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Changes to the Fall Calendar for Students

Dear Vols,

We are excited to welcome you back to Rocky Top this August. Everyone here in Knoxville is working hard to prepare for your return.

Our priority remains the health and safety of our campus community. Part of our preparation involves making sure the academic calendar supports our efforts to keep everyone safe.

We are adjusting the academic calendar for fall to minimize travel to and from campus once the semester begins while maintaining the required number of instructional days. Under the new academic calendar, classes will begin as scheduled on Wednesday, August 19. We will hold classes on Labor Day, September 7, and during fall break, previously scheduled for October 8 and 9. These changes will allow you to leave campus for the semester after classes end on Tuesday, November 24. Final exams will be held online after the Thanksgiving break.

Unfortunately, it is too soon to say how the spread of the virus will impact the dates for in-person commencement and hooding ceremonies.

You can find an updated academic calendar, with the new study days and final exam periods, on the registrar’s website.

If you will be living in a residence hall, University Housing will provide information on move-in and move-out under the new calendar. We are also evaluating the fall 2020 fee structure in light of these changes and will provide updates as soon as they are available.

Like most universities in the country, we are developing a fall schedule that includes at least three types of classes: some taught face-to-face in larger rooms to allow for proper distancing, some taught online, and some that are a combination of both. These changes will require some adjustments to class schedules.

Just because we are socially distancing doesn’t mean we should be distant from one another. The Divisions of Student Life and Student Success are committed to providing meaningful and engaging out-of-class experiences that will safely bring us together as Volunteers, and the Student Government Association and Graduate Student Senate are working to plan fall activities.

Over the coming weeks we will communicate additional new protocols and safety measures for fall. Please continue to check your email for information and guidance.

Things on campus will be different, but Volunteers are committed to taking care of one another. We will work together for the well-being of our community and are counting on you to be a partner in creating a safe environment.

Rocky Top has always been a special place. What sets it apart from any other college campus is you—our students. We are looking forward to seeing you soon.

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Donde Plowman
Chancellor