Message from the Executive Vice President and Provost & Dean of SOM - December 17, 2021

Dear UTRGV Family,

As another semester ends, let’s take a moment to appreciate everything that went into getting here. Like the pandemic-affected terms before it, Fall 2021 was challenging. However, we persevered because so many of us here at UTRGV followed evidence-based protocols proven to be effective at preventing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19. And because of your efforts, we were able to celebrate our graduates with proper commencement ceremonies last weekend. Successfully executing such massive events requires synergy across all divisions and fuels confidence in our ability to continue expanding in-person operations this academic year.

Spring 2022 Operations & Omicron

Rest assured, we are committed to continuously monitoring infection rates and variants, including Omicron. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will use the most current guidance from infectious disease and public health experts to make evidence-based decisions in the best interest of our campus community. Although the Omicron variant is concerning, health and medical experts recommend that our prevention strategies remain unchanged.

According to experts, here’s what we all need to do to protect ourselves and prevent an outbreak:

Additionally, all UTRGV students and employees should continue reviewing the Daily Self-Screening questions before coming to campus and complete the Preliminary COVID-19 Screening Form if you:

  • Experience symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, headache, shortness of breath.
  • Tested positive for COVID-19, or
  • Were in close contact with someone who tested positive.

All university protocols and procedures, along with the latest updates on campus operations related to Spring 2022, can be found on the Welcome Back resource website.

REMINDER: Flu Vaccines & COVID-19 Boosters

The best gift you can give yourself and your loved ones is peace of mind, knowing that you are protected against both the flu and COVID-19. Please know that even if you’ve been “fully vaccinated” against COVID-19, the latest CDC recommendations indicate that everyone ages 16 and older should get a booster shot. Getting a booster is now considered an essential step toward safeguarding yourself from severe illness, hospitalization, or death stemming from COVID-19 infection. Please remember to update your UTRGV Vaccine Portal Profile after you get your booster so that we can continue to measure our campus community’s overall level of protection.

While the availability of COVID-19 vaccines for everyone aged 5+ gives some reassurance that more people are protected this holiday season, we cannot forget that the flu (influenza) is also spreading. As a reminder, all active UTRGV students and employees can get both vaccines (flu and COVID-19) for FREE by calling and scheduling an appointment at UT Health RGV Student Health and Employee Health locations.

Thank You

The holidays offer many opportunities to gather, but they also allow us a chance to pause and reflect on what we all have accomplished this year. That said, thank you for your commitment to promoting the safety, success, and experience of all campus community members. We wish you a safe and enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing you on campus soon.



Janna Arney, Ph.D.
Executive Vice President and Provost


Michael B. Hocker, M.D.
Dean, School of Medicine and Senior VP, UT Health RGV