Under Governor Abbott’s Executive Order, the mandatory 14-day quarantine for travelers was lifted except for individuals traveling through certain airports. To see that information, click here: https://www.dps.texas.gov/covidtravel/.
All university employees may travel unrestricted without a requirement to self-quarantine unless you feel sick or display symptoms associated with COVID-19. If so, please contact your medical provider and your supervisor and remain in contact during quarantine. If you or anyone in close contact with you tests positive for the virus, please report that to your supervisor so that the university may take additional precautions to clean work areas.
On Tuesday, President Kibler announced the plan to re-open campuses in phases over the summer including the current Emergency Operations where buildings remain closed to the public and employees may continue working remotely until May 30th. Stay tuned for more details about each phase.
Dear Sul Ross Community:
When we left for spring break, we could have never imagined how much our world would change. And yet, through the devastating conditions, our faculty and staff pivoted quickly to continue our educational mission. Our students learned valuable lessons about perseverance, flexibility, and compassion. We all learned that life can take unexpected turns, but our resilience makes us stronger. You are amazing and you should take a moment to congratulate yourself, your colleagues, your students, and your friends for the outstanding finish to this semester.
With the Governor’s Order to begin opening the State of Texas, we will establish a plan to re-open and resume our operations. We will do this in phases with safety at the forefront of every decision. We intend to re-open the campus for the fall semester but we will monitor the conditions and make plans accordingly. While we want to return to campus as quickly as possible, we must all understand that our previous practices for business operations and campus life will not be the same. We cannot overlook the lack of vaccine or treatment and must remain ready to make decisions based on the available information.
To accomplish the re-opening of our university, we will work in phases and stay vigilant to changing conditions. We will plan to work in the following three phases:
Phase I – Sul Ross will remain under Emergency Operations until May 30. This will include building closures to the public, remote work and flexible schedules for employees, and continued social distancing protocols. Other than essential employees, all Sul Ross faculty and staff should continue to work remotely, for now. During this extended closure, divisions heads and supervisors will work on plans to bring employees back to campus.
Phase II – Emergency Operations will end on June 1 and the University will initiate a return-to-campus process. At this time, employees not approved for working remotely will begin to physically return to campus for regular business operations. Employees working under a telecommute agreement may continue to work remotely unless otherwise instructed by supervisors. Some university buildings will be open to the public or will allow for authorized visitors only. Offices will limit the number of visitors permitted, to practice social distancing. Division heads and supervisors will develop protocols that address the number of visitors that offices may safely admit.
Phase III – On July 1, the University will enter its final phase and will begin “normal” operations. All buildings will be open to the public and the majority of university employees will return to campus for regular business operations. Division heads and supervisors will remain in close contact to monitor safe working conditions.
The Executive Cabinet will serve as the Recovery Plan Task Force and will form sub-groups to provide input into the plan to re-open the University. To accomplish this plan, various employees may be called to campus to engage in discussions and provide information relevant to the situation. We are especially grateful to the many university employees who continue to work on campus in preparation for a safe return to business.
Our goal is to re-open “normal” university operations by July 1, but we will continue to monitor the situation and make adjustments and decisions when necessary. The plan to re-open to full business operations is also dependent on federal, state, and local government actions as well as public health conditions.
Updates and new details about the plan to re-open will be posted on the Sul Ross COVID-19 webpage.
This summer, Sul Ross will celebrate 100 years of ongoing instruction to students across the State of Texas. We earned our reputation as an institution forged in the remote desert of far West Texas and the Rio Grande borderlands. There is no place like Sul Ross and we can unequivocally state that we stand united and ready to blaze our way through new frontiers. Thank you for your hope, strength, love, and passion to continue our mission.
We will get through this together.
Sul Ross State University officials continue to discuss measures to reopen campuses for fall of 2020. The university recently announced that classes for summer will be delivered through remote instruction including the continued use of video conferencing and online instruction. University officials intend to work throughout the summer with faculty and staff to develop and implement plans to return to face-to-face instruction in the fall.
“Our goal is to reopen for the fall semester, but we recognize that we must continue to monitor the situation and will keep safety as our top priority,” said President Bill Kibler. “Like all higher education institutions, we remain very aware that normal operations will look different going forward.”
The Texas Governor’s Executive Order expired on May 1, but some travel restrictions remain in place in local communities where campuses are located. Considering both state and local orders, the University will take additional precautions and reopen in phases with enhanced safety protocols. The University will provide more details to the campus community about reopening in additional communications.
“The situation is fluid and requires flexibility so we are working hard to develop various scenarios that we can utilize as information becomes available,” Kibler stated. “We remain cautious but hopeful that we can bring our people back to campus soon.”
The University provided the following updates in response to COVID-19:
- Brewster County (Alpine Campus) announced yesterday that the first positive COVID-19 case was confirmed in South Brewster County. The notice indicated that the case was a result from the mobile testing over the weekend. The individual has been in self-quarantine over the past week.
- All Sul Ross State University campuses remain closed to the public until further notice. Employees are encouraged to continue working remotely and/or through flexible schedules to practice social distancing.
- The university directive for employees to self-quarantine if they traveled or received visitors from outside of the Tri-County area (Brewster, Jeff Davis, and Presidio) is now expired. Employees should monitor their health conditions and stay home if they feel sick.
- The Governor’s Executive Order removes any requirement to wear face masks in public places. Sul Ross employees and students are not required to wear masks while on campus but are strongly encouraged to do so when in public spaces. All individuals should continue to practice social distancing and wash hands frequently.
- The University will not accept new residents in university housing for the first summer session and will assess conditions for the summer II residency opportunities. Current residents will be permitted to remain in university housing with residential living approval.
- On-Campus Residents wishing to check out of university housing must schedule appointments with housing staff to maintain social distancing protocols. Staff may be reached at email@example.com to schedule check outs.
Dear Sul Ross Community,
Several local governments recently decided to require the use of face masks when in public places. According to reports, Eagle Pass and Del Rio have been requiring the use of face masks or individuals risk being fined. Uvalde has recommended the use of face masks and is still considering mandatory coverings. On Tuesday, the City of Alpine decided to move to a response level three and will require face coverings beginning on Friday, April 24. To support these local efforts, Sul Ross employees and students should wear face masks when on campus in public places, particularly when face-to-face interaction is necessary.
In a news release yesterday, Brewster County (Alpine Campus) announced that COVID-19 Testing will be available by appointment for people who have one or more symptoms of the virus at local testing sites. Please go to www.brewstercountytx.com for county-wide updates and more information. Click here for the news release: http://www.brewstercountytx.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/News-Release-COVID-19-Testing-Site-Locations.pdf.
As we have learned the situation continues to change quickly, please stay safe, stay home if possible, and together we will get through this.
Stay strong Lobos!
The following information includes updates about the Sul Ross State University Coronavirus Response.
- Summer I and II classes will be delivered online. Students will be charged regular tuition and fees, including the distance learning fee per credit hour and will receive an institutional aid award to fully offset the distance learning fee. Traditional residential campus-based fees, such as recreational sports fee, medical fee and student center fee will be waived. This action is consistent with other universities in the Texas State University System.
- On campus residents may continue living in university housing for the remainder of the semester and continue to shelter in place per the Brewster County Executive Order. Students wishing to check out of housing should schedule appointments with the Housing Office by calling 432.837.8190 during regular business hours (Monday-Friday between 8 am and 5pm). Appointment block options will be explained and a confirmation email with further instructions will be sent after scheduling.
- While the graduation ceremony will not take place,
we are asking May graduates to send their pictures to Robert Greeson (firstname.lastname@example.org) to be included in a commemorative video. All campuses are invited to participate. Graduation completion requirements will be verified before photos will be added to the video. (video is in final production)
- All University events and external events have been cancelled until further notice. University officials will evaluate the conditions in June to determine whether any activities may resume. These activities include but are not limited to university functions, sports, department events, and external events.
- The Office of Information Technology sent out an email about Wi-Fi and technology access from David Gibson earlier this afternoon to your Sul Ross accounts. Please read that email for additional ways that the University can assist you.
The following information includes updates about the Sul Ross State University Coronavirus Response for Employees.
- According to reports, we may have employees who travelled outside the tri-county area (Brewster, Presidio, and Jeff Davis Counties) or received visitors from outside the area over the past few weeks. For the safety of our families, friends, neighbors, and the community, effective immediately, Alpine Campus employees are asked to stop travelling outside of the tri-county area to assist the area-wide effort led by city and county officials to limit the spread of the virus in this region. Employees are asked to report to their supervisors if they travelled outside of the tri-county or received visitors from outside of the area within the past two weeks. Employees will be asked to self-quarantine and will be put on administrative leave for 14 days if they travelled or had visitors from outside of the area. Employees may be asked to make up hours for the administrative leave for those business days during that time. The CDC issued instructions for essential employees exposed to the virus: we ask employees to monitor your temperatures, especially before reporting to work, wear a mask, and practice social distancing at work.
- Del Rio, Eagle Pass, and Uvalde campuses will continue to operate business under the current conditions including remote work, limited on-campus staff, and by practicing guidelines from the CDC. This includes social distancing, washing hands, and wearing masks at work when around others or generally when in public according to city or county executive orders at each site.
- While the graduation ceremony will not take place, we are asking Faculty to send their pictures and encouragement signs to Robert Greeson (email@example.com) to be included in a commemorative video. All campuses are invited to participate. Look for an email from Jessica Velasco for details.