Fall 2020 Planning


UT’s mission has always been to unlock the potential of our students and prepare them to change the world. This mission will continue during the fall as we educate students, and they work toward earning their degrees.
As the university responds to the COVID-19 crisis, our goal is to reopen the Forty Acres in the fall semester, likely with some courses and activities held in person and others online as dictated by health and safety concerns. We expect to announce these plans by the end of June. 

Interim President Jay Hartzell is leading a university-wide executive committee to develop these plans. They will work with medical professionals, city and state officials, students, faculty members, staff members and off-campus partners to answer key questions.

A Roadmap to Fall 2020

Renewing The University of Texas at Austin in the wake of the massive disruptions brought by COVID-19 — so that UT is stronger than ever — requires all of us to dig deep and carry out our mission in a way that protects all members of our Longhorn family. This plan provides a framework for the fall designed to accommodate the dynamic environment we are facing and enable us to adapt to changes in the prevalence of COVID-19 in Austin and throughout Texas. For an in-depth look at all of our fall planning decisions, please visit our Protect Texas Together website.

University-Wide Assessment

Next Steps

We recognize that our nation will still be facing COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. As a result, we need to assess and address a range of risks and solutions for the fall semester. We plan to do so by examining the ways we teach students, schedule classes, coordinate housing for students who live on and near the Forty Acres and the ways we way we work on our campuses.

Key Questions

  • How and when can we safely bring students, faculty and staff back to the Forty Acres?

  • How do we expand testing for COVID-19?

  • What will social distancing look like on and off campus?

  • How can we enhance the online learning experience?

  • What is the appropriate and safe balance between online and in-person learning?

Executive Committee

The committee is chaired by Interim President Jay Hartzell. Members include Interim Provost Dan Jaffe, Professor of Theatre and Dance Charlotte Canning (Faculty Council Representative), Chief Communications Officer Gary Susswein, and the chairs of the six working groups.

Working Groups

Six working groups will support the committee’s efforts by focusing on specific areas of university life.

Health and Wellness

Risk mitigation, detection and treatment
Chaired by Amy Young, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Vice Dean of Professional Practice, Professor of Women's Health, Dell Medical School


Undergraduate, graduate, professional and non-traditional education
Chaired by Art Markman, Professor of Psychology and Marketing, Director of IC2 Institute

Student Life and Engagement

Housing/dining, counseling, student engagement and student behavior
Chaired by Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students


Research operations and staffing
Chaired by Alison Preston, Interim Vice President for Research


Facilities, safety, human resources and financial
Chaired by Darrell Bazzell, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer


Athletic activities that lead to gatherings of students and/or external constituents
Chaired by Shawn Eichorst, Deputy Athletic Director and COO