This message was shared with the faculty and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on March 6, 2020.
Aloha University of Hawaiʻi faculty and staff,
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we need to be ready to ensure the continued operation of our campuses, especially the education of our students. Flexibility and understanding are the keys to successfully navigating the rest of the semester.
As of this message, there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Hawaiʻi and there are no plans to close campuses or cancel campus events. This is a rapidly evolving situation and we will continue to prepare for all possible scenarios.
An immediate area of concern is the possibility of increased student and instructor absences. Faculty should consider making reasonable adjustments to class attendance expectations and modify grading as necessary. All instructional units should begin to develop contingency plans for handling instructor absences that may extend for two weeks. Using a “buddy system” of instructors teaming together to cover for each other is one possibility.
The university has updated its resource page on how to teach using online tools if it is determined that gathering in classrooms poses an unacceptable risk. Most faculty already use some online tools and the resource page provides ideas on how to engage in typical instructional activities online. Additional information and guidance will be provided by the individual campuses and/or units including where to send questions and receive additional training or support. Please begin reviewing these resources as soon as possible.
Regarding public events, state officials say that there is no public health basis to cancel local events at this time. The university is following this guidance, recognizing that it could change quickly. Please know that UH officials are in daily contact and working closely with government officials and agencies responding to COVID-19.
Mahalo nui loa for your hard work, commitment and understanding in these challenging times,
The University of Hawaiʻi