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Preparing for the First Week of Fully Online

March 22, 2020

 

Dear Faculty:

Thank you again for your response to the novel coronavirus pandemic and the challenges it has posed as we move fully online for classes, mentoring, and student support. Last week, faculty made great strides toward a virtual education for more than 7,000 students. Starting Monday, the students will show up.

This next week will be critical for your students. It is important that we continue to make sure that a personal touch, the hallmark of a University of La Verne education, happens online.

In many ways, we need to look at this next week as university-wide learning experience, as we move more broadly into the virtual world. I ask that you be patient with students, just as some of them may need to be patient with some of you! Welcome their feedback.

In the same way, administration and staff has been preparing to support faculty and students. We welcome your feedback to better support you. Please keep up-to-date with the Faculty Resource and Information page on the university’s coronavirus website. And let your chair or dean know of any feedback or concerns you may have. If you like, contact me also at provost@laverne.edu.

In these extraordinary circumstances, we are also adopting two new policies designed to reduce anxiety:

  • Faculty Senate approved, upon the recommendation of UGAP, that all undergraduate students may opt to take classes credit/no-credit and choose to do so until the end of the semester.
  • Faculty Senate approved, upon the recommendation of the Graduate Council, that graduate departments/colleges will decide on options for credit/no-credit by March 29.
  • Faculty may opt for a one-year extension of their probationary period and delay their tenure decision, given that the pandemic may have prevented or interrupted faculty progress in scholarship and professional development. Faculty should discuss this option with their dean or department chair and should decide by the time of portfolio submission on August 15.

As you prepare for next week, please remember to personalize your teaching by showing your face, being attentive to your students’ individual needs, and responding quickly to their questions or concerns. These practices are especially important the first two weeks of the term, as students are learning to adjust to this new learning environment.

Thanks to the Center for Teaching and Learning, chairs, and deans for their around-the-clock support, and thanks to all the faculty for your student-centered focus.

Please continue to monitor your campus email as well as the University of La Verne novel coronavirus website.

Sincerely,

 

Jonathan Reed