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March 14, 2020 - Letter to Faculty and Staff

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

From: Office of the President
Sent: Saturday, March 14, 2020 10:36 AM
To: SFA Faculty and Staff
Subject: Letter to Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff:

To say a lot has happened over spring break is an understatement! I have frequently referred to the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) environment higher education is in, but who would have thought that a global health crisis and pandemic would have sent our world into such chaos.

I am extremely proud and thankful for the tremendous number of individuals and offices who spent their entire spring break working tirelessly to develop messaging, put together informational placards, websites, public service announcement, and communicate with faculty, staff, students, parents, local and state officials. In addition, many of these same offices will be working overtime to make sure faculty have the assistance and resources needed to transition courses to online or other distance formats. These folks have and will continue to prepare campus for this new reality. During all of this, these individuals remained calm and positive in an ever-evolving situation.

To all of these individuals and offices - THANK YOU!

The reality is, however, that we will still have a lot of work to do as this public health crisis evolves. I want to ensure campus that we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of all and continue business operations and instruction as best we can during this time. While we will work hard to continue operations and transition coursework, there will be challenges – we understand that. During this time especially, we will need to work together, communicate and exhibit patience and flexibility.

I have heard from many of you that the transition to online is progressing well or that you are already online with your course, but many will need additional time and help – that is ok. I urge you to communicate, even over communicate, with your students to let them know your timeline for transitioning and the new distance mode of instruction you choose.

I will ask that chairs, deans, and other support staff reach out to faculty and provide assistance when necessary. Faculty, please reach out to your chairs, deans and other support staff (i.e. CTL - for assistance.

Communication will be important as we work through this, therefore, we have set up a webpage that will be continuously updated to provide you with information and resources as we move through this situation. The following is the link and you will find separate areas for all campus constituents ( We will have a page for HR related information developed and online early Monday.

Again, thank you all for your hard work, patience and desire to help one another and our students. Together, we can be the national model for how higher education handles the VUCA environment in which we find ourselves.

More to come...

Scott Gordon
Stephen F. Austin State University | President's Office
T 936.468.2201 F 936.468.2202