April 2021 Academic Operations Updates

Academic Program Operational Phases

Guidance to TTUHSC El Paso Academic Programs as distributed by email on 4/9/2021:

In response to the Governor’s executive order of March 2, 2021, and Chancellor Mitchell’s guidance to the Texas Tech System Presidents of April 5, 2021, TTUHSC El Paso will be moving incrementally towards Normal/Phase I Academic Operations.
Based on Chancellor Mitchell’s directive that all Texas Tech campuses should set their own institution-specific timelines and protocols, please implement the following Phase II to Phase I transitional steps:
Effective immediately (as operationally feasible per the department chair or their administrative designees):

Educational program personnel:

  • Faculty and staff are to return to their normal work locations (remote work agreements are to be terminated or converted to telework agreements).
  • All faculty and staff are expected to continue to wear protective face coverings when on campus, with the exception of eating and drinking -- which is recommended to be done privately or in small groups of 6 or fewer vaccinated individuals.
  • All faculty and staff are expected to carefully respect the personal space of others, and to generally maintain social distancing of at least three feet – minimizing close contact and working in their designated individual workspaces except while fulfilling job responsibilities involving in-person teamwork and educational settings.

Academic operations:

  • Move online academic classes/educational activities to on-campus, as appropriate, based on the course/curriculum plan.
  • Rooms may be utilized according to their approved capacities as limited by the general intention to promote respect for personal space (roughly 3 feet in all directions).
  • All students are expected to continue to wear protective face coverings when on campus, with the exception of eating and drinking -- which is recommended to be done privately or in small groups of 6 or fewer vaccinated individuals.
  • All students are expected to carefully respect the personal space of others, and to generally maintain social distancing of at least three feet – minimizing close contact and working in their designated individual workspaces except while participating in educational  activities involving in-person teamwork and other direct interactions.
  • Instructors and coordinators are expected to promote and facilitate the orderly ingress and egress of students from classrooms so as to avoid tight clustering and to promote the respect for personal space (as described above).

Of course, all ill/symptomatic students and employees should continue to avoid coming to the campus and should report their status according to existing protocols.
Given high vaccination rates among our campus population, and other ongoing systematic precautions and monitoring, we should all accept that our campus is one of the safest environments available in which to work and learn.
Additional details and related updates will follow.
All schools are immediately authorized to make changes in their operations consistent with the above – and all steps should be fully implemented by June 1, 2021.