University of Miami
Office of the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost logo
June 29, 2020
Dear Faculty,

As a follow up to last week’s message reaffirming our commitment to everyone’s safety and well-being, we continue to make strategic progress in implementing plans and procedures to prepare for the return of students, faculty, researchers, and staff to our campuses. As key partners in this endeavor, we want to keep you apprised of information you need to prepare for your interactions with students and the entire University community.

This is a complex process with multiple strands that must be coordinated and executed in a precise timeline to ensure we are ready for a safe and successful fall semester. Please note that the new Fall 2020 calendar is now available online.
  1. Required course syllabi updates: As stated in last week’s message, everyone will be required to wear face coverings at all times on all campuses. Faculty should further include policies requiring face coverings and appropriate physical distancing while in class in their course syllabi; reinforcing this requirement and the right of a faculty member to restrict a student from participating in class should be clearly stated in the syllabus.

    Additionally, course syllabi should include language prohibiting class recordings. Below is sample language that also must appear in a syllabus. We are expecting that all courses will be captured for asynchronous access.

    Students are expressly prohibited from recording any part of this course. Meetings of this course might be recorded by the University. Any recordings will be available to students registered for this class as they are intended to supplement the classroom experience. Students are expected to follow appropriate University policies and maintain the security of passwords used to access recorded lectures. Recordings may not be reproduced, shared with those not in the class, or uploaded to other online environments. If the instructor or a University of Miami office plans any other uses for the recordings, beyond this class, students identifiable in the recordings will be notified to request consent prior to such use.

  2. The Office of Faculty Affairs recently announced the opportunity for faculty to request special COVID-19 accommodations; faculty who may require special COVID-19 related accommodations can fill out the form here by July 6.

Testing, Tracing, and Tracking

The Three T’s—Testing, Tracing, and Tracking—are fundamental to maintaining the health and well-being of our on-campus community. We are fortunate to count on the medical leadership of Dr. Stephen Nimer, director of the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, and the public health expertise provided by Vice Provost for Research Erin Kobetz, who serve as chair and co-chair, respectively, of the Testing and Tracing Reopening Committee, which is comprised of diverse faculty and staff from across the University and UHealth.

The steps outlined below are part of a robust plan that reflects evidence-based public health guidelines. They are designed to be sufficiently flexible to allow for the integration of new information and technologies, especially given how quickly our understanding of COVID-19 is evolving.
  • Symptom monitoring tool: We have tested a symptom monitoring tool to track the health and well-being of our University community. It is currently being prepared for institution-wide roll out. This tool (and the associated data) is an important part of our strategy to mitigate disease risk. Faculty, staff, and students will be required to use this screening tool regularly during the semester.
  • COVID-19 hotline: We are currently putting in place appropriate resources and staffing for our University hotline for faculty, staff, and students who have concerns about COVID-19 and/or need testing.
  • Testing sites: We are identifying and building out new testing sites across the University for symptomatic individuals. The locations are being prepared and will be announced shortly.
  • Voluntary random testing: Starting next month, we will initiate voluntary testing of randomly selected University faculty, staff, and students to monitor the prevalence of infection. This will help us to identify and respond quickly and decisively to any observed uptick in disease in certain areas of campus, groups, etc. If you are selected for testing, as a public health matter, you are strongly encouraged to participate.
  • U-TRACE 2.0: Our U-TRACE team continues to conduct comprehensive contact tracing for all COVID-19 positive faculty, staff, and students. The online application that will enhance the team’s reach and efficiency will be completed in the next week.
  • Tracking: Protocols to assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the wastewater for all three campuses have been developed and will be implemented shortly. Similar to random testing, this information will help us map and respond to any potential community spread.
There is a fourth “T” that underlies and strengthens the entire framework and that is “Teamwork.” This is where each of us does our part to support these efforts to protect our community. We invite you to attend tomorrow’s virtual town hall at 3 p.m. for faculty and staff to discuss plans for the fall semester.

We continue to update the University’s COVID-19 response website at—we welcome your suggestions on information to include on the site.
Jeffrey L. Duerk, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
Erin Kobetz, Ph.D., MPH
Vice Provost for Research
Guillermo (Willy) Prado, Ph.D.
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
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