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From the College of Natural Sciences

Where We Stand in Natural Sciences

Dean Goldbart wrote a message to all college staff as progress toward planning for the fall and consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak continue.

Thank you for the many challenging adaptations and contributions you have made in recent months. Collectively, you helped make possible this spring's heroic shift from our normal campus life to our new reality of working and learning largely from home. We have been able to continue vital elements of the work of the university because of your efforts, which surely will be legendary on the UT campus for years to come. Again, thank you.

One feature of this time is that, even as we all have coped with realities of the situation, each member of our community is experiencing the pandemic differently. This includes in terms of our work at UT. As staff, some of you have found new time or energy to direct towards mission-oriented projects, while many others are facing real challenges in carrying forward their work. My own observation is that people are doing their level best. Many staff are achieving critical ends, and all deserve consideration and kindness as they navigate these unusual times.

Amid all that is happening in our individual lives, our campus is coping with changes brought about by the pandemic and its consequences for the state economy. A number of groups on campus who receive funding from memberships, fees, and services are facing new financial mitigation measures. Many of these units are outside our college and include groups like parking, conference centers, and housing. As and when units within CNS are affected, please know that the dean's office will reach out directly.

Additionally, we in the College are actively involved with developing strategies for research and education in the fall. As we plan for the future, the wellbeing of Natural Sciences staff, students and faculty remains at the forefront of my thinking. Safety is paramount, so scientific research and principles of public health are guiding our decision-making. As you will have seen in one of this week's messages, the college is actively partnering with the Dell Medical School in expanding testing capacity on campus, since this will be vital for safely resuming many of the campus's activities.

While campus closed rapidly, it will reopen gradually, with many compassionate, thoughtful parties paying close attention to the special needs of populations within our community, from those among us who parent children still at home to those who have compromised immunity to the students for whom equitable access to education requires being here on the Forty Acres.

As the campus works toward solutions, I shall do my best to continue to keep you abreast of the developments in Natural Sciences that are most relevant to the work you all do—work that lifts up our students and our society.

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Saturday, 04 February 2023

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