UAFS Chancellor Responds to K-12 Closures

Sunday afternoon University of Arkansas - Fort Smith chancellor Dr. Terisa Riley released a statement to students, faculty, and staff regarding preparedness and prevention efforts related to COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus 2019.) Her full statement is included below.


A website detailing university efforts is available here.



"Dear Lions,


You may have seen that Gov. Hutchinson and Department of Education Secretary Key made the announcement that all K-12 public schools in the State of Arkansas will be closed Tuesday, March 17-Sunday, March 29.  He also announced 16 presumptive positive cases of Covid-19, the novel Coronavirus, none of which are in western Arkansas.  


This closure aligns well with the discontinuation of face-to-face courses that I announced last Friday and which began for us on Friday, March 13, at 5:00 p.m.  Here are the implications:


  • Faculty will no longer be responsible for teaching concurrent, WATC and Regional Workforce Grant classes between March 16-20, 2020.  Rather, those faculty will spend the week working to put those classes online for delivery in the event that we do not offer face-to-face classes after Spring Break concludes on March 29.
  • Students involved in student teaching experiences will not report to their schools this week and should contact their supervising teachers and faculty advisors to discuss any alternative learning or participation which may occur remotely.
  • Faculty and staff members who are now faced with childcare concerns as a result of their children being off school should contact their department heads and direct supervisors.  Your supervisors will ensure that you are able to work remotely for the next week in order to provide care for your children.  

Other updates and points of clarification:

  • Students studying in the College of Health Sciences who normally participate in clinical experiences should hear from faculty members and advisors regarding clinical assignments from March 16-20.
  • Students participating in ROTC will not meet for PT or other assignments from 5 p.m. on March 13-11 p.m. on March 29.  
  • The Lone Star Athletic Conference voted electronically to cancel all athletic competitions for the remainder of the academic year.


A decision will be made no later than March 26 as to the future delivery of our courses, either returning to face-to-face or moving to online or alternative delivery.  Please continue to review our webpage for more details and updates:


Stay healthy, Lions!


Terisa C. Riley, Ph.D.


University of Arkansas-Fort Smith

Date Posted: 
Sunday, March 15, 2020
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