COVID-19 Update; UTC Suspends Face-to-Face Instruction through Spring Semester

From Chancellor Steve Angle
The impact of the COVID-19 outbreak is impacting each and every one of us.
We continue to focus on the health and safety of our campus community and our mission to provide an outstanding education for our students.We had hoped to resume face-to-face instruction on March 30 but given the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the U-S, it is clear we need to move to suspend face-to-face instruction for the remainder of the Spring Semester.
We know this decision is disappointing to our students, faculty, staff, and the surrounding community, but this is the most prudent step to take for the welfare of our campus.
UTC will continue to offer online instruction and students should be able to complete every course they are enrolled in for the spring semester. Summer courses will be offered as planned, but could move to online instruction should that be required.
Students planning to graduate on May 1st and 2nd should receive their degrees as planned, but the in-person commencement ceremonies for those dates will not be held as scheduled.
Here are the specific actions UTC is taking today:
All UTC face-to-face instruction which was suspended through March 30, will continue online through the end of Spring Semester 2020.
Summer Session. UTC will have a full schedule of summer courses with expanded online offerings. Face-to-face instruction may move to online should that be required.
Campus Housing. An announcement to residents of UTC Campus Housing regarding move-out arrangements will be forthcoming in the next 24 hours. We currently plan to allow students to sign up for a time slot to move out between March 18 and March 31.
Commencement ceremonies originally scheduled for May 1st and 2nd will move online or be cancelled. We are currently exploring options to safely celebrate the accomplishments of our graduates and will share these over the next few days.
Procedures and policies for refunds related to housing and auxiliary services will be announced in the coming week.
Telecommute arrangements for UTC Staff will be made on a case-by-case basis. We sincerely care about the health of our staff and will balance the need for business continuity and a campus presence with allowing telecommuting where it is possible. An announcement will be forthcoming.
Budget Impact. We are closely tracking the budget impact of the COVID-19 crisis and are encouraging every manager to work with their vice chancellor to focus resources in areas of greatest need. Any current or planned personnel searches should be discussed with the appropriate vice chancellor.
Student Financial Aid. The economic impact of the health crisis will continue to grow. We are already making plans to expand aid-based financial aid programs. Announcements will be made over the next few months.
Please continue to ask questions and check utc.edu/coronavirus for updates.UTC is a community of learners, scholars, and dedicated professionals who are determined, innovative, and creative. We remain committed to our mission: 
“The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is a driving force for achieving excellence by actively engaging students, faculty, and staff; embracing diversity and inclusion; inspiring positive change; and enriching and sustaining our community.” 
Our students and our community need us more now than ever before. I am honored to work with each of you as we define the future of this great university.Thank you for your cooperation and patience in the face of this challenging situation.

Steve Angle
Chancellor

From University Chancellor Steve Angle

March 11th, 2020

Members of the Campus Community,

The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga is committed to protecting the health of our students, faculty, staff and the Chattanooga community and help slow potential spread of the novel coronavirus in Tennessee. As of the time of this message, there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hamilton County or on this campus. At the same time, we want to ensure the continuity of our teaching, research and outreach missions.

Consistent with the announcement today by interim University of Tennessee President Randy Boyd, UTC will suspend face-to-face instruction effective March 16. The week of March 16 will be used to migrate face-to-face courses to online instruction platforms. 

The week of March 23, all course instruction will be offered online. We hope to resume normal operations on Monday, March 30. Students with research or clinical requirements should contact their faculty advisors for guidance. 

From March 16 to March 30, students are asked not to return to campus. We recognize that some students cannot go home, for a variety of reasons ranging from their hometowns or countries are unsafe to the fact that this campus is their only home. 

We will continue to provide housing and food service for students who are truly unable to return home. Automatic waivers will be granted to international students, student athletes and selected other student groups. Those students who need to retrieve personal belongings from campus housing will be allowed to do so; details will be forthcoming.

The remainder of the student body is not to report to campus for the resumption of classes until Monday, March 30. Residence halls are scheduled to re-open on Saturday, March 28. If circumstances change, updated information will be provided.

Access to campus facilities during the period from March 16 to March 28 will be determined and communicated as soon as possible. Modified food service will be provided by Aramark.

Until March 16, all scheduled events presented by the University and outside entities will go forward as planned. A decision on events later than March 16 will be announced as soon as possible.

Faculty and staff are to report to work as usual during the two-week period that begins on Monday, March 16. Further details for faculty about online instruction will be shared by Provost Jerold Hale.

In addition to restrictions on international travel announced earlier this month, the University is suspending indefinitely all non-essential, domestic, University-related business travel.

Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to continue practicing social distancing along with other recommended habits to avoid viral illness, including frequent hand washing or use of hand sanitizer, cleaning or disinfecting high-touch surfaces and staying home if you are sick. 

The health and safety of our students is top priority. Thank you to every member of the campus community for pitching in to help find solutions to the unique challenges we face in the present circumstances. Your efforts and cooperation are much-appreciated and key to successful management of these challenges.

Additional updates will be provided as they are available at www.utc.edu/coronavirus

Steve Angle

Chancellor

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