A Message from President Benson: Stay Healthy During Winter Break

Dear students, faculty and staff:

Soon the fall semester will conclude, and the winter break will begin. I know that we are all looking forward to an interval of rest after this challenging semester.

I am proud of the ways in which our students have successfully navigated this uncharacteristically trying time. I also commend our dedicated faculty and staff who ensured that the University’s vital work continued.

You have met the unusual circumstances of the year by embracing personal responsibility and adopting practices to help keep our campus both welcoming and safe. Thank you for that!

During the winter break, which runs Dec. 21, 2020, through Jan. 1, 2021, UT Dallas will maintain essential operations. To those employees who continue to work year-round to maintain the services critical to our academic and research enterprise — I know the campus community joins me in a heartfelt “thank you” for your dedication.

You are all “essential” to the success of UT Dallas. What you have accomplished since March is something that we will talk about for a lifetime. When confronted with the challenges posed by a global pandemic, you found solutions that allowed our operations to continue. Students continued on their academic journeys, and faculty and staff worked in a manner that helped reduce the risks associated with the coronavirus. I salute your extraordinary work.

When we enter the spring semester, we will continue the measures that have helped minimize the risks to our community: wearing face coverings, hand-washing and social distancing. In addition, we will introduce proactive COVID-19 testing of our on-campus residents and of our faculty and staff who will be on campus regularly. Details of this program will be forthcoming, and I encourage every member of our community — students, faculty and staff — to remain up-to-date by monitoring your email and visiting the UT Dallas website regularly for the latest information that could impact our activities in January.

A gradual return to normal appears to be on the horizon, thanks in good part to the promise of vaccines for COVID-19. I know that many are experiencing coronavirus fatigue, but we must remain diligent in following our health and safety guidelines, including participating in the daily health check throughout the break.

Best wishes to all as we work through the end of the semester.  Stay safe, and stay healthy!


Richard C. Benson signature
Richard C. Benson
Eugene McDermott Distinguished University Chair of Leadership

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].