As the start of classes gets closer, I will be writing about once a week to keep you informed of the preparations for fall semester 2020.  It is paramount that as a campus community we work together to keep every individual healthy and safe and take measures to reduce the likelihood of transmission of COVID-19 on our campus.  The purpose of this communication is to give you a copy of the communication regarding class schedules recently sent to the students and to summarize key features of fall semester 2020 that are different from usual because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Key features of fall semester 2020 we need to remember include:

  • All students, faculty, staff, and visitors are required to wear a face covering, such as a cloth mask or face covering in all buildings. Faculty may wear face masks or shields while teaching.  The University will provide facemasks for all faculty members and staff members.  The Office of Academic Affairs will provide face shields for those who are teaching.
  • Remember classroom layouts will maintain at least 6 feet between each person. Facilities is installing sanitizing stations throughout campus. Hand sanitizer stations will be at the entrances to every building. Each classroom will have cleaning materials for faculty and students to use to clean their own spaces.  Directional signage inside and outside buildings will indicate the flow of traffic in hallways, on stairways, and at entrances and exits to building.
  • Safety and health requirements for presence on our campus are given in UAH’s new interim policy 02.01.71 Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This interim policy clearly states the requirements that each of us must comply with to ensure the health and safety of our students, our colleagues, and ourselves.  In next week’s communication, I will explain the requirements for returning to campus and will send you a copy of the policy.    
  • Changes in the academic calendar are designed to limit the transmission of the virus. Classes will start on Wednesday, August 19th.  This year we will not have the traditional Fall Convocation and President’s picnic for the students on Tuesday evening before classes begin.  We will have Labor Day as a holiday but will not have a fall break.  We will incorporate the two days of fall break into the week of Thanksgiving.  There will be no classes during the week Thanksgiving.  All on-campus instruction will stop at the end of the class day on Friday, November 20, 2020.  Classes will resume for one week after Thanksgiving fully online.  Final exams will be fully online.
  • All courses must be offered in a manner that allows students to complete them remotely and, where possible, courses should have an on-campus component to add value to the student experience. The four general types of instructional delivery we will have this fall are given in the following:
    • Traditional Courses are conducted in-person, on-campus following our regular class schedule and are for courses with a small number of students or those that require physical presence.
    • Hybrid Courses consist of a combination of traditional (face-to-face) and online instruction. In these courses, students will come to campus for approximately half of the sessions and will complete the other half of the course via remote learning. 
    • Remote Sections are associated with a hybrid or traditional course to allow students to complete the course without coming to campus.
    • Online Courses are fully online with no traditional, on-campus component. The courses include a variety of assignments, activities, recordings, and exams.
    • Class schedule designations in the schedule of classes are Y for hybrid courses, R for remote sections, and O for online courses.
  • With the rise in COVID-19 cases in Alabama and in Madison County, we all must be mindful of one of our key tenets used in the development of the Academic Affairs Return to Campus Plan: “Be prepared to transition from on-campus and online to totally online when necessary.” 
  • Faculty and staff who are directed to return to campus who have concerns about doing so because of age, medical condition, or other reasons may contact Human Resources. The person to contact is Laurel Long, Associate Vice President for Human Resources, at or 256-824-2285.

Please review the letter to students regarding class schedules for additional information.

Please contact your chairs, associate deans, and deans or directors if you have questions regarding your classes and your return to campus.

We are looking forward to seeing on-campus this fall and hope that you will be healthy and safe for the rest of the summer.

Christine W. Curtis
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs