Letter from the Chancellor: May 12, 2020

Dear U of A Community:

Another spring graduation is in the books! So, again, congratulations to all of our newly minted graduates. We’re proud of you and grateful for everyone who went Red for Grads on social media. It was tremendous show of support and solidarity during these unusual times.

Research Activity

As the state has begun to open up, we too are planning for the gradual restoration of campus life. The first step, effective immediately, is a limited but necessary expansion of our research activity – transitioning from only allowing essential research activity to now include critical and time-sensitive research activity. General guidelines specify which personnel may return to their labs and workspaces and under what conditions. I won’t get into all the nuts and bolts of it here, but we’ve determined the number of people who can be present in a lab or workspace at any given time based on its size, what safety precautions need to be taken, as well as what allowances need to be made in terms of scheduling. Deans in consultation with department and unit heads will still need to approve all research, as well as which researchers will be identified as key personnel. This is a welcome step and I know many of our campus researchers are eager to move forward. I look forward to getting back myself! But I’m also mindful of returning people to campus only if there is a pressing need and we can foster the health and safety of everyone who does. This new plan does that, and is the first step toward creating pathways for more staff and faculty to return to campus.

Provost Coleman Departing

I also wanted to share the news that Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Jim Coleman will be leaving his post at the end of June to assume similar responsibilities at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Jim has been a tremendous colleague, leader, and advocate for our campus, especially for our students and faculty, whom he has represented with enthusiasm and passion. During his tenure, great progress was made on our guiding priorities, whether it was in the areas of research and economic development, student success, diversity and inclusion, or attracting top notch administrators and deans. He did a great job, and many of us in administration are going to miss the sounds of his guitar emanating from his fourth-floor office at odd hours. I congratulate him and wish him the best moving forward.

Robinson Named Interim Provost

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Charles Robinson will serve as interim provost and vice chancellor for academic and student affairs. Charles has decades of experience on this campus and will do a fantastic job of leading student and academic affairs. I have great confidence he will provide a steady hand and well-established leadership in this period of transition.

As always, I hope you are well – and even getting out a little more, although this weather feels more like Michigan than Arkansas in May.  I will have more soon about next steps in the continuation of campus life.


Joe Steinmetz, Ph.D.


February 8, 2021 Vaccination update: Second doses planned January 27, 2021 Recording of panel discussion available January 26, 2021 Appointments for new groups of employees January 22, 2021 Appointments required for vaccination January 22, 2021 Panel to discuss respons, vaccine rollout January 21, 2021 Eligibility letters sent to employees January 16, 2021 Patience requested, Phase 1-B will take time January 13, 2021 Most employees eligible for vaccination January 5, 2021 Drive-thru COVID-19 testing clinic December 16, 2020 Spring COVID-19 Response Guide November 20, 2020 Get tested before the break October 8, 2020 Staying the course after Thanksgiving September 30, 2020 Drive-thru flu vaccines September 22, 2020 Cases decline September 16, 2020 On-campus events resume September 9, 2020 Contact tracing, self-reporting September 4, 2020 On-campus events suspended September 2, 2020 Self-reporting, reporting violations, dashboard August 31,2020 COVID-19 testing, drive-thru clinic August 20, 2020 Health kits distibution August 14, 2020 Keep Teaching resource launches July 17, 2020 Masks required June 1, 2020 Return to Campus Guide May 22, 2020 Fall plans being finalized May 12, 2020 Essential research allowed May 4, 2020 CARES Act funding distribution plans April 30, 2020 Looking ahead to the fall April 20, 2020 CARES Act April 8, 2020 Credits, tuition, commencement April 2, 2020 Determined to help March 25, 2020 Adjusting to a new normal (video) March 23, 2020 First COVID-19 case involving U of A community March 18, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in NWA March 12, 2020 In-person classes suspended March 11, 2020 University travel suspended March 11, 2020 First COVID-19 case reported in Arkansas