Updates for Fall 2020/Spring 2021 Semesters from President Trauth’s Virtual Town Hall

November 23, 2020

Dear Students,

This afternoon, President Denise Trauth held a virtual Town Hall meeting for Texas State University faculty and staff. Dr. Trauth asked me to share takeaways from the Town Hall that impact our students, especially as you prepare for the spring 2021 semester.

Thanksgiving Break

  • The semester schedule has not changed. However, faculty do have the discretion to change attendance requirements or delivery modes for their in-person post-Thanksgiving classes and final exams, if they feel compelled to do so. The faculty can work with their leadership to make these decisions considering the learning outcomes, remaining assignments, and student success factors for those classes. If students aren’t aware of any changes to their in-person class delivery after Thanksgiving, they should check with their instructors.
  • Students should consider taking study materials home in case of the need to isolate or quarantine.
  • COVID-19 testing is recommended before Thanksgiving break and upon returning to campus following the break. 
  • The safest way to celebrate Thanksgiving is at home with the people who live with you. If you do attend a social gathering, commit to the three W’s – wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.

COVID-19 Health and Safety Measures

  • The university’s health and safety measures have been effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses. Consistent use of face coverings, physical distancing and hand hygiene remain the core effective strategies.
  • Although we are seeing more positive COVID-19 cases in our university community, our contract tracing continues to show transmission is not occurring on our campuses, but is taking place off-campus, primarily during social gatherings with family and friends. Learn more in the Nov. 19 Update from Texas State Chief Medical Officer Dr. Emilio Carranco.
  • Preparations for students returning for the spring 2021 semestershould include avoiding social gatherings with people outside your household for 14 days and COVID-19 testing prior to returning to campuses or as soon as you arrive.
  • Planning is underway to prepare for mass COVID-19 vaccinations on our campuses for students, faculty and staff by February or March, 2020.

Spring 2021 Semester 

  • The spring semester will follow the model established for the fall semester with options for online learning, opportunities for safe face-to-face instruction, limited occupancy in classrooms and other university spaces, mandatory face coverings on campuses, and university event policies that require social distancing and other precautions. 
  • There are no plans to cancel spring break. We plan to abide by the current, published academic calendar, including the schedule of classes and final exam schedule for spring 2021.
  • The spring 2021 Study Abroad programs have been cancelled.
  • The viability of summer 2021 travel programs is being reviewed with a decision expected in the next several weeks. 
  • Electronic course fees: Texas State established temporary fee policies for spring 2021 to ensure students don’t pay more for having online courses than they would have paid for in-person courses.

Student Support Services – Spring 2021

  • Medical services provided by the Student Health Center will continue to be available in spring 2021, including urgent care and telehealth services
  • Telehealth services can be utilized by students from any location in Texas

Commencement Update

  • Texas State is making plans to hold in-person commencement ceremonies outdoors at Bobcat Stadium for spring and summer 2020 graduates on December 10, 2020, and for fall 2020 candidates on December 11, 2020. A strict health and safety protocol will be in place. 
  • In addition, a virtual ceremony will be held on Saturday, December 12, 2020 for fall 2020 graduates. Details for all commencement ceremonies are forthcoming. 

A full recap of key points from the Virtual Town Hall for Faculty and Staff is available here.

As we near the end of the fall semester, I want to thank you for your flexibility and for doing your part to keep our university community safe. Let’s keep working together to stay the course and finish this semester strong. As you enjoy the Thanksgiving holidays, remember to wear your mask, watch your distance, and wash your hands. 

I hope you have a relaxing, very well-deserved Thanksgiving break.



Dr. Mary Ellen Cavitt
Interim Vice President for Student Affairs