UConn Town Hall – March 18, 2020

Good morning everyone and thank you to everyone from the UConn community near and far who are who are joining us for this second virtual town hall to answer questions on the University’s response to the COVID-19 crisis As we did in the first, the goal is to share up to information as we have it and answer any questions you might have I just want to remind you this is one of three primary mechanisms that you have to get information I want to direct you, for the most up to date information at any time to go to the university COVID website In addition we are sending out brief summaries of what’s going on in each specific area in an afternoon email blast to the entire community So that’s another way to stay up to date And the third way are these town halls As I did the last time I have some of our emergency response team leaders with me today I want to introduce those up on stage if we could pull back and show them here First to my right is the leader of the Student Affairs Committee, of the Emergency Response Team, Dean of Students Ellie Dougherty, and we are working on panning We don’t have the panning Apparently we don’t have the panning I will briefly introduce, we have Scott Jordan EVP for Operations and Administration We have Jeffrey Shoulson, the Leader of the Academic Affairs Committee, Chris Delello, head of HR for the Staff Committee, and Nathan First is here on stage with me, our head of enrollment We have a few other leaders in the audience to answer specific questions I will draw attention to Dr. Kevin Deichouse Thank you for coming to answer health related questions We said last week that we would update you as things change, and as you know, things have There have been significant developments in the evolution of the spread of the disease as well as in the guidance that we’ve received from the CDC and the Governor’s office We are in a new phase of response as a university Last week we were in a mode where we were concerned first with protecting individual health and population health and then continuing to the extent possible our mission as much as we could And we’ve shifted into a phase which is to first of all protect individual and population health, and reduce our emission as much as possible except for critical activities So as a result of that, there have been changes which you saw in my message to you last night, and I will recap briefly what that message was First of all, based on the guidance from the Governor’s Office and the CDC, all large gatherings are cancelled until mid May, which extends past graduation So, the first thing is we will be extending online instruction and/or telecommuting from the original deadline of April 6 to now to the end of the semester And secondly, unfortunately we’ve had to cancel plans for graduation And for that I just want to make a brief comment to the class of 2020 Just share with you my sorrow that I know this is not the way you expected your senior year to end, and I’m truly sorry that I won’t be able to share the stage with you and celebrate with you your final year and my first graduation ceremony at UCONN But we are committed to bring you back at a safe and appropriate time to celebrate you in the way that you deserve So we’ll do all that we can to do that Okay. The other shift is in terms of staffing we’re shifting to trying to have noncritical staff go home as much as possible So, that’s a shift from the last time where we tried to have staff as much as possible telecommute and those who couldn’t to come in

Now, it’s basically to work with your supervisors and for those noncritical, to go home A little update on the status at each of our campuses Stanford is basically for all intents and purposes closed There are a few students left in the dorms who had no place to go Those students are still there The regionals are in a similar situation where it’s limited operations We have over spring break a couple thousand students in the dorms, and we’ll be reducing that to 1,000+ over the coming weeks Research is ramping down Essentially there’s an emphasis on working from home and giving agency to individuals to make choices while maintaining essential services needed for critical research including human treatments that need to continue, animals that need to be cared for and so on Then there are people doing research on COVID therapies and vaccines, and so we would like that to continue At UCONN Health there’s a focus to shift resources toward emergent care So some things like elective surgeries have been cancelled, and some outpatient facilities have been redirected so that we’re prepared for handling urgent care in response to the COVID 19 crisis A hotline UCONN Health COVID call center, they’ll take questions from, anybody in the university community can call this number, and it will be posted on the website (860)679 3199 I want to celebrate and thank the members of our community who are doing heroic work, particularly the healthcare workers who put themselves on the line every day for the sake of others, but also our faculty and staff for supporting the critical needs of students, and I also would like to thank those who are here from the, whether they’re here or not, I’d like to thank the Emergency Response Team, many of whom have been working around the clock to support the university in this crisis I’m really proud of the university in the way it has responded to this unprecedented challenge It has been flexible, it has been resilient and remarkably mutually supportive I am proud of faculty and students who have pivoted to online learning And I have watched as faculty have been exchanging emails with each other on supports and pedagogies that they’ve tried, what’s worked and what hasn’t worked I am proud of the faculty who have pivoted their research We have faculty in the College of Agriculture, Human and Natural Resources, I am wearing one of their ties right now, my cow tie, who have pivoted research from the vaccine center to research related to the COVID 19 vaccine This is what a great university does in responding to a societal need In addition, I’m proud of the response of the Provost’s Office and faculty they’re working with to create a one credit course titled something along the lines of Responding to a Global Crisis, which will bring to bear the perspectives of colleagues ranging from business to policy to health to look at the responses, complex, interdependent responses to a global crisis such as this, and really address the need that we all have to understand what’s going on in this unprecedented situation, and also to draw on the lessons of history Turns out we have one of the world’s scholars on the plague in the 14th century, not that this is the same,

but there are lessons to be drawn from what is similar and what is different So with that, I will now turn it open to questions We have our Vice President of Communication Tysen Kendig here who has received questions over the past day, there are several dozen unique questions I understand, and in addition we’ll be taking live questions I will be farming most of those out to the leaders of the Emergency Response Team >> The largest number of questions we’ve received in advance are about finance and refunds in particular Will students receive a partial refund on tuition, housing, meals, parking and other fees with the campus closing for the semester? >> Certainly there will be some partial refunds I’ll just preface this by saying our priority has been to focus on health and safety At the same time we’re trying to work in the background with state agencies and federal leaders and agencies to identify resources that we can use to refund individuals We don’t know yet how much of those we’ll obtain And then ultimately what resources we can free up from the University And that is a decision that requires input from the board of trustees, and so I expect to have more information on that after the board of trustees has its next meeting We would like to refund as much as we can, if not all, at least part of what’s been paid >> When are students going to be able to return to dorms to retrieve items, and what about campus apartments? >> I’m going to call on Dean of Students, Ellie Dougherty They’ve thought about doing this safely and I will turn it over to her >> First, let me say you can anticipate detailed response from Residential Life on how this will happen and those responses will be sent to residents on campus, all 12,000 within the next several days But a few things I want you to know now before you receive that message First, students currently living on campus for spring break are able to move out as soon as tomorrow and there will be messaging from Residential Life on how to turn in your keys We’re going to extend that period through Tuesday So students currently living on campus who are able to move out immediately can do so starting tomorrow Then for the remaining students who have not moved out, we will be creating what will be a protracted move out period So when you came to campus, when we welcomed you in the fall you were able to sign up for a time and we rotated you through to get to the residence hall Same will happen this time, but because we need to follow the Governor’s guidance on how many people can be in a setting, it will now be a two week move out That will likely happen the end of March beginning of April, but what will be familiar is the ability to select the time We will give you time to move out because we will have less resources available to support you We won’t have Husky Haulers welcoming you We want to make sure you have time to move out, and we want you to bring more equipment to move out Students currently living on campus can move out starting tomorrow through Tuesday, then Residential Life will have a move out period that will last two weeks, but will be familiar to you where we will select a move out time >> For students who live in Stanford Campus housing, when do students need to move out by and do we have a sense of when UCONN Stanford will reopen? >> UCONN Stanford and Storrs move together, they will have a similar schedule and approach to move out, less students involved, but students here for spring break will be able to move out tomorrow Students away now will be presented with move out options >> Can international students still live in the dorm for

the rest of the semester? >> One of the things that is so important for me to share with all of you despite these changing times, we need to be a home for students who can’t go home Our international students are one of the biggest examples of that And so of course for international students who don’t have a home close to UCONN Storrs, we will offer you extended housing on campus We know who you are because you told us When we reached out and said, do you want to stay on campus during the time we’re offering online learning, those are the students that we know of and the students we’ll provide housing to through the end of the semester There are more students that we need to support beyond the international population More students who ask to stay on campus beyond the international population and all students will know the answer to that question later this afternoon around 3:00 p.m >> I’d like to go back to a question asked at the last town hall, what about students who don’t have a laptop or connectivity to work on line? At the time we didn’t have a solution for the students other than to stay in the dorm, and now we have alternatives for them >> There are a number of providers who have now offered free wi fi service to students and we will be sharing that information through the Res Life later day and made it available through the central FAQs also >> What about RAs? >> We want RAs to be home safe with their families, so the full time staff we have on campus will be managed through that staff RAs are able to return home and they’ll do so through the move out process Certainly RAs in residence on campus can move out this week >> We have a few questions of academic nature from students and parents If current trends continue, will courses in summer sessions be affected? >> So our primary focus up until now has been on the current semester to ensure we have as many support systems in place to be sure we can support the courses being offered, but we’re starting to talk about summer session We know that over 70 percent of summer offerings are already online courses and we don’t expect those to be disrupted at all But we’ll be considering what the impact of this event will be on those courses that are not yet themselves online courses, and whether we’ll move to virtual for those as well Is it possible that international students cannot come back for the fall semester? >> I will call on our International Student Office Thank you Yuhang >> Thank you. International student scholars are an integral part of higher education in America Talent is very important So, we will continue to welcome international students no matter whether you are exchange students, or matriculating degree seeking students Pending fall continues as normal, you are welcome to come back as normal But there might be entry restrictions imposed by various governments, and we’ll do our best to provide you with such information, and we’ll also advise you to keep aware about your home country’s restrictions if there are any, if you decide to go home during the summer If you decide to stay in the summer the university will have all kinds of options for you to continue your study as well >> Are grades going to be turned into pass/fail this semester? >> There’s been a lot of discussion about this >> There’s a current resolution being considered by the Senate and the vote will be complete this afternoon, about loosening up restrictions on pass/fail Once that resolution passes, as we expect it probably will, it will be up to the departments and programs to make the determination about whether they want to shift some or all of their courses to pass fail The restrictions that the Senate are loosening up are whether courses can be used toward general ed requirements or toward the major that have become pass fail,

but those determinations will be done program by program >> To clarify we’re talking about the University Senate >> Should we contact the dean of the school regarding direct questions about performing arts classes that will not be able to continue through the rest of the semester? >> Good suggestion, contact the dean We’re having conversations about many of these kinds of courses, performance based courses including things like labs, studio art, courses that don’t lend themselves to a virtual environment There are many creative solutions that are out there We’ve been encouraged by some of the conversations going on at the local level, but because these are discipline specific there’s not one single answer, they’re questions that can be best directed to the deans, department heads, directors of these various programs Will support services such as the Q Center be available on line >> I am happy to say we expect all of those to be available on line and virtual The Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, the President used the word heroic before and I will echo that word, they have been heroic in developing resources for students and instructors There’s a site set up called Keep Teaching We expect a parallel site for students called Keep Learning, and there will be information about accessing the W Center and the Q Center on line Will remote mental health services be available for students? >> The answer is yes For both medical and mental health care We’re going to start changing how we deliver care, but the care remains And what I want to say more specifically is those areas would prefer phone call in and then we will create telemedicine, means for us to interact with you And certainly our counseling providers will be offering that to students who need our care Will class housing selection times for 2020, 2021 be affected? >> We’re going to postpone scheduling for housing selection, but not too far We’ll be notifying you later in the week about that with when specifically that will be happening But I’m sure you can understand providing housing for students who can’t leave is priority and then arranging a safe move out process for everyone Are all commencement exercises cancelled? And is it possible to reschedule depending on how things change going forward? >> Right now the guidance from the Governor and CDC is there can be no large gatherings, so essentially even satellite ceremonies have to be cancelled In terms of rescheduling, it just seems premature now given the uncertainties It may be possible later, but now it seems quite premature I think our provost would like to make a comment on that >> That is true about physical coming together, but it is the case that a number of units are thinking about ways to virtually engage communities, and we’re encouraging that If there are ways to celebrate the reality, that should happen Secondly, it’s important to realize that graduation includes two things One is the coming together in celebration The other is the conferral of degrees, which is being managed, and we’ll handle in normal course; therefore anyone who needs the degree granted will have that degree granted >> What is going to happen with books that have been rented from the library? >> Dean Langely, the Dean of the Library has informed me that they are advising people who have books out of the library to hold on to them and there will be no imposition of fines for overdue books, and there will be a protocol for the returning of books And once that has been established, it will be posted on the library’s website How will returning books to the UCONN book store and getting refunds for commencement regalia work? >> Scott, it’s about returning books and regalia >> We are working with Barnes and Noble

our book store partner on a refund policy, regalia return and a host of issues, and as those get resolved we’ll be posting them to the website >> We have a few questions about student employment and funding What is happening with employments for those who have lost on campus jobs? Will there be additional financial aid for students who depend on campus jobs, and should students seek employment elsewhere? >> Do you want to make some general remarks? >> So there is assistance available for any student facing financial hardship through our Financial Aid Office, and students can reach out to resources that we have available there as they’re always available For student employment it’s up to the supervisors’ discretion as to how they want to pay out student work study or student labor for the remainder of the semester >> Is graduate student funding going to be affected before or after everything returns to normal? >> Graduate students who are funded as teaching assistants will continue to be paid, because they’re continuing to instruct Research assistants, that will be a little bit more nuanced and case by case It depends largely on the source of the funding We’re getting, we’re collecting information from the various funding sources, various federal agencies and other agencies about how to be using the various funds to pay for instruction and to pay for the work that’s getting done So that will be handled on a case by case basis >> May I just add to, the agencies have, the federal funding agencies, NIH, NSF have been indicating they’ll be flexible in terms of that kind of support, so it is case by case Each faculty member has to consult with their program member, but the agencies will forgive delays in deliverables on research Obviously, there’s a lot of research that can be done from home, telecommuting So if you have got data that you need to write up, you can be working at home writing data, reading technical papers But as Jeffrey said, it is case by case But I would expect the overwhelming number of cases to be that yes, you can continue to do your research and have the agency decide whether it’s from home or you need to come into the lab >> Does the university have any update or guidance on internships and whether students should still be going to them? >> I can answer this and also address related questions having to do with experiential off site learning experiences We have lots of field instructions programs We’re hearing almost universally, for the most part these kinds of opportunities are being shut down in this context, so individual programs are working on solutions for their students in order to be able to address those needs When it comes to internships, the best source of information is going to be the supervisor of the internship and the location where it is being held We expect many of those places will ask you not to come in, and you should then be in contact with your supervisor to talk about getting credit for the work you’re doing in different forms We have a number of questions pertaining to the faculty and staff and delivery on line Has the university considered pausing for an additional week beyond spring break? >> There’s been a lot of discussion about this, and you know, some of our peers have extended spring break by a week and some of our peers have gone on line with only three days notice So there’s a range And it’s a struggle between upholding the flexibility that our faculty need and the continuity that our students need I think the provost might have further comments on that, but at this point we are going to start online classes on Monday That’s almost two weeks from when we first notified faculty to be ready And I think most of our faculty will be ready by that time If faculty are not ready, and we understand that some faculty have specific circumstances that perhaps they have burdens of home care for either children or elderly,

and are unable to prepare during this week They should go to their department chairs just as they would if there was an issue during a regular session with their ability to deliver their course lecture and the department chair will work with them towards a solution I don’t know if you have anything to add to that >> I agree Okay. Our provost endorses that >> For students who live in a different time zone are they expected to tune in during the time class would normally meet or are lectures going to be recorded? >> We are allowing instructors to determine whether they want course delivery to be synchronous or asynchronous, meeting at the same time or accessing course materials on their own time, so that will be a question best addressed to the individual instructors We’ve encouraged the instructors to be in direct contact with students as soon as possible to let them know what they’re thinking, what the plans are So that will happen at the course level How is the university transitioning professors to courses on line? >> I’ve mentioned the heroic efforts of they’ve done a heroic job in taking on this task There are many resources posted at the website The website has offered a number of different workshops, well over 600 at this point in addition to individual consultations Faculty who have challenges are encouraged to contact CEDL directly I have been hearing from colleagues that they are very, very pleased with the support they have been getting We understand this is new territory for many of our colleagues and things are not going to be perfect from the very start It’s about working with your students and working with your colleagues to come up with solutions that are especially helpful One place we’ve found a lot of help has been within the departments themselves We’ve been hearing a lot about terrific communities of pedagogical experimentation, sharing suggestions Your colleagues are your best place to get help because some have solved the problems that you are trying to solve We know lots of professional associations out there are providing resources and it might be worth looking at what your professional associations are offering as well >> I want to comment anecdotally, I listen in on the chat that’s going on There are tech savvy faculty who are very sophisticated, and there are other faculty who have experimented with other things There was a group of faculty who shared they had stacked up a stack of books [Lost audio] Are we back on? Or not yet? How long ago did we go down? Just a few seconds? Okay I’m sorry we had a little bit of a technical problem there So we’re going back to that question >> I will repeat the question for those who did not hear it Are there any updates on the status of noncritical employees that have to physically report to work that are unable to telecommute during this time? >> Yes. And as I mentioned when we developed our initial approach, we chose to address and ask those employees who could telecommute to do so, and we recognized there were a group of employees that couldn’t telecommute, and had to remain on campus and at their work station As Tom mentioned at the beginning, we are now shifting our approach We are working or will be working with the leaders of our union colleagues And the approach that we’re moving toward is to take those

who haven’t been able to telecommute and break down the organization into those functions that are mission critical, and those that can’t be done And as we work through that, we are going to be extremely respectful of state guidance for those people who have secondary contact and child care issues Related to the first question of this town hall, do employees have to continue to pay for parking while telecommuting? >> Times like that you are happy to be in HR and not the Finance Office >> Similar to the answer of the first question, we’re looking at it now, and should be able to get an answer back to you shortly We have several questions from our prospective student community How will admitted UCONN students get to tour the campus? >> Our Admissions and Visitor’s Center Team is actively working on putting up a virtual tour as we speak How will the situation affect applicants and the May 1 decision deadline? >> At this point it’s early for us to consider changing the deadline Our regional campus deadline is June 1 by design Will the UCONN Bound day be rescheduled? >> We’re working to push the UCONN Bound day to a virtual experience, and until such time it becomes able for us to have in person events, we’ll recommence with those Will there still be summer orientation? >> There will be, but our orientation team is working on plans to be able to deliver that in a virtual way Will this affect or delay transfer decision notifications? >> They continue as scheduled With SATs being cancelled, is that still a requirement UCONN will have to being admitted? >> Students applying late, we’ll have alternatives available to students But for the most part applicants entering the class for the fall have submitted test scores and those have been received and evaluated Are graduate school applications still being reviewed in the midst of all of this? >> Yes A couple health related questions, specifically Given the lack of available testing in the state of Connecticut, are there plans to develop on site testing at UCONN? >> DPH is coming tomorrow There will be a drive through testing in Lot 3 It will be phased out, initially for students who are employees of the health center, we’re working with partners regionally, Bristol Hospital, Hartford Health, and [inaudible] Has UCONN been approved as a testing site? >> We will be hopefully on Friday, assuming we have DPH approval have a drive up testing site that will be approved This will phase out over the next couple of weeks, and we’re working with partners in the region How is UCONN Health keeping potential patients away from other patients? >> We’ve had policies for the safety of patients and staff and employees Everybody who enters the building are screened with questions and temperature scans Effective today all staff and employees are also screened with temperature before entering the building as patients are coming in And if they have symptoms they’re segregated into a separate area Does UCONN Health have the bandwidth to deal with a flux of COVID 19 patients? >> We’re identifying locations for patient care as well as freeing up non essential services So outpatient visits have been rescheduled Surgeries have been cancelled

And that frees up human resources as well as physical space If a faculty or staff member gets COVID 19, who do they need to tell at the university? >> First their supervisor But we have an internal number to Human Resources, and we have protocols in place for managing these cases >> You can find that number on the COVID 19 website >> Yes >> Will Student Health Services on campus remain open? >> Short answer is yes >> It will remain open And certainly I will look to my colleague for confirmation UCONN campus employees would work directly with managers and those resources And as mentioned earlier, student health is an essential function for us We’ll continue to provide healthcare for students virtually, then person to person as recommended by doctors >> Does the university know what will happen with student clinical placements? >> As I mentioned before there’s a group discussing these issues, but there’s not one single answer to this Every clinical program has its own requirements, its own accrediting expectations Each of these programs is in contact with its accrediting body to find out what kinds of directions they’re getting from those accrediting bodies to determine what kind of flexibility there may be We’ve learned that many of these clinical programs have already built in a degree of additional requirements that are not required by the accrediting bodies That gives some degree of flexibility and movement within the programs, but these are questions best addressed individually by program directors The federal government does not allow a refund for cancelled flights How would travelers be refunded using travel grants? >> We’re working with federal agencies to allow those refunds to be put in place, but we’ll hold harmless faculty disrupted that way >> Should graduate students plan to interrupt international travel over the summer? >> In thinking about summer travel, whether for graduate students or for faculty, our guidance is that if you plan to make any kind of arrangements for travel you should be sure to make them in a way that allows for the greatest flexibility or cancellation Nobody knows what the status of this will be come June, July or August It is possible, but it is likely that it will not be possible What are the updated recommendations and/or mandates with how to proceed with human subjects research, for example a researcher plans to resume a study with one to five participants Should data be postponed? >> We have Associate VPR Michelle Williams will be coming up, but basically any human subjects research that can be postponed should be So the things that cannot be postponed such as human subjects receiving treatments or need to be monitored at a certain time in a treatment plan, that will take place But anything else should be postponed Is that about it? Okay. Thank you, Michelle. Pretty simple Are there any implications for staff on an H1B Visa at this time? >> I just have consulted with our General Counsel’s Office In general, if you continue to do the same work as you are doing and living within commuting distance in case of emergencies, you need to report to campus You should be fine But for some reason if you stopped working and then you’re good for 30 days and under those circumstances I would suggest you consult with the General Counsel’s Office on a case by case basis As time goes by as the federal government releases

more guidelines, the General Counsel’s Office will release more guidelines individually or as a group to those faculty and staff What level of bus service will continue to be provided, if any? >> Good question Scott Jordan >> At the Storrs campus, buses will continue on a weekend schedule >> During the week Meaning it’s slightly functioning >> It will run seven days a week, but on the weekend schedule >> At this time are construction projects on campus proceeding as planned? If a case of COVID 19 is discovered in a construction worker, would that or all projects be shut down? >> University Planning and Design is working with all contractors to ensure the contractors are following CDC and OSHA guidelines around first maintaining safety on our job sites and maintaining continuity We are committed to ensuring that if a contractor has COVID 19 on their job site and employees have to stay home, that that job site will be shut down at the moment it cannot be continued safely What will happen to the Connecticut Theater shows? Are they cancelled or just postponed? >> All dates between now and mid May are cancelled I don’t know the answer whether they’re planning to reschedule those after I’m not sure anyone has that answer handy But I suspect that they’re just cancelled subject to further notice at this point >> Employees are about to begin the evaluation period for professional staff in the union What is the plan for adjusting to current circumstances? >> Colleagues faced a postponement of performance evaluation training as we worked through this initial response as a university, but I can tell you everything will be moving on line effective March 25 at 9:00 a.m. That training will commence through WebEx, and you should refer to Daily Digest for more information about that The evaluations right now continue as originally timed What is the current status with dining services and dining services staff? >> University Dining Services is open in a limited capacity to serve the students that are still on campus With regard to Dining Services staff, they are represented by the Unite Union, and Dining Services Management is working with the union on a reduction in staff to meet our current needs This question is based on recent news reports Is UCONN able to use dorms as medical facilities? >> The quick answer is not really, because they’re not medical facilities We do have within our infirmary the capacity to isolate a student if need be temporarily before we transport to more extensive medical care, and we will have the ability within our residence halls after the move out of students is complete for us to quarantine students Beyond that, our ability is limited and we would be relying on medical providers Those connections are already in place, and we’re prepared for that, and our plans for the remainder of the semester will allow us to provide that type of medical care to our students should COVID 19 come to campus >> There’s a broader community here than just faculty, students and staff Yesterday I learned from one of our board of trustees Chuck Bunnell, that he has reached out to the Governor’s Office to make his hotel, which is shut down, available for taking overloads on patients, for isolation, for anything that can be

helpful to the states in this crisis It makes you proud to be part of UCONN, not only the hotel, but the infrastructure that’s available So he’s made all of that available >> Will the university provide a more specific definition of essential functions as they relate to research lab activity? >> I think there’s more information on the website that’s been provided by the VPR’s office and there may be some things that will be case by case that the VPR’s office is more than happy to handle I’m going to introduce Michelle Williams >> The best way for faculty to be thinking about what is an essential function is to start with the CDC guidelines regarding reducing risk That should be the guiding principle of what constitutes essential, health and safety and the welfare of individuals who are going to be in physical contact with each other Those research projects that require human interaction as the President mentioned, only in those cases where there is direct therapeutic value or therapeutic stopping or halting that research may pose some type of risk for the individuals, those research projects can continue In person interactions that do not require therapeutic benefit or animal research, that stopping that research might create some type of harm or pain to those animals, those are really going to be the kinds of research projects as we ramp down that can continue But even in those instances the priority should be placed on using the CDC guidance The expectation should be that those are going to be activities that take place with minimal staff, but that the work must be conducted safely and competently And if that cannot be done, those research projects should be halted >> In the President’s email he said the Class of 2020 would be invited to return at some future date to celebrate their accomplishments What are some possibilities? >> The one being tossed around is reunion weekend That has a certain appeal because essentially, it is, you will be alumni at that point, and we could come back and celebrate you The other alums could celebrate you as the most recent graduates We could have a separate graduation ceremony conceivably before or after the reunion weekend football game And one thing that is appealing to me about the suggestion is we could have it at Rentschler Field and have the entire university at the same ceremony, which would be fabulous That’s one idea As the provost mentioned, there are in the meantime, you know, sort of virtual celebrations and options that are being explored as a placeholder until we can do something like that >> Another popular question that has come in in different forms during the broadcast, should students try to exchange graduation regalia or hold on to it? >> I think hold on to it, right? We have our head of special events, Cara Workman >> Anyone who has preordered regalia will receive an email from the entity and they will make arrangements to refund the regalia And that applies for faculty and staff as well as any graduates If you wish to keep it, you are welcome to keep it >> How are students in honors able to submit a copy of their thesis to make sure they graduate with honors distinction? >> We’re not expecting that they be submitted in person The best thing to do would be to contact the Director of the Honors Program, who can provide guidance for how to submit But I’m sure there are arrangements being made to have those sorts of submissions being done on line >> One final question How is Jonathan the 14th doing? >> I’m so glad you asked He’s doing great I hear additional treats

are being handed out, and I’ve asked Jonathan, presuming it’s healthy for everyone on campus, if he would be willing to visit the residence halls with me to say hi and thank you so much to students who are finding a home at UCONN Just so you know how he’s doing, today this is what he was up to Here is a very cute picture of Jonathan in a sort of post snowy day enjoying spring, and thanking all of you for reaching out, too And I believe his Twitter handle is going to remain active >> One of the things Jonathan is doing is getting out doors and in the fresh air During the daytime there’s no safer place for you to be The air is as good as it can get, as long as you maintain your social distance There’s no better way So with that, let me just say thank you, everyone I really appreciate the entire community’s flexibility and cooperation working together This is the best path for us to get successfully to the back side of this crisis, to get to the other side as quickly and safely as we can, by taking these rather disruptive steps now So thank you for your cooperation with those steps Stay well and stay safe. Thank you