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Coronavirus Preparation for Faculty

To: Faculty and University Management Council
From: Provost Jonathan Reed
Date: March 6, 2020
Subject: Coronavirus preparation for faculty

Dear Faculty: 

Over the past month, university officials have been monitoring coronavirus internationally, nationally, and regionally. Our current educational and business continuity plans have also been reviewed and developed in light of the unique aspects of coronavirus. I want to thank the members of the Coronavirus Monitoring Committee (Juan Regalado, Cindy Denny, Alex Soto, Ruben Ibarra, Peggy Book, Alison Vicroy, and Lori Gordien) who have met weekly and are providing regular reports to the President’s Executive Cabinet. 

On March 4, President Lieberman sent an email to the entire community, and this email is a follow up aimed specifically at informing faculty. Today, members of the Coronavirus Monitoring Committee met with academic affairs and the faculty chairs of UGAP and Graduate Council to articulate a clear message to all faculty. 

The primary goal is to protect the health of our students, staff, and faculty.  Based on the current situation, there is no need to cancel classes or any school activities, however, all faculty should: 

  • Tell students who feel or appear sick to stay at home 
  • Advise students in your classes on how to avoid social contagion (see this link) 
  • Be mindful of stigmatizing and discrimination (see this link) 
  • Seriously re-consider any university-related travel
  • Have any trips out-of-state or by plane with students be approved by Alex Soto 
  • Relax attendance policies where absences effect grades 
  • Provide remote or online alternatives for participation as appropriate, and allow remote submission of assignments for those who do not attend class 
  • Communicate your course policies often to all students and be clear about how you will communicate with them about any adjustments. 

In addition, the university needs to be prepared for the spread of Coronavirus in the region and the eventuality of a campus shut down. Should this occur, faculty will need to be move their classes to online format for a limited time.

To that end, the Center for Teaching and Learning has created a resource including grading guidelines, incomplete policy, and suggested practices for transitioning courses online.  In preparation for a campus closure, all faculty are urged to put—at a minimum—their syllabi on Blackboard, and if not already, become familiar with its rudimentary features.  CTL will be hosting several Blackboard and WebEx workshops in the upcoming weeks. Watch for an email with specifics. To request assistance, please email Dr. Jeremy Schnieder. 

Please stay up-to-date by reviewing the University of La Verne Novel Coronavirus Information website, which includes links to various resources. Also, make sure you are signed up for the university’s LiveSafe App to stay current. 

This situation is unprecedented and poses many challenges, some still unknown, for all involved. Thank you for your preparation, for communicating with our students critical information, and ensuring that students continue to have a vibrant educational experience. 

Sincerely, 

Jonathan Reed
Provost