UPDATE from June 3, 2020
The UCEA Executive Committee has deliberated the costs and benefits of hosting our annual “face to face” convention in Puerto Rico in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, its fiscal impact on university budgets, and the feasibility of our membership to travel in November. We have monitored the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announcements, governor-issued shelter-in-place orders, and workplace restrictions in both the US and Puerto Rico. We have also sought feedback from our membership about the outlook for fall semester at their respective institutions.
After considering all of these factors and analyzing the survey feedback by UCEA members, the Executive Committee has decided to pivot to a virtual Convention this fall, foregoing our traditional face-to-face meeting in Puerto Rico. In the days ahead, President-Elect Bill Black and his committee will share a revised Convention Call, including both synchronous and asynchronous presentation options. We are excited by the possibilities that a virtual meeting can provide and look forward to developing innovative ways of sharing research, getting/giving feedback, networking, connecting, and strengthening our community. We know that the Planning Committee and Headquarters will create something uniquely UCEA. Please be on the lookout for that soon. Now that we are having a Virtual Convention 2020 we are extending the submission deadline to June 19, 2020.
We fully acknowledge and recognize the difficulty and weight for many of not having a “traditional” UCEA Convention this year. All of us are committed to making sure that early career scholars and graduate students are not adversely affected by this change. We felt, however, that this decision was in the best interest of our organization and member institutions given the survey feedback, fiscal uncertainties of our academic institutions, learned opinions surrounding the viability of a COVID-19 vaccine, lack of Coronavirus testing and tracing infrastructure, and the delicate nature of our current economic and political reality.
We are looking forward to an exciting alternative convention in November and can’t wait to hear what the Convention planning team has in store!