TACT Appeals to Governor for Campuses to Make Covid-19 Decisions
TACT has a long history of advocating that Texas colleges and universities be empowered to make decisions that are best for their individual campuses. As Texas experiences a spike in Covid-19 cases, TACT has again appealed to Governor Abbott's office that individual institutions be allowed to make their own decisions on how best to respond to Covid-19. No matter what side of the fence you are on, having individual campuses make decisions results in faculty have a voice where they work.
Below is the Resolution sent to the Governor's office.
Texas Association of College Teachers
Resolution on COVID-19 Guidelines for Fall 2021
August 16, 2021
Whereas, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the new Delta variant is more transmissible than the original COVID-19 virus; and
Whereas, the CDC now recommends that areas with high transmission of COVID-19 resume mask-wearing indoors regardless of vaccination status; and
Whereas, the county data provided by the CDC places many counties in Texas in high risk categories for transmission of COVID-19; and
Whereas, according to Texas Department of State Health data, the fully vaccinated rate for the state of Texas is currently below the national average; and
Whereas, forecasters at The University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium concluded recently that most regions of the state are headed back to the capacity-busting hospitalization rates of January 2021 if people do not resume masking and social distancing; and
Whereas, public institutions of higher education in Texas are prohibited by Texas State Executive Orders from requiring masks or vaccinations for faculty, staff, and students who are in face-to-face classes and meetings on campus; and
Whereas, many classrooms and other facilities used for academic purposes, such as advising and office hours, do not permit proper social distancing for faculty, staff, students, and visitors; and
Whereas, public higher education campuses concentrate individuals from diverse locations with different health statuses and vaccination rates, creating high risk of exposure to viruses; and
Whereas, public institutions of higher education have built a rich academic history based on the study of scientific principles; and
Whereas, public institutions of higher education are being constrained in their protective and preventive measures by forces outside its control; therefore, be it
Resolved, That the Texas Association of College Teachers urges that individual institutions be allowed to make their own decisions involving the responses to the COVID-19 pandemic based on sound scientific evidence, local health conditions, and public health standards.
*This resolution is based on a Faculty Senate Resolution from Texas A&M University that passed on August 9, 2021 and resolution passed by the AAUP Texas Conference on August 10, 2021.