education .
The University of Texas at San Antonio, a Hispanic Serving Institution situated in a global city that has been a crossroads of peoples and cultures for centuries, values diversity and inclusion in all aspects of university life. As an institution expressly founded to advance the education of Mexican Americans and other underserved communities, our university is committed to promoting access for all. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.