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Saturday, December 5, 2020

Campus

All UH classes, finals moving online after Thanksgiving break


Although President Renu Khator confirmed some UH classes will be held in person, she did not provide details on what percentage of classes will be partly or fully online. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

Although President Renu Khator confirmed some UH classes will be held in person, she did not provide details on what percentage of classes will be partly or fully online. | Christopher Charleston/The Cougar

All UH classes, regardless of original format, and final exams will transition to being fully online after Thanksgiving break, President Renu Khator said in a statement on Tuesday.

In her announcement, Khator said the plan is consistent with other state and national research universities. The decision to host in-person classes came two weeks after the University of Texas released its similar reopening plan.

“Under the Provost’s direction, the Instructional Task Force is looking at all options to ensure that faculty have safe options and that students also have options to receive both an on-campus and online experience,” Khator said in the statement.

Khator said classes will be held in free formats: fully on-campus, fully online, or a hybrid of both from the beginning of the semester until Thanksgiving break.

She has previously said all “large” classes, which she defined as 50 students or more, will be delivered online.

In an effort to maintain social distancing standards, on-campus classes will have a reorganized seating structure. All classroom seating will keep a 6-foot distance between students, and an 8-foot distance between professors and students.

Additionally, the provost’s office will host virtual sessions for University faculty members to enhance their future online and hybrid classes.

The statement included steps that University plans on taking to stay safe while classes move back on-campus. These steps are identifying and monitoring the coronavirus on campus, appointing a COVID Response Coordinator, making efforts to protect community members identified as ” CDC-defined vulnerable” and hosting webinars and town hall meetings to spread information and answer questions.

“Nothing is more important than the safety of our Cougar family,” Khator said. “Since health guidelines and available technologies continue to change weekly, committing to any one plan is a futile exercise at this point.  However, here are the steps being taken to ensure your safety.”

Khator’s statement confirmed her previous unofficial plans of reopening made at the Board of Regents meeting. At the May 21 meeting, she said the classes over 50 people would most likely not be held on campus.

For more of The Cougar’s coronavirus coverage, click here.

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Correction: This story has been updated for clarity on the three instruction formats being implemented in the fall.

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