President Schatzel shares steps to begin the deliberate planning of TU’s recovery and reopening.
Dear Members of the TU Community,
As you have seen, state and federal experts and leaders, including Governor Hogan, predict social distancing and other public health measures will make significant contributions to the containment and mitigation of the COVID-19 pandemic. Governor Hogan stated at a press conference last week “we’re now in a position to move from containment and mitigation to plan the gradual rollout of our recovery phase.”
In addition, we heard the governor strongly emphasize great caution and the lengths still needed to go with regard to containment, but the planning for recovery is beginning in Maryland as in other states.
To be clear, I want to reiterate that our first priority has been and will continue to be the health and safety of our entire university community — staff, faculty and students. Additionally, the university will continue to rigorously comply with all state and federal COVID-19 directives. However, it is now the appropriate time to begin the deliberate planning of TU’s recovery and reopening.
As a first step, I am announcing the creation of the Return to TU Task Force. This group is charged with developing an effective public health and operations plan for Towson University that charts a path to the safe reopening of campus and return to classes for the 2020–21 academic year. The task force’s foundational principles are prioritizing the health and safety of our students and employees and ensuring TU can provide a high-quality learning experience for our students. As plans are developed, we will confirm they align with all USM directives and guidance.
The task force, composed of two committees, will develop scenario-based plans that allow for gradual progress and strictly adhere to state and federal directives. I am grateful to Melanie Perreault, provost and executive vice president for academic and student affairs, and Vernon Hurte, vice president for student affairs, for agreeing to co-chair the Academic and Student Readiness Committee. I also appreciate the leadership of Sara Slaff, general counsel and vice president for legal affairs, and Steve Jones, associate vice president for human resources, for agreeing to co-chair the Campus Readiness Committee.
The task force will report directly to me and provide regular updates to the TU community. The committees, whose membership will have broad campus representation, will begin their work immediately and continue into the fall term. In the coming days, the members of the respective committees will be announced as well as next steps in the process of planning the university’s gradual recovery and reopening.
During these most uncertain and difficult times, it is more important than ever that we work together as a community and support each other. I am very grateful to everyone for their dedication to each other and to our students.
So Tigers, please remember to stay home, stay safe and stay positive!
Kim Schatzel, Ph.D.