March 16, 2020: Campus transitioning to fully online learning for the remainder of semester

Published: Mar 16, 2020 4:40 PM

Fellow Islanders,

As you know, we continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation. Although we still have no confirmed cases in Nueces County, the virus continues to spread in other areas of the country. As a result, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will transition the face-to-face component of lecture classes to fully online learning for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester. This includes comprehensive exams and thesis/dissertation defenses. The University is in the process of developing guidance for classes that require in-person attendance, such as clinicals and labs. Further information will be sent directly to students in those courses by Monday, March 23rd.

STUDENTS: Campus will remain open during this time. Housing, health, library, and food services will continue operating. Computer labs will be configured to ensure proper social distancing for students who require access to computers and the internet. Tutoring and advising will be available by appointment, both in person and online. Some of you have reached out with concerns about a transition to online learning. Please know that your faculty, staff, and administration are here to support you and ensure that you continue to receive the quality education that is the hallmark of the Island University. A student digital resource course will be available in Blackboard to assist in your transition and connect you to available resources.

Additionally, some of you may have individual concerns specific to your situation. We are here to work with you and help you navigate those issues. To that end, we will be providing a central call center to provide needed information and guidance.  The call center will begin operations on Wednesday, March 18th, at 361-825-9999 or by emailing islanderhelp@tamucc.edu. Additional information and frequently asked questions are available at https://www.tamucc.edu/campus-announcements/coronavirus.html and will continue to be updated.

Student employees, you may continue to work during this time. However, you are not required to work and should communicate with your supervisor regarding your schedule. As a reminder, anyone who has been to Level 2 or 3 country according to the CDC should self-quarantine and notify their supervisor. It’s imperative that anyone, including student employees, who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms not report to work, contact their health care provider prior to visiting any medical facility, and inform their supervisor immediately.

FACULTY: We currently have exceptional resources available to support you as you transition to online delivery. In addition to your departmental experts, Dr. Michelle Singh, Associate Vice President of Teaching & Learning Technologies, and the entire team of the Office of Distance Education & Learning Technology are available. Available support resources are detailed in this message.

During this time, it is important for faculty to stay connected and continue with academic planning within their departments and colleges. All buildings will remain open, and faculty may use their offices to deliver instruction. Departments should continue scheduling in-person, small group meetings to ensure that faculty have the support they need and that planning continues.

FACULTY & STAFF: The expectation is that you will continue to follow your current work schedule, while taking proper social distancing precautions. That said, anyone who has been to a Level 2 or 3 country according to the CDC should self-quarantine and notify their supervisor. Anyone who is exhibiting flu-like symptoms should not report to work, contact their health care provider prior to visiting any medical facility, and enter sick leave in Workday. As a reminder, those employees on Blue Cross Blue Shield insurance can visit MDLive rather than visiting a medical facility. Although the campus is not transitioning to a remote work operation at this time, we understand that there are individual circumstances that may require working remotely. The guidelines for non-faculty employees working remotely are outlined in university procedure 33.06.01.C0.01. Faculty should contact their academic dean.

CAMPUS EVENTS:  At this time, the CDC is recommending the suspension of any and all gatherings over 50 people, although that number is likely to drop to 10 or less. The University is complying fully with that recommendation and will comply fully with any future recommendations. As a result, if you have scheduled an event between now and the end of the semester with an estimated attendance of 50 or more people, please coordinate with your supervisor or advisor to cancel or postpone that event. In an abundance of caution, it may be prudent to cancel or postpone any event that is not mission critical and has more than 10 participants. However, before making that decision, please consider utilizing one of the virtual options that are available to you.

Many have expressed concern over spring commencement ceremonies. Please know that walking the stage at graduation is an incredible right that all graduating Islanders have earned. The commencement ceremony will not be cancelled, although it may be postponed. Earned degrees will be awarded as per the standard timeline without delay.

As a reminder, any travel, including to airports, since March 2, 2020, should be reported in our travel portal. Again, additional information and frequently asked questions are available at https://www.tamucc.edu/campus-announcements/coronavirus.html. Teamwork is critical to our success in this situation. We must continue to work together to ensure the success of every student and our entire Island community. 

Thank you,

Dr. Kelly M. Miller
President & CEO
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi