University of Miami
Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost logo
June 19, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As noted in President Frenk’s message on Monday, the University’s comprehensive plan for the fall semester has many steps to ensure students, faculty, and staff can return safely to campus for the start of classes on August 17. All major areas, including but not limited to the academic calendar, instructional delivery, student life activities, and on-campus housing, are adapting to the overarching need to protect ourselves in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These plans are founded on the four pillars of testing, tracing, and tracking; cleaning and disinfecting; protecting personal space; and vaccinating—what President Frenk refers to as “the new normal.” 

We currently have a number of strategic committees comprised of your colleagues from all three campuses, who are working diligently to develop and implement plans and policies that will facilitate our transition to the fall. Over the next several weeks, I will highlight some of their work, decisions that have been reached, and information you will need to prepare for the fall and beyond. Vice Provosts Kobetz and Prado, and I will try to provide these weekly.

You can also consult the University’s COVID-19 Response website at, which is being updated continually with helpful information. I also welcome your feedback and recommendations for questions you would like answered; we will do our best to provide timely answer in the updates.

There is still much uncertainty as the pandemic continues to present new challenges. I remain grateful for your nimbleness, teamwork, and patience through this extraordinary situation.

Now more than ever, our world needs what we provide, and it is in this spirit that I thank you for your contributions to the U.

Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D. signature
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
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