Communications to Faculty

Fall Semester Checklist: Email to Department Heads

Sent on August 28, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

Fall semester is around the corner. Please use the following checklist to ensure your faculty members are ready on Monday, August 31.  

  • Share your approved COVID-19 department operation plan with all department faculty and staff. We encourage you to share this via email and to discuss it during staff and department meetings.   
  • Discuss USU’s four principles of prevention with all department staff. A Power Point training is available to guide this discussion. 
  • Ensure PIs and lab directors have shared their COVID-19 specific standard operating procedures for their research environment with all personnel, especially students and support staff.  
  • Students and employees should complete the COVID-19 questionnaire if they have COVID-19 symptoms, are waiting for a COVID-19 test result, have received a positive result and/or been asked to quarantine because they have been exposed to a positive person.  The questionnaire is very important for USU to monitor infections and adjust operations as needed, as well as direct resources to those who need it. 
  • Reinforce the message with classroom instructors that they must wear a face covering (not a face shield) when in the classroom, including when they are teaching and/or presenting.   
  • Inform instructors there will be a de-escalation training video available soon for handling potential conflicts, including students not wearing masks in classrooms and labs.  
  • Be aware of how to report a health and safety violation to the Office of Student Conduct. Students who need a remote-learning accommodation should reach out to the Disability Resource Center.
  • Confirm that instructors have communicated with students in their courses prior to Monday, August 31. Instructors who are teaching in classrooms where their enrollment exceeds the social distancing cap for the room must coordinate student attendance to ensure compliance with the social distancing policy. 
  • Check in with instructors and discuss their preparedness to pivot to online course delivery (i.e. having a Canvas page built) for one class period, for a period of 10-12 days, and possibly for the rest of the semester if that becomes necessary. As part of USU’s case containment strategy, the university may pivot to remote delivery at any time and for varying periods of duration.   
  • Ensure department offices and teaching spaces have COVID-19 prevention signage, including social distancing and floor decals appropriate for the teaching, lab, or office space.  
  • Determine occupancy for all shared conference rooms and study spaces and post signage outside the space indicating the occupancy limit. Where possible, incorporate these occupancy limits into scheduling processes. 
  • Remind all staff to visit the COVID-19 website for up-to-date information. The university will communicate important changes to course delivery and other university operations via “usu.edu” email. Encourage faculty and staff to open emails from the President and Provost. Faculty should also review all USU Ready emails that were sent this summer.   

I know we all want to preserve in-person learning opportunities for fall semester. Thank you for being USU Ready and doing everything within your control to help us minimize the spread of COVID-19 on our campuses.  

Sincerely,  

Noelle E. Cockett 
President 


Faculty Information for Start of Fall Classes

Sent on August 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

Our students are starting to arrive on campus, beginning with Connections this week and the first day of classes next Monday. We hope the following updates will be of use as we prepare to open amid USU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information, visit usu.edu/covid-19.  

Preparing Classes: Be “USU Ready”

  • Canvas pages opened to faculty to publish courses beginning Monday, August 24. We encourage you to publish your courses as soon as possible and begin communicating with students about course expectations and logistics. Students have been told to expect communication from their instructors no later than the first day of the semester, Monday August 31.
  • You should not change the instructional method of your course(s), or postpone/delay instruction without permission from your department head, your dean and the Provost’s Office. If you become sick, please work with your department to ensure the continuity of your instruction.
  • Every course, regardless of the instructional method, should have a corresponding Canvas page published by the start of the semester. This will:
    • Prepare your course for the final three weeks of the semester, when all classes will move to “remote” after November 20;
    • Ensure you can communicate with students who need accommodations due to being asked to quarantine or isolate. You can use your Canvas course tools to facilitate communication. Please be as flexible as possible to encourage students who are ill or asked to quarantine/isolate to stay away from campus for the recommended time;
    • Ensure continuity in case your instructional method must change.
  • Due to COVID-19 protocols, the USU Libraries will be unable to provide access to textbooks via their Course Reserve system. If your class requires textbooks and/or other teaching materials, please ensure that students know they are responsible to acquire these materials on their own.
  • Please use instructional technology supported by the university. For questions related to instructional technology and support, contact the CIDI team.
  • If you have a student who is unable to participate in your course due to COVID-19, and they have filled out the university’s COVID-19 questionnaire, you will be contacted by the University’s COVID CARE Team to discuss appropriate accommodations.
  • If you have students who have questions about the technology and/or support, please ask them to contact the USU IT Help Desk: 435-797-HELP.
  • Consider discussing classroom requirements for facial coverings and social distancing in your first class period. A statement for your syllabus is available as a reference.
  • We are developing a training video to help you approach and de-escalate potential face-covering issues should they arise with students (and others), and you’ll receive a link as soon as it is ready.  The video will provide you with techniques for engaging with non-compliant students in a non-confrontational way. If a conversation with a non-compliant student becomes unproductive, and this student will not leave the classroom, then in order to protect the health of other students and in keeping with University Policy you should suspend class with the understanding that the class period’s information will be made available to students later. That will allow you to address the situation with the non-compliant student outside class, following steps outlined in the Student Conduct

Update on Testing Masks

As USU prepares for lectures during the coronavirus pandemic, we have sought advice for the best face covering for lecturing. We obtained five masks locally to test for comfort and fit, including two from USU (USU loop mask and USU fan mask), two from local vendors (Old Navy and +MD from “All About Socks”), and one generic disposable medical mask. As one might expect, the results were not uniform and depended on face size, need for glasses, facial hair and shape of the face for fit and comfort. Generally, any mask you find that fits the nose, cheeks, and chin well will do as long as it meets CDC recommendations. Masks with wires over the nose tend to slip the least and fog glasses a little less. Those with adjustable ear loops or ties also were easier to fit. There are many sources for face coverings, including many homemade designs. Happy mask hunting to you all!   

Information to Assist Your Students

Following remote learning in the spring, faculty and student surveys identified where students need academic support. This year, with the challenges of navigating various course modalities and other COVID-related issues, our students need this support more than ever. As faculty, you are uniquely positioned to help identify academic struggles and to point students in the direction of support and resources that can help. As a result, we created a tiered approach to support:   

  1. Students needing self-help support: USU-Ready: Student Academic Support. 
  2. Students needing additional support: Habits of Mind courses, which are one-credit classes offered during the second half of the semester.  
  3. Students needing significant academic support: USU 1730 Strategies for Academic Success. Students who display significant problems with academic performance and academic persistence: Academic Early Alert. This form is used by faculty and advisors for students who have not resolved their issues through other means of support. Questions can be referred tokesler@usu.edu
  4. Additional academic support for students, including tutoring: usu.edu/academic-support/additional_academic_resources.

Fall Guidelines for Students

As you know, student life will look different at Utah State University this fall. To help students negotiate these changes, Student Affairs is communicating guidelines, resources, and services for new and returning students.  

Students, like faculty and staff, are expected to follow USU guidelines for COVID-19: 

  • Mask up. Wearing a face covering is required in all USU buildings and vehicles, including the Aggie Shuttle, and outside when people are close together.  
  • Try to stay at least 6 feet away from other people.  
  • Practice prevention hygiene. Wash your hands, cover coughs and sneezes, and keep your surroundings clean.    
  • Stay home when you’re sick regardless of symptoms.

More details on guidelines, resources, and services for student life including involvement, health and wellness, and academics can be found at studentaffairs.usu.edu/wellbeing.  

We are asking students to take the USU Protection Pledge which focuses on keeping our community healthy. Please let students in your classes know about the pledge, and we invite you to take it yourself! 

If you have questions about student issues, please contact the Division of Student Affairs at (435) 797-1712 or studentaffairs@usu.edu

Fall Semester 2020

We hope you have a great fall semester. Please remember that our goal is to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19 in our campus community while providing the best education possible for our students and fulfilling our land-grant mission of teaching and learning, research and discovery, and extension and engagement. Though no one can guarantee complete safety, USU is committed to reducing risk for our faculty, staff, and students.  

No matter whether we are teaching in new modes of delivery or need to move to fully remote modes later in the semester, USU is among the very top of the nation’s universities in providing outstanding remote experiences for our students, thanks to all of you. USU is an outstanding land-grant institution and I consistently see examples of faculty members, students, and staff finding new topics and great new ways to serve Utah and the world. Remember, you can find the most recent university news and updates about COVID-19 at usu.edu/covid-19.   

Take care,

Frank D. Galey
Executive Vice President and Provost


Fall Semester Updates for Faculty

Sent on July 29, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

We have a few updates for you as we prepare for fall semester amid USU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, an up-to-date source for information about how USU is responding to the current pandemic is at usu.edu/covid-19.  

Safe Classrooms for Fall 2020 

Protocols have been developed to increase the safety in our learning environments. They are designed to clearly communicate to students the requirements for social distancing, staying home when sick, use of face coverings, and proper disinfection and hygiene practices.     

  • An SOP for classroom safety has been developed to help guide faculty, staff, and students in face-to-face classroom environments to help maximize safety. These include protocols for allowable seating, classroom cleaning, and tools to support a successful teaching and learning environment. 
  • Likewise, an SOP for teaching laboratories, studios, and field classes has been developed to guide safe operations in those environments. 
  • An updated syllabus resource on the Provost’s website contains a section for COVID-19 Classroom Protocols that can be added to your syllabus to help students understand how to conduct themselves safely.   
  • A masking policy is in place that mandates the wearing of face coverings by all faculty, students, and staff inside all USU buildings regardless of location. Those with medical conditions that prohibit the wearing of facial coverings will have options that can be addressed with supervisors (staff), the Disability Resource Center (students), and the ADA Coordinator in Human Resources (faculty and staff).   

Suggestions  

  • Office hours should be held remotely to maximize safety for faculty and students unless proper masking and social distancing guidelines can be strictly followed. 
  • Course content, as well as testing/assessments, should be provided digitally rather than by paper.  
  • If you are teaching in the face-to-face environment, you must ask all students to follow the protocols for face coverings, traffic flow, and hygiene. In the event of non-compliance, you are not required to police the situations unless you are so inclined. Approaches for achieving compliance include: 
    • Include the COVID-19 syllabus resource section in the syllabus. 
    • Remind the full class about face coverings and not attending class in-person while sick. 
    • Hand out a free face covering (if available) to a student who comes to class without a face covering. 
    • Ask a student who comes to class without a face covering to leave and obtain one. De-escalate where possible using empathy, supportive comments, and kindness. 
    • Cancel the class session if a student continues to come to class without a face covering, although this should be considered a “last resort” action. 
    • Report non-compliant students to the Office of Student Conduct.   
  • Students have been advised about the learning environment and some of the related safety measures being implemented in a recent communication.  

Reminders 

  • All courses will transition to remote delivery methods after November 20, 2020. Fall Break (previously scheduled for October 16, 2020) has been eliminated with an interim day added to the last day of no-test week. Please plan to administer final examinations by remote means. Details of the Fall calendar changes and adapting to changing situations were outlined in the June 12, 2020 faculty communication
  • Changes during Fall are very likely depending on infection rates across our campuses and communities, or if you or students in class become ill. To address the potential need to pivot quickly, it is highly recommended to have your course on a Canvas platform so that instruction can continue if a student in the class or you become sick. Further, departments should develop back-up plans for all classes in case an instructor becomes sick as well. 
  • Communicate with your students at least one week prior to the start of classes about your teaching procedures, plans for classroom management, and technology that will be used.    
  • The class format (web broadcast, hybrid face-to-face, IVC, online, or face-to-face) is listed in Banner and should not be changed. Clear instructions for student attendance should be articulated. However, based on the COVID-19 situation on campus, classroom availability, or if you become ill yourself, you will need to pivot to one of the remote delivery methods.  
  • Because students are asked to stay home with any symptoms of illness, even mild symptoms, absenteeism will likely increase. You should work with these students, preferably through Canvas, and provide flexibility and tolerance when warranted.   
  • There are a number of USU resources that have been designed to assist you in developing your Fall 2020 course(s). You should review these resources for best practices for the various delivery methods.    
  • Your regular course fee may be used to support new pedagogical needs related to COVID-19, as long as the support continues to directly benefit the students in that class. Prior approval is not required if the fee level does not change. Justification will be required during the regular three-year review. Requests to temporarily reduce your course fee will be expedited. Requests to increase course fees must be submitted for full review. 
  • Departments have been asked by the Academic Scheduling Office to no longer make changes to course instructional delivery methods after Friday, July 30th. This will give students and you an opportunity to plan for their various course delivery types. Unless the Scheduling Office requests changes by departments, we ask that all course delivery methods remain consistent through August as we prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. 

Our success, and that of our students, will depend on everyone’s flexibility and patience as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thank you for all you are doing so that our students, staff, and faculty have the ability and opportunity to have a successful Fall semester.    

Sincerely, 

Frank D. Galey
Executive Vice President and Provost


Email to Faculty About the Fall Schedule

Sent June 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues, 

We have a few updates for you regarding USU’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, a good source for information about how USU is responding to the current pandemic is at usu.edu/covid-19. 

Calendar Changes for Fall 2020 

As we look to fall semester, we have concerns about the safety of faculty, staff, and students due to travel for the Thanksgiving holiday. Bringing thousands of people together after this significant travel will make it more difficult to keep the entire campus community healthy for spring semester. 

To reduce this risk, the university will make the following changes to the fall schedule on all USU campuses: (1) cancel the “fall break” day that was previously scheduled for October 16 (eliminating a 3-day travel opportunity), and (2) move all course and teaching laboratories to remote delivery after November 20, 2020. This will encourage students to stay at their permanent home through the end of the semester, as well as reduce the opportunity for spread of the coronavirus in the classroom after Thanksgiving. However, we ask that you continue your courses through the regular end of the semester to avoid creating an undue burden on students trying to keep up with their semester loads. Final examinations will occur during finals week as previously scheduled (Monday, December 14, 2020, through Friday, December 18, 2020) by remote delivery.   

Please note that remote methods for the end of fall 2020 can include both synchronous and asynchronous deliveries. If you need support in preparing your course for remote delivery, you can request help from CIDI through the fall semester. 

Support for Safe Classrooms 

A number of measures may be taken to minimize the risk of COVID-19 in teaching and learning on campus this fall amid changing circumstances.  

  • A paragraph regarding appropriate, safe classroom conduct is available in the syllabus resources on the Provost’s website that you can download into your syllabus.
  • Protocols are being developed to help you communicate to students the requirements for social distancing, staying home when sick, use of face masks, and proper disinfection and hygiene practices.   
  • Protocols are also being developed for safe practices applied to teaching laboratories and field experiences.

Preparing for Changing COVID-19 Situations 

While we are doing all we can to mitigate the need for converting our courses to remote teaching before November 20, that may be necessary with relatively short notice depending upon how the pandemic unfolds this fall. There are some measures that you can take now to prepare for that possibility.

  • Be ready with clearly outlined teaching procedures, plans for student management, use of technology, and a transition plan to remote teaching.
  • Attend a CIDI summer workshop or take advantage of online resources to help you prepare for web broadcast, hybrid face-to-face, IVC, or an online course delivery method.
  • Build a Canvas course using a template designed to support any one of the USU-supported course delivery methods.
  • Based on faculty feedback, USU has developed an agreement that will make Zoom the primary synchronous web broadcast format for teaching and other remote events effective August 1, 2020.

Once again, thank you for your adaptability and patience as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are doing all we can so that our students and faculty have the ability and opportunity to create great educational experiences this fall and beyond.   

Sincerely, 

Frank D. Galey
Executive Vice President and Provost


Email to Faculty Members on April 6, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

We have prepared some updates for you about USU’s response to the COVID-19 situation. Thank you again for your hard work and innovation as we navigate these unusual waters. For more information about how USU is responding to the current pandemic, please visit usu.edu/covid-19.

IDEA Evaluations for Teaching

The Faculty Senate (FS), under the leadership of FS President Patrick Belmont, has recommended that IDEA surveys be conducted for Spring Semester 2020, managed by the Office of the Provost. However, given the rapid transition of in-person classes to remote teaching, the Spring 2020 IDEA evaluation results will ONLY be shared with the individual faculty members.

These evaluation results will not be included in the institutional record nor will the results be required for any promotion/tenure dossier or annual review material. However, faculty members who decide to include their data in their dossiers or record may do so, but will need to insert that material themselves. The data generated by the surveys will be examined by USU at the aggregate level so we can assess how the transition went. 

Pass/Fail Policy

Students now have the option of converting letter grades to pass/fail (P, D+, D, F) for any semester-long and second-block courses taken during Spring Semester 2020. The new deadline is May 19, which allows the student to time to review the final letter grade (posted by the instructor no later than May 5) before deciding on pass/fail.

Departments have agreed that Spring 2020 Semester classes with a pass grade will fulfill most (but not all) major requirements and prerequisites at USU. Though many accreditation and licensure requirements have agreed to pass/fail for this time period, some exceptions exist. Students applying for post-baccalaureate programs at other universities are encouraged to check if a pass grade instead of a letter grade will be accepted. Because of these various exceptions, students have been instructed through email and online that they must first consult with their academic advisor (undergraduate student) or major advisor (graduate student) before finalizing the change to pass/fail.

Final Examinations

Please review dates for completing the semester and tips for administrating a final exam in a remote environment.

Schedule

  • No-test week:  April 15-21. During this time, no major examinations, including final examinations, should be administered to allow students to concentrate on preparation for finals. For further information and exceptions, please see the USU Academic Calendar.
  • Last day of classes: April 21.
  • Interim day: April 22. Faculty are not to schedule any required course activities or any assignments/activities that contribute to students’ grades (including extra credit) on the interim day. 
  • Final exams: April 23-29.

Administrating final exams for remote classes

  • Spring Semester 2020 courses have been adapted to provide flexibility for student participation and completion under COVID-19 restrictions. Final exams should be administered in the same spirit of asynchronous delivery. As such, it is recommended that final exams are administered to students during finals week while also following best practices for secure online testing.  
  • Faculty should consider opening access to an exam for a minimum of 24 hrs. By administering final exams asynchronously, students will be able to make appropriate arrangements, such as internet access and a quiet testing location, for completing multiple final exams in their remote location.
  • Faculty originally scheduled to administer final exams on Thursday, April 23 or Friday, April 24 should consider opening access for their exams for at least 24 hours during this 48-hour period.
  • Faculty originally scheduled to administer final exams on Monday, April 27, Tuesday, April 28, or Wednesday, April 29 should consider opening access for their exams for at least 24 hours during this 72-hour period.
  • If an exam must be delivered synchronously (highly discouraged), the faculty should follow the published exam schedule.
  • USU Testing Center staff will be available during the week of final exams to provide live chat and phone support for students between the hours of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on April 23 to 29.
  • Faculty should direct questions about developing and administering remote final exams to the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI).

Updated Resources for Faculty Teaching Remotely

The Empowering Teaching Excellence (ETE) program and CIDI have recently expanded the portfolio of faculty resources for remote instruction. The Center for Student Analytics has also partnered with ETE to release a series of short webinars about best practices in remote teaching and learning grounded in analytics.

Thank you all again for your hard work during Spring Semester 2020. 

Sincerely,

Frank Galey
Provost


Email to Faculty Members on March 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues: 

First, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication in helping USU do our best to meet the challenges of fulfilling our mission in this unprecedented situation.  The feedback I am getting is truly inspiring, and I am very proud to be part of this great team! 

We have several updates for you today regarding this fluid situation.

Note to Our Pre-tenure Colleagues:

The Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost will consider COVID-19 to be a legitimate reason for requesting an extension to the pre-tenure probationary period for faculty, following approval of the department head, dean or Vice President for Extension.  It is understood that this health emergency may impact or slow research, teaching and/or extension activities that support the candidate’s dossier.  Per USU Policy 405.1.4 (4), a faculty member may request the extension through the department head, who subsequently routes it to the dean or, where appropriate, the Vice President for Extension, for their approval.  Requests approved by the department head, dean (or Vice President for Extension) will be forwarded to the Provost for final approval. 

Our Native American Students:

Late Friday night, the Navajo Nation issued a “shelter in place” order stemming from a public health emergency declaration for the entirety of the Navajo Nation.  You can read more about it on their Facebook page.  USU students who were on the Navajo Nation at the time of the order will not be allowed to travel back to USU’s campuses.  Students under the order on the Navajo Nation may have technological difficulty or limited WIFI access for completing remote classes.  We ask that you be understanding of these students.  My office will soon provide specific information to instructors about how we can help those students complete this semester.

Pass-Fail Option:

USU has extended the deadline to April 15, 2020 for students to designate Pass/Fall (P/F) for Spring 2020 Semester courses.  A ServiceNow form will soon be available for students to make the P/F request. The form will route to the appropriate advisor who will then contact the student and inform them of the impact to their program of study.  Regardless of the student’s choice, faculty are to enter the actual grade the student earns.  This provides a record of the original grade, but Banner will automatically switch it to P or F depending on the grade entered. 

Students will withdraw through Banner just like normal, although that deadline is also extended to April 15, 2020.  We will reach out to all students who withdraw so we can inform them of the financial implications (Financial Aid, tuition plateau, etc.). We will retroactively change it back if the student decides the impact is too negative.  Deadlines for students and other updates on this topic are available online at https://www.usu.edu/registrar/covid/.

USU policy allows courses with P grades to transfer both in and out of the university.  However, departments are strongly advised to review their graduation and prerequisite requirements and allow P grades in Spring 2020 Semester to fulfill departmental requirements. 

Status of Research:

Please consult  https://research.usu.edu/covid19/ for latest updates regarding USU research.

Update to LARC Status:  The LARC status has been upgraded to Level Blue.  Please review the LARC Pandemic Response Plan to understand how the COVID-19 pandemic may impact research using laboratory animals maintained in the LARC:

https://research.usu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/USU-LARC-Epidmeic-Response-Plan_Color-Coded-3-23-20.pdf 

Summer 2020 Semester:

USU will be moving forward with Summer 2020 registration beginning on April 1, 2020.  Courses offered during the Summer semester will be those that can be delivered remotely as we assume the university will not be back to regular operation by May 4.

Fall 2020 Semester:

Registration for Fall 2020 Semester will begin on April 6, 2020. At this time, the University is planning on a full fall schedule of courses as anticipated prior to the COVID-19 protocols.  However, due to the fluidity of the COVID-19 situation, fall semester plans may change over time and faculty should check with their departments for updated information.

Update on Commencement 2020:

Several exciting events are planned for students in the 2020 graduating class.  Please see https://www.usu.edu/commencement/ for more details.

Potential University Closure:

We will not move to a university closure unless there is a wide-spread infection on campus or there is a government issued order, as outlined under Level 1 of our Infectious Disease Plan on the USU COVID-19 website https://dps.usu.edu/emergency/COVID-19/.  For now, the university is open and thriving, in a large part because of the hard work all of you are doing.

Sincerely,

Frank Galey
Provost


Email to Faculty Members on March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues: 

Thank you all again for your hard work as we move to providing remote education for our students.   Further, we are asking that we track the additional time we devote to this matter for Federal reporting.

1. Closure of USU Testing Centers

USU’s Testing Centers at all campuses (Logan, Statewide, and Eastern) will close effective Wednesday, March 18. These closures will remain in effect as long as all USU classes are delivered remotely. This will ensure equity and safety for testing among students wherever their location. AIS (CIDI) teams are coordinating live emergency response staffing along with online tutorials to support faculty with remote quizzing and examinations.  Faculty should direct questions to:

Testing Support Chat (M-F, 7am-10pm), 

Phone: (855) 834-2370 (M-F, 8am-5pm)

Online Tutorials: http://cidi.usu.edu/topics/Remote_Quizzes_and_Exams

2. Reimbursable COVID-19 Hours and Materials

Based on guidance from the State of Utah and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in order to be reimbursed, USU must track all labor costs and materials consumed in the University’s preparation for and mitigation of COVID-19. This will allow USU and the State of Utah the ability to seek some reimbursement for costs related to this emergency.  

Please track your COVID-19 related hours and materials dating back to March 9, 2020 and going forward.

Using the COVID-19 Tracking System in Service Now, employees should report hours worked and materials consumed in response to COVID-19.  We recommend employees record labor hours on a daily basis and material consumption at least weekly.

Report COVID-19 Labor Hours Here

Record COVID-19 Materials Here

Thank you for taking time to enter data into the COVID-19 Tracking Systems which will help recover costs for Utah State University brought on by COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Frank Galey
Provost


Email to Faculty Members on March 14, 2020

Dear USU Faculty:

 Thank you for your extraordinary efforts to provide alternate methods for delivering education to your students in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.  An important component of our efforts will be that students must know, definitively and rapidly, the status of their courses and how they are going to be able to remotely complete the Spring 2020 semester course.  To this end, students recently received notice that faculty will communicate with them concerning their courses.  Given the important need for accurate and timely information, you are asked to articulate the plan directly to your students for how your course will proceed remotely by Monday, March 16th at 5:00 pm

 During this unprecedented transition, the need for clarity is imperative.  In an effort to simplify and standardize communications between faculty and students, please use the following guidelines:

In your Canvascourse page (all USU CRNs have a Canvas course shell: https://usu.instructure.com/ ) use the Announcement function to message your students. This will allow students to receive course information though texts and/or emails. To learn how to use the Announcement tool in Canvas, see: https://cidi.usu.edu/topics/Communicate_with_Students_Using_Canvas_Announcements for instructions, or for a tutorial video: http://www.kaltura.com/tiny/f466f.

If you are already communicating with your students via another mechanism, and are assured that the method is reaching all your students effectively, you may continue to use that method.

If you have any questions about communicating with your students, please call the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction (CIDI): 435-797-9506 or the IT HelpDesk: 435-797-4357.

The plan you communicate to students regarding your course should include: 1) how you will provide the remote experience (in Canvas with video lectures, office hours, discussion forums, etc.); 2) an estimated date of when you will begin (preferably March 18); 3) any major changes to the syllabus; and 4) any other essential information that will assist students in progressing through the course. 

Following this initial communication, I encourage you to follow up regularly with your students and be accessible to their questions.

I recognize the amazing work you are doing on behalf of your students.  Thank you for your efforts during this unprecedented time.

Frank Galey
Provost


Email to USU Faculty Members on March 12, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you are aware, USU is working to respond to the COVID 19 outbreak. The single best source and most up-to-date information about how USU is addressing this public health situation is available at www.usu.edu/covid-19. This website is continually updated with new information.  Please visit https://dps.usu.edu/emergency/covid-19/faculty-faqs for frequently asked questions specifically for faculty members.  

Move Courses Online

Utah State University will cancel classes Friday, March 13, 2020 through Tuesday, March 17, 2020 to allow faculty members time to move classes into the online learning environment.  USU will begin to offer online classes beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020. 

This transition to online course delivery is part of USU’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to the campus community. 

  • In preparing to move courses to an asynchronous online format, CIDI has prepared materials to help you get started: http://cidi.usu.edu/topics/Keep_Teaching_During_Emergency. These materials will help you transition your course to assure for the best possible standard of teaching, learning, and assessment for the balance of the semester.  Also, CIDI will assign a person to each department to coordinate and work with you during this transition. 
  • If you have special needs or extenuating circumstances, you should contact Paul Barr in the Provost’s office (paul.barr@usu.edu).

Thank you for your attention and hard work related to this matter and, as a reminder, please regularly visit the USU website on COVID-19 at www.usu.edu/covid-19 for updates.

Sincerely,

Frank Galey


Email to Faculty Members on March 6, 2020

Colleagues,

Due to the recent concerns with the spread of the coronavirus abroad and new cases in other states, USU will be requesting that high-risk students self-isolate for up to 14 days, as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Later today, the university will be sending a notice with more information regarding who will be asked to self-isolate. In order to minimize the impact to their academic progress, we are requesting that you provide accommodations where possible. As approved by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, AIS (the Center for Innovative Design and Instruction – CIDI) will work with you to help facilitate these accommodations. Therefore, if a student who has been requested to self-isolate is in one of your courses, you will be notified through the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, and a member of the CIDI team will contact you to provide the resources that best fit your pedagogy. If you have one of the students impacted by a USU request, you may contact a member of the CIDI team at 435-797-9506 (dial line #1) to proactively request their services. 

In the event that a student requests teaching accommodations due to coronavirus health related issues and you have not been contacted by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, please refer the student to Jarrod Larsen (435-797-1844) or jarrod.larsen@usu.edu.

We appreciate your support during this dynamic time.    

Frank Galey
Provost