A message from President Schatzel on COVID-related actions

March 13, 2020

President Schatzel sent the following message to the TU community Friday amid a week of significant action on campus.

Dear Towson University faculty, staff, students and their families:

We all can agree these are indeed exceptional times for our university, the State of Maryland, our nation and our global community.

Yesterday, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced a series of actions aimed at addressing the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) and protecting the health and safety of Maryland’s communities. Actions taken by Governor Hogan yesterday included: 1) closing all Maryland public K-12 schools starting Monday, March 16 with reopening scheduled for Monday, March 30; 2) moving large segments of State of Maryland employees to a telework environment; and 3) the postponing or cancellation of any gatherings for 250 or more people. In support of Governor Hogan’s directives, Dr. Jay Perman, Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, of which Towson University (TU) is a part, announced several directives as well.

In response to both Governor Hogan’s and Chancellor Perman’s directives, I announced late yesterday afternoon that Towson University would move all non-essential (sustainable) employees to a telework environment beginning Monday, March 16. This decision is in addition to several others I have made over the past few days including: 1) the cancellation of face-to-face classes for all TU campuses on March 11, 12 and 13; 2) the movement of all TU classes to online instructional delivery from March 23 through April 5; 3) the suspension of the spring season of competition and practice for all TU Athletics; and 4) the postponement or cancellation of all TU events/gatherings until April 6.

I want to emphasize that we have been and will continue to monitor the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to have the health and safety of our TU community as our highest priority. Additionally, the faculty and our colleagues in Academic and Student Affairs are working tirelessly to support my commitment and that of the university to all our students. We remain steadfast in supporting our academic mission and in keeping all TU students on track to maintain progress toward the completion of their degrees.

The senior leadership team and I continue to work closely with the University System of Maryland as well as state and federal agencies to inform our decision-making and share the latest available information. As you know, there are no known or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Towson University, but we have taken and will continue to take measures that ensure the well-being of our campus. The pace of change has been rapid and the situation has been fluid, so I strongly advise every member of the TU community to continue to check their TU email frequently for updates from the university and to monitor www.towson.edu/coronavirus.

In many ways, the very best of TU has shown itself over the past few days and weeks. So many of our students, faculty, staff, parents, alumni and friends have gone above and beyond to support our community and each other. I want to offer my sincere appreciation to our entire TU community for the hard work of so many people across this wonderful university working around-the-clock to ensure the safety of our community and a smooth transition to online teaching, learning and working. Every single division, unit, office and department is playing an important role in lifting up this institution and keeping our operations running smoothly.

I also want to thank the so many people from across the university community who have taken the time to send me personal messages of support, caring, and unity. They have all meant a great deal to me.

Again, I am deeply grateful to all of you for your collective leadership as we continue working and supporting each other during these unprecedented circumstances. Please remember to take care of yourself, your families, and each other. I am so very proud of this community and am so very proud to be a Towson Tiger.

With great appreciation, respect and fondness,

Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.