March 5, 2021
Dear UT Community,
With Spring Break on the horizon, the increased availability of vaccines and recent public discussions about policy choices, I’ve been hearing many questions about how we plan to finish this school year in terms of our safety and wellness protocols. Let me address those questions directly — we have been safely delivering on our teaching and research missions so far this year, and our protocols have been working. As a result, those policies — including requiring masks in our buildings, classrooms and labs — will remain in place. This is in accordance with the most recent guidance from the Texas Education Agency.
Darrell Royal was once asked about changing his offense in response to a couple of rough games. He replied, “There’s an old saying. ‘You dance with the one that brung ya.’” In spite of difficult circumstances, we’ve had a good year — and we are going to dance with what brought us: Protecting Texas Together. Why? Because it’s these policies and choices that have enabled us to continue discovering and disseminating knowledge.
Thank you for all you’ve done to get us to this point. We are nearing the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 entering our community. Recently, I’ve been part of many conversations that started with something like, “Where were you when COVID hit Austin?” I vividly recall flying back from a family trip and receiving a phone call while in the Newark airport that essentially meant I wasn’t going back to the office the next day. And, here we are now together, almost a year later. We’ve had many trials and tribulations during the past 12 months, but I am really proud of how our campus has rallied.
Hang in there, and Hook ’em, Horns!