Dear PI Colleagues, Graduate Students, and Postdocs,
I hope the better weather has brought each of you electricity, drinkable water, and a little space to breathe. If you haven’t been outside yet, please try to make time to get some sunlight. I think we could all use the psychological boost and vitamin D. And again, if you are still in need of any critical necessities, be sure to let your supervisor or department chair know so that help can be arranged. UT employees can refer to this Staff Council email for additional resources as well.
I have some updates that apply to those researchers who work on site. If you have been conducting research from home, please proceed as usual.
Financial and Administrative Services (FAS) teams are working very hard to check every building, log issues, and determine which spaces can be safely occupied. Within the next few days, they should have a new webpage available that indicates which buildings have been certified and the status of those still being inspected.
Once FAS certifies your building as safe to re-enter:
- Each associate dean for research (ADR) will email their PIs, asking them to select two researchers to survey their team’s lab or research space. If you’ve already completed a walkthrough of your lab, I apologize that we’re asking you to walk the space again — but this time your ADR will provide a specific checklist for you to refer to. Please fill out the checklist and submit it as directed by your ADR. Your ADR will use this checklist to decide if and when your lab or research space is ready to be reopened.
Please note: researcher pairs inspecting campus labs do not need to be from the same cohort or shift. And please do not enter your building until you have received an email from your ADR or building manager indicating it is safe to do so.
- If you notice any damage, FAS also requests that you call 512-471-2020 to report issues directly to Facilities Services so that they can get your incident report placed into the repair queue right away.
FAS teams are responsible for certifying building-level safety and repairs — including ensuring that fire-suppression and other systems we can’t easily observe are functioning properly — and ADRs will be approving the reopening of individual labs and research spaces. This two-step process is why we’re asking you to take a careful inventory of potential issues using the checklist your ADR provides while also reporting any repair needs directly to Facilities Services.
We hope to see a building status update as early as tomorrow, but we ask for your patience. Teams are working quickly to identify damage and make repairs, but it will take some time. I thank FAS for working methodically to ensure that our buildings are safe for us, and I thank all of you for your help to make this process as quick as possible.