April 28, 2020
Dear UT Community,
Yesterday, Governor Greg Abbott announced plans to gradually, and strategically, begin reopening the state of Texas. Starting Friday, certain businesses and organizations will be allowed to open, albeit with new capacity restrictions and social distancing protocols. For more details on the new statewide measures, please read the Governor’s “Texans Helping Texans” report.
The Governor’s executive order will help re-launch some parts of our state. For the coming weeks, UT will continue to operate in its current mode. We will maintain online learning and limited on-campus operations for now, as we have since mid-March. Those employees who have been working remotely should continue to do so. In addition, we are assessing how we can reopen more research laboratories and will keep you updated on those decisions.
We remain firmly focused on the health and safety of our UT community members and are coordinating with city, state, medical and scientific leaders to charter a path forward for the university in the face of the COVID-19 crisis.
Today, we met with members of the university-wide executive committee that is planning our operations for the fall semester. Our goal remains to reopen the Forty Acres in the fall, likely with some courses and activities held in person and others online as dictated by health and safety concerns. But to get there, we still have a great deal of planning to do, and we must first assess and address a range of risks and solutions. We expect to announce our plans for the fall semester by the end of June, but we will continue to stay in touch as those plans take shape.
We hope that you and your families are healthy and well as we navigate this unprecedented public health crisis. As a reminder, please practice good hygiene and maintain social distance whenever you are in public. It is on each one of us to remain vigilant and care for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable to the virus, in the months ahead.
We thank you, as always, for your resilience, commitment and adaptability in the face of such trying circumstances. We will continue to communicate regularly with you and keep you abreast of any future changes and plans.
Gregory L. Fenves
Interim President Designate