University of Houston-Victoria

COVID-19

Update from UHV President Bob Glenn

Colleagues:

I wanted to make you aware of a significant planning effort that is underway. Just over a week ago the Chancellor appointed a small task force of UH System personnel to develop a high level and very general plan for reopening the UH System in the coming months. I was asked to co-chair the task force along with Dr. Amr Elnashai, Vice Chancellor for Research for the UHS. The task force has met twice has recommended a set of guiding principles for the development of a general strategy. The Chancellor has approved those principles and I wanted to share them with you.

  1. Our top priority is to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and faculty. Our primary objective is to safeguard the quality of our educational and research programs.
  2. The UHS phased reopening plan will be dependent on state requirements and executive orders. We will also consider federal, city and county guidelines. Our decisions will be developed in consultation with faculty, staff and students, will be informed by reliable scientific data, inclusive of assessment of potential risks and our capacity to implement suitable mitigation measures.
  3. Each university will develop a detailed implementation plan based on the overall system-level phased plan for reopening the UHS universities. Our operational plans will take into account the different internal and external conditions of the 4 universities.
  4. Students, faculty and staff who have concerns about their own or others safety and well-being regarding the implementation of our reopening plan should consult with their supervisor and if they still have concerns or suspect non-compliance, they should utilize established grievance and complaint procedures including our hotline, Convercent, available online.
  5. We will be prepared to restrict or close down activities based on changing circumstances and the assessment of local public health authorities relating to the levels of infections, hospitalization and testing capacity.
  6. Units that are essential for our educational and research missions, and within which social distancing, protection and sanitization can be implemented most effectively, will be considered for priority reopening.
  7. Our phased plan will allow for flexible implementation and suitable exemptions that take into account individual circumstances and family healthcare and education support needs.

The task force will now focus on developing a general strategy for the System. Each University will be responsible for developing its own specific and detailed plan. The Executive Committee and the Provost’s Council have already been discussing this. I will shortly be appointing a task force to plan for UHV’s inevitable reopening. As we move forward, I will continue to share information with you once it has been approved.

My thanks to each of you for what you have been doing for UHV, and continue to do, every day. You are our greatest resource and our brightest days are ahead of us. Stay well, do good work.

Bob Glenn