Faculty and staff have worked at record speed in the past week to adapt to changes brought on by the rapid spread of the coronavirus in the United States and throughout the world. Everyone finds themselves in an unmapped territory but we have worked hard to stay connected and on track. Below are some of the changes happening within the larger UF community that are effecting the UFTI.
An up-to-date resource for those looking to see what is going on at UF because of COVID-19 can be found here.
Remote work and education
- Alachua County mandated emergency “stay at home” orders effective at midnight, Monday, March 23. UF is reducing on-campus personnel to those identified as essential, starting Tuesday, March 24.
- Faculty, staff, and students have access to Zoom, a remote conferencing service to facilitate collaboration across various workspaces.
- All Spring classes have moved online for the remainder of the semester.
- All Summer A & C classes will be conducted online; currently, no decision has been made yet for Summer B.
- The University of Florida has rescheduled its Spring commencement for the weekend of July 31-August 2 for students graduating with master’s or bachelor’s degrees. Graduating doctoral students can participate in the summer doctoral ceremony scheduled for August 7. More information on commencement will be available from UF soon.
- For students who still need to defend their dissertation, they should contact their Supervisory Committee Chair. Final oral presentations/defenses can and should go forward as planned, although they will be conducted remotely, via ZOOM or equivalent. Scheduling the participation of committee members may be challenging, so start that process as soon as possible. The Graduate School has waived its requirement that the Supervisory Committee Chair or Co-Chair and the Candidate be physically present in the same room.
- While the university is requiring that all classes be moved online, there are currently no restrictions or limitations on research activities. Access to research facilities remains unchanged for faculty, staff, graduate students and others who are engaged in these activities. While conducting research, individuals are encouraged to practice social distancing and keep 6 feet of space between each individual.
- Researchers are encouraged to institute recommended practices that minimize potential exposure to COVID-19 within the research workspace environment. Additional guidance and updates regarding impacts on research and sponsored programs will be posted at https://research.ufl.edu/covid-19-updates.html
- UF is canceling, postponing or, where feasible, moving all events to alternate virtual modes of participation until further notice. Scheduling new future events and conferences will also be postponed until further notice.
- For individuals planning international travel, UF recommends visiting the Department of State website for guidance on international travel. Travelers should remember that this is a rapidly evolving situation and travel advisories may change from day to day. Travelers should also be aware that it is possible that the geographic criteria for quarantine could be expanded beyond an already identified CDC-designated level 2 or 3 areas depending on the spread of cases in a particular area.