Campus Facilities And Operations Guidance
Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
These rapid succession of updates are necessary today as we respond to the Brazos County deadline shelter in place of residence order and I ask you to review carefully. Any updates will continue to be housed on the COVID-19 TAMU site. Galveston and other campuses will also issue guidance specific to their locations in line with the information below.
Here are some important things you need to know about how the shelter in place of residence order affects the University:
• Faculty and staff should telework unless deemed essential to be on campus. All non-essential university offices will limit face-to-face interactions and move to virtual support to the general public at 5 p.m. today. All building entrances will revert to controlled access for faculty, staff, and students. We ask that you contact your supervisor to discuss any required on-campus staffing for your office. Any individual who is in a high-risk category should not be required to come to campus.
• Essential on-campus services will continue in support of students, faculty and staff. Even in a telework environment with few on-campus personnel, it is important that we continue to provide limited, yet essential on-campus services in support of students, faculty, and staff. For students, this includes on-campus housing, food service, and student health service as well as limited transportation to and from campus and restricted areas for computing labs and accessing wireless internet. All of these activities must be carried out using social distancing practices. Please see keeplearning.tamu.edu site and the main COVID-19 TAMU site for updates on available student services and hours of operation.
• Guidance to Faculty and Graduate Students and Continuity of Instruction: For faculty and graduate students who are teaching or supporting instruction, one essential priority is to continue our crucial online course instruction and activities needed to support teaching that will remain online at least through the end of the spring semester. We encourage faculty and graduate students who are teaching courses to develop methods that allow for the continuation of instruction that minimizes time on campus. Those individuals who need campus facilities to teach an online course can contact their respective department head for details on access. Please refer to keepteaching.tamu.edu site for additional teaching resources.
• Staff Guidance: For staff, we ask that you contact your supervisor to discuss the expectations of your work arrangements. Please refer to earlier e-mails on the Human Resources website on instructions for continuing work assignments.
• Ongoing Critical Services: Critical aspects of our business operations are considered essential under the orders and these will continue. These include but are not limited to: health services, food services that are available to-go, emergency responders, public safety, mail services, residence halls, janitorial and maintenance services, technology support, financial services, essential transportation services, airport, construction where approved, utilities and scientific research.
• Ongoing Research: Regarding ongoing scientific research, the Office of Research provides the following guidance: To the extent possible, Texas A&M researchers are encouraged to engage in activities that can be performed remotely (e.g., writing, data analysis, etc.); essential laboratory operations are permissible, provided they can be performed while meeting the “6-feet” requirement for social distancing. Graduate researchers may come to the research labs to conduct research activities that cannot be performed remotely. Paid undergraduate student workers may continue to carry out important support functions necessary for continuing laboratory operation. Any individual who is in a high-risk category should not be required to come to campus. Please see vpr.tamu.edu/covid-19 for additional information.
• Students must comply with applicable local government orders. In most cases, the orders allow students to leave their residence only for essential activities, such as going to the grocery store or picking up to-go meals on campus or from restaurants, visiting a healthcare professional and engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, or riding a bicycle, with proper social distancing. Students may also leave to go to university-designated locations for accessing computers and internet resources as indicated on keeplearning.tamu.edu. Please consult the central COVID-19 TAMU site for facility availability and hours updates.
• Student Health Including Counseling. For student counseling and student health, please refer to information provided by the Division of Student Affairs.
• Main Campus University Libraries will be closed to walk-in traffic. However, library personnel will continue digitizing resources to support online teaching. Access to all of the libraries’ digital resources and online research support will continue uninterrupted.
We will continue to share information and updates by email, social media and on our central COVID-19 TAMU site for facility availability and hours updates.
These are clearly difficult circumstances for everyone. We deeply appreciate the level of commitment of our faculty, staff and students in these challenging times.
Michael K. Young
President, Texas A&M University
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