UNT World Faculty & Staff:
Of all the many challenges we’re facing during the COVID-19 pandemic, the one constant has been change. We’ve been forced to live differently, work differently, meet differently and socialize differently. In our lifetime, the world has never looked like this. Higher education has never looked like this.
What we’re going through can be frustrating and scary, but it also presents us with an opportunity. It would be naïve to think that everything will magically return to “how it was” when we finally defeat COVID-19. The future is going to be very different and the sooner we accept and embrace that, the better we can plan for it.
During our COVID-19 Town Hall a few weeks ago, President Smatresk marveled at the tireless efforts of his team to convert nearly 8,000 classes to alternative delivery and spoke about disruption in a positive light, saying: “I believe that this disruption signals a true change in the American higher education front. Given the severity of the circumstances we have, that’s the silver lining that we’re looking for.”
Indeed, this disruption presents us all with an opportunity to do things differently, to be more nimble and responsive, to find new and innovative ways to conduct research and serve students. We can all find opportunities to become better, both today and after the pandemic is behind us. We are entering a new era for higher education and can emerge as leaders by embracing change and using it as a catalyst for ideas that will shape the future.
Last week our Human Resources team launched “In the Green: UNT World Well-Being” – an exciting, system-wide well-being initiative that was created to help faculty and staff from UNT, UNT Health Science Center, UNT Dallas and UNT System Administration live their best lives. Whether navigating day-to-day challenges in “normal” times, or working through the ever-changing circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced, we believe the health and wellness of our employees is critical to their success – both personally and professionally.
During this unique time we will ramp up our efforts to provide virtual workshops to support employees – particularly in interpersonal well-being – through In the Green. Additionally, the program offers health-related benefits, learning opportunities and even discount and rewards programs. Please take a moment to visit the program’s dedicated web site at wellbeing.untsystem.edu and review the many resources and opportunities to address your physical, financial and interpersonal well-being.
To help spotlight the great work of our students, faculty and staff across UNT World, we launched a new podcast called “We Are North Texas” that features positive stories from the UNT System during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s important to recognize extraordinary efforts during these challenging times and our first four episodes are linked below:
- HSC emerges as Tarrant County’s leader during pandemic with testing center for first responders
- UNT Dallas gives back to students and community through North Texas Food Bank partnership
- How UNT converted nearly 8,000 courses to “alternative delivery” in under two weeks
- UNT System HR makes commitment employee well-being during COVID-19 and beyond
Thank you for your continued support of efforts to navigate the many challenges during this unique time – remember that with change, comes opportunity.
Lesa B. Roe