The University of Tennessee System plans to welcome students back to each of its campuses this fall.
“We are planning for a safe return to campuses in the fall and will do everything possible to protect the health of our students, faculty and staff,” said UT System President Randy Boyd. “We will continually monitor the local and state health data and policies and be prepared to adjust and communicate our plans when needed.”
The UT System created a system-wide taskforce in April, led by Dr. Jon McCullers, professor and chair of infectious disease at the UT Health Science Center, to advise on policies and procedures that would prioritize the safety and wellbeing of UT’s students, faculty and staff. In addition, each campus has created a local task force to look at specific needs for their campus community.
The campus task forces are analyzing various scenarios, specifying campus needs, and recommending guidelines and actions.
The UT System announced the transition of in-person spring classes to an online platform on March 11, growing UT’s online semester credit hours (SCH) from less than 60,000 on March 1 to more than 567,000 by March 23.
“The faculty and staff have been heroic in their efforts,” Boyd told the UT Board of Trustees at a special meeting on April 24. “It’s been inspiring to see how hard they’ve worked to make sure the students are successful.”
The UT System has a comprehensive resource guide that provides information and resources surrounding COVID-19: tennessee.edu/coronavirus/
In Dec. 2019, the global health care community identified a new respiratory virus that originated in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China, and has since been labeled 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease or COVID-19 by the World Health Organization. Spread of coronavirus is correlated with circumstances of close and sustained contact with others who are infected.
The University of Tennessee System has campuses in Knoxville, Chattanooga, Martin and Memphis; the UT Space Institute in Tullahoma; the UT Institute of Agriculture with a presence in every Tennessee county; and the statewide Institute for Public Service.
The UT system manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory through its UT-Battelle partnership; enrolls about 50,000 students statewide; produces about 10,000 new graduates every year; and represents more than 387,000 alumni around the world.