Message from the President

Friday, April 3, 2020 :: Office of the President

Dear UTRGV Community:

First and foremost, I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. I know these are difficult and uncertain times and I wish you and all your loved ones the best.

Secondly, I’d like to thank each and every one of you for your hard work and dedication to UTRGV. Over the past few weeks, to help ensure the safety and health of our campus community, we’ve had to completely change the way we operate. It hasn’t been easy and every day seems to bring new challenges. I am proud of the way we’ve all adapted and come together to respond to this crisis.

I’d like to say a special thank you to all our health care students and employees on the front lines and to all members of our campus community helping to operate our COVID-19 testing sites. When UTRGV was formed we were charged to serve the entire Rio Grande Valley, and our health care providers are proudly fulfilling that mission with the medical services they’re providing our community.

As UTRGV continues to move forward, I’d like to take the time to update all of you on important decisions that have been made this past week. Some of these decisions might not directly affect you, but they could affect someone you know outside the university. It is important during this crisis that we all do our best to communicate important information to others.


Grading Structure

Thanks to the diligent work of our Faculty Senate and for their compassion for our students during this crisis, UTRGV will offer a pass/no pass option for the remainder of the Spring Semester. What this means is students now have the option of accepting a letter grade or a pass/no pass for courses they complete this semester.

What’s even more convenient is students don’t have to choose an option until after their final grades are posted in May. Once final grades are posted, students will have until Wednesday, May 13, to either accept the letter grade they received or choose a pass/no pass. We are also extending the drop/withdrawal deadline to April 30.

However, students must realize that choosing the pass/no pass option could affect their financial aid and future academic progress. We have developed FAQs to help further guide students on the pass/no pass option. We also encourage students to have proactive conversations about the ramifications of their choices with their advisors and faculty during these final weeks of the semester.


Academic Testing

Due to the fact the current crisis has affected many testing centers, UTRGV is temporarily modifying testing requirements for prospective students.

For college entrance exams, if a student has already taken the SAT or ACT, we encourage them to submit their scores to UTRGV as soon as possible. If they have not, we encourage them to submit their application anyway. If a student is having difficulty scheduling an SAT or ACT, please have them contact a UTRGV outreach representative  to discuss options.

Our Graduate College recently announced GRE and GMAT requirements will be waived for students applying for master’s or doctoral programs during the summer and fall semesters.


Giving Back

We also know the current crisis has had a financial toll on many members of our campus community, so we are trying to give back when we can.

This week we were happy to announce refunds/reimbursements affecting many members of our campus community who had purchased parking permits, housing and meal plans. On Friday, we distributed over 1,600 rolls of free toilet paper to our employees.

We also recently launched the Student Emergency Fund, which is currently being used to assist students who have been most affected by the pandemic. We have received a significant number of student applications since announcing the fund earlier this week.

For more information on the fund, click here. If you or someone you know would like to donate, click here.


Staying Home

As we’ve mentioned before in other communications, UTRGV is exempt from county and city shelter-in-place orders because we perform essential government functions as a state education institution. While most of UTRGV’s operations are already being conducted remotely, our campuses/facilities remain open only to provide essential services to students, faculty and staff.

However, I would like to remind you that when you have no reason to access our campuses/facilities, it is your responsibility to follow local, state and national public health orders. We must do everything we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and use good judgment during this crisis.


Thank you for your patience during this extremely fluid situation.

Our main concern continues to be the health, safety, and security of our UTRGV community.

Please regularly check your email for the latest updates or visit our resource webpage.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, email coronavirus@utrgv.edu

Sincerely,

Guy Bailey

Source: Message was sent via email from the Office of the President on April 3, 2020.