Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 June 1, 2020 4:11 p.m.)

Our journey to a more just and equitable tomorrow

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I hope this message finds you well as we begin the last month of spring in 2020.

I have received messages from both a faculty and a staff member who personally knew George Floyd from his time living in Houston. They shared deep grief about his brutal treatment and death, and my heart aches in hearing the pain of this recent experience on top of many others throughout their lives. George Floyd’s killing is a culminating event in a long history of racism and violence that has rightfully sparked new anger and hurt for so many. The fear expressed by those in our black and brown communities is more palpable now than I have ever seen in my lifetime.

Thought leaders like Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms of Atlanta, T.I. & Killer Mike, Flint, MI Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson, and Barack Obama offer valuable historical and social context, impassioned pleas for peaceful activism, philosophical perspectives that underpin social and political systems, as well as an outline for a path forward to effect real change. I am also grateful to hear reports of those in our community who have joined in peaceful local protests. Your activism can shine through today’s veil of darkness on the systemic racism and other social issues that have led us to this moment.

At Texas Woman’s, I know we are committed to continuing to do our part in building a peaceful and more just society through teaching and learning, research, and student development (e.g., inviting Angie Thomas, author of The Hate U Give, to speak at the recent Jamison Lecture, screening of the film True Conviction, faculty scholarship such as ESFL Chair Genevieve West’s recently celebrated work on the writings of Zora Neale Hurston, Pioneers Votes efforts, Civic Engagement work, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy wins, to name a few). I am encouraged by past leadership of our alumni, faculty, and staff, as well as our developing leaders. It’s going to take all of us.

For some good news of the weekend: our staff member who had tested positive for COVID-19 is recovering well. The staff member diligently wore a face mask per guidance while on campus, and our trained contact tracing team identified and notified two other individuals, both of whom are well through the period of self-quarantine and back on campus. We have fully detailed in our coronavirus FAQs about what happens if there is a positive COVID-19 case on one of our campuses. I am proud to report that our Risk Management team completed, some weeks back, professional development, certified by Johns Hopkins, for COVID-19 contact tracing. Their forethought allows us to protect individual privacy better while mitigating spread of the contagion.

As I move about more these days, I encounter those who eagerly wear nose and mouth coverings while interacting in public and those who do not. I believe wearing a mask shows respect for each other, and I know respect is a core value shared by those in the Texas Woman’s community. It is on the pillar of respect that we will keep our community safe while returning to on-campus interactions as well as build a more just and equitable tomorrow.

With a pioneering spirit,

Carine M. Feyten, Ph.D.
Chancellor and President

P.S. For the latest information, check out the TWU COVID-19 webpage.

Page last updated 4:30 PM, June 1, 2020