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COVID-19 Update from Chancellor Roe - March 23, 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020 - 12pm

 

UNT World Team Members:

I hope you are well as conditions continue to evolve with the coronavirus threat – the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff remains the top priority across the UNT System.

The Dallas-Fort Worth region that all of our institutions call home has reported the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Texas, making it more important than ever to take precautions designed to help reduce the spread of the virus so our hospitals and healthcare clinics aren’t overwhelmed.

In line with Dallas County’s new shelter-in-place rules, which go into effect at 11:59 p.m. tonight, we will be closing all UNT System Administration offices for on-site access – remote working will continue.

Only security staff will remain in the building at 1901 Main Street in Dallas, beginning tomorrow, March 24. Similarly, UNT System Administration offices at the Business Services Center, Woodhill Square and Discovery Park in Denton will limit on-site staff to designated personnel only. To clarify, all UNT System Administration Offices will only be accessible to personnel designated as critical for continued on-site operations as determined by your Vice Chancellor or me – all other system administration personnel will continue to work remotely. With these operational adjustments in mind, any system administration team members impacted should retrieve needed items from their office today.

The 1901 Main Street closure includes the UNT Dallas College of Law library and all other CoL resources in that building – UNT Dallas police will arrange for security in the UNT Dallas Law Center at Old City Hall. In line with the Dallas County shelter-in-place order, UNT Dallas and the law school will be announcing operational updates later today.

While not bound by the same shelter-in-place guidelines as our Dallas County entities, UNT (Denton County) and UNT Health Science Center (Tarrant County), are similarly taking aggressive measures against the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, UNT announced it will be reducing on-site staff to personnel designated as essential for continued campus operations by 5pm on March 24. UNT’s vice presidents are identifying designated on-site personnel who will be needed to serve remaining UNT students in residence halls and serve critical business continuity functions. UNT Health Science Center has similarly reduced its on-campus staffing to those that serve critical business continuity functions. 

Each campus will determine its own essential on-site services and designated personnel. For UNT System Administration, designated on-site personnel are only those that are required on-site for continuity of operations. Again, employees designated as critical to these on-site operations will be determined by your Vice Chancellor or me. These decisions will focus on protecting the health of our employees and the general population, and will result in the absolute minimum on site population.

UNT System Human Resources has provided faculty and staff with guidance regarding working remotely, paid leave, emergency leave and safe working conditions for those designated as necessary for critical on-site operations – please note this HR guidance will continue to evolve based on the ever-changing nature of the COVID-19 threat and its impact on Texas, our system and member institutions. Please visit https://www.untsystem.edu/covid-19 to view these guidelines and other critical COVID-19 updates – this site is updated daily.

Thank you for your continued support of our proactive measures against the spread of COVID-19 as we strive to support public safety at the highest levels, while still fulfilling our missions to serve students. Our UNT World values – service, teamwork, trust, excellence – will continue to guide us through these challenging times.

Lesa B. Roe
Chancellor