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January 5, 2022

Dear Faculty Colleagues:

Due to the current surge in COVID-19 cases, I am writing to update my guidance for spring teaching.

In December, I wrote that you could return to your usual attendance policies this spring. However, I now ask that you refrain from requiring attendance during the first few weeks of the spring semester so ill students don’t feel compelled to come to class.

During the next few weeks, many students likely will miss some classes due to illness or quarantine. The Omicron variant often causes mild or cold-like symptoms, and we are encouraging students to stay home if they feel sick. During this time, please make an extra effort to make course information available to absent students so they can remain in your courses. The current wave is expected to last weeks, not months, so I am hoping this will only be a short-term request and that you can return to your typical teaching later in the semester.

As a reminder, if you are ill, please stay home and notify your chair. If you test positive, call the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509. If you are required to be home but are feeling well, you can consider continuing your instruction remotely if that will work well for your classes. This can only be temporary; you may not switch modalities without permission from my office.

If you are teaching a face-to-face course, you will be notified if a student is unable to attend due to testing positive for COVID. Our public health professionals will determine whether other steps are needed in your class.

Finally, we have heard some requests for making vaccinations and masks mandatory. Please know these options are not available to us under state law and policy. UCF continues to encourage students, faculty and staff to become fully vaccinated and to wear masks indoors, in accordance with CDC guidelines.

I know managing your classes during a pandemic isn’t easy and requires additional effort from you, and I appreciate the care, compassion and support you offer our students.

Thank you, and I wish you the best for a successful and healthy semester.

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