In an email sent out earlier today, Sam Houston State University President Dana G. Hoyt outlined plans to return to normal campus operations by July.
The plan has three phases and is “highly dependent on the movements of infection rates as well as guidance from federal, state and local government and public health officials.”
The full message from Hoyt is attached below:
The end of the spring semester represents a milestone in our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is indeed a bittersweet celebration. Bringing this semester to a successful close reflects the dedication of our faculty and staff, the perseverance of our students and an incredible sense of community. I applaud you and hope everyone will take a moment to recognize and congratulate one another for the teamwork and unwavering commitment demonstrated in these challenging times.
As the economy begins to re-start, over the summer, we will implement a return-to-operations plan to safely resume classroom teaching and campus life for the fall semester. Coming back to campus does not necessarily mean a resumption of pre-pandemic behaviors and operations. With no treatment or vaccine on the horizon, the health and safety of faculty, staff and students will continue to drive our decision-making and affect the ways in which we live and work.
Our return-to-operations plan has three distinct phases:
Phase I extends the university’s enhanced emergency operations status to May 25. Building closures and the majority of employees engaged in alternative work configurations such as telecommuting and other flexible work options will remain in effect. During this time, divisions will develop a phased-in approach to bring employees back to campus.
Phase II, May 26 through June 30 ends enhanced emergency operations and initiates the return-to-campus process. During this time, employees not approved for an alternative work option will start physically reporting to their assigned place of work. Buildings will be opened or have restricted access based on needs and occupancy rates.
Phase III begins July 1 and marks our final stage of transition to “normal” operations. All buildings are expected to be open and the majority of employees will be working on campus. As we phase in plans over the summer, we must continue to be mindful of social distancing expectations and other CDC guidance on preventive measures.
As we prepare to return to full operations, some job responsibilities will require an advance team of employees to be physically onsite prior to the dates listed in our plan. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all those who have continually reported to work during the emergency operations period and the employees who will be needed to prepare our workplace for when the rest of us return.
During the implementation of the return-to-operations plan, we will diligently monitor the situation and environment making adjustments where necessary. This plan remains highly dependent on the movements of infection rates as well as guidance from federal, state and local government and public health officials.
Please see the COVID-19 website for further details regarding the return-to-operation plan.
Even in the worst of times, we, at Sam Houston State University, never stopped believing in the importance and power of knowledge. Throughout our 140-year history, we have come together and stood by our students – in times of war, economic depression and natural disasters. Thank you again for your courage and determination to advance education, to transform lives, during this global pandemic.
Dana G. Hoyt, President