August 3, 2021 Fall 2021 and COVID updates: Seems likely the rapid spread of Delta variant will impact our campus and community. The CDC recently updated guidance for masking to include vaccinated individuals living in areas of substantial or high transmission. Current campus policy continues to require only unvaccinated individuals to wear a face covering around others. This may be updated in coming days/weeks. Stay tuned.
Guidance regarding how to manage COVID-related classroom issues this fall:
Regardless of our campus masking policy, we need to prepare for potential disruptions that may again be caused by the pandemic, including absences caused by student illness or the need to quarantine and isolate. Unlike last year, we have not asked instructors to prepare asynchronous online alternatives for each in-person learning experience. Instead, we will rely on existing campus policy, which requires instructors to provide “a reasonable amount of help in making up the work” that students miss due to excused absences. What constitutes “reasonable” in this context, however, is not explicitly defined and may vary with respect to course, learning objective, assignment, and type of assessment employed. For a first draft of expectations
, please see the August 3, 2021 Academic Affairs update
, which includes a video
created by Sean Ruppert, CITL, last year to explain how to set up the Roll Call and Seating Chart tools. Note that taking attendance is less important for contact tracing than simply utilizing a seating chart, especially in larger classes where daily attendance may be time-consuming.
I realize these issues are complicated, and that the guidelines above will likely need revising. I also know there are questions related to many other issues this fall. Next week, I’ll be meeting to discuss the fall semester with directors, chairs, and deans in Academic Affairs, so if you have suggestions or other concerns, please share them either with me or your supervisor. Finally, as noted above, Chancellor Gibson will also be evaluating campus policies in the coming weeks as we finalize our preparations for the fall semester.
Thanks very much. I hope you all enjoy the rest of your week and the remaining days of summer.
May 4, 2021 Request for Feedback on Academic Plan: We’ve begun work this semester on crafting an Academic Plan. Chancellor Gibson has requested a five-year strategic plan that develops specific outcomes and strategies from the Purpose Made Possible goals. Our divisional strategic plan will comprise outcomes & strategies we will pursue within Academic Affairs to contribute to the goals. I’m asking for your input on the outcomes we might seek to achieve. In the spirit of continuous improvement, as we consider our strategic outcomes for the next five years, it makes sense to prioritize actions that most directly address gaps between academic programs, experiences, and support we offer and what we wish we could do for our students.
Here is a draft of our proposed Academic Affairs outcomes and strategies
. By Friday, May 7,
I ask that you use this brief survey
to provide feedback. The chancellor has requested that we prioritize our efforts this spring on devising actions for Year 1 of the plan, which begins next fall. In the draft, these outcomes and strategies are highlighted in yellow. We will have additional time early in the fall semester to refine longer-term planning. As a result, the survey seeks input on both the Year 1 outcomes and strategies and those that are longer term.