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Javelinas Care. Protect. Help.

Faculty and Staff Information


Updated:

(August 24, 2020)

Dear faculty and staff,

I want to welcome each of you to the fall 2020 semester!

First, I want to thank you for the flexibility you have demonstrated over the last five months as we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and as we prepared for the return of students this semester.

You will undoubtedly notice that much has changed on campus. Learning spaces look different. We all wear face coverings. Many fall sports, including football, have been moved to spring. I invite you to spend some time on the campus return website to learn more about what we have done to get ready this semester.

I am proud of the way you have responded to the challenges we face. Many staff returned to campus this summer and have been working to continue the business of the University. This work has been critical, and I thank you for your hard work as we continue to serve and support our students.

We continue to prioritize our campus community's health and safety, and that is the basis for every decision my administrative team makes. Many students have returned to campus for face-to-face instruction, while others have elected to study remotely this semester. As we continue to confront the challenges associated with COVID-19, Texas A&M-Kingsville remains committed to our students and their academic success.

I am pleased that we have been able to offer students the quality education they expect from this University in the modality with which they are most comfortable. We understand that these are stressful times for both you and our students, and I encourage everyone to continue to be patient and adaptable.

Our planning this summer also focused on preparing for the possibility of a transition to online learning should public health conditions change. Faculty spent part of the summer training with the Distance Learning and Instructional Technology team to learn more about our learning management system and to prepare to pivot to virtual learning if needed this semester.

There remains a great deal of uncertainty regarding the pandemic and local public health trends.

Many in our community have been touched by this virus either directly or indirectly, and I understand you may have questions about what scenarios might lead us to move more classes to a remote learning environment. Please know that we evaluate university, local and regional metrics daily. Reliable public health data will drive our decisions this semester, and we will keep you informed of any changes should they be required.

My administrative team and I want to know about your questions and concerns so that we can resolve any issues that may arise. You can share your concerns here or during a virtual forum with our Return to Campus committee Monday, August 31, at 3 p.m.

Again, I am grateful for all that you do for Texas A&M-Kingsville. What we do here changes lives as we shape the future of our region, state, and nation by preparing our students to be leaders of the highest integrity.

I believe that while this semester will be unlike any we have ever experienced, Javelinas will unite to care, protect, and help, and we will put this virus behind us.

Mark Hussey Signature

Mark A. Hussey

President, Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Dear Members of the Faculty:

The information below includes (i) a statement to include as a temporary addition to your course syllabi in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and (ii) other related information regarding your classes

  1. COURSE SYLLABUS COVID-19 RELATED STATEMENT

    All course syllabi for fall 2020 should include the following statement (given below in italics). This information has also been added to the Accessible Syllabus Template available on the website of the Center for Teaching Effectiveness (CTE) at http://www.tamuk.edu/academicaffairssupport/teaching-effectiveness/teaching-resources.html.


    REQUIREMENTS DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

    In order to keep themselves and others safe and healthy during the pandemic, students attending class face-to-face are required to (1) wear face coverings over the nose and mouth and (2) scan the QR Code posted in the classroom/teaching location to log their attendance to assist in contact tracing, if needed. For information on the use of face coverings, see https://www.tamuk.edu/return/facecoveringsfaq.html.

    For information on the Face Covering Policy, see: https://www.tamuk.edu/finance/hr/compliance/FaceCoverings.html

    Students are responsible for staying informed on the latest updates regarding the university’s response to COVID-19 by checking their TAMUK email regularly and accessing information at https://www.tamuk.edu/return/ and https://www.tamuk.edu/coronavirus/.


  2. FACE COVERING POLICY

    Face coverings must be worn on the Texas A&M-Kingsville campus inside all public buildings, including lobbies of buildings, restrooms, classrooms, hallways, and stairwells. Face coverings should also be worn in any outdoor space where 6 feet of physical distancing cannot be reliably maintained. Faculty working alone in their offices can remove their face covering.

    For more information on the use of face coverings, please refer to https://www.tamuk.edu/return/facecoveringsfaq.html.

    1. Classroom Policy Regarding Face Coverings
      In the event of a student who does not wear a face covering in the classroom/teaching space, the instructor should first request the student to put on a face covering. If the student does not comply, the instructor can dismiss the student from the classroom for that class period. If the student refuses to leave, the instructor may immediately dismiss the class and continue the class period online. The instructor may elect to discuss the matter in private with the student later and follow-up with a memo to the Dean of Students (Kirsten Compary, Kirsten.Compary@tamuk.edu) documenting the incident, or the faculty member may make a written referral to the Dean of Student’s Office reporting the student for disturbing the class by refusing to comply with the instructor’s request. In both instances, documentation provided should include the name of student, student ID number, other contact information if known, class/section, date/time of the interaction, and a summary of the concern and the outcome. The Dean of Students or designee will inform the student, through their official university email address, of the face covering policy and that he/she may not return to the classroom without a face covering. Continued disregard for the policy will be handled through the university’s Student Disciplinary Code of Conduct. Possible sanctions for a disciplinary violation of the Student Code of Conduct range from a warning to expulsion from the university. For information on the Face Covering Policy, see https://www.tamuk.edu/finance/hr/compliance/FaceCoverings.html

    2. Face Shields
      A faculty member may wear a face shield without a mask only during lecturing in the classroom, as long as appropriate social distance (6 feet) can also be maintained between the faculty member and the students. At all other times (when not lecturing), even if a face shield is used, a face mask must also be worn. For more information on the Face Covering Policy, see https://www.tamuk.edu/finance/hr/compliance/FaceCoverings.html

  3. CONTACT TRACING

    To assist with contact tracing in the event of a positive COVID-19 case on campus, each classroom/teaching space will have its unique QR Code which will be posted inside each classroom. When the faculty member and students enter the classroom for a face-to-face class, they all will scan the QR code using their phones. Most smart phones can scan a QR code from the phone camera or by downloading a free QR Code Reader app. After scanning the QR code, they will be prompted to enter their TAMUK email and password, then select “Yes” to the question “Present?” and then select Submit. The information (name, email, location, date, and time) will go directly to a database managed by the Enterprise Risk Management Office. Students who do not have a phone will have to log in from another device at the URL provided below the QR code and follow the same process.

  4. RECORDING LIVE LECTURES

    All live class lectures, as in face-to-face class meetings, must be recorded on Blackboard Collaborate. This will allow students access to the information, in the event that they miss class due to an excused absence. The recordings must be made available to the class in the Blackboard course site.

  5. FLEXIBILITY REGARDING FACE TO FACE ATTENDANCE

    It is possible that a student who is in a class requiring face-to-face meetings may request permission to attend the class virtually via Blackboard Collaborate. Granting such permission is at the discretion of the faculty member; however, given the precarious times, faculty are strongly encouraged to be flexible in their face-to-face class attendance requirements and allow the student, for example, to attend the class virtually at the regular class time. The faculty member should email the student of the decision of whether or not such permission is granted, for the faculty member’s records and the student’s documentation of the decision.