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Friday, September 24, 2021

UF delays Fall schedule update, reopening plans due to COVID-19 surge

Fall Masks

 

Students will experience delays in finalizing their Fall schedules again.

Amid surges in COVID-19 cases in Alachua County and statewide, UF postponed releasing its reopening plans and updates to the Fall schedule of courses from July 2 to July 10, according to a statement released on its website and social media. 

“We are postponing their release to July 10 so that we can better understand the possible trajectory of the pandemic and provide you with more definitive guidance,” the announcement said.

The university originally planned to release updates to the Fall Schedule of Classes on July 2, according to the message from UF Provost Joe Glover, UF Chief Operating Officer Charlie Lane and UF Vice President for Student Affairs D’Andra Mull. 

This update would finalize what courses will be conducted online, in person or a combination of the two in Fall. 

Each college needed to revise the format of about 4,500 to 5,000 classes, and in-person classroom capacities were planned to be reducedl by 75 percent, UF Provost Joe Glover said in a meeting June 5, when the UF Board of Trustees approved the plan. 

And faculty have been encouraged to format their classes to not require students to return to campus after Thanksgiving break, according to the reopening plan draft.

The university is creating a website that will provide updates and guidance to students, faculty, staff, parents and the university community about Fall, UF spokesperson Steve Orlando wrote in an email to The Alligator. 

He said it will be updated as the university’s understanding of the virus and best practices to address it evolve, and that the university will know more next week.

“This is a constantly changing situation, and we are working to adjust our plan accordingly,” he wrote.

Classes at UF have been online since March, when courses were transitioned to remote learning. Later, all Summer classes were also moved online.

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UF President Kent Fuchs announced that the university would reopen May 19 and asked the university community in June to provide feedback for the university’s plan to reopen in stages. And the Florida Board of Governors, which makes decisions on all Florida universities, approved UF’s plan June 23. 

“UF’s reopening plan is a thoughtful yet agile blueprint designed to provide the campus with the structural ability to continually review and modify should that be necessary in accordance with changing conditions amid the ongoing pandemic,” Orlando wrote.

Check back for updates.

Contact Chasity at cmaynard@alligator.org. Follow her on Twitter @chasitymaynard0.

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