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Coronavirus Update from President Wendler

March 12, 2020

7:00 p.m.

Dear West Texas A&M University family,

We are committed to helping prevent the spread of this virus by taking prudent steps to protect the campus, its students, its faculty and its staff, as well as the community at large. I take my responsibility to this school extremely seriously, and the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff is first priority. We continue to monitor closely the COVID-19 situation and make decisions as prudently as possible. We are following the severe illness guidelines in the WT Emergency Operation — Pandemic Plan.

The primary goal of the plan is to slow the spread of the disease and maintain essential University services. Therefore, the following decisions have been made.

First, we will not resume classes until Wednesday, March 25. Our staff and faculty are currently in the process of moving instruction to online classes in as many cases as possible. At the present, approximately 65 percent of courses have moved online for the remainder of the semester. Students are encouraged to check in regularly with their faculty regarding courses.

Second, residence halls will remain open. Students who wish to check out of the residence halls for the remainder of the semester are asked to inform student housing by e-mail (housing@wtamu.edu) by 5 p.m. March 17; emails should include the student’s name, housing assignment and Buff ID number. Students planning to move out of the residence halls are asked to do so by 5 p.m. March 24. Credit for housing and meal plans for the remainder of the semester for those students leaving the residence halls is being determined and will be communicated as soon as possible.

Third, all university special events, as well as special public events on campus, including the May commencement ceremonies, are canceled through the end of the spring semester. This includes all non-school activities scheduled to be held on University grounds.

I want to assure you, these decisions are not being made lightly. We are closely following expert information about COVID-19, and will continue to apply best practices according to the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization. Taking these precautionary actions will bring long-term benefit to our campus and the Texas Panhandle.

Our decisions could change based on the evolving circumstances. Bookmark the University’s main COVID-19 page for regular updates which will provide official university decisions. For additional updated information about COVID-19 disease activity, you can visit the websites of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC Travel Health Notice, the World Health Organization, and the Randall County Department of Health.

We will continue to monitor the outbreak and keep you updated.

Walter V. Wendler
President
president@wtamu.edu