Letter from the Provost: August 28, 2020

Dear U of A Parents and Families:

Our first week of classes is in the books! It was a great – but certainly different – start to fall classes.

Our primary focus remains on providing the best educational experience possible for our students while working to keep our entire community healthy and safe. Our students, faculty and staff have done well at following the safety precautions on our campus this first week, but it’s off-campus where we are concerned about people growing lax in social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines.

We have already had positive cases of COVID-19 reported within our community. We’re working to identify and isolate positive individuals as quickly as possible while initiating the contact tracing process. In addition, we’re working with the Arkansas Department of Health to increase on-campus testing next week. You can visit the university’s COVID-19 Dashboard Report online for updates three times a week on the latest on-campus testing results and positive case information.

As we head into the first weekend of the fall semester, it’s imperative that we follow our safety precautions not just on our campus, but off-campus as well. You can read countless stories across the country of how off-campus gatherings and parties have led to a proliferation of cases.

So parents, please help us reinforce to our students the need to avoid crowds and continue following the safety guidelines we’ve put in place – on and off-campus. And the guideline that all students who are tested off-campus and have been on campus this semester must self-report positive results using the university’s online self-reporting form, in addition to beginning isolation.

We have also created a COVID-19 Education Module for students that offers vital information covering the virus, how it’s transmitted, and information on U of A policies, procedures and processes. And we encourage any students who are coming to campus to complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment to help limit the spread and protect our students, faculty and staff.

I hope you and your families are doing well and staying safe. Please know that we are doing everything we can to ensure the health of our community while providing students a robust educational experience here at the U of A.


Charles F. Robinson

Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Student and Academic Affairs

Professor of History