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COVID-19: Important Details for Faculty

 

Dear Colleagues,

 

I continue to be thankful for and humbled by our college community. I have heard testimonies and stories of hard work that is embraced with good cheer and good courage. I know that you are working hard to make connections with students, redesign courses, and adjust your personal life. It was encouraging to hear from Derek this morning, and we continue to move ahead one day at a time, trusting God's providence for each step.

 

In this email, I would like to provide a few important updates. Things are moving quickly and we are attempting to adapt as each day brings new challenges. Below are some important items. Ideally, I would have liked to talk to many of you about these decisions prior to implementing them, but time and circumstance do not permit.

 

  • First, due to expectations from SACSCOC, we are going to be adding a few more days into the spring calendar to ensure sufficient academic rigor. We will add Easter Monday and the two reading days as regular class days, allowing for 13 MWF classes and 10 TR classes. This will allow us to move forward with the semester only losing roughly one week of instruction. I'm sorry for this change after many of you have already planned instruction for the remainder of the semester. However, it seems like the best path forward in response to current expectations.

  • Second, there have been some initial discussions and questions about some colleges moving to a pass-fail grading system. In response to the same expectations, we will not make any changes from original expectations for course grades, but we are looking at a proposal to extend the deadline to allow students to switch to or from pass/fail in eligible classes, or exceptions where appropriate with specific classes.

  • Third, as you continue to make your plans for the delivery of online instruction, I want to remind you that we will officially support Google applications and the Canvas LMS only.  As some professors have explored other options, we want to be careful not to place increased demands on Technology Services personnel nor increased expectations concerning platforms to which the students have access.

  • Fourth,  as Derek mentioned this morning, the physical campus will be absolutely closed to everyone from 5:00 p.m. today until 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Please do not come on campus during that time to allow any viruses a chance to dissipate.

  • Fifth,  as classes begin on Monday, March 30th, the general technical infrastructure of the college and the country will be taxed at a higher level for the first time.  We will all attempt to work through whatever challenges arise. You may want to be prepared with alternatives to your initial instruction and expectations.

  • Finally, we want to make sure that you are fully prepared and supported for the work that you are doing. Marjorie will send out a  brief survey later today so that we may have an accurate picture of specific support needed next week.

 

Once again it is a great honor to be working with you. We can trust the promise that God is using these days for our good and His glory.

 

Sincerely,

Jeff