A Message from the President
Following the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic last Spring, I established an Advisory Committee for a Return to Full Operations. Working in conjunction with the UA System Comprehensive Health and Safety Task Force, we established the cornerstones of our plan to return and our fundamental principles of planning. Our timeline was ambitious and ultimately successful – returning to campus operations with the beginning of Fall 2020 semester, while adhering to appropriate health and safety protocols.
We learned a great deal over the course of the fall semester. Under the watchful oversight of our medical professionals at University Medical Center (UMC) and our Situational Response Team, we adapted protocols to protect the health and safety of our campus. Our students, faculty, and staff did their parts to control the spread. Our medical professionals at UMC and the Student Health Center tested thousands. We expanded the capacity and services for our COVID-19 support program, supplementing with external contractors, additional professionals, and medical personnel. Thanks to your collective efforts we successfully completed the in-person portions of the fall semester.
Today, I am pleased to provide this comprehensive update, summarizing our plans and the necessary health and safety rules that will guide our return in Spring 2021. While #StillTideTogether, The University of Alabama can continue our indispensable role as a preeminent provider of education, research, and service, and you can continue your role in ensuring our success.
We will continue to be nimble and responsive to changing circumstances and will keep you advised of any necessary changes as we go forward. As allowed by changes in the pandemic, our knowledge of treating the sick, and in the development and distribution of vaccines, we will work towards further expansion of in-person opportunities. Amidst that hope, let’s start the semester strong and plan to finish even stronger.
Stuart R. Bell