Please plan for all students in hybrid courses to attend online for the first two weeks of this fall semester.
Aloha Kākou Faculty and Staff,
Mahalo everyone for all of your preparations for the start of the fall semester! As you may have read, President Lassner is encouraging maximal reduction of unnecessary presence on UH campuses. The following are necessary adjustments to the start of our UH Hilo fall semester.
Please plan for all students in hybrid courses to attend online for the first two weeks of this fall semester. For all courses that have optional or required face-to-face instruction, please defer that in-person instruction for the first two weeks and prepare alternate activities for your students. An exception to continue face-to-face instruction is granted during this time for the Nursing Program and College of Pharmacy, as needed.
This does not mean a full-scale transition to an online semester.
Hybrid/hyflex classes should plan on some in-person sessions beginning in the third week of the term. It is important that we serve the students who have made an effort to travel to Hilo. These students are here because they need the classes we are planning to offer face-to-face to complete degree requirements, prerequisites, and applied learning experiences. Many have also willingly spent two weeks in quarantine to be able to be here and experience our unique educational and co-curricular programs.
Unlike the campuses on O‘ahu, we are not making this decision based upon a local surge of cases, but rather because of these two factors: reinstatement of the interisland quarantine and ongoing technology upgrades of our classrooms. I am hopeful that the interisland quarantine will be lifted in early September.
Preparation of classrooms will continue during these first two weeks. There was a slight delay in the arrival of some items ordered for the technology upgrades and we will use this time to optimize distance learning capabilities for our students who must attend remotely. We will have the 40-50 most heavily used classrooms ready by August 24. Faculty members who would like to use a classroom to deliver their remote instruction during the first two weeks should contact their deans, and we can make arrangements for you to do so.
Our campus remains open to students, especially for those that need to access computers and Wi-Fi. The library continues to offer a limited number of laptop computers for check out and as we did last spring, we will have computer labs open for use.
All service offices will be open from 7:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday (excluding holidays), starting August 17 with sufficient coverage. This includes college offices. Student support services and enrollment services continue to be available for those on campus and are additionally being offered by phone and online. We will have many students physically present on the campus, and even though their classes may be online, they are still in need of the other services we have to offer. Supervisors will work with staff on rotation schedules where possible.
I once again thank you for all you have done and are doing to remain nimble at this time, to support our mission, and to serve our students and your colleagues.
Stay safe and continue to look out for one another.
Me ka mahalo nui,
Bonnie D. Irwin
Chancellor, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo