Texas State President Denise Trauth announced the members and purposes of eight work groups established to create a plan to address the safety and well being of students and faculty before they return to campus beginning summer II, July 6.
The work groups will be comprised of over 120 faculty, staff and students from a broad range of departments and professions and will work to ensure the university successfully returns to in-person instruction while meeting the safety and educational needs of the Texas State community.
The chairs of each work group will deliver preliminary recommendations to the President’s Cabinet on May 22 before updating the university community on their recommendations and how they will be implemented.
The charge of each work group is as follows:
1. Continuity of Education Work Group
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.
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.
To establish deadlines for making decisions.
2. Health, Wellness and Safety Work Group
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.
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.
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 at the forefront of its initiatives.
3.Continuity of Housing Work Group
To address financial issues related to housing.
4. Continuity of Research Work Group
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.
5. Faculty and Staff Morale Work Group
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.
To develop and execute surveys and focus groups designed to elicit information regarding state of employees’ emotional and mental wellbeing.
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.
To recommend reasonable strategies for helping faculty and staff cope with the changes.
6. Continuity of Athletics Work Group
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.
7. Continuity of Student Life Work Group
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?
Evaluating the extra and co-curricular dimensions of the calendar for 2020-2021 and recommend calendar options for a healthy academic year and beyond.
Recommending innovative and fun ways to effectively and safely engage students through extra and co-curricular activities.
8. Commencement Planning Work Group
Recommendations for implementing virtual commencement ceremonies for spring and summer 2020 graduates on August 6, 7, and 8, 2020.
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.
Recommending ways to manage future commencement ceremonies in light of COVID-19.
The full list of work groups and its members can be found here: Pandemic and Post Pandemic Work Groups