August 25, 2020 at 4:42 pm - TO: umdearborn-all-faculty, umdearborn-leo-faculty

Dear Colleagues,

I trust you are all enjoying the last remaining days of the summer - try to get just a little more down time if you can before the beginning of fall semester is upon us….

This message is intended to do two things. First, I want to thank all of you who participated and shared thoughts and concerns — or who just listened in thoughtfully — in conversations that I and other members of my leadership team have had in recent weeks during various “listening sessions”, in town halls and through other exchanges. These discussions about fall and winter planning and logistics have been extremely helpful, indeed essential, in helping us all gain a better understanding of the needs of our campus community and to do what is needed to transition into a new world of work. Your guidance has shaped our course of action for the coming complicated months. 

Other meetings allowed us to to start looking forward again, to return to our campus strategic thinking and dreaming and to envision the future of our campus. Once the term is up and launched, we will be revisiting and re-communicating this harvest of ideas, inviting others to the conversation, and seeking to prioritize initiatives to promote academic distinction, student success and community care. We will take care to do this at a level and a pace that doesn’t ‘pile on top’ of everything else that everyone is doing for everybody...

The second purpose of this message is to convey some up-to-the-minute updates on Fall term. Below, I highlight the topics to be addressed as this is a rather long message (a thousand apologies yet again!): 

  • To Kick Off Fall Term

    • Reminder that the Return to Campus Guide is Available 

    • Go Blue Orientation & Convocation Reminder

  • New and New-ish Things to Know and to Do for Fall 2020

    • Face Coverings Requirement - Remember!

    • Classroom Face Coverings Management Policy

    • On-Campus Course Waitlist Practice Will be Different for Fall 2020 

    • Classroom Recordings, FERPA, and Accessibility

    • Syllabus Template

    • Canvas Course Shells

    • 2020 Engaged Learning Guidelines

    • COVID-19 In Person Safety Requirements Statement 

  • Cool and Useful Things To Consider for Fall 2020

    • Canvas Remote Learning Modules

    • Online Teaching and Academic Integrity Tips

  • Student-Facing Resources for Faculty

    • Success at Dearborn Faculty Webpage

    • Campus Resource Guide

    • Resources from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 

  • In Conclusion - The Importance of Faculty Well-Being and Support

    • Faculty Health and Wellness Is a Priority For our Campus

    • Campus Care and Equity Task Force

    • Faculty Workspace

    • COVID-19 Testing

___________________________________________________________________________

To Kick Off Fall Term

New and New-ish Things to Know and to Do for Fall 2020

  • Face Coverings Requirement - Reminder!
    • For all faculty who will be teaching on campus in the fall semester, I want to emphasize the importance of following all the university’s policies and guidelines for promoting the health and safety of the campus community during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly the university’s face coverings policy which requires everyone — including faculty teaching in classrooms and laboratories — to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth while on campus grounds, inside and outside. It is an absolute requirement that all faculty teaching on campus make use of face coverings for the entire duration of their time on campus and in the classroom. Please understand that failure to comply with this fundamental safety requirement will have consequences.
    • Further, prior to coming to campus for the first time, all faculty must complete the online training COVID-19: Working Safely at U-M. Faculty must agree with all attestation statements at the end of the course to receive credit for the course.  You need to complete the training and certification only once.  

 

  • Classroom Face Coverings Management Policy

    • Students also received their own tailored version of the Return to Campus Guide the week of August 10. Building check-in procedures, the face covering policy and other related information were communicated. As a result of consistent messaging, as well as excellent work by student groups themselves to promote safe behavior, we believe that the number of incidents of student noncompliance with the face coverings policy can be kept to a minimum. However, we need to be prepared for all scenarios, which is why campus senior leadership recommended to the Chancellor the Classroom Face Coverings Management policy (click on the first accordion tab), to be used in cases where students fail to wear face coverings while in a classroom.

  • On-Campus Course Waitlist Practice Will be Different for Fall 2020 

    • Given expert guidance about safe levels for classroom density, our traditional waitlist practice — in which students could attend a class before being formally registered for it —  will be discontinued for the fall term. Students in this situation are being advised to reach out to faculty members or academic advisors for guidance. In addition, you will not be empowered to add students to exceed your course enrollment capacity. Each classroom has painstakingly been set up to have the appropriate and safe number of seats: please do not move furniture in (or out).  

  • Classroom Recordings, FERPA, and Accessibility

    • Read this before recording! Since most Fall 2020 courses will contain at least some video recordings, it is important that everyone review the University of Michigan Recording Class Activities Rules of the Road page. To comply with FERPA regulations, course videos which identify students cannot be used in other courses or sections without written consent of all identified students, as the video would be shared with people outside the members of the course section in which it was originally recorded. Information about supported video systems, FERPA, and Accessibility can be found on the UM-Dearborn Academic Video page.

  • Syllabus Template

    • The University Curriculum and Degree Committee (UCDC) voted unanimously to require all faculty teaching on campus in the fall to include in their syllabi the Face Coverings and Classroom Safety Syllabus Statement (click on the second accordion tab). This statement was developed by the Emergency Operations Committee and approved by UCDC.  Please do add this statement to your syllabus, as appropriate.

  • Canvas Course Shells

    • Starting August 10, faculty have been able to publish Canvas course shells and make them available to students. Remember: if you have not yet published your course shell, students will not be able to view the course until you do so. All course shells will be automatically published on Tuesday, September 1 (first day of classes!), but giving students any kind of earlier access would be a positive thing. The goal in making courses available as early as possible is to better inform students, to alleviate unnecessary anxieties, and to give them the best chance to be successful. And remember, publishing your course(s) doesn’t mean everything must be perfect! You could simply open up your syllabus, and leave the rest unpublished, until you are ready to fully launch. Canvas has a guide for publishing your course, and you can contact your college’s Canvas support staff with any questions about publishing your course shell or unpublishing specific content items.  

  • 2020 Engaged Learning Guidelines

    • There have been changes made to the guidelines and process for in-person engaged learning for this academic year. Any field courses, placements, internships/co-ops, or other off-campus engaged learning experiences must follow the new guidelines. Please review if you are teaching or plan to teach any courses that meet the definitions for in-person engaged learning off campus. 

  • COVID-19 In Person Safety Requirements Statement 

    • A COVID-19 Legal Protection Statement has been recently added to the Faculty Handbook (scroll down to the last accordion) which provides notice that students need to comply with all UM-Dearborn policies related to public health when taking part in on-campus classes and research, particularly those participating in field work, clinical placements, or similar activities.  

Cool and Useful Things To Consider for Fall 2020

  • Canvas Remote Learning Modules  

    • Seven Canvas remote learning modules, designed to provide engaging, student-centered information in easy-to-digest segments will be available to all faculty for importing into Canvas starting Thursday, August 27. Topics range from timely basics like Navigating Canvas and Time Management for Remote Learners, to higher-order cognitive processing skills like Motivation and Active Remote Learning. These modules, with music, narration, and animation (created using Powtoons software) were designed by a team from the Mardigian Library including the First-Year Experience Librarian, Student Success Coordinator, and Subject-Librarians in Education, STEM, and Social Sciences, with feedback and advisory support from CASL Digital Education faculty. A separate email with a link to the modules and instructions on importing to Canvas from the Commons is forthcoming - watch for it! 

  • Online Teaching and Academic Integrity Tips

    • Academic integrity is a concern in all environments, including face-to-face courses. Students are less likely to cheat when they are engaged in the process of their own learning through authentic assessments in which students “do” the subject matter. You could also consider providing an honor code as part of an assessment. Search the Canvas Commons for “Dearborn Academic Integrity” for two modules that you can import into your own courses; the shorter module can be used as an honor pledge for a Canvas assignment. Set up a meeting with a Hub Instructional Designer to talk through ways to design a course to avoid cheating.

Student-Facing Resources for Faculty

  • Success at Dearborn Faculty webpage 

    • This re-designed website for faculty builds off a similar site geared towards students. It provides easy faculty access to resources like the Hub for Teaching and Learning, curriculum development, data dashboards like Enrolled Student Profiles and the Student Success dashboard, and finally resources to guide your students appropriately when they need assistance. 

  • Campus Resource Guide

    • Please take time to browse the Campus Resource Guide which provides, in a handy PDF, listings of various campus offices and programs that are important to the success of students. 

  • Resources from Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) 

    • CAPS is pleased to share the Faculty Toolkit for Supporting Student Mental Health. This publication is intended to provide faculty with important information regarding mental health; and, how to help foster a campus environment supportive of student mental health.

    • CAPS has also recorded a De-escalation Skills Workshop for faculty and staff covering strategies and tactics regarding de-escalation. These skills may be important when working with students who are in distress.

In Conclusion - The Importance of Faculty Well-Being and Support

  • Faculty Health and Wellness Is a Priority For our Campus

    • Human Resources has developed a COVID FAQ webpage with information and resources regarding working safely or working from home this fall semester, considerations around child care, and plans for what to do if you or a family member becomes ill. Please also visit this webpage for useful resources for faculty (and staff) on mental health and well being. If you have any HR questions regarding working on campus or working remotely, please contact the Dearborn Human Resources Office. 

  • Campus Care and Equity Task Force

    • We recognize that those who are required to do caring labor, in their homes, with their families, with students, for their communities, will likely bear a greater burden during this pandemic. The burden will be even heavier for those who face intersecting systems of oppression, such as ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, gender, age, economic class, dependent status, and/or ability. For these reasons, a campus task force has been created to assess the division of caring labor and to enact solutions that value and promote a culture of care. We would like to thank faculty in the Women’s and Gender Studies program for initiating this effort and outlining a road map for moving forward.

  • Faculty Workspace

    • While faculty will not be able (for many, health- and safety-governed reasons) to freely access their office for extended periods of work time, they may continue to request brief office access to retrieve books and other materials by following the procedures provided in the Campus Access Policy. We realize the additional weight this places on faculty, and its disproportionate effect on some of our colleagues, and will be messaging other ways to alleviate faculty stress as we move forward. As one step, we are providing temporary workspace (to be located in the University Center) available starting on September 1st, where faculty (and staff) will be provided with prepared quiet spaces in which to think, prep, and write, on a reservable basis. Please click on the scheduling page to reserve a space!

  • COVID-19 Testing

    • The University of Michigan-Dearborn’s top priority is the health and safety of our campus community, and this has resulted in a new partnership with the Henry Ford Health System (HFHS) for COVID-19 testing. We strongly encourage any faculty who will be teaching or working on campus this fall to be tested.  Testing is available at the Henry Ford Medical Center Fairlane (across Evergreen from the main campus) now through September 4, 2020, weekdays from 8am to 4pm, by appointment only. To schedule an appointment, call HFHS (at 313-982-8442) Monday through Friday from 8am to 4pm. Testing is drive through or walk through. For this time period, ending September 4, testing costs not covered by personal health insurance will be covered by the university. For those identified, if testing at Henry Ford Medical Center Fairlane is not convenient, we recommend that you find other test locations on the state of Michigan website. If you elect to go to another site you will be responsible for any out-of-pocket expenses. Please review the details of the testing program

If you test positive for COVID-19, do NOT come to campus. Notify your Department Chair. Call Human Resources at 313-593-5190, and contact U-M Occupational Health Services (OHS) at 734-764-8021 for further instructions. Your local health department may reach out to you to ask about your close contacts, and we urge you to cooperate with them.

Wishing you all as serene a start as possible to the new academic year!  Wish us all luck!
 

Sue

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs 

 

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