UT Dallas extends spring break, switches to online classes for remainder of semester

Classes at The University of Texas at Dallas will switch to an online format March 30 for the remainder of the spring semester. (Courtesy UT Dallas)
Classes at The University of Texas at Dallas will switch to an online format March 30 for the remainder of the spring semester. (Courtesy UT Dallas)

Classes at The University of Texas at Dallas will switch to an online format March 30 for the remainder of the spring semester. (Courtesy UT Dallas)

Classes at The University of Texas at Dallas will switch to an online format March 30 for the remainder of the spring semester, according to a message from university President Richard C. Benson.

Benson pointed to concerns around the novel coronavirus as the reason for the decision.

“As we have learned in recent days and weeks, the situation caused by COVID-19 (coronavirus) is highly dynamic, and risks to our community can change rapidly,” his statement said.

The university is also extending spring break by one week, which means classes scheduled for March 23-27 are canceled, according to the statement. Faculty and staff will use this time to prepare for a transition to online courses.

There are no reported cases of coronavirus on the UT Dallas campus; however, the university is taking precautions to slow the spread of the virus by implementing social distancing. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, social distancing means staying out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others when possible.


“As we face this unprecedented situation, it is incumbent upon all of us to practice good hygiene and social distancing,” Benson said in the statement. “This includes washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding touching your face, and isolating yourself if you become sick.”

All campus events will also be canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual format, Benson’s statement said. This will help to reduce person-to-person contact, he said.

The university has not yet decided on changes to spring athletic events and is waiting for guidance from the American Southwest Conference, according to the statement.

Student housing will remain open, and UT Dallas plans to keep up its normal business operations indefinitely. This includes research efforts, clinical services, student services and other administrative functions, the statement said.

“The wellbeing of our campus community is my utmost priority,” Benson said in the statement. “We will continually assess potential impacts and will not hesitate to implement whatever additional measures are necessary to protect our students, faculty and staff."
By Olivia Lueckemeyer
Olivia Lueckemeyer graduated in 2013 from Loyola University New Orleans with a degree in journalism. She joined Community Impact Newspaper in October 2016 as reporter for the Southwest Austin edition before her promotion to editor in March 2017. In July 2018 she returned home to the Dallas area and became editor of the Richardson edition.


MOST RECENT

See how COVID-19 impacted Dallas County over the last week. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Tracking COVID-19: New cases in Dallas County decrease week over week

The seven-day average now sits at 202, which is a rate of 7.7 new daily cases per 100,000 residents, according to a county news release.

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations. (Courtesy Amazon)
Amazon begins rollout of statewide vaccination clinics for employees

The program, which began this week in San Marcos, gives Amazon and Whole Foods employees and contractors direct access to COVID-19 vaccinations.

Chicken wings.
Korean fried chicken restaurant bb.q Chicken now open in Richardson

Korean fried chicken restaurant bb.q Chicken is now open in Richardson.

The Spicy Fried Chicken Sando is one of several offerings on Fuku's menu. (Courtesy Fuku)
Fried chicken kitchen opens in Plano; The Heritage Table to reopen in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

As the first building for a restaurant on the 2-acre lot nears completion, developers at 820 and 850 S. Sherman St. in Richardson have reevaluated the rest of the property, which prompted these zoning requests, a city memo stated. (Screenshot via city of Richardson)
Sherman property plans for grocer, restaurant in Richardson

Zoning approvals by Richardson City Council have made way for future tenants at a property along Sherman Street and West Spring Valley Road.

Federal funding is set aside for public schools to address effects of the pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Why Texas has not yet distributed $18 billion in federal funds intended for public schools

As budget decisions loom for school districts across Texas, state leaders are holding on to federal funds intended for public schools to use in addressing the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Quiznos.
Quiznos on Belt Line Road in Richardson shuts doors

A sign in the window thanked customers for their support but confirmed the business was closed.

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas said power outages are not expected April 13, while requesting energy conservation. (Iain Oldman/Community Impact Newspaper)
UPDATE: ERCOT call for energy conservation ends April 13 without need for power outages

An ERCOT official said "tight" supply and demand conditions arose on the state's electric grid April 13 due to forecasting issues amid planned, seasonal maintenance outages by some power generators.

The chain has several restaurants in Texas, including two in College Station. (Courtesy I Heart Mac & Cheese)
I Heart Mac & Cheese coming to Highland Village; Gyro Shop opens in Frisco and more DFW-area news

Read the latest business and community news from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Storefront.
Crown Jewelry now open in Richardson

The store offers a variety of rings, bracelets, earrings, watches, chains, pendants and more.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommended health providers pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine April 13. (Olivia Aldridge/Community Impact Newspaper)
State, federal health authorities recommend pause of Johnson & Johnson vaccine after 6 rare, severe blood clots

Hub providers in Dallas, Harris and Travis counties have all announced they will follow the recommendations and pause distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Collin County has launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide residential rent and utility assistance for county residents. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Collin County offers assistance to renters and landlords affected financially by COVID-19

Collin County has launched its Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide residential rent and utility assistance for county residents.