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January 28, 2020

Let me begin by thanking you for your dedication to our students and efforts to give them a first-class education in a challenging time.

Several important points:

  • The start of vaccinations gives me hope of a return to normalcy. But this will take months, and this remains a tough time for students. Please be as flexible and accommodating as you can, especially for students who fall ill or are quarantined. Your concern for these students in these stressful times has been a key to their success.
  • Following campus COVID protocols is essential, and this includes filling out the symptom self-checker daily when on campus. All students, staff, and faculty must wear facial coverings and maintain physical distancing. This is especially important in classrooms. The behavior of our campus community during the next few weeks will determine how well the spring semester goes.
  • We know this approach is highly successful in limiting transmission. Please do everything in your power to encourage compliance. Should students come to class without wearing a face covering, please direct them to leave. If they refuse to comply, please report them to Student Conduct. If necessary, dismiss the class. Students who do not comply may face disciplinary consequences.
  • You will be notified if a student in your class falls ill or tests positive for COVID. You will also receive instructions about what to do. Please note that it is not your responsibility – and is in fact a violation of a student’s privacy – to share information about students’ health with others. If a student informs you of being positive, please tell them to call UCF’s COVID Line at 407-823-2509 as soon as possible if they have not already done so.
  • Spring break has been rescheduled to April 11 through 18. After spring break, we will move to entirely remote instruction for the end of the spring semester, and will also be remote for final exams. Residence halls and campus offices will remain open, similar to what occurred following Thanksgiving.
  • The recent growth in COVID cases in Florida appears to have peaked and is now dropping. We will continue random testing and new wastewater testing this spring to keep tabs of transmission on campus. Under current projections, hospital capacities, testing, etc., are expected to remain sufficient in coming weeks. If this changes, we are prepared to pivot to more remote teaching and other measures as needed.
  • Seeing the first batch of vaccinations at UCF was good news. We are looking forward to more and are prepared to distribute in accordance with state executive orders and public health guidance. Information about future distributions of vaccines — along with the latest UCF COVID news and answers to frequently asked questions — is available on UCF’s coronavirus website. Questions can be directed by email to [email protected].

Thank you for all you are doing. This pandemic has been a great strain. It is not over yet, but with the dedication of our faculty, staff, and students, we will see it through. Light is beginning to dawn.

Michael D. Johnson, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs