The university continues to monitor developments regarding COVID-19 closely, as well as to fine-tune its response and contingency planning.

Depending on how the situation unfolds, it may become necessary to provide instruction remotely for some portion of the Spring 2020 semester.* Scenarios which could necessitate remote instruction include supporting students who are quarantined and cannot return from spring recess, students placed in self- isolation on our campus, faculty member illness or quarantine, and the possibility that we may need to take steps to limit person-to-person contact here at UVM.

You should begin planning for this possibility now and during the student recess next week.

Remote methods of instruction could include:

  • Posting additional materials/assignments on Blackboard; resources for Blackboard, or by sending a message to
  • Reconfiguring the timing of paper-based readings and assignments
  • Developing new assignments/readings/viewings utilizing existing, external web-based materials
  • Making use of Microsoft Teams to facilitate virtual interactions such as chat, video calls, meetings, and file sharing (including collaborative editing of documents)

 While there are no current plans to alter the university schedule or to shift to remote instruction, the situation may change quickly. Please advise your students to bring all important course materials home with them over the spring recess in the event they are unable to return as currently scheduled due to potential travel restrictions and/or quarantine requirements imposed by government and health agencies.

There is no single alternative instructional approach that will work in all cases. Please bring your creativity, ingenuity, and the full use of the technology to bear on this challenge so we can provide our students with the best educational experience possible in the midst of what may be difficult circumstances.

Action at this time is in response to the COVID-19 virus; however, contingency and continuity planning is a best practice. Please consider how you can incorporate this practice into the development of future courses.

We will continue to reach out to our community with updates as the situation unfolds. You can also visit this page on the Division of Operations and Public Safety website about COVID-19 for information and resources. 

I urge you to review the Center for Disease Control website for information on prevention and treatment, and to take good care of yourself.

Thank you for all of your efforts on behalf of our students and our community.


Patricia A. Prelock, Provost and Senior Vice President


*Guidance regarding travel-study courses is being provided directly to faculty members responsible for those courses.