It has been an eventful few weeks for our university, the Las Vegas community, and our state as we make strides toward a new version of normalcy. Students in the Clark County School District have started to return to traditional classroom instruction, more staff for local municipalities have begun returning to the office, and special events have been held with some percent of attendees. We recently announced UNLV will hold in-person commencement ceremonies in May to celebrate and recognize our 2020 and 2021 graduates, and we opened registration for COVID-19 vaccines to our faculty and staff. These developments strategically align with our ongoing preparations to resume in-person operations in a thoughtful and safe manner.
Transition by July 1
We are beginning a gradual transition back to in-person work and services so that all offices will be open by July 1. Offices that traditionally provide in-person services should plan to resume normal business hours beginning July 1, though modified staffing levels may be required to maintain social distancing in accordance with public health guidelines. Supervisors will manage schedules and staffing levels. Additionally, Human Resources is working on an updated university-wide flexible work policy that will extend beyond the pandemic. We expect to have the policy available this summer. Continued remote or flexible work schedules will require supervisor approval.
Getting fully vaccinated for COVID-19 is an incredibly important thing each of us can do to help end this pandemic. If you haven’t registered or received your vaccination, I encourage you to do so at our outstanding vaccination site on UNLV’s campus. Parking is free. The time from arrival to departure is about an hour. The service provided by NSHE students, faculty, and staff is top notch. Register online now.
As a reminder, beginning April 5, everyone 18 years and older in Nevada will be able to make vaccination appointments at UNLV and we expect it will get busier. If you haven’t done so, register now so you can get an appointment right away. Your family members also can register through UNLV.
We will continue to follow public health guidelines and remain vigilant against the spread of COVID-19. Consistent with state mandates, everyone on UNLV’s campuses must continue to wear masks, social distance, and follow all CDC guidelines and state directives.
Summer and Fall 2021
The majority of summer courses will be offered remotely, with limited courses delivered in-person. Registration for fall classes opens April 12, and we are planning for a majority of fall courses to be in person. There will be a limited number of courses taught in “hyflex” mode, where some students are in person and some participate remotely. We will continue to monitor public health guidelines and adjust accordingly.
The last year has been full of challenges and triumphs. It has been a test of endurance and will, and one of patience and flexibility. While our campus may operate differently to some degree going forward, I believe some of the greatest attributes of the university experience are the natural exchange of ideas and the friendships that occur inherently with faculty, staff, and students on campus. The energy, vibrancy and opportunities are unmatched. We are all longing to experience this again, and we’re almost there.
I look forward to welcoming our students, faculty and staff back to campus for in-person learning and working, and we will continue to keep you updated as May commencement and our July 1 return draw near.
Thank you for staying committed to our mission, for keeping yourself and each other safe, and following public health guidelines. Your actions are making a difference at UNLV and in our community. We will see each other again soon.
Keith E. Whitfield, Ph.D.