COVID-19 Update: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

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

During the last few days, our campus community has faced some significant challenges and changes as we adapt to the circumstances with COVID-19. As you are aware from updates in the last couple of days from the Governor and the Arkansas Department of Health, we are likely still six to eight weeks from the peak of the COVID-19 outbreak in Arkansas

In preparation for that possibility, over the past three weeks UCA has shifted academic instruction from face-to-face to online for the remainder of the semester; instructed all employees who are able to telecommute to do so; and streamlined our campus services down to only those that are most essential to serve the small number of students that must remain on campus.

Today we take another step to safeguard the health and well-being of our campus community, city, and state. We are closing our residence halls and other campus housing effective Sunday, March 29 through the end of the semester, with very limited exceptions.

We are recommending that all students who can stay home after spring break should do so. For the approximately 450 students that have remained on campus for spring break, we are encouraging you to transition home if you can. We know that not all of our students in housing have circumstances that allow them to go home. Housing and Residence Life (HRL) has developed a process for students to document their indisputable need for continued housing through the end of the term. All students still on residence hall contract will receive a link to the HRL questionnaire and can have their unique issues addressed by housing staff.

We will ensure that students who must remain on campus receive the services they need, including food service, security, internet, and housing. Housing and Residence Life will assist all students with the check-out and move-out process by March 29. For all students that are currently away from campus and cannot check out by March 29, your rooms and belongings will be secure, and HRL will share other opportunities to check out and gather your belongings. Pay attention to email for those other dates.

Many of you have asked about housing refunds due to the altered and shortened stay in on-campus housing. The university is working on a plan for refunds and/or account credits for students. Impacted students will receive a communication soon from UCA about how their account will be handled. Please continue to watch your email in the coming weeks for ongoing communications and necessary updates.

I know this has been a challenging time for all of you, as the situation has changed rapidly and affected us all personally and professionally. I have the deepest gratitude for our exceptional students, faculty, and staff and your unmatched perseverance as we adapt to a semester that looks like none we have ever seen.