The past few weeks have brought a roller coaster of events. Thank you for your patience and support as we navigate through a very uncharted situation. As we respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we understand that it may have disrupted many aspects of your day-to-day routine. Despite this, I continually receive inspirational stories of individuals living our values as they strive to provide support to fellow team members, students, and patients. These efforts are nothing short of remarkable. We are truly grateful for you and your concern for this great university.
With our transition to Phase III Operations, I have directed the following:
Limited Points of Entry
Effective Friday, March 20, our facilities team will limit points of entry on each campus. Your badge will be required for entry into the buildings. Click here for campus maps depicting the patient/visitor point of entry and employee badge entry locations. Information on access points for off main campus locations, not identified in the attachment, will be provided to employees at those facilities. Contact your local Texas Tech Police Department for questions related to any access issues.
Campus Libraries and Student Access
Following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) guidelines for social distancing, we are closing our campus libraries until further notice. As students resume studies online, we have strongly encouraged them not to come to campus. However, designated locations have been identified for students to access the internet if needed.
Although the libraries will be physically closed, they will be open virtually. Librarians and staff will be available to provide e-resources to faculty, staff, and students. Please visit this website for additional information on available services and how to connect with the library team.
Now that we are operating under Phase III, I encourage you to continue to work with your teams to expeditiously transition to remote work. It is expected that all employees work remotely at this time, unless otherwise directed by your respective Vice President, Dean, or Provost. Our intent is to minimize unnecessary contact as part of the public health solution to COVID-19.
University Related Travel
As provided in previous communications, all nonessential, university related travel should be cancelled. All travel requests for university related domestic travel will need to be reviewed by your respective Dean, Vice President or Provost for approval. No university related international travel will be approved at this time.
We strongly discourage any domestic or international travel for personal reasons at this time. Please reconsider all travel plans. In the event you travel for personal reasons, if your travel was to an area within the United States where there is community spread of COVID-19, to a country identified by the CDC with a travel health notice warning of Level 3, or on a cruise, you will be required to self-isolate off campus for 14 days. All personal travel needs to be reported on the travel form to identify your travel plans. This is to assist us in providing support to faculty and staff who travel to ensure that we can adhere to appropriate screening before returning to work.
All Texas state agencies are being required to track expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. TTUHSC is implementing proactive measures to address the economic impact on our university. Specific instructions have been developed and shared with your Fund Manager. It is extremely important to track all expenditures in the event state or federal funding becomes available to help defray costs that TTUHSC might incur.
Recruitment and Market Adjustments
TTUHSC leadership is striving for as little disruption as possible to our current team members.
- Suspension of Employee Recruitment
Effective immediately, the recruitment of new employees is suspended. A process is being developed to review exceptions for mission-critical positions and will be provided on Tuesday, March 24. This will also include guidance regarding positions in which the recruiting process has currently been initiated, including initial position posting, candidate screening or interviews scheduled/conducted. Any employment offers that have already been extended will be honored and those employees should be supported in their onboarding. For questions related to recruitment, contact your campus HR director.
- Market Adjustments
Prior to the development of the COVID-19 pandemic, members of the university's President's Executive Council approved a market salary adjustment policy for staff employees, to be effective September 1, 2020. This salary adjustment is rescinded in order to preserve resources to care for our team members
TTUHSC's COVID-19 webpage will continue to be our primary source of information and updates related to university operations. Please continue to visit the website for ongoing updates as well as resources that may be available to you.
For those team members whose work requires them to remain on campus, thank you. We recognize your commitment and beyond service approach to the work you are doing.
I am truly honored to be part of the TTUHSC community. Thank you for your patience as we work through some of these challenges. It's going to take innovation, ingenuity and true Texas grit. I know that we will persevere as ONE TEAM.
Lori Rice-Spearman, Ph.D.
Interim President and Provost
Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center