Provost COVID-19: Faculty Update - No. 9
May has arrived! May the weekend allow you time to enjoy the amazing weather and look ahead to the end of the semester now in our sights.
We share here reminders of current issues as well as some news of future planning. As always, feel free to contact us with questions in the Provost’s Office or your department chairs and deans.
For this semester:
- Access to BB for Students with Incompletes: We have extended student access to all Spring BB shells until June 30 to support students and faculty who may be working through incompletes. If you think that you have a case that will require additional access time beyond June 30, please contact John Lane (firstname.lastname@example.org) as soon as possible.
- Paperwork for Incompletes: If you are using incompletes for students, please be sure that you follow a process as per section 3.4 in PS 3.A.04 —if departments want to work out a system to accommodate larger volume, please try to document student notification and agreement to the extent possible.
- Students with Rented Books: Please consider posting a message to remind students that if they have rented textbooks, the return date is May 12 to avoid full charges—they should have received emails from the bookstore that includes a mailing label for free shipping return to UHD. We will also try to communicate this, but your voice is appreciated.
- Reference Book order/OER info that will be sent out by OER Task Force: Please review the email sent on April 30 regarding book orders and OER materials. We ask you to try to meet the May 4 target for book orders, as it is important that we provide information to students as they register.
- Decision on S/U extension for May and Summer Sessions: With support of Faculty Senate and SGA, and in keeping with UH System counterparts, UHD will extend the S/U grade option through all May and Summer sessions. It is still critical that you establish a full letter grade system in your course and apply it consistently—the S/U will again be dependent on the letter grade earned. To accommodate the process, there will be some adjustments in deadlines but not to the extent reflected in the larger extensions that were required for spring. We will send more details about timelines and processes shortly. We do not anticipate extending the S/U option into the fall semester.
- Extension of W dates for May and Summer Sessions: As we did this spring, to accommodate the unique circumstances surrounding the shift to all-online courses, we will extend the drop date to the last day of class in each of the May and Summer sessions.
- Campus Access in May and Summer: Based on current guidelines, UHD will continue to operate through remote/online activity through May 31. Faculty and staff may continue to access campus through the police department as needed, while following best practices in COVID prevention measures. UHD is currently working on plans for reintegration of faculty and staff throughout the summer, and the details of staff reengagement with campus will be distributed by ESO in the near future. More is forthcoming as decisions are finalized.
- Reminder of May Mini dates: If you are teaching May mini-mester, please remember that it starts on May 11; there is significant overlap this year in the grading timeline for spring and all of the May mini session. We understand the challenges of this timing and truly appreciate your commitment to your work in both sessions simultaneously.
- Fall Semester ASA COVID Working Group: President Muñoz has asked for several working groups to plan for various fall semester scenarios. Academic and Student Affairs has appointed a group dedicated to consideration of educational and pedagogical strategies and options. They will meet throughout the month of May and provide a report to President Muñoz and Provost Link by May 26 for consideration by the cabinet. A copy of the ASA charging document can be found HERE.
- BB Ally Accessibility goals: As we look toward Summer and Fall course design, we ask you to recall our plans to dedicate attention to good faith efforts to address accessibility of electronic materials in all of our courses, as described in our February memo. We ask that faculty make good faith efforts to improve your BB Ally scores over the course of the summer term—our target is all green and/or no materials in the “red” area. As we are still working to understand the limits and possibilities of the Ally tool, we encourage faculty to 1) work on low-hanging fruit, 2) contact the Provost Office Ally Hotline (Elizabeth Wade at email@example.com or 713-221-8288) if you are not able to convert materials—please do not abandon any resources that you consider valuable; simply report it on the hotline so we can consider how best to handle it, and 3) take advantage of our many electronic and amazing human experts!
All information from these update messages will also be available on the Provost’s Office website: Keep on Teaching