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Archived Messages

Past COVID-19 updates shared with the UHart community

Messages in Chronological Order

October Updates

Dear Campus Community,

Over the last week, we have seen an uptick in the number of community members testing positive for COVID-19. After celebrating several weeks of few or zero new cases, we had 18 positives last week. This increase is consistent with our peer institutions and the growing numbers in the state. We believe that the rise in cases is due primarily to off-campus activities.

All of the infected students are either home recovering or are in isolation on campus in separate isolation space. Our professional contact tracers have reached out to those who were in close contact with the positive cases, and anyone determined to be at risk is now in quarantine. The 18 positive cases can be tied back to three separate pockets, and we are carefully monitoring these groups. In addition to our regular weekly community testing held each week, we hosted an additional testing event for high-risk groups on Friday afternoon. We plan to begin implementing a pooled saliva testing program this week to continue expanding our testing and tracing efforts. The results of our wastewater sampling on campus continue to show no evidence of COVID-19, indicating that we are not experiencing a widespread issue on campus. While we are disappointed that our numbers increased, we have a strong handle on the situation and are not concerned about a widespread issue at this time. A reminder that if you test positive for COVID-19 at a facility off campus, you must call Health Services at 860.768.6601 to report the results as soon as possible. This allows our contact tracers to quickly begin their important work.

After many months of restrictions, we understand the desire to resume “normal” activities. However, Connecticut and the rest of the country are currently experiencing significant increases in positive cases. Our own increase serves as a reminder to stay vigilant on our health and safety measures. It is crucial that we continue to:

  • Complete the health screening on the LiveSafe app every day before coming to campus, or before going to class if you are a residential student
  • Stay home if you sick
  • Wear a mask covering your mouth and nose everywhere you go
  • Maintain social distancing of 6 feet
  • Do not host or be part of any large gatherings or parties, on or off campus
  • Follow all other health and safety policies

We will continue to update our online dashboard and share information on the Healthy Hawks website and via email. As always, please email covid19@hartford.edu with any questions or concerns.

The actions of only a few can have a serious impact on our entire community, as well as the health of peers, colleagues, family, and friends. Please do your part to keep everyone safe. Your choices have consequences. Do not be selfish. With your help, we can continue to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our communities and on campus.

Thank you,

Jessica M. Nicklin
Associate Vice President for Student Success
COVID-19 Coordinator

Dear Campus Community,

As we continue to work together to fight the spread of COVID-19 this fall, plans are well underway for the spring semester. We will continue to offer a blended approach to education, which will include in-person classes, as well as hybrid, remote, and online courses. As always, our plans depend upon ongoing guidance from the state of Connecticut and public health officials, but we remain confident that by following all of our health and safety guidelines, we can continue to keep our campus healthy.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR

We have made some important changes to the spring academic calendar to allow for a longer break, to get through the worst of the winter flu season, and to reduce the number of campus openings and reopenings. These include starting the spring semester 12 days later than previously scheduled and eliminating spring break. Many of our peer institutions in the state and across the country are following a similar strategy. By making these changes and keeping students on campus without having a spring break, we prevent travel-related risks and avoid complications caused by the state travel advisory

Although there will not be a spring break, the University will create opportunities for downtime throughout the semester, during which the University will offer some additional fun events.

Spring schedule:

  • Classes Begin: Monday, Feb. 1
  • Classes End: Friday, May 7
  • *Final Exams Begin: Saturday, May 8
  • Reading Day: Sunday, May 9
  • Final Exams End: Friday, May 14

* There are only a few courses that typically meet on Saturdays for exams

Students will be required to show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test before moving onto campus or, for commuters, before starting class. We will share more information about this process, as well as details of spring move-in, soon.

OTHER KEY UPDATES

Residential Life

As a reminder, residence halls close for the fall semester on Tuesday, Nov. 24, at 10 p.m.Students who finish in-person classes prior to Nov. 24 are encouraged to leave for break at their earliest convenience.

At this time, students do not need to sign up for a move-out time slot; there is plenty of time for all students to move out safely if students stagger their departures as they finish classes. As always, social distancing and masks will be required, and we will have additional cleaning of high-touch areas taking place during this time. As a reminder, no guests are allowed in any of the campus residence halls or buildings. If you have someone coming to campus to pick you up, they must fill out the LiveSafe health survey prior to arriving via the app or online.

As of now, and this is subject to change, students may leave their belongings in their rooms/suites/apartments. However, you should take all valuables (money, jewelry, high-end or sentimental items), as well as personal and academic items (driver's license, passport, medicine, computers, textbooks, other academic materials).

Details of the move-out process, how to request a late stay due to a class or travel issues, and information about break housing for those who meet certain criteria will be shared soon.

Travel Restrictions
 
We are extending international travel restrictions on University-sponsored travel in an effort to protect our campus community. In compliance with the CDC's recommendation that Americans avoid nonessential travel, all University-sponsored international travel, including study abroad, will remain restricted for faculty, staff, and students. We continue to actively monitor guidance from the State Department and the CDC with the intention of changing or removing restrictions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email covid19@hartford.edu. Our Healthy Hawks websitecontinues to be a valuable informational resource.

Thank you again for everything you do to keep the community thriving. Best wishes for your continued success this fall, and I look forward to this upcoming spring.

Sincerely,
Greg Woodward

Dear Colleagues,

As we are now halfway through the fall semester, I would like to share some updates from HRD and University leadership regarding scheduling.

The University will be closed for the winter holiday break at the end of the day on Wednesday, Dec. 23, and will reopen on Monday, Jan. 4. President Woodward has added Dec. 24 to the break this year to say thank you for all of your hard work and dedication during the COVID-19 pandemic. As in past years, faculty, staff, and students will not be allowed to enter campus buildings during the holiday shutdown with the exception of a limited number of essential service units that have received prior approval. Please note that this is not just a physical shutdown—this is a break. All employees, including remote employees, should use this time off to refresh and recharge before the spring semester begins.

We are also developing plans for the staffing of campus offices between the time students leave for Thanksgiving and when they return for the start of the spring semester. It is important to note there is still a lot of planning to happen regarding the process for students to repopulate campus and begin the spring semester. More information will be forthcoming, but for the purpose of planning, there are two different periods to consider:

  • Nov. 25–Dec. 14: Residence halls will be closed and students will be home, but classes and exams will be occurring remotely.
  • Dec. 15–late January: Students will be off campus and on winter break.

Supervisors should assess whether in-person business operations should continue during either or both of those time periods based on the needs of students, faculty/staff, prospective families, and our larger community. Supervisors should feel empowered to make the decision they feel is best for the department’s business functions and the safety of employees and colleagues on campus. For faculty, academic spaces will remain open and available through Dec. 14 for remote teaching.

Supervisors should communicate to hrd@hartford.edu no later than Nov. 2, 2020, the status of their department for the break beginning Nov. 25. Knowing which employees will be on-site during this time will provide our essential staff in Facilities and Public Safety the ability to shut down buildings, reduce our energy consumption, and thoroughly sanitize spaces.

Please contact HRD at hrd@hartford.edu if you have questions. Thank you for your continued support.

Jen Conley

Dear Students,

I am happy to share that our on-campus COVID-19 cases have now been trending downward for one month. You should all be proud of the part you are playing in protecting yourselves, your fellow students, and the faculty and staff who are working so hard to support you this semester. Because cases are staying low and the vast majority of you are behaving responsibly, we are now able to ease some restrictions for some of our residents. However, due to COVID-19 cases increasing in our surrounding community, particularly in the city of Hartford, we are placing additional restrictions on off-campus gatherings for all of our students, including commuters.

Please note that these policies can change at any time, depending upon health conditions on and off campus and on your continuing to follow our health and safety rules and guidelines. These include, but are not limited to, completing the daily health screening on the LiveSafe app, cooperating with contact tracers, and attending your testing appointment if you are selected for proactive testing. All of our policies can be found on hartford.edu/healthy-hawks.

HAWK HALL AND THE NEIGHBORHOODS

Beginning today, Friday, Oct. 16, the following policy for Hawk Hall and the neighborhoods will be in effect:

  • Residents of these buildings will be allowed to have one guest per room at one time, as long as that guest lives on the same floor.
  • Roommates must agree ahead of time to allow a guest, each time there is a guest.
  • Residents and their guests must wear masks and maintain social distance.

We have heard from many of our students, particularly first-year students and those living in singles, that isolation and loneliness are negatively impacting their mental health. We are hopeful that this new policy will help. Please reach out to your advisors, faculty members, or RAs if you need help and you can always call CAPS resources at 860.768.4482 if you would like to speak to with a counselor.

SUITES AND APARTMENTS

At this time, we are not going to change our guest policy for suites or apartments. I know this is disappointing, so please allow me to explain our reasoning. Those living in suites and apartments are already part of a larger household unit. You are able to spend time with suitemates and apartment-mates and are not as socially isolated as our students who are living alone. We will continue to monitor health conditions and trends to see if we will be able to relax restrictions in these spaces in the future.

In addition, although our cases on campus are low, we must still be extremely cautious. We are seeing the impact the pandemic can have on many college campuses in Connecticut and the virus is still very active in our region. Health experts now say that small gatherings are a growing source of COVID-19 spread.

OFF-CAMPUS POLICY UPDATES

The health risk posed by small gatherings, in addition to the governor designating the city Hartford as a COVID-19 hot spot, is leading to the following change:

  • Effective immediately, gatherings at off-campus living units are limited to ten people.
  • Masks must be worn and social distancing must be maintained during these gatherings.
  • Hosts and guests may be referred to the Office of Student Conduct and Conflict Resolution for alleged violations of this policy.
COMMON SPACES

Please continue to take advantage of our outdoor gathering spaces while the weather cooperates. Common spaces in the residence halls remain available to the students who live there, as long as posted occupancy limits are followed.

We also have indoor spaces across campus where you can meet with friends, classmates, and colleagues. Please refer to 25Live to review location availability and capacities, or contact the Student Center Administration for further guidance at 860.768.4283 or sca@hartford.edu.

Thank you all for your efforts to keep our campus safe. We are getting through this together.

Sincerely,

Jessica Nicklin
Associate Vice President for Student Success

Dear Students,

With advance registration for the Spring 2021 semester just around the corner, and the COVID-19 pandemic still active and unpredictable, we are planning for a spring semester that looks very similar to this fall semester. We will continue to offer some classes in hybrid and remote formats, and other classes fully face-to-face whenever we are able to maintain appropriate social distancing.

This semester, some students are taking all of their classes remotely. We understand that students have faced various hardships related to the pandemic, and gladly worked to accommodate these requests. For the Spring 2021 semester, we will again offer students the option of having a fully remote class schedule wherever possible.

We are asking that students who wish to request a fully remote Spring 2021 semester fill out this form by Monday, Oct. 19. You must request fully remote status officially in order to be accommodated as a fully remote student upon registration.

Students who are fully remote during the fall semester will not automatically be considered remote for spring and must still fill out the spring request form to formally apply. If you have any questions, please email css@hartford.edu.

Sincerely,

Jessica Nicklin
Associate Vice President for Student Success

Dear University of Hartford Community,

Today marks a major milestone in our collective determination to keep our campus open this fall. Believe it or not, we are halfway to Thanksgiving break and all I want to say is THANK YOU!

Our students arrived on campus in late August and since then countless schools across country have been forced to move to fully remote classes. It is easy to imagine several scenarios in which we may have been one of those schools, but here we are. We accomplished this together. Our faculty and staff spent countless hours preparing for the arrival of our students, meeting evolving state mandates, and pivoting to deliver an outstanding educational experience in this new normal. Students, we know this hasn’t been easy. You have shown us you want to be here by following the health and safety guidelines designed to protect you and our larger community. Today, we should all be immensely proud of our individual contributions to our collective success.

To show my appreciation, our friends at Dining Services are hosting some celebratory events throughout the day:

  • Cupcake Give Away: noon­–2 p.m. outside GSU
  • Commons Tailgate: noon­–2 p.m. on the Commons Patio
  • Fall Harvest Dinner: 4:30–9 p.m. inside the Commons
  • S’mores: 6­–8 p.m. at the fire pit between A and C complexes

Please remember that we still have work ahead of us to keep our COVID-19 rates at our current low level. We continue to carefully monitor our positivity rate, trends in our contact tracing, and health conditions in our neighboring communities. We hear your concerns about feeling isolated from friends, and we are working on ways to help—but we need to proceed cautiously. We are reviewing the state’s phase three plans and are hopeful for another good week of testing results.

It remains my hope that, in the next few weeks, we can begin to ease some of our on-campus residential life restrictions. Each residential community has its own unique qualities, so it will likely not be a “one-size-fits-all” solution. Changes we make will be implemented in a safe, deliberate manner. Among the ideas we are considering: allowing more small group gatherings in residential common spaces and shared areas, and expanding our definition of a family unit to allow students in some residential communities to have one guest in their room, as long as that guest lives on the same floor.

As the weather gets colder, please remember that we do have indoor spaces where you can meet with friends, classmates, and colleagues. Please refer to 25Live to review location availability and capacities, or contact the Student Center Administration for further guidance at 860.768.4283 or sca@hartford.edu.

I am grateful to all of you for your patience, cooperation, and dedication to creating a safe community, and immensely proud of the entire University family for weathering this pandemic with character and strength. Keep up the good work!

Greg Woodward
University President

September Updates

Dear Students,

We are writing to address several behavioral issues that have been managed across campus over the last several days.

Although our number of positive COVID-19 cases remains relatively low, our contact tracing is confirming that groups of students have engaged in behavior that jeopardizes not only our safety, but also the chances of us staying on campus this fall. Some of our diagnosed positive cases are resulting in a significant amount of quarantine requirements because rules have not been followed. We have clearly and repeatedly communicated our rules and expectations, as well as the penalties for failing to follow them. We are writing once again to implore you to make smart decisions. If you don’t, there is a real chance that in-person classes will move online and everyone will go home.

We want to reiterate the rules and expectations currently in place are not the University against our students. This is about all of us coming together as Hawks to fight the spread of a pandemic that is unlike anything we have ever seen. We all want to be here and we are doing everything we can to educate you, support you, and keep you on campus. We understand that it is extremely difficult to not see friends, go to parties, or participate in traditional college experiences. Many of you say we are too strict and have urged us to ease up on our guest restrictions and visitor policy. We still hope to be able to do that. However, that is—quite frankly—impossible for us to do if the current behavior continues.

Here are some important reminders:

  • Do not host or attend parties.
  • Do not have guests in your living space.
  • If you are selected for random proactive testing, you must attend. It is mandatory.
  • Report to Health Services if you are ill or receive a positive result from a test taken off campus.
  • Complete your LiveSafe health screening every day before going to class, or before coming to campus if you live off campus.

Another reminder: be honest with contact tracers. There is an expanded “good samaritan and amnesty” policy in place for those who, during contact tracing, share information that would normally subject them to the conduct process. This is to encourage students to truthfully answer questions related to contact tracing, which is vital to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

To all of you who have behaved responsibly, reminded your classmates and friends to follow the rules, and submitted tips to LiveSafe—thank you. You are protecting yourself and the entire campus, and we all appreciate your efforts.

We can do this!

Thank you,
Division of Student Success

Dear Campus Community,

Thank you again for your engagement and participation in the many efforts outlined in Keeping Hawks Healthy. As we move through the semester, and as we identify and manage positive cases and contacts, it is important that we continue to assess and evolve our processes and procedures. Each situation is sensitive and unique. We are learning and adapting, while prioritizing the safety and security of our campus community. I’m writing today to update you on a number of our COVID-19 response initiatives.

Testing

We have contracted with a second local health-care partner with deep clinical expertise to scale our testing. We currently test approximately 5 to 10 percent of residential students as a part of our weekly proactive community testing. Beginning next week, we will test at least 20 to 25 percent and will begin to include other student populations in our testing. We will also continue to offer tests for faculty and staff as previously outlined, and for students who report with symptoms to Health Services. Overall results will continue to be posted to the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

Increasing our testing will result in students being asked to test more than once throughout the semester. It is important to note that this is mandatory, but should not be viewed as a punishment. We can certainly appreciate that testing isn’t an activity you would put at the top of your list, but it is necessary to limit the risk of COVID-19 spreading undetected. If you receive an appointment for the weekly testing, you must attend. Testing will continue to be offered in convenient campus locations and it takes less than 10 minutes on average. Thank you for your cooperation.

In addition, as you are aware, we have installed automated self-temperature checks at key building locations at strategic points on campus. We will also be reinstituting random temperature checks at the front entrance so as to be able to continue to assess commuter students. This is in addition to the LiveSafe app that is required for entrance to campus.

Isolation and Quarantine

In coordination with our health-care and agency partners, we have maintained a conservative approach to isolation and quarantine. At the start of the semester, these spaces were largely being occupied by students from travel advisory states who were prepared to quarantine—and they had the ability to leave their spaces. Now, isolation and quarantine spaces are reserved for students who have tested positive or may have been exposed to the virus through contact, as determined by our professional contact tracing team. We have been actively working to prepare and outfit these spaces as they turn over. In addition to the personal items a student brings to isolation or quarantine, linens, toiletries, meals, laundry and other necessary items will be provided. Special requests and accommodations will be available in quarantine and isolation.

What does it mean to be placed in isolation?

Students will only be placed in isolation if they have tested positive for COVID-19. Regardless of whether or not a student is or is not experiencing symptoms, the isolation period will last for 10 days from the day the COVID-19 test was performed. If a student is showing symptoms, they will need monitor themselves each day, and if they worsen or feel ill, they should Health Services or Public Safety immediately. Roommates (and other identified close contacts) will be contacted by the contact-tracing nurses and, as appropriate, directed to quarantine for 14 days. Students will need to remain in their isolation space—meals will be delivered, classes will be taken remotely, and laundry service will be provided. Students are not to leave their assigned spaces and may not have visitors. Per current health guidelines, students in isolation may room together, share a bathroom, and share common space because they have already contracted the virus. Isolation will conclude in 10 days as long as there are not worsening symptoms and only after being cleared by Health Services.

What does it mean to be placed in quarantine?
 

Students will only be placed in quarantine if they are identified as someone at risk of direct exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19. Please note that the University will directly contact any community member who has been determined to be at risk and needs to quarantine. We have had several circumstances where people have decided to unnecessarily quarantine themselves. While anyone is welcome to self-quarantine in their own space or home for their own comfort, this is a personal decision and not required. Students should communicate directly with their faculty and advisors; faculty and staff should contact Human Resources. Individuals abiding by social distancing measures—wearing a mask and maintaining 6 feet of distance—are typically not considered to be at risk.

Students required to quarantine will stay in quarantine for 14 days since the last day of contact with the person who tested positive for COVID-19. Students will also be tested and those with positive results will be moved to isolation. Students who test negative and do not develop symptoms will continue quarantine for 14 days and self-monitor daily. Students will need to remain in their quarantine space—meals will be delivered, classes will be taken remotely, and laundry service will be provided. If you do develop symptoms during your quarantine, you will be tested for COVID-19 and remain in quarantine as directed by Health Services.

Students who are not a known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, but present to Health Services with symptoms that are suspicious or severe in nature, will also be quarantined until test results come back. Students testing positive will be moved into isolation as directed by Health Services. Students testing negative may stay in quarantine to allow Health Services to monitor symptoms and possibly retest. If symptoms resolve, Health Services staff may release you from the mandatory quarantine.

When should I be extra cautious?

Members of the campus community who are not a known exposure to someone who tested positive for COVID-19, but have mild cold symptoms that have been going on for more than 24 hours (not including chest pain, shortness of breath, or loss of taste/smell), should take additional precautions. Contact Health Services or your health professional if you feel you need a test and stay in your room or home as much as possible. Take additional time to clean shared spaces (bathrooms) or high-touch surfaces (doorknobs). Always practice social distancing, wear a mask, wash your hands, and use sanitizer often.

Can I isolate or quarantine at my own home?

As we move through the semester, we recognize that taking a conservative approach means that at some point, there may be more students in quarantine than we can appropriately accommodate. There are some students, due to a variety of circumstances, who are not able to return home should they need to isolate or quarantine. Students who are required to isolate or quarantine, and are able to safely do so at home, are encouraged to make those arrangements. We will assist students and families in any way we can to create safe and appropriate plans for travel, interim housing, and academics. We are committed to keeping our students, faculty, and staff safe, comfortable, secure, and most of all, healthy.

Again, thank you for your continued partnership. Please visit hartford.edu/healthy-hawks for updates and reach out to covid19@hartford.edu with any additional questions.

Thank you,

Jessica M. Nicklin
Associate Vice President for Student Success
COVID-19 Coordinator

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Although the fall semester has just begun, we are busy making plans for the spring 2021 semester. We continue to recognize some of our employees may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age, underlying health conditions, or other factors. Please see the CDC’s list of high-risk groups.

Here is an update on accommodation requests for the spring:

If you are CURRENTLY APPROVED for an accommodation, you will be receiving a separate communication from HRD, and personnel in that office will work with you to assess extending this request for the spring.

If you need to request a NEW accommodation for the spring, please review the information below and request an appointment with the Office of Human Resources Development (HRD) to discuss your specific situation, documentation requirements, and options. All new requests for accommodation should be directed through HRD following the procedures below. Please do not begin the process with your department chair, dean, or supervisor; they will be notified by HRD if an accommodation is granted.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS

The University will continue to follow its established process for disability accommodations, including engaging in the interactive process with faculty and staff with disabilities to determine whether they require reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job amidst the pandemic. If faculty or staff have a medical condition that could reasonably affect their ability to safely perform their duties on campus, they must request a reasonable accommodation through HRD and go through the interactive process. Based on the information obtained through that process, a determination will be made as to whether the employee qualifies for a reasonable accommodation.

HIGH-RISK CONSIDERATIONS

For employees who may not have a disability, but are otherwise considered “high risk” for serious illness due to COVID-19, the University has established the process below for those faculty and staff to explore the possibility of alternative work arrangements with their supervisors.

  • Employees who are, or will be 65 or older as of June 30, 2021, and wish to work from home should contact HRD before Sept. 30, 2020.
  • Employees whose own underlying health condition increases the risk for serious complications related to COVID-19 (as set forth in CDC guidelines) should contact HRD to discuss the situation no later than Sept. 30, 2020. HRD will notify the appropriate supervisor if the request is granted.
  • Employees who cohabitate with someone who is or will be age 65 or older as of June 30, 2021, or who cohabitate with someone with an underlying health condition that increases the risk for serious complications related to COVID-19, shall contact HRD to discuss the situation by Sept. 30, 2020. HRD will notify the appropriate supervisor of the staff member’s decision.
  • In addition to the above considerations, UHart will grant temporary unpaid administrative leave to any staff member who requests such a leave. Requests should be made to HRD no later than Oct. 15, 2020. HRD shall notify the appropriate supervisor, and address such requests on a semester-by-semester basis.

It is possible that your circumstances could change after these deadlines. If that happens, please contact HRD.

Thank you for your patience—and for all you do, have done, and will do for this university.
 
Fred Sweitzer, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Jen Conley, Interim Director, Human Resources Development

Dear Campus Community,

I hope the week is going well and that you have had a chance to enjoy the outdoors; it is beginning to turn ever so gently into a beautiful New England fall.

As I walk around campus, I feel a positive energy. We are adapting pretty well to the complexities of our current reality as we learn and grow together. I have had the opportunity to speak with many of you and fully realize how important it is for our students to be on campus this semester. We are off to a great start and sincerely hope we can sustain that attitude and momentum by staying informed, being cautious, and demonstrating our dedication to keeping each other safe.

The University has launched a COVID-19 Dashboard that will be updated several times each week with additional data points. For now, it displays a cumulative total and a summary of the weekly proactive community testing. The cumulative total combines the results of tests conducted in Health Services, weekly proactive community testing, and positive results reported by students and employees tested off campus. This week, we had zero positives in our weekly proactive testing and a report of six additional student positives cases, adding to the one positive we had last week. All of these students have been appropriately isolated with contacts identified through comprehensive and professional contact tracing. We are offering medical, housing, and academic support to these students as needed.

Our deep concern for safety, security, and sensitivity requires us to go above and beyond the average health requirements. While many schools have enlisted students or academic staff to assist the local health agencies with contact tracing, we have hired 14 registered nurses who work seven days a week to quickly and effectively identify contacts, assess concerns, and monitor health assessments. We have consulted with an environmental health and safety firm and contracted with additional cleaning crews to provide around-the-clock sanitizing in academic and residential common spaces. We are being extremely proactive in our testing, including testing students who present any potential symptoms of COVID-19 in Health Services as well as any potential contacts. Several options exist to ramp up our testing over the next several weeks. The University has also invested and implemented wastewater testing, an unusual precautionary action among our peers. All of these efforts and results will be shared through the online Dashboard, UNotes, and email communications.

Students are doing their part and adjusting to a new way of living and learning on campus. The current community rules and expectations are not what any of us would choose to implement for our preferred student experience, but—for now—they are necessary. We look forward to revisiting and making updates in line with the health of our University community. We have added facilities and public safety student ambassadors, have staff performing regular patrols, and are grateful for the support of the incredible student staff in residential life to monitor our collective and individual behavior and challenges.

However, even with this positive news, we continue to receive hundreds of anonymous tips about mask usage concerns through the LiveSafe app each week. Many of you are asking the University to give your friends and peers formal warnings. This is simply not possible or sustainable to this degree—the staffing necessary would be overwhelming. Instead, I am asking each of you, and specifically our students, to be your own best advocates and safety ambassadors. If you see someone wearing a mask below their nose, nicely remind them it should be pulled up or simply motion to their mask. If your friends are taking their masks off when they shouldn’t or aren’t following social distancing requirements, please be honest; tell them you really need and want to be here all semester. Their behavior could contribute to an outbreak of infection, making it impossible for us to complete the semester on campus. If you are one of the students we are receiving pictures of, your friends want you to wear your mask and take this seriously! Please make this simple effort to help protect you, your friends and family, and our community.

There are no guarantees in these uncertain times; however, as each new scenario unfolds, I see our campus team putting into motion plans developed over many months to keep us safe. These are unprecedented situations, but I can say with complete confidence that we have implemented every precaution and measure at our disposal—without consideration for expense—to create and help maintain a safe campus for our community. Please continue to do your personal best every day and expect the same from those around you. I am proud of what we, and what you, have accomplished so far. Keep going! We can do this.

Thank you,

Greg Woodward
President

August Updates

Dear Students,

The Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion (OSEI) welcomes you to the University of Hartford. We spent the summer reimagining campus life and the ways you socialize and participate in activities. Life has changed for all of us over the last few months, but we remain committed to helping you engage with others in a fun and safe way.

I encourage you to read the complete Event and Engagement Policy online, but here are some main points:

EVENTS
Although they may look different, there will be campus events this semester. Many of these will be virtual, but there are some events that can be outdoors, if social distancing is possible and crowd size limits are followed. Attendance and participation in events will be limited to members of the UHart community.

One of our first events of the semester is tomorrow’s March on Washington, which includes a viewing of the live Washington, D.C. gathering and a powerful march throughout campus. Social distancing guidelines will be enforced, and masks are required.

CLUBS AND ORGANIZATIONS
You can meet with your clubs and organizations this semester. We encourage you to hold regular meetings through virtual platforms, but in-person meetings can be held by following strict guidelines. Please see the policy for more specific information about reserving space, or contact sca@hartford.edu with questions.

CLUB SPORTS, INTRAMURALS, AND SGA PERFORMANCE GROUPS
Unfortunately, club sports, Intramurals, and SGA performance groups will not be able to practice, compete, or perform this fall semester. We know this is disappointing, but it is the safest choice.

Members may still gather for meetings by following the guidance found here. Clubs that have traditionally held in-person practices/rehearsals should contact the Office of Student Engagement and Inclusion at sei@hartford.edu for consideration and potential approval of in-person events. Each request will be handled on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the nature of the activity.

SPORTS CENTER
The Sports Center will open its second-floor fitness facility to undergraduate students beginning on Tuesday, Sept. 8.  Weekday hours will be 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 3 to 9 p.m. The facility will close from 2 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday to allow for deep cleaning and sanitization procedures. Weekend hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  

Due to the potential high rate of virus transmission, membership locker rooms will be closed this semester as will indoor and outdoor courts. Towels and locks will not be available. The pool will not be open this semester.

Masks will be required in the building at all times. There will be a door thermometer at the entrance to serve as a temperature check. Also in place will be a monitoring system that will help Sports Center staff track capacity limits within the fitness center in accordance with Connecticut state guidelines. 

As we navigate the challenges ahead, please know that the University will be here for you. Thank you for your commitment to caring for yourself and for all your fellow Hawks.

Sincerely,
Torshia Anderson
Executive Director, Student Engagement and Inclusion

Dear Students,

Now that we are into our first week of classes, please remember to follow all health and safety rules and policies, including new protocols for dining services, that are in place for our safety.

Dear Students,

We are only a few short days away from returning this fall semester and we are excited to welcome you back to campus!

As a University community, we have worked diligently to come together and physically create a safe place for you to begin this semester. Today, I am writing to reiterate that this fall is going to be different from previous years—it has to be. Life on and off campus will not be what you are used to or, if you are a new student, what you may envision as a typical college experience. There are new rules, policies, and expectations that you will have to learn, adjust to, and follow—both on and off campus. These are necessary for the safety of our students, faculty, staff, families, and the larger community.

You will continue to learn about these measures, and more, when you complete your online module from EverFi. We also ask you to read all COVID-related policies and guidelines on our Keeping Hawks Healthy website

However, nothing is more critical than the shared sense of responsibility we must take on to keep our community healthy. This is something that we all must commit to cultivating, as a collective, through our decisions and actions; it is this sense of social responsibility that needs to become our “new normal” if we are to continue to operate this fall. COVID-19 will be a factor in our ability to deliver an in-person college experience now and for the foreseeable future. How big the impact is will be up to all of us, based on our commitment to protecting ourselves and others. That is why we have adopted the Let’s Keep Hawks Healthy Pledge.

It is hard to ignore what is happening at other institutions around the county. Some have already opened and are now in the process of closing due to the choices their community members have made. My intent with this letter is not to scare or shame you into complying with these new expectations. Rather, I want to challenge all of us to embrace this new normal together, by holding each other accountable for our decisions and actions. Remaining on campus this semester will take a monumental effort from all of us, but I trust that this educational experience—your educational experience—is as important to you as it is to all of us.

I do believe a majority of students have already made the decision to abide by the new policies. Others may need some guidance on how to adhere to the new reality, and we are here to assist you with that. Unfortunately, there will be a small portion of community members for whom this responsibility will prove to be too great. We know how easily the virus can spread and we know people can be carriers without experiencing symptoms. The actions of even a small number of community members with risky behavior have the potential to put a full in-person semester in jeopardy for all of us.

I will be as transparent as possible; students found responsible for violating the University’s COVID-19-related policies (i.e. throwing parties, hosting gatherings, conducting themselves in a manner that endangers the health and safety of the community) will be removed from campus and will not receive a refund for room and board. Trust me when I say that I am not excited about this hardline. In a normal semester, we would have the opportunity to engage students in more educational-based outcomes and a series of steps or remedies, as we always do. However, the health and safety of our campus is the priority. There will not be exceptions. If you make poor choices that endanger others—on or off campus—you could change the outcome for many.

Everyone will have to be intentional and thoughtful about the choices we make each and every day. It is my sincere hope that you and all members of the University community will make decisions and take actions only with each other’s health and safety at the forefront.

We will be hosting a town hall ton Thursday, Aug. 20, from 7 to 8 p.m. to give you an opportunity to hear from myself, Residential Life, Public Safety, and Health Services about these new expectations for campus life and how to engage with each other safely. Please click here to register.

Thank you for rising to the challenge of embracing the new normal of caring for one another as a UHart community. Let’s truly keep all Hawks healthy.

Sincere regards,

Aaron

Dear Students,

Thank you to those who have submitted their COVID-19 test results. As a reminder, you need to show documentation of a negative test that was taken 14 days prior to moving in if you are a residential student, or before attending class if you are a commuter. Please see our website for specific testing requirements, including how to send us your results. There have been some FDA updates this past week, broadening your options for acceptable tests.

Remember, no test = no key. Please make sure that your name, date, type of test, and results are included on your submission. Arriving with a test result on site (and not pre-loading your test results to our secure portal), may result in delays during move-in.

Daily Health Screenings

In addition to testing, the daily self-monitoring of your health is a key part of our efforts to keep you and our campus community safe. All students, employees, and visitors are required to complete a COVID-19 screening survey on our LiveSafe app before arriving on campus for the day, or, if you live on campus, before going to class.

The screening survey consists of a few questions, such as whether you are experiencing any unusual COVID-19 symptoms, live with or have been exposed to anyone with a confirmed or suspected case, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19. Your answers to the questions should be submitted to the best of your knowledge and based on how you are feeling that day. You will then receive one of two responses:

  • A Green Check on your screen approves you to go to class and to participate in activities.
  • A Red X on your screen means you cannot go to class. Stay in your room, or off-campus if you are a commuter. Someone from our Health Team will contact you to follow up. The Health Team may ask you to see a Health Care Provider for further evaluation or determine it is safe for you to leave your residence.

Please visit our website to view the Live Safe app and to download it. If you do not use a smartphone, you can access an online version on a computer. Please print the results for verification if possible.

If You Become Ill After Completing the Daily Screening

Please be aware of your health throughout the day. If you experience the following symptoms, outside of ordinary symptoms you might typically experience (e.g., seasonal allergies, chronic migraines, sore muscles after working out, etc.), please contact Health Services at 860.768.6601.

  • Fever (100.4° or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

*Please note: Health Services is not taking walk-ins. All visits will be by appointment.

Quarantine, Isolation, and Contact Tracing

If you are arriving from a travel advisory state, you must quarantine for two weeks upon arriving to Connecticut. If you are identified throughout the semester as having close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19, you will also be asked to quarantine, which means you must stay in your living space, other than very limited occasions to get food. You may attend class remotely. Learn more.
 
All students who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate themselves. Ideally, you will be able to go home via private transportation. In the event this is impossible, residential students will be able to isolate in rooms on campus. Isolation means you cannot leave the room; food will be delivered to you. We will also check in on you via telemedicine. Learn more. You must also participate in our contact tracing program in order to help us prevent the spread of COVID-19. Learn more.
 
We care about you and your health and are committed to helping you stay safe this semester. If you have any questions, please email covid19@hartford.edu.
 
Thank you.

Health Services

Dear Students,

We are personally reaching out to students and families enrolled from states currently included on the state’s travel advisory list. Please know that we are here to do everything we can to assist and support our students while strictly following the Executive Order to preserve the health and well-being of our community.

As we have communicated, a Connecticut Travel Advisory is putting restrictions on visitors from dozens of states. The Governor’s Executive Order has evolved, leading to a major change for many of our students: If you are coming from one of those states, you will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Connecticut. Under state regulations, a negative test taken prior to coming to Connecticut is no longer a substitute for quarantining.

All students can begin their quarantine in a variety of ways while limiting activities and movement during this time. If you are able to stay in Connecticut with family and friends—or in any state that is not a part of the current advisory list—please do so as soon as possible. Alternatively, you may choose to begin your quarantine at a hotel of your choosing. We have secured discounted rates for students and families at regional hotel partners that can be found here. You will need to provide the University with a completed Connecticut Travel Health Form to show that you have satisfied the quarantine requirement before moving in or attending class. You also still need to provide a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test taken within 14 days prior to moving in

Residential students may start their quarantine at a location in Connecticut, or another state not on the advisory list, and, with University permission, complete the remaining time when you move in. We are working as quickly as we can to ready our residential facilities for move-in and residential students from states on the advisory list will be able to move in on Friday, Aug. 21, with prior approval. At that time, we will verify where you are within your required quarantine period. Again, you still need to provide a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test taken within 14 days prior to moving in. The University will provide room and board for this additional time on campus; there will not be any additional expense to you if you move in early to begin your quarantine. Please note, if you are traveling from an advisory state and your roommate is not, you will need to complete your quarantine in a different, temporary housing assignment. We will provide you with the details prior to move-in.

As a reminder, students quarantining on campus will be able to pick up food from a designated location while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, or have food delivered from local establishments. Per the current guidelines, limited numbers of students can share bathrooms; cleaning expectations and schedules will be shared. You will be able to be outside if wearing a mask and social distancing. The guidance also states that you should not leave campus and limit your movement in the area.

Students will need to attend classes remotely until they have completed the full 14-day quarantine. Your instructors will be informed if you are beginning your classes remotely. If you have any concerns about going to class remotely, you should contact your advisor or the Center for Student Success. 

We are asking students from advisory states to let us know of your plans as soon as possible using this form.

Thank you for your continued understanding as we work through these challenging logistics together. We will continue to share additional details about our quarantine and residential policies, as well as move-in during the coming week. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact COVID19@hartford.edu.

Thank you,
Office of Residential Life

Dear Students,

We can once again share positive news about Connecticut’s efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19. Hospitalizations are down and the state has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates in the country. At the University of Hartford, we are confident in our ability to safely reopen campus later this month. Whether we are able to remain open is up to all of us.

Being part of the UHart community means we must all do our part to stay healthy; protect our classmates, colleagues, and neighbors; and support and help each other. Getting tested for COVID-19, wearing a mask, practicing social distancing, washing our hands, and following other health and safety guidelines are all important steps. We have also shared our Let’s Keep Hawks Healthy Pledge to make a commitment to keep each other safe. But there are other ways we need to adapt in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Visitor/Guest Guidelines and Accessing Campus

We have traditionally prided ourselves on being an open campus, but enhanced health and safety protocols mean we have to make significant changes to our visitor/guest policy this fall. Please see the entire policy on our website. Following are some key points:

Access to campus will be largely limited to current students, faculty, and staff. Others who are permitted on campus include:

Spaces on campus that typically welcome the public (Harrison Libraries, performance spaces, galleries, the Campus Store, etc.) will not be open for visitors/guests. There will not be any public events on campus this semester.

Visitor/Guests of Students, Faculty, and Staff

We are unable to allow any personal visitors or guests to campus, in the residence halls, or elsewhere. There may be some cases in which immediate family members need to come to campus. In those instances, they will be required to submit a request form at least 24 hours in advance. Early drop-off and move-in periods are exceptions to this rule.

Health Screenings

Anyone who is coming to campus must first complete a brief COVID-19 screening survey via our LiveSafe platform. Please visit our website to learn more, download the LiveSafe mobile app, or access the online version.

Masks

As a reminder, masks or face coverings must be worn when in the presence of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (common work spaces, classrooms, conference rooms, etc.).

Residential Life

There is no doubt that life in our residential neighborhoods will be different this fall. Please remember that the changes we are making are for your safety, and for the safety of everyone on campus and in the surrounding community.

We will have a no-visitor/no-guest policy within our residence halls. That means only students living in a specific housing unit (room, apartment, or suite) will be allowed inside that space. Residential buildings are open only to those students who live in that building (other than the first floor classroom of Hawk Hall). Please see our full residential life policy on our website. It is important that you read it in order to get a complete picture of the rules, expectations, and possible repercussions of not following the policy.

We realize campus life will be more restrictive in some areas, but we are organizing activities and enhancing and arranging outdoor spaces so that you can safely socialize and engage with each other. We know the residential experience is extremely important to you and we are doing everything we can to maintain some sense of normalcy.

Opportunities for Questions and Feedback

The Division of Student Success is here to support you and we are looking for ways to best accomplish that goal.

We set up a survey for you to share what resources you most need, what your biggest concerns are, and other things that are important to you. We encourage you all to complete the survey by Monday, Aug. 17.

We also invite you to attend a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, share your concerns, and review important information before coming to campus.

Join meeting on Aug. 13 (Password: UHart.) Registration is not required.

Our faculty and staff are thrilled to welcome you to campus. While the experience won’t necessarily be what you are used to or were expecting, with your help, and with all the precautions we are putting in place, we can have an engaging, enjoyable, successful semester.

If you have any questions about living on campus, please email Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. If you have other questions about the University’s response to COVID-19, please email COVID19@hartford.edu.

Thank you,

Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The daily self-monitoring of your health is a key part of our efforts to keep you and our campus community safe. All employees, students, and visitors will be required to complete a COVID-19 screening survey on our LiveSafe app before arriving to campus for the day. That screening is now up and ready for you to use.

Please visit our website to learn how to download the LiveSafe app, if you have not done so already. If you do not have a smartphone, there is an online version can be accessed on a computer. You may want to print the results for verification. Please contact your supervisor if you do not have access to technology and need to fill out a paper survey.

The screening survey consists of a few questions, such as whether you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, live with or have been exposed to anyone with a confirmed or suspected case, or if you have tested positive for COVID-19. Your answers to the questions should be submitted to the best of your knowledge and how you are feeling that day. Based on your answers, you will receive one of two responses:

  • A Green Check on your screen approves you to come to campus.
  • A Red X on your screen will direct you to stay off campus. You must then notify Human Resources at 860.768.4666 or hrd@hartford.edu, as well as your supervisor. Please also contact your physician.

The University has been using the LiveSafe app for several years as the campus safety platform. It has been a critical resource for students and employees to access for help during an emergency, report a safety issue or concern, or request an in-person security escort.

We are committed to everyone’s safety on campus. Thank you for your cooperation and your help in keeping our community safe.

Thank you,

Department of Public Safety

Dear Students,

We know that State and University testing requirements are top of mind right now. Here are some reminders and clarifications as you make your final plans for testing. We also invite you to attend a virtual town hall meeting on Thursday, Aug. 13, at 8 p.m. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions, share your concerns, and review important information before coming to campus.

Join meeting. Password: UHart
Registration is not required.

TESTING REQUIREMENT

All students, including those living on campus and commuters, will be required to be tested prior to the start of the semester.

Residential students: You must show documentation of a negative COVID-19 test that was taken within 14 days prior to moving in. You do not need to have a negative test to participate in the early drop-off of belongings.

We accept tests that diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. These are also known as molecular tests, viral tests, or RT-PCR tests. We do not accept antibody tests. Please see the FDA’s website for more information about the specific kinds of tests.

Upload your results to our secure form. (Please note: This link has been updated since the prior form was sent on Tuesday, Aug 4.) You must sign in with your UHart email and password.

If your results are negative, you will be able to move in as scheduled. If you test positive, you should stay home until you are cleared by a physician. You will not be able to access your room without a documented negative test. No test = No key.

Commuters (including graduate students taking classes on campus):You must show documentation of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test that was taken within 14 days prior to coming to campus.

We accept tests that diagnose a current COVID-19 infection. These are also known as molecular tests, viral tests, or RT-PCR tests. We do not accept antibody tests. Please see the FDA’s website for more information about the specific kinds of tests.

Upload your results to our secure form. (Please note: This link has been updated since the prior form was sent on Tuesday, Aug 4.) You must sign in with your UHart email and password.

If your results are negative, you will be able to come to campus and go to class. If you unexpectedly test positive, you should stay home until you are cleared by a physician. You will not be able to come to campus or go to class without a documented negative test.

If you are taking all of your classes online and do not plan to come to campus, you do not need a test.

ACCESSING TESTS

We have heard from some families that, depending on your home state, finding a test may be difficult. Here are some suggestions that may make obtaining a test easier for you, including having a test mailed to your home.

If you live in Connecticut: We recommend going through Hartford HealthCare, our on-campus health service provider. They have nine drive-up testing centers in the state and results are typically ready within three days. If you have questions about Hartford HealthCare’s testing, please call its Community Care Center at 833.621.0600. You may also visit Connecticut’s COVID-19 Testing Locator to find additional testing locations.

If you live outside of Connecticut: Availability and criteria for who can obtain a test vary from state to state. We recommend visiting the Department of Health & Human Services website to find information for your state. The site also includes details on low-cost or free testing.

At-Home Test: We are partnering with Vault, a provider of COVID-19 tests that you can take at home. Please visit their website to learn more about the process and costs. We are unable to accept other mail-in or at-home tests because many are not FDA approved.

Ongoing Testing

Each week, between 5 and 10 percent of residential students will be selected for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. If you are selected, you will be notified by email. This test is not optional. You must report to the on-campus testing site as instructed. This test will be administered at no cost to you.

Currently, there is no ongoing testing expectation for non-residential students. Commuters and graduate students taking classes on campus may be asked to obtain an asymptomatic test due to contact tracing efforts when risk of exposure is considered high.

TRAVELING FROM A RESTRICTED STATE
 

We will continue to share additional details of our quarantine policies in accordance with the State of Connecticut Travel Advisory and any additional updates or changes.

Please continue to check hartford.edu/healthy-hawks for updates and FAQs. If you have any questions, please email COVID19@hartford.edu.

Thank you.

Student Health Services

The below message was also forwarded to all faculty and staff on August 4, 2020

 

Dear Students,

Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through the changing Connecticut state regulations and health guidance on COVID-19 testing. We have several important updates to share with you.

Testing Requirement

All students, including those living on campus and commuters, will be required to be tested prior to the start of the semester.

Residential students: As a reminder, you must show documentation of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test that was taken within 14 days prior to moving in. Please upload your results to our secure form(must log in with UHart email and password). If your results are negative, you will be able to move in as scheduled.

If you test positive, you should stay home until you are cleared by a physician. You will not be able to access your room without a documented negative test. No test = No key.

Commuters (including graduate students taking classes on campus):You must show documentation of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test that was taken within 14 days prior to coming to campus. Please upload your results to our secure form (must log in with UHart email and password). If your results are negative, you will be able to come to campus and go to class.

If you test positive, you should stay home until you are cleared by a physician. You will not be able to come to campus or go to class without a documented negative test.

Accessing Tests

We have heard from some families that, depending on your home state, finding a test may be difficult. Here are some suggestions that may make obtaining a test easier for you.

If you live in Connecticut: We recommend going through Hartford HealthCare, our on-campus health service provider. They have nine drive-up testing centers in the state and results are typically ready within three days. If you have questions about Hartford HealthCare’s testing, please call its Community Care Center at 833.621.0600. You may also visit Connecticut’s COVID-19 Testing Locator to find additional testing locations.

If you live outside of Connecticut: Availability and criteria for who can obtain a test vary from state to state. We recommend visiting the Department of Health & Human Services website to find information for your state. The site also includes details on low-cost or free testing.

At-Home Test: We are partnering with Vault, a provider of COVID-19 tests that you can take at home. Please visit the Vault website to learn more about the process and costs. We are unable to accept other mail-in or at-home tests because many are not FDA approved.

Ongoing Testing

Each week, between 5 and 10 percent of residential students will be selected for asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. If you are selected, you will be notified by email. This test is not optional. You must report to the on-campus testing site as instructed. This test will be administered at no cost to you.
 
Currently, there is no ongoing testing expectation for non-residential students. Commuters and graduate students taking classes on campus may be asked, as capacity allows, to obtain an asymptomatic test due to contact tracing efforts when risk of exposure is considered high.

Traveling from a Restricted State

As we have communicated, a Connecticut Travel Advisory is putting restrictions on visitors from dozens of states and Puerto Rico. The Governor’s Executive Order has evolved over the last week, which is leading to a major change for our many of students: If you are coming from one of those states, you will have to quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Connecticut. Under state regulations, a negative test taken prior to coming to Connecticut is no longer a substitute for quarantining. You must also fill out the Connecticut Travel Health Form. Please visit CT.gov for a list of the states, but keep in mind that it is subject to change due to health conditions across the country. International students should follow the guidance outlined on the CDC website, but in most cases will also quarantine for 14 days upon arriving in Connecticut.

We know this is not the way you want to start your fall semester, but we must all follow the Executive Order to preserve the health and well-being of our community. Residential students may complete their quarantine in University housing or off campus, and are expected to limit activities and movement during this time. If you are quarantining on campus, you may pick up food from the University Commons while wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, or have food delivered. Per the current guidelines, limited numbers of students can share bathrooms and cleaning expectations and schedules will be shared. You will also be able to be outside if wearing a mask and social distancing. We will continue to share additional details of our quarantine and residential policies, as well as how this change will impact classes for students in quarantine.

Please continue to check hartford.edu/healthy-hawks for updates and FAQs. If you have any questions, please email COVID19@hartford.edu

Thank you,
Student Health Services

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we get closer to reopening campus on August 10, I would like to share some of the expectations HRD and University leadership have for reporting to work on campus.

WORKING ON CAMPUS

As I shared with supervisors last week, many of our offices are student-facing or require in-person business operations during the academic year and must be open and staffed on campus in order to fulfill their mission. As communicated in the Return to Work Guide, phased staffing may be required to meet social distancing requirements. Your supervisor was asked to assess staffing based on business needs and their ability to control and manage specific work environments. If your supervisor is making such plans, they will communicate those to you.

As a reminder, all employees, students, and visitors will be required to participate in daily health screenings via our LiveSafe app before coming to campus. If you log any of the following symptoms you should notify your supervisor and HRD that you will not be at work. Then, contact your doctor:

  • Fever (100.4° or higher) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

The health screening will be up and running soon; please click to learn more about LiveSafe and/or to download it.

You will also be required to complete an online training before starting work on campus. The training will walk you through campus health and safety guidelines put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A link to that training will be available soon.

WORKING REMOTELY

There are some offices on campus that are not student-facing and having employees on campus is not necessary for their business purpose. As I shared with supervisors last week, in these cases, employees should continue to work remotely to the extent possible. This would allow for social distancing on campus, and saves resources for our facilities team, Public Safety, and other colleagues who must be on campus. Supervisors were empowered to make the decision that is best for the department’s business functions and the safety of your department and colleagues on campus. They will be communicating that decision with you.

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact Human Resources Development at hrd@hartford.edu.

Thank you,

Jen Conley

Dear Faculty Colleagues,
 
Well, it’s August and that means students are coming soon.  It has been a busy summer for all of us as we prepare to help students succeed in an environment filled with challenges; thank you for all you have done and continue to do.  I know there have been a lot of emails, some of them long, and it’s hard to keep track of them and find them for reference.  We had a web page where all the communications were housed, but in the transition to our COVID reopening plans it got a bit obsolete.  It is being updated as we speak and you can find it here.

This email is a bit of a hodge podge of items pertaining to our academic challenges and resources to meet them.  You can use the links below to jump to the topics you want to look at.  There are also some attachments that pertain to some of these topics, so you can wait to decide whether to open them.

Zoom and Other Video Conferencing Tools
Recording
Technology Demonstration/Practice
Making Content Accessible
Don’t Forget About Equity
Helping Students Acclimate
What About Tests?
The Most Important Thing

A Shameless Plug for Blackboard
I know that not all of you like Blackboard or find it completely suitable, but please consider using it anyway.  Many of the tools and tips in this and other emails are going to work a lot more smoothly if you do, as they can be seamlessly tied in.  Basic and advanced Blackboard resources are on the FCLD web site. You can still sign up to attend the 8-session Teaching Online 101 series running from August 3-August 14 from 11-noon. Or you can just attend a few relevant sessions.  See the FCLD website.

Zoom and Other Video Conferencing Tools
Most of you will be using some sort of video conferencing tool if you are using a hybrid or remote approach (reminder, a remote approach is when the class is on-line, but taking place synchronously at specified times).  The university supports WebEx, Skype for Business, and Blackboard Collaborate and we have recently decided to make Zoom available for those of you who want to use it.  We have individual Zoom licenses and if you want one, please contact Information Technology Services at its@hartford.edu. Resources for effective use of all these tools can be found on the FCLD website

Your students may also need help learning to use these technologies.  The Center for Student Success is developing a support page that will include tutorials and/or instructions.
 
Recording
Most of you will want to record your class sessions, or at least portions of them.  All learning spaces will be outfitted with a webcam, but remember that a webcam has to be tied into one of the video conferencing platforms.  And you will need to start the recording when you begin class.  You can move around the room and the microphone will still pick you up, but if you would like a headset, we are happy to provide you with one to use in all your classes. Contact its@hartford.edu.  And in case you are concerned about students distributing the recording, please see the attached policy statement, which I encourage you to include in your syllabus
 
Technology Demonstration/Practice
In case you missed it in UNotes, ITS has set up a Demonstration Room to showcase hybrid learning technologies available for faculty to use this fall. Available technologies will include: 

  • Web camera 
  • Wireless Headset 
  • Document Camera 
  • Touch screen display for annotation 
  • Wacom writing tablet 
  • Ensemble Anthem Lecture Capture 
  • WebEx/Zoom/Collaborate Web Conferencing 

You have to sign up for a session and they are filling up fast; we will try to do this again the following week. Email helpdesk@hartford.edu to schedule a session.  
 
Making Content Accessible
Whether you are teaching face to face, hybrid, remote, or on-line I urge you to make as much course content as you possibly can available on-line.  Remember that some students are electing to take all their classes remotely, and we have promised them they can do so (unless a face to face course cannot be taken remotely by anyone).  And, students may find themselves unable to attend class sessions for some period of time.  And of course there is the possibility that we will have to send everyone home at some point.
 
Don’t Forget About Equity
Equity and inclusion are important concerns in any instructional setting, but there are particular equity issues to think about when using on-line platforms and methods.  The attached rubric, adapted from one developed by Peralta Community College, is a clear and useful resource.
 
Helping Students Acclimate
Another reason to use Blackboard is it makes it very easy to communicate with all students enrolled in your class.  Think about contacting them a week or two before classes begin, and post your syllabus if it’s ready.  Let them know what kind of approach you are using (remote, hybrid, etc.), how you will be implementing that approach and what technology you will be employing.  Give them some resources to try things out, if you can, and let them know where they can go for help.  The more problems you can solve, or get solved, before class begins and the more you can allay the fear of the unknown, the better.
 
What About Tests?
If you are teaching remotely or on-line, you may be concerned about how to administer tests and quizzes.  And if you are face to face or hybrid, you may have some students who are not able to come to class and have to take their test in another way.  Some of you, I know, are worried about cheating.  Given the likelihood of remote students participating in both hybrid and face to face courses, some faculty may now be wondering how they will fairly administer exams when students won’t all be in the same places at the same time.  One possible solution would be to administer exams through the Blackboard Tests feature.  All students can take the exam/test, online, during a scheduled class period. Instructors with concerns about students sharing exam questions or online students using resources while taking exams can consider using additional tools within Blackboard in concert with the test feature.  Lockdown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor provide some degree of “virtual proctoring” reducing the likelihood behaviors associated with “cheating.”  Although these solutions are imperfect, they are available options.  
 
Please do note that these “proctoring” options require that a test be created in Blackboard.  Support for how to create tests and assessments in Blackboard can be found at the FCLD Teaching with Blackboard page.  Click on Assessments and Assignments for how to create a test. 
 
Once a test has been made in Blackboard, an instructor can add the use of Lockdown Browser and/or Respondus Monitor to reduce sharing of test questions/answers or using digital or other resources during an exam.  Lockdown Browser and Respondus Monitor support can also found on the FCLD link above.  Click on Respondus Lockdown Browser & Monitor for “how to” info.
 
The Most Important Thing
As was true in the spring, the keys to success in the fall are going to be connection, patience, flexibility, adaptability, and kindness.  Students, especially the kind of students who are attracted to the University of Hartford, thrive on connection.  It can be achieved in any delivery system and I urge you to make it a goal.  The more connected students feel, the more likely they are to persist AND to take up the mantle of responsibility as we try to keep one another safe and healthy.  There will be technical glitches for you and your students.  As we acclimate to the new realities of entering and exiting classrooms, using elevators one person at a time, and so on, students are going to be late on occasion.  Students are going to forget their masks.  Students who are remoting in may be stuck in the residence halls, or at home under a variety of circumstances.  Be patient.  Be kind to them, and to yourself. 
 
As always, please feel free to be in touch with questions or concerns.  I will send more information and resources as they become available.  Thank you again.
 
Fred
 
 
H. Frederick Sweitzer, EdD
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

July Updates

Dear Students,

We are happy to share that health conditions in Connecticut remain stable and our state continues to have one of the lowest infection rates in the country. This means that with safety precautions and protocols in place, we are still on track for a safe reopening in August. Here are several important updates:

Testing

We know many of you have questions about the testing process and requirement.

As a reminder, residential students must show documentation of a negative diagnostic COVID-19 test that was taken within 14 days prior to moving in.

However, there is a new executive order in Connecticut that requires travelers from 31 states to self-quarantine for 14 days or document a negative test that was taken within 72 hours prior to arriving in Connecticut. See our website to learn which states are impacted, but please be aware that as health conditions change across the country, this list will continue to be updated. We know this complicates matters for our families traveling from these states. We are working with other institutions in Connecticut on a process to help with logistics, including determining whether travelers can take their test after arriving in Connecticut. We hope to have that answer soon.

Please look out for other information on testing soon, including suggestions for families on how to obtain a test and document the result.

Residential Life

EARLY DROP OFF

As communicated, we are offering an early drop-off period for residential students who can travel to campus. Please note: the dates have changed slightly and are Saturday, Aug. 15 to Wednesday, Aug. 19.

This will be a same-day, in-and-out process to drop off belongings in rooms and return home without an overnight stay. Advance sign-up will be required for time slots to allow us to maintain social distancing requirements and minimize traffic. Sign-ups will begin once final room assignments are communicated, which will be happening by the end of next week.

Here is how it will work:

  • Sign up for one time slot between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
  • Roommates, suitemates, and apartment-mates must sign up for different slots and cannot be in the living space at the same time.
  • Participate in a “drive-through” process to sign your Housing Agreement and pick up your keys.
  • You will have up to four hours to unpack and set up your living space.
  • You may bring up to three people from your household to help.
  • When you’re done, lock your unit door and return your keys before leaving campus.
  • Students who participate in Early Drop Off may return to campus, pick up their key, and stay overnight beginning on Monday, August 24.
Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing will be strictly enforced.  You do not need to produce a COVID-19 test for early drop off.

Move In

Please note we have slightly changed our move-in schedule. Returning students will move in on Saturday, Aug. 22, and Tuesday, Aug. 25. First-year and transfer students will move in on Sunday, Aug. 23, and Monday, Aug. 24.

Students who are participating in Early Drop Off may return to campus, pick up their key, and stay overnight beginning Monday, Aug. 24.

Sign-ups will begin once final room assignments are communicated, which will be happening in the next week:

  • Sign up for one time slot between 8:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m.
  • Roommates, suitemates/apartment-mates must sign up for different slots and cannot be in the living space at the same time
  • Participate in a “drive-through” process to sign your Housing Agreement and pick up your keys.
  • You will have up to two hours to move into your room.
  • You may have one person from your current household inside your building/room with you at any given time.
Masks must be worn at all times and social distancing will be strictly enforced. You must produce your negative COVID-19 result before or while picking up your key.

Let’s Keep Hawks Healthy Pledge

We have communicated some of the guidelines and expectations we must all follow to protect our health and our community, and there will be more to come. Some of these rules may seem inconvenient and different from how you originally envisioned your college experience. But for us to remain open this fall, we must all commit to doing our part.  We are asking you to start by taking the Healthy Hawks Pledge. You can find the pledge on our website. Please take the time to read it and familiarize yourself with it. As we get closer to our reopening, we will share ways that you can sign this pledge.

We truly appreciate your patience as we work through our final plans to reopen safely next month. To keep you informed, we have launched our new Healthy Hawks website, hartford.edu/healthy-hawks. This site provides comprehensive information about our fall reopening plans and other aspects of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to the emails we will be sending you, we will be frequently updating the site with details on testing and health screenings, campus services, residential life, and other topics. As always, if you have any questions, please email COVID19@hartford.edu

Thank you.

Jessica Nicklin
Associate Vice President for Student Success

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As the University makes final preparations to welcome our students back to campus in August, we have been diligently planning for your return as well. We are fortunate that health conditions have vastly improved in Connecticut since the spring. Although the risk of contracting COVID-19 remains, the state has among the lowest infection rates in the country.

This positive news, coupled with strict health and safety protocols, means we will be ready to reopen all offices and welcome employees back to campus on Monday, Aug. 10. We have created a Return to Work Guide to walk through the process and to provide the detailed information you need to safely transition back to on-campus work.

Our plan follows current state requirements and guidance from health experts, as well as best practices based on scientific knowledge of COVID-19. We must all do our part to protect ourselves and our community, and to create an environment where our students can feel safe, supported, and ready to learn. With that principle in mind, we must all follow these key guidelines:

  • Monitor our symptoms
  • Participate in contact tracing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Practice social distancing
  • Practice proper hygiene


The Return to Work Guide provides more information about our robust health and safety protocols, changes to some workspaces, and a phased staffing approach. You can find the guide at hartford.edu/returntowork. In the coming days, we will provide more specifics about a mandatory return-to-work training and how to use the LiveSafe app for daily health screenings. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact Human Resources Development at hrd@hartford.edu.

Thank you for all that you do to help our students and each other.

Jen Conley
HRD

Dear Faculty,

We want to update you on a variety of topics that we have been working on recently that will help you prepare for planning. 

DEFINITIONS

The terms “online,” “hybrid,” and “remote” are often used interchangeably, which can create some serious confusion.  As we go forward, we will be defining them as follows, and ask that you do the same.

  • Online: These classes are fully online and do not meet at a specific time (asynchronous).
  • Remote: These classes are fully online but meet at a specific time (synchronous).
  • Hybrid: These classes are a mix of in-person and online, depending upon the needs of the class. Some meetings will be in person, while others will be online, as determined by the faculty member. For example, if you teach a Tuesday, Thursday course, you may divide your students into two groups (A/B), one that meets in person on Tuesdays and online on Thursdays, and the other is the reverse.
SELF-SERVICE UPDATED

We have spent the last week updating over 2,300 courses in Banner Self-Service to reflect the changes we were required to make to comply with CDC social distancing guidelines of 6-feet.  When looking at course “Location” in Self-Service, you will see “On Line” for an online asynchronous course, “remote session” for a remote synchronous course, and hybrid courses have the meeting days and times listed twice with both the room number and “Hybrid Session” listed as location.   If you log in to the Self-Service system and use the course search function you will be able to see which format your courses are being offered in.  Please review and if there are changes that need to be made, work with your Chairs to correct them.   One item that does not show in Self-Service is the capacity of the room you are teaching in.  This information may be helpful if you are teaching in the hybrid model as you decide how to break your class into A/B groups.  Your current course enrollments may change, so take that into consideration as you plan group sizes for the hybrid A/B approach. 

The Chairs of each department now have a report that lists which course/s you are teaching, classroom capacity for each course you are teaching as well as whether the course is in a General Purpose Classroom (GPC) or College Controlled Room (CCR).   All GPCs will be equipped with a webcam, computer/podium with WebEx/Zoom and Blackboard Collaborate access.  All rooms for all hybrid courses will have a webcam.  If you are teaching in a CCR room please work with your technical lead to identify which additional technologies will be in your room.

CLASSROOMS

During the past month with the help from many volunteers we have gone through 61 general purpose classrooms and over 150 college-controlled spaces and have set up each room to provide required six-foot social distancing.  We have also tested the Logitech web cams in these spaces and were pleased with the results.  Faculty members will be able to use the webcams to capture what they are writing on the whiteboards or turn them to face the students in discussion. The webcam microphones do a good job of picking up the sound from the instructors and students.  We will be creating and sharing point of view videos for using this technology, which will be most important for those using the hybrid teaching approach  Or if you would like come to visit your classroom to try out the technology yourself, please send an email to our helpdesk at helpdesk@hartford.edu to schedule a visit. You will also need to complete the building access form here: Building Access Form.

Sanitizer stations are being added next week outside our classroom spaces. In compliance the State of Connecticut regulations, in spaces where 6-foot distancing is not possible (mainly labs) we have ordered face shields that will also be worn with masks. 

STUDENT PREPAREDNESS

The Center for Student Success (CSS) is currently working on providing resources for students to prepare for the modified educational experience in Fall 2020. We plan for these resources to be available by early August, and hopefully on the CSS webpage (or a Blackboard page).  The format will be short blurbs/bullet points, followed by very short 2-minute videos. We will make sure the link is available for faculty to reference in syllabi and on Blackboard Pages. Topics covered: 

General Preparedness 

  • Different types of educational experiences and examples (hybrid, remote, face to face)
  • Organizing and planning your semester
  • Time management
  • Asking for help
  • Ethics and expectations (recording, netiquette, academic honesty etc., reference to healthy hawks pledge)

Technology

  • Blackboard
  • Blackboard Collaborate
  • Compass
  • WebEx
  • Zoom
FACULTY TRAINING OPPORTUNITIES:

As mentioned previously, a group of faculty was selected by the collegiate deans as faculty trainers for hybrid instruction. They are currently participating in eight sessions to help them prepare for training college faculty at the August 12-13 workshop and beyond.  For those who want to get a head start on fall planning, we will be sharing recordings of these webinars with you, too.  A modified recording of the first session of the Hybrid Train the Trainer Series is now available for viewing.  To access this and future session recordings as they become available, please visit the CTEI SharePoint site. Resources associated with each session are available in the Documents folder.  Click Documents on the left, then select the “Hybrid Train Trainer” folder.  Should “Sign In” be requested, use your UH email credentials.

The first of eight sessions addressed a few possible hybrid A/B course delivery models.  The pdf attachment provides a review of these models.  These models are meant as a starting place.  We are not advocating for one over another and fully expect faculty will decide what model best suits their course content, student population, and instructional preferences.  One similarity noted across all hybrid models is that some course content is posted online for students to access asynchronously.  This is particularly important for students in your courses who be fully remote for the Fall.  A proactive step to supporting hybrid instruction might be to begin early moving some materials online (to Blackboard or OneDrive or other online repositories).  Your college Hybrid Trainers (list included below) will be available to point you to resources that can help you as you decide what instructional modifications make sense for your content. 

As a reminder, If you have technology questions, like “How do I record my lecture,” please see FCLD resources on Ensemble Anthem or WebEx/Bb Collaborate recording.

HYBRID COLLEGE TRAINER

A&S

Barney

CETA

ENHP

Hartt

HAS

Hillyer

UIS

Dear Students,

We are looking forward to welcoming you back to the University of Hartford just over six weeks from now. The last two months have been a whirlwind of activity as our faculty and staff continue to implement comprehensive plans for a safe reopening. It has been an inspiring period of hard work, reflection, partnership, and purposeful action. Life at UHart will look different in the fall—it has to—but we are committed to working together to act in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, while delivering an excellent student-centered educational experience.

Over the next several weeks, we will share detailed information about schedules, move-in, housing assignments, health and safety guidelines, and more. In the meantime, I am pleased to provide several high-level updates on our fall opening:

HEALTH AND SAFETY

We are fortunate that health conditions have steadily improved in Connecticut after months of intensive control efforts implemented by state leaders. The state currently has among the lowest infection rates in the country. We anticipate that with the very clear and careful health guidelines and protocols we will implement, the preemptive precautions, the partnership of our on-campus health professionals at Hartford Healthcare, and the cooperation of our students and all members of our community, we will be able to secure a safe learning experience on campus this fall.

Some of the protocols and precautions include:

Daily Health Screenings: All students will be required to participate in daily health screenings via our LiveSafe app.

Face coverings: All students, employees, and visitors are required to wear face coverings when in public. This means when you are not in your personal living space, including in the classroom, you must wear a face covering. The University will provide every student returning to campus with one washable cloth UHart mask, but please plan to bring additional personal face coverings. Every effort will be made to supply face coverings as needed in various campus settings.

Social Distancing: Academic facilities, dining halls, libraries, performance spaces, and other campus areas are being reconfigured to allow for social distancing of at least six feet.

Cleaning and Disinfecting: Our facilities team will continue to perform regular intense cleaning of all public spaces. They will consistently disinfect classrooms, common areas, workspaces, and dining areas to help minimize transmission. Additional hand sanitizing stations are being installed across campus and ventilation systems are being updated with appropriate filters.

Testing: In accordance with recommendations from state and public health officials, all residential students will be required to provide documentation of a negative COVID-19 test within 14 days of arriving on campus. In addition to the increasing availability of testing in communities across the country, the University is working with peer institutions and our health-care partners to offer additional testing opportunities. In the coming weeks, we will share additional details, including how to document a negative test result with the University prior to travel.

ACADEMIC CALENDAR AND CLASS SCHEDULES

As a reminder, we made changes to our fall 2020 academic calendar in the spring. Additionally, your class schedule will be emailed to your UHart email address over the next several weeks. On your schedule, you will see several types of classes listed. We have created a blended approach to academics for the fall and are offering classes in a variety of formats:

In Person: Traditional in-person classes will meet at a specific time and place that is reflected on your schedule.

Hybrid: These classes are a mix of in person and online, depending upon the needs of the class. Some meetings will be in person, while others will be online, as determined by the faculty member. For example, if you have a Tuesday, Thursday course, the instructor may tell you that it meets in person on Tuesdays and online on Thursdays.

Remote: These classes are fully online but meet at a specific time (synchronous).

Online: These classes are fully online and do not meet at a specific time (asynchronous).

It is possible that some of your courses will not be in the format you prefer. We are balancing our plan to offer in-person classes and experiences with space constraints required by social distancing in the classroom, and working with our faculty who have high-risk considerations or disability accommodations, to support your academic goals. Depending on your area of study, there may still be updates in development. Your school, college, or academic program will communicate specific plans in the near future. For example, The Hartt School is developing fall performance programming that will also allow students to be more focused on required courses, while preparing for even more robust intensive performance experiences during the spring semester. Other academic departments are brainstorming and solidifying creative solutions to labs and experiential learning opportunities.

We know that many of you are looking forward to in-person classes but that there are others who, for various reasons, are unable to or do not want to return to face-to-face learning. We will do everything we can to accommodate a remote learning environment for the fall semester should you choose to remain off campus. If you would like to learn more about the opportunities to study remotely this fall, please contact the Center for Student Success at css@hartford.edu. In the coming weeks, more educational resources will be available for you to be prepared for academic success this fall.

RESIDENTIAL LIFE

Our enhanced safety measures and commitment to strictly following social distancing and quarantine guidelines have led to capacity changes in our residential communities. Unfortunately, this means some housing assignments may have to change. We know these changes are not ideal, but they are necessary, and we all have a role to play in maintaining the strictest health and safety standards to keep each other safe. Housing assignments will be finalized by the end of July. Students will receive an email with their fall housing assignments, and further information about residential life will be forthcoming. Additionally, because of the changes to our fall calendar after Thanksgiving break, billing statements will reflect a reduction in housing and dining costs for residential students. You can see a cost breakdown on our website. We know your residential life experience is extremely important to you and we sincerely thank you for your patience and flexibility.

I hope this information is helpful as you prepare to return to UHart this fall. I know you still have questions and I encourage you to check your email regularly for updates with additional information on these topics and others between now and our reopening. You can continue to find our latest updates at hartford.edu/fall-opening. If you have immediate questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to email COVID19@hartford.edu.

I am looking forward to seeing you on campus soon. Stay well!

Gregory Woodward
President

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

By now you have received the information about faculty development opportunities available to you as you prepare for the fall. I want to follow up with one very important addition – the need for students to be able to remote in to any of our classes. We have promised all students that they will have this option, except in hands-on situations like a dance or sculpture studio.

As I have emphasized before, we don’t know what the fall will bring. Some students will choose not to come to campus at all, but I anticipate that many others will find themselves unable to come to class for periods of time. Students who test positive for COVID are going to be quarantined, either on campus or at home. It appears from what we know about the virus that many of those students will be asymptomatic and perfectly able to participate in class from a distance. While there will certainly be some classes where students can only participate in person, for the majority of classes, we need to be creative and flexible in finding ways to accommodate. This will be true if you are using the hybrid A/B model or even if you are 100% face to face.

If you have a student in this situation, there are three things you need to think about for remote students:

Access to course materials: For those of you using Blackboard, this is easy. If you are choosing not to use Blackboard, please create some other repository and let the student(s) know how to access it.

Access to content delivered during class meetings: This can be done synchronously, by using Webex, Collaborate, Zoom, or some other video conferencing platform and allowing students to watch or participate in presentations in real time. It can also be done asynchronously by making a recording of the class session or by posting videos. If you are using a video conferencing platform, it can easily be set to record the class session. Recording is probably a good idea in any case, so that students can review materials.

Participation during class meetings: If your class meeting time is discussion-based, the students who are not there need to be able to participate in the discussion. Here again, a video conferencing platform, with some simple accommodations, will do the trick. You will need a headset so you can move around the room, and we will be happy to provide one for you.

If you are teaching in the hybrid A/B model, please know that the college-based trainers will be trained on these options and can help you. If you are teaching face to face or you need additional resources on video conferencing technologies, you can view FCLD resources on video conferencing tools like WebEx, on the FCLD web site.

Thank you to FCLD and CTEI for their help in preparing this document. And thank you for working to make sure that all our students feel as included and connected as possible this fall.

Fred Sweitzer

For the fall semester, faculty members will find themselves teaching in new formats, many for the first time. Our faculty have shown great resilience and commitment to their students and to one another in formal and informal ways, and that spirit of collaboration and engagement will surely continue this fall. As part of that effort, a variety of faculty development opportunities have been created to support instructors in their fall teaching.  These opportunities are aimed at the methods that we know will be used; as other needs arise; we will do our best to meet them.

These opportunities fall into five categories:

  • Hybrid Learning
  • The Hybrid A/B Model
  • Teaching Fully On-Line
  • Enhancing Selected Skills
  • Special August Workshops

Hybrid Learning

Hybrid instruction can be defined as a combination of face to face class meetings and online/virtual instruction. Our spring curriculum festival focused on hybrid learning.  Recordings of those sessions, as well as other resources, can be found on the CTEI web site.

Hybrid A/B Models offer a way to hold face to face class meetings while following CDC distancing guidelines.  The need to physically distance by six feet requires that far fewer students be in classrooms at any given time.  With reduced classroom capacity, the typical Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday class meetings must be reimagined.  In a nutshell, 1/2 the students will be in class at any given time while the other half is online.  For example, if you are teaching a course with 26 students that meets twice a week, you will, in the hybrid A/B format, split that group of 26 students into two groups, Group A (13 students) and Group B (13 Students).  On Monday, you teach Group A face to face while Group B is working from home/dorm, online.  On Wednesday, the groups rotate.  Group B is now face to face with you, and Group A is working online from home/dorm.  The group not meeting face to face during one class period could remote into the classroom or work on assignments without remoting in.  Instructors will determine how best to structure the online expectations.  We recognize this is a big departure from our traditional models of instruction and course delivery.  And, although a variety of instructional options within this hybrid A/B approach exist, many of us need more support both learning about and applying these options to our own courses. 

Training and Support for Hybrid A/B Course Delivery
We are going to use a cadre of faculty from each college to do some deep learning about the A/B model and other forms of hybrid pedagogy.  We will provide them with core training and also help them think through the specific needs and implications for the programs in their colleges. 

These college trainers will then serve as additional support for their college colleagues as they work on modifying courses to hybrid models. Specific details about the activities in your college will be available soon and we encourage you to take advantage of them to get a head start on course planning. The college trainers will also be available as informal mentors to college colleagues who may need either guidance or a simple sounding board for ideas. Finally, they will be conducting targeted workshops on August 12 as part of the Special August Workshops

You may also be interested in the topics of the training sessions being offered for these college-based trainers.  While the initial sessions are open only to them, all training sessions will be recorded and available to all UH instructors as completed in July. Information on how to access those sessions will be forthcoming.

  • How to efficiently design for hybrid course delivery that works for your discipline (many options exist)
  • How to check for curricular alignment to reduce redundancy and narrow instructional focus (quality vs quantity)
  • How to engage students in course content within and outside of the classroom
  • Technology options to support information sharing with students
  • Ideas for reducing instructor's course design workload for courses with multiple sections

The training series will assist all college trainers as they consider and plan for the unique aspects of teaching within their college disciplines.  One size does not fit all and the sessions will allow each participant to tailor their learning around their disciplinary needs. 

Teaching Fully On-Line

Our fully on-line offerings will fall into two categories based on student population: graduate and adult students, and traditional age undergraduates. For the first of these populations, the most effective approach is usually asynchronous. An online asynchronous course does not include any real-time interaction. The course materials and assessments are provided to the students who can access them within a flexible time frame. For our undergraduate who are taking a mixture of on-line and face to face classes, a synchronous approach is strongly recommended. An online synchronous course will include real-time interaction on a set schedule. Online Teaching 101, will help you choose between these approaches and offer skills that are common to both.

Online Teaching 101

Is required training for anyone teaching on-line in the fall*.  It is a series of eight classes that will help faculty to prepare to teach remotely this fall. The series will cover a range of important topics including teaching pedagogy, Blackboard course creation and synchronous teaching tools. Faculty members will have the opportunity to plan and create their courses for the fall semester with guidance and instruction from course design experts.  Online Teaching 101 will be offered twice. The first series will begin on July 20 and run through July 30, Monday – Thursday evenings 6:30pm-7:30pm. The second series will begin on August 3 and run through August 14, Monday-Friday mornings 11:00am-12:00pm (with no class on August 12 & 13). Interested faculty members must contact FCLD@hartford.edu to enroll. Space is limited in each session, so plan to register soon.  Faculty members who are new to online teaching and complete this series will receive a $750 stipend. Note: All sessions will be recorded and posted on the FCLD website, but in order to receive the stipend you must attend the actual sessions.

Online Teaching 101 Schedule with Topic Headings: (all one-hour sessions begin at 6:30PM)

  • July 20-Session 1: Building Syllabus with Learning Objectives
  • July 21-Session 2: Backwards Design with Course Planner Template
  • July 22-Session 3: Best Practice Engagement with Bb Tools
  • July 23-Session 4: Best Practices Engagement with Collaborate
  • July 27-Session 5: Building Course Content in Blackboard
  • July 28-Session 6: Creating Assignments using SafeAssign in Blackboard, and Journals
  • July 29-Session 7: Creating Assessments-Bb Test, Respondus and On-Campus options
  • July 30-Session 8: Wrap up with review of Model Course

This series will repeat again beginning on August 3rd according to the following schedule: (all one-hour sessions begin at 11:00 AM)

  • August 3-Session 1: Building Syllabus with Learning Objectives
  • August 4-Session 2: Backwards Design with Course Planner Template
  • August 5-Session 3: Best Practice Engagement with Bb Tools
  • August 6-Session 4: Best Practices Engagement with Collaborate
  • August 7-Session 5: Building Course Content in Blackboard
  • August 10-Session 6: Creating Assignments using SafeAssign in Blackboard, and Journals
  • August 11-Session 7: Creating Assessments-Bb Test, Respondus and On-Campus options
  • August 14-Session 8: Wrap up with review of Model Course

Enhancing Selected Skills

Additional workshops, centered on specific technologies or features available for teaching, including Blackboard features, Office365 and Ensemble, are also available. 

FCLD’s August Jumpstart Seminars
The Faculty Center for Learning Development (FCLD) offers ongoing seminars and instruction on a variety of instructional technology, including Blackboard, the University's learning management system (LMS).   FCLD will be offering the following seminars during August.  All webinars will be held online in Blackboard Collaborate.  To join, click the guest link for each session and enter your name at the time of the session.  Faculty do not need to register for these sessions, but if you have questions, you can contact FCLD at fcld@hartford.edu.

Getting Started with Blackboard/Blackboard Drop-in
Tuesdays, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

Every Tuesday, we offer an orientation and drop-in clinic for Blackboard, the application used to put courses online. If you’re new to Blackboard, you’ll learn strategies for organizing your Blackboard course, review the many tools and features available in Blackboard, and start adding course content items like your syllabus and web links to your course. Be sure to bring a digital version of your syllabus and/or other course materials; this is designed as a hands-on seminar. If you’re using Blackboard already, feel free to drop by with a question or for troubleshooting. 

Grade Center: Do It Now!
Monday, August 17, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

Monday, August 24, 6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

Come and learn how setting up your Blackboard Grade Center early in the semester has numerous advantages.   Doing so earlier means you can:

  • Have course grades calculated automatically throughout the course.•Help students keep track of their own progress throughout the course.
  • Have information ready at your fingertips when it's time to submit mid-semester or final grades.
  • Weight grades and drop lowest scores quickly and easily.


Bb Annotate! Blackboard’s New Inline Grading Tool
Wednesday, August 19, 10:00 a.m. Click to Join Session

Tired of downloading papers from Blackboard just so you can grade them?  Blackboard’s new Inline Grading Tool is designed to allow instructors to grade and markup student assignments without the cumbersome process of downloading and using Microsoft Word’s markup tools or something equivalent.  This seminar is a must for online instructors, but very helpful for anyone who uses Blackboard’s assignment tool.

Getting Started with Ensemble and Creating ‘Lecturettes’ with Anthem


Tuesday, August 18, 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Click to Join Session
Tuesday, August 25, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

Ensemble works like an in-house YouTube, allowing faculty to quickly and easily upload videos, then link to them from Blackboard and other websites. Faculty who are flipping the classroom, teaching online, using video clips in instruction, or working with student video projects should plan to attend this special information session about Ensemble.  Anthem (Ensemble Personal Capture) is a simple, convenient tool that can capture your voice, the action on your computer screen, and web cam video to create lecturettes. You can use it to record audio podcasts, video lectures, or narrated presentations and demonstrations.  This session will guide you through the process of recording a narrated screen capture, editing it, and publishing it to Blackboard. If you do not already have an Ensemble account, please sign up for one here before this webinar.

PowerPoint Bootcamp & Design a Banner for Blackboard 

Thursday, August 20, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

Learn how to spice up your PowerPoints in this seminar, creating visually stimulating PowerPoint slides that appeal to the reader and incorporate media in its various forms. Learn how to embed images, manipulate them, and also add graphics, transitions, animations and other tools to create interactivity within your presentations. We will also design a banner for your Blackboard Course. 

Office365 and OneDrive Cloud Storage Information Session 

Friday, August 21, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Click to Join Session

All instructors, staff and students now have Office365 free online, which comes with a suite of new tools and some old favorites. Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and our Outlook Webmail are old tools we are familiar with, but did you know we now also have Skype for Business, OneNote, and Class Notebook, among others? Also, did you know you can download the entire suite as Office 2016 on up to 5 of your own personal devices?  We will also discuss the University’s own One Drive storage solution, which provides faculty and staff with 1 TB free storage space. Instructors have the ability to easily and quickly upload files to Blackboard courses right from their cloud storage, such as OneDrive, Google Drive, Dropbox or Box. Students are also able to upload documents from cloud storage when they submit Blackboard assignments.

August Workshops 

As additional support for those using the A/B model and other approaches to hybrid learning, we are offering an online webinar series August 12 and 13. Many topics in the series will also be relevant for those teaching fully online and in other formats. College Trainers will share sessions relevant to specific college needs and disciplines.  Faculty members attending these sessions will receive a $250 stipend.

Dr. Jim Lang’s Keynote*: “Small Teaching in the COVID Era”

“Research from the learning sciences and from a variety of educational settings suggests that a small number of key principles can improve learning in almost any type of college or university course, including the online and hybrid classrooms in which we will be teaching during the 2020-2021 academic year.  This keynote will introduce some of those principles, offer practical suggestions for how they might foster positive change in higher education teaching and learning, and guide faculty participants to consider how these principles might manifest themselves in their current and upcoming courses.”

More information, including registration details will be shared soon.


*Jim Lang is the author of Small Teaching and co-author of Small Teaching On-Line.

June Updates

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

I know that no one likes a long email (except maybe me) but I did promise you a series of updates on the fall semester and here is the second one. This one focuses on the class schedule, the teaching formats we will need to be prepared for, and the supports we are putting in place.

Before I begin I want to acknowledge that many of you are having to change the structure and pedagogy of your courses yet again. You did great work this spring; while things were far from perfect it was not for lack of commitment and effort on your part. And some of you are teaching on-line this summer. The fall represents another set of challenges. I will repeat, briefly, something I said in my earlier email to full time faculty.

We are not able to have the same number of students in our classrooms as we have in the past, and a number of people (including faculty) are working on how to manage that situation. There is no question that we will need to put some of our classes on-line. And we are gathering information from colleges and departments about which courses are best suited to being offered on-line. However, when we can, we want to have a face to face experience for the students. And, no matter what we plan, we will have students who are not willing or able to come to campus and still want to take courses. With the exception of some graduate students, students in this situation will not be able to find enough fully on-line courses.

We are trying to figure out how to deal with this new reality without completely disrupting the class schedule. We are getting precise information on classroom and lab capacity, as well as some emerging special rules for labs, and trying to identify additional spaces on campus we might use for teaching purposes. One approach that some other schools are using and that would help us preserve the schedule in many cases is an “A/B” approach, where class meets twice a week and half the students are in class on each day, with the other half either participating or working remotely. Our new class schedule has created more twice a week slots, but we know that not every class can meet this way. In particular, we are still sorting out how to manage once a week classes, particularly for graduate and adult students who may not be able to come to campus on any day other than the one they signed up for. The other approach we are considering is using Saturdays on a limited basis. We may need to move some STEM labs to Saturday, for example. Also, since we are sending students home at Thanksgiving, some courses (like a Ceramics Studio) will be over at that point, as there is no remote instruction possible. But by attending a session on a Saturday students can get in that fourteenth week. We continue to work closely with colleges and departments to understand whether the A/B approach will work in all courses.

We will be offering faculty and curriculum development support this summer to help people get ready for the format they are going to use. The A/B model is a particular form of Hybrid learning and we know faculty will need assistance planning and adapting. For those teaching in a hybrid mode we will be offering suggestions for modifying the approach to accommodate students who will not be participating in person. We will also support faculty who are teaching face to face (or hybrid) plan for students who cannot attend class in person. And since there will also be some courses fully on-line, we will be once again offering our Learning to Teach On-Line series at least once over the summer. And as other needs emerge, we will do our best to meet them. More details on the current planned menu of opportunities will be out very soon. 

Finally, as the modalities we will be using, and who will be using them, becomes clear, there will certainly be technology needs and we will meet them. Given that in many cases these modalities could be a one-time thing, we do need to be prudent in our purchases and may not always be able to get the specific piece of hardware or software that every person wants, but we are committed to providing a workable solution to any technological challenges.

We have an Implementation Team working on all these issues. They are further divided in to working groups on classrooms and scheduling; pedagogy, technology, and fully on-line learning. Each college has at least one person as a link to those groups, so that information can flow back and forth easily. The leaders of this effort are me, RJ McGivney, Sebby Sorrentino, Jim Shattuck, Lisa Zawilinski, and Barb Haines. You can feel free to contact any of us with questions or concerns.

I know you also have questions about PPE, cleaning schedules and supplies, traffic control and other health and safety issues. There is a group working on these issues as well, co-chaired by Norm Young and Aaron Isaacs. Nothing has been completely settled yet; if you have questions or suggestions I am happy to convey them or you can reach out directly.
I continue to be incredibly proud of the commitment our faculty make to their students and to effective teaching and learning. This is another set of challenges, but I know we will rise to the occasion.

My Very Best to You,
Fred Sweitzer
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As the state of Connecticut continues to reopen in phases, the University also continues to assess the feasibility of returning to campus. We are giving a great deal of thought to the fall and how to open the campus as safely as possible. In this, we remain committed to the safety of our workforce.

Campus will continue to be closed to all employees who are not required to be there for work. If you need to return to campus for another reason, you must submit the Employee Building Access form to Public Safety in order to enter any campus buildings. Please be considerate in making your requests. These visits will require staff to assist with access and cleaning, taking away from already reduced resources in our Public Safety and Facilities operations.

Throughout July and into the beginning of August, to the extent possible, employees who can effectively perform their job responsibilities remotely should continue to do so. During this time, Facilities and other reopening committees will review all departments for necessary protective barriers and social distancing, and ensure that the University is in compliance with all of the state of Connecticut’s reopening requirements. Reopening of offices will require a thorough assessment of challenges, as well as measures that can reasonably be put into place to provide protection to our workforce.

Additionally, some of our employees may be particularly vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age, underlying health conditions, or other factors. Please see the CDC’s list of high-risk groups. If you need to request an accommodation for the fall, please review the below information and engage with the Office of Human Resources Development (HRD) to discuss your specific situation, documentation requirements, and options.

DISABILITY ACCOMMODATIONS

The University will continue to follow its established process for disability accommodations, including engaging in the interactive process with faculty and staff with disabilities to determine whether they require reasonable accommodations to perform the essential functions of their job amidst the pandemic. If faculty or staff have a medical condition that could reasonably affect their ability to safely perform their duties on campus, they must request a reasonable accommodation through HRD and go through the interactive process. Based on the information obtained through that process, a determination will be made as to whether the employee qualifies for a reasonable accommodation.

HIGH-RISK CONSIDERATIONS

For employees who may not have a disability, but are otherwise considered “high risk” for serious illness due to COVID-19, the University has established the process below for those faculty and staff to explore the possibility of alternative work arrangements with their supervisors.

  • Employees who are, or will be 65 or older as of December 31, 2020, and wish to continue to work from home should contact HRD before July 17, 2020.
  • Employees who believe their own underlying health condition increases the risk for serious complications related to COVID-19 should contact HRD to discuss the situation no later than July 31, 2020. HRD will notify the appropriate supervisor if the request is granted.
  • Employees who cohabitate with someone who is or will be age 65 or older as of December 31, 2020, or who cohabitate with someone with an underlying health condition that increases the risk for serious complications related to COVID-19 shall contact HRD to discuss the situation by July 31, 2020. HRD will notify the appropriate supervisor of the staff member’s decision.
  • UHart will grant temporary unpaid administrative leave to any staff member who requests such a leave. Requests should be made to HRD no later than June 30, 2020. HRD shall notify the appropriate supervisor, and address such requests on a semester-by-semester basis.


It is possible that your circumstances could change during the pandemic. If that happens, please let your supervisor know (if you feel comfortable doing so) and contact HRD. If different arrangements need to be made, HRD will work with each employee to discuss options.

As a reminder, supervisors/department heads/administrators must refer all requests for ADA accommodations, as well as requests for alternative work arrangements based on COVID-19 risk factors, to HRD. 

The concerns and well-being of faculty and staff, the education of our students, and the overall well-being of the institution are all important, and integrating those concerns is not always easy.

Thank you for your patience—and for all you do, have done, and will do for this university.
 
Office of Human Resources Development
hrd@hartford.edu

May Updates

Dear Students,

As we ready to turn the page on another month, my thoughts continue to be with you and your family. I hope this update gives us all something to look forward to.

As we approached the end of the spring semester, I communicated with you about the comprehensive planning teams that are working diligently on our fall 2020 scenario planning. While that work continues, the messages I have received from so many of you over the last several weeks have been strong and very clear. Our students are eager to continue their education at the University of Hartford in the fall—in person and on campus. Faculty and staff are equally determined to safely resume in-person teaching, learning, and residential life for the fall 2020 semester, being ever mindful of the need to protect the health and safety of our community.

The summer months will allow us necessary time to develop robust and specific plans for the creation of a blended approach to learning in multiple formats, thoroughly meeting the needs of our students, faculty, course types, and program curricula. UHart is well-positioned to meet health requirements and to implement best safety practices for our community due to our small class sizes; personalized support; and the variety of classroom, residential, and dining facilities across our 350-acre campus. Hartford HealthCare, one of Connecticut’s largest health-care systems and our on-campus student health provider, continues to assist us in putting in place the staffing, tests, and equipment necessary for our fall opening.

As all of these pieces come together toward welcoming you back to school safely in the fall, we are innovating every part of the UHart experience—from the academic calendar to residential living—to provide options and access for the best and safest possible combination of on-campus and high-quality remote teaching. We will soon provide further details about health screening and specifics on any possible housing changes within our residential facilities.

For now, please note the following important changes to the academic calendar for the fall 2020 semester. Our plans and schedule, of course, are dependent on the ongoing guidance from the state of Connecticut and public health officials.

  • Saturday, Aug. 15–Sunday, Aug. 23: The University will offer an early drop-off period during the week leading up to the start of the semester for residential students who can easily travel to campus. This will be a same-day, in-and-out process to drop off belongings in rooms and return home without an overnight stay. Similar to our ongoing move-out process, advance sign-up will be required for preset time slots. This will allow us to accommodate testing requirements, maintain social distancing recommendations, and minimize traffic.
  • Monday, Aug. 24–Wednesday, Aug. 26: Students begin living in residence halls, with arrivals scheduled on a staggered basis. The early drop-off of belongings by as many students as possible will help to accelerate this process.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 26: Instruction begins for all students. Online instruction may be utilized during the first week to allow for move-in and the administration of state-required COVID testing of all students upon their return. Please note, some academic programs may begin in-classroom instruction prior to Aug. 26, per Connecticut state guidelines for graduate and select student populations. Information will be provided directly to these groups.
  • Monday, Sept. 7: Classes will be held on Labor Day.
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: On-campus classes conclude at the end of the day. Students depart for Thanksgiving break and will not return to campus until Jan. 17, after winter break. This schedule reduces the risks of virus spread during flu season; allows for a thorough cleaning of all campus facilities; and limits the possibility of students, faculty, and staff returning to campus after potentially being exposed to the virus during travel over the Thanksgiving break. We recognize this change means less time for students in our residential and dining facilities. As a result, we will proactively reduce room and board costs by two weeks. Revised bills for residential students will reflect this reduction.
  • Monday, Nov. 30–Tuesday, Dec. 15: Fall classes, review sessions, office hours, reading days, and final exams will be completed remotely. We recognize that Commencement is Dec. 15, and we will work with all graduating students requiring accommodations.
  • Winterterm and Spring 2021: Winterterm will be fully online this winter, and will begin on Saturday, Dec. 26, and end on Friday, Jan. 15. The spring 2021 semester will begin as planned on Wednesday, Jan. 20, with residence halls reopening on Sunday, Jan. 17.

The University of Hartford has demonstrated the strength of our institution and the resilience of our community during this crisis. We have taken a phased approach to a complex and evolving situation, being thoughtful and informed in our analysis and decision making. Above all, we are working together to act in the best interest of the safety and well-being of our entire campus community, while delivering an excellent and student-centered educational experience. Please know that our dedication to these priorities remains the same as we prepare to welcome you back to the University of Hartford in August.
 
I will share additional details as we move forward together. Updates will also be provided at hartford.edu/fall-opening.

Best Wishes,
Greg Woodward
President

Dear Students,

I’m pleased to announce that we will be offering another move-out period beginning next week. Starting Tuesday, May 26, at 8:30 a.m., and running through June 1 at 6:30 p.m., we will allow residential students to retrieve their belongings from residence halls and, in some cases, academic buildings.

I know there is a lot of information here. Please take the time to read through the entire email to ensure a safe and smooth move-out experience.

It is NOT mandatory that you move out at this time. If you know that you will be not be able to return to campus before fall due to distance and other restrictions, please fill out this form so we can work with you to make alternate arrangements.

As during our previous move-out period, we will strictly follow CDC guidelines and executive orders in Connecticut for social distancing, minimizing crowds, and hygiene protocols. In order to make this process possible, we will have many important rules in place.

Most importantly, if you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone not feeling well or experiencing symptoms, please do not come to campus. If you are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age, underlying health conditions, or other risk factors as defined by the CDC, please do not come to campus. We will work with you to make alternate arrangements for your belongings.

All visitors to campus must wear masks.

 Academic Buildings

College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture: Students can retrieve items between 1 and 4 p.m. on May 26, 28, and 29. Please contact cetahelp@hartford.edu to make arrangements.

The Hartt School: Students who need to pick up items from any Hartt School buildings can do so at any time during the move-out period. Please contact Leonard Bretton at harttops@hartford.edu to make arrangements.

Hartford Art School: Belongings can be picked up from the Hartford Art School between noon and 2 p.m. on May 26, 27, and 28, and between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on May 29, 30, 31, and June 1.

Residence Halls

  • You must sign up using your Hartford email account for a selected block of time prior to your arrival on campus. When ready, you can click here to select your residence and sign up for a time slot.
  • You are not permitted to sign up for more than one time slot. Doing so will result in a default to the first time slot chosen.
  • You must sign up in order to be allowed on campus. If you miss the assigned time block, or arrive at any other time outside of what was assigned, you will be placed in a queue and potentially turned away. Please understand this is for everyone’s health and safety.
  • You must arrive, move out, and depart within your designated block of time. This is non-negotiable.
  • Roommates/apartment-mates are not permitted to sign up for the same block of time. Please connect with your roommate(s) to coordinate different move-out times.
  • You are allowed no more than two people to assist you and must maintain proper social distancing from other groups at all times (at least six feet).

Park River and Hawk Hall

If you lived in Park River or Hawk Hall, you were previously notified that your items had been packed and moved from these locations to allow us to provide housing for first responders. Thank you again for your understanding and flexibility during that process.

You may collect your belongings from the Handel Performing Arts Center, which is located at 35 Westbourne Parkway in Hartford. Please park in the lot and go to the front entrance for additional instructions. Items are in boxes, which are organized first by room, followed by side of the room. Items from shared areas such as kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms are grouped together, so please plan ahead with your roommate to determine who will retrieve which boxes.

*Please note: because all of the items are in boxes, it may be necessary to unpack them in order to fit everything in your vehicle. You may also want to consider bringing a larger vehicle or two cars if possible.

We will have dollies and carts to assist you. These items will be wiped down between each use. Drop boxes will be here as well to donate non-perishable food items to Foodshare and there will also be a library return box here.

Once all items are packed in your vehicle, you will check out with a representative from Residential Life.

All Other Residence Halls

  • You must enter campus through the main entrance on Bloomfield Avenue and check in with Public Safety for further instruction. You will be asked to present a valid ID and the registration receipt with your time slot indicated (this will be used for verification purposes) in order to gain entry to campus. A one-way traffic pattern will be implemented—you will exit campus on Mark Twain Drive.
  • In order to be officially checked out, you must complete the packet taped to your door. Room keys must be placed in this packet and returned to the designated check-out area located on Mark Twain Drive. All students will receive confirmation from a Res Life staff member once the process is complete.
  • Once checked out, you will not be permitted to remain on or return to campus.

Again, it is crucial that students and guests stay within their selected time slot and follow the above rules for the safety of all.  

What to Expect During Move-Out

As we have previously shared, in compliance with executive orders in Connecticut, campus is now closed. This means you will not have access to regular campus and support services, including the library, financial aid offices, mailroom, GSU, and so on. Food services will not be available.           

  • Even though you have been assigned a time to move out, please be prepared to wait temporarily in a parking lot holding zone as we carefully control the number of people entering campus. Public Safety will serve as a valuable resource as we guide traffic and visitors.
  • Regretfully, due to the current restrictions and safety precautions, staff will not be available to assist you in physically moving out of your space. Please plan accordingly.
  • All common areas and high-touch zones will be routinely sanitized by our custodial staff during the move-out periods.
  • Please bring your own packing supplies and materials. Dumpsters will also be placed throughout campus so you can dispose of larger items. Yellow moving bins will not be provided to students, so please bring resources to assist you if you are able, such as personal dollies or carts.
  • Yellow drop boxes will be placed at checkout (Mark Twain Drive) to donate non-perishable food items to Foodshare, and there will also be library return boxes.

Unable to Return

Again, it is not mandatory that you move out at this time. If you are unable to return, please fill out this form so we can work with you to make alternate arrangements.

Mailing in Your Key

If you have already moved out but still have your key, please send it back to avoid being billed for it and a lock change. Please mail it, along with your room number, in a padded envelope to Max Koskoff, Office of Residential Life, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT 06117. We recommend sending your key via certified mail to ensure proper delivery.

Subject to Change

Please understand that this situation continues to evolve each day, and we must adhere to current state, federal, and CDC mandates. These schedules and future opportunities are subject to change.

We realize this is a difficult situation and that you are moving out under less than ideal circumstances. We will do everything we can to provide you with a safe and organized process to gather your belongings. Our primary concern remains the health and safety of our students, families, and community.

Again, please click here to select your residence and sign up for a time slot when you are ready. If you have any additional questions about moving out, please contact Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. .Please continue to visit the University of Hartford website for information and resources related to COVID-19. 


Thank you,
Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Connecticut, we remain committed to the safety of our workforce. For this reason, we have made the decision to keep most campus operations operating remotely until at least July 1, 2020. Asking most of our employees to work from home enables us to provide appropriate social distancing measures for our colleagues who must remain on campus to support our students or continue vital business operations.   

Accessing Campus

Campus will continue to be closed to all employees who are not required to be there for work. If you need to return to campus for another reason, you must submit the Employee Building Access form to Public Safety in order to enter any campus buildings. Please be considerate in making your requests. These visits will require staff to assist with access and cleaning, taking away from already reduced resources in our Public Safety and Facilities operations.

Please Note: Public Safety will need 24 hours to review your submission prior to providing a response.

Monitoring Symptoms

As a reminder, anyone who has been authorized to enter campus must undergo a health screening. When arriving, please proceed directly to the Operations Building warehouse, located on the east side of the Public Safety building (alongside Mark Twain Drive).

The screening process includes general health questions and checking for the presence of fever. All individuals will have their temperature taken and will be asked about the following symptoms.

  • Fever (100° or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and muscle aches
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

If you answer “no” to every question about symptoms and you don’t have a fever, you will be authorized to remain on campus.

Working on Campus

Our goal is to provide a healthy work environment for everyone and, in turn, to minimize the risk of illness whenever possible. To achieve this, we would like to offer the following reminders:

  • Stay home if you are sick or have any symptoms related to COVID-19
  • You are encouraged to wear cloth face coverings in the workplace, if appropriate
  • Keep your workstation clean
  • Maintain six feet of space between you and your co-workers whenever possible
  • Contact your personal physician if you are experiencing symptoms

Vulnerable Employees

Some of our employees may be particularly vulnerable to catching COVID-19 due to their age, underlying health conditions, or other factors. Please see the CDC’s list of high-risk groups. Contact HRD if you fall into one of these categories and have been asked to work—or are still working—on campus for any reason, or if you wish to request an accommodation for any other health-related issue.

As you are aware, this situation continues to evolve and we continue to follow the guidance of state officials and public health experts. Please continue to visit hartford.edu/health-coronavirus for updates and answers to frequently asked questions, or email COVID19@hartford.edu with questions.

Thank you,

HRD

Dear Parents and Families,

I hope this message finds you and your family healthy and safe. As we reach the end of the spring semester, I know many of you are concerned about what happens next. Those of you in the local area may have watched or read last week’s update provided by Governor Lamont’s education committee of the Reopen Connecticut Advisory Group, including guidance for the gradual reopening of Connecticut campuses.

I want to be very clear—the University of Hartford is doing everything possible to return to delivering a safe, in-person, and largely residential education this fall. We are eager for the return of students’ vibrant energy on campus but understand and take seriously the need to be thoughtful and flexible in our scheduling and planning. We will be implementing additional safety precautions and/or restrictions to protect the health of students, employees, and the public as we move forward. Currently, comprehensive planning teams across the University are working diligently through various fall scenarios. They are focused on academics, campus operations and safety, student life (including residential housing and dining options), staffing, and events.

Unlike the quick but necessary changes to remote education in March, we have time to develop robust plans surrounding the potential for a blended approach to learning in multiple formats, thoroughly accommodating the needs of our students, faculty, course types, and program curriculum. Similarly, we understand that students’ connections outside of the classroom—with friends, roommates, classmates, clubs and organizations, in residential rooms, dining halls, fields, and arts spaces—are all an important part of their overall UHart experience. Our student life and success teams continue to research and develop new and exciting ways for students to safely engage and interact with one another on campus and online. Hartford HealthCare, one of Connecticut’s largest health-care systems and our on-campus student health provider, is actively participating in our planning discussions and will continue to prepare the necessary staffing, tests, and equipment we need for a fall opening.

Respecting the governor’s guidance and forthcoming updates, our scenario working groups will continue their planning through June and we intend to announce our reopening measures in early July. In the coming weeks, we will begin to gradually and safely open parts of campus per the Connecticut guidelines. I will continue to communicate with you as those staggered plans move forward; I know many students are waiting on additional information about a time to collect their belongings that remain on campus.

I have expressed to our seniors my deep disappointment that their final semester at UHart had to be completed from a distance. The Class of 2020’s dedication and resilience have been inspiring and impressive to witness. Please join us as we honor our graduates virtually this Friday and at an in-person ceremony in December. Later this week, I will share additional details about an opportunity for qualifying students in the Class of 2020 to remain at the University and earn a graduate degree in select programs with significant scholarship support.

In the coming months, we have a challenge in front of us. The situation and guidelines will continue to evolve, but the University community is pulling together to take strategic and decisive action as soon as we can. The safety and educational experience of our students are top priorities as we prepare to welcome them back in the fall.

Thank you,
Greg Woodward

Dear Students and Families,

Thank you once again for your patience as we have worked to develop appropriate responses to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. We are pleased to provide information today on plans relative to room and board, and fee refunds and credits, along with other matters related to student finances.

ROOM, MEAL PLAN, AND PARKING PERMIT ADJUSTMENTS

Credits and refunds are being calculated student by student. Amounts are based on prorated costs, minus select fixed university expenses, from the period beginning March 23, the day campus operations would have resumed following spring break, and continuing through the end of the spring semester. Credits and refunds are subject to the following adjustments:

  • Financial aid applied to room and board
  • Fees paid by those students who remained on campus
  • Fees paid by the University for those students with certain on-campus job positions (RAs, RFAs)
  • Outstanding account balances

ROOM CREDITS AND REFUNDS

Room credit amounts are calculated based upon the rate applied to the housing in which the student resided as of March 23. The standard refundable credit, prior to any adjustments calculated at the individual student level as noted above, can be found on the bursar's website.

If you have already moved out of your on-campus residence but still have your room key, please mail it, along with your room number, in a padded envelope to Max Koskoff, Office of Residential Life, University of Hartford, 200 Bloomfield Ave., West Hartford, CT, 06117. We recommend sending your key via certified mail to ensure proper delivery. If you have not yet removed your belongings, we expect to offer additional move -out opportunities after the Connecticut “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order has been lifted. We anticipate sharing additional details soon after May 20.

MEAL PLAN, DINING DOLLAR, AND HAWKCASH CREDITS AND REFUNDS

Meal plan credits are calculated based upon the plan in which the student participated. All meal plans consist of meal swipes and dining dollars. The portion of the meal plan related to meal swipes will generate a credit or refund similar to housing outlined above. The full remaining amount of dining dollars and Hawk cash on the student’s account as of March 23 will be used to generate the total credit or refund amount over and above the below standards. The standard refundable credit, prior to any adjustments calculated at the individual student level, related to meal swipes, can be found on the bursar's website.

PARKING PERMITS

Parking permits are required to be paid annually, and cover the time period from September through August. The cost of the parking permit depends on when the permit was purchased, and reduces by 25 percent on a quarterly basis. Parking permit refundable credits have been calculated based upon the date at which the permit was purchased and the time period covered by that permit. The standard refundable credit, prior to any adjustments calculated at the individual student level, related to parking permits can be found on the bursar's website.

CARES ACT STIMULUS FUNDING

The University anticipates receiving funds from the U.S. government’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. This additional funding is being provided to students for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations due to the coronavirus, such as food, housing, course materials, technology, health care, and child care. It will be provided as a cash grant*. Using the most recently available guidance from the Department of Education, the University will be providing Title IV eligible students the following:

  • $500 to all residential students displaced from campus
  • $250 to all other full-time undergraduate students
  • Graduate students that are Title IV eligible and have experienced a hardship should apply for stimulus funding here.

Please note that as of today, CARES Act cash grants are taxable to the student and must be reported by the University at year end. It is our understanding there is potential future legislation to request grants are tax-free to the student. Also, by accepting or donating a refund or credit, you thereby release any and all potential claims related in any way to the closing of campus and transition to on-line learning due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

HOW WILL CREDITS AND REFUNDS BE PROCESSED?

Graduating seniors will receive a refund if the credit has generated a refundable balance on their account. The balance will be provided to the student through BankMobile, if the student had previously completed a BankMobile profile. If not, a check will be mailed to the student’s home address. We expect refunds to be processed by June 1.

Students who will not be graduating this semester will receive a room and meal plan credit adjustment applied to their student account. These credit adjustments may be applied to future tuition, room and board, or other fees and expenses. Credits will appear in student accounts by June 1.

OPTION TO DONATE

Several people have asked how they can help address the significant impact this crisis has created for many of our students and their families. If you wish to support students in need, we invite you to consider donating a portion or all of your refund to the Student Emergency Support Fund. Should you choose to donate, please contact Victoria Sandoval, associate director of family giving, for assistance with your tax-deductible contribution. Thank you for your consideration; we continue to be inspired by your support and generosity.

We are here to support our students in any way we can. Students with pressing financial needs, or who have experienced significant hardship as a result of the current pandemic, are asked to complete this form for assistance. A member of our Office of Student Financial Assistance will be in touch to review your account, financial aid, and options.

Thank you for your continued patience as we review and process the above credits, refunds, and hardship requests for thousands of our students. We will continue to follow and implement evolving guidance from the Department of Education and the federal government, while working as quickly as we can to automate the process and facilitate timely processing. If you have additional questions, please email covid19@hartford.edu.

Thank you,

Laura Whitney
Vice President for Finance and Operations

 

April Updates

Dear Students,

It is hard to believe that we have been off campus now for over six weeks and that the semester is winding down. As you begin to prepare for final exams and assignments, we know that there is some concern over workload, completing assignments in a timely fashion, and degree awarding for those of you who are graduating. We hear your concerns and recognize that these are challenging times for everyone—students, families, staff, and faculty. In partnership with Student Government Association leaders, we’ve identified flexible ways that will allow you to complete your semester and earn grades that reflect your hard work.

We outline these below. If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Student Success at css@hartford.edu, your academic advisor, or your program director. We are all here for you—you are not alone.

Adjusted P/NP Policy

  • Speak to your instructor and advisor if you are interested in taking advantage of the flexible P/NP Policy.
  • You can make this decision until Tuesday, May 5.
  • We have confirmed with financial aid that earning multiple “Ps” instead of letter grades this semester will not impact your academic standing, financial aid, or scholarship awarding as long as your GPA and total earned credits still meet the standards for satisfactory academic progress.
  • Questions about this? Contact your academic advisor or Financial Aid at finaid@hartford.edu.

Appealing Financial Aid Decisions

  • Should you end up in a situation where you do not meet the minimum GPA or credit requirements to earn your financial aid package for the fall, you should contact the Dean’s Office of your school or college to make a request for an appeal. More flexibility will be granted this year due to the circumstances.
  • Questions about this? Contact your Dean’s Office or Financial Aid at finaid@hartford.edu.

Consider an Incomplete

  • We are being more flexible with our policy of when an incomplete can be given. If your workload is overwhelming and you are doubting your ability to finish the work before the last day of finals for personal or academic reasons, talk to your instructor about an incomplete option.
  • Questions about this? Contact your academic advisor or the Center for Student Success at css@hartford.edu.

Exercising Flexibility

  • Instructors are also being asked to exercise maximum flexibility with their students. We hope you can also extend the same flexibility and compassion to faculty, realizing we are all experiencing the consequences of this pandemic.
  • Questions or concerns about this? If you are having a problem completing your work, you should first contact the instructor. If you are having trouble with a particular instructor, please contact the department chair for guidance. You can also contact your academic advisor or the college dean’s office with a concern.

Flexible Degree Awarding for Students Who Are About to Graduate

  • We have added another degree awarding date this summer to allow for completion of your spring courses. This means that we will be able to award degrees and send transcripts fairly quickly once you complete any incomplete coursework and grades are submitted. Therefore, taking incompletes will not derail you from earning your degree in a timely fashion this summer.
  • Questions about this? Contact your academic advisor or college evaluator.

Final Examinations

  • The final exam period remains as scheduled. Please verify with your professors the arrangements for each of your courses.
  • If you are in a course hosting an exam at a specific time according to the final exam schedule and you have a conflict due to technology limitations in your home or other personal circumstances, please speak with your professor now to make alternate arrangements.

We hope these options provide some flexibility and comfort through these extraordinary times. Remember, there are resources available to you, from counseling to tutoring, so do not hesitate to reach out and be connected to support through the CSS.

Wishing you all the best,

Fred Sweitzer, Provost
Jessica Nicklin, Associate Vice President for Student Success

Dear Students,

I hope this email finds you, and your family and friends, feeling well and safe. We are just finishing our second week of distance learning together and I know this has not been easy. We are all adapting to this new way of teaching and learning, and there are challenges including technology, home and family situations, and missing your friends and the UHart community. Please continue to reach out to instructors, advisors, deans, and others for support whenever you need it. We may not all be together on campus, but we are still here for you in any way you need us.

I write now with news about the two Summerterm sessions. I realize that summer may seem a long way off, but our first summer session starts in the middle of May. Similar to many of our peer institutions, we will not offer face-to-face classes this summer. This difficult decision and its timing are driven by the two priorities that have guided us throughout the pandemic—the health and safety of our community, and our desire to provide you with the very best learning experiences we can. 

While no one can yet predict the arc of the spread of COVID-19, all indications are that the social distancing and travel restrictions that are in place now will remain so for several more weeks. When we do resume face-to-face education, students and instructors will be traveling from many parts of the Northeast and beyond. While we all our doing our best to pivot to a distance learning environment on short notice, I also know that in some cases these experiences have limitations. Adapting to the virtual environment requires time, planning, and support. If we start planning now, we will make significantly more progress toward ensuring a truly high-quality distance learning experience throughout the summer for the many courses offered during this time frame.

We typically offer many of our courses online during the summer months and already have strong resources in place. At the moment, approximately 50 percent of the undergraduate summer courses that are planned are already offered online; at the graduate level, it is 58 percent. We have a highly successful program in Preparing to Teach Online that prepares faculty, and we will be expanding that training, informed by our spring experience. Student support for online learners will continue to be available from the Office of Technology Services, the Center for Student Success, and Tutoring Services.

We know that many of you are already planning to take courses online this summer and are in online programs, so this will not change your trajectory. For some of you, this may present an opportunity to take additional classes in the summer months. However, for those of you who were planning to take courses face to face, I understand that you may have questions. Please look for updates from your faculty and/or program directors, and connect with your academic advisors with questions and concerns. We are here to help in your planning and decision making so you may best achieve your academic goals.

My very best to you during this difficult time.

 

Fred Sweitzer

Provost



Provost

 

Dear Campus Community,

I am extremely proud to announce the University of Hartford will provide free, temporary housing for first responders and other essential employees who play vital roles in our community’s fight against COVID-19.

In partnership with the city of Hartford, we have made arrangements to house police officers, firefighters, emergency telecommunicators, and other essential staff. Hartford's first responders are doing extraordinary work on the front lines and we are committed to supporting them in any way we can, as quickly as we can. We will welcome 200 of these workers to campus as early as the end of this week.

We have notified residents of Hawk Hall and Park River that we will be professionally moving and storing their belongings to free up space for these important workers. My sincere thanks to these students for their understanding and flexibility. We selected these residence halls based on health and safety requirements. Their location allows us to segment campus into different areas, as we remain focused on caring for the students who are unable to return home and for our essential employees who come to work each day.

All of our planning is based on advice from medical professionals and other experts. We continue to follow guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting these spaces to protect the health and safety of our community.

I am extremely grateful to the many people who are working tirelessly to enable UHart to make this contribution to the health, safety, and wellness of our larger community, and to Mayor Bronin for his leadership as we confront this challenge together. Today, witnessing the many ways our community has come together to support others, I feel especially proud to be a Hawk.

Thank you,
Greg Woodward

To reduce the risk of bringing community-acquired infections like COVID-19 to the University of Hartford campus, all University employees and residents entering the main campus will be screened for fever and other symptoms.

This process shall be applicable to all University employees, to include faculty, staff, and Aramark employees, as well as all students who are currently living in the residence halls.

Arriving at the University

All University employees (faculty, staff, Aramark) and residents who have been authorized to enter campus shall proceed directly to the Operations Building warehouse, located on the east side of the Public Safety building (alongside Mark Twain Drive). Limited parking will be available next to the warehouse and additional parking is available in G lot.

The Screening Process

The screening process includes general health questions and checking for the presence of fever.

All persons will be asked: Do you have any of the following symptoms?

  • Fever (100° or higher)
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Fatigue and muscle aches 
  • Feeling generally unwell
  • Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea

Everyone’s temperature will be taken.

If a person answers “no” to every question, and doesn’t have a fever, that person will be authorized to remain on the University of Hartford campus.

If you have any symptoms, you will be given detailed instructions and asked to return home for the safety of our community. Resident students will be subjected to the SMT COVID-19 Response Plan Quarantine/Isolation Process.

Thank you.

Department of Public Safety

Dear Students,

When we announced a couple weeks back that our Commencement ceremony would not be held in May, I promised our seniors that we would indeed honor their achievements with a formal ceremony in the future. I am happy to announce today that we will hold a combined Commencement 2020 ceremony at the end of the calendar year, bringing together those who would have been recognized in May 2020 with our graduates eligible for our December 2020 Commencement.

After consulting with deans and student leaders to discuss the best option among the limited dates available in December at downtown Hartford’s XL Center, we have selected Tuesday, Dec. 15, at noon, as the date and time for our Commencement 2020 ceremony. 

We know this date may not be convenient for some. We hope by providing this much notice, you will be able to schedule travel arrangements and request time off from work. If you are not able to attend, we still want you to be a part of the celebration. We will be streaming the ceremony live that day and then offering it for on-demand viewing at your convenience in subsequent months. Most importantly, we will be reading the names of all eligible graduates, not just those who are in attendance that day.

As you may know, we had also planned a separate doctoral hooding ceremony for May 15 to honor our doctoral candidates. That small ceremony has been rescheduled for Sunday, Dec. 6, at 10:30 a.m. in Lincoln Theater on campus.

I encourage you to visit hartford.edu/commencement to review updated information about receiving your caps and gowns, final transcripts, and other logistical information. If you have any questions about any aspect of Commencement, please email 2020Hawk@hartford.edu.

I also invite you to look out for communication over the next several weeks inviting you to submit your favorite memories, photos, and videos; and also to thank the special people in your life for helping you on your journey to graduation. We look forward to sharing these both on social media in the months to come and on the large video board at the XL Center on Dec. 15.

In closing, I want to commend our graduating class of 2020 for navigating this unprecedented and challenging spring semester with understanding and flexibility. Our entire University of Hartford community is proud of you, and we look forward to celebrating your accomplishments formally on Dec. 15.

Gregory Woodward
President

 

Dear Campus Community,

This evening we learned a University of Hartford employee has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. While this news may not be unexpected, I know that it hits home for many of us. The employee is receiving medical care and is thankfully in self-isolation at home. This individual was last on campus on March 29, 2020.

While most of our community has not been to campus since we closed last month, we know this news will cause concern. Please be assured that we continue to take measures that address the health and safety of our entire community. Mitigation efforts include enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and limiting the number of individuals on campus in accordance with the directives and protocols issued by the CDC and state and local departments of health. We continue to urge all employees and students to be vigilant about their health and to practice preventative actions, proper hygiene, and social distancing recommended by the CDC and shared in prior communications.

In keeping with public health practice, no further identifying information about the individual who has tested positive will be shared. We ask that you please be respectful of their privacy. We will continue to do everything we can to be supportive and I know you join me in wishing for their speedy recovery.

We will continue to provide additional updates to the community. For more information about COVID-19 and our response, please see hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

Thank you,
Greg Woodwar

March Updates

Dear Students,

Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding as we have planned and executed a safe and organized move out for our residential community.

As you may know, the CDC has issued a new travel advisory for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. For this reason, we are shortening the move-out schedule to end at 5 p.m. tomorrow, Monday, March 30, at which time campus will close. We are asking you to thoughtfully determine if this trip is essential to you and your family. If you were scheduled on Monday after 5 p.m. or at any time on Tuesday and determine your trip to be essential, there are still time slots available for tomorrow, Monday, March 30, before 5 p.m. Please see our website for a complete list of rules and to sign up for a time slot—please use a different e-mail address than you used to request your original sign-up time.

Again, moving out is not mandatory and we will work with all students and families that have not been able to pick up belongings. We are putting a plan in place for future move out dates, subject to current health regulations and guidelines. We will actively communicate with you as plans are made. We are also working through the logistics of storing items, should that be necessary.

Again, if you are not feeling well, experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone not feeling well or experiencing symptoms, please do not come to campus. We encourage you to practice self-isolation as recommended by health professionals and the CDC. Similarly, if you are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age, underlying health conditions, or other risk factors as defined by the CDC, please do not come to campus. If you are from areas experiencing extensive community transmission of COVID-19, please do not come to campus.

Our process tomorrow will continue to strictly follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, minimizing crowds, and hygiene protocols. We have developed an extensive FAQ list to address your questions and concerns. If you need further assistance, please email Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. As always, we will continue to communicate via email and post updates to hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

Thank you, 
Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

 
 

Dear Students,

As we wrap up the first day of our move-out process, I would like to thank you all for your cooperation and understanding thus far. We are focused on helping students who want to collect their belongings while following CDC guidelines to help our community stay safe. We are also accommodating those who cannot, or would prefer not to, return to campus at this time.

As we have stated, moving out now is not mandatory. We are putting a plan in place for future move out dates, likely after May 1 and subject to current health regulations and guidelines. We are also working through the logistics of storing items.

There are still some time slots available if you are interested in coming to campus Saturday, March 28, through Tuesday, March 31. As we have communicated, ourprocess will strictly follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, minimizing crowds, and hygiene protocols. Please see our website for a complete list of rules and to sign up for a time slot.

We have developed an extensive FAQ list to address your questions and concerns. If you need further assistance, please email Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. We will also continue to communicate via email and updates to hartford.edu/health-coronavirus


Thank you,

Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

As you prepare to embark on your online journey next week, we know that you may be wondering what is happening with registration for Fall 2020. This email serves as a brief overview of what to expect in the coming days and weeks: 

  • To give you adequate time to have advising conversations, Advanced Registration for undergraduate students will begin on Monday, April 13. Faculty advisors should reach out to advisees to coordinate advising conversations. As always, registration dates are typically determined by credits earned.
  • Graduate students and part-time students will begin registration on Wednesday, April 15.
    Advisors will receive PIN numbers from the Registrar’s Office by April 3. 
  • Students will receive an email with their registration dates from the Registrar’s Office by April 3.
  • After receiving their PIN from their faculty advisor or program director, students should register using the Self-Service Center wherever possible.
  • Advisors and faculty should also utilize the Self-Service Center for registration and overrides wherever possible for graduate and undergraduate students.
  • When using the Self-Service Center is not possible, please email css@hartford.edu with add/drop/override requests for undergraduate and graduate students. Please make sure that the correspondence includes the student and advisor/faculty member in lieu of a signature. Students can provide a PIN via email in lieu of advisor email permission, but faculty and/or department chair email communication may still be necessary for certain overrides. Please send all emails from your @hartford.edu email address.
  • Students, as has always been the case, for balances greater than $2500, you will need to contact the Bursar’s Office to set up a payment arrangement before you can register for Fall 2020 courses. Once a payment arrangement is set and you have satisfied the initial terms of the arrangement, please email the Bursar’s Office with your intended Fall 2020 courses (including CRNs, course codes, and titles) and request that approval be sent to css@hartford.edu for you to be registered for those courses. The Bursar’s Office will forward your courses to the Center for Student Success along with its approval so you can be added to the classes. Center for Student Success staff will be in touch with you if there are any issues with processing your registration.

Please continue to follow updates and changes on the COVID-19 page of the website. We appreciate your patience as we work through all of the details of this complicated situation.

Wishing you all the best,

Jessica Nicklin
Associate Vice President, Student Success

James Shattuck
Associate Provost, Undergraduate Studies

Clark Saunders
Associate Provost, Graduate Studies 

Dear Graduate Students,

First of all, I hope you are healthy and finding reasons to be joyful as we all are going through these unprecedented set of circumstances. I know how important your connections to student colleagues, faculty, and staff are—and that all of the current uncertainty is challenging. I want to assure you we are here to offer academic and personal support as you adjust to new ways of engaging with graduate course content.

Academic Support

  • Classes begin on Monday and your professors have been working hard to determine the best way to approach distance learning. Not everyone will use the same approach, so I encourage you to reach out to your professors if you have not, asking what the technology tools will be. If you have a concern about your ability to access or use the technology, let your professor know right away so that adjustments can be made. And please be patient with your professors, as we are urging them to be with you. Remember that this won’t be perfect, but I am confident that all of you will be able to learn what you need to learn.
  • Having said that, if your concerns are not resolved easily, or if you are just having a hard time with distance learning, please email the Center for Student Success (CSS) at css@hartford.edu and its dedicated staff will do everything possible to help. CSS is also a helpful resource for tutoring assistance. 
  • Please visit this page for additional information and resources to support your online learning experience. We will continue to update this page with additional resources and best practices for online learning.

Personal Support

  • Be sure to reach out to your graduate program director or assigned advisor with specific concerns or questions about course completion or grades.
    Please note that Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Health Center are also available on a fee-for-service basis as a resource for you. Your health and wellness remain our top priority. 
  • Please continue to send any questions or concerns to COVID19@hartford.edu and a member of the UHart response team will get back to you as soon as possible. Updates and frequently asked questions have been added to hartford.edu/health-coronavirus and the site will continue to be a resource as we move forward.

I am grateful for your messages and support. Together, we will get through this unfamiliar and challenging period of time. 

Thank you,

T. Clark Saunders
Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research

Dear Students,

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through the many implications of moving to remote learning for the remainder of the semester. Many of you have asked how you can gain access to your belongings in your on-campus residences. We understand your desire to officially move out and have been working on a plan to safely allow you to do so. We are also identifying areas of campus housing that we may be able to offer in support of our partners in the regional medical community as their needs continue to evolve.

I know the timing below is fast. We are doing everything we can to accommodate our students and families while ensuring the safety and well-being of all. This is NOT mandatory. We will work with you to make alternative arrangements or store belongings if you are unable or prefer not to return to campus at this time.

Retrieving Your Belongings

Beginning this Friday, March 27 at 7 a.m. through Tuesday, March 31 at 7 p.m., we will allow residential students the opportunity to gather their belongings and move out in an orderly fashion, appropriately spreading out visitors by hall and by floor. Our process will strictly follow CDC guidelines regarding social distancing, minimizing crowds, and hygiene protocols. As such, residents and families will need to strictly adhere to the following rules:

First and foremost, if you are not feeling well, experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been in contact with anyone not feeling well or experiencing symptoms, please do not come to campus. We encourage you to practice self-isolation as recommended by health professionals and the CDC. Similarly, if you are vulnerable to COVID-19 due to age, underlying health conditions, or other risk factors as defined by the CDC, please do not come to campus. We will work with you to make alternative arrangements for your belongings.

Additional Rules:

  • You must sign up using your Hartford email account for a selected block of time prior to arrival on campus. When ready, you can click here to select your residence and sign up for a time slot.
  • You are not permitted to sign up for more than one timeslot. Doing so will result in a default to the first timeslot chosen.
  • You must sign up in order to be allowed on campus. If you miss the assigned time block, or arrive at any other time outside of the assigned time, you will be placed in a queue and potentially turned away. Please understand this is for everyone’s health and safety.
  • You must enter campus through the main entrance on Bloomfield Avenue and check in with Public Safety for further instruction. You will be asked to present a valid ID and the registration receipt with your time slot indicated (this will be used for verification purposes) in order to gain entry to campus. A one-way traffic pattern will be implemented and you will exit campus on Mark Twain Drive.
  • You must arrive, move out, and depart within your designated block of time. This is non-negotiable. Times will vary by residence hall.
  • Roommates/apartment-mates are not permitted to sign up for the same block of time. Please connect with your roommate(s) to coordinate different move out times.
  • You are allowed no more than 2 people to assist you and must maintain proper social distancing from other groups at all times (at least 6 feet).
  • In order to be officially checked out, you must complete the packet taped to your door. Room keys must be placed in this packet and returned to the designated check out area located on Mark Twain Drive. All students will receive confirmation from a Res Life staff member once the process is complete.
  • Once checked out, you will not be permitted to remain on or return to campus.

Again, it is vitally important that students and guests stay within your selected time and follow the above rules for the safety of all.  

What to Expect During Move Out

As we have previously shared, in compliance with executive orders in CT, campus is now closed. This means you will not have access to regular campus and support services, including academic buildings, Library, Sports Center, financial aid offices, mailroom, GSU, and so on. Food services will not be available. We have already communicated with you about remote access to academic services, and will share additional information about registration by tomorrow.

Additional Information:

  • Even though you have been assigned a time to move out, please be prepared to wait temporarily in a parking lot holding zone as we carefully control the number of people entering campus. Public Safety will be present and a resource as we guide traffic and visitors.
  • Regretfully, due to the current restrictions and safety precautions, staff will not be available to assist you in physically moving out of your space. Please plan accordingly.
  • All common areas and high touch zones in the residential halls will be routinely sanitized by our custodial staff during the move out periods.
  • Please bring your own packing supplies and materials. Dumpsters will also be placed throughout campus so you can dispose of larger items. Yellow moving bins will not be provided to students, so please bring resources to assist you if you are able, such as personal dollies or carts. 
  • Yellow bins have been placed at checkout (Mark Twain Drive) to collect non-perishable food items that will be donated to FoodShare.

Unable to Return

We understand that not all students will be able to come to campus during this timeframe for various reasons. If you are not able to return to campus to remove your belongings, please email Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. Our staff will be in contact with you as soon as possible regarding other potential dates or storage options. This will be contingent upon future guidance from the CDC, state and federal agencies.

Subject to Change

Please understand that this situation continues to evolve each day, and we must adhere to current state, federal, and CDC mandates. These schedules and future opportunities are subject to change.

We realize this is a difficult situation and that you are moving out under less than ideal circumstances. We will do everything we can to provide you with a safe and organized process to gather your belongings. Our primary concern remains the health and safety of our students, families, and community.

Again, please click here to select your residence and sign up for a time slot when you are ready. If you have any additional questions about moving out, please contact Residential Life at reslife@hartford.edu. Please continue to visit the University of Hartford website for information and resources related to COVID-19.

Thank you,
Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

 

Dear Full-Time Faculty Colleagues,

As we begin the transition to remote learning, I know that many of you are anxious about the impact that all this extra time and effort will have on your faculty evaluations.  For some of you, impacts of the disruptions of the emergency on your scholarly agenda or creative agendas have you worried about your progress toward tenure, promotion, or comprehensive review (for CAT faculty members).  I want you to know that my staff, the deans, and the Senate officers are working hard to address each of these issues.  Here is what I can tell you today:

  • Tenure Clocks—Any faculty member who would like one is entitled to an automatic one-year extension on your tenure or comprehensive review clock with no repercussions on the eventual application.
  • CAT Faculty Reappointment Clocks—Any CAT faculty member who would like one is entitled to an automatic one-year extension on your comprehensive review clock with no repercussions on the eventual review.
  • Senior Faculty Applying for Promotion—There is, of course, no need to request an extension on promotion, but I know that some of you must be trying to decide whether to go forward, given the concerns above and the time required to complete a dossier. We will give you as much time as we can to make your decision

The logistical details of all this are a bit complicated, so rather than give all the details in an email I am attaching them here

In addition, there are a couple of other related issues that we are working on but have not been able to resolve just yet.  Another Provost I know refers to these as “Parking Lot” issues.  So here’s what’s in the parking lot now—feel free to let me know of other items that belong there.

  • Student Evaluations—Some schools are cancelling them, some are going ahead, some are doing them but only giving the results to faculty members, and some schools are considering adding a question or two to the evaluation to help get feedback on the “remote” experience.  I am trying to be sure that we understand all the implications in various programs (particularly those with external accreditation) before we make any final decision. I promise to get back to you on this one as very soon.
  • Annual Faculty Evaluation—Like student evaluations, the AFE process can be used for developmental or evaluative purposes. Everyone I have talked to is cautious about using this semester’s evaluations for any sort of evaluative purpose, and I completely agree. If I could do so with no repercussions at all, I would waive them completely this year. Pre-tenure and pre-Comprehensive Review faculty should, however, probably get a developmental review so that they know how they are progressing. And again, some of our external accreditors may require that evaluations be done, or at least that some of the reporting required in the evaluations be done so it can be sent to them. I promise to have the details of AFE settled very soon.

Let me end by saying what I cannot say enough. Your efforts to create distance learning experiences for your students have been remarkable, maybe even heroic. Thank you, and may you and yours stay well and healthy.
 
Fred Sweitzer
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Dear Campus Community,

I hope you and your families and friends are safe, healthy, and managing as best as possible through this difficult period. I am reaching out today with a message I had hoped not to write.

The health and safety of members of our community and the greater region have been our greatest priorities as we navigate this unprecedented time. The recent updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, combined with Governor Lamont’s declaration of a public health emergency and executive orders in Connecticut, have made it clear how quickly the COVID-19 virus is spreading. Facing these realities outside of our control, I need to share that the University of Hartford will not resume in-person classes for the spring semester as planned. Classes will resume through remote instruction on March 30 and continue until the end of the semester.

We know this decision is extremely disappointing to students, families, faculty, and staff. I am especially heartbroken for our seniors. If there were any other decision to be made, I would do so. This rapidly evolving situation is new and distressing to all of us in ways we could not have imagined—we are worried about our families, friends, education, childcare, teaching, and finances. We are all in this together.

In the coming days and weeks, there are a lot of questions to be answered, processes to put in place, and plans to be made. I ask for your patience as we work through them. Please know that while the University has implemented minimal staffing levels to practice social distancing, campus operations will continue remotely. We will respond and share additional information quickly; however, there are three main questions I want to address as best I can at this moment in time.

  • Residential Students: Students who received permission to remain on campus during spring break, including international students, have been asked to return home as soon as possible. We know there are students from countries with travel restrictions and students for whom UHart is their only home. Through a formal petition process, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone is safe, has the necessary resources to travel, and has a place to live. The residence halls are now closed. Other than students already approved to be on campus, students will not be able to return to campus for belongings prior to April 5. By March 30, we will communicate with you about providing access to retrieve your belongings. There will be a sign-up process to ensure we are following social-distancing recommendations. Shipping options will be available.
  • Finances: First and foremost, we have been focused on the health and education of our students. We are working through the complex financial realities of this crisis and will provide an update to students and families by April 15. We anticipate providing some form of prorated refund for housing and meal plans for graduating students, and an equal financial credit applied toward next year’s costs for other residential students. We are reviewing all state and federal regulations around these anticipated actions.
  • Commencement: I have heard from many of you about Commencement. I know how much this traditional moment to celebrate your accomplishments means to you. It is equally meaningful to all of us at the University. It remains our hope that we will be able to invite our graduates and their families for Commencement later in the summer or fall. I will be in touch with SGA leaders and our Commencement Committee to make and communicate additional decisions as we know more about gathering recommendations and event restrictions.

Please continue to visit hartford.edu/health-coronavirus for updates and frequently asked questions, or email COVID19@hartford.edu with questions. If you are a student that is concerned about your ability to learn remotely for any reason, including because you do not have the technology available to do so, please email css@hartford.edu or call 860.768.4999 as soon as possible.

Thank you to our students, families, faculty, and staff, for being collaborative, creative, and empathetic; these are qualities I have come to know as representative of the University of Hartford. I am incredibly grateful to the staff that remain on campus to support our students and essential operations, and for our faculty who are adapting to  a new teaching reality and empowering our students in a new way. This semester will look different, but I am confident we will be proud of what we will accomplish as learners, makers, and leaders—even from a distance.

We are a strong community with a vital mission: Dedicated to learning, personal growth, knowledge creation, and the betterment of society, the University engages students in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to thrive in and contribute to a pluralistic, complex world. Nothing could be more important right now; we will rise to this challenge together.

Thank you,

Greg Woodward

Dear University Employees, 

As we have shared in previous messages, we are committed to the safety of our employees. While most of our workforce is now working from home, there are employees who must remain on campus to support our students or continue vital business operations. Our goal is to provide a healthy work environment for everyone and, in turn, to minimize the risk of illness whenever possible. As a means to achieve this goal, we would like to offer the following reminders aimed at reducing the risk of illness in the workplace:

First and foremost, stay home if you are sick or presenting any associated symptoms

  • Always cover your cough and sneeze
  • Wash your hands well and often
  • Utilize tissues and hand sanitizers whenever possible
  • Keep your work station clean
  • Maintain 6 feet of space between you and your co-workers whenever possible
  • Contact your personal physician if you are experiencing symptoms

Some of our employees may be particularly vulnerable to catching COVID-19 due to their age, underlying health conditions, or other factors. Please see the CDC’s list of high-risk groups. Contact HRD if you fall into one of these categories and have been asked to work—or are still working—on campus for any reason, or if you wish to request an accommodation for any other health-related issue.

Reminder on Interim Policy Change (Sick Leave):

If you begin feeling ill or present any flu-like symptoms (including a fever of 100 degrees or more), you should stay home or are strongly encouraged to use sick time while working remotely. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that an employee not return to work until he/she has been fever-free for at least 24 hours without the use of a fever-reducing medication. The University supports this position.

If you are unable to work on campus or from home due to illness (either yours or a family member), we ask that you follow standard absence notification procedures, specifically, notifying your supervisor before the start of your regularly scheduled work day, but not later than 30 minutes after the start of your regularly scheduled work day.

If your absence is a direct result of you displaying any COVID-19 flu-like symptoms, the University will provide you with up to five consecutive working days of paid time off, for one occurrence only, which will not be deducted from your personal days and/or vacation balance. HRD will work with your supervisor to ensure the proper processing of paperwork in these instances and will strictly monitor the use of this time. All absences that will be covered by this interim policy change must be reported to HRD. This interim policy change will remain in force for this fiscal year only.

If illness requires you to remain out of work for more than five consecutive working days, per University policy, you will be provided with the paperwork necessary to apply for short-term disability benefits and your claim will be adjudicated by the University’s short-term disability insurance carrier. Starting on the sixth day, if your absence is not approved by the insurance carrier, your personal and vacation balance will be charged.  

Additional Reminders:

Please see HRD’s website that has been expanded and enhanced with more information on COVID-19 employee resources. Specifically, there are details on Aetna insurance offerings, tips for working remotely, and contact information. There is also a link to the Employee Building Access form if you need to come to campus for any reason. Again, these visits need to be approved and can take valuable resources away from public safety and facilities staffing. Please be considerate in your requests and allow Public Safety 24 hours to respond. 

Updates will continue to be communicated as soon as possible via email and at hartford.edu/health-coronavirus. We are here to help and committed to providing timely information and resources as this situation evolves.

Thank you,

Laura Whitney
Vice President for Finance and Operations

Jen Conley
Interim Director, Human Resources Development


Dear Faculty Colleagues,
 
As you may be aware, there has been a great deal of conversation in higher education about whether to give students a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) option for their spring classes. Some schools have mandated that all classes become P/NP, others have made it an option, and still others have made it the norm, but allowed students to opt for a grade. I want you to know what we have decided after a good deal of consideration and conversation.
 
I have consulted with collegiate deans, student success staff, other provosts, and the officers of the Faculty Senate. All of us agree that our major goal is to be as kind and flexible as possible to our students during this tumultuous time, and alleviate as much anxiety as we can. Students and faculty are anxious about their ability to teach and learn effectively in this new environment and both groups worry about the impact on students’ GPAs. At the same time, we all recognize that students may want or need a grade for any number of reasons, including applications to graduate school, getting off of probation, or satisfying the mandates of professional accrediting bodies.

Taking all of that into consideration, below is what has been decided:

  • Any student who wishes will be able to convert from a grade to P/NP, in any course (undergraduate and graduate).
  • We are lifting the limitation on the number of courses per semester and over four years that students can take P/NP. For this semester, it will be possible for students to take all their courses P/NP, although as discussed below, there will be students for whom that is not a good idea.
  • We are lifting the requirement that students must take courses in their major for a grade.
  • Students will be able to exercise this option up until May 5, which is the last day of classes. Please note, we will NOT extend the semester by a week. The academic calendar remains the same.
  • We are working on the mechanics, but students will not need to go through multiple levels of approval.
  • Instructors are free (as they are now) to set their own criteria for achieving a grade of P. The default is a D minus. Please think carefully about your criteria. You can make it an average grade or a numerical average, or you might want to think creatively about how students can demonstrate a base level of mastery of the crucial learning outcomes. And please, those of you who are teaching courses with multiple sections and instructors, consult with your department chair so that the standards for a “P” are consistent.
  • Whatever you decide, please communicate the criteria to your students and make a change in your syllabus and/or on Blackboard.
  • PLEASE maintain your grade sheets and keep them. We have to assume that some students will regret their choice to ask for a P and have a legitimate reason for changing back to a grade.

I recognize that there will be situations in which a student CAN change to P/NP, but really should not.  Doing so, for example, might prevent them from being able to sit for a licensing exam. For those of you who teach in externally accredited programs, you should know that the deans and program directors are working actively with the accreditors to see what level of flexibility they will allow. What all this means is that advising is going to be critical in helping students make good decisions.

There is a separate communication going out to advisors, which means that some of you will get both that letter and this one. For all of you, the communications to students and advisors are attached.
 
Thank you all for your care and concern for your students, your colleagues, and your university. And please remember to put yourself on the list of people to take care of.
 
Thank you,
Fred Sweitzer
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Dear Students,
 
Many of you are probably wondering how moving to a fully remote learning environment will impact your ability to learn and perform to your fullest potential. We understand that the COVID-19 pandemic and the move to online classes creates some uncertainty, and we want to do whatever we can to help minimize concerns so that you can focus your efforts on your coursework. 
 
Please read the updated policy regarding grading options outlined below. 

  • We are temporarily lifting the rule that only one class per semester may be taken on a Pass/No Pass (P/NP) basis. You may elect, for this semester only, to take any of your courses on a P/NP basis to minimize concerns over how grades will impact your GPA. (Note: this does not include Term 1, seven-week courses.)
  • However, this comes with a number of considerations that you must discuss with your advisor.
    • Some programs require a specific grade (e.g., B or better) in a course in order to advance in the major or earn your degree. In this case, a P/NP option is not a good choice, or the course will have to be retaken in the future to meet program requirements.
    • Some programs require grades to meet accreditation requirements. In these cases, a P/NP option is not a good choice, or the course will have to be retaken in the future for a letter grade.
    • For current undergraduate students, many graduate and professional programs require a grade in a course when applying to the program. In this case, a P/NP option is not advisable, or you should retake the course in the future. 
    • You may need a certain GPA in order to be removed from academic probation or to be placed on Dean’s List.  If this is important to you, you should weigh the pros and cons of changing courses to P/NP when reviewing with your academic advisor.
  • Changes to grading options, including P/NP and withdrawals can be made until May 5 (the last day of classes). If you want to change a course to P/NP or W, you must: 
    •  Inform your advisor or graduate program director via email of the desire to make the change.  Please include your:   ID number   Course title   Course Registration Number (CRN) 
    • Your advisor or graduate program director will review any concerns and give you an opportunity to respond. 
    • Your advisor or graduate program director will then notify the Center for Student Success (css@hartford.edu) to change the grading option to P/NP or W. This must be done on or before May 5.

We hope that this adjustment to the grading guidelines provides you with the flexibility that you need to make informed decisions about your coursework. The most critical thing is that you connect with your advisor on any potential changes. 
 
Frequently Asked Questions 

Can I elect to take more than one course as a P/NP?
Yes, but please talk to your advisor or graduate program director first about implications. 

Can I elect to take a course in my major as a P/NP?
Yes, you can, but may need to repeat the course if this course is the prerequisite for another in your program where there is a specific grade requirement. Talk to your advisor or graduate program director. 

Can I take WRT 110/210 as a P/NP?  Normally we can’t 
Yes, you can for this semester only.  

Is this decision retroactive for courses taken in the first seven weeks? 
No.  

How will this impact my financial aid? 
Taking a course P/NP does not impact your financial aid.  However, if you are currently on probation or have received an academic warning letter, then a grade of P will not help your GPA.  This issue is under discussion at the federal level and we will be following up with more information about potential impacts to financial aid very soon. 

Can I still be eligible for Dean’s List or President’s List if I take more than one P/NP?
Yes. Stay tuned for more details from your College.  

Will it look bad on my transcript if I take more than one P/NP this semester?
All universities are encountering the exact same situations we are and therefore this will likely not stand out in the same way it would have in a normal semester. You should talk about this with your advisor.

Can I withdraw from multiple courses? 
Yes, but please be aware of credit requirements to maintain satisfactory academic progress and receive financial aid. Talk with your advisor. 
 
Please continue to send any questions or concerns to the Center for Student Success at css@hartford.edu. You can also call 860.768.4999. Graduate students should reach out to their program director for more information. Updates and frequently asked questions continue to be added to hartford.edu/health-coronavirus. 
 
We are thinking of you and are here for anything you need. 
 
Thank you, Jessica Nicklin Associate Vice President for Student Success
Clark Saunders Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Research
James Shattuck Associate Provost for Undergraduate Studie

Dear UHart alumni and friends,

During this challenging and uncertain time, we are thinking of you, members of our UHart family. We hope that all of you and your loved ones are staying healthy and safe. Regardless of where we now call home, our lives have been disrupted or put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We’re touched by the messages we’ve received, as well as the support you have shown each other on social media. Caring for our fellow community members is needed now, perhaps more than ever. Although the impact of this crisis is profound, we persist forward so we are best positioned to serve our students both now and when life shifts back to normal, or to whatever our new normal may be.

I am writing today to update you on some of the steps we have taken to limit the risk of exposure to our campus community:

  • Beginning March 30, classes will resume with remote instruction for the remainder of the semester.
  • Campus operations continue with most staff working from home.
  • The University is taking all steps to ensure students are safe and have the resources they need.
  • On-campus and regional events are postponed until further notice, including Hartt School performances, gallery exhibits, and Hartford Athletics spring sports. We are working on creative ways to keep you connected and engaged remotely. Follow us on social media for more details.

Many of you have asked what you can do to help—thank you. The immediate focus is on supporting students who are now experiencing financial hardships due to the pandemic. In response, we have created the Student Emergency Support Fund, which will allow us to provide immediate support to students who have been most severely impacted by the crisis. If you are moved to help, you can do so by making a gift.

For ongoing updates and changes, please visit hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

We are grateful to have you in our UHart family. Wishing you good health and peace during this time.

Kate Pendergast
Vice President for Institutional Advancement
University of Hartford

A Message from President Woodward

Dear Campus Community,

I hope you and your families and friends are safe, healthy, and managing as best as possible through this difficult period. I am reaching out today with a message I had hoped not to write.

The health and safety of members of our community and the greater region have been our greatest priorities as we navigate this unprecedented time. The recent updates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, combined with Governor Lamont’s declaration of a public health emergency and executive orders in Connecticut, have made it clear how quickly the COVID-19 virus is spreading. Facing these realities outside of our control, I need to share that the University of Hartford will not resume in-person classes for the spring semester as planned. Classes will resume through remote instruction on March 30 and continue until the end of the semester.

We know this decision is extremely disappointing to students, families, faculty, and staff. I am especially heartbroken for our seniors. If there were any other decision to be made, I would do so. This rapidly evolving situation is new and distressing to all of us in ways we could not have imagined—we are worried about our families, friends, education, childcare, teaching, and finances. We are all in this together.

In the coming days and weeks, there are a lot of questions to be answered, processes to put in place, and plans to be made. I ask for your patience as we work through them. Please know that while the University has implemented minimal staffing levels to practice social distancing, campus operations will continue remotely. We will respond and share additional information quickly; however, there are three main questions I want to address as best I can at this moment in time.

  • Residential Students: Students who received permission to remain on campus during spring break, including international students, have been asked to return home as soon as possible. We know there are students from countries with travel restrictions and students for whom UHart is their only home. Through a formal petition process, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure everyone is safe, has the necessary resources to travel, and has a place to live. The residence halls are now closed. Other than students already approved to be on campus, students will not be able to return to campus for belongings prior to April 5. By March 30, we will communicate with you about providing access to retrieve your belongings. There will be a sign-up process to ensure we are following social-distancing recommendations. Shipping options will be available.
  • Finances: First and foremost, we have been focused on the health and education of our students. We are working through the complex financial realities of this crisis and will provide an update to students and families by April 15. We anticipate providing some form of prorated refund for housing and meal plans for graduating students, and an equal financial credit applied toward next year’s costs for other residential students. We are reviewing all state and federal regulations around these anticipated actions.
  • Commencement: I have heard from many of you about Commencement. I know how much this traditional moment to celebrate your accomplishments means to you. It is equally meaningful to all of us at the University. It remains our hope that we will be able to invite our graduates and their families for Commencement later in the summer or fall. I will be in touch with SGA leaders and our Commencement Committee to make and communicate additional decisions as we know more about gathering recommendations and event restrictions.

Please continue to visit hartford.edu/health-coronavirus for updates and frequently asked questions, or email COVID19@hartford.edu with questions. If you are a student that is concerned about your ability to learn remotely for any reason, including because you do not have the technology available to do so, please email css@hartford.edu or call 860.768.4999 as soon as possible.

Thank you to our students, families, faculty, and staff, for being collaborative, creative, and empathetic; these are qualities I have come to know as representative of the University of Hartford. I am incredibly grateful to the staff that remain on campus to support our students and essential operations, and for our faculty who are adapting to  a new teaching reality and empowering our students in a new way. This semester will look different, but I am confident we will be proud of what we will accomplish as learners, makers, and leaders—even from a distance.

We are a strong community with a vital mission: Dedicated to learning, personal growth, knowledge creation, and the betterment of society, the University engages students in acquiring the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to thrive in and contribute to a pluralistic, complex world. Nothing could be more important right now; we will rise to this challenge together.

Thank you,

Greg Woodward

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

First of all, while no decision has yet been made about what will happen after April 5, I urge you to plan aggressively and as if we were going to extend our policy of teaching remotely for several more weeks and possibly the semester. 
 
And before I go any further, let me say thank you to all of you for your efforts so far to adapt your instruction and offer support to one another.  And special thanks to the staff at Information Technology Services, the Faculty Center for Learning Development, and the Center for Teaching Excellence and Innovation for their enormous efforts to make training and support available. Finally, thanks to Julie Sochacki from the English department for creating a wonderful Facebook group called UHart Teaching with Technology.  
 
Resources
Please continue to check on the FCLD web site https://www.hartford.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/fcld/  There are more virtual workshops being added all the time, on a wide variety of technology.  Also, Jean McGivney Burelle at CTEI and some of her colleagues have been organizing formal and informal learning groups.  These groups are more about pedagogy than technology, focusing on how to teach and learn most effectively when we are not face to face.  And finally, it you’d like to join the Facebook group, email Julie at sochacki@hartford.edu, Kat Owens at kowens@hartford.edu, or Sundeep Muppidi at Muppidi@hartford.edu  and they will be glad to send an invitation.  And remember that ITS is available to you to help with technology as well.  Even if the office closes, there will be 6 people on at all times to answer emails and phone calls.
 
Words of Wisdom
There is not one original thought in what’s to follow.  I have been talking, listening, and reading all week and want to pass on some really good advice.

  • First of all, remember that your goal should not be perfection, but connection.  Our students are used to feeling connected to you and to their university and anything you do to facilitate that connection will pay huge dividends.
  • Consider aiming for the lowest tech solutions you can find.  You want to use approaches that are as easy as possible for you and your students.
  • As you continue to develop your plans, I urge you to take these steps next week (or sooner)
    •  Email your students and let them know what you are thinking about with regard to technology.  Ask them if they are able to access and use the tools you plan to use.  If they say no, you may want to reconsider your plan (more about that later).  And if there are students who simply cannot get access to even the simplest technology, make note of that in case we have to go the rest of the semester.  Independent study or incomplete are two options I can think of.
    • Try a mock class next week with whatever students are able to join or participate.  It’s a good way to get the kinks out.

If you are delivering any content in video form, consider recording it, so that students can go back and review it on their own time.

 Updates on conferencing software–Webex remains our primary conferencing software.  It is powerful and pretty reliable, and we are able to provide support and troubleshooting.  I know that some of you have not had good experiences with Webex, although I don’t know the details.  We are looking into another tool that ties easily into Blackboard and I’ll keep you posted.  From what I am hearing I would not recommend that you use Zoom.  People are reporting problems with it, and it’s not a platform that we are able to provide support for.
 
OK, that’s enough for now. Stay safe, get some rest, exercise, and take care of yourselves and each other in mind, body, and spirit.
 
Fred Sweitzer
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

Dear Students,

I am reaching out to you to provide additional information on resources within the Division for Student Success as we continue toward our transition to online learning. I know how important your connections to friends, faculty, and staff are – and that all of the current uncertainty is difficult. I want to assure you we are here to support you as you adjust to a new way of learning while being away from your on-campus support system.

Our largest student resource, The Center for Student Success (CSS), will have team members available for one-on-one coaching or questions as they come up. Please feel free to email css@hartford.edu or use Compass to set up an appointment at any time. All appointments will be conducted remotely; the CSS staff will guide you through that process. You can also request a tutoring appointment via Compass. In addition, we will be sharing resources and best practices for online learning in the coming days.

If you are a student that is concerned about your ability to learn remotely for any reason, including because you do not have the technology available to do so, please email css@hartford.edu as soon as possible. We will do everything we can to help.

Please note that Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) and the Health Center will continue to provide direct services as much as possible. Your health and wellness remain our top priority.

A reminder that the residence halls are closed to students at this time, with the exception of those who have been approved to remain. You will not be able to return to campus prior to April 5.

Please continue to send any questions or concerns to COVID19@hartford.edu and a member of our response team will get back to you as soon as possible. Updates and frequently asked questions have been added to hartford.edu/health-coronavirus and the site will continue to be a resource as we move forward.

We miss you here at UHart but we are so grateful for your messages and support. We will get through this together.

Thank you,

Aaron Isaacs
Dean of Students

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As we communicated yesterday, we are now asking employees to work remotely for the foreseeable future. Essential personnel have been in contact with direct supervisors. Thank you for your help as we make these critical changes to follow the CDC recommendations and limit the number of people on campus.

If you will be working remotely and need to come to campus to collect your materials or belongings, please do so as soon as possible, and no later than Friday, March 20, at 4:30 p.m. After that date, all faculty and staff will be required to submit this form to Public Safety in order to gain approval for access to campus buildings. These visits will require our staff to assist with access and cleaning, taking away from already reduced resources in our Public Safety and Facilities operations. Please be considerate of this in making your requests.

Information Technology Services will remain open and can help with the transition to remote work. If you need assistance from ITS, please make an appointment to visit the office. Walk-ins are discouraged due to work volume and the need to maintain social distancing. To set up an appointment, please email helpdesk@hartford.edu.

Additional resources, hours of operation, and frequently asked questions will continue to be added to the University’s Coronavirus website.

Thank you for your cooperation.

Dear Campus Community,

We continue to work on detailed plans related to the University's phased approach to protect our community and the anticipated impact on our students and employees. As you know, the national response to COVID-19 is changing rapidly. We hope our frequent communication and updated website helps to ease some of your concerns and answers ongoing questions.Please note that as of 8 p.m. on Monday, March 16, Connecticut is restricting gatherings of more than 50 people. Restaurants and bars will be limited to take-out only, and gyms, movie theaters, and casinos will be closed. The state is discouraging nonessential travel between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m.

Academic Information

As we have communicated, a decision about maintaining all classes online beyond April 5 will be made and shared no later than March 27. Our dedicated faculty and staff are quickly working behind the scenes to make plans to deliver classes and content remotely. Again, any change to this plan will be communicated immediately.

Financial Information

We are developing a financial policy to address the disruption in room and board. These plans and policies will vary greatly based on our ability to continue with the semester after April 5. We will communicate specific information about financial implications of those realities as soon as we can. We are also working through the details for the employment of work-study students, graduate assistants, and other student workers. We are asking these students to reach out to their direct supervisors, who will be able to share additional details and directives. Student workers of any kind should not be on campus at this time.

Residential and Campus Life

Residence halls are now closed to students, with the exception of those who were already approved through spring break. However, given the escalating concerns about travel restrictions, we encourage students to return to their permanent residence as soon as possible. To remain on campus beyond March 22, students must be approved through the petition process and requests must be completed by Wednesday, March 18. Only students meeting the established categories will be approved to remain on campus.

Students who are granted permission to stay will be required to move into approved housing and must agree to communicated rules and expectations given the state of emergency. The Residential Life team is actively following up with students who have submitted petitions.

As of March 16, the library will be closed at least through the end of the week. There will continue to be at least one dining facility open. Currently, Gengras Student Union is open from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, March 17, and Wednesday, March 18. At this time, students will not have access to any academic buildings including labs, practice spaces, art studios, or the fitness center. Please see the list of current hours of operation within the Coronavirus website, which will be updated frequently as information changes.

Employees

To keep our community healthy, and to follow all recommendations from health agencies to help slow the spread of COVID-19, faculty and staff should plan to work remotely for the foreseeable future, unless otherwise notified by their supervisors. University functions determined to be essential will be moving to a staggered schedule. We know for many of our employees, this is their first time working from home. The Office of Human Resources Development will continue to be a resource to supervisors to assist in determining best practices and staffing. Information on resources and logistics, such as VPN access, forwarding calls, accessing voicemail, and signing up for WebEx accounts is now online.

Health Recommendations

Health Services remains open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Students who are still on campus should call 860.768.6601 if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. Walk-in appointments will no longer be available. Students should call to be evaluated over the phone and/or to make an appointment.

Faculty and staff experiencing these symptoms should contact their personal physicians. EAP Resources will continue to be available and communicated. Employees who have Aetna insurance through the University also have the option of Teladoc.

Thank you again for all of your help and cooperation. We will continue to share updates via email and hartford.edu/health-coronavirus. You can also email your questions and concerns to COVID19@hartford.edu.

Greg Woodward
President

Dear Campus Community,

I want to start by thanking you for your extraordinary cooperation over these past few days. This unprecedented challenge has forced us all to quickly adapt to constantly changing circumstances. Our students, parents, faculty, and staff have all come together to help us implement our phased approach to mitigate COVID-19, and for that I am incredibly grateful.

I know many of you have questions about academics, logistics, events, and many other topics. Please know that University leaders have been working throughout the weekend to firm up some of our planning and to lay out a path for what is left to be done. That work will continue but here is a summary with key details: 

Academics

Our faculty are designing online coursework with their primary learning objectives in mind, and we are confident a high-quality education will continue. Some classes, such as labs, and visual and performing arts, may seem more difficult to engage with remotely. One of the reasons we extended spring break was to give us all time to navigate this change. Our faculty are creative, resourceful, and deeply proud of the education they provide, and I am confident they will be successful as they work through the challenges and possibilities. Professors will be communicating with students about the specific lesson plans, as well as resources and strategies to help ease the transition.

Residential and Campus Life

Residence halls closed on Friday, March 13, at 5 p.m. While the vast majority of our students have left, some remain here due to certain circumstances that make it impossible for them to leave. We have a team of dedicated staff on campus to support them, but services will be limited. Students will not have access to any academic buildings including labs, practice spaces, art studios, or the fitness center. The library will have limited hours. There will be at least one dining facility open; that specific information will continue to be updated and can be found at hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

The residential life team is actively following up with students who have utilized the petition process. Again, requests must be complete by Wednesday, March 18. Only students within the following three categories will be approved to remain on campus:

  • You are an international student who is unable to return home due to the CDC's travel restrictions.
  • You have documented evidence of being a ward of the state or are currently homeless.
  • You are a student whose home address is currently under quarantine and cannot return.

Students who are granted permission to stay will be required to move into approved housing and must agree to communicated rules and expectations given the state of emergency.

Finances

The University is working through this complex and evolving situation as quickly as possible. We are developing a financial policy to address the disruption in room and board. These plans and policies will vary greatly based on our ability to continue with the semester after April 5. As we shared previously, we will make this decision no later than March 27. We will communicate specific information about financial implications of those realities as soon as we can.

We are also working through the impacts for those relying on work-study. More will be shared on this topic during the week.

Campus Events

It is out of an abundance of caution that effective Friday, March 13, the University has postponed or canceled non-essential events or work-related gatherings scheduled to take place on campus through April 5. We will provide updates as more information becomes available.

Faculty and Staff

Please see the email sent this afternoon regarding limiting the number of people reporting to work on campus. While we must maintain the University’s operations, we also have an obligation as a large employer within our community to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19. That obligation includes protecting ourselves, our colleagues, and students who, for a variety of reasons, must remain on campus at this time.

The Office of Human Resources Development will continue to develop detailed plans and resources for our employees and supervisors. Creating alternative work arrangements may include remote work, staggered scheduling, and non-traditional office hours among other options. The policies will also identify core employees who will be required to work on campus during the extended spring break and period of remote instruction. HRD will share resources and strategies for implementing these new ways of working, and will communicate that information as soon as possible. I know this is a time of great uncertainty and there are many more things to work out. Thank you for your continued patience and flexibility. We will continue to post updates at hartford.edu/health-coronavirus and will respond to questions sent to covid19@hartford.edu.

Thank you,

Greg Woodward
President

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We know many of you are wondering how the University’s phased plan to mitigate the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) will impact employee schedules and work arrangements. The Office of Human Resources Development is working on a detailed plan, but in light of Governor Lamont’s State of Emergency declaration and local school districts’ decision to close, it is important to give you additional information in the interim.

Beginning Monday, March 16, in consultation with their supervisors, employees who are currently able to perform their duties from home should do so. Areas with essential business functions and student services that have to take place on campus will need to be covered appropriately. Employees who are not able to work from home should work with their supervisors to develop a work-coverage plan and personal schedule that is flexible around the need to physically be in the office during regular business hours and in regular shifts. All staff will continue to receive their regular pay and will not have to use vacation or personal time while we develop further operational plans for individual units.

We are asking supervisors to work with HRD on plans and policies for alternative work arrangements. These arrangements may include remote work, staggered scheduling, and non-traditional office hours among other options. The policies will also identify the core essential employees who will be required to work on campus during the extended spring break and period of remote instruction. HRD will share resources and strategies for implementing these new ways of working.

Please note that we are also engaged in an assessment of student employee positions and will be communicating with students next week regarding the positions they hold and options that may be available, including those students engaged in the Federal Work Study program.

While we must maintain the University’s operations, we also have an obligation as a large employer within our community to aid in preventing the spread of COVID-19. That obligation includes protecting ourselves and our colleagues, such as those in Public Safety, Facilities, Dining Services, Residential Life, and other departments whose staff must complete their important duties on campus. Please continue to practice proper hygiene and stay home if you are sick.

We understand that school closings and other challenges will create disruption for many of our employees. You have our full support as we work through these issues together, so you do not have to face the sudden option of having to choose between the needs of job and family. Please continue to support each other and to take care of yourself. We will continue to share additional information. 

Thank you for all of your help. 

Greg Woodward 
President

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

The purpose of this email is to help you with resources for teaching during this time. As I said in an earlier email, there are two main approaches to keeping your class going – teaching remotely, where your class actually meets at the scheduled times using technology;  and teaching on-line, where students can learn individually and at their own convenience.  We are adding both face to face and on-line resources for you as quickly as we can; here’s what we know now:

  • Again, a great place to start is at the FCLD site They are adding new workshops and other resources all the time, so check back frequently. 
    https://www.hartford.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/fcld/emergencies/default.aspx
  • FCLD will be offering Blackboard Boot Camps for those of you who are starting from scratch with our Learning Management System.  This is a face to face, three hour experience.  A calendar and sign up information are on the FCLD site.  http://www.hartford.edu/fcld
  • The Blackboard company has created a Blackboard Community Site with lots of resources.  You have to register but it only takes a minute.  To get to it, go to the FCLD site and proceed from there  https://www.hartford.edu/faculty-staff/faculty/fcld/emergencies/additionalresources.aspx
  • You might also benefit from the “Preparing to Teach On-Line” series, which can be accessed in two ways:
    • Through Blackboard you can self-register and get access to all eight modules, which you can complete at your own pace.  They take about two hours each, you don’t have to do them in order, and you can choose the ones that interest you.  To self-register, log into Blackboard, click on the Courses tab, then enter Preparing to Teach Online as text in the search field.  Look for the course labeled “Preparing to Teach Online – Self Paced Tutorial” and click on the grey arrow to enroll.
    • Next week and the week after, there will be a special online version of Preparing to Teach Online, which will be instructor led with a 6-8pm WebEx chat. These evening chats will be open to anyone who has questions about Blackboard or WebEx. Interested faculty should contract bhaines@hartford.edu to register.
  • Julie Sochacki from the English department has been kind enough to create a private Facebook Group that you may want to join. You can search for UHart Teaching with Technology and request to join. The theme of the group is “simple solutions for unexpected online teaching and learning.”

Peer Resources

One thing to keep in mind is that we are not staffed for one to one assistance.  However, there are quite a few faculty members with expertise in Blackboard, Webex, teaching on-line, and so on. I am attaching a list of people who have volunteered so far.  Please feel free to reach out, but also be aware that some of them may need to communicate remotely rather than face to face.
 
Stay tuned for more updates from me as well as the Center for Teaching Excellence.  And again, thank you for your patience, flexibility, and collaborative spirit as we negotiate these largely uncharted waters.
 
Fred
 
H. Frederick Sweitzer, Ed.D.
Vice President of Academic Affairs and Provost
860.768.4505

Dear UHart Community,

I am writing this morning with an important update to our COVID-19 response.

The University of Hartford will take a phased approach in our response. This is a complex and challenging situation that is changing by the day. It requires thoughtful analysis and deliberation, with counsel from public health experts and our peers in higher education. Our students and families have made great sacrifices to earn their education at the University of Hartford and in honor of those sacrifices, we have made every effort to be responsive but not impulsive in our decision making. As always, our foremost goal is serving, protecting, and supporting our students and campus community.

This phased approach gives us an opportunity to remain nimble and ready to adjust our practices to respond safely and appropriately to a public health issue that is changing by the day. Allow me to make these difficult but necessary decisions very clear and then I will tell you more about how we will provide additional information:

  • Classes are canceled on Friday, March 13.
  • We are extending Spring Break (March 15–21) by one week (March 22–29) to allow faculty and staff to work together in preparation for utilizing alternate modes of delivering courses. Only classes already being offered online will take place the week of March 22–29. More information will be forthcoming regarding resources that are being put in place to support faculty and students in making this transition.
  • Beginning Monday, March 30, all undergraduate and graduate classes will be delivered online. A decision about maintaining all classes online beyond April 5 will be made and communicated no later than March 27. Ideally, students will be able to come back to campus on Sunday, April 5, with in-person, on-campus classes restarting Monday, April 6. However, depending on how the situation evolves, we may need to extend the period of remote instruction through the end of the semester.
  • Other than those with current approval to remain on campus, all students are expected to leave campus by Friday, March 13, at 5 p.m. Again, please take items you will need for an extended stay at home including books, computers, medication, and valuables. We understand that for a limited number of students, moving to a location away from campus is not possible. Students who need to remain on campus for any reason are required to register here. You will be contacted by our residential life team.
  • At this time, campus will remain open and faculty and staff should continue their regular work schedules. The work of educating our students and caring for those who need to remain on campus will continue. We are actively working on contingency planning for our employees and will continue to provide regular and timely information and resources.

It greatly saddens all of us to take these measures. We know that these decisions pose significant challenges and all of us at the University wish they were not necessary. I am incredibly grateful to our faculty and staff as they rise to this challenge and continue working tirelessly to make this a smooth transition. It is hard to give up, even temporarily, the wonderful educational experience that defines the University of Hartford. I know you will have additional questions. Extensive Q&A documents are being prepared and will continue to be shared in the coming days. We will send daily communications with updates, and information will continue to be added to the hartford.edu/health-coronavirus website.

Thank you for your patience and your flexibility as we navigate this unprecedented time of change across our country and the globe. Please take care of yourselves and one another.

Gregory Woodward
President

New restrictions on campus events in the interests of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

It is out of an abundance of caution that effective Friday, March 13, the University is postponing or canceling non-essential events or work-related gatherings scheduled to take place on campus through April 5.

This includes events sponsored by the University and by individual schools, colleges, departments or offices; student-sponsored events; and events held or sponsored by external organizations (restriction through April 30). Presidents' College courses and lectures have been canceled for the remainder of the spring semester. The Office of Admission is reviewing visit opportunities and policies, and will communicate with prospective and admitted students over the coming week to share alternate means of engaging with UHart.

The America East Conference, in coordination with the University of Hartford and University of Vermont, has elected to cancel Saturday’s America East Conference men's basketball championship game. This includes all previously scheduled fan events associated with the game. Tickets will be refunded. At this time, the University is in consultation with conference and national athletics governing organizations regarding the schedules of all other spring sports.

We will continue to evaluate the status of events scheduled for after April 5 and communicate any changes as soon as possible. 

We recognize that postponements and/or cancellations are disruptive and disappointing. Many in our community have put in countless hours and endless energy to earn or execute these opportunities. Updates will continue to be communicated with our students, faculty, staff, partners, and visitors via email and at hartford.edu/health-coronavirus.

Dear Campus Community,

We write to share further information as the University continues to plan, prepare, and respond to situations involving the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Today, we are sharing the information that four UHart students have self-isolated after attending a conference out of state. At this time, four of the approximately 18,000 conference attendees have tested positive for coronavirus. The possibility that our students were exposed is extremely low. The CDC has stated attendees in this situation only need to self-monitor, but out of an abundance of caution, we are exceeding these guidelines with the cooperation of the students. At this time, they have returned home to self-isolate for the recommended 14-day period.

Privacy requirements will not permit disclosure of the students’ identities and we ask for your assistance in not engaging in rumors or speculation. We do not want to unfairly stigmatize individuals or spread fear and misinformation in our community or beyond. Exposure is a situation many could find themselves in as testing becomes more available, and we encourage understanding and kindness within our community, while continuing to take all appropriate precautions to safeguard the health of our community.

With that said, we know this information and the coverage and concerns of COVID-19 may bring anxiety or distress. If this development, or others related to the coronavirus, are impacting your ability to remain on campus, please make the decision that is best for you and your family. Students, we encourage you to reach out to your faculty members to make alternate arrangements if you need or wish to leave campus prior to the start of Spring Break at the end of the week. As we previously shared, please plan totake anything you may need if you are unable to return to campus for a reasonable period of time at the end of break, such as books, laptops, medication, and valuables. In addition, please fill out the Travel Registration Form if have not done so already. Faculty and staff are encouraged to reach out to your immediate supervisors with immediate questions or concerns.

We will continue to post updates on hartford.edu/health-coronavirus and will continue to send regular email updates to the campus community. Should you have additional questions, please email COVID19@hartford.edu and a member of our response team will reply to you as soon as possible.

Thank you.

The following message was sent to students. Faculty, staff, and parents received similar messages.

We have several important updates to share with you regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) preparations and response. We continue to monitor updates from the CDC and the Connecticut Department of Public Health, while working with our partners at Hartford HealthCare and other area colleges and universities, to make informed decisions and take steps to protect our campus community to the best of our ability.

Online Learning 

We are not currently planning to move our classes online but, like many universities, we are preparing for this possibility. We will conduct tests this Thursday and Friday, with some classes in each school or college being taught online each day. Please look for messages from your professors with more specific instructions about which classes will be online, how to access them, and additional details regarding any changes to exams. Again, this is an exercise to test our preparedness should there be a change in the future.

Spring Break Travel, Preparation, and Registration

We know many people will be traveling over Spring Break. Due to the continued spread of coronavirus globally and domestically, effective immediately, UHart is implementing new travel restrictions and providing additional guidance for all travel for faculty, staff, and students:

  • We continue to monitor the CDC’s travel alerts. Our policy prohibits official University travel to any countries with a Level 3 Alert. As of now, those countries are Italy, Iran, China, and South Korea. We are also now prohibiting official travel to Level 2 countries, which currently applies to Japan. We strongly recommend that you reconsider international travel plans to any of these countries at this time. Any student or employee who travels to a Level 2 or Level 3 nation must self-quarantine away from campus until 14 days from your date of return, which is consistent with CDC guidelines. If you are traveling outside of the country at all, consider enrolling in the U.S. State Department's Smart Travel Enrollment Program (STEP). You can sign up to receive important information from the U.S. Embassy about health and safety conditions in your destination country.  
  • The University is asking all faculty, staff, students, and affiliates to inform UHart of your recent or planned international and domestic travel. Please fill out this form to let us know your travel plans. As updates can change quickly, having this information will allow us to proactively communicate with the members of our community we know have been or may be in affected areas. You may be contacted directly by staff if there are specific actions you need to take or if there is information you need to be aware of related to your travel.
  • All of the Spring Break study abroad trips have been evaluated and decisions are being communicated to those students and families. Some have been canceled, and others to low-risk (Level 1) countries will proceed; however students who wish to decline for any reason will receive a refund.
  • We encourage students and employees to carefully consider non-essential domestic travel. We know many of you are concerned about your ability to return to campus after being home in other states over Spring Break. At this time, we will not require a self-quarantine for students or employees visiting other states, but strongly encourage vigilance in monitoring for any symptoms of illness. Any changes will be communicated immediately and additional health-care instructions are below.
  • As we mentioned above, out of an abundance of caution, we are preparing for a scenario in which we have to close campus for a period of time. When you leave for Spring Break, please take anything you may need if you are unable to return to campus at the end of break, such as books, laptops, medication, and valuables. 


Health Recommendations 

For the protection of students and health-care staff, University Health Services is no longer accepting walk-in visits. Students should call Health Services at 860.768.6601 if they develop symptoms of COVID-19, such as a fever, cough, or shortness of breath. They will be triaged over the phone and/or can make an appointment. 

There is no current advice for wearing masks if you are well. In order to ensure there are enough masks for those who truly need them, Health Services will only be providing masks to people who are sick. 

According to the CDC, confirmed cases have ranged from mild symptoms (especially in children and young adults) to severe illness and death (typically among the elderly and those with other underlying medical conditions). Again, here’s how you can best protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Facilities and Dining Services

Our facilities and dining services teams have implemented enhanced cleaning and disinfecting procedures on campus and in our dining facilities. We are temporarily pausing the use of personal reusable cups at campus dining facilities as a precautionary measure. Dining Services also have a robust plan in place for making sure our students can continue to get their meals in the event of confirmed cases closer to home.

We know there is a lot of information being shared about a rapidly evolving situation. The University will continue to share information with our campus community via email and online at hartford.edu/health-coronavirus. Please continue to monitor your email over Spring Break.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email covid19@hartford.edu and a member of our response team will be in touch.

Dear Faculty Colleagues,

As the COVID-19 virus continues to spread, our chief concern is for the health and safety of all members of our University community. You have already received several communications regarding the virus and those will continue; our Situation Management Team is meeting at least once a week to monitor developments, plan, and implement strategies.

Close behind that primary concern is our ability to provide our students with the best educational experience we can, even in the face of minor or major disruptions. Instructors may be unable to come to campus, students may be unable to come to campus or attend class, and it is even possible that we will close the campus. This last possibility remains a remote one, but with the situation evolving so rapidly we need to prepare, and I need your help:

  • This email addresses resources you can use and/or learn to use. I urge you to make a plan and to communicate that plan to your students.
  • We also need to get the best information we can about our current state of preparedness and what steps we can take to boost that level. At the end of this email you will find information about a survey that will help us.

Resources
 
Your best resource for tools and strategies is the Faculty Center for Learning Development. There are two main approaches to keeping your class going – teaching remotely, where your class actually meets at the scheduled times using technology;  and teaching on-line, where students can learn individually and at their own convenience. The FCLD site has resources for both. And the most comprehensive delivery platform for either is our Learning Management System, Blackboard (other, less comprehensive options are discussed later).  Again, the FCLD web site is your best resource for learning to use Blackboard and/or becoming a more sophisticated user. 

If all this seems a little overwhelming to you (as it would to me), think about the basics and go from there. Depending on the nature of your course, you need to think about how to:

  • Deliver content—This can be done using videos of any length, PowerPoint decks with narration, making readings or other documents available, or using a video conferencing tool to deliver content “live.”  The university uses Webex for video conferencing, and information on how to set up and use Web-X is on the FCLD site.  You may be more comfortable and familiar with other tools, such as Skype, Zoom, or Facetime, and using them is fine as well.
  • Communicate with Students—Email is your best option, and the easiest way to send emails to students is through Blackboard.  All of your courses have a basic shell on Blackboard, and all the students currently enrolled in your classes are on there.  We do know that students don’t always check email or use their university accounts.  Please urge your students to check their emails; if they wish, it is easy for them to forward their university email to their gmail or other email system.
  • Receive and give feedback on assignments—You can do this via email, or you can use Blackboard
  • Make Announcements—Again, email or Blackboard will suffice

Please Help Us Understand Your Situation
We will mobilize whatever resources we need to in order to help you prepare.  In many cases the resources available through FCLD will be more than enough.  But if we need to create new resources or ramp up our ability to provide hands on training, we’ll do that.

There are also classes that present special challenges, including labs, lessons, and learning that requires specialized equipment.  We are working on resources for these situations as well.  And, I do know that there will be situations in which nothing is going to work.  The more I know about these situations the more we can all think about how to handle them. 

In order to best manage the survey and avoid survey emails ending up in SPAM, here is what we are going to do. Please expect to receive an email from Kathleen Neal (kaneal@hartford.edu) with the survey link. They survey will be flagged as an external email as it is sent from SurveyMonkey. If you do not receive the survey link by Tuesday morning (3/10) and it is not in a junk/spam filter, please contact Kathleen directly for a fresh survey link.

We have a long tradition at this university of coming together in the face of adversity, and I have no doubt we will do so now.  Thank you for all you do for our students, for all the planning you have already done, and for the extra effort I need us all to make in order to meet this challenge.
 
My best to you,
 
Fred Sweitzer
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost

February Updates

With the continued spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the globe, health authorities are urging both vigilance and an aggressive response to containing the outbreak and preventing “sustained spread” of the virus. The University of Hartford, much like other American institutions, is taking additional steps to protect its campus community.

Late yesterday, the CDC issued a Level 3 Travel Warning (Avoid Non-Essential Travel) for Italy and the U.S. Department of State raised its travel advisory to Level 3 (Reconsider Travel).

  • As such, all University students, faculty, and staff are restricted from traveling to Italy (in addition to existing restrictions on travel to South Korea or China) for University purposes effective immediately. The University will actively monitor guidance from the State Department and the CDC with the intention of removing restrictions as soon as it is deemed safe to do so.
  • As a reminder, anyone traveling abroad to any location for University purposes should provide their itinerary and contact information to Nicole Kurker-Stewart, director of the International Center, at kurkerste@hartford.edu or 860.768.5101.
  • We strongly recommend that those who may have plans to travel to any of these countries for personal reasons reconsider their plans. We are actively working with our students and study abroad partners to help our students make arrangements to return home immediately. Students that need to return to campus to finish their studies will not return to campus until after spring break or 14 days from their return, which is consistent with the CDC’s recommended incubation period.
  • Out of an abundance of caution, anyone who travels to an affected area during this temporary restriction will not be able to return to any University building or facility for a period of 14 days from their date of departure to allow for self-monitoring for any coronavirus symptoms. For students, please call Health Services at 860.768.6601 to coordinate with health and student support professionals. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care doctor and will need to obtain proof of clearance.

Safety Precautions

It’s critically important that all members of our campus community continue to exercise good health practices. Please review our previous health alert messages for preventive health practices. Again, the latest updates and additional guidelines can be found on the CDC’s website and the World Health Organization has also published a helpful Q&A addressing many of the common questions about the virus.

As you plan to depart campus for the upcoming spring break, we strongly urge you to research the impact of coronavirus on your planned destination. You should particularly consider whether a change in itinerary is prudent to avoid the possibility that your freedom of movement may become restricted due to health precautions. Some sources of travel information are included below, and it is wise to check with available resources local to your destination, as these sources are most aware of current conditions:

We continue to monitor new developments and concerns surrounding the spread of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19.

While no cases have been identified in Connecticut, University leadership and personnel from our Situation Management Team are working closely with our partners at Hartford HealthCare and the State Department of Public Health to monitor and proactively prepare for potential cases close to home. Together, we are taking steps to ensure that our response is in line with the most recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

On Campus

You have likely noticed that additional hand sanitizer dispensers have been installed around campus. Our facilities team continues to frequently clean high-touch areas using hospital-grade disinfectants. We encourage you to do the same in your own work or living spaces. Additional cleaning supplies will be distributed around campus. There is no current advice for wearing masks if you are well, but they are available at Health Services for those needing or desiring them.

In addition:

  • Continue to wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol content.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue into the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Students should call Health Services at 860.768.6601 and faculty/staff should contact their doctor if they develop symptoms of respiratory illness, including fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

The latest updates and additional guidelines can be found on the CDC’s website. The World Health Organization has also published a helpful Q&Aaddressing many of the common questions about the virus.

While Traveling

The CDC has issued a “Warning Level 3” for China and South Korea and is recommending against all nonessential travel to these countries.

Italy, Iran, and Japan are under an “Alert Level 2,” meaning these destinations are experiencing sustained person-to-person spread of COVID-19. Older adults and those with chronic medical conditions should consider postponing nonessential travel.

Please see the CDC’s website for information specific to these countries. But keep in mind that this is an evolving situation, and more countries could be added to the list.

If you are planning to travel internationally, including over Spring Break, please register with STEP, the U.S. Dept. of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program. STEP sends emails in the event any new health or safety alerts are issued for your country of travel. And follow reputable news sources, such as the U.S. embassy in your country of travel, for any important information.

Study Abroad

We are working with our Study Abroad providers and health partners to keep our students safe and informed while they are studying outside of the country.

As of now, all programs are running as scheduled, but planned trips or excursions will be evaluated based on when and where they are scheduled. Trips that involve a restricted area will be canceled. For example, students planning on traveling to or through Milan and Venice (including in or out of these respective airports) are urged to change their travel plans.

In accordance with University policy, travel will be restricted in countries or regions for which the CDC has issued a Level 3 Warning. This policy applies to all University of Hartford students, faculty, and staff traveling abroad or studying abroad on University business, or University-sponsored programs and approved affiliated programs. If a student is currently abroad in a  destination which elevates to a Level 3 warning, the student will be required to come home, and may be subject to the CDC’s recommended 14-day incubation period guideline before returning to campus.

If you have any health-related questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Health Services at 860.768.6601. If you have questions about studying abroad, please call the International Center at 860.768.4870. For all other questions, contact the Dean of Students Office at 860.768.4285.

January Updates

University Health Services continues to monitor developments related to two respiratory viruses: influenza, which has been confirmed on campus, and the newly discovered coronavirus, first detected in China. At this time, there have been no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Connecticut.

Flu

Health Services is seeing an increase in flu cases on campus. Symptoms include:

  • fever or feeling feverish/chill
  • cough
  • sore throat
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headaches
  • fatigue (tiredness)

If you are a student who feels ill or has these symptoms, please call Health Services at 860.768.6601 to make an appointment and/or to receive advice on the best way to care for yourself. If you are going to miss class because you are ill, please contact your professors as soon as possible.

Faculty and staff should contact their doctors.

Coronavirus

Symptoms of the coronavirus are similar to those of the flu. The immediate health risk to the general American public is considered low at this time. However, based on guidance from our partners at Hartford HealthCare, local health departments, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are asking students, faculty, and staff who have traveled internationally within the last 21 days, particularly in mainland China, to please monitor themselves for the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Respiratory distress: cough and/or shortness of breath

Again, if you are a student who feels ill or has these symptoms, please call Health Services at 860.768.6601 and mention your prior travel or seek care off campus if Health Services is closed. Faculty and staff should contact their doctors.

For more information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website.

Viruses spread through saliva or through droplets in the air when someone coughs or sneezes. We will be installing additional hand sanitizer dispensers around campus, and continue to have masks available at Health Services, Public Safety, and in the residence halls. Our facilities team has increased the frequency of cleaning in high-touch areas using hospital-grade disinfectants.

Here are ways you can protect yourself:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Health Services at 860.768.6601. 

We are closely monitoring the recently discovered Coronavirus. There have been hundreds of confirmed cases in China, a small percentage of them fatal from viral pneumonia in the elderly and otherwise frail people. There has only been one confirmed case of this viral pneumonia/respiratory virus in the United States (in Washington State), but we are asking that you take the following precautions regarding this new virus, based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

If you have traveled internationally within the last 21 days, please monitor yourself for the following symptoms:

  • fever
  • respiratory illness: cough and/or shortness of breath

These symptoms are similar to those attributed to the flu and other viruses. Don’t presume these are “only a cold” or “the flu.” If you are a student who feels ill or has these symptoms, obtain an evaluation immediately at Health Services or, if closed, a local health care resource. Faculty and staff should contact their doctors.

We are also monitoring other circulating viruses:

  • Influenza, a well-known virus, has been diagnosed in our community. Free flu vaccines are available to students at Health Services. It is not too late to receive one.
  • Mumps, another transmittable virus, has been diagnosed in the Hartford area recently (six cases in the past six weeks).

Viruses are spread by:

  • the air by coughing and sneezing openly
  • close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands
  • touching a surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands
  • rarely, fecal contamination

Please utilize good cough/sneeze hygiene by covering mouth with bent arm or using a tissue, just once, and disposing of it. Hand washing should be done frequently to prevent the transmission of all viruses.

If you have any concerns, please contact Health Services at 860.768.6601. We will continue to work with our partners at Hartford Healthcare to keep a close watch on these viruses and will share updates on this website.