Dean's Announcements

The information below is provided by:

Abby Parrill-Baker, Dean | Email: aparrill@memphis.edu

Important Message Regarding Syllabi

From: Thomas J Nenon (email)

To: Chairs and Directors

Date: August 1, 2020

Due to the very recently announced transition to a phased re-opening, we will be asking all faculty, including adjunct and teaching graduate students, to post syllabi in eCourseware by August 10 (previously August 3) for all classes scheduled to begin the week of August 17. By the middle of the coming week, we will be providing statements regarding safety guidelines, DRS accommodations, and students assistance programs that faculty can use in their syllabi. These will help provide concise, consistent, and clear directions to students on these important issues.

If and when conditions in the community, including the availability of testing and timeliness of test results, allow us to open the campus more broadly, faculty should know that we have worked hard to make sure that our campus will be a safe working and learning environment for our faculty, staff and students. We hope that most faculty will choose to return to the classroom and provide the face-to-face instruction that the overwhelming majority of our students have told us they need and value. Faculty members who do intend to return when community conditions permit, should indicate this on the syllabus so that students can plan to be present when we open the campus further. Faculty members who for health or other serious reasons feel that they will not be able to return this semester should inform their chairs or deans and present a plan for quality remote instruction. The faculty members should also inform their students of that decision on the syllabus, and the chair or dean should inform the registrar who will change the room number to REM and be able to assign that room to another class if needed. Of course, we know that things continue to evolve, so many faculty members will want to withhold making a decision until circumstances are clearer and they should indicate that on the syllabus.

Faculty can take advantage of the Instruction Technology Resources that now include recordings of the Faculty Summer Institutes as well as the regular training videos and information about how to seek additional assistance to support effective remote instruction.

Please express to your faculty our sincere appreciation for the enormous time and energy they have invested and continue to invest in providing the very best educational experience we can for our students even in these especially challenging times. Together we will make sure that the University of Memphis continues the outstanding upward trajectory we have achieved over the past few years as we emerge from this serious crisis confronting our community and our country.

Face to Face Courses

From: Dean Abby Parrill-Baker (email)

To: Chairs and Directors

Date: July 31, 2020

Dear Chairs and Directors,

I just spoke with Tom Nenon about the indication in yesterday's (Thurs. July 30) presidential email and faculty town hall that a small number of courses will still meet face to face. Here is the process we will follow to identify those and get them approved:

The new date for D2L to be opened to students is August 10, so we have another week to finalize these cases. Please generate a list of courses/sections in your unit that have specialized learning objectives that are best met in a face-to-face format and which are in spaces that can provide the required social distancing with a VERY brief description of the specialization (ie: laboratory course with hands-on laboratory skills building learning objectives)

Please get your list to me by noon on Wednesday (Aug. 5) so I can compile and send one list to Tom. He intends to approve them, but wants the list centrally known so building access timeframes for students can be identified


CAS Budget Reductions - current working draft

From: Dean Abby Parrill-Baker (email)

To: Chairs and Directors

Date: July 29, 2020

I wanted to share the following information with you in advance of the budget reduction proposal submission to the provost (deadline of August 3). I've tried to outline not only the charge the college was given, but our thought process in deciding what cuts to propose. The budget reductions will not be final until provost review (and potentially questions back to colleges), review by the budget committee, and perhaps finalized enrollments as the current budget reduction target assumes flat enrollment (and we are still 6.7% down compared to the same time last year on credit hours).

Synopsis of the budget reduction charge and current working proposal

Charge to all deans: identify a 4% cut in base budget funds for the current fiscal year

CAS reduction target in dollars: $1,560,400

CAS proposed reductions were identified with following goals

  • No reductions in graduate assistantship funding
  • No layoffs, furloughs, or salary reductions
  • No reductions in departmental operating budgets

CAS proposed reductions

  • 15 open faculty lines ($1,144,663 in salary budget and $343,399 in fringe benefits)
  • 1 open staff line ($28,857 in salary budget and $8,567 in fringe benefits)
  • $34,824 in unallocated instructional funds

Impacts of proposed reductions

  • We anticipate being able to approve no more than 3 T/TT searches for positions to start in Fall 2021 across CAS unless there are additional faculty departures that have not yet been announced (this does include searches from the prior FY that did not result in hires)
  • We anticipate our sole investment in research equipment during the current FY will be the required cost-share on an NSF MRI proposal
  • We anticipate not being able to support any one-time requests that we have not already made commitments to using college funds
  • We expect to still be able to support the Faculty Research Grant and Professional Development Award programs
  • We expect to be able to honor one-time fund commitments already made

I'm sure you'll have questions that I will be happy to try to respond to in our next chair/director check-in on August 5th.

Fall 2020 Room Management Plan

From: James Orr
Date: Monday, July 6, 2020 at 3:35 PM


The Office of Institutional Research (OIR) and the Registrar’s Office developed the OIR COVID-19 Fall Course Planning dashboard that provides information on classroom seating capacity and course enrollment. The email below and associated attachment was sent to the departmental schedulers across campus this afternoon with instructional space planning guidance.

Please forward this email to the appropriate individuals in your school or college. The document provides contact information for questions and/or concerns.

Room Management Plan Document (pdf)


James Orr, Ph.D.
Office of the Provost

Signage, Graphics and Other Return to Campus Needs

From: Kennisha Stowe (CAS Marketing Manager)

Date: July 29, 2020

I hope you are doing well and staying safe. As we prepare to return to campus, our team has worked with Physical Plant and Tiger Copy & Graphics to develop and produce various graphics. Please visit the link below to view all available graphics and direct links to the order form and Physical Plant work order system. There is currently a 2-step process, but it is subject to change as we navigate campus needs.

Some signage has been put up on the exterior of buildings and individual guidelines have been sent to digital screens across campus in order to keep buildings from being cluttered with different graphics.

If you feel that you need something different, please reach out to me and we can discuss. All graphics related to guidelines for returning to campus are subject to approval by Physical Plant, the Executive Vice President for University Relations and the Senior Director for University Operations.

Link to Resources

Media, Public Relations, and Interviews

All requests for interviews with the media should be coordinated with Chuck Gallina (Director of Media and Public Relations).

Chuck Gallina


Additionally, the marketing manager for the College can be contacted for any collateral needs:

Kennisha Stowe


CAS New Chairs/Directors

New Chairs

  • Arleen Hill, Earth Sciences
  • Firouzeh Sabri, Physics and Materials Science
  • Randy Floyd, Psychology

CAS New Faculty List

New Faculty - Tenure Track




Leigh Boardman Asst. Professor Biological Sciences
Michael Brown Asst. Professor Chemistry
Daniel Nascimento Asst. Professor Chemistry
Stephen Diko Asst. Professor City & Regional Planning
Xiang Huang Asst. Professor Computer Science
Christos Papadopoulos Sparks Chair of Excellence Computer Science
William Jackson Asst. Professor Earth Sciences
Mark Mayer Asst. Professor English
Emily Skaja Asst. Professor English
Selina Makana Asst. Professor History
James Bahoh Asst. Professor Philosophy
Shawn Pollard Asst. Professor Physics & Materials Science
Joseph Hafer Asst. Professor Public Administration
Elizabeth Gillespie Asst. Professor Public Administration
Simranjit Khalsa Asst. Professor Sociology
Brianna Butera Asst. Professor World Languages & Literatures

New Faculty - Non Tenure Track




David Clarke Lecturer Biological Sciences, Lambuth
Stephanie Haddad Research Assistant Professor Biological Sciences
Tyler Kynn Instructor History
Mark Williams Instructor Criminology & Criminal Justice
Michael Gurley Instructor Criminology & Criminal Justice
Zuowei Wang Visiting Research Asst. Professor IIS
Donald Morrison Research Assistant Professor IIS
Adam Krug Instructor Judaic Studies
Chao Liu Faudree Assistant Professor Mathematical Sciences
Vinay Kanth Kodipelly Instructor Mathematical Sciences
Sarah Irby Clinical Assistant Professor Psychology
Francisco Salgado Garcia Clinical Assistant Professor Psychology
Jennifer Lastra Instructor, Spanish World Languages & Literatures
Romar Leon Instructor, Spanish World Languages & Literatures

CAS New Postdoctoral Fellows



Ramhara Thapa Biological Sciences
Erin Cunningham CERI
Tanei Ricks Chemistry
Rajashekhar Kanchapally Chemistry
Brian Baaki English
Isabel Machado History
Caitlin Price IIS
Luke Eglington IIS
Kitty Yang Mathematical Sciences
Luis Carlos Garcia Mathematical Sciences
Jose Rodriguez Mathematical Sciences
Amit Patel Physics & Materials Science
Danielle Fenimore Public Safety Institute
Andrea Pirkey School of Social Work