COVID-19 Message from the Dean 3/17

Dear Moody Faculty and Staff,

I sincerely hope this message finds you and your family safe and secure and that you have settled into self-distancing by primarily staying home. It is very hard to believe that we are only days into the defining public health crisis of our time. We cannot avoid the harsh reality of our circumstances, but we can rely on our solidarity and spirit, and our sense of humor, to carry us through.

I wish to call your attention to the emails sent earlier today from President Greg Fenves, Provost Maurie McInnis, and Senior Vice President Darrell Bazzell. Please be sure to read all of these messages carefully as they contain important guidance, resources, and deadlines for the work we must all do in the days ahead. Two important new decisions to note:

  • Effective immediately, all on-campus programs, gatherings and events with more than 10 people through May 1 will be canceled, postponed or moved online. These include office or faculty meetings, student programs and religious or cultural celebrations in addition to all athletics events and public performances.

  • ALL undergraduate and graduate courses are to be moved online effective March 30.

Moody had previously been exploring ways that some courses could remain in- person, but we will now endeavor to move ALL Moody College courses online by March 30. I understand this will be hard because many of our courses have hands- on content and/or community-based experiences. I also realize this transition will mean additional work by our faculty and may result in imperfect academic experiences for our students. However, under these circumstances, we have no other choice but to protect the health and safety of our community at all costs. Thank you in advance for your flexibility and creativity to come up with solutions during this trying time.

If you wish to seek an exception for your Moody course going online, please email me and your Chair/Director by noon on Thursday, March 19 with a detailed justification for your requested exception, along with a detailed plan for how you will leverage social distancing to reduce risk to students and faculty. We will make decisions on each online exception request by Friday, March 20 so you will still have a week to make course adjustments as best as you can.

Under the leadership of Mary Crawford, we have made significant progress this week to help support instructors as they move their course content online. We now have faculty and staff liaisons from each unit to help with Zoom, Canvas, and instructional support. In addition, UT’s Zoom enterprise license has now gone live. Information about teaching and working with Zoom is available on the Zoom@UTexas page.

The Moody College online Teaching Continuity Guide will be updated frequently and has valuable resources to assist with your course transition. Please try to join Mary Crawford’s first open office hours session via Zoom on Thursday, March 19 at 11 a.m. This is an opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues related to moving your course online.

Please note that many of our students will face challenges and risks with the move to online-only education and we must all do everything we can to accommodate their unique situations. Similarly, many members of our Moody College Family will face challenges and we must do everything we can to help and support them. The College has begun an online COVID-19 Moody Resource Page to help those most in need, and please help us include other resources and suggestions by emailing them to Shawna Renold. We will be announcing many more efforts to help our most vulnerable colleagues and students in the days and weeks ahead, and these resources are available to anyone, should you need them.

Thank you for your hard work and dedication, despite these incredible unprecedented challenges, to keep Moody College moving forward for the benefit of our students, staff, faculty, and families.

I hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy. Please reach out to me anytime I can be helpful.