To Students, Faculty and Staff,
Thank you for all you are doing to cope with the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. I am very proud of the way the campus has rallied in spite of the extreme restrictions we are experiencing. I write today to share plans on how we expect to deliver summer instruction and programs.
We have been monitoring state and federal guidance and seeking the advice of health experts in an effort to plan responsibly, for summer session. I know everyone has been anxious to finalize summer instruction plans. It is difficult to guess what measures will continue to be required this summer to minimize exposure to COVID-19 among members of our community—but even if they are relaxed somewhat, it seems likely that many, such as social distancing and 50-person limits to gatherings will still need to be in place. Both faculty and students have expressed concerns about resuming face-to-face instruction before everyone’s safety can be reasonably assured. Therefore, we have decided, and I write today to announce, that we will deliver all Summer Session 1 2020 courses through remote or online instruction.
We expect that Summer Session 2 courses will also largely be delivered remotely, but if the pandemic abates as the expert modeler’s predict, we may be able to add some experiential/project-based and lab-based course sections to the Session 2 schedule. A group of extremely dedicated people has been working on Summer Session 2 contingency plans, in the event that state and federal restrictions ease in the upcoming months. There may also be an opportunity for selected experiential courses to be scheduled for a shorter period (perhaps 2-4 weeks in a special abbreviated summer term) toward the end of the summer, if in-person instruction becomes possible. We will announce a decision on Summer Session 2 in-person courses on or before June 15. We are also working with multiple groups across campus to determine how we should deliver courses in the Fall 2020 semester. We intend to announce a decision regarding Fall programs by June 15 as well.
Summer Session 1 in-person camps, and other on-campus activities that follow the summer session I schedule are hereby cancelled. If health and safety guidance permit, and only with approval from the appropriate university officers, some in-person activities may be available during Summer Session 2. Recall that we have already cancelled summer study abroad programs and arranged for new student orientation to take place entirely online.
Departments will contact registered students whose current course registration might be affected by the change to online instruction. Units will also post information if additional course offerings in Summer Session 2 become available.
The default grading method for summer courses will revert to the regular (A-F) grading system, unless the Pass-Fail (S/F for graduate courses) or Audit options are available and selected for a specific course per our regular campus grading options.
I’m sure we are all longing to resume our normal academic operations as soon as possible, but I am hopeful that making the decision to transition summer courses to remote instruction now will help instructors and students plan ahead for adopting effective online teaching and learning strategies. Above all, we have an obligation to the health and safety of our community. Thank you again for all you are doing and please stay well.
Mary Ann Rankin
Senior Vice President and Provost