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Re-Imagining Fall Task Force Recommendations

Dear colleagues,

As you know, the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force has spent the past four weeks working through scenarios and considerations for resuming classes in August. I expect to receive the group’s recommendations later today, and we will make the full document available to the campus on the task force website within the next few days.

I greatly appreciate the time and energy that all 82 committee and subcommittee members put into this assessment and for the leadership of the co-chairs, Deans Ellen McIntyre and Steve Smith. This was a huge responsibility for all involved and an investment in the health and success of our students, faculty, and staff this fall. From everything I have heard so far, the final report contains many creative ideas for delivering a high-quality experience for our students while maintaining safe practices for all.

Parallel to our task force’s work, the UT System engaged emergency management representatives from each campus, led by Jon McCullers, professor and chair of infectious disease at the UT Health Science Center, to identify best practices for health and safety system-wide. Dr. McCullers was also an advisor to our campus task force.

Our Re-Imagining Fall Task Force report, along with the system’s report on best practices, will give us a starting point around making decisions, allocating resources, and rolling out more detailed plans for the next academic year. As we continue through this process, I am committed to engagement, transparency, and communication.

Thank you, as always, for doing your part as we navigate this unprecedented time. It will take the work and expertise of faculty and staff across campus to prepare our campus for students again.

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Donde Plowman