University updates for the coming weeks

October 22, 2020

This message was sent to faculty and staff at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Dear Wolf Pack Family,

Nevada’s public health crisis affects us all individually, on a deeply personal level. Campus life, whether it is experienced remotely or in person, is an essential part of who we all are and our personal growth. The life of our campus reminds us to support our friends and colleagues, to be more understanding of individual challenges, and to find common bonds during difficult times. This is a time for all of us to remember that understanding can be our greatest endeavor, and by acknowledging that people are hurting right now, we can all come together for the greater good.

The past two weeks have seen the University make major decisions that impact all of you in significant ways. In the short time I’ve been on campus, you’ve shown an incredible generosity of spirit. With so many major decisions of late, I want to reassure you that the University is also working to find safe, creative and meaningful ways to keep the life of the campus connected with all of you.

I would like to clarify and share additional information about the coming days and weeks as we move toward Fall Break (traditionally called Thanksgiving), Winter Break and start making preparations for Wintermester and our Spring 2021 semester:

New information added to Protect the Pack Dashboard

The University has added additional reporting graphs to the Protect the Pack Dashboard that is updated weekly on Monday afternoons. Be sure to check out the latest information. Also, in case you weren’t aware, the University’s SafePack app has a new feature. After clicking into SafePack’s settings, you can access all of the latest testing data and information from the University’s COVID-19 Dashboard. We will continue to share information through official channels, including the University’s coronavirus page.

The University will not be closed

Although instruction will delivered remotely for the remainder of the semester, beginning Nov. 30 through Jan. 22 (Spring 2021 semester will now begin, Jan. 25), the campus will remain open and tutoring, advising and other academic and support services will still be available to all students. University facilities, including the Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center, the Joe Crowley Student Union, Fitzgerald Student Services, and the William N. Pennington Student Achievement Center will remain open, though perhaps with reduced hours.

Faculty Updates for the Fall 2020 Semester

  • In-person classes, including laboratory and studio classes, will need to switch to online delivery or complete the class prior to the Fall Break (traditionally called Thanksgiving).
  • Research operations will continue as per current protocols. Graduate and undergraduate students participating in research will be able to continue their research.
  • Faculty will have full access to their offices, facilities, and classrooms.
  • The University Testing Center will be open. However, all classes must provide an online option for exams. If faculty wish to use Proctorio for more than one exam, they are free to do so if their department/college/school can cover the cost. We have learned the cost will be lower than previously announced, and is now $5/student/exam. Please keep in mind that there are a variety of options for administering exams that don’t involve Proctorio. Best practices for online assessment.

Spring 2021 Semester

As a reminder, in a message to the University on Sept. 14, 2020, the University's Executive Vice President and Provost Kevin Carman stated that for the Spring 2021 semester, the University will return and continue to offer courses through the modalities that the University is currently using for the Fall 2020 semester. Specifically, courses with enrollment capacities of 35 or greater will be taught online, while courses with enrollment capacities of 34 or less will predominantly be taught using the alternative-HyFlex modality.

The University is working toward the possibility of reopening the E. L. Wiegand Fitness Center in phases when the Spring 2021 semester starts on Jan. 25. The reopening will be dependent on students making positive decisions on and off our campus, as well as the latest public health data.

Student Workers

Student workers should consult with their supervisors regarding work assignments through the end of the semester. Depending on the job, the job may end and pay would stop, or work could be assigned on-campus or remotely.

Wintermester 2021 is moving online

Wintermester 2021 classes will be offered entirely online. There will be no on-campus, in-person classes. Registration begins on Nov. 2 in MyNEVADA. Visit the Wintermester webpage or contact for more details.

Study Abroad Program suspended

Due to the current severity and unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University will continue to suspend international travel for all students, faculty and staff for the foreseeable future. This unfortunately means that University students will not be allowed to participate in study abroad programs, including USAC, through the Spring 2021 semester. While conditions may improve, the pandemic is a very fluid and erratic situation. For this reason, University leadership decided to cancel study abroad programs early enough to allow students to make alternative plans.

Please continue to be optimistic and hopeful for the future. We are asking a lot of each other at the moment. Your daily actions are helping shepherd us forward. Thank you for all that you are doing.

Sincere regards,

Brian Sandoval