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Message from the Interim Associate Provost

Many in our UH Sugar Land community have suffered considerably with the damage or loss of homes, cars and personal belongings, not to mention feeling anxiety and fear. I am deeply touched by the support you have provided our students, colleagues, and the greater Houston community. At its essence, UH Sugar Land is a community of dedicated and compassionate helpers.

Our New Normal

Provost Short has asked that we be acutely sensitive and responsive to the highly variable circumstances of our students. She has directed faculty to be flexible and innovative in their delivery of instruction. The traditional three-hour lecture once a week or one hour three-days-a-week class has long served the interest of the academy, but not always the needs of students. The model most certainly will not work for all students following this unprecedented disaster. Students dealing with housing, childcare, financial and other Harvey-inspired challenges may require extensions of assignment deadlines, some delivery of online instruction, independent study, and other accommodations. Please be creative.

Like our students, many of our staff and faculty also are facing challenging circumstances. I ask staff and faculty supervisors to be as accommodating as possible when staff may need to address unmet childcare issues and to attend to insurance claim adjusters, repair companies, etc. The adjustment of your work schedule and location should be discussed in advance and approved by your appropriate administrative supervisor. Let’s mark our work ahead with a responsible but flexible work ethic.

Self-Care

I got my hair cut yesterday (yes, I get them!) by my 73-year-old barber. He is especially good with bald guys. He had driven from his home in far west Sugar Land to open up his shop located in the Bellaire/West U area where I live area. I was his first customer since Harvey came calling last weekend. I called my barber to see if he was open because a good friend and psychologist had told me earlier that I looked absolutely awful. He was not talking about my hair. My friend told me with a gentle firmness that I needed to take a break from Harvey. He told me my efforts to help my friends and family was becoming significantly diminished by the quality of my own mental and physical health. He was right. Getting my hair cut was my first step towards better self-care.

I encourage you to take a look at the College of Education's Associate Dean Dr. Ezemenari Obasi’s warning signs and strategies for reducing stress and the impact of trauma. He offers sage advice for those of us who are prone to putting our work and others before our own wellbeing. I know others have helpful tips, and we will be updating our online resource guide at the same link.

I’m comforted to know our faculty and staff are in this together for the benefit of our students and city.

Onward,

Robert McPherson

Interim Associate Provost of Academic Affairs and Operations

About Our Location

We are located at the intersection of U.S. 59 South and University Boulevard, just northeast of the Brazos River.

Learn about our History.

See the Public Art on the UH Sugar Land Campus.