Texas Tech University

Coronavirus Update from Dean Mendez to Faculty, Staff: March 12, 2020

Colegas,

I just wanted to provide you with some additional college context and our path forward that aligns with President Schovanec's announcement and presser this afternoon (https://www.everythinglubbock.com/video/texas-tech-take-action-on-covid-19/4399365/).

We will be providing periodic updates via email. Our college emails will be delivered with subject lines starting with "COE Coronavirus update." Second, we now have a coronavirus update website that will serve as a one-stop shop for college-oriented information. It can be found here: http://www.depts.ttu.edu/education/coronavirus.

Also, please be aware that both undergraduates and graduate students have already been briefed on their next steps with the information that we are currently armed with.

If you have additional questions regarding our college response, your emails can be directed to the following folks:

  • For faculty inquiries regarding the coronavirus accommodations, email me;
  • For undergraduate and graduate student issues, email Bret Hendricks;
  • For grant complications, email Shirley Matteson; and
  • For any media requests that come your way, email Lauren Brownell.

Given the unknown nature of the virus, these answers may shift in time, but allow me to provide a brief Q&A for our college community:

Q: President Schovanec's announcement stated that classes will be canceled. Does this apply for courses that are already online?
A: Yes. It applies to all courses (not practicums).

Q: Will commencement be canceled?
A: Given the organic nature of the virus, that is to be determined later, possibly by March 30.

Q: Are faculty, staff, TAs, GTPIs, RAs, GAs required to be on campus on March 23-27?
A: Yes. The course cancellation from March 23-27 just applies to just that, merely the courses. Outside of the courses being canceled, life goes on in the college and we must continue to accessible to students during that week.

Q: Are faculty candidates still coming on campus?
A: Yes. We will email the finalists a series of questions that are within our legal rights as to protect our public health. They are the following:

  • Have you traveled to areas listed by the CDC as level 3 travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus in the past 14 days?
  • Have you have been in close contact with a person who has been to areas listed by the CDC as level 3 travel restrictions due to the Coronavirus in the past 14 days or who has been placed under investigation or confirmed to have the Coronavirus?
  • Do you currently have fever and symptoms of lower respiratory illness (such as cough or difficulty breathing), or nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or abdominal pain?

Finalists will be assured that any affirmative answer will not reduce their opportunity to be interviewed or selected for a position. We have phone, Skype and Zoom as options moving forward.

I appreciate everyone's patience as we determine the best paths forward. Stay tuned and feel free to ask questions.

Sincerely,

Jesse Perez Mendez
Dean
College of Education