UT students can expect ‘a new normal’ on campus

By , Daily Memphian Updated: May 20, 2020 9:36 AM CT | Published: May 20, 2020 8:31 AM CT

The University of Tennessee system’s COVID-19 task force has released a report that provides guidance, recommendations and best practices to reopen its campuses in the fall.

<strong>Randy Boyd</strong>

Randy Boyd

“The faculty and staff at each of our campuses have done an incredible job of thinking through the details of reopening their campuses this fall,” President Randy Boyd said.

The system created a task force in April, led by Dr. Jon McCullers, senior executive associate dean of clinical affairs at UT Health Science Center in Memphis, to advise on policies and procedures that would prioritize the safety and wellbeing of UT’s students, faculty and staff.

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In addition, each campus has created a local task force to look at specific needs for their campus community. McCullers has been working with representatives from each campus to develop best practices for their specific school communities. Campus-specific plans will be released in the coming days and weeks.

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“The task force agrees with national experts that we will not return to campus life just as it was before,” McCullers said. “We will be experiencing a new normal where we must manage through the risks. We will do many things differently, with the primary goal of keeping our students and faculty safe while delivering an outstanding educational experience.” 

<strong>Jon McCullers</strong>

Jon McCullers

 In addition to McCullers, additional task force members include

  • Brian Gard - Director of Emergency Management (UT Knoxville)
  • Christine Benz Smith - UC Foundation Professor; Director, School of Nursing; Chief Health Affairs Officer (UT Chattanooga)
  • Holly Rowan - Safety and Emergency Management Coordinator (UT Martin)
  • Marcy J. Souza - Associate Professor, Director of Veterinary Public Health (UT College of Veterinary Medicine)
  • Mike Gregory - Director of Emergency Management Services and Special Events (UT System)

The systemwide report focuses on education regarding COVID-19, managing the campus environment and its facilities, student transitions on and off campus, re-imagining classes and recommendations around student health.

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The task force report, along with comprehensive information regarding COVID-19, can be accessed at tennessee.edu/coronavirus/.

Editor’s Note: The Daily Memphian is making our coronavirus coverage accessible to all readers — no subscription needed. Our journalists continue to work around the clock to provide you with the extensive coverage you need; if you can subscribe, please do


University of Tennesee UTHSC Dr. Jon McCullers Randy Boyd
Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard

Sam Stockard is a Nashville-based reporter with more than 30 years of journalism experience as a writer, editor and columnist covering the state Legislature and Tennessee politics for The Daily Memphian.


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