Spring 2022 instructional updates

This e-mail was sent to instructors on 1/19/22.

Dear Instructional Colleagues,

Following the chancellor’s message yesterday, I’m writing to highlight some additional information and resources specific to instruction this spring, as well as to share some of my own thoughts as I prepare to teach in person again this semester.

As we all continue to work and live amidst the pandemic, I want to stress how important it is that we continue to take care of ourselves, and to support one another and our students. If you, your colleagues or your students are experiencing particular challenges, I encourage you to reach out and find sources of support. For employees, this includes the Employee Assistance Office. For students, the Dean of Students Office is available to provide support.

While finalizing my own course syllabus for the spring, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I can move from reacting to the challenges that will likely arise to proactively shaping my course to adapt to the ongoing reality of COVID-19 (I know that some of you are way ahead of me on that score!). If you haven’t already, I recommend we all:

  • take another look at our attendance policies in anticipation of the potential for more frequent student absences;
  • consider, in advance, how we can make course materials and assignments easily accessible to students who may need to miss class due to quarantine, isolation or other illness;
  • think anew about the kinds of examinations and other assessments that will work best in this and coming semesters.

If you’d like thought-partners for this work, I encourage you to reach out to the Center for Teaching, Learning and Mentoring for professional development programming and one-on-one consulting, or to instructional support professionals in your school or college.

Here are some additional important highlights and resources, which can also be found on our “Spring 2022 Instruction” webpage:

  • Course Modality – Instructors are expected to teach course sections, including lectures, discussions and labs, in the modality indicated in the schedule of classes. View this guidance for situations when an instructor or multiple students in a course will be absent.
  • Face Masks – As announced on January 7, all students, employees and visitors to campus will continue to be required to wear face masks when inside campus buildings through March 1, 2022. Campus will provide every in-person instructor with two, high-efficiency masks per week. Masks will be ordered and distributed by schools, colleges and departments – watch for more details from your unit. You can also find more information about masking policy in these campus FAQs.
  • Employee Town Hall – Join us for a virtual, employee town hall this Friday, January 21, from noon-1pm. I’ll be part of a panel including campus public health experts who will answer questions about the spring semester and discuss how the university plans to continue to navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the event live or view a recording Questions can be submitted in advance. The presentation will be captioned and interpreted.
  • Updated Syllabus Template – If you haven’t already, view the updated course syllabus template for spring 2022 (MS Word and digital versions available).

Thank you for all you’re continuing to do.

John Zumbrunnen 
Hadley Family Professor for Teaching and Learning Excellence
Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning
Professor of Political Science
Faculty Affiliate, Integrated Liberal Studies
Pronouns:  he/him