Coronavirus Updates

Alert Information

Updates from the College of Education regarding COVID-19

Coronavirus updates from the University of North Texas
Official message from University of North Texas President Neal Smatresk


UNT Update
June 25, 2020

Dear UNT community members,

In the weeks since the COVID-19 crisis first appeared, we have taken extraordinary steps to keep our campus community safe, support our students' success through remote learning, and keep all but essential staff at home. As we prepare for a limited return to in-person instruction, these remain our top priorities, and as a caring community, we need to all pull together to ensure a successful semester for our students and minimize the financial impacts of COVID on our community.

One critical step that we have taken to stay safe and ensure a strong return is that Chancellor Roe has issued a memo requiring masks to be worn at all of our campus locations by all students, faculty, staff and visitors, effective immediately. We ask for everyone’s commitment and support in these measures, but know that there will be those who aren’t always mindful of their social responsibility to our collective safety. We want to ask for your help in keeping everyone on our campus safe. Please encourage those who aren’t meeting our expectations for safety, including wearing masks, staying socially distanced, and being considerate of those around them to help. Keeping our community healthy is everyone’s job. To help with this, we will provide a guide and tips on how to respond when you observe a community member who is not demonstrating safe behaviors next week.

You will be hearing more about our reopening and safety plans in the coming days and weeks. We are close to finalizing our Return to Campus Guide, as well as the second module of the COVID-19 Safety Training for UNT faculty and staff. I anticipate that both will be shared with you next week as we continue to work together to reopen our campus in the safest way possible. It also is important for you all to understand that this is an evolving situation, and we are committed to flexibly responding to whatever challenges arise.

We pride ourselves on being a caring community, so let’s please take care of one another during this pandemic. Wear your face coverings, maintain social distance and frequently wash your hands so we can help keep each other and our community safe.

Stay safe,
Neal Smatresk
UNT President

UNT Update
March 22, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As vice presidents finalize staffing plans to keep only essential personnel on campus, I am instructing them to expedite the process for identifying those who will be needed to serve remaining UNT students in residence halls and serve critical business continuity functions. The campus will transition to only essential operations and we will move all other campus offices to virtual service delivery by 5:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 24.

UNT employees who do not fall into the essential personnel category for being on campus and are unable to do their work from home – as determined by your vice president and supervisor – will be reassigned to other duties or receive emergency leave through Friday, April 3.  If health-related restrictions have not changed, the length of emergency leave will be evaluated at that time. Please visit this UNT System website to learn more about COVID-19-related emergency leave.

On Monday, March 23, we are also discontinuing most, but not all, in-person appointments for students and transitioning to virtual options where possible. Those options include email, telephone, and Zoom or other video chat services.

The Student Health and Wellness clinic is among the services that will continue face-to-face appointments, along with dining and residence hall services – with social distancing in mind. I should note that prospective students will also be able to utilize nearly all virtual options.

We began this intense effort to support our community’s safety by extending spring break and moving classes online. It has been truly amazing to watch the teamwork by faculty and staff as we moved quickly to take care of each other and our students. We have also taken measures to ensure that our resident students are not unilaterally displaced, rather that we continued to provide a safe haven for those with the need or desire to remain in our care.

It is my hope that these immediate changes will further safeguard our community as much as possible while continuing to fulfill the university’s primary mission to serve our students.

Neal Smatresk
UNT President

UNT Updates
March 20, 2020

Dear Mean Green family,

We are living through an unprecedented global event the likes of which we have rarely seen in the 130-year history of our university. The personal impact on each of us and our normal routine on and off campus is great, which is why I am writing to share news about Commencement with you today.

After much consideration, I have decided to postpone Commencement ceremonies that were scheduled for May 7-10. Our spring commencement is the last major event to be impacted, and the decision was not made quickly in order to thoroughly consider whether we could begin returning to normal operations in early May. While we should all remain optimistic about where we could be with the fight against coronavirus (COVID-19) in 45 days, families of May graduates need to know now whether to make travel arrangements.

I know that crossing the stage is a defining moment for our students who have worked so hard to earn their degree(s), so please know that many people across campus are currently reviewing ways to still allow commencement to happen later in the year for any graduate wishing to participate. Whatever is decided, spring graduates will have an opportunity to participate in an in-person ceremony and cross the stage at a commencement ceremony, but you will officially graduate regardless of whether we hold a ceremony or not. As soon as we make a decision regarding these later ceremony options, we will share that information with our community.

For students who still need answers regarding our transition to online instruction, including such topics as the availability of laptops and textbooks, please visit our frequently asked questions page on the healthalerts.unt.edu website.

Thank you for your patience as we work together to allow our students to complete the current semester over the coming weeks. I understand that this is a difficult time for them, their families, and our faculty and staff, but we are pulling together and solving problems as they arise in a way that demonstrates our caring and creative UNT spirit.

Neal Smatresk
UNT President

UNT Updates
March 18, 2020