Starting Spring 2021 Semester: First Two Weeks of the Semester, COVID-19 Testing, Students and Residence Hall Students, Faculty Guide, and Course Syllabi

Dr. Gene Bourgeois, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs | January 6, 2021

TO: Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Teaching Assistants

First Two Weeks of Spring 2021
To gradually increase campus density, faculty teaching face-to-face classes are encouraged to use remote teaching, as appropriate, as much as possible during the first two weeks of the spring 2021 semester. Faculty are responsible for communicating any changes to students in their face-to-face classes as soon as possible. 
Free COVID-19 Testing 
In a December 7, 2020 email, faculty were asked to plan to get a COVID-19 test one week prior to returning to our campuses.  A similar email was sent to staff.  Testing is part of the university’s comprehensive approach to maintaining a healthy and safe environment.  Those who have not been tested should schedule a free test at the Curative kiosk on the San Marcos Campus or at a Curative site near you.  Any person testing positive should immediately isolate, notify their supervisor, and notify Bobcat Trace for instructions on isolation and contact tracing. 
Students and Residence Hall Students
On December 7, 2020 and January 4, 2021, Texas State students were sent an email reminding them that they are expected to get tested before coming to campuses for the spring semester.  Students living in and employees working in on-campus housing are required to get a COVID-19 test within a week before the start of classes.  Proof of a negative test must be submitted when students return to the residence halls.  

While the resident hall requirement will primarily affect freshman students, faculty may continue to have other students who require flexible instruction due to isolation or quarantine. See recent recommendations from the Continuity of Education Work Group on handling students in isolation or quarantine (page 15). 
Faculty Guide
In preparation for spring 2021, my office created a comprehensive guide with updates on the pandemic work groups’ recommendations, health and safety measures, and plans and strategies for the classroom and instructional activities.  Faculty, deans, chairs/directors, and program coordinators are asked to review and use the guide for planning instruction, responding to questions, and setting expectations.  The spring 2021 guide may be downloaded from the Faculty Guide webpage on the Office of the Provost’s website.

Spring 2021 Course Syllabi
On December 18, 2020, my office provided information on course syllabi for the spring 2021 semester. The email is attached for your convenience.

During the ongoing challenges presented by the pandemic, I continue to be inspired by the dedication of our faculty in successfully guiding students toward academic success and degree progression.  I greatly appreciate your innovation and flexibility as Texas State continues to navigate this public health challenge.  As always, please stay abreast of the university’s COVID-19 efforts by visiting Texas State’s Roadmap on a regular basis.  Thank you and best wishes for the new year.