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UT System COVID-19 Task Force Releases ‘Best Practices’ for Re-Opening Campuses

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covid-19 update

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The University of Tennessee System’s COVID-19 task force has released a report that provides guidance, recommendations and best practices to re-open its campuses in the fall.

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

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

“The task force agrees with national experts that we will not return to campus life just as it was before,” said McCullers. “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.”

In addition to McCullers, additional UT System COVID-19 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)
  • Dr. 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.

The UT System’s task force report, along with comprehensive information regarding COVID-19, can be accessed at


Melissa Tindell

Jennifer Sicking

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Category: Headlines