August 19, 2021
COVID cases and hospitalizations are very high in Florida, including in our region. UCF expects everyone on our campuses to be vaccinated if they are able to do so, and to wear masks indoors, and we will continue to reinforce those expectations.
Still, we know that some of our students will fall ill or spend time in isolation or quarantine, and as a result will be unable to attend their face-to-face classes.
I encourage you to help these students continue in your classes using the methods that you have found helpful in the past — recording or streaming your lectures, or providing class notes, to give a few examples. Faculty need to teach in person as usual in the classroom. But methods such as these can help students who are unable to attend in person. Updated guidance from the state university system supports taking these steps.
I also encourage you to relax attendance policies so that ill students don’t feel compelled to come to class.
Please share with your classes your plans for students who temporarily cannot attend.
If you plan to record classroom sessions using either Zoom or Panopto and need instructions or assistance, please contact the Faculty Multimedia Center. If you have other questions about fall teaching, please contact the Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning or the Center for Distributed Learning.
As a reminder, if you are teaching a face-to-face course, you will be notified if a student is unable to attend due to COVID. Our public health professionals will determine whether other steps are needed in your class. For example, if contact tracers see a pattern of positive tests in your class, they may determine that the class needs to meet remotely for a time. Faculty may not move to remote teaching on their own, based on reports of illness. Nor should you announce anyone else’s illness to the class; privacy must be respected.
Updates about COVID testing, additional FAQs and more have been added to the university’s coronavirus website.
Finally, I ask you to please get vaccinated if you are able and have not done so, and to please wear masks to take care of yourself and those around you.
My thanks and best wishes to all as we embark on a new semester.
Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs