You're receiving this news as a valued member of the University of Hawaiʻi ʻOhana.

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Aloha UH ʻohana,

I want to thank everyone for all that you are doing to help others and yourselves through this incredibly challenging 2020. Especially with recent news of successes in COVID-19 vaccine development, I think we are all looking forward to better times ahead in 2021.

But we are not yet all vaccinated, and while Hawaiʻi has the best numbers in the country as of this writing, the pandemic is still raging across the U.S. And even in Hawaiʻi, we do not have COVID-19 under control.

Given current conditions and what we expect in the months to come, it is clear that we must plan for primarily online instruction across our ten campuses in the spring, as it has been this fall. On-campus instruction will take place for those courses and course activities that cannot be taught effectively online; most often, these in-person meetings will be for labs, clinical experiences, studios and shops. Those classes will take place with appropriate physical distancing, facial coverings and sanitization protocols. We are committed to helping every UH student stay on track, safely, for on-time graduation.

Also, the telework policy that was in effect this semester for employees will continue for the spring semester. And all UH campuses will also remain closed to the public.

I know we all yearn to return to pre-pandemic life. But at this point we must prioritize the health and well being of our students, faculty and staff, along with the communities in which we live and work. The entire UH community has done an amazing job in behaving safely, and as a result, we have not experienced the kinds of outbreaks that have occurred at colleges and universities around the country.

Based on what we know today, we hope for a significant return to our campuses for fall 2021. We will be looking to leverage the learning and hard work of our faculty and staff for a healthy mix of in-person, hybrid and online instruction next fall. If there is one thing we have learned through this pandemic, it is that we must continue to be flexible and adapt to changes that are not under our control.

Thank you once again for your hard work, your patience, your resilience and your compassion for one another.

E mālama pono,
David Lassner
UH President