Email: All UTRGV classes to be offered online starting Monday, staff to telecommute

The University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley is transitioning to become a “telecommuting workforce” in response to COVID-19.

In an email sent to employees Friday afternoon that was obtained by The Monitor, UTRGV President Guy Bailey said Governor Greg Abbott directed government entities, including universities, to remain open, to ask for essential employees to report to work and, where feasible, to encourge employees to work from home or other remote sites.

“To adhere to these new directives, UTRGV is modifying its business continuity plans to help ensure the health and safety of our campus community while also ensuring that we continue to provide high quality, essential services to our students and the Rio Grande Valley community,” Bailey wrote in the email. “While offices remain open, we are transitioning to a telecommuting workforce to the extent possible, shifting some (of) our staff and faculty from their current on-campus workplaces to temporarily working from home.”

Services will still be available, Bailey said, but they may be available online, by phone and through other technologies in an effort to prevent students from going to campus.

“It’s important to reiterate that, despite these new directives, UTRGVREMAINS OPEN. All courses are being offered online beginning Monday, March 23, through the end of the spring semester,” Bailey wrote. “All offices must continue to serve our students’ needs for this semester and upcoming semesters. Our work does not change; where and how we do it, does change.”

UTRGV is working to develop continuity plans and to identify employees, including student employees, who are authorized to telecommute, Bailey wrote.

“All plans will go into effect by midnight Friday (March 20) — the time and date in which the Executive Orders go into effect — so they can be implemented by Monday,” Bailey wrote.