Dear Faculty, Another very busy week has passed. I’m writing to share a number of timely updates.

  • The General Education Alignment Task Force has posted the revised General Education Framework  on the General Education website. The revised framework will be briefly presented, discussed, and hopefully voted on at the April 20 Faculty Senate meeting.

  • Your dean will soon be distributing a link to a short final exam survey to gather information about whether and how faculty will be using their scheduled final exam blocks. Please complete the online form no later than April 17 to help us all prepare for a successful final exam week.

  • Given the many challenges our students are facing, we need to make every effort to support their timely progression to degree. Your dean’s offices can identify students who did not participate in Fall 2020 registration. If your dean asks you to reach out to an advisee, I hope you will do so. Your support and encouragement are critically important right now.

  • Many families are now sharing tight quarters and you may be hearing directly from parents about their student’s performance in your class. Please remind them that FERPA protects the privacy of student educational records, including information about grades, and encourage parents to have students contact you directly with questions or concerns.

  • Naturally, students have reported challenges with the new mode of instruction. A common theme is a sense of isolation, particularly in courses that do not have standard meeting times. Please make every effort to stay connected with your students and provide opportunities for student engagement. Students also appreciate a note or Blackboard posting reminding them of weekly expectations/due dates. This helps everyone organize their time and track their work in the absence of a more structured class experience.

  • Please visit the CTL teaching continuity website regularly. New information, resources, and events are posted frequently. A notable addition: five new exam resources, including the CTL Exam Decision Tree that can help you identify potential challenges and fixes as we head toward final exams.

  • As part of the Gund Institute’s third-year review, we have developed a survey to gather input from all faculty on the impact of the Institute's work on research, scholarship, and creative activity. The survey will remain open until the close of business on Monday, April 20, 2020.

  • The nomination period for the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Awards is open. Nominations are due by May 1, 2020. For more information, visit the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Award website.

I know that we are all still wrestling with challenges of different sorts, but it’s important to take a moment to reflect on the magnitude of the transformation that we have effected in a matter of weeks. This has been an enormous undertaking and I hope you are rightly proud of your role in this collective achievement. I know we have three more weeks and then finals to get through—please continue your good work and connection with our students. Your personal touch is what makes the real difference! I am #UVMProud!

With my best wishes to you and your families,