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Smith to Serve as Special Advisor

Dear colleagues,

Now that the Re-Imagining Fall Task Force has submitted its recommendations, the next stage of planning for the fall semester is to prioritize these ideas, assess their feasibility, and make decisions about implementation. To facilitate and coordinate this process, I have appointed Dean of Libraries Steve Smith to serve as special advisor to the chancellor.

As co-chairs of the task force, Steve and Dean Ellen McIntyre adeptly led a team of 82 people in gathering creative ideas and solutions. He is a natural choice to take on this leadership role, where he will also serve on the chancellor’s cabinet and the emergency management policy group.

Steve will have primary responsibility for leading this next stage of planning for the safe and effective return of classes, activities, and operations for the fall semester. I have asked him to take into consideration the ideas from the task force and guidance from other sources including the UT System task force, the American College Health Association, and government authorities. He will have the full support of the cabinet, policy group, Emergency Operations Center, deans, vice provosts, and others across campus to help move us to decisions and ensure that those decisions are implemented.

This appointment will last through at least August 31. Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid has appointed Associate Dean Holly Mercer to serve as acting dean of UT Libraries during this time.

I have full confidence in Steve to lead us through this planning process, and I know he will have the support of the entire campus.

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Donde Plowman