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UNLV moving to online classes over coronavirus

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Posted at 7:22 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-12 20:43:27-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — UPDATE MARCH 12: UNLV announced out of an abundance of caution it will transition to remote instruction beginning Monday, Mar. 23.

The remote instruction will begin following spring break.

More details will be at: https://t.co/2MS719rvSI

— UNLV (@unlv) March 12, 2020

ORIGINAL STORY
UNLV is preparing to transition to remote/virtual instruction no later than April 3, according to a memo that was sent to faculty and staff on Wednesday.

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We know there is concern and anxiety around coronavirus (COVID-19) – both on our campus and in the community. The situation is fluid and continues to evolve. The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff – especially those who are at greater risk – are at the forefront of our decision making and planning.

Today, the Nevada System of Higher Education asked all NSHE institutions to be prepared to transition to remote/virtual instruction no later than April 3. This allows faculty across the various institutions time to prepare course materials to ensure our students can continue their classes and progress toward their degrees.

As we transition to spring break next week – and many faculty and staff leave campus – we will continue to monitor the situation closely, and work with NSHE to adjust timelines as necessary and determine next steps, all in consultation with local health officials.

Faculty who believe they are at greater risk and/or more vulnerable to COVID-19 should contact their department chair or dean to make appropriate arrangements. We also ask that all individuals who feel ill stay home and follow recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District, CDC and the Student Health Center and Faculty and Staff Treatment (FAST) Center.

We look to you for your assistance and support in the following ways:

Resources to prepare for remote instruction: UNLV's Office of Information Technology has launched a website providing resources to help academic faculty prepare for teaching and working remotely.

Flexibility with student absences: Please continue to accommodate students who feel ill or have concerns about attending in-person classes by being flexible with attendance policies.

Travel: UNLV is discouraging all non-essential business travel to domestic and international destinations and is asking individuals to check travel advisories issued by the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before and during travel. This is a rapidly evolving situation, and any travel could result in restrictions on your return, such as quarantine, based on the situation at that time. If you are planning to travel to an international destination, be aware you may face unpredictable circumstances, travel restrictions, challenges returning home or accessing health care while abroad.

Athletics: In alignment with the NCAA’s decision on its upcoming championship events, UNLV and UNR will conduct upcoming athletic competitions with only designated staff in attendance. The institutions will continue to evaluate and assess the impact of COVID-19 in consultation with local health officials, the Mountain West Conference and campus colleagues and continue to follow federal, state, and NSHE guidelines and best practices.

Campus operation: All normal business operations will continue over spring break and into the foreseeable future. However, Human Resources has asked department heads to engage in planning to identify designated personnel to maintain campus operations while also defining functions that may be done remotely.

The health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors remain our top priority. While UNLV does not currently have any presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, we know that may change. UNLV will continue to closely monitor information released by the Southern Nevada Health District and the CDC. We will continue to reach out to you as the situation evolves and update information at unlv.edu/coronavirus. We appreciate your patience and collaboration during this time.

Warm regards,
Marta Meana, Ph.D.
President

Other schools around the country are taking similar precautions, including Harvard, American University in Washington, D.c., Syracuse University, the University of Maryland and Rice University in Houston, Texas.

MORE CORONAVIRUS STORIES

The Ohio governor recommended that all universities and colleges in the state move online on Tuesday.