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Past Updates

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This holiday weekend would normally be hallmarked by shared experiences with a large group of family and friends, celebrating the birth of American independence and the joys that summer always brings.

But this is no celebratory Fourth of July.  Our world, nation, county and city are gripped by  a relentless pandemic.  This Fourth, I urge you to limit your exposure and  continue to observe the shared requirements of our age: face coverings, social distancing and gathering restrictions and frequent hand-washing.

The growth in COVID-19 cases, many associated with gatherings linked to crowds such as those seen over Memorial Day weekend, is daunting.  Let’s do our part and help flatten the curve again.  We’re counting on you!

With growing hot spots for COVID-19 case increases across Texas, the City of Laredo has announced a travel advisory  that recommends avoiding these areas and self-quarantining for  7 – 10 days if you do go to any of these locations.

Employees, Open Enrollment  for Benefits-Eligible Employees and Retirees is underway through Friday, July 31.  It’s a great time for you to review/revise your insurance and beneficiary information, if necessary.  An Open Enrollment virtual meeting is also scheduled Tuesday, July 7 from 1 – 4:45 p.m.  Please see Uconnect for meeting link, password  and access code.

The  gradual return of our TAMIU workforce continues.  We all have a personal responsibility during this crisis, so please continue to exercise all expected hand-washing, face covering and distancing standards here on campus.  Our five campus tactical teams have submitted their recommended strategies and plans for our Fall Reopening and a review is underway.

Through TAMIU CARES, a government-funded program providing students emergency grant assistance, TAMIU will award $5.1 million in student emergency grants.  Some 92%, or $4,750,878, is federal funds while the remaining 8%, or $394,000, is non-governmental sources.  Visit the dedicated website. The Summer II application opens Friday, July 10.  To date, TAMIU has distributed approximately $2 million to students in need.

Our US Census is also underway. Under-reporting would impact funding received for schools, roads, hospitals and many vital community programs for the next decade.  Go online, call 844.330.2020, or complete your Census form by mail. It’s safe and secure and just takes a few moments to complete.

Remember: Tomorrow, Friday is the last day to pay Summer Session fees with no late charge and our online Summer Session II begins Monday, July 6.

Please exercise all due caution this holiday weekend.  We need you all back healthy, safe and sound.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This week we were joined by members of the Matias De Llano Charitable Trust who announced a generous  $300,000 gift.  The gift benefits TAMIU’s efforts to support students and Laredo residents.  The Auditorium in the AIC will be named “The Matias de Llano Trust Auditorium.”  It will serve as a public space for community presentations, lecture series, and other events leading to educational opportunities focused on elevating awareness, leadership and community engagement for students and citizens of South Texas. 

As you may know, the Trust’s legacy here is substantial and includes TAMIU student scholarships, a Ph.D. Endowment for the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, the Engineering Program, the TAMIU-KLRN Studio,  the Jackson Art Exhibit and in 2016, the remarkable legacy gift of the Heritage Edition of The St. John’s Bible in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s Great Room.

Congratulations to Drs. Ariadne González, Ju Oak Kim and Angela Moran for their leadership in presenting an  inaugural  Facebook LIVE interactive event focused on our Master of Arts in Communication program. This sort of innovative outreach to students is to be commended and I hope others are inspired by their creative initiative.  They worked with our Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services to research and plan this.

I hope all of you are taking time to explore our Dustdevil Diversity Spotlights on our website which attest to the broad diversity of our campus community and our extended TAMIU alumni. In recent weeks, we’ve profiled faculty and administrative members like Drs. Mehnazz Momen, Peter Haruna, Marivic Torregosa and Conchita Hickey.  Alumni who have shared the Diversity Spotlight include Dr. Alex Barrera and today, Alex Maza, both representing Pride Month.

We’re beginning to see more and more familiar faces of employees on campus as we continue the  gradual return of our TAMIU workforce.  Let’s note that our response to COVID-19 continues with face covering in buildings  and  on campus grounds mandatory, as well as adherence to social distancing and gathering guidelines.  We all have a personal responsibility during this crisis, so please continue to exercise all expected hand-washing, face covering and distancing standards.

The  City of Laredo has recently extended its Emergency Order through July 31, 2020, so take time to familiarize yourself with the order.  This week, Mayor Pete Saenz signed off on an amendment to the City’s order mandating all public-facing commercial businesses to require employees and customers to cover their nose and mouth if they cannot maintain a social distance. Starting June 24, 2020, businesses not complying face a $1,000 fine per violation.

Our five campus tactical teams are developing their recommended strategies and plans for our Fall Reopening. Those plans will be submitted and reviewed next week.

Through  TAMIU CARES, a government-funded program providing students emergency grant assistance, TAMIU will award $5.1 million in emergency grants to students.  Of this, 92%, or $4,750,878, is federal funds while the remaining 8%, or $394,000, is from non-governmental sources. To apply and learn more, visit the dedicated website. The Summer II application opens Friday, July 10.  To date, we have distributed approximately $2 million in student assistance.

In the midst of all that is going on, please be reminded that our US Census is also underway.  This may be the most crucial US Census in our shared history. Under-reporting will impact funding received for schools, roads, hospitals and other vital community programs for the next 10 years.  Go online, call 844.330.2020, or complete your Census form when it comes to you by mail. It’s safe and secure and just takes a few moments to complete.

Finally,  please join me in wishing happy trails and our shared gratitude to two longtime University employees as they retire: Douglas M. Ferrier, Library Director and Catheryn J. Weitman, University College Dean, have provided 9+  years of service here respectively.  Both have served the University well, helping us to accomplish our mission daily.  We wish them both the very best as they move forward to the next chapters of their lives.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

Texas Emancipation Day is observed Friday, June 19, 2020. It commemorates the June 19, 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and subsequent emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.

The Texas A&M University System has authorized campuses to operate with a skeleton crew on this historic day. Employees wishing to observe this significant event may use accrued vacation or compensatory time to do so. Each supervisor is responsible for ensuring all offices remain open to serve our students and constituents.

Let us all pause to reflect and encourage the healing of divisions that unfortunately remain. As we do so, let us consider how we may all move forward together in harmony and peace as one nation indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

On Tuesday, June 23 at 10 a.m., we’ll be joined by members of the Matias De Llano Charitable Trust who will be making a generous gift announcement in the Academic Innovation Center. The Trust’s legacy here is substantial and includes: TAMIU student scholarships, a Ph.D. Endowment for the A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business, the Engineering Program, the TAMIU-KLRN Studio, the Jackson Art Exhibit and in 2016, the remarkable legacy gift of the Heritage Edition of The St. John’s Bible in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library’s Great Room.

Also Tuesday at 11 a.m., we’ll offer our first-ever Facebook LIVE interactive event focused on our Master of Arts in Communication program. You can learn about the program, meet faculty, hear from a graduate and get details on graduate admissions requirements. On Tuesday, click here.

We continue the gradual, phased and safe return of our TAMIU workforce, adding staff over the next few weeks. Again, we anticipate a full non-faculty workforce to be in place by Monday, July 6, 2020.

Our five campus tactical teams representing our broad campus community have been developing their recommended strategies and plans for our Fall reopening. Those plans will be submitted and reviewed after July 1, 2020.

Our student community continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. TAMIU CARES is a government-funded program providing students emergency grant assistance. TAMIU will award $5.1 million in emergency grants to assist students as part of its TAMIU CARES Program. Of this, 92%, or $4,750,878, is federal funds while the remaining 8%, or $394,000, is from non-governmental sources. To apply and learn more, visit the dedicated website. The Summer II application will open Friday, July 10.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

Late last week, Congressman and alum Henry Cuellar (’82) announced $1,649,197 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation to TAMIU to develop and expand Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics learning opportunities for Hispanic and Low-Income students in the region.

This funding was awarded through the National Science Foundation’s Hispanic-Serving Institutions grant program, established by Congressman Cuellar in 2018. This is a visionary program that will drive brighter futures for TAMIU students.

I want to acknowledge the TAMIU team responsible for this impressive feat. Principal Investigator for the Grant is Dr. Claudia San Miguel, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Co-Principal Investigators are Dr. Marcus Ynalvez, associate dean, College of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Ruby Ynalvez, associate professor of Biology; Dr. Angelique Blackburn, assistant professor of Psychology, and Dr. Deepak Ganta, assistant professor of Engineering. Senior grant personnel include: Drs. Runchang Lin, Jennifer Coronado, and Marcela Moran. Other team members include Julian Peña, Youssef Elmasry, and Miguel Rangel.

This week, we began our gradual, phased and safe return of our workforce. We will continue to add staff over the next few weeks and anticipate a full non-faculty workforce to be in place by July 6, 2020. It’s been great to see some additional faces back on campus.

Also this week, I was pleased to meet (via WebEx) with members of both our Faculty Senate and Staff Senate to talk about our ongoing response and planning strategy for the Fall. We were able to share information and concerns and I’m grateful for these opportunities.

As I’ve previously shared, our final Fall opening will reflect the recommendations of five campus tactical teams representing our broad campus community. Committee chairs and members have been charged with identifying recommended strategies and plans for our Fall reopening. I truly appreciate these committees’ focused consideration.

Our student community continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I remind all students that TAMIU CARES is a government-funded program that can provide students with emergency grant assistance. TAMIU will award $5.1 million in emergency grants to assist students as part of its TAMIU CARES Program. Of this, 92%, or $4,750,878, are federal funds while the remaining 8%, or $394,000, is from non-governmental sources. To apply and learn more, visit the dedicated website.

The Laredo & Webb County Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, in partnership with the City of Laredo Planning Department, is working on an Active Transportation Plan for the region A survey was created to gather input. Share your insight at: www.cityoflaredo.com/planning/survey.html

It's also my pleasure to congratulate Dr. Marivic Torregosa on her selection as new Dean of the College of Nursing and Health Sciences. As Provost Tom Mitchell noted in his announcement this week, Dr. Torregosa has served the College as Interim Dean for a year. She’s done an outstanding job in meeting the challenges of a difficult year. She’s also directed the launch of two promising programs, the online Masters in Family Nurse Practitioner, and the new Bachelors of Public Health. Please join me in congratulating her!

Once again, TAMIU’s phased reentry continues slowly and cautiously, always keeping the health and safety of the entire University community first and foremost. Here’s wishing everyone a meaningful and successful summer.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

Welcome to our online Summer Session.  The University remains committed to its essential mission and so we continue to practice social distancing, face-covering and following CDC guidelines on cleanliness. Our campus remains closed to the public and open only to students, faculty and staff and those with a legitimate business purpose.

Students, make sure you bookmark and visit our dedicated COVID-19 website for updates and information relative to campus operations, services and more. It is continually updated and is located here.  In addition, visit our TAMIU Together website for more on how we are sharing this journey and responding to this challenge.

Many students and their families have been impacted by the pandemic.  TAMIU CARES is a government-funded program that can provide students with emergency grant assistance. TAMIU will award $5.1 million in emergency grants to assist students as part of its TAMIU CARES Program.  Of this, 92%, or $4,750,878, are federal funds while the remaining 8%, or $394,000, is from non-governmental sources. To apply and learn more, go to the TAMIU CARES website.

Our COVID-19 pandemic response continues and we are remaining optimistic, yet flexible as we move forward.  Next week, we will begin a gradual, phased and safe return of our workforce to offices.  We will continue to add staff over the next few weeks and anticipate a full non-faculty workforce to be in place by July 6, 2020.

This is consistent with Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s  plan to reopen the economy “focused on restoring lives while protecting livelihoods.” In addition, our governing Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, meeting last week, provided its System-wide Plan with guidelines for Reopening this Fall which will inform our own Fall plan.

As has been previously shared and reaffirmed by our Board, our commitment for the Fall semester is a structured return to face-to-face classrooms, contingent on  the virus’ spread or  containment, capacity for testing and CDC recommendations.

But clearly this Fall will not look like our traditional Fall semester.  That said, we may redefine our delivery or experiences, but our mission remains unchanged.   The commitment and  resolve shared throughout this challenging time  by students, faculty and staff has been impressive.  Together, we  will continue to deliver our cherished mission.

Our plans for Fall will be determined in part by a representative group of campus tactical teams to help us identify strategies and plans for our Fall reopening.  I greatly appreciate all who have agreed to serve on five committees providing recommendations for reopening to me.

In the interim, the University continues to practice:

*CDC social distancing and gathering standards remain in place.

*Covering of one’s nose and mouth continues in on-campus facilities and throughout campus grounds when around others.  Your covering may be removed if  you are alone in your office, or have a private office.

*Frequent hand washing and use of  hand sanitizer should continue. Avoid touching your face.

*Employees: Monitor your health to include regular temperature checks.  If you should feel ill, you should not report to work.  and if you are already at work, you should head home immediately after notifying your supervisor.

Last week, Dr. Nick Hudson found an engaging way to deliver a welcome package to our incoming freshmen as part of our transition to an online Dusty Camp Student Orientation.  This is a good example of how we must creatively sustain our traditions to ensure that Dustdevils have a full University experience that prepares them for  success.

Once again, our phased reentry continues slowly and cautiously, keeping the health and safety of all members of the University community at the forefront.  I look forward to seeing both familiar and new faces on campus and wish everyone a meaningful and successful summer.

Most of all, I look forward to an eventual return  to a robust campus life and living that we can all cherish…together.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 05/08/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

Today is a bittersweet day for all of us. We should be readying for our favorite time of the year: Commencement Exercises.

We should be bracing for the last-minute arrangement of caps, tassels and gowns… and the reassuring pat on the back that signals the candidate for graduation can take the stage. Provost Mitchell and I should be greeting each candidate and congratulating them on their achievements and success as your family and faculty watch with admiration. Regrettably, those moments have been delayed…for the time being.

Candidates for graduation of the 50th Anniversary Class, I want you to know that we are proud of each and every one of you. You are testaments to our legacy and mission. You have a bright future ahead of you. You will continue to Go Beyond and you WILL impact our community, region and State. I have a special video message for all of you here.

Let’s not dwell on our unexpected delay and look forward instead to the future when we will come together, TAMIU Together, celebrating your achievements Aug. 13, 2020 at the Sames Auto Arena. It will be a grand day indeed!

I continue to encourage all students to seek out opportunities for assistance from the TAMIU CARES program. Details and links to application forms are available here. Funding consideration will be provided to qualified, enrolled students for this Spring, Summer and Fall semesters for as long as funding is available.

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall 2020 is underway. You can still make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely. All classes for Maymester and Summer will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom. Here’s more on Summer fee reductions and ongoing services.

I ask that you please continue to keep medical professionals, first responders, caregivers, service providers and others on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts.

This is National Nurses Week and we’re especially proud of the efforts of Dr. F. M. Canseco School of Nursing graduates who are leading responses here and across the nation. Learn more about alumni on the front lines at our TAMIU Together website.

Again, our best wishes to all Spring Candidates for graduation. You have indeed risen to the challenge and moved beyond.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 04/30/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

Finals are underway as we begin the end of our Spring Semester of Challenges. I want to commend everyone: TAMIU students, faculty and staff on your combined resilience and resolve in completing this historic semester. So much has changed, but through it all you have maintained your focus and your commitment to our shared mission. I wish you all the very best on your exams. Your successful semester completion is but days away.

This week, we’re proud to announce that TAMIU’s School of Engineering is now home to two new degrees approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board: a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering. Details are below, but we are excited to bring these programs to Laredo and know they will make for some very bright futures here and beyond.

As we all move through our shared response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we likely have opportunities to help others, to share the burden, to encourage hope. One such remarkable effort has been that undertaken by Dr. Tariq Tashtoush and our Engineering students. Together, they have designed and created a supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks, shields and aerosol boxes for Laredo and Webb County Fire Departments and three local hospitals. This is an outstanding example of how we are TAMIU Together and Laredo Together. My thanks to these students and Dr. Tashtoush for truly showing how we continue to Go Beyond.

I continue to encourage all currently enrolled students to seek out opportunities for assistance from the TAMIU CARES program announced last week. Details and links to application forms are available here. Funding consideration will be provided to qualified, enrolled students for this Spring, Summer and Fall semesters for as long as funding is available.

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall 2020 is underway. You can still make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely. Please be reminded all courses for Maymester and Summer will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom. Here’s more on Summer fee reductions and ongoing services.

Students, the TAMIU Bookstore has extended the non-return charge window by 15 days to Tuesday, May 5, 2020. This means there will be no charges to your collateral credit card within 15 days from your due date. You can return your rentals in-store or ship them to the Bookstore using the free return shipping label sent to your student email address by the Bookstore. Print your shipping label, and drop off the package at a FedEx Ground location. For more, call 956.326.2080 or go online.

I ask that you please continue to keep medical professionals, first responders, caregivers, service providers and others on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts.

Better yet, share your thanks with them with this editable PDF for use on your preferred platforms…or print and post in your home or auto windows.

Again, my best wishes to all and congratulations on completing this semester. You have risen to the challenge and moved beyond.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 04/23/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This completes the fourth week in our Virtual Classroom transition and brings the end of the semester closer than ever. We continue to adjust to meet the needs of our TAMIU community of students, faculty and staff in our ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Students, please note that your Credit-No Credit Grading Option closes today Thursday, April 23, 2020…which is also the last day to withdraw from classes. This decision is yours and yours alone, so please review your options carefully.

Spring Final Exams are scheduled Wednesday, April 29 to Tuesday, May 5. See the online Final Exam Schedule for details. I wish you all the success you deserve. Study hard!

There’s a broad range of online resources and services available to the TAMIU community. I’m also especially proud of the ways that TAMIU faculty have transitioned to our Virtual Classroom to provide students with bold and innovative class experiences this semester.

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall 2020 is underway. You can still make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely. Please be reminded all courses for Maymester and Summer will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom. Read more on Summer fee reductions and ongoing services below.

Some great news recently from U.S. News and World Report: its 2020 Edition of the popular Best Colleges guide ranks TAMIU as the second highest-ranked Texas public university in the Best Regional Universities West category and the highest-ranked regional campus of the Texas A&M University System. Hats off to all who make this honor real and possible every day.

We anticipate that were will soon be changes to the City’s guidance on masking. Please check our dedicated COVID-19 response website for the most recent updates. Thanks for your positive response to our TAMIU Together website. It provides insight and guidance as we move forward together to our campus,’ city’s, state’s and country’s recovery. We’re updating this shared journey regularly. Kudos to our Office of Public Relations Web Team and student intern Edelmiro Santos that led this effort.

Please continue to keep medical professionals, first responders, caregivers, service providers and others on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts. You can share your thanks with them with this editable PDF for use on your preferred platforms…or print and post in your home or auto windows.

You can share your thanks with them with this editable PDF for use on your preferred platforms…or print and post in your home or auto windows.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 04/16/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This completes the third week in our Virtual Classroom and brings the end of the semester closer than ever. Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains flexible and we are continually adjusting to meet the needs of our TAMIU community of students, faculty and staff.

This week, we were alerted by Texas Senator John Cornyn’s office that TAMIU is the recipient of  $9.5  million in CARES Act relief funding. The CARES Act, (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act), provides campus-based aid waivers, supplemental educational opportunity grants for emergency aid, institutional refunds and federal student loan flexibility and temporary relief for federal student loan borrowers, among other components.

We’re enormously appreciative of Senator Cornyn, Congressman Henry Cuellar (’82) and the entire Texas delegation for their quick initial response to this historic emergency. Half of the  initial allocation will provide assistance directly to students.

As we’ve moved through this Spring of Challenge, I am impressed with the broad range of online resources and services that are available to the TAMIU community. Take a look  here.

I’m equally excited about the efforts of our student philanthropists, who through the TAMIU Student Philanthropy Council have decided to donate 2020 Class Giving Campaign funds to help support students facing unforeseen financial difficulties.  THAT’s the Dustdevil spirit! 

Registration for Maymester, Summer and Fall 2020 is underway.  You can make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely. Please be reminded all Maymester and Summer courses will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom. 

This week, new hours for the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library began.  Please review the  new operating schedule.

Students, please bear in mind the  Credit-No Credit Grading Option  selection closes  Thursday, April 23, 2020…which is also the last day to withdraw from the University.

Today, I want to introduce all to a new website dedicated to  TAMIU Together . It’s a way of affirming that our Dustdevil community is together today and together always. We’re students, we’re faculty, we’re staff. We’re alumni and we’re community members and partners.  And, simply put, we’re together. This site will provide insight and guidance as we move forward together towards our campus,’ city’s, state’s and country’s recovery.  Check back often for updates.

Please  continue to keep medical professionals, first responders, caregivers, service providers and others on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts. Share your thanks with them with this  editable PDF that you  can share across platforms, print or post in your home or auto windows.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 04/09/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This completes our second week in our Virtual Classroom and brings the end of the semester within three weeks of completion.

Our response to the COVID-19 pandemic remains flexible and we are adjusting to meet the needs of our TAMIU community of students, faculty and staff.

This week, Provost Mitchell provided undergraduate students with details of our Credit-No Credit Grading Option which can be selected by students for the Spring semester only. Please review your selection carefully and make sure that your decision includes feedback from your advisor. The last day to select your option is Thursday, April 23, 2020…also the last day to withdraw from the University.

Registration for summer and Fall 2020 opened Monday. Registration dates are here. You can also make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely. The University has decided that all courses offered this Summer, including Maymester, will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom.

If you’re a parent with children at home, you’ll appreciate the dedicated efforts of our College of Education students who have created a broad spectrum of bilingual virtual-learning ideas you can use, complete with videos. Check out their impressive efforts here.

As most are aware, many TAMIU offices and services are working remotely, which can impact full phone capability. If your call isn’t immediately answered remotely, please leave a voicemail message or email the office as instructed so that a response to you can be forthcoming.

With the fluid nature of the COVID-19 response, the City of Laredo has adjusted its Emergency Ordinance. Please visit the City’s dedicated website to keep yourself abreast of these changes. As you know, citations can be issued and fines assessed.

I want to strongly ask that for this Easter holiday, we continue to respect social distancing and gathering restrictions that follow CDC and City of Laredo guidelines and directives.

While we all traditionally gather with friends and family to share the blessings of this special day, with today's reality we must instead remain at a distance…respecting the guidelines that continue to frame our shared response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please defer from the usual gatherings and festivities that mark this holiday...so that we may all one day share again in these holidays and more in the future.

Our offices will close on Friday, 10 April, 2020 at noon for the Easter holiday and reopen Monday, 13 April at 8 a.m. The Library will close all day Friday and begin a new operating schedule Monday.

Visit and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 Response website for updates and information as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic together.

 Please continue to keep medical professionals, first responders, caregivers and others on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Dear Dustdevil Family,

Texas A&M International University has learned that an employee at our University has tested positive for the novel coronavirus-COVID-19. The individual has not been on campus since March 25, 2020, but employees in the impacted department(s) may be contacted by the City of Laredo Health Department (CLHD) and asked to self-monitor, take their temperature twice daily, and if ill, stay home.

The CLHD recommends that all students and employees adhere to the principle of social distancing and good hygiene. If you are experiencing mild flu-like symptoms, please stay home and treat these symptoms as you would any other flu/cold-like illness. If symptoms become unmanageable, call your medical provider, or if symptoms worsen, call 911.

Questions should be directed to the City of Laredo Health Department’s 24/7 COVID-19 hotline at (956) 795-4954. We appreciate your cooperation during this time. We are a strong community and we will continue to support and care for each other. We are TAMIU Together.

Additional information is available on the TAMIU COVID-19 dedicated webpage.

Updated: 04/03/2020

Office of the President

Dear Dustdevil Faculty, Staff, and Students,

It saddens me to inform you that a member of our Dustdevil family has tested positive for COVID-19. In an abundance of caution, employees in the impacted department(s) may be notified by the City of Laredo Health Department.

Although this is not the first confirmed case of COVID-19 in Webb County, it is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 at Texas A&M International University. I understand that this announcement will cause concern, and I want to assure you that we will continue working closely with the City of Laredo Health Department, following all recommendations. Since the national COVID-19 outbreak began, all buildings and high-volume touchpoints on campus have been and will continue to be cleaned and disinfected on a regular basis. Privacy laws prevent us from releasing more specific information publicly.

 We continue to work with department supervisors to limit the number of employees on campus. Once again, CDC recommends, and I urge you to follow, these preventative measures to stop the spread of germs, including those associated with COVID-19:

  1. Avoid close contact with people who are sick;
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; Avoid shaking hands;
  3. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
  4. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol;
  5. Do not come to work when you are sick;
  6. Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue and discard used tissues; and
  7. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleanser.

If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms (fever, coughing, shortness of breath), please contact your medical provider. Faculty and staff should notify Environmental Health and Safety at safety@tamiu.edu or at (956) 326-2194, if they test positive for COVID-19, and students should inform Student Health Services at studenthealth@tamiu.edu or at (956) 326-2235, so the University can take appropriate steps to prevent the spread of illness.

The safety of all Dustdevils and our larger community remains our top priority. Please join me in extending our thoughts and prayers to our fellow Dustdevil and their family as they face this challenge head on. Continue to take care of yourselves, your families, and your fellow Dustdevils. Together, we will get through these difficult times. We are TAMIU Together.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Updated: 04/02/2020

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

This first week of our Virtual Classroom is drawing to an end and we have been impressed by your combined resilience and commitment in these challenging times. Some student experiences are shared below.

With a week’s time, we’ve shifted from classroom to online and have seen a nearly seamless transition. I was able to view some our faculty’s class deliveries and was truly impressed. At the end of this week, we will have three weeks remaining in the semester. Let’s move forward together.

Our campus is a much different place these days. Here’s a video message for all from here that shows why we’re TAMIU Together . Please share with your colleagues, friends and family to remind them that our shared journey moves forward.

 We will begin registration for summer and Fall 2020 Monday, April 6, 2020. Registration dates are here. You can also make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely.

 This week, a number of difficult decisions were made that we feel best position students for success. As was shared yesterday, we will offer undergraduate students a credit/non-credit grading option for this Spring. We will extend the drop date to Thursday, April 23, also the last date for students to select the credit/non-credit grading option.

Semester finals will be delivered online on the day and times originally scheduled for their delivery.

The University has decided that all courses offered this Summer, including Maymester, will be delivered online in the Virtual Classroom. The ongoing COVD-19 pandemic makes it increasingly unlikely that we will be able to return to face-to-face classes until the Fall semester.

You are probably aware that the City has issued a new Emergency Ordinance to curb the spread of COVID-19. Briefly, a curfew is implemented for all residents from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless those that work at these times have proof of this from their employer. A mask requirement is also in place that requires you to have mouth/nose covered when entering a building. Additional details at link above.

While the campus is closed to the general public, services here at the University continue, respective of CDC Guidelines on gathering and social distancing. For students, faculty, staff or others having legitimate reasons to be on campus, it is always advised that offices be contacted in advance. Some will have essential staffing only, and others may be closed. Reach out by phone or visit websites first for revised schedules or service changes. Hours and access are always subject to change.

Visit and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 Response website for updates and information on often daily adjustments and changes as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In closing, always monitor your health and those you love carefully. Keep medical professionals, first responders and care givers on the front lines of this global health challenge in your hearts and thoughts.

We all share great anxiety these days, but let’s strive to be known for the compassion we can give and the kindnesses we can share every day.

We are TAMIU Together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear University Community,

The world and classroom that we return to Monday, March 30 is much different.  While the City will enact a Stay at Home/Work Safe Order at 12:01 a.m., Saturday, March 28, 2020, TAMIU’s mission will continue.  As the City of Laredo and County of Webb are aware, the University’s higher education mission moves forward, authorized as an essential service by the Governor of Texas.  While offices are operating remotely and with reduced staffing, the University’s essential services to students, faculty and staff continue.

As we are well aware, the global COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted all aspects of our lives.  Here at TAMIU, it has moved our traditional places of exchange and growth, the physical classroom, into the Virtual Classroom.  For the next four weeks, we will all work together to complete this semester.  You can now attend class from the comfort of your home.  TAMIU professors are eager to meet you online and finish this semester with you. All have dedicated themselves this week to transitioning coursework with OIT to be ready for you.

I know there will be challenges. We will share them.  And rest assured, the challenges we are facing are the same being shared at institutions across the state and the country. As always, we are passionately committed to your success.  Some students  have shared their disappointment about this sudden move away from face-to-face learning.  We understand this, but hope you will soon realize that the Virtual Classroom, while markedly different, does offer remarkable opportunities to expand both the teaching and learning experience.  

The University is remaining as flexible as possible throughout this crisis so that we may be of better service to our University community.  As you may have heard, in order to help our housing residence students and their family who have indicated they would prefer to return home at this time, we have launched a plan for qualified campus housing students to receive a waiver of their outstanding housing or meal plan balances, or a refund pro-rated for April and May. Details are here.

While the campus is closed to the general public, services here at the University will continue, respective of CDC Guidelines on gathering and social distancing. For students, faculty, staff or others having legitimate reasons to be on campus,  it is always advised that offices be contacted in advance. Some will have essential staffing only,  and others may be closed.  It is best to reach out by phone or visit websites first for revised schedules or service changes.  Some services will transition to online options.  The Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library has revised its operating hours and services in order to comply with CDC Guidelines. See those here.  Hours and access are always subject to change.

Those wanting to access Student Health Services here on campus must contact those offices by phone at 956.326.2235 in advance to schedule an appointment and visit.  Walk-Ins are not permitted.

For the remainder of this week, through Friday, March 27, University buildings with the exception of Bullock Hall will be open from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.  The Student Center will be open from 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. This weekend,  March 28 – 29, all buildings will be locked with the exception of the Student Center, open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

For the week of March 30 and moving forward, most TAMIU buildings will be locked.  Exceptions are the Zaffirini Student Success Center, Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Cowart Hall and Fine and Performing Arts from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday-Friday.  The Lamar Bruni Vergara Science Center and University Police Department will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday and the Student Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

I strongly encourage you to visit and bookmark our dedicated COVID-19 Response website for updates and information on often daily adjustments and changes as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 Pandemic. Here’s a COVID-19 Self-Care Packet available there. 

We will begin registration for summer and fall 2020 on Monday, April 6, 2020.
Please visit our registration page for assigned registration dates. You can also make an appointment with your advisor over the phone or remotely.

In closing, I urge all of you to monitor your health and that of those you love carefully.  Please hold in your hearts and thoughts the medical professionals, first responders and care givers who are on front lines of this global health challenge.  In this time of great anxiety, let us all be known for the compassion we give and share and the kindnesses we practice daily. 

Indeed, we live in times of great challenge and change… but we are TAMIU Together… and so we will rise to this challenge together.

Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Office of the President

Dear Students,

As we continue to adapt to the daily challenges of an ongoing COVID-19 response, we want to help students and parents face these challenges. Students living on campus who wish to move out of campus housing and join their families will now be eligible for a housing waiver of their outstanding housing or meal plan balances, or a refund pro-rated for April and May.

While we remain fully committed to keeping TAMIU housing open for those students wishing to remain on campus to continue their education virtually (online), we realize that some students and their families may feel it best to bring their student home for the remainder of the semester. We understand this and offer this proactive program to assist students and their families during this difficult time.

Rest assured, we’ll continue to keep both University residences: University Village and the Residential Learning Center, open for those choosing to remain on campus -- and provide a range of services and support required for student success. For those wishing to move out, options will be available depending upon their status.

By April 1, students wishing to move out of campus housing must submit a Mobile Move Out Form to be eligible for a waiver of their prorated April and May outstanding housing/meal plan balances, or a refund as of the later of their April 1 or later move out date scheduled with TAMIU’s Office of Housing and Residence Life. To be eligible for this, students must fill out the Mobile Move Out Form and properly vacate the premises.

Students who have paid in full for housing and meal plans for the semester will be issued a pro-rated refund. This refund will be less any outstanding University balances (such as book loans, emergency loans, Title IV return and others). Electronic refunds will be issued starting on Fridays, generally within two weeks after move out. Student recipients of Pell Grant or other Title IV programs who withdraw from all classes are advised they may be required by federal law to return a portion of these federal funds.

For those students who have not paid in full, their outstanding housing and meal plan balances, excluding any past due balances, will be waived by the University as of April 1 or the day of move-out, whichever is later. Additional information is being shared directly with current residents.

We are living in challenging times and I am glad that we are able to provide this opportunity to students and their families. Information on the program will be forthcoming from the TAMIU Office of Housing and Residence Life directly to current residents. Other South Texas institutions in the Texas A&M University System are offering similar opportunities.

To our campus residents who may be departing, we wish you and yours all the best and truly look forward to welcoming you back to TAMIU this coming Fall semester. Be Safe. Be Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

From The Office of Governor Greg Abbott

Updated: 03/20/2020

This memo will provide additional guidance on the continued operation of your institution of higher education in light of the Governor’s Executive Order Number GA 08 issued on March 19, 2020. Educating future generations is a crucial feature of any society, second only to ensuring public safety. In the executive order, institutions of higher education are directed to operate in accordance with Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. As described in the text of the order, the state is following guidance from the CDC to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the greatest extent practicable. Please continuously monitor the CDC’s Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education for any updates. Texas’ institutions of higher education have already taken on this responsibility and acted swiftly in responding to this unique crisis. The work your institutions have already done is admirable and for that we are grateful.

Please click here to read the rest of Governor Greg Abbott's memo.

 Office of Texas Governor

Greg Abbott

Message President Arenaz

COVID-19 Update For Students 3-19-20

Updated: 03/19/2020

Dear Dustdevil Family,

This semester, Dustdevil Nation and our world have been dealt a blow, prompting some tough decisions. And so, there will be some changes. We must and will reimagine higher education for the immediate future.

Your classroom is now a Virtual Environment and our campus now is as close as the palm of your hand. Your TAMIU faculty and staff are by your side and we’re all ready to help. Together, we will rise to the challenge.

While the COVID-19 Pandemic continues, our situation remains fluid and so we must be flexible. Everything is subject to change, and we will adjust as needed within guidelines defined by authorities.

Currently, here’s what will happen Monday, March 30, 2020 (This may change):

  • Online classes resume Monday, March 23, 2020
  • All face-to-face classes resume Monday, March 30 in a Virtual Environment
  • Our Virtual Environment will provide a variety of ways to connect and advance your class learning with innovative teaching and delivery
  • Some classes and labs may require face-to-face interaction and will follow approved social distancing guidelines and CDC standards for group size limits
  • OIT Support will continue to be available
  • All Student Services will continue to be available
  • Food Services will continue to be available with modified operations
  • Housing on campus remains open to residents only
  • Cowart and Killam Library Computer Labs will be available
  • For students with Internet access challenges, a free program is available ( see attached)
  • The campus will follow all limitations on the size of public gatherings and meet social distancing requirements
  • If you’re a student worker or employee, additional information is forthcoming on your work assignment.
  • Students returning from domestic and international travel must follow guidance (below).
Domestic Travel Guidance: International Travel Guidance:
  • Given ongoing developments in COVID-19 transmission in recent days, any faculty, staff or students returning from international travel from any country (including cruises) AND through any U.S. airport must self-isolate for 14 days before physically returning to TAMIU. This policy is effective immediately.
May Commencement: This saddens us all, but we regret that in light of the restrictions on gatherings by the White House, CDC, state and local government, we must postpone May Commencement Exercises. We share your disappointment and wish this were not the case. We look forward to celebrating your accomplishment and commitment in the future.

 

Moving Forward:

In closing, please follow all guidance from the City of Laredo, state government, the CDC and the White House Coronavirus Task Force regarding all aspects of the response to this pandemic. Any news, updates or additional resources will be posted on our dedicated COVID-19 website at: https://www.tamiu.edu/coronavirus/index.shtml

As I indicated at the beginning of this letter, we are indeed facing a formidable challenge – but the semester is two-thirds of the way done and our commitment to your completion remains steadfast.

Like our higher education counterparts across the state, nation and world, we will move boldly into the Virtual Environment. You can expect the same commitment and energy from your TAMIU faculty and staff that have always hallmarked your programs. We’re in this together.

With Dustdevil commitment and energy, I know that together we will rise to this challenge. Together, Dustdevils will finish stronger.

Be Well. Stay Well.

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

MESSAGE PRESIDENT ARENAZ

Updated: 03/16/2020

TAMIU’s International Travelers Clearing Customs at 13 Airports Should Self-Isolate for 14-Days Before Returning to Campus

Dear University Community,

As you are likely aware, new United States government travel restrictions are routing travelers from Europe and other Level 3 countries through a specific set of 13 US arrival airports.

With increased health screening upon arrival at these airports, which are now experiencing long delays and large volumes of traffic clearing customs and health screening, any international traveler arriving at these airports (see below) – be it coming from a Level 3 or other country – from Saturday March 14 onward will have an increased chance of exposure than other travelers.

Therefore, any Texas A&M International University faculty, staff and students returning from international travel on or after March 14 and arriving in-country to clear customs at the Boston (BOS), Miami (MIA), New York City (JFK), Chicago (ORD), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Los Angeles (LAX), Atlanta (ATL), Honolulu (HNL), Newark (EWR), Dallas (DFW), Detroit (DTW) or Washington, D.C. (IAD) international airports should consider themselves as having returned from a Level 3 COVID-19 location and self-isolate for 14 days after their arrival before returning to campus. Self-isolation guidance is listed in the  Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site.  More information is available on the  CDC Care Guide.

Domestic travelers through all airports and international travelers from non-level 3 countries arriving at airports other than those listed are required only to self-monitor at this time. Self-monitoring guidance is listed in the   Frequently Asked Questions section of this web site and on the  CDC Care Guide.

Only international travel should be recorded on the  TAMIU Traveling Form. Faculty and staff are advised that this should be entered as  Emergency Leave, subject to verification by TAMIU Human Resources.

Thank you for all that you are doing to help keep both TAMIU and our community safe.

Be Well,

Pablo Arenaz, Ph.D.

President

Message from Chancellor Sharp

Updated: 03/13/2020

Dear TAMIU Community,

I wanted personally to reach out to our students, faculty and staff during this difficult time. The COVID-19 pandemic continues to pose significant challenges and is likely to remain a concern for the next several weeks.

Please click here for the rest of Chancellor Sharp's update on the Texas A&M System's Response to COVID-19 spread.

Sincerely,

John Sharp

Chancellor

Message from President Arenaz

Updated: 03/12/2020

Dear TAMIU Community,

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) will join 11 other Texas A&M University System campuses in suspending face-to-face classes for an additional week after Spring Break so that TAMIU faculty and staff can prepare for a possible transition to online course delivery. The extension is being taken as part of an A&M System-wide response to the COVID-19 ("Coronavirus") pandemic.

In accordance with guidance from our System, we are acting out of an abundance of caution. The planned Spring Break from March 16 – 20 will be extended for students only to include the week of March 23 – 27. During that week, University faculty and staff will be dedicated to training for online course delivery, with possible deployment determined upon further assessment and guidance. TAMIU classes will return Monday, March 30.

The campus will be open and student housing will be in service as will on-campus food service.

The campus will operate during normal business hours. All student and academic support services will continue to operate, including the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, Student Health Services, Counseling Services and all business operations. Faculty and staff will observe their normal schedules.

It is recommended that TAMIU students remain at home or in University housing during this extended period and continue any planned coursework or research papers for their courses. They should continue to exercise ongoing precautions consistent with best practices recommended by health officials. This includes frequent handwashing, social distancing and staying at home if ill.

We will continue to monitor the developing situation and are in constant coordination and communication with the Laredo Health Department, and the Texas A&M University System, the Centers for Disease Control and the State Department.

Additional information will be posted here regularly.

Be well,

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

Dear University Community,

As all of you are aware, our country and world are gripped with concerns about the global pandemic of COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”).

While no cases have been reported in Laredo, on our campus or in Webb County, we must all proceed with an abundance of caution.  In partnership with the Texas A&M University System, we have instituted guidelines suspending  foreign travel for students, faculty and staff. 

Here on campus, we have also augmented our cleaning of facilities, using hospital-grade disinfectant and supplementing our regular cleaning schedule and staff.  The campus is in ongoing communication with the CDC, State Department, the Texas A&M University System and the City of Laredo Health Department. 

This dedicated web site will remain your go-to TAMIU resource for any news and information about COVID-19.  Please read through for important health information, including voluntary reporting forms for all personal international travel, health information and insight.  It will be updated regularly. Please bookmark and visit often. 

In closing, let’s be responsible and keep ourselves calm and well-informed. All things done well are done best with the help of others… something all members of the Dustdevil community truly excel at.  

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has made its way into the state of Texas. Maintaining awareness and vigilance is crucial as the number of outbreak cases reported in our nation grows. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has a dedicated section with up-to-date information regarding the virus. 

Community is an integral part of our university and city. As responsible members of this community, we must take precaution-- not just for our sake, but for others as well. Since there is no current vaccine for the novel Coronavirus, staying informed is critical for preventing the spread of this illness.

 

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President

Dear Dustdevil Community Members,

We are all aware of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China and its rapid spread across the globe.  While there are relatively few cases in the United States and Texas is considered at low risk, we should all maintain awareness and vigilance.

Fortunately, there are reputable resources available to all of us and I encourage your use of them. These websites are listed below.  Visit them regularly for the most current information.

Again, Texas is a low risk.  Let’s keep our awareness high. 

 

Dr. Pablo Arenaz

President