Updated: July 9, 2020

The University of Tampa fully intends and is planning a safe resumption of face-to-face teaching, learning and campus life. This is dependent, of course, on the directives of public authorities. 

UT faculty and staff will strive to deliver the rich, in person educational experience that is uniquely UT. Students should, however, expect many changes in the classroom and in the ways that their courses are taught. Classroom, lab and studio capacities have been adjusted so that physical distancing is maintained. This will mean that fewer students will be together with their faculty members while others in the class will participate remotely. We are installing new audio visual technology to facilitate this so that in person learning can also be safe. And some classes, taught by faculty members who are themselves at higher risk of illness, will be fully remote.

We will add many safety adjustments and precautions to protect our campus community. This will include a mask requirement for all students, faculty and staff. While we can’t eliminate all risk, we are working diligently to mitigate in every reasonable way the risks for students, employees and the broader community.

Of course, a successful Fall 2020 opening also depends on the entire UT community. We will expect all UT community members to invoke the Spartan Code, in terms of such things as self-monitoring health, social distancing, respecting other community members’ right to privacy and well-being and following recommendations and policies specifically focused on community health.

We are hard at work planning for the fall semester on campus. The fall calendar start date has now been moved to an earlier date, Aug. 26. Since we announced our Sept. 8 start date, we have been monitoring health and safety information, have consulted with medical professionals, reviewed some recent research and considered feedback from parents concerned about Thanksgiving holiday travel and end of semester scheduling. After a thorough review, we have made the decision to start our semester early, on Aug. 26. 

The Aug. 26 scheduling allows us to maximize our classroom instruction time and end a full semester of course instruction by Thanksgiving. This will negate the need for students to travel home and then return to the UT campus after the Thanksgiving holiday. Final exams will be offered remotely the following week and the semester will end on Dec. 5. 

Please remember that this situation is dynamic, and this update reflects decisions based on the best information available at present. University schedules, policies and guidelines may change as circumstances might dictate, so please check this page regularly for news and updates concerning Fall 2020 opening plans.

UT COVID-19 Health Safety Task Force UT COVID-19 Health Safety Task Force has been charged... more » close »

The University of Tampa COVID-19 Health Safety Task Force has been charged with the responsibility to recommend practices and procedures for the safe return of staff, faculty, students and visitors. This work will have four main areas of focus, including testing, tracing and containment; sanitization, personal hygiene and personal protection equipment (PPE); physical/social distancing; and instructional continuity. Each of these areas is key in keeping the UT community healthy and safe for the foreseeable future.

The task force includes seasoned UT faculty and staff who will be working with campus and Tampa community experts, following best practices from the CDC, WHO, federal government and the American College Health Association, to name only a few. They will be soliciting feedback from many to strengthen the plan, which will evolve over time as we learn more about the coronavirus and health safety. This team will consist of: 

Task Force Leadership
Linda Devine, Operations and Planning, co-chair
Stephanie Russell Krebs, Student Affairs, co-chair
David Stern, Academic Affairs, co-chair

Task Force Members
Sharon Charles, Dickey Health and Wellness Center
Sabrina Griffith, Operations and Planning
Paul Greenwood, College of Natural and Health Sciences
Mary Anderson, Political Science
Carol Botwinski, Nursing
Gina Firth, Wellness
Eric Freundt, Biology
Jack Geller, College of Social Sciences, Mathematics and Education
Frank Ghannadian, Sykes College of Business
David Gudelunas, College of Arts and Letter
Ali Jenzarli, Information and Technology Management
Joseph Letter, English and Writing
Jay Pendleton, Academic Affairs
David Reamer, English and Writing
Jennifer Scaia, Student Conduction, Orientation and Residence Life 

Staff Resource and Administrative Support
Katie Godwin, Operations and Planning

The committee will be working over the next few weeks to formalize the initial plan. If you would like to submit feedback, you may do so at SafeUT2020@ut.edu. While the group won’t be able to answer emails, please write to let them know your ideas.

The work of this committee will be incorporated into this webpage, which will be updated as new information becomes available.

Spartan Shield Health Safety Plan Spartan Shield is a UT health safety initiative that offers... more » close »

Spartan Shield is a UT health safety initiative that offers guidance to all members and guests of the University community in the era of COVID-19. It encompasses the University’s plan for maintaining a safe and socially responsible environment within the confines of a beautiful campus, but also serves as a model for how UT Spartans will lead by example when they venture out into the broader Tampa community.

Spartan Shield includes practices designed to preserve a standard on UT’s campus that prioritizes the health, safety and well-being of all UT community members and guests. It is expected that this standard will be emulated in the greater community as well. The fall semester will begin on Aug. 26, 2020, and these plans are subject to modification as conditions and/or guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) evolve. These adjustments will enable achievement of meaningful engagement and personalized instruction that has characterized the University throughout its history.

Thus, in the interest of preserving an environment that is as safe as possible for every member of the UT community and shielding the Spartan community from unnecessary risk, all UT faculty, staff and students are asked to follow basic principles and practices as described in detail in this document. This plan is subject to change as circumstances might dictate, but a summary of the keys to the success of Spartan Shield include:

Screening, Testing and Containment

It is essential for all members of the University community to conduct daily COVID-19 self-assessments, not only for one’s own health and safety, but to mitigate the spread of the virus to protect those members of the UT community who are at high risk. 

  • Faculty, staff and students will be asked to begin a daily self-assessment screening on Aug. 19 and continue daily assessments during the week prior to the start of the fall semester. All members of the UT community are strongly encouraged to monitor for fever through daily temperature checks and self-assessment of COVID-19 signs and symptoms.
  • Staff and faculty with symptoms will be asked to stay home and seek medical attention; students will be advised to seek medical attention at the Dickey Health and Wellness Center
  • To facilitate self-monitoring and assessment, UT will provide hands-free temperature screening systems in several locations across campus.
  • On-campus programs should include attendance lists.

If there is a positive case of COVID-19 in the campus community,

  • UT will deploy a team of trained contact tracers to identify close contacts, in partnership with the Florida Department of Health.
  • Faculty will need to maintain seating charts for their classes.
  • Events will need to track who has participated in-person.

Isolation and Quarantine:

  • Any person who tests positive will isolate for 10 days and until symptoms have resolved.
  • Isolation may be at home or, for residential students, in a designated isolation space.
  • Those who were in close contact will be notified and required to quarantine for 14 days.

Physical/Social Distancing

Social distancing, also called “physical distancing,” means keeping space between yourself and other people outside of your home or residence hall suite. Best practices in physical distancing involve staying at least six feet (about two arms’ length) from other people where there is no physical barrier. Physical distancing practices should be followed in both indoor and outdoor spaces.

UT is committed to mitigating the spread of COVID-19 through a University-wide commitment to physical distancing practices while also fostering ongoing social connections and community building.

  • Recognizing that larger spaces that accommodate greater levels of physical distancing will be in high demand, essential University business will be prioritized.
  • Faculty and staff should continue to use video conferencing technology when possible if physical distancing measures cannot be met or to allow participation of higher-risk individuals who choose not to attend face-to-face meetings/activities.

Specific physical distancing guidelines have been developed to:

  • Maintain academic quality and the integrity of our academic experience.
  • Balance the health and safety of the student, staff, and faculty while developing a sense of belonging and connectedness among students to support student success.
  • Mitigate risk for those determined to be vulnerable or immunocompromised.

The facilities and activities that have been identified thus far as requiring specific physical distancing guidelines include: general classrooms; laboratory, studio, simulation and performance spaces; waiting areas; conference spaces and meeting rooms; dining; travel; elevators; residence halls; residence hall common areas; mass gatherings; off-campus learning experiences; co-curricular programs and activities; campus recreation and athletic facilities (indoor and outdoor); and, student employment.

Sanitization, Personal Hygiene and Personal Protection Equipment

The CDC has set guidance for institutions of higher learning regarding healthy hygiene practices, personal protective equipment (PPE) and sanitization that is reflected in the Spartan Shield Health Safety Plan.

  • Faculty, staff, students and visitors, including vendors, are required to wear face masks/coverings in all common areas of campus facilities including classrooms and outdoor campus areas where social distancing is not possible. Exceptions are permitted for the use of dining facilities, participation in athletic practices and contests and instruction in selected fine arts. Detailed instructions on how best to navigate these activities will be provided by the respective areas that are reviewed by Dining Services, Athletics and the College of Arts and Letters.
  • Students, faculty and staff will be encouraged to keep their personal items (e.g., cell phones, other electronics) and personal work and living spaces clean.
  • Facilities Management environmental services staff members will ensure that classrooms are sanitized at the start of each class day, and they will conduct regular rounds through facilities.

In addition to classrooms, the facilities that have been identified thus far as requiring specific sanitization requirements include: laboratory, studio, simulation and performance spaces; residence halls; athletic and recreation facilities; and, university-owned vehicles.

Instructional Continuity

In order to maximize the mitigation of transmission risk in the classroom, faculty will commit to the following practices in the design of their classes.

  • Some classes will meet in full according to the posted schedule where classroom sizes and course enrollments allow for necessary physical distancing.
  • In other cases, classes may employ alternative delivery methods that facilitate physical distancing while maintaining engagement with students. This may include some combination of smaller face-to-face class meetings and the use of a variety of educational technologies.
  • Some courses taught by faculty members who are themselves at higher risk of illness – according to CDC guidelines – may be taught remotely.
  • In order to further reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, faculty and students will be expected to wear masks during in-place instructional experiences, except for certain unique situations in the arts.
  • In order to maintain appropriate physical distancing and accommodate student and faculty needs, some instructors will hold office hours and other meetings via Zoom or other online platforms that allows for synchronous interaction.
  • If a student has to be quarantined during the semester, faculty will use educational technology or other means to enable the student to continue coursework until they can return to the classroom.
  • Syllabi and other course materials will be distributed electronically for greater student accessibility.
  • Course supplies will not be shared among students unless appropriate sanitization procedures are followed.

Read the Spartan Shield Health Safety Plan (PDF) in its entirety.

Residence Life/Move-In The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming... more » close »

Residence Life

UT’s Spartan Living priority is to engage residential students in meaningful experiences to learn about themselves, others and develop skills to become Spartan Ready®. This year may look differently on campus than anticipated, but it will still provide opportunities for success and growth. The Office of Residence Life will support you and continue to work diligently to plan for the academic year and provide on-campus housing in an adjusted environment.

However, the Office of Residence Life recognizes that the emergence and spread of COVID-19 may present several challenges and concerns for our residents. While we obviously cannot eliminate the risk from COVID-19, reducing the risk of COVID-19 is the shared responsibility of every member of our community, including our residential students.    

Prior to your arrival in August, all rooms and commons areas within the residence halls will be cleaned and sanitized. Hand sanitizing stations will be placed in all residence hall lobbies. Furniture in rooms will be set up to ensure six feet of physical distance is maintained within the space. As students are responsible for maintaining a clean-living environment within their suite or apartment, students are strongly encouraged to bring extra cleaning supplies.

Residential education will continue within residence halls and in-person gatherings will only be held when physical distancing is possible. Video conferencing technology, such as Zoom, will be utilized to facilitate floor gatherings, roommate agreements and intentional conversations.

In all common areas, including kitchens, lounges and laundry rooms, when physical distancing cannot be maintained, students will be required to wear facial coverings. During individual meetings with student and professional staff members, facial coverings must also be worn if physical distancing cannot be met. The option to meet virtually with staff members will also be available.

The following addendum (PDF) to the UT Housing Agreement has been provided to all residential students, which outlines in greater detail about how these changes may impact residential experiences in the coming year. 

This situation is dynamic, and this update reflects decisions based on the best information available at present. University schedules, policies and guidelines may change as circumstances might dictate, so please check this site regularly for news and updates concerning Fall 2020 opening plans.

Move In

The Office of Residence Life looks forward to welcoming new and continuing students back to the residence halls for the Fall 2020 semester. Since classes will begin on Wednesday, Aug. 26, the arrival and move-in process has been moved accordingly.

It is important that all students and guests who come on campus do a self-check for COVID-19 symptoms. If anyone has a fever or symptoms or has been around anyone with symptoms, please do not come to campus.

Students and guests are encouraged to bring their own hand sanitizer and personal protective equipment (PPE) such as facial coverings for move-in. Facial coverings are required since it will be challenging to maintain physical distance. 

We strongly encourage students bring only minimal items to the residence halls and not to bring in large furniture. Moving trucks and box trucks will not be permitted. Move-in assistance will not be provided this fall, and a limited number of move-in carts will be available for student use in each residence hall.

The arrival process has been extended to provide students and families more flexibility and reduce congestion on campus. For Fall 2020, students will select their own move in appointment time during an extended move in process. Students have been emailed appointment setting instructions.

  • Early move in appointments will be offered beginning Sunday, Aug. 16.
  • New student move in appointments will be offered Friday, Aug 21 - Sunday, Aug 23.
  • Continuing student move in appointments will be offered Friday, Aug 21 – Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Although early arrival appointments will begin on Aug 16, please note, the University meal plan and Week of Welcome Activities will begin on Aug. 21.

  • New international student check-in and move-in day is Aug. 20. However, international students need to arrive by Aug. 12 to complete the required 14-day quarantine prior to the start of fall classes.
  • Remote international student check-in is an option for new students who cannot attend the new international student check-in on Aug. 20 due to the quarantine period. You will need to schedule this option in advance by emailing international@ut.edu and include your full name and student ID number.

We strongly encourage that students do not arrange their travel until they have a confirmed move-in appointment time. It is important that families and students arrive on the day and time assigned to them to prevent excessive traffic and congestion on campus and improve the move-in experience for the thousands of students and guests arriving on campus. Additionally, we ask that you limit the number of family members or friends to two per student. More information regarding residential arrival and assignments will be communicated over the summer to the student’s Spartan email address from the Office of Residence Life. 

UT will continue monitoring COVID-19 and quickly communicate any change in operations to ensure the health and safety of our community. 

International Students All students who are entering the U.S. from abroad must... more » close »

All students who are entering the U.S. from abroad must undergo a 14-day quarantine. If you are an international student already in the U.S., and will remain in the country until the start of the semester, this requirement does not apply to you.

If you are outside the U.S. and entering the country, you must plan to quarantine after arrival for 14 days. Since the semester begins Aug. 26, this means you need to arrive in the U.S. no later than Aug. 12 in order to complete the quarantine before classes start. If you are scheduled to live in a UT residence hall, the move-in date for new students is Aug. 20, and the move-in date for continuing students is Aug. 23. You will not be able to move into the residence halls, attend classes or otherwise take part in activities on campus until you have completed the quarantine period. Remote international student check-in is an option for new students who cannot attend the New International Student Check-In on Aug. 20 due to the quarantine period. You will need to schedule this option in advance by emailing international@ut.edu and include your full name and student ID number.

In order to facilitate the quarantine, UT has made arrangements at nearby hotels at a reduced rate for your convenience. However, if you have an apartment leased or family in town, you may choose to quarantine there. 

If you wish any hotel option other than The Barrymore Hotel, we ask that you make reservations directly with the hotel and indicate that you are a UT student.

Rates vary between $75-$100 per night.

If you are outside the U.S. and cannot travel to the U.S. due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, UT will support you in any way that it can pursuant to Department of Homeland Security guidance.

For more information, visit International Students Frequently Asked Questions.

Week of Welcome (Student Orientation) and Family Orientation The orientation program at UT, both online and Week of Welcome (WOW)... more » close »

The orientation program at UT, both online and Week of Welcome (WOW), is designed to ease and support student and family transition to the University. In light of our delayed start, discussions and planning are underway to provide this important orientation experience with some modifications. Online orientation will be available for all new students beginning on Monday, Aug. 3. As we prioritize the health and safety of our students and families, more information regarding Week of Welcome (WOW) and Family Orientation will be communicated this summer by UT and the Office of Orientation and Family Engagement.

Family orientation will be hosted as an online experience for the Fall 2020 semester. Families of incoming new students are invited to join us for an informational and engaging series of presentations. Throughout the month of August, the Office of Orientation and Family Engagement will share information from campus administrators for you to learn more about UT and assist you with your student’s transition to campus. The presentation schedule will be released in mid-July. There is no fee to participate in this program. Please continue to refer back to the Family Orientation page for continued updates.

December Commencement To ensure we protect the welfare of graduates, families, guests, faculty and staff... more » close »

Based on the best available health and safety practices coupled with the remote finish of final exams, UT Commencement for December 2020 will be conducted virtually. This will eliminate the need for unnecessary travel and allow as many people to participate safely as desired by each graduate. Recognizing that commencement represents an important celebration of the accomplishment of our students as they conclude their academic journey, we will deliver the traditional commencement ceremony by alternative means and not face-to-face delivery.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, the Class of 2020 and their families, as well as UT faculty, staff, alumni and friends, will be able to stream a special virtual commencement ceremony in lieu of traditional in-person December Commencement. Each graduate will receive a special personalized video presentation afterward.

Final details will be available during the fall semester. Visit December Commencement for further details.

Athletics The UT intercollegiate athletic program intends to fully operate... more » close »

The UT intercollegiate athletic program intends to fully operate in the 2020-2021 academic year. We are waiting on final decisions from the NCAA national office on limitations, of start dates, reductions in the number of contests for each sport and end dates for competition before we move forward and complete scheduling. We are very proud of our successful program both on the field and off and are making every effort to assure we continue with our past traditions. We hope to update the webpage in the very near future as soon as we get further information.

Campus Recreation The Office of Campus Recreation has begun benchmarking... more » close »

The Office of Campus Recreation has begun benchmarking university institutions, businesses and corporations, attending roundtable discussions, and opening various lines of dialogue to ensure sound decision making regarding the reopening of the Fitness and Recreation Center, as well as the reintroduction of programs. In doing so, Campus Recreation plans to follow CDC guidelines in creating a multiphase plan.