Message From the Chancellor (COVID-19 May 8, 2020 6:41 p.m.)

You’re simply the best

Dear Texas Woman’s Community,

I hope this message finds you well on the final Friday of this semester, one like no other in my experience.

Now that students have completed their exams, I have received several more thank you notes. I want to join in their praise of our faculty and staff. Stephanie Wesson shared these sentiments:

...I want you to know what wonderful professors we have at TWU. I want to particularly speak about Dr. K. Rose (Research Methods), Dr. J. Armstrong (Family Financial), Dr. C. Dutton (Family Housing), Dr. E. Ramey (Developmental Sexuality) and Mrs. McDonald (Family Resources). These professors, first and foremost, wanted their students to know they were not alone in this. They were just as concerned as the student, if not more, about the success of their students. …[She] went over and above the call of duty, making sure her students completed assignments on time. She did this because she did not want any student to get a zero. ...When I talk to others who attend college somewhere else, they tell me they were not afforded the same help or opportunities. I am so glad I chose TWU. I can’t imagine going to college anywhere else.

Stephanie’s effusive positivity about the faculty at Texas Woman’s joins the sentiments of many others, thanking instructors of every ilk, from professor to assistant professor, clinical faculty, adjuncts, and graduate teaching assistants. It is this #campuswithaheart culture of teaching and learning, research, and service that also attracted me to Texas Woman’s. I, too, cannot imagine being anywhere else!

Changing hearts and minds does not happen easily; yet, I have noted a pattern of changed perspectives expressed in the emails I have received. We open ourselves up to the possibility of change when we really listen, rather than assuming we know what another person is going to say. We cannot possibly know what others have lived through; so if we guess based on our lived experience and world view, it only cements that view rather than potentially changing it. Scarlet Whitcomb’s recent note of gratitude exemplifies this unusual yet highly desirable pattern change:

...I came to this college jaded from seeing all of the struggle and carelessness that enveloped other colleges, including my previous one. This trust has been earned [here] many times over, however.

I feel really grateful—especially with many of my friends and family forced out by poor business practices—that I am a student, and that I am here. Thank you so much for caring!

I also want to thank the staff who have rallied in many creative ways. University Advancement, in addition to their usual work, has raised over $311,000 for student emergency financial support. Student Life has helped process over 3,000 applications for federal stimulus and privately raised funds. We appreciate everyone’s efforts in keeping students on track to their educational goals.

Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Fitness & Recreation, Housing and Dining, and the many other Student Life operations have continued to support our students’ “whole person” education.

Academic support operations for Write Site, Science Learning Resource Center, and others, along with new tutoring services, academic coaching, and TWU Libraries, have all pivoted to online delivery options for service. College and department staff kept mail flowing, forwarded phones answered, and faculty supported. Instructional designers pulled off a tour de force helping hundreds of faculty transition online in less than two weeks and continued their extraordinary support throughout the semester.

The grounds crews are keeping our campuses beautiful, custodian workloads have increased with new cleaning protocols, and DPS has continued to protect our facilities and provide building access as needed. Marketing and Communications teams have done an exceptional job of keeping our website organized, useful, and beautiful, all while maintaining their usual project flow. HR made sure employees were paid on time and supported throughout. Purchasing shifted focus to prioritize essential needs while also keeping workflows moving on their projects. Admissions, Admissions Processing, Financial Aid and the Bursar's Office have continued their operations.

The Jane Nelson Institute for Women’s Leadership and its Center for Women Entrepreneurs developed and instituted AssistHER grants for women-owned businesses in response to the times. While some research operations took a hit, the staff supporting research continued to help faculty with grant applications and processing of awards. Construction projects have moved forward. Emergency Management is in the throws of its operations. And, of course, IT Solutions, the backbone of so much of this online transition, pulled out all the stops in supporting students’ access to their education, communications and call forwarding, and the tools we all needed to do our work—from home.

I could write all day about the contributions of our stellar faculty and staff, but let me end with this one brief sentiment from Sandra Conrad, an accountant in the Controller’s Office:

I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to not have had any loss (financially or health-wise) due to this pandemic. …

My first day of employment with TWU was March 2, 2020. So I barely got my feet wet before we all started working from home. [Now]...I feel “part of the family”, even as a very new employee.

Even though we are still slowly phasing back to on-campus work, I am going to take a break from writing to you daily. My goal was to act as a bridge from what was our social campus life to our physical isolation at home. I cannot thank you enough for your patience, ingenuity, and perseverance through this upheaval. I will end where I began on March 16, with the idea of ubuntu—I am because you are. As Tina Turner refrains, “You’re simply the best!”

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 8:42 AM, May 11, 2020