COVID-19 Update: Friday, March 27, 2020

Update regarding COVID-19 from President Houston Davis to students, faculty, and staff

As spring break draws to a close, we wanted to send a quick note to campus with a few reminders about the remaining weeks of the spring 2020 semester.

The Governor and the Arkansas Department of Health stated this week that we are likely eight or more weeks from the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Arkansas. In response to these unprecedented circumstances, we will continue with online academic instruction through the end of the semester, and all employees who are able to telecommute should continue to do so. We plan to keep our current operational approach in effect until further notice.

As we mentioned earlier this week, all students except those with an indisputable need to stay on campus have been instructed to transition back home by Sunday, March 29. If you need to stay in campus housing through the end of the semester, make sure you answer the questionnaire that the Office of Housing and Residence Life sent earlier this week. As a reminder, hours for essential services are available here. For those who move home early, you will receive an email soon from the university regarding the process for partial refunds or credits.

While traditional spring commencement ceremonies have been cancelled, we are still thinking through a creative alternative to mark the completion of your degrees. We will reveal plans for that soon, as well as provide a timeline on when your diplomas will be mailed to you. In addition, all spring graduates will have the opportunity to participate in our summer commencement exercises.

I know this semester has not turned out how any of us imagined. I share in your disappointment for the things that we have lost in this process — our face-to-face class instruction and interaction, our traditional commencement ceremonies to celebrate graduating students, our springtime on-campus spirit, a joyful culmination of the semester, and so much more. However, I remain in awe of your ability to adapt and thrive under these circumstances. Thank you again for your determination and understanding.