February 2020


February 29, 2020 - Coronavirus Preparedness Update

I wanted to provide a brief update based on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Department of Health and the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency meetings yesterday.

  • Dr. Lisa Piercey, State Health Commissioner, has put in place an updated page for all COVID19 information here: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/ncov.html. We will be following protocols for communities without identified cases geared to limit any disease onset and spread including:  a) implementing cleaning and related protocols developed to limit any potential disease spreading, b) enacting related protocols and messaging regarding ill employees need to stay at home when sick, c) handwashing messaging this coming week, with detailed messaging on the importance and proper technique to follow regarding handwashing, and d) putting in place a plan to monitor and respond to absenteeism, including clear guidance on procedures for ill employees or students to be managed in a manner that prevents any spread of illness if on campus. Details on those steps will be shared with all chairs, program directors, deans and administrative leaders on Monday. 
  • Detailed guidance has been provided for university health centers regarding the assessment and clinical management of ill students. This has been shared with our health center and the management protocol is being implemented: https://www.tn.gov/content/dam/tn/health/documents/cedep/novel-coronavirus/TDH-COVID-triage-and-assessment.pdf
  • We will continue weekly assessment and reporting of students currently in study abroad programs, particularly focused on travel to Italy, South Korea and Japan.
  • The Provost is working with deans and chairs regarding necessary procedures and technical support to allow transition of curriculum delivery online if needed and necessary. This will vary from college to college.
  • Our leadership team is conducting a tabletop exercise regarding possible pandemic scenarios. Any additional information from this exercise will be shared.   

 We need your assistance implementing and following all protocols implemented. We will keep you updated on a regular basis as new information and guidance emerge from developing situations.

-Dr. M. David Rudd, UofM President

February 28, 2020 - Campus Coronavirus Preparations

The University of Memphis leadership has an active planning and management group coordinating with the Office of the Governor, the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency and the Tennessee Department of Health’s Epidemiology Unit regarding recommendations, guidelines and preparations for any potential impact of the coronavirus. We are following all guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention located at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business-response.html and addressing all aspects of University functions. No University sponsored travel to Level III countries is scheduled.

Planning and preparation will continue, and the campus will be updated as needed.  

-Dr. M. David Rudd, UofM President