Thank you to our amazing faculty and staff
President | March 27, 2020
Sent to faculty and staff
In the midst of this incredibly difficult experience we have navigated together, you -- our amazing faculty and staff -- have been a constant reminder of the strength, compassion, resilience, and determination that thrives in our Bobcat family. I want to express my deepest gratitude to each of you for all your work over the last few weeks in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more than a century, our university community has been united by the belief that through our love of learning and our hard work, we can do great things. There is no better example than the many ways that faculty and staff are meeting these challenging times with creativity, cooperation, and a deep commitment to our students.
Every division, department, college, and program -- on both campuses -- have moved quickly to adapt our operations in the face of great difficulty and ever-changing circumstances.
Once we announced the decision to transition to remote instruction, staff in several parts of the university immediately established a comprehensive set of workshops and consultations to ensure faculty were effectively supported for the transition. Faculty responded quickly, converting over 5,200 class sections of lecture, seminar, and laboratory courses to remote delivery. Academic departments, schools, and colleges are also providing training and other support services for faculty, and adopting new tools and technology to shift to remote instruction. Our IT personnel have provided support, troubleshooting, training, and new resources to help make the transition as smooth as possible.
University-wide, departments and programs are being creative and finding ways to share their services remotely and stay connected with our students. The Student Health Center launched telehealth services to increase access to healthcare and to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to our students, faculty, and staff. Our custodians have gone above and beyond to disinfect some of the most high-traffic areas of our campuses to promote our health and wellness. Many of you have been go-to sources of information and expertise for reporters, students, and fellow academics regarding the pandemic and its impact on society. I also applaud the work of Academic Affairs, planning the logistics of moving more than 5,000 soon-to-be graduates from our May commencement ceremonies into August ceremonies. There are countless stories to tell about the hard work that has taken place here -- stories we plan to share far and wide in the coming weeks.
While all this work has been happening behind-the-scenes, everyone in our Bobcat community has juggled the needs of their loved ones, families, friends, and children. Many of you have children who are out of school, or parents and family members who are elderly or have preexisting medical conditions. All of this brings added fear and anxiety into our Bobcat community. I want to take a moment to recognize how difficult it has been for everyone, and thank you for your contributions during this trying time. You’ve worked hard to stay student-centered and I am incredibly grateful for your support and dedication.
It’s also important to recognize the critical work of people outside our university but integral in our community -- healthcare workers, civil service employees, sanitation workers, first responders, journalists, grocery workers, nonprofit workers and volunteers, military personnel, utility workers, and mail carriers. Many people in our university community have loved ones who have worked around-the-clock in these essential roles. We owe them a debt of gratitude as well.
Today, I also sent a message to all of our students to reiterate we are here to support them as they navigate the rest of this semester, and to remind them of services that remain available thanks to the hard work and creativity of our staff and faculty.
The university has shared several messages with you over the last week pertaining to what the recent stay-at-home orders mean for university operations, how public universities are required to remain open with limited on-campus staffing, and staffing for essential offices. If you have any questions, I encourage you to speak with your supervisor.
While many of you are continuing your daily work remotely, we know there are employees whose jobs and responsibilities require them to be on-campus. To express our gratitude, we are providing a free to-go lunch daily on both campuses. Look for an email from Dining Services for all the details on how to enjoy a delicious and convenient meal every day that you are on campus.
In closing, please know I share this message of thanks on behalf of the entire President’s Cabinet. We are all moving into uncharted territory together, but because of the caliber of our faculty and staff, I know that we will continue to provide a top-tier education and student experience, while living up to our values. That’s what makes Texas State so special.
Denise M. Trauth