SEPTEMBER 8, 2021 — Editor’s note: The following message was sent today via email 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 faculty, staff, students and families:
On August 11 we announced adjustments to the beginning of UTSA’s fall semester, shifting most face-to-face instruction to online delivery for the first three weeks. This was done primarily to manage the recent COVID-19 Delta variant surge here in San Antonio, balancing an open campus with a mix of course and work modalities to optimize learning, teaching and research while protecting the health of our community.
We have remained in constant communication with our colleagues at UT Health San Antonio, as well as infectious disease experts at San Antonio Metro Health, UT System and government agencies. We followed daily reports from local public health experts, modeled forecast trends from IHME for Texas, CDC composite modeled forecast trends for Texas and for Bexar County, the State of Texas confirmed cases database, the Bexar County public health dashboard maintained by San Antonio Metro Health (updated yesterday for the August 28–September 3 timeframe), and our own dashboard indicating direct campus impact.
Based on the most recent data and consults with our advisors, including conversations yesterday, we understand that the most important leading indicators—positive tests, positivity rates and new hospital admits—have been decreasing here in Bexar County. Encouragingly, we appear to be past the peak of the COVID-19 Delta variant surge.
Moreover, UTSA’s contact tracing and quarantine management programs are in good shape, and the positivity rates within our Roadrunner community are below that of Bexar County. Finally, we can report our UTSA community vaccination rates as of last week: approximately 76% of faculty and staff and 62% of our students have gotten at least one vaccine dose. While this is positive news, we continue to encourage everyone in our Roadrunner community to get fully vaccinated.
Given these data, we believe that it is appropriate to proceed with ending our modified course delivery period on September 12 as planned. Face-to-face instruction components will begin for all traditional in-person and hybrid courses starting on Monday, September 13, according to the course modality and schedule as listed in ASAP. We will have a tent set up in the Sombrilla next week to assist any students who need help finding their in-person classes.
In addition, we will continue to provide robust on-campus services to our university community as we have done since the semester began.
As a reminder, these important public health protocols will continue for the rest of the semester:
Rest assured we will continue to work with our colleagues at UT Health San Antonio to closely monitor the status of the pandemic—especially as we move into the late fall and winter months. We will adjust our operations as needed should the situation warrant.
Roadrunners, though the beginning of this semester had its challenges, we were so proud to see all of you show your continued resilience and adaptability. Above all, we appreciate your persistence and fortitude as we worked through this surge.
Come to Bandera Market to celebrate national Hispanic Heritage Month with Hispanic vendors from a variety of countries. Free entry.Bandera Pointe Shopping Center,11627 Bandera Road
The College for Health, Community and Policy at UTSA is proud to present the Dean's Community Lecture Series, a series of events bringing community leaders from San Antonio and beyond to foster the natural leadership abilities of students while discussing critical topics in our community.Virtual Event
A video on Instagram Live (@UTSA_MSCEJ) of Chef Jesse Moreno-Valle from Aramark creating a couple of great dishes: sopa negra (black bean soup) al estilo Costa Rica y güirilas (a crepe style item made with corn and a cheese filling) from Nicaragua.Virtual Event
Visit the library to learn how to make your own Worry Dolls. Pick up a supply packet to make at the library or to take home. Worry dolls (also called trouble dolls; in Spanish, Muñeca quitapena) are small, hand-made dolls that originate from Guatemala.San Antonio Public Library, 9050 Wellwood, San Antonio, Texas 78250
For Hispanic Heritage Month this year we will be reading two books, starting in September with "I, Rigoberta Menchú", an autobiography. The October book will be "Cemetery Boys" by Aiden Thomas. Students who join the RJBC are eligible to receive the book free.Virtual Event
Dueling Tacos are on the menu for Noon Time Helping of Mexican cuisine in San Antonio Public Library's Virtual Kitchen! Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month in style and discover new taco ideas!Virtual Event
Join the voice and instrument ensembles in this welcome back concert outdoors near the central fountain. Jazz, band, and choral favorites will be performed against the fall sunset--and it is all free!Sombrilla Plaza, Main Campus
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 ending generations of discrimination and inequity. UTSA, a premier public research university, fosters academic excellence through a community of dialogue, discovery and innovation that embraces the uniqueness of each voice.