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Urgent Update from Chancellor: All courses that do not require face-to-face component to be conducted online for fall semester

Additionally, courses with required face-to-face components to be delayed until week 3 of the semester to give our neighbor island students who are not already here the opportunity to arrive and complete quarantine.

Aloha Kākou,

Bonnie Irwin
Bonnie D. Irwin

Thank you all for your perseverance and patience through this increasingly difficult time with the evolving COVID-19 health crisis in our State and County. The Vice Chancellors and I have been carefully monitoring the COVID-19 conditions, and the optimism of last week has dimmed as the number of new cases on O’ahu have continued to be high. Conditions locally, while not nearly as dire, continue to be of concern as well.

Therefore, I am asking today that all hybrid/hyflex modality courses that do not require a face-to-face component be conducted entirely online for the fall semester. If any faculty member wishes to use the technology in a classroom to deliver the content of the course, they should notify their dean.

Those classes that have a face-to-face required component (i.e. clinical and lab courses) will be the only classes held physically on campus. See list of Fall 2020 courses with required in-person attendance.

For these sections, I repeat, my request is that those face-to-face components be delayed until week 3 of the semester to give our neighbor island students who are not already here the opportunity to arrive and complete quarantine. We will be prioritizing these students for the next phase of our quarantine assistance.

Sign: Please wait here, support physical distancing.
A sign for small, physically-distanced, mask-wearing group of students on campus for orientation, Aug. 19, 2020. Photo by Bonnie Irwin.

Because we will have students in residence and attending some classes in person, we will continue to keep offices open as previously communicated from 7:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday (except holidays). In addition, we will host some activities for students, with all physical distancing and facial covering requirements in place. I hope many of you can participate in some fashion in these activities in support of our students. Any students or employees on campus will have to abide by the current rules for wearing facial covering, physical distancing, handwashing, and health checks, as described in UH System and campus guidelines.

For obvious reasons, the Fall 2020 commencement ceremony will also be presented online, with the possibility of a drive-through component. More details to come on this in the coming weeks.

Both the UH System and the leadership here on campus continue to monitor not only the number of cases, but the characteristics of those cases-travel-related, community spread, isolated-and the health system capacity. We look for early warning signs and are in contact with county officials on a regular basis. If the need arises, additional campus measures will be put into place.

Mahalo for your continued patience and cooperation as we navigate this situation together.

Bonnie D. Irwin
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines (Interim)
UH Hilo’s COVID-19 information webpage

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