NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

COVID-19 Update: Important Spring Semester Information

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

Throughout the pandemic, our collective university goal has been to provide a high-quality educational and campus life experience while prioritizing the health and safety of our campus community, the Conway area, and the state of Arkansas. Due to the present spread of the Omicron variant, I am announcing one important change to the beginning of our spring 2022 semester that will help us adhere to that goal. 

UCA will begin classes on Thursday, January 13, 2022 as scheduled, however, for the days of Thursday, January 13 and Friday, January 14, all instruction will be virtual with the exception of education internship (student teaching) and certain health care professions within the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. CHBS students who will require in-person instruction on those two days will be contacted directly by their department chair with further instructions.

The university will resume in-person instruction for all students on Tuesday, January 18. The two virtual days will be akin to the same steps that faculty and students would take during snow and ice events or any other semester disruption. This shift will allow members of our campus community to finish current quarantine and isolation periods, to get tested for COVID-19 if needed, and to ensure that they are healthy before they reenter the classroom space. Additionally, as the Student Health Center leads our efforts to reconstruct our “bubble,” this change will extend our window for “return to campus” across a longer period of time.

Students, your instructors will be communicating with you regarding virtual instruction plans for those first two days of term. Please check your CUB email accounts regularly leading up to the first day of classes and follow any instructions related to your Blackboard course portal. Student access to courses in Blackboard begins January 7.

If you live on campus, please note that the residence halls will be open for move-in as originally scheduled. All individuals living in campus housing will receive a separate email today from Housing and Residence Life. Please review that email and respond to the link provided to let our staff know when you intend to arrive for check-in. Returning students may move in as early as Sunday, January 9 by completing the Housing Move-In form and new students beginning Wednesday, January 12. Dining Service options available for the 9th through 11th include Einstein’s on Donaghey, Twisted Taco, and Christian Cafeteria: Please note meal plans will be active as scheduled beginning January 12.

Effective January 10, the campus will be open for regular hours with all campus services available to students, including dining services, HPER Center, Student Health Clinic, and Torreyson Library. Whether a student lives in on-campus housing or is in a commuter status, we will continue to make decisions that ensure that students have access to all campus support services, including but not limited to reliable internet, health care, food, and housing.

Due to the ongoing realities of COVID-19, we will keep all of our existing protocols and mitigation strategies from fall 2021 in place as we begin the spring 2022 semester. This includes requiring face coverings when the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) shows Faulkner County at high or substantial risk of community spread. Please continue to watch for our Sunday afternoon announcements via email regarding our status for the week.

Your faculty and staff have taken this pandemic very seriously since the earliest days of 2020 and will continue to be diligent as the next chapters of the virus unfold. As we approach the spring 2022 semester, we are focused on the following actions:

  • Ensure vaccine and booster shot availability to UCA students and employees.
  • Continue to require face coverings when in levels of high or substantial community transmission.
  • Stress all health and hygiene best practices.
  • Continue a robust testing and tracing protocol.
  • Assess and manage appropriate levels of quarantine and isolation housing.
  • Prioritize in-person courses and activities but have contingency plans for limited virtual instruction if necessary.

As we make the turn at the halfway point of the academic year, we want to carry the momentum from the fall semester of meaningful classroom experiences, student interaction, and campus involvement. We will continue to work daily to ensure that all UCA students have a rich, fulfilling academic and campus life experience in a safe environment. Thank you for your commitment to this university and to each other. If we all work together, we will complete a successful 2021-22 academic year and remain #UCAStrong.

Go Bears!