NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) UPDATES

Masks are required as the campus is at red status.

IMPORTANT UPDATE REGARDING START OF SPRING SEMESTER

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

Since we began communicating with you about COVID-19 almost a year ago, our 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. Today, I am announcing one straightforward but important change to the beginning of our academic calendar that will help us adhere to this goal.

The University of Central Arkansas will begin classes next Tuesday, Jan. 19. However, for the period of Tuesday, Jan. 19 through Friday, Jan. 22, ALL instruction will be remote, with the exception of education internship (student teaching) and certain healthcare professions within the College of Health and Behavioral Sciences. CHBS students who will require face-to-face instruction next week will be contacted directly by their department chair with further instructions. We plan to resume face-to-face classes for all students on Monday, Jan. 25. 

As expected by medical professionals, Arkansas and many other states have seen a rise in COVID-19 cases following the holidays. UCA is a leading organization in the Conway community, with a student body of around 10,000 and more than 1,300 employees. Therefore, we have a great responsibility to do all we can to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in our area. Starting our spring semester with four days of remote instruction will allow members of the campus community to finish quarantine and/or isolation periods, get tested for COVID-19 if needed, and ensure that they are healthy before they reenter the classroom space.

Students, please check your CUB email accounts regularly this week, as instructors will begin communicating with you about their remote instruction plans for the first week of class. Also, if you live on campus, the residence halls will be open for move-in as originally planned on Sunday, Jan. 17. Campus will be open next week with all campus services available to students, including dining services, HPER Center, Student Health Clinic, and Torreyson Library. The ONLY change to those four days (Tuesday, Jan. 19-Friday, Jan. 22) is that instruction will be remote.

Please note that due to the ongoing realities of COVID-19, we plan to keep all of our existing COVID-19 protocols and mitigation strategies in place for the duration of the spring semester. Just as we did in the fall, we have collected the most important details into a single location — the Student Guide to Returning to Campus (Spring 2021 edition).

Our Student Guide to Returning to Campus is intended to help you and your families understand important changes we have made in order to make the 2020-21 academic year a successful and safe experience for you and the entire campus community. Please take the time to review the informative guide that is linked here. Additionally, continue paying attention to our updated COVID-19 website for regular updates and current information.

As a reminder, we will partner with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) to host a COVID-19 testing event in front of the Student Center next Wednesday, Jan. 20, from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The testing event is FREE for all students, faculty, and staff and will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis. This is a walk-up testing event; no appointments are necessary and reservations will not be accepted. Face coverings will be required, and distancing will be enforced.

I know this academic year has been unlike any we have experienced before, but I remain optimistic about the opportunities spring 2021 will bring. I look forward to once again seeing all of our Bears on campus in the coming weeks and working together to finish the academic year strong.