138 Fawcett Hall
Faculty Line #234
March 17, 2020
Thank you for all that you are doing to maintain our educational mission during this time of daily changes and general uprooted-ness. It is becoming cliché to state that we are living in unprecedented times.
As you know, Interim Provost Leaman announced Friday that, as of March 13, the remote delivery of course materials has been extended through the end of the Spring 2020 semester.1 This remote delivery mode presents both opportunities and challenges for all of us. We ask patience from everyone as we work through these processes. Please remember that our colleagues in the WSU Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)2 and University Libraries3 have put together fantastic resources for faculty, and they stand ready to assist when needed. If you encounter any difficulties with remote instruction, reach out to CTL (firstname.lastname@example.org; 937-775-2885). For technical difficulties related to hardware and software, you may reach Computing and Telecommunications Services (CaTS) (email@example.com; 937-775-4827).
The changes in our normal operating procedures were made in order to “flatten the curve” and mitigate the spread of this novel coronavirus. All of us are must limit face to face contact with peers and students. Faculty Senate committee meetings, as well as nearly all meetings related to work at Wright State, should be conducted remotely until further notice. More restrictive guidelines may be forthcoming as the situation changes.
It is especially important that all faculty reach out to their students and advisees to offer guidance and reassurance as we make this transition and continue forward with the semester. Please do what you can to check in with your students and regularly keep in touch with them throughout the process. Now that K-12 schools have closed, many of our students (as well as our faculty and staff colleagues) face new challenges related to child care and even more chaotic schedules than before. In his Sunday (March 15) press conference, Governor DeWine announced that childcare and senior daycare facilities may also soon be closing. Additionally, many of our students are now facing increased financial challenges due to the operational disruptions in restaurants and bars. In the face of these unforeseen events, continue to be as flexible and accessible as possible. For example, even if you are planning synchronous delivery of materials remotely during your regularly scheduled class times, consider recording the session and making it available for students whose schedules may no longer permit them to be fully available during the regularly scheduled
time. Remind students that all academic advising and academic support services, including Tutoring Services, the Writing Center, Math Learning Center, Disability Services, Career Services, and others are fully available via remote delivery.4 We are aware that many of the changes we face may present access challenges to some of our students. If you become aware of student concerns related to Wi-Fi access, there are some companies that are offering free subscriptions during this time.5 Watch for these (and other) issues and help students become aware of services the University has established to help them, including access to University laptops via CaTS,6 the Raider Food Pantry and other important programs. To stay up to date, check the most recent communications to students that will be posted under “University Messages” on our main resource page, wright.edu/coronavirus.
In addition to these important COVID-19 related matters, our work as a Faculty Senate must go on. For example, our Faculty Senate elections close this Friday, March 20 at 5pm. Vote, if you haven’t already done so, and contact the Faculty Office (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any difficulties.
The Fall 2020 course schedule was posted last Monday (March 9), and students will soon begin registering for classes. As we have discussed in multiple Senate meetings, it is imperative that all faculty members submit their book order as soon as possible. Faculty Enlight (facultyenlight.com) is accessible via a widget in Pilot. This is not simply a matter of state law; it is also important for many of our students whose scholarships or financial aid packages make it necessary for them to purchase books from official University providers.
We are all being asked questions that we cannot confidently provide the answers to at this time. For all medical questions, defer to the experts and remind students to contact Wright State Student Health Services or their personal health care provider. Please continue to encourage patience, empathy and confidence that we will all get through this together. Check in on your students, and check in with each other. These are trying times, and it is imperative that, in this time of social distancing, we maintain our sense of social connection. The safety of our entire University community is our number one priority. We are united in doing everything in our power to support the success of all of our students and colleagues. We remain focused on these priorities as we move forward, adjusting as needed, given the fluid nature of our current circumstances.
Thank you for your attention to these important matters. Once again, for further updates, see wright.edu/coronavirus. Continue to read this resource carefully, return to it frequently, and recommend it to your students in order to stay as up to date as possible. Please email me or your representative on the Faculty Senate Executive Committee7 with questions you, your students, or colleagues may have, so that we can share them with the University-wide Coronavirus Task Force and then provide valid answers as soon as possible. Take care, stay healthy, and keep in touch.
Laura Luehrmann, Professor
Faculty Senate President
3 https://www.libraries.wright.edu/. Please note: the University Libraries began offering remote-only services as of Tuesday, March 17. They continue to support research and instruction remotely, though the Ask a Librarian and Ask an Archivist services. For more information, please see https://www.libraries.wright.edu/community/blog/2020/03/16/dunbar-librar...
5 For example, Charter is offering free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have Spectrum broadband subscription; installation fees will be waived for new student households. To enroll, call 1-844-488-8395. More at https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-s...