COVID-19 Update: First Employee Tests Positive; Grading Policy Amended

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The University of Arkansas was notified Thursday, April 2, that an employee has tested positive for COVID-19. This is the second confirmed case among the university community, the first being a student that lived off-campus and tested positive in late March.

University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz updated students, faculty and staff with new information regarding the COVID-19 crisis and how it is affecting the spring semester. His message to the campus and other updates can be found on the university's Coronavirus Update site.

"The employee had not been on campus since March 26 and while all staff have been practicing social distancing, out of an abundance of caution, the staff working with this individual were also sent home as a preventative measure," Chancellor Steinmetz said. "The Arkansas Department of Health will complete contact tracing and notify others as needed. We wish this individual a speedy recovery and ask that you keep them in your thoughts."

The university shifted to online classes on March 12 and reduced on-campus operations March 19 to essential services only with the majority of employees working remotely. 

GRADING OPTIONS AVAILABLE

With a recommendation from the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, as well as student feedback, the U of A has amended the spring 2020 grading policy to expand options for students. 

  • Undergraduate and graduate students will still be assigned a letter grade for their class.
  • All undergraduate students now have the flexibility to request to have their grade changed to one of the following:
    • Pass
    • Pass with a D
    • No credit
  • Graduate students may apply through their degree programs for a similar system, with requests granted at the discretion of the program.
  • Law students will move to a pass/fail policy.

Details are online and with faculty.

DETERMINED TO HELP

The Determined to Help website has been created to help those in our community find ways to contribute or receive services in our area during this unprecedented time. 

There, you can find details including:

  • How to contribute to an emergency fund for students who may be struggling with food insecurity, housing or healthcare costs.
  • A list of educational resources for parents, teachers and caregivers who are now teaching children at home.
  • Ways our faculty, students, staff and alumni are helping others during this extended emergency.

"While we can't shorten the outbreak of COVID-19, we can be a source of support and encouragement for those who have been most impacted by these unprecedented circumstances," Chancellor Steinmetz said.

If you're in need of services, but can't find what you are looking for, please email NeedHelp@uark.edu. If you have questions about how you can help, please email CanHelp@uark.edu to see where your expertise, skills and time may best be utilized.

For the latest updates and information, please visit the university's Coronavirus Update site. You can also send questions to feedback@uark.edu.

The U of A will continue to coordinate efforts with public health organizations at all levels and will continue to provide new information and updates as soon as they are available. 

Read more about how the U of A is Determined to Help

About the University of Arkansas: The University of Arkansas provides an internationally competitive education for undergraduate and graduate students in more than 200 academic programs. The university contributes new knowledge, economic development, basic and applied research, and creative activity while also providing service to academic and professional disciplines. The Carnegie Foundation classifies the University of Arkansas among fewer than 3 percent of colleges and universities in America that have the highest level of research activity. U.S. News & World Report ranks the University of Arkansas among its top American public research universities. Founded in 1871, the University of Arkansas comprises 10 colleges and schools and maintains a low student-to-faculty ratio that promotes personal attention and close mentoring.

 

Contacts

John F. Thomas, manager of university communications
University Relations
479-871-7620, jfthomas@uark.edu

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