Fall 2020 Semester Updates from the Provost

This message was sent to all students on 8/10/2020. Encourage your student to log-in to their UNLV Rebel email regularly for important updates.
As we welcome you back for the fall semester, we recognize that this semester will be like no other. We have spent the summer planning how to offer you the education for which you came to UNLV as safely and effectively as possible. The ongoing pandemic has required us to make significant changes to our operations and develop new procedures for promoting the safety and well-being of our entire campus community. Important information about these changes and new guidelines follows below.  

Despite these changes, which will require patience, flexibility, and steadfastness from all of us, we remain as committed as ever to you and helping you achieve your academic and personal goals. Remember that the value of the degree you seek is as great as ever.  

As we usher in the new academic year, we are also excited to welcome our new UNLV President, Dr. Keith E. Whitfield. He comes with a passion for and a proven track record of supporting student success. And he is eager to see you succeed. 

We encourage you to persevere through this challenging time. The pandemic will end; the economy will recover; and when those things happen, we all hope that you will have progressed in building the educational foundation for the future you desire.  

Two key changes for the fall will help maintain social distancing and comply with state public health mandates: 

1 -We have moved nearly 80 percent of courses to remote instruction. Please review your schedule in MyUNLV to determine if any of your in-person classes are now remote. You will not be charged distance education fees for courses that were moved from in-person to remote instruction. Courses already moved to remote delivery will not change back during the semester, but additional in-person courses may need to shift to remote delivery depending on conditions. In other words, remote courses will remain remote, but we cannot promise that in-person courses will remain in-person.
2 – We adjusted class start times slightly to minimize the number of people in hallways and common areas between classes. Please recheck the schedule for your courses before the semester begins.  Please continue reading for information to support your success in fall 2020. 

UNLV Town Hall – The university hosted a town hall for students on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Covered topics included the fall semester, student fees, campus operations, community policing, health and mental health care, and the university’s commitment to responding to the needs of students of color. A recording of the event is available on YouTube and at unlv.edu/coronavirus/students

Fees – In recognition of the economic challenges that many of our students are facing, UNLV will reduce the Student Life Facility Fee by $50 for the fall 2020 semester. While this is called a “facility fee,” this fee covers both the maintenance of our student facilities and programming for students. We are planning for the Student Union and the Student Recreation and Wellness Center to be open during the semester and many student programs, services, and resources will be offered remotely.  The university will contact students with the greatest financial need (as measured by the FAFSA’s expected family contribution) with details about some additional support that may help offset the increased costs for fall registration. Please visit the Cashiering and Student Accounts website for information about tuition and fees. 

Fall Semester Schedule Updates – If you have questions or want to adjust your schedule, contact your academic advisor as soon as possible. Graduate students should contact their graduate coordinator. More information is available on the UNLV COVID-19 website for students

Student Training  – UNLV offers a brief student training called “Returning Safely to Campus.” The training highlights new campus requirements, how to properly put on and remove a face covering, and how to properly wash your hands to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please complete the training before returning to campus for the fall semester.  

On-Campus Health Requirements – Per state mandate and UNLV policy, everyone is required to wear a mask or face covering while in public spaces (indoors and outdoors) and when around others in your personal space, such as your residence hall. During the pandemic, UNLV will prohibit on-campus tobacco use, including smoking, vaping, and chewing tobacco, to maintain compliance with the mandate to wear a mask or face covering. Students who do not follow these requirements could be referred to the office of Student Conduct. See UNLV’s #IWearAMaskFor video and join the movement on social media

UNLV follows the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, such as:
– Proper hand washing
– Wearing a cloth face covering
– Practicing social distancing by maintaining six feet (about 2 arms’ length) between yourself and others
– Monitoring your health daily, which includes taking your temperature and completing the COVID-19 self-assessment on the RebelSAFE app or the CDC’s Self Checker before leaving home.  

What to Do if You Are Sick
If you are ill and/or think you might have COVID-19, call the Student Health Center at 702-895-3370 or your health care provider for guidance.
– Information on COVID-19 testing locations is available on the Southern Nevada Health District and the Nevada Health Response websites.
– If you test positive for COVID-19, complete the online voluntary reporting form. This will help UNLV stop the spread of COVID-19.
– Stay home! The CDC website has further guidance on preventing the spread of COVID-19

Resources – UNLV offers a multitude of resources to help you throughout the upcoming semester. Please visit unlv.edu/coronavirus, where you will find information for students and other resources. Visit the University Operations page for updates, or check the web sites below for details.  

University Services
Student Health CenterCounseling and Psychological Services, and other mental health support
Lied Library 
Student Union
UNLV Bookstore
Computer labs 

I look forward to seeing you soon, whether virtually or in person. My best wishes for a safe and successful fall semester to you all.  

Warm Regards, 
Chris Heavey, Ph.D.
Interim Executive Vice President and Provost

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