Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

Next week will mark the first time UNT is hosting in-person classes on campus since the COVID-19 global health crisis forced us to abruptly leave campus in March. It won't be our typical bustling campus and buildings full of people, but it is a move toward being back together on campus. I know many of you — our students especially — are eager to resume more normal campus life with friends, activities and in-person instruction.

As we prepare for our reopening, our first and utmost priority must be the health and safety of our Mean Green Family. Our intent is to open campus and provide as robust a student academic and engagement experience as possible, while maintaining a safe environment.

To help ensure everyone has the necessary information, UNT's Guide for Returning to Campus has been created, which pulls together necessary resources and information for staffing, personal safety practices and guidelines for faculty, staff and students such as our mask requirements and tips for handling noncompliance of safety measures. My letter in the guide provides insight into the principles we will adhere to as we move our university through this crisis. And for those of you who weren't able to attend our Reopening and Safety Town Hall last week, you can watch the video or read the transcript.

I fully expect fall classes to commence Aug. 24. By July 10, we expect to have finalized our fall face-to-face schedule. As we are in the process of actively reviewing more than 12,000 course sections, please note that course information available now could change as we revise the schedule to benefit our students. Large classes will be online or remote and about 50% of classes will be in person. In addition, we have decided that students will not return to campus for classes after the Thanksgiving holiday. The end of the semester and final exams will be conducted remotely.

As we move through this summer and fall, we will be faced with ever-changing conditions, and we will respond by following our federal and state guidelines, as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials. We are committed to remaining flexible and meeting each new challenge head on as swiftly as possible.

Our university prides itself on being a caring, resilient community, so I am asking each of you to care for one another and to show your social responsibility in helping keep our community safe. We will get through this, and it will make us a stronger university — and an even stronger Mean Green Family.

Stay healthy and safe,

Neal Smatresk
UNT President