Dear Resident Faculty Colleagues,
I’ve received a number of questions about my message indicating that faculty to should report to their primary campus location on Monday, March 16. Please allow me to provide some additional context and clarify the expectation.
In the context of making concrete plans for moving all our courses to some sort of remote instruction (with the exceptions outlined in my email "Pandemic Planning for Faculty" sent on Friday, 3/13/20 at 3:05 p.m.), it is imperative that we work together, as departments, to make shared decisions about the curriculum and methods of remote instruction for the remainder of the semester. Resident faculty engagement will be critical the success of those plans and for engaging community faculty. I also know that many faculty members have ideas and expertise that will support their whole department in this important work ensuring that our students have a quality learning experience when all instruction is delivered remotely. The involvement of all faculty members is important and expected.
Meeting and making shared decisions on Monday 3/16/20 allows for coherent movement forward. Of course, "reporting to work" can be done remotely! Several people contacted me individually about reporting to work remotely based on underlying health concerns and/or belonging to a particularly high-risk group. Faculty with these concerns should follow up with their dean and department chair. Faculty members who are not feeling well should not come to campus and find a way to participate remotely. Finally, I ask that anyone who has recently travel to a high-risk area of the country or to any international location self-quarantine for two weeks and not come to campus during that time frame.
For those who are able to meet in person, we are encouraging everyone across campuses to increase social distancing at work. Any meetings that take place in person should occur in a room large enough to allow significant spacing. Let me reassure you that our campus cleaning personnel, at all locations, are diligently cleaning surfaces frequently and our administrative staff is working hard to help all of us in working out a feasible plan for our students to complete this semester. You should also find sanitizing wipes in the classrooms.
The university is following guidelines from the system and the MN Department of Health, which do not suggest that we close our campuses. Until we are told otherwise, faculty, staff, administrator, and some students will be onsite at our campus locations. We are looking for ways to support students who have computer and internet needs at each location.
Though we are still on spring break today (Saturday, 3/14/20), I understand that some deans and department chairs have already reached out with plans for meetings times and remote (Zoom) participation for those who choose that venue. Please watch for more information from your dean and/or your department chairs.