The University of Tennessee at Martin is monitoring and responding to the coronavirus outbreak for the safety and health of our community and the state of Tennessee. Questions and comments can be directed to Bud Grimes, Office of University Relations, bgrimes@utm.edu.

UT System COVID-19 Situation Dashboard

Visit the UT System COVID-19 Situation Dashboard which includes aggregated information from across the UT System that is updated each weeknight, Monday - Friday.

THE LATEST FROM DR. CARVER


Preventing the spread of COVID-19 at UTM is everyone's responsibility.

  • masks Wear face coverings when in shared indoor spaces including classrooms, labs, hallways, offices, restrooms and common areas, and outdoors when you are less than 6 feet away from others.
  • settings_ethernet Maintain physical distancing of at least 6 feet is expected in all spaces, when feasible. This includes classrooms, labs, hallways, offices, restrooms, common areas and outdoor spaces.
  • clean_hands Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and use hand sanitizer when you can't.
  • medical_services Report symptoms and isolate yourself when necessary. All community members are expected to consistently report symptoms and follow isolation and/or quarantine guidance from University medical officals.

Information and Resources

Academics

2020 Fall Semester: The first day of classes for the 2020 Fall Semester is Monday, Aug. 17, and the last day of in-person classes will be Tuesday, Nov. 24. Fall break has been canceled, and classes will also be held on Labor Day. Final exams will take place online after Thanksgiving.

Dropping courses or withdrawing from the university after the drop deadline: Students who can verify one of the following situations may drop a single course or multiple courses or withdraw from the university after the drop deadline:

  1. Serious illness or injury of the student as verified by Student Health and Counseling Center or private physician;
  2. Serious personal or family problems as verified by a minister, physician or other appropriate professional; or
  3. Necessary change in work schedule, which conflicts with the class being dropped, as verified by the student’s employer submitted in writing on company letterhead.
The course(s) must be dropped or withdrawal completed before the last day of class or administration of the final exam, whichever comes first. Following approval by the student’s adviser, registrar, and in the case of withdrawal the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, a grade of “W” will be recorded for each course. Additional information can be found in the Drop, Add, and Withdrawal from the “University” section of the 2020-2021 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog.

Senior Exit Exams Waiver for Fall 2020 Graduates: UT Martin's Faculty Senate will decide in September how to proceed with Senior Exit Exams for all 2020 Fall Semester graduating students.

Testing and Notification of Positive COVID-19 Cases: This FAQ addresses questions about positive COVID-19 testing and notification.

CARES Act Events
  • Campus Tours: Campus tours for prospective students and their families have resumed. Contact the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at 731-881-7020 or sign up for a tour at www.utm.edu/tour.
  • Family Weekend: UT Martin’s Family Weekend for fall 2020 has been postponed. A possible spring 2021 date will be considered if COVID-19 conditions improve.
Financial Aid

The U.S. Department of Education is providing guidance during the COVID-19 crisis, and regulatory relief is being reviewed frequently by Congress. Any changes will be posted in this FAQ. This information was last updated June 11, 2020.

General

Q. What do I need to do if I need to talk to someone in the UT Martin Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships?
All the financial aid staff will be available at 731-881-7040 and financialaid@utm.edu, 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. UT Martin financial aid staff emails are listed here: Financial Aid Staff.
Q. How do Incompletes impact financial aid/scholarships? What would happen if a student takes an “I” in all of their classes for the semester?
When we run our process at the end of term to determine satisfactory academic progress (SAP), it will be counted as attempted hours, not earned. If their overall cumulative GPA drops below 2.0 or if their pace drops below 67% earned of attempted hours, they will fail SAP and would be ineligible for aid until they either get an approved appeal (reasons related to COVID-19 will be appealable without documentation) or their pace and GPA meet the standard once their incomplete course is completed.
Q. My household income has significantly changed due to the COVID-19 crisis. Is there anything I can do to update my 2020-21 FAFSA?
You can request the financial aid office review your information through a process called Professional Judgment due to special circumstances. We ask that you do not open your FAFSA to make corrections related to this. We will do it for you, pending the outcome of your request. To get the best picture of your financial situation, we are asking that you wait until mid-June before requesting a Professional Judgment. At that time, please complete and submit a Request for Professional Judgment, 2020-21 Form found at www.utm.edu/faforms. For more information, please contact us via email at financialaid@utm.edu.
Q. Will there be leniency when calculating HOPE/Lottery GPA during this time?
Tennessee has passed a ruling to allow schools leniency on Lottery GPA calculations during this time.
When calculating your Lottery GPA at the end of spring semester, UT Martin will consider either your prior term (for most of you, fall 2019) cumulative Lottery GPA, or the calculated spring 2020 cumulative Lottery GPA, whichever is best for you.
For those in Provisional mode, we will similarly use either your prior term (for most of you, fall 2019) semester Lottery GPA, or the calculated spring 2020 semester Lottery GPA, whichever is best for you.

Aid disbursement and refund checks

Q. Will aid posting and refund checks be delayed during this time?
Financial Aid processing and refund checks have not changed, but if you have not already signed up for Direct Deposit, it is strongly suggested you do this so you can receive your refund quicker and without having to go to the bank and cash the mailed check. If you do not have Direct Deposit set up, a check will be mailed to the address you have on file. Visit www.utm.edu/bursar for more information on setting up Direct Deposit.

Federal Student Loans

Q. I have a Federal Direct loan and cannot make payments right now because I am not working. Is there anything that I can do?
President Trump signed the COVID-19 Relief Package March 27, 2020. This package will suspend payments and interest accrual on federal Direct Loans and Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL) held by ED until Sept. 30, 2020. The bill will also count each month of suspended loan payments as if the borrower had made a payment for the purpose of income-driven repayment plan loan forgiveness or Public Service Loan Forgiveness, as well as for loan rehabilitation purposes. Suspended payments are to be reported to consumer credit reporting agencies as regularly scheduled payments made by the borrower.
Involuntary collections such as wage garnishment, tax refund reductions, and reductions of federal benefits like Social Security benefits will also be suspended until Sept. 30, 2020.
The bill requires the Department of Education, within 15 days of enactment, to inform borrowers of the temporary suspension and of their option to continue to make payments. The bill also requires the Department of Education to send six notices to borrowers, beginning on Aug. 1, 2020, informing them that the temporary suspension period is ending, and reminding them of their obligation to resume repayment. Those notices will be required to include information about income-driven plans.

Private Student Loans

Q. I have Private Student Loans. Is there any relief being offered on these payments?
If you have Private Student Loans, you are encouraged to reach out to your lender to see if they are offering any relief. Since these are private loans, the federal government cannot mandate any changes to them; however, many are offering relief to student/parent borrowers, so it would be a good idea to contact your lender.
Housing and Residence Life
  • Housing and Residence Life Plan: See the complete Housing and Residence Life - Fall 2020 Plan at the Office of Housing website.
Security, Services and Access

Academic buildings will be open during the day. The building lockup process generally starts around 7 p.m.; buildings may need to remain open after 7 p.m. based on evening/night class schedules, use, and activity. Recreational facilities will be open to all registered students during operating hours, although hours might be more limited than in the past.

  • Boling University Center: The Boling University Center is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday through Sunday, through Nov. 24, 2020.
  • Barnes & Noble Bookstore: Check the website for bookstore hours.
  • Computer Store: The Computer Store is open 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
  • Dining Services: Dining Services will be fully operational according to these guidelines.
  • Fitness Trail: The Fitness Trail is open for walking and running. Fitness Trail users are encouraged to use good social-distancing practices and to avoid group activities on the trail.
  • Help Desk Hours: Check the website for Help Desk hours.
  • Hortense Parrish Writing Center: The writing center’s distance operations are updated for the 2020 Fall Semester:
    1. The writing center will continue to offer virtual tutoring appointments for fall.
    2. To make appointment scheduling easier, the center now uses a program called WC Online. Students can log on, select the tutor they want to work with, select a time, and connect with the writing center virtually.
    While the writing center will not physically open for the foreseeable future, students can now schedule appointments when and where it’s most convenient.

    To learn more about the new format and access a tutorial video, visit https://www.utm.edu/departments/writingcenter/. A copy of the tutorial video is also available in Canvas.

    For more information about the Hortense Parrish Writing Center, contact Dr. Kelle Alden at kalden@utm.edu.
  • Paul Meek Library: The Paul Meek Library is now operating on its regular schedule: 7:30 a.m.-midnight, Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Friday; noon-5 p.m., Saturday; and 2 p.m.-midnight, Sunday. The 24-hour computer lab is also open
  • Perry Children’s Center: The Perry Children’s Center began a phased reopening June 1.
  • Recreational Facilities and Swimming Pool: The Student Recreation Center, Elam Center and swimming pool are open to registered UT Martin students; however, facilities will remain closed to the public in response to health and safety concerns caused by the pandemic.
  • Skyhawk Mail Services: The following services are available Monday-Friday in Clement Hall:
    1. Mail drop off, 8 a.m.-noon (large mailings should be brought early)
    2. Mail pickup, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Testing Center: The UT Martin Testing Center is open weekly on Monday, Wednesday and Friday for appointments only – no walk-ins. Please read and adhere to the following requirements to enter the Testing Center:
    For the safety concerns of our staff and all candidates, every candidate is required to bring and wear a mask or face covering while in the UT Martin Testing Center.
    By appearing to test, you attest that you:
    • Have not been diagnosed with COVID-19 or exhibited any symptoms within the last 14 days;
    • Have not been in close personal contact with someone who has a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis within the last 14 days;
    • Have not exhibited any flu-like symptoms such as fever or chills, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath within the last 14 days;
    • Have not traveled abroad within the last 14 days.
    If you cannot attest to all the above, you will not be permitted to enter the UT Martin Testing Center. Please reschedule your appointment for a time when you have met the above parameters.
Student Organization Programming
  • Student Organization Programming: The document outlines recommendations for 2020 Fall Semester student organization programming.
Student Workers
  • Displaced Student Worker Fund: This fund is helping students who are not Federal Work-Study and are not working in their university jobs because of the crisis. You can make a gift at www.utmforever.com/helpahawk.
Reentry and Vaccination

Reentry Task Force

Formed to provide guidance on how UT Martin will operate for the 2020 Fall Semester and beyond, the Reentry Task Force submitted its recommendations to the chancellor about all aspects of campus life and operations, including academic schedule alternatives. See the complete list of recommendations and responses and the results of a university reentry survey.

Phased Reopening

UT Martin is currently in Phase 2 of the Return to Work Plan.

Vaccinations

The UT Board of Trustees approved an emergency resolution during the board’s annual meeting in June authorizing the University of Tennessee System to require CDC or Tennessee Department of Health-recommended vaccines for all faculty, staff and students that are deemed to aid in preventing, controlling or monitoring the spread of COVID-19. The vaccination requirements are to protect the health and safety of the university community and are based on the advice of public health experts to help decrease the chances of a flu outbreak masking a COVID-19 outbreak. The vaccines will include the flu immunization and could include a COVID-19 vaccine, if one is developed and recommended by the CDC or Tennessee Department of Health.

The CDC has recommended the flu vaccine this season because it can help reduce the overall impact of respiratory illnesses on the population and thus lessen the resulting burden on the health-care system during the COVID-19 pandemic. As the CDC has noted, the flu vaccine "will be more important than ever" in the 2020-21 flu season because of the potential for the flu virus and the virus that causes COVID-19 to be spreading at the same time. The COVID-19 immunization would only be required if the vaccine has been medically proven to be safe and effective, and the immunization is recommended by the CDC or Tennessee Department of Health.

Consistent with state law, the University of Tennessee has required certain vaccinations for incoming students for years, and it is important to know that students and employees can be exempted from these requirements if they have a medical, religious or other reasons.

Common Questions about Vaccinations

Who needs a flu shot?
All members of the university community unless they receive an exemption.
Why are you requiring a flu shot?
The recommendation was made based on the advice of public health experts who have recommended students, faculty and staff have the seasonal flu immunizations to help decrease the chances of a flu outbreak masking a COVID-19 outbreak.
Can exemptions be made?
Yes. Just as we have exemptions for existing vaccination requirements, exemptions will be made for medical, religious or other reasons. More information regarding the exemption processes will be communicated closer to the time vaccinations become available.
Will you require a COVID-19 vaccination?
At this time, we do not anticipate a COVID-19 vaccination for the upcoming academic year. The COVID-19 immunization would only be required if the vaccine has been medically proven to be safe and effective and is recommended by the CDC or Tennessee Department of Health.
How can I get a flu shot?
Flu vaccinations may be received at your physician’s office, a local health department or any health-care provider. Also, UT Martin employees and spouses can receive the vaccine during clinics that the Office of Human Resources has tentatively scheduled for Sept. 30 and Oct. 30 in the Boling University Center; there will not be a cost if employees and spouses have insurance. Students will have several options to receive the shot, including on-campus clinics during September and October and at local pharmacies/clinics. Students choosing to receive the vaccine from a local pharmacy or clinic will be responsible for providing insurance information and paying any associated costs. UT Martin is working with the Tennessee Department of Health to provide the vaccine at no cost for students who do not have health insurance or transportation to an off-campus site.
When will students, faculty and staff need to have their flu shot?
We are asking members of the university community to have the shot before the start of the spring semester in January 2021.
Safety
  • Safety Trainings in K@TE and Canvas: Training topics covering a variety of subjects related to the pandemic are found at this link.
  • Social Distancing Guidelines at Work: Guidelines are offered for proper social distancing at work.
  • Stop the Spread of Germs at Work: Guidelines are offered for stopping the spread of germs in the workplace.
  • Masks: Faculty, staff, students and visitors at the main campus and five centers are required to wear cloth face coverings in public settings. Information about cloth face coverings is found at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visitors must come to campus with a cloth face covering and be prepared to wear it during meetings and social interactions.
  • NOTE – The following UT Martin Cleaning and Disinfecting Guidelines were adapted from the UT Knoxville Facilities Services Guidelines published May 6, 2020.

  • Cleaning and Disinfecting: The UT Martin Physical Plant Custodial area follows the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Environmental Protection Agency for facility cleaning and disinfecting in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The Physical Plant continues to monitor CDC cleaning recommendations.

    For higher education, the CDC specifically recommends routine disinfecting and cleaning of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched using the cleaners typically used according to the directions on the label. The CDC cites that most EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

    Physical Plant custodial staff members have historically been trained on proper cleaning procedures. This includes not only how to properly clean but also in the identification and handling of cleaning chemicals in accordance with EPA guidelines. The custodial staff uses quaternary cleaner and health-care grade disinfectants daily. These cleaners are a Spartan- manufactured chemical labeled as NABC, HDQ2, and TC-CIDE Quat. Per CDC guidelines, surfaces are cleaned before disinfection to ensure that disinfectant material reaches the surface. All of these protocols have been continued and re-emphasized as a part of the custodial area’s effort to ensure the safest environment for the campus occupants.

    The Physical Plant has recently purchased a Clorox Total 360 Cleaning system, which hydrostatically charges the disinfecting solution to cover all hard and soft surfaces. The custodial department also uses a fogger to apply disinfectant material. To further enhance campus safety, the custodial department disinfectants high-touch surfaces during every custodial shift.

    Custodial employees wear personal protective equipment while cleaning and disinfecting. While administering disinfectant solutions in the fogger or Clorox 360 machine, gloves, safety glasses, face coverings and possibly Tyvek suits are used. Normal cleaning personal protective equipment includes gloves and safety masks. Face coverings are worn in accordance with campus protocol requirements.

    If an area becomes contaminated, CDC guidelines will be used to disinfectant the affected area. Special attention is given to the proper personal protective equipment by the custodial department during the cleaning process. The affected area will be thoroughly cleaned. After this cleaning, the Clorox 360 machine will be used to disinfectant the area. The affected area will be reopened after the disinfectant products have had time to kill any germs/bacteria.

    The physical plant custodial department will continue to stay abreast of changing CDC and EPA guidance for cleaning and will make adjustments as needed to provide the safest environment for the campus.
  • Cleaning and Disinfecting Your Facility: The CDC offers specifics about properly and effectively cleaning facilities during the pandemic.
  • COVID-19 Disinfecting and Personal Protective Equipment Plan: See the complete plan, which includes information about PPE and signage.
  • Departmental Signage: COVID-19 signage is now displayed in common areas of most buildings. Departments may wish to have additional signage for their offices.

    To ensure consistency and proper branding, University Relations designed a standard set of signage. Every sign relaying the same information should look the same across campus to reduce confusion.

    To obtain additional signs for your departments, follow these steps:
    1. Review the standard templates that are available
    2. If the template is already available, order standard signs from Skyhawk Printing (digiprint@utm.edu) to be printed on synthetic paper. The cost is $0.70 each if 10 or more signs (can be different templates) are needed or $1.50 for a single sign. The synthetic paper is water and tear resistance and is not supposed to curl like regular paper. Alternatively, departments may print the signs directly from the templates.
    3. Unique signs should be requested from University Relations so that a template can be created and added to the collection.
    4. The COVID-related signs should be adhered with painter’s tape only. If you are uncertain about how or where to place a sign, please contact the Physical Plant.
    All other signage should follow UT Martin’s standard policies.
Teleworking
  • Employees who can successfully telework from home are encouraged to continue limiting hours in the office. Physical presence on the main campus and at the centers should be determined by what is required to fulfill job responsibilities and in-person service for the department or office. Teleworking is preferred until notification by the Office of the Chancellor that the university is collectively moving into the next phase of reintegration back to campus and the centers.

    Essential personnel working on the main campus and the centers should continue to practice precautionary measures such as hand washing, wearing masks and social distancing.
Travel
  • Due to current and foreseeable budget constraints, university travel is only permissible if it is essential and pre-approved by the unit’s vice chancellor or chancellor until further notice. The pre-approval by the vice chancellor or chancellor must be attached to the travel reimbursement request before it will be processed.

    Domestic out-of-state travel by UTM employees does not require a subsequent 14-day self-quarantine period unless exposure to the virus is suspected. Employees should quarantine for 14 calendar days before returning to work. Employees should be aware of the current virus statistics when traveling by checking the destination’s cases in the last seven days, their requirements and restrictions for travelers, and other guidance by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html. International travel does require a 14-day self-quarantine period.

Additional Information and Resources

 

General Overview

The following resources are offered by the Tennessee Department of Health:

SHCS Support and Management Coronavirus Disease Resources