November 18, 2020 - TO: umdearborn-all-faculty, umdearborn-leo-faculty

Dear Faculty Colleagues, 

Well, as my grandmother (on her way over the river and through the woods) used to say, ‘never a dull moment’. Thanks to all who helped us make a successful quick early pivot to fully remote teaching this week. Continued proof of the flexible hardiness of our campus community, if any was needed...

I trust everyone can take a much needed break as we enter the Thanksgiving recess. This will be my last message before the Thanksgiving break, and I want to take the time to express my gratitude to my faculty colleagues who have been working so extraordinarily hard during these trying times. My team and I have been turkey trotting and harvesting information from Zoom to Zoom trying our best to listen to various groups to gain a better understanding and perspective on the plethora of issues you all are facing during the COVID pandemic. As you continue doing the great job of teaching our students, I just want to let you know we are here to support you as best we can.

As a little extra stuffing of support, here are just a few topics that my team and I thought would be beneficial to share as we enter into the final part of the Fall 2021 semester: 

Gobbling Thanksgiving Break!  

As a reminder, Monday, November 23 to Friday November 27 is the Thanksgiving break. Faculty should not be holding classes or requiring new work from students. Both faculty and students have worked hard and very much deserve a break! However, if some of your students are missing work, this could be a good time (instead of waiting to the end of the semester) to reach out to them to get them caught up. Consider these tips for avoiding incompletes. A word from you, now, could well help students stay on track.

Final Exams Guidance

As we enter the Thanksgiving break period and faculty begin to think and prepare for the end of semester final exams, I want to remind everyone of the guidance for scheduling final exams for the Fall 2020.

Selective Withdrawal Reminder

As a reminder, as the semester comes to a close, we have extended the selective withdrawal date. Students will be able to selectively drop courses until December 14. A grade of “W” will remain on the student’s transcript, and they will not be eligible for a full refund. Please keep this in mind as you mentor students. For complete information, please visit the Academic Calendar and Important Dates website.  

Early Warning Round 2 Update

Many thanks to all the faculty who participated in the second round of the Early Warning process. The system closed on October 31, 2020, gathering in over 1,100 alerts submitted by faculty (reporting 818 unique at-risk students). Cases were routed to Advising, Learning Centers, Tutoring, and/or the Dean of Students for reasons such as missing assignments, attendance concerns, poor performance on tests or significant assignments, and more. In just the two weeks since closing, 36% of the students have so far connected with the respective offices by phone, email, or virtual meetings to discuss issues or concerns and receive support. My office will provide additional updates once the response period is completed. 

Reminder: Post-Thanksgiving Provost Listening Sessions 

There is still space available to attend one of the Office of the Provost Listening Sessions (the first one is full!) designed for faculty to meet and share thoughts about how best the Summer 2021 and Fall 2021 semesters should be shaped, as well as discussing how the Fall 2020 is going — and indeed anything else on your mind. Mitch Sollenberger, Maureen Linker, Carla Vecchiola, and Laura Drabczyk (no turkeys here!) will be joining me for these sessions. Please click on one of the links below to register for the date of your choice:

Listening Session #2

Monday, November 30 - 2 to 3 pm

Listening Session #3

Wednesday, December 2 - 2 to 3 pm

Wishing you a relaxing and happy Thanksgiving break and a cornucopia of thanks!

Sue

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

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