Dear College of Education Faculty and Staff,
As I’m sure you’ve heard by now, “Stay Home—Work Safe” orders have been issued for the City of Austin, Travis County, and Williamson County. This is being done to help flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.
These new orders take effect at midnight tonight, March 24, and run through April 13.
As a state agency, UT is subject to orders from the state of Texas and from our Board of Regents. That said, these new orders include specific exemptions for colleges and universities (and other educational institutions) as essential businesses, “…for purposes of facilitating distance learning, performing critical research, or performing other essential functions, provided that social distancing of six feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.”
In the College of Education, our current plan aligns with these “Stay Home—Work Safe” orders. Fewer than five percent of our faculty and staff are working on campus at any given time. The vast majority of our more than 500 faculty and staff are working from home. Students have already been instructed not to return to campus. We continue to streamline operations as much as possible to meet UT’s mission, while also transitioning to telework wherever possible. I meet daily on Zoom with the college’s leadership team. Your college department chairs and unit leaders are constantly monitoring workflow demands and making adjustments to minimize in-person staffing where they can. Your health and safety are our primary concerns.
If you are working from home but need to return to campus to pick up items from your office or meet—with appropriate social distance—with someone in our instructional innovation or technology offices, or other spaces in Sánchez or Bellmont, you may do so. If you have any questions or concerns about your work assignment and expectations, please check directly with your supervisor.
You will receive an announcement shortly about joining your colleagues for our second Faculty and Staff Town Hall on Thursday, March 26, from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. Watch your email for the Zoom login details. I look forward to virtually seeing you on Thursday. Our community is more important than ever.
Charles R. Martinez, Jr. | Dean and Professor
Lee Hage Jamail Regents Chair
Sid W. Richardson Regents Chair