University of Houston-Victoria

COVID-19

Touching Base with Employees from UHV President Bob Glenn

Colleagues,

I just wanted to reach out this afternoon as we near the completion of our first day back at Phase Two. While most folks are continuing to work remotely, there is a small number of others like myself who are back in our offices. I see more cars on campus, and I encounter more people when I am out and about. I did want to make just a couple of observations. My expectation is that supervisors are reaching out to their staff to gauge your ability/willingness to be back on campus. It is important to note that if you have underlying health conditions or personal constraints that you need to be assertive about sharing those. We are not at the point of requiring specific documentation on health matters. There is a pre-existing policy and procedure to deal with health accommodations that will be utilized if it becomes necessary. Currently, your good word is all we need to have. We will continue to be as flexible as we can throughout the entire process. Be open, be honest and be patient. You are our greatest resource, and I want to do everything we can to take care of you.

Some folks are wondering if we will step back if the number of cases in our area continues to rise. The short answer is yes. We are in very close contact with the county health department. We receive an official state summary every afternoon. We are monitoring the situation and will not hesitate to move the plan back if that is in the best interest of the people who make everything here possible. Again, you are our greatest resource. We are watching.

Along the same lines in the area of we are watching, I do note that one or two folks are out and about without a mask. Our expectation is that you will wear a mask whenever you are in public areas. All public health officials and agencies stress the vital importance of wearing a mask and maintaining physical distance. You don’t have to wear a mask when you are alone in your office. When you are walking in an open area and no one is around, I understand being flexible there. I would remind you that the wearing of a mask is an indication of the respect that you have for others. Every single person on this campus is worthy of that respect. Keep your distance. Wear a mask around others. Wash your hands. Sanitize your area.

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of patience. Patience to do the right thing. Patience with us as we do our best to find the best course of action. When Abraham Lincoln was asked how he went about making decisions during the chaos of the Civil War, this was his response: “The pilots on our Western rivers steer from point to point, as they call it – setting the course of the boat no farther than they can see; and that is all I propose to myself in this great problem.” In other words, the goal might have been to get to New Orleans or St. Louis, but right this minute, the pilot only focuses on getting to the bend in the river he could see. This pandemic has the university in the same position. I hope you will be patient with me as I try to get us up around the bend.

As always, I appreciate your work and your support. Have a great week.

Bob Glenn