Updated at 11:37 p.m. to include information from a UTA Housing email.
This story is developing.
All eight UT System academic institutions will transition to online-only classes and postpone spring commencement ceremonies to a later date, according to a letter obtained by The Shorthorn sent from James Milliken, University of Texas System chancellor to each of the institutions' presidents.
Students are “strongly advised” to either return home or stay home, according to an Office of the President email sent Tuesday. All students living in a residence hall on campus are required to move back to their permanent residence for the remainder of the semester. Only students without a suitable alternative will be allowed to live in residence halls and participate in dining programs, which UTA will approve on a case-by-case basis.
The goal is to have all students moved out of the residence halls no later than Sunday, according to a University Housing email sent Tuesday night. Students will have to schedule a time to move out on the UTA Housing portal.
Time-slots are to limit the number of students in residence halls at the same time, according to the email. Those that cannot find a suitable alternative can request an exception by filling out an online form.
Students who have paid for residence halls, dining plans and other campus services will be reimbursed or given credit for unused portions, the UT-System letter stated.
“The university is working on the details and processes to address prorated refunds due for housing and dining charges to students moving from the residence halls,” said Jeff Carlton, executive director of communications and media relations, in an email. “Additional information will be forthcoming as these decisions are finalized.”
According to the UTA Housing website, students can continue residing in campus apartments. Those who want to cancel their contract, or move out of their apartment, would be subject to the terms and conditions of their contract.
Faculty and staff are also advised to telecommute to the “maximum extent possible,” according to the email. President Vistasp Karbhari stated in the email that the university will apply all available authorizations to allow employees to continue receiving compensation and eligibility for benefits.
Graduating students will receive their degrees as scheduled, but the ceremonies will be rescheduled to a later date that will be announced at a later time.
This comes after UTA extended spring break and announced the transition to online classes due to the coronavirus outbreak.
The university made these decisions after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended canceling or postponing all events in the U.S. with 50 or more people for the next two months on Sunday.
The email stated that if a student is facing temporary hardship because of the outbreak, they can apply to the Emergency Assistance Fund, which can award funds to eligible students. A UT-System wide emergency fund will also be implemented, according to the UT-System letter.
Because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised its Travel Health Notice Warning Level to Level 2 and above globally, all UTA travelers are required to undergo a mandatory 14-day self-isolation.
UTA also sent students a survey to help determine the methods faculty and staff will deliver instruction, assignments and services.