SEPT. 8: Wear Your Mask

Dear University community,

As we resume operations following the Labor Day holiday, I wanted to take a moment to congratulate and thank each of you for your efforts to keep our campus operating safely. The policies we have implemented are consistent with Federal CDC and State of Tennessee public health guidelines and are designed to provide the best possible opportunity to maintain on-campus operations.

While we have been diligent over the past two weeks in following our masking and social distancing guidelines, I am beginning to observe that a few members of our campus community are not following our mandated policies, particularly when it comes to wearing masks. For the safety of our entire community, it is essential that all members of our campus – students, faculty and staff – adhere to our masking policy.

As a reminder, masks are required at all times in all university facilities, including classrooms and laboratories, with the exception of private offices. There are no exceptions. Outdoors, it is highly recommended that masks be worn, especially when it is impossible to practice proper social distancing. 

For those who feel they cannot comply with our policies, you must seek an alternative means to participate in on-campus activities; you will not be allowed to remain in our classrooms without a mask. There will be zero tolerance for violations and, as we have seen at other institutions, the potential consequences could include dismissal from the University for anyone who violates our policies. 

The next few weeks are crucial to our efforts to maintain our semester’s operations. Your support and commitment to the well-being of each other will determine our success moving forward. 

I appreciate all that you have done and look forward to successfully continuing our fall semester.

Sidney A. McPhee


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