Fall 2020: Dean Brown's Letter to CLASS Students | College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences
June 23, 2020

Fall 2020: Dean Brown's Letter to CLASS Students

Dear CLASS Students,

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe. The shift to online in March was swift and unexpected. It was difficult, but in true Mean Green style, you rose to the challenge and we are very proud of you and I want to thank you for your hard work, patience and tenacity.

As we prepare for Fall 2020, it will not be without challenges but we are working diligently to make preparations to return as safely as possible. I know you have questions about the fall semester. The purpose of this message is to update you on where we stand at the moment on the reopening process at UNT and in CLASS. Although there are additional details to be finalized and plans will continue to evolve with the changing situation, we hope to have complete information to you in the next couple of weeks.

Here's what we know so far. First, we are sticking to the original academic schedule of having classes start on Monday, August 24 and end on December 11. However, in-person instruction will cease after the Thanksgiving holiday. UNT will continue to hold classes six days a week just as we have in the past, but this fall we will also teach more classes later into each day and on Saturday. Second, safety will be a priority as we return to campus. You will see hand sanitizer stations strategically placed throughout campus and there will be other measures designed to keep us all safe. Be sure to attend the President's safety town hall on Monday to learn more.

As a university, we believe approximately half of our classes will be available in person this fall; the rest will be offered remotely or online. Safety is a top priority, so to accommodate social distance, we are currently mapping existing courses to new rooms and in some cases new times. The typical classroom will be able to accommodate about 25% to 40% of normal capacity to allow for social distancing. We have secured additional spaces typically used for meetings and events and will be scheduling these for instructional use. After we finalize the Fall 2020 class schedule and room assignments, you will have the opportunity to make changes to your schedule. You will not need to re-register for courses, but be sure to talk to your advisor if you have questions about what you see on your schedule or if you would like to make changes.

In CLASS, a we are currently focused on scheduling in-person sections for those courses heavily populated by first-year students. Many of these courses will be available fully or partially in person. The same is true for courses mostly occupied by seniors. Computer labs and equipment rooms will be open daily for students who need to access equipment and software in person. We are also working to continue to offer remote access to computer labs and software. However, for students who want to be totally online, there may be a way to do this and early consultation with an advisor is recommended. We are committed to providing you a high-quality educational experience. Unlike this spring when we had minimal time to adjust our instruction, we are spending all summer investing in training and technology that will allow us to provide an even higher-quality classroom experience.

Facilities and offices that support students will also be open on campus this fall. The CLASS advising office will be open every day and will continue online advising and provide in-person advising by appointment only. The CLASS dean's office will also be open every day to support student needs. We can also look forward to the resumption of student clubs and organizations on campus. We encourage CLASS student organizations to continue to recruit, network and meet either online or using the university's established social distancing guidelines. Across campus, student support services such as UNT Libraries, computer labs, advising offices, the Career Center, the Pohl Recreation Center, the Learning Center, Student Veteran Services, and all of the other services we all rely upon will be open.

In true Mean Green spirit, the health, safety and success of our community - students, faculty, staff, and visitors - continues to lead our priorities and will continue to drive us for the rest of the summer. I appreciate your patience as we work through the many details of the fall schedule, and I hope this information helps you as you make plans for the fall. We are looking forward to having you back on campus!

Tamara L. Brown
Executive Dean