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President Bateman’s responds to questions from faculty about fall classes

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to share three things with you quickly.

The first is to say that I have taken the advice of the FRC and formally added Adam Houlihan to the COVID-19 Task Force. Adam joined the Task Force this past week and it is very helpful to have him in our discussions.

Second, I wanted to say a few words about a question in the new FAQ that Carl sent out this morning, in which a question was asked about what is meant by “dual delivery”. Carl (and the Division Heads) correctly replied that it refers to the situation in which there are students who are unable to attend class in a physical classroom (because, for instance, they have a condition that makes them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19). The CDC has published guidelines that students such as these must be offered online access to their courses. We are exploring ways to make sure that faculty in this situation do not have to teach each class meeting/lecture/seminar session more than once. More to the point, we are exploring technologies that would allow for easy transmission of the classroom meetings of a class so that someone who cannot be present can experience the course on video.

Finally, I want to clarify that “dual delivery” does not describe what we did this past semester when we switched from teaching on campus to teaching online. I have heard the situation we experienced this spring described as the “flex model”, meaning that courses can switch back and forth between being taught on campus and online during the semester. The “flex model” is clearly with us until there is a vaccine for COVID-19 (or we achieve herd immunity).  Many epidemiologists are predicting a major second wave of COVID this fall, together with a heavy flu season. Were this to happen in October or November, for instance, we would be forced to send the students home (again) and switch to online instruction (again) to complete the semester. Everything depends on the severity of the pandemic.

Brad



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