From the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic back in the spring, the University of Baltimore has met the many ensuing challenges with one principle in mind: In order to deliver and receive a quality education, first our community must be healthy and safe. Ensuring your protection, whether you are a student, professor or staff member, has been our top consideration. So far, we have achieved this goal. Now, as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester, we continue to emphasize this commitment as our plan for operations takes shape. In fact, today, as COVID cases spike in many parts of the country and we learn more about the risks of letting down our guard, it's more important than ever to be smart, be careful, and remain vigilant.
This fall, here is how UB will function:
- UB will remain almost exclusively online. The exceptions are for first-year and?upper-level law students and legal-clinic students, to comply with ABA requirements as previously noted. (Ninety-two percent of UB's 160 law classes will be fully online.) They will meet with faculty in small sections with personal protective equipment (masks) in place and social-distancing rules in effect.
- Specified areas of the Angelos Law Center will be accessible to the UB community during the fall semester to support academic programs and critical operations.
- Faculty studio spaces are being developed for synchronous instruction and recordings, for those times when effective remote teaching is not possible. There will be a strictly limited number of these spaces; criteria are being established by the Office of the Provost, in consultation with the deans, on how to prioritize their usage.
- The Bogomolny Library will be accessible for a total of four hours per week and only to library staff. Students can pick up books and other materials through an online form. Details will be announced shortly.
- Faculty and staff access to offices will not be permitted during the semester.
- No student employees will be working on campus during the semester. Also, an internship, practicum or similar student placement will be permitted only if the host organization provides us with a statement of compliance with federal and state public-health guidelines pertaining to the pandemic.
- Technology needs will continue to be met by the Office of Technology Services using the same methods established last spring.
- Beginning in August, UB will institute a screening protocol in cooperation with the University of Maryland, Baltimore's REDCap initiative. Details on this effort will be announced soon.
During the summer, using funds provided by the federal government and the UB Foundation, we are investing in resources to provide high-quality instruction in the online environment. At the same time, we are continuing to support the telework approach for all employees. The only exceptions, where in-person reporting is required, are for UB Police and our housekeeping and facilities maintenance staff. Our decision to remain online and in a telework environment minimizes the burden on those staff members.
This fall, you can expect an exceptional experience from your University of Baltimore. At the top of that to-do list, as always, is your health and safety. Please continue to work with us as we put into place the things that ensure that UB is a great place to learn, teach, and work.
UB President Kurt L. Schmoke and members of the University leadership team will provide updates during the remaining weeks of the summer, with more details about our plan, and more opportunities for you to be part of these efforts. Stay safe, and we look forward to a successful fall semester!