Provost FAQs 9/17/21

Dear Colleagues,

First, I have some good news that is not related to COVID! The Office of the Provost has funded a five-year agreement with Qualtrics to renew our unlimited license. You may recall that previously, as part of the 12% budget cuts, we had developed a plan to migrate away from Qualtrics to Question Pro. After further discussion with the TCU community, we turned our attention to working out a long-term contract with Qualtrics. Special thanks to Bryan Lucas and TCU IT for leading the way in negotiating this deal for us.

And now I address some FAQs related to COVID. I am cautiously optimistic as we follow the case count on campus and notice a drop, per the attached graph from the TCU Emergency Operations Center (TCU EOC). I have conferred with the academic Deans, Chairs Council Coordinator and Faculty Senate Chair to receive your pressing questions this week. I address those below.

Extraordinary Experience
COVID-19 is still impacting some faculty member’s work productivity in a way that qualifies as an “extraordinary experience or event beyond the individual’s control that affects a non-tenure faculty member’s performance” according to the Faculty and Staff Handbook under Tenure Policy, 3.i.  I encourage faculty who feel they qualify to discuss your particular situation with your chair and dean, and if they advise, forward a request for a tenure-clock pause according to the normal process.

Per TCU EOC and Campus Life, all indications are that the majority of students are reporting and taking care of their health and safety. However, some instructors are reporting a few instances of:

  1. Student tells you they have COVID but you haven’t received a notice from TCU EOC or Campus Life.
  2. Student tells you they or a friend tested positive but they haven’t reported it to TCU.

This is covered in the Faculty FAQs,A student told me they tested positive but I didn’t get a notification from TCU EOC.” I urge you to advise the students to report their case online at so they can receive the help they need and TCU can notify professors and close contacts. You can also email to check to see if a student has reported.

Federal Mandate Requiring Employee Vaccines
Many are asking if TCU will require vaccines for employees based on the recent Executive Order. This is a complex measure based on federal and state governments. TCU Human Resources and our legal team are studying all aspects to make sure we proceed correctly. I have been assured that information will be conveyed soon on how this affects TCU. If you are not currently vaccinated and wish to be, the Health Center has ample supply, no appointment necessary.

Some students are still not wearing masks in hallways and open areas in buildings. As I conveyed in last week’s email:

  • Student campaigns to promote mask-wearing have begun.
  • Colleges are taking action as deemed appropriate by the Dean.
  • If you are vaccinated, wearing a mask, and not within 6 feet of unmasked people for more than 15 minutes in 24 hours, there is very low risk of you contracting COVID-19 or bringing it home to your unvaccinated children or immunocompromised family members.

As we continue to navigate through the complicated waters of the pandemic while delivering a TCU-quality education, please continue to bring your concerns to your dean or faculty senate representative if you do not see them addressed on the Faculty FAQs on my website at

Best regards,
Teresa Abi-Nader Dahlberg
Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs