Message from the Chancellor-COVID-19 (March 22, 2020, 1:53 p.m.)

Coronavirus…and restricted access

Dear Colleagues:

I hope this message finds you well on this first Sunday morning of spring though the coronavirus situation continues to evolve around us.

Although we have taken significant steps to reduce the spread of COVID-19, world, national, and state health leaders predict impending stress on our healthcare system. We believe we can and must do more. In line with plans at other universities around the country and here in Texas, we will begin a tighter restricted access policy for a period.

Starting at 5 p.m., Tuesday, March 24, we will limit building access to only those needed for essential operations and in support of our students still residing on campus.

Therefore, you will have until then to retrieve any needed items from your office. Supervisors will identify essential personnel who will need to continue to have access to the campus during this period and will coordinate that access.

I know many of you are very concerned about student wellbeing, especially those who have lost income and are facing financial challenges. I have allocated $100,000 from the Chancellor’s Fund comprised of unrestricted donations to the TWU Foundation to provide immediate relief to those students with the greatest needs. For those of you who have asked how you can help, we have established the Student Emergency Fund that we will use to collect donations, 100-percent of which will go directly to students in need. These funds complement other efforts we have made using recent federal changes that allow universities to pay Work-Study funds, for example. We also have waived late fees for students paying tuition and fees on installments, and Student Life is evaluating options for housing and dining contracts.

I am frequently reminded of the late Dr. Bettye Myers, who served as faculty in the School of Health Promotion & Kinesiology for over 40 years and who was also a dear friend to so many of us. She often recited this quote from Helen Keller, which seems apropos for the times as we each try to do our part:

I am only one, but I am still one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. And because I cannot do everything will not refuse to do something that I can do.

Earlier this week, the Indian prime minister asked everyone to make some noise for five minutes at five o’clock from their windows and balconies in support of the healthcare workers and others on the front lines of this pandemic. While such actions do not stop the unfolding realities, they are symbolic of the fact that we are all in this together, and all should do our part. While the phrase is starting to sound repetitive, these are unprecedented times, but I continue to feel a sense of solidarity in our collaborative and coordinated efforts.

With Pioneer Pride,

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

P.S. See the coronavirus with FAQs for the latest.

Page last updated 2:18 PM, May 1, 2020