June 1, 2020
Phased Return to Campus Begins June 15
A phased-in approach to resuming on-campus operations begins June 15 with the limited return of employees on an as-needed basis to prepare for the anticipated return of students to campus in August. The guide to Returning to Campus marks the beginning of a slow, phased-in shift from remote operations — which began in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic — back to on-campus operations over the next two months. This deliberate and moderated process was developed by the U of A’s COVID-19 Response Team with the goal of safely welcoming students back to the Hill for the Fall semester.
May 22, 2020
Student-Athletes Allowed to Return to Campus in June
The SEC announced this afternoon that student-athletes could begin voluntary workouts beginning June 8. In an update to campus, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said he and the COVID-19 Response Team are actively working on all dimensions of a slow and safe restoration of on-site operations and are on track for sharing campus-wide guidance around June 1 as planned.
May 12, 2020
Research Activity Returns on Restricted Basis
As a part of the first phase of allowing employees to return as needed to the University of Arkansas campus, researchers will be allowed to return to restricted activity, which includes essential, critical and/or time sensitive research.
Research Plans must be approved Department/Unit Chairs and Deans and all approved activities must be planned to minimize person-to-person interactions and adhere to distancing and face covering guidelines. Researchers should be prepared to adjust, including returning to previous levels, if the situation changes.
Details are included in the university’s Research Continuity plan, developed based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Response Team and Research subcommittee.
May 4, 2020
CARES Act Funding for Emergency Grants for Students
The Board of Trustees endorsed a plan to distribute more than $7.7 million in student aid through the CARES Act. The emergency grants will be distributed based on Expected Family Contribution as reported in Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) documents based on criteria established by the U.S. Department of Education. Students who meet the criteria according to the current FASFA they have on file will receive grants within the next two weeks. Students in need who have not completed a FASFA for 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 have until June 1 to complete a FASFA to be considered for eligibility. Details on eligibility, grant funding tiers and distribution can be found on the CARES Act information page.
Reduced Fees for Summer Classes Announced
Fees for summer 2020 classes will be reduced by more than $27 per credit hour to better reflect our current remote learning environment. Facilities, activities and transit fees were eliminated for all Summer session classes and other fees were reduced. The new rate is more reflective of the online experience versus the face-to-face experience as the campus continues remote learning through Aug. 3.
Commencement Website Launched
A 2020 commencement website has been launched to help celebrate our Spring 2020 graduates with a searchable database of graduate profiles and submitted pictures as well as messages from Chancellor Steinmetz and each college dean.
April 30, 2020
Chancellor Steinmetz Provides Update Regarding Planning For Fall Semester
It is the university’s hope to be open and have students on campus this fall. To do that, it may be necessary for some faculty and staff to begin returning to campus over the summer as needed in time to prepare. It is the U of A’s hope to open in a way that continues to minimize the number of faculty and staff on campus while at the same time allows for adequate preparation for the safety of our campus community.
Read full chancellor’s message.
April 21, 2020
U of A System: A Word of Encouragement and Thank You
In a letter to students, faculty and staff within the University of Arkansas System, John Goodson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas, and Donald R. Bobbitt, president of the U of A System, offer a note of encouragement and thank you to everyone that has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The message discusses recent resolutions that were made by the Board of Trustees to provide flexibility and support to students during the ongoing crisis, as well as a thank you to all the campuses in the University of Arkansas System as we help our state fight the COVID-19 pandemic together.
Read the full message.
April 20, 2020
Help Coming Soon For Students, First Responders
In a message to campus, Chancellor Joe Steinmetz said some positive news is on the horizon for students as university works quickly to make $7.5 million, its share of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, available to students.
The university is also working to provide temporary emergency housing not only for campus police officers but also to other first responders if needed during the coronavirus crisis. Up to 150 rooms will be available on a rolling basis for those who are at a higher risk to contract the virus and may need temporary housing.
Read the chancellor's message for more information on these and other updates.
April 8, 2020
Returning students to receive credit for room and board costs lost after April 3
The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees voted to allow universities in the U of A System, who are able to do so, to defray the cost of any unused room and board that students lost due to the coronavirus-related move to remote teaching and learning. The credits will be issued after July 1 and can be utilized during the upcoming fiscal year starting July 1.
No increase in tuition and fees for the fall 2020 semester
The U of A Board of Trustees voted to hold tuition flat for at least the fall 2020 semester. This will be re-evaluated ahead of the spring 2021 semester.
Temporary modifications to admission policies allowed if needed
U of A Board of Trustees granted temporary modifications to admission policies, if needed, to provide flexibility in admitting students for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters as many students’ ability to complete coursework and standardized tests has been disrupted by the current pandemic.
Spring graduates to be recognized at 2020 fall commencement
Students who originally hoped to walk at the 2020 Spring Commencement before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis, will now be recognized as a part of Fall Commencement ceremonies instead.
April 7, 2020
Summer school sessions will be conducted remotely through Aug. 3
The May intersession and all summer school sessions through Aug. 3 will be taught remotely, to include Summer Session I and Summer Session II.
April 3, 2020
Out-of-state travel suspended until June 1, 2020
All university-sanctioned and sponsored out-of-state travel is suspended until June 1, 2020. The suspension could be extended in the future. Appeals may be made to the appropriate vice chancellor.
Summer school intersessions and Summer I session to be taught remotely
All summer school sessions will be taught remotely and online until Summer Session II begins June 29, 2020.
All Summer Camps Canceled
All university summer camps are canceled through August 2020.
April 2, 2020
University employee tests positive for COVID-19
A university housing employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee has not been on campus since March 26 and while all staff have been practicing social distancing, out of an abundance of caution, the staff working with this individual were sent home to self-quarantine as a preventative measure. The Arkansas Department of Health will complete contact tracing and notification of anyone who was potentially exposed.
Pass/fail grading option implemented
Based on a recommendation from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and student feedback, pass/pass D/no credit grading options have been added to the current letter grading system for undergraduates for the spring 2020 semester. Students will be assigned a letter grade with the flexibility to request to have their grade changed to a pass, pass with a D, or no credit (NC). Graduate students may apply through their degree programs for a similar system, and law students will move to a pass/fail policy. The details of each can be found on the Provost’s website.
March 25, 2020
Video Message from the Chancellor: Adjusting to a New Normal
University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz reached out to students, faculty and staff with a message of support as the entire community adjusts to social distancing, online classes and working remotely.
As previously scheduled, Pat Walker Health Center will be closed Friday, March 27 for Spring Break. The health center will reopen for its reduced business hours at 9 a.m. on Monday, March 30.
For after-hours COVID-19 support, call the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-554-5738. For emergency mental health services, call 479-575-5276.
Academic Health Plans Student Assistance Plan Available to All Students
Academic Health Plans is providing its Student Assistance Plan (SAP) to ALL U of A students at no cost for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.
The SAP includes access to a 24/7 Care Center (including weekends and holidays), life and well-being resources and helpful online and mobile tools.
March 23, 2020
Case of COVID-19 Confirmed Within U of A Community; Health Center Updates
A member of the University of Arkansas community has been diagnosed with the coronavirus (COVID-19). The student, who had recently been in contact with someone who had visited from out-of-state, is symptomatic and is in self-isolation off campus. This is the case for anyone who receives a positive test result or is awaiting test results. Read the chancellor’s letter to the university community for additional details.
For the limited number of people on campus, the Pat Walker Health Center remains open for medical services but please be aware of the following temporary operational changes to help protect the health of patients and staff:
- No walk-in appointments or online appointment scheduling
- All appointments must be scheduled by phone: 479-575-4451
- Only one entrance (West entrance – parking lot)
- External temperature checks required for all before entry
- Evening & Saturday clinic hours suspended
- After-hours COVID-19 screening, testing, care or questions should be directed to Washington Regional Medical Center: 479-463-2055.
- Pat Walker Health Center’s Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) has transitioned all its mental health services online. Call 479-575-5276 for tele-mental health services.
For the latest updates and information, please continue to visit this site. You can also send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 19, 2020
Commencement Postponed; Transit Route Reduction; Library Closed; Union Still Open; Carry-out Dining Only
The University of Arkansas System Board of Trustees voted to postpone all spring commencement ceremonies until after June 1. This postponement only affects commencement ceremonies. U of A graduation processes and the conferring of degrees will proceed as normal.
Razorback Transit bus service is running reduced routes and increased other precautionary measures to support the health and safety of passengers due to the recent move by the U of A to primarily remote operations.
Only seven routes will be available. The frequency will be reduced for routes 13, 21, 33, 35, 44 and 48. Route 26 will continue its normal frequency.
The Arkansas Union will remain partially open for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. On-campus mail delivery is suspended, but the U.S. Post Office in the Union remains open with mailing and passport services.
Mullins Library is closed until further notice, however remote access to library resources and other online research resources is available. Students can also use a 24/7 chat service through the library website as well.
Dining halls are not open during spring break. Beginning March 30, Dining services will only be available at Fulbright Dining Hall and carryout service only. Club Red and Hill Coffee Co. will continue operations at this time
Wednesday, March 18, 2020
University Operations Reducing on Campus and Non-Essential Personnel Shift to Working Remotely; Students Advised to Move Out of On-Campus Housing by April 3
Due to the emergency caused by the outbreak, students with active housing contracts will not be able to return to the residence halls, apartments, or Greek houses managed by University Housing after Friday, April 3. Some students, especially our international students, may not have appropriate alternative options. We will continue to make housing available to these students. Students may petition for an exception with University Housing for reasons including personal safety, access to Internet, no other available housing, academic distress or other legitimate reasons.
Beginning Thursday, March 19, employees not deemed essential to work on campus will work remotely unless directed otherwise by their supervisor until further notice.
For additional details, read the chancellor’s latest message to campus.
Pat Walker Health Center Institutes Temporary Operational Changes
In an effort to protect the health of patients and its staff, Pat Walker Health Center is taking proactive and temporary measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
- No walk-in appointments or online appointment scheduling
- All appointments must be scheduled by phone
- Evening & Saturday clinic hours suspended
- CAPS services remain available, but clients must call ahead
See Arkansas Newswire for specific details.
Friday, March 13, 2020
Summer Study Abroad Canceled Through June 15
All university-sanctioned and coordinated study abroad programs departing between May 1 and June 15 have been canceled. The university will re-evaluate the global situation later this spring before making decisions regarding university-sanctioned study abroad programs departing after June 15, 2020.
Thursday, March 12, 2020
In-Person Classes Suspended, All-Online Course Delivery Starts Monday, March 16th
The University of Arkansas has suspended in-person classes and will move to an all-online or other alternative method of course delivery starting Monday, March 16th and continuing through the remainder of the semester.
This is not a closure. University operations continue. Housing, dining and other services continue to be provided. However, students may choose to return to their family residence for the remainder of the semester.
For additional details, read the chancellor’s latest message to campus.
Wednesday, March 11, 2020
University-Sponsored Out-of-State Travel Suspended
The University of Arkansas is suspending all university-sponsored out-of-state travel – both domestic and international – for the next 60 days, effective immediately. The suspension could be extended in the future. Appeals may be made to the appropriate vice-chancellor.
Additionally, all students currently traveling abroad on university-sponsored trips will be instructed to return as soon as possible.
Faculty Preparing for Potential of Delivering Classes Online
On-campus classes continue at this time. In addition, we are asking faculty to prepare and practice conducting courses online now in order to have the campus ready for the potential of delivering all classes online or via alternate delivery by March 30th if needed. I understand that preparing for this eventual possibility will require a great deal of effort and adaptability from all of us but we must be prepared. The confirmation of a case COVID-19 within our campus community or in the Fayetteville community are currently the primary scenarios being considered that would trigger the actual suspension of on-campus classes.
Monday, March 9, 2020
A message from the Southeastern Conference concerning upcoming championship events:
“The SEC continues to monitor developments associated with the coronavirus (COVID-19) and has not modified the schedule of events related to our men’s basketball tournament in Nashville. At this time our focus and expectation is to play the tournament as scheduled. Local authorities have confirmed this approach is consistent with current public health recommendations. We remain alert to any circumstances that could warrant adjustments for the health and well-being of our student-athletes, fans and other participants. We are in continued communication with public health officials and remind everyone to be attentive to everyday preventive actions identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov).”
Friday, March 6, 2020
Updates on travel, campus visitors and faculty resources:
Is it safe to travel in the U.S.?
Please exercise caution and check for the latest information available for your specific destination as the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is changing rapidly. While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices (this currently includes domestic travel in the U.S.) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing levels local transmission.
What should I consider when planning personal travel?
Consider method of transportation for all travel. Air travel, for example, tends to be crowded with people in close proximity in the plane and the airport. Traveling in a personal vehicle to a destination, would limit exposure to crowds.
In alignment with our requirements and recommendations for university-affiliated travel, we strongly discourage personal international travel, especially to countries with a CDC risk level for coronavirus of 2 or higher. Please consider the health risk and logistical challenges that may be encountered including that the Arkansas Department of Health may require self-isolation for 14 days after traveling to or through an affected area. Customs agents are reporting international travelers arriving from affected countries to state departments of health for this purpose.
Please exercise caution and check for the latest information available for your specific destination as the coronavirus situation in the U.S. is changing rapidly. While the CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices (this currently includes domestic travel in the U.S.) because the risk of transmission is considered low, some areas are reporting increasing levels of local transmission.
What about conferences, conventions, meetings and big events?
Many universities and companies have restricted employee and student travel to meetings, conventions and events. You are encouraged to review the information from the hosting organization for any changes or restrictions and may consider if there are options to attend remotely. If attending events concerns you, or you have a medical reason why you should not be in crowds, then please utilize the many tools the campus offers for conducting meetings in real-time over the Internet from your desktop.
I’m expecting visitors from out of town or overseas to attend a campus event. Should I be concerned?
If your guests are visiting from a country with a CDC coronavirus level of 2 or higher, your guest may be required to self-isolate for 14 days, per the Arkansas Department of Health. It would be advisable to discourage such visits.
Are resources available to help faculty prepare alternative options for teaching?
Yes. The university’s Teaching Innovation and Pedagogical Support (TIPS) Center offers contingency planning guidance for faculty to help deliver content to students even when they cannot attend physical classes due to an outbreak, illness or inclement weather. Instructors can also request departmental workshops, one-on-one support, receive Blackboard course information and access articles, tutorials and other resources.
Tuesday, March 3, 2020
Updates on university travel for students, faculty and staff
- The university requires all registered student travelers in countries with a CDC risk
level for coronavirus of 2 or above to return to the United States immediately. All
upcoming registered student travel (through at least the end of the current academic
semester) to countries with a CDC risk level for coronavirus of 2 or above will be
suspended or postponed until a later date.
- We are currently assessing the CDC recommendation that we consider postponing or canceling
all upcoming international registered student travel. We are also currently reviewing
the status of all summer programs.
- We strongly recommend that faculty/staff traveling internationally return to the U.S.
and suspend future international travel at least until the end of the current academic
semester. Please consider the health risk and logistical challenges that may be encountered
and understand that the university may not be able to provide support if you are impacted.
This recommendation will be regularly evaluated and could be extended.
- We urge all those who have plans to travel during Spring Break to consider the latest CDC and Department of State guidance. In addition to the health risks related to the outbreak, international travel is becoming more difficult. All international travelers must consider the possibility of travel restrictions, quarantines and other potential travel-related issues.
March 1, 5:25 pm CST
Students from the Rome Center were informed today that the U of A will cover any flight change fees incurred for return airfare up to $650. The university also asked students with extenuating circumstances to contact the Office of Study Abroad for additional support on a case-by-case basis.
March 1, 4:15 pm CST
The university and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) are requiring travelers to self-isolate upon return from an area of Level 2 or Level 3 CDC advisory before returning to campus. Travelers directly affected by the requirement will receive instructions from health officials in Arkansas or their home state regarding the process.
Nearly 40 U of A students returning from the Rome Center and other locations in Italy will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning to Fayetteville to complete the semester.
February 28, 11:59 pm CST
U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention both elevated the travel advisories in Italy to Level 3 – Reconsider Travel and Avoid nonessential travel. In an effort to protect the health of our faculty and students, the university suspended academic operations of the Rome Center for the semester and will return all students to the U.S. to continue studies.
February 28, 4:35 pm CST
The Pat Walker Health Center and the Arkansas Department of Health are recommending self-isolation for all U of A faculty, staff and students returning from South Korea and Italy.
February 27, 5:35 pm CST
A Message from Chancellor Joseph Steinmetz
“The health and well-being of our students traveling abroad is always a concern particularly as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread,” said Chancellor Joe Steinmetz. “The escalating situation is concerning as we have more than 150 students around the globe, with 100 students studying at the Rome Center. We are closely monitoring the situation everywhere we have students currently studying abroad or planning to do so in the near future. We have contingency plans for what could come next, including the potential of suspending some of our programs.”
February 27, 5:30 pm CST
The Office of Study Abroad and International Exchange has nearly 150 U of A students currently studying abroad this semester. We are carefully monitoring the situation with the health and safety of our students as our highest concern.