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Texas State University

President Trauth Establishes Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Work Groups

Dr. Denise Trauth, President | May 18, 2020


Dear Texas State University Community,

In my May 1, 2020 email to the Texas State University community about our preparation to resume in-person teaching for summer II classes and the fall semester, I outlined several work groups established to create a plan that protects the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff as they return to live, learn, and work on our campuses.

These work groups are comprised of more than 120 faculty, staff, and students representing a broad range of departments, expertise, professions, and voices. It is this diversity in thought and experience that will ensure our return to in-person instruction will address the safety and educational needs of our community. 

I originally established five work groups, but that number has grown to eight to make our effort even more comprehensive. At the end of this email, you will find an explanation of each work group and a list of the members assigned to the group.

The work group chairs will deliver preliminary recommendations to the President’s Cabinet on May 22, 2020. Following that presentation, we will update the university community on their recommendations and lay out the process for implementing their recommendations. 

There has never been a more serious charge for our Texas State community. I appreciate the diligence and dedication I have seen from the work groups as they approach this challenging task. Together, we will navigate the details of returning to classes and to our campuses with the upmost safety.

Below, the charge of each work group is defined, and the membership is identified.

Continuity of Education Work Group

Charge:

1) To make recommendations about instructional delivery modes for summer session II and fall 2020, camps offered during summer session II, and other events held on Texas State campuses 

2) To explore alternatives for fall 2020, including delaying the start of the fall semester and modifying the current plan to begin with face-to-face

3) To establish deadlines for making decisions.

Membership:

Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman (Chair), Associate Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dr. Gene Bourgeois (Ex-officio), Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs
Dr. Margarita Arellano, Dean of Students, Student Affairs
Dr. Jenn Beck, Director, Retention Management and Planning
Mr. Herb Jones, Associate Director, Housing and Residential Life
Dr. Lyn Ledbetter, Professor, School of Music
Dr. Michael O’Malley, Dean, College of Education
Ms. Sandy Pantlik, Assistant Vice President, University Advancement
Mr. Ken Pierce, Vice President, Information Technology
Mr. Gary Ray, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Management and Marketing
Dr. Chad Smith, Chair, Department of Sociology
Mr. Gavin Steiger, Director, Office of Disability Services
Mr. Jeremy Stolfa, Associate Athletics Director-Facilities and Operations, Department of Athletics
Dr. Debbie Thorne, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs

Health, Wellness, and Safety Work Group

Charge: 

1) To prepare a detailed plan for the university’s response in the likely event that students, faculty, and staff test positive in fall 2020 that allows the university to ensure the safety of the community while continuing to operate

2) To develop prevention and contingency processes and procedures designed to ensure the health, wellness, and safety of our students and employees as students return to our campuses

3) To develop a plan for marketing our health, wellness, and safety initiatives to students and their parents in a way that as students return to campus, they know that Texas State has their health, wellness, and safety in the forefront of its initiatives.

Membership:

Dr. Emilio Carranco (Chair), Director, Student Health Center
Mr. Raymond Loriaux (Ex-officio), Coordinator, Emergency Management
Dr. Margarita Arellano, Associate Vice President, Student Affairs/Dean of Students
Dr. Barbara Breier, Vice President, University Advancement
Mr. Kyle Estes, Associate Director, Housing and Residential Life
Dr. Tom Grimes, Professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Mr. Elias Martinez, Assistant Vice President, University Marketing
Ms. Wendy McCoy, Director, Environmental Health, Safety, and Risk Management
Dr. Christy Nolan, Director, Department of Campus Recreation
Dr. Lisa Lloyd, Vice President, University Administration
Dr. Lynne Reeder, Director, Counseling Center
Dr. Rodney Rohde, Associate Dean of Research, College of Health Professions
Ms. Tracy Shoemake, Senior Associates Athletic Director-Internal Operations, Department of Athletics
Mr. Whitten Smart, Special Assistant to the Vice President, Information Technology
Dr. Debbie Thorne, Associate Provost, Academic Affairs
Mr. John Root, Jr., Director, Auxiliary Services
Mr. Gordon S. Green, Director, Facilities Management

Continuity of Housing Work Group

Charge:

To address financial issues related to housing.

Membership:

Ms. Cristine Black (Chair), Assistant Vice President, Budgeting, Financial Planning, and Analysis
Mr. Eric Algoe, Vice President, Finance and Support Services
Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt, Assistant Vice President, Academic Services
Mr. Bryan Dean, Associate Athletics Director-Business Operations, Department of Athletics
Dr. Rosanne Proite, Director, Housing and Residential Life
Mr. John Root, Jr., Director, Auxiliary Services

Continuity of Research Work Group

Charge:

To develop a plan for a phased resumption of research activities, including access to research laboratories, that incorporates relevant scientific and medical information regarding the COVID-19 crisis and places the health, wellness, and safety of the staff, students, and faculty as the highest priority. 

This work group will work from the assumption that research laboratories are closed except for critical activities approved through the office of research and sponsored programs and until recommendations from this work group are vetted and approved by the President’s Cabinet.

Membership:

Dr. Walter Horton (Chair), Associate Vice President, Research and Federal Relations
Mr. Raymond Loriaux (Ex-officio), Coordinator, Emergency Management
Dr. Mike Blanda, Assistant Vice President, Research and Federal Relations
Mr. Steve Frayser, Director, Science, Technology, and Advanced Research Park
Dr. Denise Gobert, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
Dr. Andrea Golato, Dean, The Graduate College 
Dr. Clay Green, Professor, Department of Biology
Mr. Mark Hughes, Associate Vice President, Technology Resources
Dr. Hong-Gu Kang, Associate Professor, Department of Biology 
Dr. Todd Jewell, Associate Dean for Research and International Programs, McCoy College of Business Administration 
Dr. Jon Lasser, Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs, College of Education 
Dr. Robert Mace, Interim Executive Director, The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment
Dr. Joey Martin, Associate Dean, Fine Arts and Communication
Ms. Kathy Martinez-Prather, Director, Texas School Safety Center 
Dr. Tom Myers, Associate Dean for Shared Research Operations, College of Science and Engineering 
Dr. Karen Meaney, Chair, Department of Health and Human Performance 
Dr. Michael Nava, Associate Dean for Student Services, University College 
Dr. Dan Perry, Assistant Vice President, University Advancement 
Dr. Chris Rhodes, Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
Dr. Rodney Rohde, Associate Dean for Research, College of Health Professions
Dr. Aimee Roundtree, Associate Dean for Research, College of Liberal Arts 
Mr. Thomas Shewan, Associate Vice President, Facilities
Dr. Casey Smith, Manager, Shared Research Operations, College of Science and Engineering 
Dr. Donna Vandiver, Associate Dean for Research, College of Applied Arts 
Dr. Melinda Villagran, Director, University Translational Health Research, College of Fine Arts and Communication
Dr. Paula Williamson, Associate Dean for Research, College of Science and Engineering

Faculty and Staff Morale Work Group

Charge:

1) To monitor the morale of university employees (faculty and staff) as they deal with anxieties and uncertainties associated with major changes in their work environments

2) To develop and execute surveys and focus groups designed to elicit information regarding state of employees' emotional and mental wellbeing

3) To develop strategies for securing open lines of communication to the Cabinet and maintaining a healthy sense of community and shared sense of hardship among university employees

4) To recommend reasonable strategies for helping faculty and staff cope with the changes. 

Membership:

Dr. Angela Ausbrooks, (Chair), Director, School of Social Work
Dr. Janet Bezner, Chair, Faculty Senate, Associate Professor, Department of Physical Therapy
Mr. Cesquinn Curtis, Assistant Vice President, University Advancement
Ms. Chandra Dorsey, Assistant Head Coach, Women's Basketball, Department of Athletics
Dr. Noel Fuller, Chair, Staff Council
Dr. Candace Hastings, Director, Faculty Development
Dr. Jon Lasser, Associate Dean for Research and Sponsored Programs, College of Education 
Dr. Vince Luizzi, Professor, Department of Philosophy
Dr. Lynn Reeder, Director, Counseling Center 
Dr. Denise Smart, Dean, McCoy College of Business Administration
Ms. Rose Trevino, Work Life Coordinator, Office of Human Resources

Continuity of Intercollegiate Athletics Work Group

Charge:

In coordination with the NCAA, Sun Belt Conference, federal, state, and local guidelines, make recommendations that allow for a phased approach to the resocialization of student-athletes and to hosting events in all athletic facilities.

Membership:

Mr. Travis Comer (co-chair), Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director – Development/Administration
Mr. Don Coryell (co-chair), Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director – External Operations
Dr. Emilio Carranco, Director, Student Health Center
Mr. Chin-Hong Chua, Resident District Manager, Chartwells
Dr. Michelle Hamilton, National Collegiate Athletic Association Faculty Representative
Mr. Jason Karlick, Head Athletics Healthcare Administrator
Dr. Lisa Lloyd, Vice President for University Administration
Dr. Rosanne Proite, Director, Housing and Residential Life
Mr. John Root, Jr., Director, Auxiliary Services
Ms. Tracy Shoemake, Executive Senior Associate Athletics Director - Internal Operations/SWA
Ms. Kelsey Solis, Associate Athletics Director - Compliance
Mr. Jeremy Stolfa, Associate Athletics Director - Facilities and Operations
Dr. Larry Teis, Director of Athletics
Four student-athlete representatives

Continuity of Student Life Work Group

Charge:

Though face-to-face classes are expected to resume in Summer II and Fall 2020, university operations will be different in light of the COVID-19 situation. The continuity of student life work group is charged with:

1) Answering the following questions:

  • What will student life look like on a day-to-day basis?
  • How do we engage students?
  • How do we continue to meet and sustain institutional goals around diversity, equity, and inclusion?

2) Evaluating the extra and co-curricular dimensions of the calendar for 2020-2021 and recommend calendar options for a healthy academic year and beyond.

3) Recommending innovative and fun ways to effectively and safely engage students through extra and co-curricular activities.

Note. The Continuity of Education work group is focused on curricular activities; and the Continuity of Intercollegiate Athletics work group is focused on athletic events and events utilizing athletic facilities. 

Membership:

Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt, Chair, Assistant Vice President, Academic Services
Dr. Sherri Benn, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Director of the Office of Student Diversity and Inclusion
Ms. Kristy Caldwell, Associate Director, Campus Recreation
Mr. Robert P. Dudolski, Assistant Dean of Students-Fraternity and Sorority Life, Dean of Students Office
Dr. Cynthia Gonzales, Associate Professor, School of Music
Ms. Tracy Goodman, Assistance Director, Conference Services,
Ms. LaTonya Henry, Supervisor, Round Rock Campus, Dean of Students Office
Ms. Laura Krantz, Program Director, Student Publications
Mr. Ralph Leal, Associate Director, Career Services
Mr. Twister Marquiss, Senior Lecturer, University College
Mr. Ramces Luna, Coordinator, Leadership Institute, Dean of Students Office
Ms. Sylvia Reyes, Assistant Director, Student Involvement, LBJ Student Center
Dr. Yasmine Beale-Rivaya, Professor, Department of World Languages and Literatures
Mr. Eli Trenado, Assistant Director, Housing and Residential Life
Dr. Scott Walter, Senior Lecturer, Department of Biology
Ms. Holly Wise, Senior Lecturer, School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Ms. Nicole Wesley, Associate Professor, Department of Theatre and Dance
Ms. Jennifer Wood, Assistant Director, Retention Management and Planning
Two representatives from the student body

Commencement Planning Work Group

Charge:

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, university operations will be different including the way that we honor graduates through traditional commencement ceremonies. The Commencement Planning Work Group is charged with:

1) Recommendations for implementing virtual commencement ceremonies for spring and summer 2020 graduates on August 6, 7, and 8, 2020.

2) Exploring the feasibility of adding one or more in-person “make-up” ceremonies later in the fall to accommodate spring and summer graduates who missed out on an in-person experience this year.

3) Recommending ways to manage future commencement ceremonies in light of COVID-19.

Membership: 

Dr. Vedaraman Sriraman (Chair), Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs
Ms. Kristin McDaniel, Commencement Coordinator, Academic Affairs
Dr. Emilio Carranco, Director, Student Health Center
Dr. Andrea Golato, Dean, The Graduate College
Dr. Michael Supancic, Assistant Professor, School of Criminal Justice
Dr. Jennifer Jensen, Associate Professor, Department of Geography
Mr. Whitten Smart, Special Assistant to the Vice President for Information Technology
Mr. Elias Martinez, Assistant Vice President, University Marketing
Ms. Sandra Pantlik, Assistant Vice President, University Advancement
Mr. Lou Jimenez, University Registrar
Mr. Jesse Silva, Associate Director, Student Diversity and Inclusion
Ms. Holly Tipton, Academic Services Coordinator
Ms. Kaitlin Hopkins, Senior Lecturer, Department of Theatre and Dance
Ms. Sara Boysen, Supervisor, Health Professions Academic Advising Center
Six student representatives

 

Sincerely,

Denise M. Trauth

President