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Fall 2020 Undergraduate Update

Statement of University of Dallas President Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D. 

Date Published: Tuesday, June 9 

Dear Students,

I hope and pray that you are all well. I also hope that summer is bringing for each of you, if not a return to normal, an opportunity for rest and time to be with family and to deepen your relationship with our Lord. We appreciate how many of you have reached out to let us know you are praying for the University of Dallas during this difficult time. 

I write to share a message about an important change to our fall academic schedule. Our Provost, Dr. Sanford, communicated this information to all faculty and staff yesterday.

Classes will now begin on August 19, one week earlier than the previously scheduled start date of August 26. Finals week will now end the day before Thanksgiving, on November 25.    

Please note that this adjusted academic calendar does not apply to graduate courses in the Gupta College of Business, nor to the Rome Program. It does apply to all other programs. 

The reason for this change is simple: safety. We will take advantage of the diminishing incidence of COVID-19 that is expected to continue during the fall. We will also avoid the increased risk of travel and return to campus during and immediately after Thanksgiving. 

While this plan will shorten the total length of the semester, we will take steps to maintain the number of classroom hours during the modified semester. For example, we will go back to the practice of holding class on Labor Day. 

If you are a student in a high-risk category with respect to COVID-19 and would like to be considered for online instruction or other accommodation, please contact Joshua Skinner at  

We will also be making some adjustments to the spring semester. The full schedule will be posted soon on the Registrar’s Academic Calendar

I know these adjustments may be inconvenient, but I believe them to be prudent in light of the best available guidance from the CDC and state and local public health officials. I hope an extended winter break balances out these inconveniences. 

We aim to make sure that students will have uninterrupted access to the educational program.  To that end, classrooms will be equipped with cameras so that students will not miss what is presented and discussed in the classroom should they be absent.  

A number of units and leaders across the university are working on safety and health protocols for classrooms, residence halls and other shared spaces. Student Affairs will be in touch soon about the plans for residential life.  

I look forward to welcoming you back to campus very soon.   Please continue to pray for us as we do for all of you.

President Hibbs

Thomas S. Hibbs, Ph.D., BA ’82 MA ’83