MONTICELLO, Ark. – “Our first concern as a university is always the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff,” said UAM Chancellor Peggy Doss in her email message to campus Wednesday. It is because of this concern, she says, that a plan has been devised by a pandemic response committee to prioritize the safe reopening of all three UAM campuses for the fall 2020 semester. Classes will resume August 19 in person, with social distancing measures in place.
The plan emphasizes its fluidity in a rapidly changing environment, as administration will consider updating it to follow current guidance from the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees, U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and the Arkansas Department of Health, in addition to federal, state, and local policy.
Key components of the plan include a continuation of frequent disinfecting of all spaces, and educating the campuses on methods of limiting potential spread of the coronavirus. At this time, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering whenever social distancing cannot be achieved on campus. The university will provide one mask to each employee and student, and encourages rotating with clean masks and following CDC-recommended disinfecting practices. The academic calendar has the potential to move to 100% remote instruction for the portion of the semester that follows Thanksgiving break.
“We will work together as we continue to move into an unprecedented, but not insurmountable, fall term,” Doss said, citing the shared responsibility of all students, faculty and staff to unite in a commitment to the reopening plan’s guidelines.
The University of Arkansas at Monticello offers more than 70 distinct academic tracks for students seeking graduate, undergraduate, and certificate programs. Established in 1909, UAM joined the University of Arkansas System in 1971. In 2003, UAM grew its footprint in Southeast Arkansas to include colleges of technology in Crossett and McGehee. The Monticello campus offers associate, baccalaureate, and selected master’s degrees and includes the state’s only College of Forestry. The Crossett and McGehee campuses provide classes leading to certificates of proficiency, technical certificates, and associate of applied science degrees.