Dear TAMUT Students,
This is a message I did not want to send. For the past several weeks our University’s Emergency Management Team (EMT) has been monitoring the progress and rapid spread of the novel coronavirus and the illness it causes, COVID-19. What started on the other side of the globe has begun to affect us locally, and we now must act in order to protect the health of our students and the entire university community.
Effective Monday, March 23rd we will be delivering all instruction online for at least one week. Most of the university buildings will be closed as of Thursday, March 19, and University faculty and staff will work remotely. Only a skeleton crew of essential personnel will work on site. We hope, of course, that the campus closure will last for a short time only. The EMT will continue to closely monitor the situation and will advise the campus community each Thursday, beginning March 26th, of the closure status for the following week. Please note that all student workers will be paid as usual.
We know we will have a number of students housed in the dorm who do not have the ability to go elsewhere. Students needing to remain on campus may complete a housing application with the residence hall director. We will continue to provide these students the resources they need, including food service. Our university police department will maintain their normal schedule of campus security, and The Office of Student Life will make sure that the remaining students are well taken care of.
I understand that this is going to be a challenging process of adjustment for many of you, and the move to fully online instruction may seem daunting. I have already asked your professors and our student success team to do whatever is necessary to help you with this transition. They understand that access to technology may be difficult for some of you. I urge you to communicate with your professors often via email so that they can better understand any particular difficulties you may have in this process. You will undoubtedly have many questions. We will do our best to answer them as rapidly as possible.
This has not been an easy decision to make, nor has it been made lightly. Our Emergency Management Team has been meeting frequently to assess the potential threat to our campus and discuss what is best for everyone. We have been monitoring the situation in the U.S. and around the world constantly. While we do not have a case of COVID-19 on campus or in our town at this time, we can see the spread of the disease growing closer and believe it is in the best interest of everyone to act proactively, rather than reactively.
I know this could be a hardship on you. I know you have concerns and we will address each of those with you. If you have questions that you wish the EMT team to address, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will have an FAQ page on the Covid-19 webpage https://tamut.edu/About/Administration/COVID_19/index.html as rapidly as possible and will maintain it regularly. Please check your university email several times daily. That will be our primary method of communication as we make the transition and beyond.
Again, I’m sorry to have to send this message. It is not what any of us wanted, but it is what we believe to be the best for you and the entire university. We will get through this together, because we are the Eagle family.
With best wishes,