Dear Faculty, I remain impressed with your efforts to ensure that our students have meaningful learning experiences despite our remote circumstance. I hope you will continue to make the most of your time with students, especially during these last two weeks of classes.
I write to you this week with some reminders and a number of timely updates.
- Finals week is right around the corner, beginning May 4. If you haven’t already done so, please complete the final exam survey by the end of the day today to help us all prepare for a successful final exam week.
- Students can now request the Spring 2020 P/NP academic accommodation; the request period ends at noon EDT on May 14, 2020. Comprehensive information to help students make informed P/NP decisions is now available on the Registrar’s Office website. Students are advised to consult with advisors in their dean’s offices, but faculty should familiarize themselves with the information relevant to their advisees so they, too, can be helpful to students.
- We will be ready to welcome students back in the fall, but planning for Fall 2020 academic continuity is also underway. You can learn more about this in President Garimella’s memo to campus. This is a complex process, and the decisions we make will have significant consequences for our students and for our institution. We want to ensure a thoughtful outcome based on information that will emerge in the next several months. I will share information as this process unfolds.
- Regardless of our status in the Fall, we should all be prepared to respond quickly to changing circumstances, and to provide our students with the best possible learning experience. I urge all faculty to complete one of two options: Summer Online Teaching Bootcamp (a two-week, 3.5 hour program offered regularly in April and May); or Teaching Effectively Online for faculty seeking a more in-depth online teaching experience for fall semester (a four-week, 20 hour program beginning May 18).
- We are planning for a re-imagined new student orientation, engagement, and transition program that will span the summer months and include virtual-live and self-paced elements. We want to ensure a highly coordinated experience. If you lead a program that has, in the past, engaged new students the summer before arrival, please pause, and reach out to Dani.Comey@uvm.edu or Jay.LaShombe@uvm.edu, the planning committee co-chairs, for more information.
- Kelly O’Malley, Coordinator of Presidential Events, will be working with units to celebrate our seniors this May through college- and school-specific events.
- The Career Center is working to support all of our students, and especially our seniors. Please encourage your students to visit the Center’s website which features a comprehensive outline of its shift to remote services. There is also a Senior Series newsletter that will land in seniors’ in-boxes every Monday and is also posted here.
- The annual Student Research Conference started yesterday. It not only showcases outstanding student work, it also reflects the commitment of faculty and staff in support of that work. Please visit students’ virtual presentations and encourage your colleagues to do the same. You can visit the conference from April 16 until April 23.
- The Fleming Museum has launched an online search feature that will enable visitors to the website to browse and view over 20,000 objects from the Museum’s permanent collection. The Fleming’s collection is a valuable educational resource and I’m so pleased that it is now more accessible to our faculty, staff, and students to enhance research, teaching, and learning.
- Please visit the CTL teaching continuity website regularly. New information, resources, and events are posted frequently. Among them are new resources, including surveys ready to be imported into your Blackboard course, to help you determine whether your students are ready and equipped to complete the final exam, presentation, paper, or project.
- The revised General Education Framework will be presented, discussed, and hopefully voted on at the April 20 Faculty Senate meeting.
- The Gund Institute’s third-year review survey is open until the close of business on Monday, April 20, 2020.
- Nominations for the Kroepsch-Maurice Excellence in Teaching Awards are due May 1.
Please continue to stay in touch with your students and your advisees. Your personal outreach is the most meaningful contact students can have with our university right now. We know this, because we hear from students about how much they appreciate your efforts and how this has provided an anchor for them in troubled times. Again, I am grateful for your investment in our students’ educational experience, and for the care you bring to your teaching and support of students.
With my best wishes to you and your families,