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March 25, 2020: Tarleton adjusts to local stay-at-home orders as a state agency, from The President's Office

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff:

As you are likely aware, Erath County and the City of Stephenville issued stay-at-home orders earlier this evening intended to limit activity and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. As a public university that is still in operation, Tarleton is identified as an exempted business in each of these orders, meaning that we are permitted to remain open and operational.

Because of proactive efforts and your advanced collective preparations, Tarleton is prepared to operate our campus activities consistent with the new stay-at-home measures. We will continue to operate with “essential personnel only” (as determined by management) for on-campus work and student support initiatives. The personnel who continue to work on campus will practice social distancing and will benefit from our enhanced custodial and disinfecting measures.

Here are some important things you need to know about how the stay-at-home orders affect the university:

  • Faculty and staff should telework unless deemed essential to be on campus: We ask that you contact your supervisor to discuss any required on-campus staffing for your office. Any individual who is in a high-risk category should not be required to come to campus.
  • Essential on-campus services will continue in support of students, faculty and staff: Even in a telework environment with fewer on-campus personnel, it is important that we continue to provide essential services in support of students, faculty and staff. For students, this includes on-campus housing, food service, and student health and counseling services. All of these activities must be carried out using social distancing practices.  
  • Guidance to faculty and graduate students for continuity of instruction: For faculty and graduate students who are teaching or assisting with instruction, it is essential that we continue with the online delivery of classes and the activities needed to support them through the end of the spring semester. Those individuals who need campus facilities to teach an online course can contact their respective department head for details on access. Please refer to Tarleton’s Distance Education Continuity Plan for additional teaching resources.
  • Staff guidance: For staff, we ask that you contact your supervisor to discuss the expectations of your work arrangements.
  • Ongoing critical services: Critical aspects of our business operations are considered essential under Gov. Greg Abbott’s order earlier this month and will continue. These include but are not limited to health services, food services that are available to-go, emergency responders, public safety, mail services, residence halls, janitorial and maintenance services, technology support, financial services, utilities, and construction where approved.
  • Ongoing research: The Office of Research and Innovation encourages Tarleton researchers, to the extent possible, to engage in activities that can be performed remotely (e.g., writing, data analysis, etc.). Essential laboratory operations are permissible, provided they can be performed while meeting the “6-foot” requirement for social distancing. Graduate researchers may come to research labs to conduct activities that cannot be performed remotely. Paid undergraduate student workers may continue to carry out important support functions necessary for continuing laboratory operation. Any individual who is in a high-risk category should not be required to come to campus.  
  • Students must comply with applicable local government orders: In most cases, the stay-at-home orders allow students to leave their residence for essential activities, such as going to the grocery store or picking up to-go meals on campus or from restaurants, visiting a healthcare professional and engaging in solo outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running or riding a bicycle, with proper social distancing. Students may also leave to go to university-designated locations for accessing computers and internet resources. Please consult the information on modified facility hours on our COVID-19 webpage.

I appreciate your efforts to ensure the university can achieve its primary focus to provide exceptional instruction and support to students in their academic endeavors. Please direct any questions about your departmental operations or activities to your immediate supervisor or department chair. 

We will continue to maintain the Tarleton COVID-19 website with the most current information and to communicate with you via email and through campus leadership. I sincerely appreciate your flexibility and resolve during this challenging time.

I look forward to seeing you again on campus. Stay safe and be healthy. 

Dr. James Hurley, President

Tarleton State University