Chair and Director Survey Results

Thank you for thoughtfully participating in the college survey. Here are the final results. 

Question 1

Describe a situation between a student and faculty member (related to the current remote/online teaching) that caused frustration on both sides. What was your role in facilitating a resolve? What (if anything) would you do differently?

Student felt that the instructor was putting forth less effort to teach remotely. I discussed the issues with the student and the instructor and I was able to help the student understand that the instructor was putting forth quite a bit of effort to continue providing course content to the class.
Students are not always online when the class is given. I tried to encourage them to participate in class discussions, by offering extra credit. In future I would give the students more assignments; particularly presentations
The one problem I found was common to all online communication in that tone is lost when communicating by email. We had a student misinterpret a professor's feedback on how to do an assignment as the professor discriminating against him and I believe this would not have been as likely had the two spoken in person about the assignment.
During the Spring shutdown, I had a student who lived in a rural area and had inconsistent access to internet (spring storms caused her to lose power for almost two weeks) as well as an elementary-age child home from school. This student didn't receive course updates, didn't respond to course prompts or individual emails, etc. This student was frustrated with the course's due dates, which they were simply incapable of hitting because of circumstances. The student eventually got in touch with me, and we established a new, personalized deadline schedule for the rest of the semester. It required a different set of work benchmarks than the other students in the class, but it was still (in my opinion) consistent with the expectations of the class.
One way I intervened in this kind of situation since March was in facilitating transfer of credits from study abroad and the Credit/No Credit option. Seeing that students were receiving mixed messages about what they could do, I contacted the appropriate people in CAS advising and study abroad to push for clarity. My effort set off a domino effect in different offices and, ultimately, students were able to choose C/NC for transfer credits.
A faculty member would not respond to a student’s need to take a quiz after the due date. The faculty member was frustrated that students were not able to follow the rules set out before COVID issues and the student was frustrated that the faculty member would not be more understanding. I mainly talked to the student, but also mentioned the need to faculty through a departmental e-mail to be more understanding to individual student situations while remaining fair to all students. I am not sure that I could have done much differently, but trying to obtain an uniform degree of understanding by faculty would be more desirable.
One student reported difficulty with pure asynchronous delivery of one of our summer courses. The student didn't have issues with the faculty member. I asked the faculty to consider adding some synchronous components to the class and the student has not complained since. I will not do anything different. A student recently complained that the MSW program is not yet fully online. We explained that this is a long process and that we will be prepared by Spring 2021 for that model.
I am not sure I would have done anything differently. The faculty had been pushing back some on putting the entire program online until the COVID-19 crisis happened. Do not and can not interact and see students face to face as the on ground teaching environment . Solve some of these problems by using the Zoom and emails to remain in contact. I am teaching the online course this summer. I prefer on ground teaching so instructors and students can interact directly.
Actually, we did not have a difficult situation that I had to resolve. We were worried about some students not doing their work, but they had already done poorly in the first half of the semester under conventional conditions.
A faculty member was teaching synchronously and when a student had issues with reliable wifi during an exam, the professor was less than understanding of the student's issue. Faculty member was encouraged to take access issues into consideration and think of alternative assignments for students in such situations. At some point we as a department will have to discuss this to prevent future issues.

Question 2

Name some examples of POSITIVE OUTCOMES either from faculty members or personal experience which were totally unanticipated during the COVID-19 crisis.

All of my faculty took the time to seriously increase their knowledge and abilities with online tools for instruction.

Those that did participate had a more intimate experience because everyone was online at the same time.

1) More opportunity to train to improve online courses 2) Ability to consider and design hybrid courses Students and faculty indicated the change was not as difficult as anticipated.

The change offered an opportunity to use new teaching methods and new technologies

The crisis pushed us to think about how to be more inclusive in the future. Many of our students have children and may have trouble attending events on campus so we want to consider hosting events virtually or recording on campus events to provide more students access even when we are able to host events on campus again.

One of the most positive outcomes I can think of is from a student. She's an adult learner who got ill with Covid and she reached out to me to say that she would be happy to talk with any students who might get the virus so she could help them with it. Based on the unknowns of it, her fears as she went through it, and her loss of concentration to work on her classes, she felt she could be of help.

I was able to do a lot of remote 1-1 mentoring with students which was nice and in my case I think we learned how to appreciate at each other in a different way than a typical semester - a lot of grace going both directions and a sense that we were figuring this out together.

The vast majority of our instructors received outstanding SETEs. It was clear that most went above and beyond to be present for their students. One colleague even mailed handwritten cards to each of their students, and offered open 'hangout' office hours.

The extremely positive SETEs and comments, sometimes in emails, from students about how their instructors really went the extra mile and did everything to help their students in Spring 20, when we went online. Students were very grateful.

One positive was how faculty in our department were so helpful to one another in addressing the challenges of remote teaching. We had several junior and relatively senior faculty members assist faculty needing training or background in remote teaching tools. The comradery was quite impressive and re-assuring. Students expressed their appreciation for engagement and support from faculty . Recognizing faculty commitment, care, and creativity.

Faculty members are more willing to develop online courses now that they are more familiar with this delivery method.

Some of the faculty that I didn't think would do well in the shift to online teaching rose to the challenge.

Faculty and students have to work harder to overcome this challenge due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

I was surprised by how well the transition to remote teaching went. Two/Thirds of our faculty had taught online at some point, and everyone had been using eCourseware in some form for their classes anyway. I was impressed by how dedicated my colleagues were trying to make the best out of a really bad situation.

Faculty are actually more receptive to the idea that we could offer an entire degree program online. There has been tremendous resistance to such a notion in the past.

Question 3

Were there special types of training or materials you personally needed to be able to fully teach/administer online?

I was pleasantly surprised to discover that it was not as difficult to managed as I had anticipated.

No. The CTL/UM3D has been extremely helpful.

Continued training and updating similar to what has been provided.

One of the challenges is that not everyone has the same adobe access to work with documents. I had to purchase a personal subscription to better work with documents being sent to me electronically.

The training required for instructors, I think, is best practices on engaging students online, which would include developing lesson plans and skills assessments that are specifically built for distance learning. This was impossible for the Spring, but it should be mandatory for the Fall.

One concrete example would be training materials targeted at encouraging peer interaction in an online setting. Students who do not specifically choose virtual learning often feel isolated and siloed.

The first big thing was access to VPN, though that has been resolved. I personally have a lot of experience with D2L and online teaching so that switch wasn't difficult. It was most important for me to have unlimited access to Zoom so I could host regular advising meetings. I also immediately bought a new laptop since my was aging and I was concerned about what would happen if it stopped working effectively. I’ve had different connectivity issues over the summer, which have each been resolved but it brought home how difficult it is for many of our students to who don’t have laptops/computers/wifi.

I did a lot of research into how Zoom worked (which we're all experts at now, but before 4 months ago i had not used it) and studied best practices for synchronous remote meetings/classes to adapt for my course. Learning more about EMS system during Summer Institute has been helpful, but quite stressful. At some point I had to stop because working on the assignments were taking up all of my research and writing time.

I did the Foundations course in the summer and we had English Dept faculty do workshops in the Spring to get everybody up to speed. There are a lot of different programs to use with eCourseware and figuring out how to use them all (effectively) is a lot of work. We mainly needed assistance initially with becoming fully aware of Zoom and BlueJeans capabilities as well as improvement in skills with e-courseware. Other instructional technology training may be useful in the future.

A GA or TA will be very helpful as well as go through the Summer Institute - Foundation: Online teaching training.

I self-taught myself the necessary Zoom functions (and still keep learning new things). Other than that, there were no issues.

The summer training that has made me more comfortable with all aspects of ecourseware has been tremendously beneficial. Still getting used to Zoom, which is a huge asset for us.

Question 4

What were special equipment/training needs for faculty members to support enriched remote/online teaching?

an deep understanding of eCourseware capabilities.

The special equipment required was a reliable WiFi system- some of the students kept loosing their connection.

None, but I will purchase a laptop for the AAAS program's adjunct instructor.

Equipment - advanced cameras and microphones with training on how to use. Additional training on setting up Zoom conferences

Most of my faculty had already taught online and the summer workshops were helpful for those who want additional training. But, I feel too much falls on faculty about making things ADA accessible and the university should provide more support in making materials accessible not just telling faculty to do it.

The Summer Institute was great in many ways. It wasn't originally designed for this purpose, which did leave a mismatch in how much it was about best teaching practices instead of about how to implement teaching practices in an online format. I'm happy it was available but it was a lot of work that didn't necessarily confront the main need to translate a classroom style to an online format. That said, the tech support folks (I worked with Barrett Schwarz) was fantastic.

More training in particular technologies - e.g. recording video lectures.

This varied, based on faculty exposure to teaching M50.

The same. Most people needed help in teaching online, but also in teaching remotely. It's not a great method even in the best of times, so people really need to know how to maximize their effectiveness.

One issue that arose was the need to develop virtual desktops in the Johnson Hall TAF lab. IT facilitated this, but several faculty and staff needed to assist to make it work.

Equipment for streaming lectures and software for editing video. Training for better communication with students in online setting.

We have not been buying laptops for faculty. It has historically been more expensive than replacing the CPUs. We haven't had an adequate budget for technology. We are going to need to move to buying laptops with ports and moving away from using the towers.

Adequate computer with camera, internet access, GA or TA to support the online teaching.

Our online coordinator did a great job helping those faculty members not familiar with online teaching. I also made sure to assign technologically sophisticated GAs to faculty that I expected to have a harder time with technology issues.

Apart from training that we did as a department during spring break, I cannot think of anything.

Question 5

What individual adjustments have you been forced to make during the rush to move classes online that will help you be a better leader?

I had to leave out some of the more "fun" anecdotes etc, in my online format that usually is included in face to face.

To allocate hours for the variables for online teaching. I have learned to be even more patient, encouraging, realistic and innovative with this change.

Patience Challenged to learn and use new teaching methods and technologies

I believe my communication improved. Since we did not have meetings in person, I had to better document and share information and I believe that has made me a better leader.

Online teaching required an enormous amount of front loaded assessment rubrics in writing that I usually provide in person as part of the in-person interaction. I think this forced me to articulate some of the implicit expectations of the course that helped level the playing field between students with different backgrounds.

I was forced in March to reformulate my semester schedule to accommodate the dramatic increase in meetings, incoming information, and student needs. Having a semester plan in place prior to the outbreak made it easier to see where and how to adjust. Helping students understand how they can adjust plans and expectations, especially for those who had to return from study abroad has been important. I believe that if I had the opportunity to lead faculty, I would provide some guidance for faculty on what our departmental response and expectations would be and I would provide assistance for carrying those out in an effort to be more proactive than reactive.

Flexibility and thoughtful problem solving.

Making sure to reach out to everyone from faculty to adjuncts to grad students as much as possible, rather than relying on seeing people in the halls or on regularly scheduled faculty meetings.

I have not taught fully online so I cannot address, but a critical step is to become familiar with the M50 protocols. We had a visitor from the online program discuss this with faculty a couple of years ago and then one of our faculty members developed an online GENED lab course and shared the process with the faculty as he progressed.

I asked faculty who have taught online courses to share their experience with other faculty members and also IT support staff to join our faculty to answer their questions. Effective leaders need to know how to best make use of the resources available to them.

I have spent more time meeting with students in Zoom meetings and arranging Zoom conversations with students. I think I should have been holding more student forums before this. I will try to hold more in the future.

Work harder to face the changes and challenges.

Most difficult to figure out was the frequency and modality of communication with faculty and students. With students it stayed with email for the rest of the spring, but I think we will add some Zoom get-togethers with our students in the fall. In particular, with racial justice being a major issue during the next year, we want to make sure that we are more visibly with them. In terms of my interaction with our struggled with how much I should burden them with meetings. So we started with a lot of e-mail traffic and then added Zoom meetings to the mix.

I have always been comfortable with remote communication (email, Skype), so I did not see a huge leap into working completely online. Probably working more with Zoom will help me as a chair.

Question 6

In your opinion, who has adapted better to the full remote learning/teaching? Students or Faculty? And why?

faculty, they are more in control of the situation.

Probable students because they are more adept at technology.

I am uncertain.

This was dependent upon previous experience with on-line learning and teaching. Those with previous experience had an easier time.

I honestly do not know. Both have adapted as far as I am aware.

I don't think anyone has adapted well yet. It's been completely haphazard. We do have the opportunity to make sure that Fall goes better if we systematically train both Faculty and students in best practices for online teaching and learning.

The university has spent ten years investing in the infrastructure for online education, so we should be well-positioned to make this a selling point of UM's plans for the Fall.

Students have made the adjustment very well. They have some very clear goals in mind to get their credits and not stumble in degree progress. They have two main concerns about remote learning--not staying motivated and having an instructor who is all but absent online. Although many faculty are trying to learn how to teach online, many are dragging their feet and continue to disparage online teaching, pitching as clearly inferior, which not only does a disservice to UM in the short term but also is a disservice to our online program. We could instead be using this opportunity to tout our online capabilities through, for example, a marketing campaign. I think it's a shame that we aren't doing so.

Both and neither. There is uneveness to adaptation on both sides. Both faculty and many students have competing demands on their time in a remote environment - particularly because children and other family members are also learning/working remotely. Remote teaching is more intense for both students and faculty.

I do not think we can compare, as there was variation within both groups. Some students fared better than others, as did some faculty. It seemed particularly challenging for faculty with small children to manage the remote transition.

I think both groups did the best they could. My students were wonderful, but some of them (good students who always showed up for class) just drifted away once we went online. And the faculty worked really hard, but too many of us relied on Zoom meetings when there are many better online tools available.

Generally, both have done a good job. Remote teaching was not too difficult for most faculty, but it meant extra preparation time and more e-mail or virtual interactions. Students generally did fine, but a proportion of the students struggled both with technology access and discipline to complete the assignments and examinations in a timely manner. Many students struggled with computing and internet resources during the spring semester. Students also seemed to rely on class meetings to structure their approach to learning and to substitute for regularly engaging with course materials outside of class. The CR/NC option was critical to student success and limiting failure.

Maybe faculty. Years of PhD training and work experience have made them good at learning new things fast. Students (especially undergraduate students) have a harder time to adapt because online learning requires much more self-discipline which is lacking in some of our students.

I think faculty have adapted better. Faculty are more enthusiastic now about remote learning that many of our students are.

Faculty, because the available resources.

Faculty adapted very well, and I did not hear about any major problems. Most students also adapted quite well. In most cases, failure had little to do with the fact that the classes went remote, but there were signs of trouble before spring break.

I think faculty have had the larger learning curve in using the technology and working electronically. In most cases I think they have adapted better, but it is more important to consider who, in comparing the faculty, have adapted better. Some faculty were already teaching at least partially online, or relied on ecourseware a lot, whereas other faculty who had done neither struggled.

Question 7

How can you use the above scenarios and resolves to better the response to the UNKNOWNS of Fall 2020?

Many of my faculty enrolled in the workshops for online instruction this summer and are better prepared to offer online instruction.

Create flexible office hours.

I think having multiple plans, flexibility, patience, and compassion will enable us to prepare for the Fall 2020s UNKNOWNS.

Emphasis on patience and flexibilty

The unknowns come more from administrative levels and so my frustration has been the addition of bureaucratic layers that have substantially slowed down important processes (ie., getting faculty appointed). It feels as if there is less trust in chairs to do their jobs and more administrative mandates.

Make sure that the expectations for learning and assessments are stated clearly from the beginning, and use the university's resources for online education to help make the student's experience as robust as possible.

Doing what I suggested back in May, which is to flip the script and assume that we will be remote in the fall and move on-ground as permitted. By starting from that premise, then faculty spend the summer preparing their classes to be online and students are taught how to perform well online. This isn't wasted effort. There are many online tools in the D2L platform that work quite effectively for on-ground courses. Also, it provides assurances that students who need to be remote no matter the on-ground situation will be able to learn effectively. If a student gets ill they will have the means to catch up. And if an instructor/faculty becomes ill, it will be much easier to have someone take over the course (or potentially have the ill instructor--depending on severity of symptoms--continue. Personally, my class will be ready to go fully online.

By planning for mostly online classes, so that should we be forced into fully remote learning, we won't have to simply rely on Zoom.

Many faculty in my department have taken the summer institute to learn more about remote and online teaching. Most faculty are prepared to move from on-ground to remote or online fairly easily, but we will see what challenges we face. Undoubtedly, there are as many unknown unknowns and there are known unknowns.

Our faculty are willing and capable of responding to the unknowns. I need to find and make use of any available resources and work with our faculty to handle the unknowns. Our students need more help from our faculty and advisors in this time of uncertainty.

Advanced notice and ample time to be prepared of the changes.

It is good that we are working toward having a lot of materials online so that a possible switch to full remote instruction would be easy to carry out. Under the current scenario most of our classes will have to be hybrid - so there is already a lot of online content in place. I think I am personally better positioned having learned some coping strategies to deal with my own workload and the needs of my colleagues.

Need to be in constant communication with ALL instructional faculty to make sure everyone is ready for whatever scenario we encounter.

Question 8

Feedback suggests that remote advising sessions are taking longer meaning fewer students can be advised in a day. What accommodations can chairs/directors make to ensure all students have access to advising in a timely fashion (particularly for faculty advisors with numerous other responsibilities).

Reiterate that advising needs to be carefully scheduled and as regimented as possible.

If the advising sessions are taking longer there needs to be a way to make them go faster...perhaps better preparation for the sessions by the students.

Chairs/Directors may continue to support faculty advisors with course releases, newer equipment (if needed), and words of encouragement.

Priority must be given to advising in order to better serve students and to keep them engaged and satisfied. Group advising sessions

We are a small department so have not encountered this as an issue. But, some possibilities would be to host group advising sessions on particular topics. Large departments could host open zoom meetings on advising topics and assist larger groups that way.

Perhaps chairs/advisors could send a pre-meeting survey to students about their plans for the Fall/Spring semesters.

My concern, though, is that the most vulnerable students will be the least able to effectively navigate this process, so we need to find ways to reach out to and support students who have lost jobs, are caring for family members, are trying to juggle full-time at-home kids and school work, etc.

Advising is a huge issue. I'm very concerned there will be a kind of advising crisis in August. Advisors are hugely important in getting/keeping students enrolled and they don't have sufficient knowledge from the top to manage all of the variations to student lives and schedules that are already presenting themselves. Students are also worried or experiencing hardship and are reaching out to advisors at higher levels. The longer things remain uncertain, the more difficult is the balancing act for advisors. Some of the plans and emails that are going out end with telling students to reach out to their advisors, but many advisors are being left to wing it, which is less than ideal. A concerted effort to provide advisors with clearer directives and a list of Covid-specific resources designed for advising would be useful. Advising has been considerably more time consuming since March and hasn't really abated over the summer. I'm concerned there will be a crush in August.

I consulted with our advisors and they noted this is not the experience in anthropology. Advising times have remained the same, or even reduced through virtual sessions. Email advising takes longer and so our advisors are trying to encourage all students to meet by phone or zoom.

We have a full time professional advisor, who does a fantastic job. She really worked hard at being efficient an duding whatever medium students preferred (Zoom, FaceTime, phone, etc). A well organized schedule (with some flexibility) and letting know students the parameters helps everything go better.

This is critical for retention. Chairs need to emphasize the importance of addressing student needs, undergraduate especially, above other responsibilities. Cohort meetings to address common questions with individual follow-ups focused on individual circumstances could support the sense of community for students while allowing reducing repetition in the individual meetings.

Maybe group advising sessions can be used for students who don't have difficult issues to resolve.

The advisors have not told me this. I think they are using a single Zoom link and the waiting room so they can let students in one at a time.

Re-distribute and spread the responsibilities among faculty members in the department.

We just added a second advisor. That should mitigate the workload and help speed up the process.

We have started thinking about what advising materials we have that need to be on our website.

Question 9

If departments are unable to have the traditional department open houses in the fall how do departments intend to engage students?

We plan to have remote seminars that include undergraduates, including our annual "Professor on Parade" where all of the faculty give a 3 minute explanation of their teaching and research

Have the traditional open houses as Zoom meetings.

ZOOM Hangouts and "walk-by" outdoor tables with materials/promotional items are possible. This may draw in the students who live on campus, and those attending hybrid courses. Maybe the different units in the college can schedule a day on the alumni mall/fountain area to host a quick "walk-by" event.

Virtual sessions at various times throughout the semester.

We are thinking about a virtual event. It will likely not be well attended since there won't be food offered, but I was thinking about doing a raffle for some bookstore or starbucks gift cards that we could then mail to students as an enticement to come. But, I would pay for those out of my own pocket.

Our social media accounts have, collectively, hundreds of friends and followers. We'll use these platforms to regularly share stories, highlight achievements, etc. that pertain to our mission.

The International and Global Studies program will continue something we started in the spring, which was a Virtual Picnic for students (and affiliated faculty) to join at any point during an hour-long lunch where folks could meet with me, Robert, and Rob to just talk about what's going on. We are also planning to host a kind of teach-in event that will address BLM in global perspective and invite students to share their thoughts and concerns.

We are currently planning a virtual open house, hosted in Zoom.

We will have larger Zoom meetings, but also small groups, and even individual meeting with students and faculty.

We’re still working this out – sessions linking the earth sciences disciplines and skills to current issues to highlight the work earth scientists are doing will likely be at the core of our outreach efforts.

We can organize online social events.

We could do an online one. My experience has been that students are just as likely to attend an online session. We can also infuse the information into the sophomore level courses.

Distant learning through online teaching, Zoom, emails, and phone calls.

We have talked about a virtual open house. Actually, we will try to do several virtual events with our students throughout the fall.

We started discussing that during our last department Zoom meeting. We are looking at having guest lecturers do Zoom presentations, organizing remote movie nights, Zoom conversation tables, etc.

Question 10

Do you have any thoughts/ideas/suggestions on how you as a chair/director will manage the abbreviated academic calendar?

There will have to be more assignment for the students to do independently. This will encourage more research and critical thinking.

Need to emphasize quality teaching

There is still confusion about the extended time until grades are due so the university needs to provide better messaging on that. I have seen faculty discuss dropping writing assignments because of the abbreviate calendar not realizing such assignments can be due after Thanksgiving and still be included.

We're reducing the number of events and engagement opportunities, and we're pausing most non-essential committee/planning work because of the added responsibilities that online/virtual teaching will place on faculty and graduate students.

It will be most challenging because everything is condensed without a real break (after a summer that did not allow for the usual time/travel for resting and recuperating). This will be especially difficult to have advising condensed, add in some programming around BLM, and manage students in need of more guidance and reassurance than normal.

So, the plan is to be mindful of these extra demands and build the semester plan to accommodate them ahead of time. I'm advocating for a "less can be more" approach to acknowledge that these are difficult times--in one way or another--for most people.

Since there are no breaks during the semester - I am going to encourage faculty and staff to take time for self care; schedule some time each week as non-work time (esp. for faculty who often work on weekends). Recognize that people's energy will be spread thin in the fall - as teaching prep and instructional time will increased - so less other things can get done. So, setting priorities and making decisions about what needs to get done in a unit vs. what would be nice to accomplish is going to be crucial. In terms of projects with external partners - being realistic about what can happen and managing expectations will be crucial.

Faculty are feeling very anxious about the fall, the uncertainly of being on campus, and the abbreviated calendar. As such, we are going to pass on holding a fall retreat (typically we host a 1/2 day meeting) and instead hold a few key meeting across the semester. I am developing a list of departments initiatives to share with faculty and we will determine what must be handled this Fall, what can wait until the Spring, and what can be considered in the next academic year.

We need to find the right mix of programming to engage our students, alumni and community partners, while not overburdening faculty, students and partners.

I also hope to create small faculty clusters within our department so we everyone has a 'team' to turn to for support if someone needs support to fill in for their courses.

I don't see many problems with it.

As a new chair I have concerns but lack suggestions.

I don't have a concern about the calendar.

A faculty did express a concern to me that there's less instructional time.

Work as hard as we can to follow the changed abbreviated academic calendar.

I learned through the spring and summer how important prioritization is and how to work with calendar reminders. many of my colleagues are, of course, also stressed out, but there are some that will step up and take over certain tasks that I would normally take on.

I don't see any great issue with this. I've already communicated with everyone in the department to make them aware, and have not had any issues come up.

Question 11

About which mediation efforts (social distancing, masks, temperature, etc.) are you most concerned?

All of the above ... proper use of masks is critical.
Social distancing - as much as possible -w/ various techniques used
Social distancing and masks
All of the above. I am probably most concerned about instructors adhering to and enforcing mediation efforts.
I do not believe it will be possible to social distance during entry and exit from classrooms. I believe hallways are too narrow to allow distancing and there will be bottlenecks where people will be forced in close contact. Recent news says fever is not a reliable indicator anyway so I am not sure temperature checks will be of any help. I also do not believe there will be enough time between classes for people to even clean their own spaces.
Instructors wearing masks while trying to teach. I'm also worried that vulnerable students are going to be disproportionately effected by this. We need to have very clear and flexible policies for students when things go awry, as they most certainly will. This should cover everything from attendance, to make-up assignments, to participation grades, to group work. If we expect our students to come to class during a pandemic, we need to be prepared for the inevitable problems that will arise and be understanding when they do.
I'm concerned that it really isn't safe at all to return to classrooms, even with the mediation efforts, and that we are setting ourselves up to be a new hotspot. Of the kinds of issues you mention above, I'm most concerned about social distancing. It will be very difficult to maintain appropriate distances even at reduced numbers of people on campus, especially in buildings and stairwells between classes. Relatedly, I wonder how students will really react to being in classrooms with masks, distanced, facing forward and unable to see facial expressions. Many of them will be trying to learn while feeling nervous about getting sick. Is this really the experience they're asking for? They want normalcy and since that won't be normal, I wonder how many will continue to show up for on-ground class after the first week or two.
Cleaning and disinfecting public spaces in buildings, esp. bathrooms, testing, temperature, masks
Enforcing norms of social distancing and masks. Even within medical settings I see people wearing masks incorrectly (not covering their noses) or taking them off to speak to one another. I feel sure we are going to face this problem in our classrooms.
Social distancing. It seems difficult to control in hallways, stairwells, and bathrooms. Also, students outside the classroom, but still on campus, I imagine, will find it difficult to social distance, which could result in lots of new cases. Although trying to lead a class while speaking through a mask will be its own challenge.
Individuals who refuse to wear a face covering - this is a significant concern for faculty and teaching assistants.
I am not aware of the ones around temperature. All of the others that have been discussed sound like good plans to me.
Required and enforced all students to wear masks may be a challenge.
I most concerned about air circulation in class rooms. The air conditioning systems in many buildings are outdated.
Certainly how mask wearing can and will be enforced. The guidelines so far from the administration have been weak in this regard.

Question 12

About which physical modifications of office/classroom settings are you most concerned?

distancing/removing storing desks etc.

The distancing between students and between professors and class. Perhaps plastic shields for professors.

Air quality


Grad classes which are seminar based are being pushed into large rooms to be held face to face when they can be handled more effectively through online means and should be made remote. Departments should be allowed to choose whether grad classes go remote without any approval process since grad students are more self-motivated and well equipped to do classes online and discussion through zoom.

I'm concerned about the logistics of meeting with students 1/4 of the time because of capacity. I'm also worried about what happens when someone in a cohort tests positive, or has a cohabitant test positive. Will the cohort continue to meet? Will there be mandatory testing of the cohort and instructor? Will the instructor still meet with other cohorts even if they've been exposed and haven't been tested?

I'm most concerned about air quality in the classrooms of old buildings with very old and poor HVAC systems that have longstanding problems. Opening windows can help but is less than ideal on very hot or cold days and adds considerable ambient noise that will further impede communicating through sound-dampening masks.

Sufficient technology in classrooms to accommodate students who cannot attend f-2-f classes.

The spacing of desks is not a concern but faculty are concerned about air flow and being in a confined space for extended periods of time.

Hallways/traffic flow - our first floor has high traffic volume given the lab learning spaces and large classroom spaces.

Right now our lab is not large enough for the scheduled lab class. We are looking at using the adjacent room (which is a research lab) at the same time.

My only concern is that social work faculty often share space in McCord because many don't have office on the main campus. Shared spaces will be more difficult.

Number of students enrolled in each class for the classroom size (capacity) can hold.

Graduate seminars would be very difficult to do in the larger spaces with masks and plexiglass dividers.

Cleaning between classes, probably.

Question 13

And finally, please share a favorite quote, poem, saying or even a song that has inspired you in your role as chair/faculty during this uncertain time.

Tom Petty song - "I Won't Back Down"

"The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow" from the musical Little Orphan Annie

"I know that nothing is destructible; things merely change forms." --Zora Neale Hurston, Dust Tracks on a Road

"All shall be well, all shall be well.... For there is a force of Love moving through the universe that holds us fast and will never let us go." (Dame Julian of Norwich)

For me, the uncertainty of the time has been outweighed by the uncertainty of surgery and managing my health. I am not sure this song will mean as much to others, but the song "The Story" by Brandi Carlisle captures how I feel about my husband and our relationship staying strong through this tough time.

I've been inspired by one old classic, one tried and true for me, and one newer mantra: Don't sweat the small stuff. Excellence is in the process. We're all in this together!

Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

"Je ne peux pas continuer, je vais continuer." -Samuel Beckett (often translated as: "I can't go on. I'll go on.")

"Land of Confusion" by Genesis

Now did you read the news today
They say the dangers gone away
But I can see the fires still alight
There burning into the night.

There's too many men
Too many people
Making too many problems
And not much love to go round
Just tell me why
This is a land of confusion.

This is the world we live in
And these are the hands we're given
Use them and lets start trying
To make it a place worth living in.

Ooh superman where are you now
When everything's gone wrong somehow
The men of steel, the men of power
Are losing control by the hour.

This is the time
This is the place
Where we look for the future
And there's not much love to go round
Tell me why, this is a land of confusion.

As Confucius saying 2500 years ago and President George Busy quoted that, as a teachers we should - "No Child leaves behind".

"Planning for the fall feels like nailing jello into a wall."

"Laissez-moi danser" (Italo-Egyptian singer Dalida, who lived mainly in France). There may be a lot going on in the world, so sometimes you just have to take a break and dance.