The information in this piece has been updated to reflect new state health orders, which began Monday, Nov. 16.

With the end of the Fall 2020 semester on the horizon, The University of New Mexico has released updated plans for the remainder of the fall semester as well as the upcoming spring 2021 semester.  

Students were recently provided with a message on the supports that UNM ramped up for student success this semester and next, including discussion of UNM's regular Credit / No-Credit options, which was distributed by email and social media. Due to updated state health orders announced Friday, Nov. 13, UNM will pivot its operations to ensure alignment with the state in an effort to help keep the community safe.

The week of Nov. 16 will now serve as a transition week, where instructors will be encouraged to offer classes remotely where possible and to complete all face-to-face classes by Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. Starting Nov. 22, all classes will be conducted remotely. UNM was already set to begin remote classes following the Thanksgiving break. Updated plans for the end of Fall 2020 and the beginning of Spring 2021 semesters have been posted and concurrent plans that apply to UNM Health Sciences are also in place.

The "student guide" tab of my.unm, which instructors and staff can access, provides useful information about resources and services for students for the remainder of the semester. 

Additionally, a document is available that provides a brief outline of UNM’s plans as the start of the fall break approaches. It applies broadly across UNM, but there are local differences and instructions. This is especially important for the HSC academic units and for the Branch Campuses, and of course, the UNM Health System continues to fully operate to serve the health care needs of the New Mexico community. 

Thereafter, most faculty, staff and students will be working remotely and offices and buildings will, for the most part, be physically locked. Research operations will continue with both faculty and students working in research laboratories and continuing UNM’s mission of discovery, operating under COVID Safe Practices (CSPs).

During the holiday break, UNM will be largely closed from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3. During that time, UNM's COVID Call Center will continue operations, the Student Health and Counseling Center will maintain its normal holiday telehealth operation, and will have on-call capacity to collect test samples for PCR COVID tests as well as perform on-site antigen testing for students in the dorms, and the COVID Rapid Response Team will be operational. Critical research operations will continue over the break, operating under CSPs. 

Students returning from out of state who are moving back to Albuquerque to live in the dorms for the Spring 2021 semester should return to campus by Monday, Jan. 11. Following the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday on Jan. 18, UNM will conduct the first week of Spring term classes, Jan. 19 – Jan. 22, as remote instruction. This will allow students who are returning to UNM from out of state to return a week before the start of classes and continue a period of quarantine for two weeks through Jan. 22, if required according to public health requirements at that time. After the first week, UNM will begin a hybrid term much like the Fall 2020 semester.

Spring break is expected to occur as previously planned, and there is no remote instruction period planned for the end of the term. If students leave the state for spring break, it is likely they will have to quarantine for two weeks upon return. Of course, if the progression of COVID-19 dictates otherwise, UNM will adjust as needed. 

Below is a brief look at UNM's Spring term calendar:  

  • January 19 - Classes Start 
  • March 15-19 - Spring Break 
  • May 10-14 - Final Exams 
  • May 15 - Term Ends 

While COVID remains a challenge, and UNM is certainly not free from infection, the dedicated work and caring discipline of faculty, students and staff have helped slow the spread within UNM. UNM has not seen evidence of spreading events in either classes or in the dorms. 

For more information, visit Bringing Back the Pack.