March 19, 2020
Dear Students --
During this very difficult situation, we have been listening intently to you and your families. Preserving health and safety has been first and foremost in every step we have taken and every decision we’ve made. In the final analysis, our students and UH community are who matter most to us. With that in mind, the following decisions have been made:
ADJUSTMENTS TO CLASSES, RESEARCH, STUDENT LIFE, AND EVENTS
- Spring 2020 courses will be offered remotely (online or alternative format) beginning March 23 and for the duration of the semester. We are currently working through details on online test proctoring, labs and other considerations. I am asking faculty members, deans and university leaders to work to accommodate student needs throughout these difficult times. Computer labs are open for those who need them and resources for off-campus Wi-Fi are available from UIT.
- Spring 2020 Commencement will be postponed. Canceling graduation would be detrimental to all of the hard work our students have done to earn their degrees. We will begin planning for a late summer or early fall commencement as soon as public health conditions and operational guidelines allow. Delaying the graduation/commencement ceremonies will not delay the actual conferring of degrees to May graduates. The latest updates, including new information about cap and gown orders, and rescheduled dates can be found here as the information becomes available.
- Events sponsored by the University are canceled, no matter the size, through the end of April. Rather than continuing to provide updates based on the latest federal, state or local size limitations, we prefer to provide clear guidance for the near term. These restrictions include conferences, symposia, and social gatherings. This does not preclude small internal meetings, where social distancing should be the touchstone.
STUDENT SUPPORT SERVICES
- Residential housing will remain open for those who choose to stay or return and complete your course work remotely for the remainder of the semester. If you plan to move out of housing and not continue in housing through the remainder of the semester, please follow the process that Student Housing & Residential Life will outline for you soon. You will receive further information about the refund/credit of your unused amount for these services in addition to parking. We will work with you on any specific needs, and we thank you for your patience.
- All dining establishments operating on campus, retail and residential, have converted to takeout orders only to comply with guidelines issued by the city of Houston and to promote social distancing. More information on unused balances on dining plans will be communicated in the next week. For more information on hours and locations, please visit dining services.
Cougar Cupboard in partnership with the Houston Food Bank is open and available for students who require access to additional food.
- M. D. Anderson Library will remain open with computer labs available to those in need and online material available for access. Beginning March 23, access to the library will be limited to UH students, faculty and staff.
- UH Cougars Care community SharePoint is available to allow peer-to-peer support and help for faculty, staff and students. Visit AccessUH to begin your conversations.
- The Student Health Center will continue to be available for non-emergency, outpatient medical care to currently enrolled UH students. Appointments may be scheduled by calling 713-743-5151 during regular business hours.
- UH Counseling and Psychological Services is waiving session fees and/or no show and late cancel charges for all appointment types. CAPS remains open and will assess for the most appropriate treatment option which may include referrals/resources, crisis services, phone sessions, or an in-person appointment.
- Telehealth is available for current United Healthcare – Service Resources member and non-member students to connect with a physician via phone and/or video chat.
- The Campus Recreation and Wellness Center is temporarily suspending in-person workouts in the facility through April 4, but it is providing opportunities for remote workouts.
- The Student Center is open, but closing each night at 10 p.m. until further notice.
- Please refer to our university COVID-19 website for the latest updates and resources.
We are in the midst of an extraordinary challenge, and the situation continues to change rapidly. But there is one thing that will not change – this University’s commitment to do what is best for our students. We will work through this together, remaining safe and continuing our educational mission. I know we can do this.
With warm regards,