NinerNotice: Returning to campus

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Classes starting Sept. 7 as announced

The University will begin classes on Monday, Sept. 7, as previously announced on May 4. The decision to delay the start of the academic calendar was based on several factors, including public health guidance and the University’s unique location in Charlotte. The University’s top priority is the safety of its students, faculty and staff, especially those members of Niner Nation who may be most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Charlotte is the largest city in North Carolina, and with phased reopening and the unpredictability of the virus, the University wants to allow additional time between the projected peak of the virus in Mecklenburg County and the beginning of the academic year. Cases of the virus are rising and public health officials estimate the surge to be even later this summer than originally predicted. While the scope, speed or resurgence of this pandemic is unpredictable, extra time to prepare means the University can have plans in place to ensure a successful academic year. The academic calendar is posted on the Niner Central website.

  • Final Exams: Final exams begin Dec. 17. The University knows time with family is important to students, faculty and employees. In-person exams will be scheduled first, allowing students and faculty the flexibility to leave campus before the winter break begins on Dec. 23. Online/remote exams will continue as planned. Exam delivery will be communicated by instructors on the first day of class.

Return-to-campus packets and face coverings

When classes resume in the fall, everyone will be expected to wear a face covering in classrooms and anytime you are within six feet of others. Before the start of classes, the University will provide return-to-campus packets to all faculty, staff and students that contain reusable and disposable face coverings, hand sanitizer and other items. Disposable face coverings will also be available in campus vending machines. Stay tuned for more information.

Working groups planning for fall

Focusing on six guiding principles, leaders from across campus are involved in the development and execution of the plans directing the University's ongoing response to COVID-19. Oversight is provided by the Policy Group, which includes the Chancellor, the Chancellor’s Cabinet and other associate vice chancellors and directors. The Incident Management Team (IMT) provides the infrastructure for the operational response and provides coordination to 22 working groups. More information is available on the Emergency Management website.

Air quality on campus

One of UNC Charlotte’s 22 working groups planning the return to fall classes is focused solely on air quality. After extensive assessments of guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and many other industry best practices, the group has determined the University’s building air systems meet and exceed the current recommended air changes per hour. The air change is the number of times air enters and exits a room in an hour. This means the air circulating through our buildings is being properly cleaned and is safe. It is important to note that there are no reports of air distribution systems spreading COVID-19 or other infectious diseases such as the flu.

The working group will continue to increase the frequency of filter changes as an additional precaution. They will also increase the monitoring of building automation and control systems to ensure all systems remain functional and are prepared to act quickly in the event of emergency failure.

Students and Families

Fall FAQs now available

The University knows you have many questions as you prepare to return to campus in the fall. It has started a fall semester FAQ on the Niner Nation Cares website and will continue to add more answers.  As the University gets closer to the start of classes, the Niner Nation Cares website will become a centralized source for the latest information. UNC Charlotte is committed to keeping you updated will provide more complete return-to-campus guidance to you no later than mid-July.

Fall move-in for residential students

Move-in week will take place Aug. 31 through Sept. 6. Move-in appointments will limit the number of residents moving into each hall on a given day to ensure physical distancing. Appointments can be scheduled online in early August. Residents will receive an email from HRL with additional details.

Laptop requirement for new students

The University has implemented a new laptop requirement for new students in the fall semester, both undergraduate and graduate. While this is not applicable to returning students, some colleges have computer requirements for their majors. Laptops will still be available for short-term checkout from Atkins Library, and desktop computers will be available in the library and computer labs.

Course delivery and tuition and fees

On Friday, June 12, Provost Joan Lorden shared information with students about the instructional methods that will be used in the fall semester. This includes in-person, a hybrid of both in-person and remote, and synchronous and asynchronous online learning. (Synchronous = live, online teaching in recurring weekly time slots. Asynchronous = materials and instructors are available, but no "designated class meeting time").

All course delivery methods will be finalized in Banner by early July. Students will receive email communication when this is done. Assigned face-to-face meeting times for hybrid courses may not be finalized until later. The University expects most students will have a combination of hybrid/face-to-face instruction and online instruction.

Based on direction from the UNC System, tuition and fees for the fall semester will follow the standard model that is calculated on program type, not course delivery. Additionally, while safety precautions will be in place, all campus services will be available to students during the fall semester.

Faculty and Staff

Return-to-campus guide

As faculty and staff begin to return to campus ahead of the start of fall classes, the University has developed a guide with information regarding health and safety practices, cleaning standards and other resources. The University knows all the information needed will not be found in this version of the guide. There are still questions to be answered, and it is working diligently to get the needed information to you. An updated version of this document will be provided before classes resume. A similar document will be developed for students and families, too.