Welcome back to campus for Spring semester 2021!  We are grateful for your steadfast dedication to teaching our students and to your research and service during the Fall semester.  Although fall semester was often stressful and challenging on many fronts, we persevered and successfully completed the semester. Thank you for encouraging the students to finish Fall semester strong and to register for Spring semester.  At this point, our registration/enrollment for Spring semester looks slightly better than last year’s Spring semester.  The true measure of our enrollment will come after census day when we will have more information on our overall and freshman retention.  Please keep encouraging students to register and/or stay enrolled for Spring semester. 


Spring Semester Health and Safety Guidance

UAH will continue to follow the guidance of the University of Alabama System Health and Safety Task Force.  Most of the specific requirements that UAH put into place during the fall to help promote the health and safety of our campus community will continue into Spring semester.  The best way for us to keep everyone safe and healthy is for each of us to commit to abiding by the health and safety requirements stated in our interim policy 02.01.71 Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus during the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Re-entry Testing. For Spring semester, re-entry testing will only apply to residential students.  Student athletes and coaches will be tested weekly as required by NCAA rules.  Faculty and staff will not be tested on re-entry.  There are no restrictions on who may come to campus during Spring semester.  Therefore, all faculty and staff may come to campus, even if you are working remotely.

Healthcheck. Starting now for Spring semester, all faculty and staff are expected to complete the Charger Healthcheck every three days, regardless of whether one is working remotely or on campus.  Please remember to stay home and not come to campus if you are ill.

Sentinel Testing. Currently, we are planning to include all faculty and staff in the sentinel testing pool during the spring semester.   Sentinel testing for faculty and staff will start toward the end of January.  When you are called upon to take part in sentinel testing, please participate if you possibly can.  Your participation will help our university keep safe and stay healthy. 


Safety Measures 

Physical Distance in Academic Spaces. All classrooms, labs, and other academic spaces are configured to increase physical distance among students and instructors.  Please remember that social distancing of at least six feet between individuals is an effective means to control the spread of COVID-19.

Face Coverings.  All students, faculty, and staff must wear a face mask/cloth face covering for the duration of any in-person class session or while in any University-owned facility other than a private residence or while alone in an enclosed study space.  Faculty and staff will be provided with face masks and face shields free of charge.  In addition, spare face masks for students who need them will be given to every college for distribution to advisors’, chairs’, and deans’ offices.  If a student arrives without a face covering, please either give them a disposable facemask or send them to one of these offices. 

Enhanced Cleaning. UAH Custodial Services uses a Building Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocol https://www.uah.edu/images/administrative/facilities/facilities/covid-19_response_memo_23_july_2020.pdf  to guide frequent cleaning of academic spaces.  In addition to central cleaning efforts, hand sanitizers and cleaning wipes will be placed in each academic space.  Hand sanitizers are also located at the entrances of each campus building for your use.

Disinfecting wipes are available in classroom buildings. Students and instructors are encouraged to pick up a wipe on the way into classrooms and wipe down their work areas and classroom technology such as wireless microphones, keyboards, and podium touch pads. Before you leave the classroom, please disinfect your area again. 

COVID-19 Supplies.  Please be aware that the Office of Environmental Health & Safety (OEHS) set up a supply room for COVID PPE supplies in SKH 225.  If your department’s supply is depleted, OEHS can provide cloth masks, disposable masks, face shields, gloves, hand sanitizer, and wipes while supplies last.  For those staff who are required to use them, they have also obtained a backup supply of disposable coveralls and N95s.  Communicate directly with OEHS via oehs@uah.edu  or send your department's designee to SKH 225 Monday-Friday 8am - 12pm.

Education.  Communicate the importance of cleaning personal workspaces to your students and colleagues. Faculty should model cleaning protocol to help build a culture of good sanitizing practices.

To help educate students of expectations, faculty should include the following language in each course syllabus.

All University faculty, staff, and students are expected to maintain a commitment to the health and safety of our campus community.  Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, specific health and safety standards are in place to minimize exposure and community spread on campus. In the interest of your health and safety and that of all UAH students, faculty and staff, the University reserves the right to change the mode of instruction or schedule of instruction at any time, based upon prevailing public health and other guidance.  While the method of delivery may change, educational instruction and opportunities will continue.  

All students must be familiar with and abide by the requirements outlined in the UAH Return to Campus Plan | UA System Comprehensive Health and Safety Plan, and Interim Policy 02.01.71 Safety and Health Requirements for Presence on UAH’s Campus During the COVID-19 Pandemic.   Students must always (1) wear a mask or face covering while participating in face-to-face class and while in all University buildings; (2) adhere to social distancing standards; and (3) comply with all other health and safety restrictions.  A valid Charger Healthcheck passport will be required for entry before each class session

Check Students’ Passports for Hybrid and Traditional Classes.  Faculty are required to check that every student has a green Healthcheck passport before allowing them to enter an in-person classroom.  OIT will e-mail instructors a list of students who are not compliant with Charger Healthcheck.  Emails will be sent to faculty at 7:00 a.m. each morning and will be sent only for courses scheduled to meet that day.    Non-compliant students will be included in the e-mail if they are scheduled to be in class that day.  BLUE non-compliant students will be included on Mondays and Tuesdays.  SILVER non-compliant students will be included on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday will include all students.  If all students in a course are compliant, an email will be sent indicating such. Online and courses designated as remote (R section courses) are excluded from this process. 

Please remember that students may begin a day non-compliant but may complete Healthcheck before or during their first classes and then be compliant.  At that point, those students should have a green passport to show you that allows entry into class. 

Faculty can also check the status of a student by visiting Self Service Banner and selecting either Detailed Class List or UAH Photo Class Roster from the Faculty Services tab.   A red border around students’ pictures indicate they are non-compliant with Charger Healthcheck.  This process will start Wednesday, January 13, 2021. 

If you have any concerns about this process or if glitches occur, please contact the OIT helpdesk at https://www.uah.edu/oit/contact or 256-824-3333.

If a student refuses to comply with the requirements, the student will be asked to leave the class and reported for a conduct violation.  More information on these requirements and Charger Healthcheck system and screening can be found at https://www.uah.edu/return-to-campus .   You are expected to visit the site and comply with all noted requirements related to in-person class attendance. 

Please encourage students to not come to class if they are sick, and remind them to complete the Charger Healthcheck every three days. Also, please be sure to provide clear instructions for accessing content for your course remotely so they are comfortable not coming to class if feeling ill.  


Additional Student Support

Library. A wide range of support services are available in both face-to-face and remote formats this spring. The Salmon Library www.uah.edu/library  and the Student Success Center www.uah.edu/ssc  are there for you as usual and provide a place for you to study and seek assistance.  Socially distanced group study areas are available for small study groups (2 to 4 students) in the Library.  If larger study group spaces are needed, please contact User Services in the Library for assistance. In addition, Instructional Testing Services www.uah.edu/testing  will serve as a Digital Safe Space for students needing internet access or a quiet place to take an exam.

Salmon Library hours for spring semester are

  • 7:30 am - 10:30 pm Monday-Thursday
  • 7:30 am - 8:00 pm Friday
  • 12:00 pm - 6:00 pm Saturday
  • 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm Sundays

Student Success Center. Encourage your students to attend the Charge into Success Workshop hosted by the Student Success Center to prepare them for a successful start this semester. Students need to visit the SSC website to register.  

The Student Success Center also has a new Academic Coaching reason called "Online Learning" to help students gain an understanding of what it takes to be successful in an online course. Students can book a session by visiting the SSC website

Return to Campus Website

Please review the Return to Campus website https://www.uah.edu/return-to-campus for Spring semester.  The checklist for faculty, staff, and students, https://www.uah.edu/return-to-campus/re-entry-checklists/re-entry-checklist-students-faculty-staff, describes the actions required of us for re-entry for spring semester. The checklist is also attached for your information.

Best wishes for a safe and healthy start to Spring semester.