On-Campus Services & Teleworking    

March 24, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Per the guidance and information provided by Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young earlier today, the Galveston Campus is implementing the same or similar protocols in response to the Galveston County deadline for shelter in place of residence order.

Any additional updates will continue to be provided on the Galveston Campus COVID-19 site.

Faculty, staff and student workers should telework unless deemed essential to be on campus

All non-essential university offices will limit face-to-face interactions and move to virtual support to the general public at 5 p.m. today. All building entrances will revert to controlled access for faculty, staff, and students. 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 few on-campus personnel, it is important that we continue to provide limited, yet essential on-campus services in support of students, faculty, and staff. For students, this includes on-campus housing, food service, and restricted areas for computing labs and wireless internet. Information related to on-campus facilities is available here.

All of these activities must be carried out using social distancing practices. Please see the Keep Learning Galveston website and the Galveston Campus COVID-19 site for updates on available student services and hours of operation.

Guidance to Faculty and Graduate Students and Continuity of Instruction

For faculty and graduate students who are teaching or supporting instruction, one essential priority is to continue our crucial online course instruction and activities needed to support teaching that will remain online at least through the end of the spring semester. We encourage faculty and graduate students who are teaching courses to develop methods that allow for the continuation of instruction that minimizes time on campus. Those individuals who need to access their office to teach an online course need to contact their respective department head to make sure they will retain access. Please refer to the Keep Teaching and Keep Teaching Galveston Learning Commons website for additional teaching resources.

Staff Guidance

For staff, we ask that you contact your supervisor to discuss the expectations of your work arrangements. Please refer to earlier e-mails on the Human Resources web site on instructions for continuing work assignments.

Ongoing Critical Services

Critical aspects of our business operations are considered essential under the orders and these will continue. These include but are not limited to: food services that are available to-go, emergency responders, public safety, mail services, residence halls, janitorial and maintenance services, technology support, financial services, construction where approved, utilities and scientific research.

Ongoing Research

Regarding ongoing scientific research, the Office of Research provides the following guidance: To the extent possible, Texas A&M-Galveston researchers are encouraged 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-feet" requirement for social distancing. Faculty, staff and graduate researchers may come to the research labs to conduct research 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 orders allow students to leave their residence only 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 outdoor activity, such as 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 as indicated on Keep Learning Galveston website.  Please consult the Galveston Campus COVID-19 site for facility availability and hours updates.

Student Health Including Counseling

Student health and counseling options are available no matter our students’ location. Counseling information is available here or by calling Ken Bailey at 409-740-4725. Additional student health options have been developed to include Telemedicine with the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Details on this service is available here.

Campus Libraries will be closed

However, library personnel will continue digitizing resources to support online teaching. Access to all of the libraries' digital resources and online research support will continue uninterrupted.

We will continue to share information and updates by email, social media and on our Galveston Campus COVID-19 site for facility availability and hours updates.