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Notes from 6 March 2020 meeting of the Division of Academic Affairs COVID-19 Committee
On Friday, the Division of Academic Affairs COVID–19 Working Group met to begin putting together a plan for preparing for and reacting to any COVID–19 outbreak that affects our academic operations.
The Provost began by saying things that included:
- we need plans
- we want to get our students through the semester
UNIV 392 (international study courses) have been canceled through Summer 2020. The University needs to support ways to give these students meaningful substitute experiences.
Facilities Service staff are disinfecting surfaces (e.g., in classrooms, in public spaces like the library) daily.
All University-sponsors faculty travel must be re-approved. Travel to CDC Level 3 countries will not be permitted. Travel to CDC Level 2 countries will be considered, but the Provost will want to have a conversation with the employee. “We’re not saying ‘no’ to travel, we just want to be careful. Want to discourage any non-essesntial travel.”
A message will go out from the Provost and (provisionally) Academic Senate saying that faculty must accommodate student needs at this time. We are obligated to do so under the direction of the US Department of Education (see reference below). The message will be modeled after the guidance given to faculty in the UCSD memo (see reference, below).
Some actions and adjustments come with costs. The Provost felt that there would be funds made available (e.g., the State’s rainy day fund), but we don’t have access to such funds at this time.
The Provost asked to go around the room with the Deans, asking them to share issues that they’ve heard from their school and other things they think the group needs to talk about.
The Deans’ List (Kohli, Andrzejewski, Virtue, Sevier):
Deans have heard that their people are concerned about …
- the handling of faculty international travel, including faculty taking students to conferences abroad,
- the changing of teaching modality, obligating faculty to convert their courses to an online format, and the question about compensation for doing so,
- what to do if faculty or staff fall ill,
- handling students in the field for internships, community-based learning, clinical hours, etc.,
- what to do with courses and learning experiences that cannot be converted to online formats (e.g., laboratory expereinces, performances, interships, clinical experiences, community-based learning experiences),
- giving faculty direction on how to handle students who show symptons of ailments in the classroom,
- access to academic materials during a closure (e.g., online materials, library holdings, archives),
- resources for the library to continue to provide research support via online chat services,
- were we to soft close (i.e., continue to provide instruction but not in-person), how would we support students who do not have ready access to technology that includes internet or computers,
- accommodating students who are caregivers for family members (e.g., partners, children, parents, neighbors),
- creating channels of communication about instructional issues between instruction faculty
Library (Alicia Virtue):
- because the library is new an 80% of the holdings holdings an 100% of the research holdings are electronic, the library is in good shape to provide continuity
- the Learning Resource Center is working on providing online tutoring through a soft closure
- the library is exploring how ti can provide research support through chat services, but that looks like it will require additional funding
- providing technology to students to support access during a soft closure is a challenge: can ingest more laptops/tablets to be distributed through library check-out, but pressure point is student access to wifi - one-year contract for 15 hot spots is about $8500 [Education said they can contribute a surplus of laptops/tables to this campus pool]
Performing Arts (Catherine Burriss):
- Arts Under the Stars is exploring contingencies that include creating a video of the performance
- the next performance is going into technical rehersals, and because it is a ‘theatrical release’ there are constraints on what might be allowed to adjust for a soft closure of the campus
- capstone experiences are experiential, and one groups is working at a senior living complex
Education (Brian Sevier)
- working on fieldwork assignments, which are at a mix of public and private organizations; have pulled 10 students and staff at this point
- pulling students from fieldwork will be more serious for credential programs, but the Chancellor’s Office is working out guidance
Teaching and Learning Innovations (Jill Leafstedt)
- there is confusion on campus that we are asking faculty to convert their courses to online courses for a soft closure – we are not
- have aknowledgebase to help faculty be prepared, focusing on the use of Zoom and Canvas
- preparing guidance on instructional continuity that reflects the guidance from UC San Diego (see reference below)
- TLI is working on setting up a “Zoom Room” for 9–5 support of faculty and students; there continues to be 24/7 chat help for Canvas
- a peer–2-peer list of faculty who have used Zoom and Canvas heavily will be made available to Deans for distribution to Chairs
- working with ITS to create virtual machines that would allow a student to log in to myCI and then access software that’s normally only available on campus (e.g., SPSS)
- (Added on 7 March). On Friday afternoon, this message was posted by TLI as a banner on all Canvas homepages:
Be Prepared: Keep Teaching
The Division of Academic Affairs Business Continuity Plan for COVID-19 Task Force met this morning to discuss campus needs. As we prepare for possible campus interruptions due to COVID-19 we have compiled a brief Keep Teaching Checklist of steps you can take now, in an effort to support our campus community in maintaining academic continuity and well being for students, faculty, and staff. Please understand, this is not a request to move instruction online. Completing each step in the Keep Teaching Checklist ensures students maintain access to important, basic items in your course in the event you or students are unable to come to class. For additional information and support resources, please consult the Keep Teaching Articles in the TLI Knowledge Base.
Extended University (Mayumi Kowta, Daniel Banyai)
- OLLI has several locations with 1100 enrolees in Spring I and 1500 enrolees in Spring II (which starts after Spring Break)
- Extended University is launching 30 classes for about 500 students in Spring II
- The Golenta campus is in the jurisdiction ofSanta Barbara County and has 100 people including faculty
- OLLI is planning an international trip; OLLI students will be able to determine if they continue with the abroad trips that have been scheduled. They’ll be informed that all international university travel has been cancelled. As non-matriculated adult students that will be up to them to continue.
- there are currently several students studying abroad in CDC Level 2 countries; the Provost agreed to bring them home immediately; student housing (C. Derrico) has offered to help house returning students
- students preparing to study abroad through Extended University are going to be told the program has been canceled through Summer 2020
International Study, UNIV 392 (Andrea Grove)
- cancellation of UNIV 392 affects 66 students; all students will have their fees returned to them (two of the four classes had not paid for any travel-related costs yet)
- proposed to ask students if they can ‘postpone’ their participation; if they cannot, will look to find an alternative
- Regarding students whose travel aboard has been cancelled or interrupted, we’ve been given much leeway by the DOE to assist these students towards graduation. It could mean a variety of options including late course enrollment, independent studies, etc…long past the due dates. Provost Say will be working with the registrar’s office regarding these accommodations.
Santa Rosa Island Research Station (Russ Bradley)
- virtualization approaches will not substitute for the place-based activities on Santa Rosa Island
- have 1300 user-days scheduled at SRI through the end of the semester serving students, faculty, secondary schools, researchers from other institutions and organizations, etc. - this activity generates significant and important revenue through user fees
- all visitor travel goes through Island Packers, and their policies on COVID–19 are not clear at this point
- the station operates in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), and their policies on COVID–19 will impact the station
- emergency response to the station is managed by the NPS and Santa Barbara County; the campus has no role in emergency response
- Russ is going to talk with the owners/operators of Island Packers about their intentions with respect to COVID–19
Science Labs (Blake Gillespie)
- laboratory experiences cannot be virtualized
- sciences have limited experience with giving students an alternative laboratory experience; the alternative usually takes the form of a dry-lab hands-on experience
- some low-cost online alternatives for laboratories are available, but they are mostly designed for lower-level (introductory) science courses; there are not options for upper-level laboratory courses
- TLI asked for a list of lab courses so they could share with their network and ask for ideas others are pursuing; Kohli said other science deans are talking about this, too
- What is the Division of Student Affairs doing to communicate with students?
- What is a soft-closure and what will trigger it?
Author: US Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education
Subject: Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID–19)
Author: University of California San Diego
Subject: Maintaining Educational Continuity in the Context of COVID–19
Provost: Beth Say
Deans: Vandana Kohli, Alicia Virtue, Brian Sevier, Susan Andrzejewski
EU: Daniel Banyai (OLLI) and Mayumi Kowta (International Programs)
TLI: Jill Leafstedt and Megan Eberhardt
Faculty A&S: Jason Miller, Andrea Grove, Catherine Burris, Blake Gillespie
Faculty MVS: Hua Dai
Faculty SOE: Jeanne Grier, Manuel Correia
Faculty Library: Debi Hoffman
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