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March 24, 2020: COVID-19 Update from the President

Dear Tarleton State University Community,

As we start a new chapter of virtual learning for all Tarleton State University students, I want to thank everyone for the patience, dedication and preparation exhibited over the past week as we collectively strive to meet our mission of delivering an exceptional student experience.

Our outstanding faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to bring classes into virtual (online) formats, develop new operating procedures so that employees can work virtually, implement enhanced support structures for our residential students, continue to provide hot and nutritional meals to those in need, sanitize and clean our essential teaching and learning spaces, and countless other tasks and initiatives that rise above and beyond traditional job duties.

I cannot be more proud of our entire Texan family for the manner in which we have rallied together in providing leadership and service to our university, region and state!

In light of a rapidly changing pandemic landscape, Tarleton will implement a series of new steps to ensure that we are positioned to play a key leadership role on a regional and state level to lessen the spread of the coronavirus. We have consulted with federal, state and Texas A&M System officials to ensure that we are remaining compliant with CDC regulations and recommendations. We do not take these actions lightly but do so in an effort to ensure the health, safety and welfare of our campus community. In the days and weeks ahead, it is highly anticipated that access to public spaces, buildings and facilities may be subject to long-term limitations and restrictions.

The following outline a series of updates relate to the operations of Tarleton:

  • All classes will remain in a virtual (online) platform through the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. While our initial plans entailed the intent for all academic instruction to resume on a normal schedule after April 10th, the rapidly changing public health landscape necessitates that all courses remain online through the remainder of the spring semester.
  • The university is developing a process for those students whose housing and dining fees were covered through out-of-pocket expenses to receive prorated credits/refunds. Information on how credits and/or refunds will be issued is forthcoming and should be finalized soon. We will always stand with our students to do what is fair and just. Please be patient with our business office as these are uncharted waters and we are working with multiple vendors to best process these transactions. 
  • With the conclusion of spring break, some students opted to return to campus for the remainder of the spring semester. For those students who remain on campus with us, we are here to support you. If you have needs or questions, please contact the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs so we can ensure you have a quality experience. Students who are checking out of housing will receive a detailed email at their permanent address in Banner with the subject line “Housing Update – Checkout Process by 11 a.m. today. 
  • The 2020 spring commencement ceremonies have been postponed until August 7-9, 2020. It was imperative that we make this decision now to allow families adequate time to make travel and work leave plans. We must all hope this terrible virus is beyond us, so we can celebrate the successes of our Tarleton Class of 2020!
  • Extensive sanitation and cleaning efforts started two weeks ago in all buildings and will continue throughout the semester. Please understand that certain academic and office buildings will have monitored access to ensure we are adhering to the social distancing guidelines. The Dining Hall is open for regular hours with dine-to-go options only.
  • To the maximum extent possible, employees should work with their supervisors to establish appropriate workplace social distancing. It is important for each of us to do our part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our university community safe and healthy. We cannot stress the importance of minimizing contact and washing your hands often.
  • Employees serving our outreach centers should adhere to shelter-in-place directives issued by the county or city where they live and/or work.
  • Our COVID-19 website provides the most current information on any news, updates and changes to university operations.

We are in the midst of transformational change that will define how we respond and deliver during these unprecedented times. I understand and deeply sympathize that the final days of the spring semester will proceed in a way that none of us envisioned. However, our commitment and focus on preserving our institutional mission and unique traditions that make us special are unwavering.

We will get through this together #UnitedAsOne and continue to serve as a beacon of hope and opportunity for the region we serve. I am grateful for your patience, commitment and determination during this time of great uncertainty.

As always, Bleed Purple. And take care of one another!

Dr. James Hurley
President
Tarleton State University
Box T-0001
Stephenville, Texas 76402