Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 July 3, 2020 5:52 p.m.)
I hope this message finds you well as we ease into the Fourth of July weekend.
I understand “ease” is hardly the word of this week as we each grapple in our own way with news of COVID-19 spikes and the pandemic’s effects such as the state’s call for budget cuts, course planning, and potential enrollment declines. There are many variables and many ripple effects to any decision, especially in a volatile and seemingly uncertain landscape. So, I can understand the unease that I hear expressed on social media, in conversations, and through the grapevine.
“The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.” —quote from Faculty Senate
When in these uncharted waters, I depend on a breadth of data, multiple perspectives, and a network of collaborators and resources in my strategy for keeping the ship afloat and sailing. Since the beginning of this pandemic, my leadership team has brought all of these to the table in spades. We have managed to weather the storm so far without furloughs or position cuts. We maintained tenure and promotion raises. With all hands on deck in a student-calling campaign, among many tactics, we even managed to increase enrollment this summer over the last. If there is any ease to be had in preparing for the forecast ahead, it is in believing that my leadership team is capable, dedicated, and weighs the myriad concerns of the Texas Woman’s community—health and safety paramount among them. I especially want to thank Provost Kapinus’ leadership as academics sit at the heart of our higher education mission.
As I spend time this weekend thinking about the United States’ founding ideals such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” I will reflect on the application of these to our current context and the tension between individual and common good we face today. However you spend the weekend, I hope you will find some solace and even opportunities for joy. Happy and SAFE Fourth of July!
With a pioneering spirit,
Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President
Page last updated 10:02 AM, July 6, 2020