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Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Response

Faculty Line #240: Fall Semester Planning

Colleagues,

As the August calendar moves closer, the Senate Executive Committee and I are reaching out to help convey critical information related to our upcoming academic term and update you on some of the ongoing discussions across our campus. Special thanks to the many faculty colleagues who have generously volunteered so much of their time during this, a most unusual summer.  

Remembering a colleague

As many of you know, Dr. James Sayer recently passed away after a prolonged illness. Beyond the classroom, many will remember him as an avid Yankees’ fan. While Jim had many roles at Wright State, he served a total of seven terms as Faculty President or its equivalent[1] (more than any other individual in Wright State’s history), with his first term in 1979-1980, and his final term from 2006-2007. Jim was viewed as a proactive Faculty President who was known for enthusiastically encouraging junior faculty to become involved in shared governance.  Please join me in expressing our deep condolences to Jim’s family, especially his wife, Cathy.

Fall 2020 Semester:  Preparation, Course Delivery Options and Communication with Students

With the current public health situation in Ohio, faculty have requested and helped develop a diverse menu of course delivery options for the upcoming semester (and beyond). Given the requirements to adhere to strict social distancing guidelines (which diminish the available classroom capacities), we will be offering few solely face to face classes in the upcoming term. These classes are limited to the smaller-enrollment experiential-dependent courses including most clinical experiences, some lab courses, as well as many studio courses. Some courses will be delivered fully online, and others will be adopting a recently approved “flexible delivery” mode of instruction.[2] This flexible delivery approach combines in person delivery with a remote option. Faculty formally adopting this course attribute (which is posted in WINGS Express) have choices in how to deliver this remote option (live broadcast, recording, or some other delivery of course material).  Please look here for specifics on course delivery options: https://www.wright.edu/raiderconnect/registration#Fall2020CourseDelivery.

As we finalize course plans for Fall Semester 2020, it is imperative that instructors reach out to their students to share their plans and expectations for the term. Students need to know if the instructor will be following a set time for remote delivery or if the course will be asynchronous. Any faculty member adopting flexible delivery needs to clearly communicate how they plan to combine in person delivery with a remote option, outlining the choices that students have before them. Please also clarify your availability during the fall semester, being sure to provide remote options for office hours and advising. Clear communication between instructors and students always assists with our mission: in this time of multi-layered crises, we all must recognize the even greater need for clarity of expectations and availability. I know that many of you have already reached out to your fall semester students, and I thank you. Please do not wait until the first week of classes to communicate these items to your students.

Our expert colleagues in the WSU Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) have put together fantastic resources for faculty, and they stand ready to assist when needed. CTL will be sharing upcoming workshops and training opportunities to help prepare for fall teaching, details to come soon. CaTS and CTL are working on a process for checking out technology equipment for fall teaching; details of this protocol will be available the first week of August. If you encounter any difficulties with remote instruction, reach out to CTL (ctl@wright.edu; 937-775-2885). For technical difficulties related to hardware and software, you may reach Computing and Telecommunications Services (CaTS) (helpdesk@wright.edu; 937-775-4827).

Faculty preparing course reserves materials for the fall semester should contact the University Libraries’ staff at library-reserves@wright.edu for fall term course reserve information. Quarantine periods for library materials are problematic for our traditional course reserve service. Libraries’ staff anticipate that we’ll be able to request items through the OhioLINK catalog again on August 10th. Because of the safety precautions libraries are taking, we expect slightly extended delivery times due to quarantine periods. More information is available at https://www.ohiolink.edu/COVID-19_printlending. Also, note that the Libraries continue to provide curbside pickup. Search the Wright State University Libraries catalog and request your items. Library staff will pull the items, check them out to you, and notify you when items are ready for pickup.

Campus Reopen Committees

As part of the University’s ongoing COVID-19 response, Interim Provost Leaman has established a series of campus re-opening committees to facilitate and help coordinate the gradual reopening of our campuses. For more information about the subcommittees, their charges, leadership and membership, please see:

https://www.wright.edu/coronavirus/campus-reopen-committees.

If you are interested in serving on one of these committees, reach out directly to any of the committee chairs.

Academic Re-Organization Committees (ARC-2)[3]

Campus discussions about re-organization plans continue, with the creation of a formal Academic Re-Organization Committee (ARC-2) as well as specialized working groups discussing various aspects of organizational structure.  For more information about the proposed structures, membership of the main committee, or working groups, see: https://www.wright.edu/about/office-of-the-provost/institutional-structure.

As a reminder, feedback on the first and second drafts of the reorganization plan is being accepted until August 4, 2020. It is imperative that faculty share their responses to these proposals and their impacts on our futures. To register your views, either use the online form (https://www.wright.edu/about/office-of-the-provost/institutional-structure#Comment) or reach out to any member of the ARC-2. Multiple entries by any individual via the online form are fine: if you submitted feedback on the first draft proposal, you may still submit feedback on the second draft (or submit more than one comment). 

Special meeting of the faculty on August 10th

As we announced in May, the Faculty Senate Executive Committee will be hosting a second special meeting of the faculty on Monday, August 10, from 2:30-4:00.  The purpose once again is to provide the faculty a chance to hear reports from the University President, Interim Provost, and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee regarding the University’s path forward in light of COVID-19 and related challenges. In order to facilitate the most questions in this short period of time, we ask that any faculty member wanting to ask a question of Dr. Edwards, Dr. Leaman, or of the Senate Executive Committee, submit the questions ahead of time, via the Qualtrics survey: https://wright.ca1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_e4dr5tp84PeOBed.

These questions will be collated prior to the meeting and shared with the speakers. There will be limited time for follow-up questions during the meeting as well. For the meeting on Monday, August 10, faculty should submit questions no later than 4pm Wednesday, August 5th.  A Webex link, along with information about the format and process for the August 10th special meeting of the faculty, will be distributed during the week of August 3rd

In these waning weeks of summer, please be sure to take some time away and rest, as we all know the coming academic year will require extra attention, creativity, and patience. It will be especially important to stay on top of university communications in the coming weeks as we prepare for various stages of campus re-opening(s). The University is following state and local public health guidelines, and we are asking the whole campus community to adhere to procedures and protocols for the safety and well-being of us all. Once again, don’t hesitate to reach out if I, or your other Faculty Senate leaders,[4] may assist. We’ll be in touch as warranted. In the interim, stay healthy and please do take care of yourselves and each other.

 

Most sincerely,

Laura Luehrmann, Professor

Faculty Senate President

laura.luehrmann@wright.edu

  1. The original title of the elected leader of the Wright State faculty was “Vice President of the University Faculty” (and Chair of the Academic Council steering committee). In the early 1990s, the title “Faculty President” was adopted. https://www.wright.edu/faculty-senate/about/past-presidents
  2. The “flexible delivery” mode was approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, after consultation with Undergraduate Academic Policies Chair Geoff Owens and the Academic Re-Opening Subcommittee.  It is an addition to the existing course types defined in Policies 4002 and 4160 (https://policy.wright.edu/).
  3. The first Academic Organization Review Committee (ARC) met from 2017-2018 to discuss the possibilities of coordinating the University’s health and health services programs and potentialities.  See https://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/page/attachments/Final-ARC-Report-2018.02.12.pdf.
  4. https://www.wright.edu/faculty-senate/about/2020-21-officers-and-members

[1] The original title of the elected leader of the Wright State faculty was “Vice President of the University Faculty” (and Chair of the Academic Council steering committee). In the early 1990s, the title “Faculty President” was adopted. https://www.wright.edu/faculty-senate/about/past-presidents

[2] The “flexible delivery” mode was approved by the Faculty Senate Executive Committee, after consultation with Undergraduate Academic Policies Chair Geoff Owens and the Academic Re-Opening Subcommittee.  It is an addition to the existing course types defined in Policies 4002 and 4160 (https://policy.wright.edu/).

[3] The first Academic Organization Review Committee (ARC) met from 2017-2018 to discuss the possibilities of coordinating the University’s health and health services programs and potentialities.  See https://www.wright.edu/sites/www.wright.edu/files/page/attachments/Final-ARC-Report-2018.02.12.pdf.

[4] https://www.wright.edu/faculty-senate/about/2020-21-officers-and-members