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University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default
Spring 2020

COVID-19

Mar 18, 2020

 

For the latest UVA university-wide updates on the evolving COVID-19 (Coronavirus) information:

University Updates


Arts & Sciences-specific updates related to the COVID-19 situation will be posted chronologically below. Please check here for A&S updates.


MARCH 27, 2020: MESSAGE TO A&S CHAIRS FROM THE ASSOCIATE DEANS

Dear Chairs,

As you know, while many students will opt for the credit/no credit option, grading will still need to be completed. We know that many of you have questions about exams. After careful discussion, the College has decided not to move forward with remote proctoring software.

We understand exams are fundamental to some courses, but we are asking instructors to be flexible with themselves and with their students. Although there are no easy answers, we do have some suggestions.

  • Simplicity. Consider simplifying your assessment to accommodate current circumstances.
  • Consider making your exam a take-home test that assesses student learning, assuming students have access to notes and lectures.
  • Consider several smaller, but more frequent quizzes in place of one large exam. If you need assistance learning how to use the Collab test & quizzes tool, both UVA Collab and A&S Learning Design & Technology can assist you.
  • A&S has recently begun piloting a tool called Gradescope, which is being used by several of our STEM departments. This tool uses artificial intelligence to grade student work, particularly with problem-solving. Anyone interested in using this tool can contact Gail Hunger at gmh6w@virginia.edu.
  • Cheating. While student cheating is always a concern, even in the face-to-face classroom, please remind students that their commitment to the Honor Code is no different now than it always is.

More generally, anyone who would like to discuss student assessment and/or exams specifically can contact the Learning Design & Technology team to schedule a consultation with an instructional designer. https://learningdesign.as.virginia.edu/

Would you please share this information with your faculty?

Thank you,

Dave, Alison, and Christian

MARCH 24, 2020: MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN TO ARTS & SCIENCES FACULTY

Dear Colleagues,

I’ve been thinking of you over the past days as the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic continues, and as our lives become ever more complex and disrupted.

I remember a few distinct moments when I was a child, listening to the radio or watching TV with my family, when news came home to touch our lives. Yesterday was a new-media day uncannily like that, as Wendy and I, our older children now back living with us, and our restless school-age boys pulled up kitchen stools to watch Governor Northam announce the suspension of schooling for the academic year and other changes to our increasingly socially-distanced lives. As we listened to that update many of you were hearing it too, in homes just as hastily re-organized and equally or more deeply stressed. If you were like us, the announcement was right; necessary in what we need to sacrifice to care for each other; expected; and still unsettling.

I’m writing you now for three basic reasons: first, because I want to acknowledge how unsettled we are all feeling; second, because I wish to share with you some steps we are taking to winnow some work-stress out of our collective lives; third, to pass on a few informational updates.

On being unsettled: any wisdom I have is the wisdom many of you have shared with me. Bear with one another. Model flexibility for each other, for our students, and our families. Care for your physical health. Recognize that for some time to come none of us will be unaffected; now is not the time to strive for the unattainable--our perfect best. As a colleague reminded me over the weekend: we need to give each other some grace and cut ourselves some slack. I wholeheartedly agree.

(As we face continued stress and anxiety, please also take advantage of any of the resources the University has which are available to you: a particularly helpful one in this regard is the Faculty and Employee Assistance Program (FEAP): https://uvafeap.com).

On trying to winnow some stress out of our lives: as I mentioned at the faculty meeting on Friday, as this moment gets more stressful and complex—particularly as you are taking on an extraordinary shift to remote teaching, facing unprecedented challenges to your research plans, restructuring your home lives, and, in many cases, amplifying your care-giving responsibilities—we want to help simplify work wherever possible.

With that in mind, until further notice, we are postponing any departmental self-studies for external reviews; postponing chair/department reports to the Dean’s office, and postponing reports on Arts, Humanities, and Social Science awards or reports on awards from the Vice Provost for Research.

In addition, I am asking chairs to suspend the work of all non-essential committees (and fully trusting their judgement in making those calls). We will do the same with Dean’s Office appointed committees (committee chairs, please contact me or one of the Associate Deans for any guidance). We will be asking for departmental hiring plans but will also extend the regular deadline for those by a month (until May 15). We will continue to identify other areas where we can simplify and welcome your suggestions. Please pass those on to your Chairs so that they can share them with me and the Associate Deans.

Equally important, we recognize that the disruptions to our lives have to be taken into account not just by streamlining work but in University policy—particularly for those whose professional future is most vulnerable. As I mentioned in Friday’s faculty meeting, the principle of attending to the most vulnerable guided our actions on defaulting to a credit/non-credit grading system for our students for the remainder of the semester. It should guide our response to the needs of staff and faculty as well.

Accordingly, Provost Magill is working actively with all the Deans to enact revised interim policies on promotion and tenure, third-year reviews, and general faculty reviews (while also addressing how to reconsider course evaluations for this semester). I anticipate that we will hear more from her on these matters soon. At the same time, I will work with the Associate Deans and Chairs to ensure that we are fully attentive to the disruptions everyone is experiencing in our peer review process.

On the informational updates: other than the items I’ve listed above I’d like to remind all of us of the broad range of regularly updated information on:

The University’s website for the latest on how the institution is managing operations impacted by the coronavirus.
The A&S COVID-19 page.

I would also like to draw your attention to a key resource that Rachel Most and the Association Deans have created to assist students. If you receive questions from your students that you’re unsure how to answer, this is a terrific place to refer them:

A&S Student Resources

Finally, for now, a continued word of thanks. What you have done individually and collectively over the past two weeks is extraordinary, and I am profoundly grateful. Our students, whose education is continuing because of what you are doing, are poised to thrive under your care. The communities in which we live, and of which we are all a part, are better off because of what you are doing to put our shared health and well-being at the forefront of our concerns. Thank you

Ian Baucom
Dean of Arts & Sciences

MARCH 20, 2020: MESSAGE TO A&S FACULTY AND GRADUATE STUDENTS FROM ED BARNABY

Dear A&S Faculty and Graduate Students,

 

As you will have seen in the memo from the Provost which was recently distributed, the Graduate School will align with the general practice being adopted across the University and shift all Spring 2020 courses currently graded on the standard “A” through “F” scale to a “Credit” or ”No Credit” basis in recognition of the extraordinary circumstances that have disrupted the second half of the semester.

Please note the following:

  • The lowest satisfactory grade for obtaining credit in a graduate-level course (i.e., 5000 and above) is B-.  This semester, when a student receives a grade of B- or better in a given course, the grade of “Credit” will be recorded on the transcript and that course can be counted towards the graded credit requirement for the student’s degree program.  When a student receives a grade of C+ or below in a given course, the grade of “No Credit” will be recorded on the transcript and that course will not fulfill requirements for the student’s degree.  This applies to undergraduate students who are enrolled in graduate-level courses.  The University intends to publish an explanatory note on transcripts explaining this use of the “Credit”/“No Credit” basis for the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Faculty will continue to assess the academic performance of students in their courses for the remainder of the semester according to the established standards for the course and calculate a final grade for each student according to the standard “A” through “F” scale.  This grade will serve as the basis of awarding “Credit” or “No Credit” to each student in the course as outlined above.  This grade will also be shared with the student and the student’s DGS at the conclusion of the semester along with any other qualitative feedback that is typically provided in order to ensure that students continue to receive substantive mentoring regarding their academic progress and standing.
  • Students who want a standard lettered grade recorded on their transcripts for one or more of their courses will be able to select that grading scale on a per course basis through the final day of classes.  UREG is currently developing the interface that will allow students to make this selection and will communicate the details of that process during the coming weeks.
  • Grades of “Credit” and “No Credit” do not factor in the calculation of a student’s GPA.  Students who need to increase their cumulative GPA through their performance in courses this semester in order to restore their academic standing or graduate may need to request a standard lettered grade in one or more of their courses in order to achieve that goal and should discuss this situation with their DGS.
  • Courses that are presently graded on a “Satisfactory” or “Unsatisfactory” basis will remain graded on that scale

Faculty should discuss questions or concerns in this regard with their chairs.  Graduate students should discuss questions or concerns in this regard with their instructors, academic advisor and DGS as appropriate.

Sincerely,

Edward Barnaby
Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Programs

MARCH 19, 2020: A MESSAGE TO A&S CHAIRS FROM THE ASSOCIATE DEANS

Dear Chairs,

Please share the following message with all individuals who teach in your department.
Thanks-

--Alison, Christian, Dave


As part of the university’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our highest priority and expectation is that everyone will maintain a commitment to the health and safety of all. This requires that everyone make careful and informed decisions about when and for what reasons they will spend time on grounds. Based on the questions that have arisen in the last 24 hours, let me clarify the following expectations:

Faculty and TA offices may not be used for research activities.
Teaching and course preparation are the only activities that may occur in faculty/TA offices after Friday, March 20 and these activities may only occur if your situation meets one of the following criteria:

  • You have no internet at home.
  • Your bandwidth is insufficient to teach your class. Please see guidance below on how to conduct a bandwidth assessment. You may also request equipment/support to improve access to stable internet.
  • You lack the necessary computer equipment to teach your class. Prior to making this determination, please note that you may take your office computer equipment home. You may also request additional equipment by contacting your LSP.
  • Your virtual teaching plan depends upon the use of lab equipment, materials, or data only accessible on grounds.
  • Support needs: Your virtual teaching plan depends upon the in personcollaboration and support of staff or other technical expertise. This will be the case in only rare circumstances.

It is our expectation that everyone will honor the ongoing commitment to each other’s safety and the specific university guidance to minimize or eliminate, as much as possible, your time on grounds.

If the above criteria do not apply to you, you are expected to teach synchronously or asynchronously off grounds. Between now and tomorrow, we ask that you make arrangements to pick up the materials you will need to complete your teaching and research off grounds.

This moment has asked a great deal of you, our students, and our community.  Thank you for your continued dedication.

--Alison Levine, Christian McMillen, Dave Hill


ASSESSING YOUR BANDWIDTH

SELF TEST your internet connection bandwidth – Download and upload speeds of 1.5 -  3 Mbps are preferable for a Zoom meeting/classroom experience

If your results are lower than 1.5 Mbps, for improved performance, consider the following options:

  • Consider options for another off grounds location
  • Use your cellular phone as a hotspot if your data plan supports this. Note: Some Internet/cable providers are announcing changes to Internet access, including the ability to access WiFi hotspots for free. Additionally, some providers are willing to increase personal Internet packages for educators and students, at no-cost or low-cost options.
  • If you need to request a mobile hotspot, please contact your departmental LSP or email ascs@virginia.edu. Based on the available equipment, we will assess requests as they come in and work to reply within 24-72 hours.

If you have technical questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk or your departmental LSP.

MARCH 17, 2020: MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN TO ARTS & SCIENCES FACULTY AND STAFF REGARDING SHIFT TO MODIFIED OPERATIONS

Dear Arts & Sciences Faculty and Staff,

As you have seen from the University-wide email President Ryan sent moments ago, UVA is further modifying operations in our collective efforts to respond to the health and safety concerns raised by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) situation.

For our Arts & Sciences community, this means we have to make thoughtful adjustments to our plans to be ready for virtual teaching and ongoing research as well as other key operating decisions.

I will be working over the coming days in concert with the associate deans, who in turn will be working with their chairs and department managers to identify individuals who need to continue to continue to report to work on-Grounds over the coming time.

As President Ryan has indicated, we need to be ready by the end of the day Friday to have a full plan, going forward, on who will be working remotely and who will be working on Grounds.

In the interim, for tomorrow, Wednesday, March 18 and for Thursday, March 19:

  • If you have already been working remotely please continue to do so.
  • If you have continued working on-Grounds over the past week you may come in if your chair/supervisor approves. Please check with them in the morning.

After Friday, for most of us, working remotely will be the new normal for the foreseeable future, but again, please keep an eye on your email for status updates from me or your chair/immediate supervisor on whether we are asking you to continue working on-Grounds from next week onward.

The associate deans will be contacting Chairs first thing in the morning to ask for their help and guidance in partnership with Department Managers to build that longer-term plan.

For all faculty teaching this spring and in the midst of transitioning your courses to an online format: as the President’s message indicates, if your plan for the online version of your class requires you to teach on-Grounds you should absolutely plan on continuing to do so. We will likely ask you to switch your non-teaching time to off-Grounds. But if you need to conduct your on-line teaching, prepare/record/conduct/etc. any on-line aspects of your class on Grounds, that is an essential activity and you should pursue it on site where we can best support you. Again, please be in contact with your Chairs to ensure that they are aware of those needs.

I know that these updates are coming after regular business hours and that many of you will have left essential materials in your offices or workplaces. You are welcome to come in between now and Friday morning to pick up what you need, though in the spirit of the President’s announcement I would ask that you make that pick-up time brief.

I know that these rapidly changing circumstances also seriously affect our ability to pursue many other aspects of our normal work, including departmental service and committee work. I’ve consulted with the Steering Committee and our Associate Deans about this, and I can assure you I do not expect that work can continue as normal, and no-one will be penalized in their annual peer-evaluation, performance review process, third-year reviews or promotion and tenure reviews.

Our situation has changed, and I’m committed to ensuring that we are just and fair to you as we focus on a smaller number of essential things. I will follow up soon to share a fuller sense of what I would recommend we set aside over the weeks ahead as we recommit to those essential matters and to our mutual care for our common well-being. I would also greatly welcome your suggestions. Please continue to raise any questions, concerns, or creative ideas you have with your chairs and supervisors so that they can pass those on to me and our team in the Dean’s Office.

I am deeply grateful for your dedication and your patience in these challenging times.

With thanks and appreciation,

Ian

Ian Baucom
Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts and Sciences
University of Virginia

MARCH 14, 2020: MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN TO ARTS & SCIENCES GRADUATE AND UNDERGRADIUATE STUDENTS

Dear Students,

As you have seen from the University announcements this week, UVA is suspending classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18 in order to prepare for the University’s transition to virtual teaching as we respond to the health and safety concerns raised by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

Caring for our students—your health and safety—is our number one priority. With that in mind, we needed to act to help mitigate this situation for the University community, the local Charlottesville area, the Commonwealth of Virginia, and beyond. We are equally resolved to ensuring that your education will continue and that your courses will be completed even in these challenging times. I and all our faculty share that deep commitment to you and to ensuring that the transition is as smooth as possible. I’m writing now to provide you with some important updates on our planning and to ask for your assistance as we prepare for classes to resume online on Thursday.

Over the coming days, please: 

Regularly monitor your UVA email
Check the University’s coronavirus website for updates: https://www.virginia.edu/coronavirus
Login to the online resources for all of your classes (e.g. Collab, Blackboard, Canvas) for updates from your faculty

For graduate students who are enrolled in courses, your professors will be updating assignments, schedules, grading information and more in order to deliver their course content virtually. You should expect to hear from your professors by early next week (if you haven’t already) with an overview of how their courses will be conducted online.  Graduate students who are appointed as TAs will also be participating in this migration to online content from an instructor standpoint, and you will receive separate communication in that regard.

Zoom video and audio conferencing will be the primary platform our faculty will be using for live (synchronous) and/or recorded (asynchronous) lectures. To help you be successful using Zoom for learning, we recommend the following resources:

Tips for attending Zoom-based classes virtually:

https://uvacollab.screenstepslive.com/s/help/m/integrations/l/1214666-tips-for-attending-class-in-zoom

Test your ability to join a Zoom meeting:

https://zoom.us/test

The University will have online resources ready for you first thing Monday morning, March 16th, to help you with your transition to online learning.  These resources will include:      

Self-service technical support to help you be prepared for this transition.
The ability to contact someone if you run into difficulties.
Strategies to create an environment at home that will be helpful for online learning.

For making this transition, you will need to make sure you have access to a computer and an internet connection.  If obtaining this access imposes a financial hardship for you, the website will have information about a technology support fund that is available.

The schedule for fall 2020 course selection will continue as planned, but all student advising appointments will be held via phone, Skype, Zoom, or Facetime. You should hear from your faculty advisor next week about how they plan to meet with you.

Thank you for your thoughtfulness, resilience, and care for one another during these challenging times. President Ryan has called on us to bring our intelligence, compassion, and kindness together as we see this moment through. We are committed to answering that call as we dedicate our energy, imagination, and resolve to advancing your education and your well-being.

With my best wishes,

Ian

Ian Baucom
Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts and Sciences
University of Virginia

MARCH 12, 2020: MESSAGE TO GRADUATE STUDENTS FROM DINKO POCANIC AND ED BARNABY

Dear Arts & Sciences Graduate Student,

I write to follow up on President Ryan’s recent message (https://news.virginia.edu/content/universitymoves- all-courses-online-urges-students-return-home#march-11 ) regarding the steps that the University is taking to protect the health of our community and slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Virginia and the nation, while also ensuring the continuity of the University’s teaching and research mission.

As master’s and doctoral degree candidates, your stake in the University’s decisions entails a unique combination of concerns that might otherwise be experienced separately by undergraduate students, faculty members and staff. The dean’s office recognizes your complex relationship to this evolving situation and is committed to supporting your well-being as students, just as we will continue to rely on your intelligence and creativity as instructors and researchers in order to sustain the University through this challenging time.

The call in President Ryan’s message for students to return home includes the fact – particularly relevant to graduate students – that your home may well, in fact, be Charlottesville. Please understand that all graduate students are not being instructed to leave Charlottesville and return to, for example, their family’s hometown. While the University is asking that those of you who can make alternate housing arrangements do so, many of you have ongoing academic and personal commitments that depend on your continued presence here.  (Further guidance on this matter for students living in On-Grounds housing is available here: https://vpsa.virginia.edu/communications/2020/message-faculty-graduate-and-professionalstudents-living-grounds-exception. Guidance for those living in Range Housing is available here: https://vpsa.virginia.edu/communications/2020/message-undergraduate-students-living-grounds-housingor-graduate-students

Along with all other students at the University, you will be affected by the decision to offer courses online for the remainder of the semester. You will receive further guidance in this regard from your individual instructors during the coming week.

Your training as graduate students, however, often extends far beyond taking classes – you are also preparing for comprehensive examinations, formulating and pursuing long-term research agendas, and defending theses and dissertations. The Graduate School will work with your faculty to enable these activities to proceed with as little disruption as possible. At this time, students whose research takes place in the University’s labs will have continued access to those facilities in consultation with their faculty advisors. For those among you whose academic progress is subject to travel constraints, the inaccessibility of research subjects or sites, and the widespread cancellation of professional activities, please be in touch with your faculty advisors to revise your academic goals for the coming months to identify and prioritize work that can be done now. Please also begin to think through with your advisors any long-term effects that such resequencing may have on your academic goals.

Many of you are leading discussion and lab sections, teaching your own courses, and serving as graders. If you are appointed as a graduate instructor, please seek guidance from your faculty mentor or department chair regarding the pedagogical and technological resources that the dean’s office is making available to faculty to assist you in moving courses to an online format. The letter we have sent to faculty outlining the resources available is attached. If you are a teaching assistant, please consult with the primary instructor of your course about similar planning efforts regarding lectures and discussion sections and how this will be communicated to students in the course. Graders should also consult with their faculty supervisors, as the timing and format of assignments may shift in light of the move to online delivery.

Graduate students with appointments as research assistants should be in touch with their faculty supervisors to learn of any change to the activities of their research group. At this time labs remain open, and faculty PIs are working with the University’s Office of the Vice President for Research to ensure the continuity of research. The VPR’s Office has drafted advice on how to plan for research continuity in the lab sciences: https://research.virginia.edu/ResearchContinuity. Further advice on research continuity in the social sciences, arts, and humanities will be forthcoming shortly.

If you hold an hourly wage administrative appointment, please consult with your supervisor regarding the continued operations of your office. Supervisors will determine whether any tasks may be completed remotely. It is also possible that some appointments will need to be scaled back due to the curtailment of activity on Grounds for the remainder of the semester.

There will be many other details to address in the coming weeks while we all work through these significant adjustments together. As always, please confer with your advisor, director of graduate studies and departmental staff regarding questions or concerns that you may have. They will have the latest information available from the dean’s office or can obtain further information most efficiently from the dean’s office on your behalf.

My colleagues and I care deeply about the well-being and continued success of all of our graduate students. Please know that we are working actively with University leadership and your departments to address the disruptions that you are facing and to ensure that we are doing everything possible to support you during this complex time.

Sincerely,

Dinko and Ed

MARCH 11, 2020: MESSAGE TO A&S CHAIRS FROM THE ASSOCIATE DEANS

Dear Arts and Sciences chairs,

As you have seen from the University-wide email earlier today, UVA is suspending classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18 to prepare for the University’s transition to a virtual teaching environment due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation.

We want to assure you that colleagues across the University, and more specifically, the College of Arts & Sciences, have been working to help ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for all students and faculty. In light of this extraordinary global health situation, we ask for your patience as we work to keep the UVA academic enterprise up to the high standards that you expect.

We write to follow up on the messages you recently received from President Ryan. Our goal is to work with you on readiness for taking all undergraduate and graduate courses online by next Thursday. Here’s what we would like to ask of each chair:

If possible, please be available for a video call or meeting with your AD in the next couple of days. Please look over the information below.

Guidelines for moving all courses to virtual instruction: https://teachingcontinuity.virginia.edu/

By Thursday, March 19, all instructors should prepare a memo for their undergraduate and graduate students with clear instructions for how the remainder of the semester will be organized. This memo should address the ways in which their plan conforms to the following general guidelines.

Holding classes:

Instructors should plan to make a decision whether to hold their classes synchronously and/or asynchronously. Zoom is the tool the University is recommending and supporting; see https://teachingcontinuity.virginia.edu/ for details. The synchronous/asynchronous decision is up to the instructor; once made, it should be clearly communicated to students in the initial memo when and how to connect.

If the course is held synchronously, instructors should inform students that the class sessions will be recorded. The audio and/or video files should be posted in the course Collab site, along with any visual material used during the session.

Assessing participation: if you choose the asynchronous option, but routinely hold discussions during lecture and evaluate students on the quality of participation, please consider alternatives such as the “Forums” feature on Collab.

Assignments/assessment:

Instructors should finish out their class as normally as possible given evolving circumstances. Please keep in mind:

Instructors should assume that 100% of their course material needs to be completed. Assignments and activities that cannot be completed given the new circumstances should be replaced with alternate assignments.

When developing alternate assignments, please consider the following:

  • Alternate assignments should, to the extent possible, assess the same learning outcomes/goals as the previously planned activity.
  • Student disability/accessibility issues may be affected differently if assignment delivery/submission media are changed.
  • Completed assignments from the first half of the semester should not be reweighted.

Discussion Sections:

Teaching assistants should plan to hold their discussion sections synchronously via Zoom at the regularly scheduled time unless they work out an alternate plan with the instructor of record (such as taking advantage of the “Forum” feature in Collab).

If the discussion sections are held synchronously, instructors should inform students that the class sessions will be recorded. The audio and/or video files should be posted in the course Collab site, along with any visual material used during the session.

Please be in clear communication with students about the plans for scheduling and assessment of discussion sections.

Non-lecture courses:

For the following types of classes, the ADs will be in touch with chairs to discuss plans. Solutions must not include in-person instruction/tutorials.

  • labs
  • studio classes
  • performance classes
  • language classes
  • community engagement classes
  • College Fellows engagements
  • Other classes involving experiential learning

Should you have any questions, please contact your divisional Associate Dean.

Thank you,

John, Dave, Keisha, Alison, and Christian

MARCH 11, 2020: MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN TO ARTS & SCIENCES FACULTY AND STAFF FOLLOWING UVA’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF VIRTUAL COURSE DELIVERY

Dear Colleagues,

As you have seen from the University-wide email President Ryan sent earlier today, UVA is suspending classes from Monday, March 16 through Wednesday, March 18 in order to prepare for the University’s transition to virtual teaching as we respond to the health and safety concerns raised by the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19 ).

While I understand this may be challenging to implement quickly, with your help I am confident virtual classes can begin for students on Thursday, March 19. To that end, we wish to assist you with all the guidance and support we can to make the transition to virtual teaching as seamless as possible.

The most effective solution to deliver your course virtually is Zoom (also referred to as Online Meetings in Collab), and we recommend that you conduct your virtual teaching sessions from either your office (preferred) or your classroom on Grounds. This ensures reliable broadband internet access and allows for readily accessible technical support. Zoom will support both lectures and seminar-style teaching.

To be ready for virtual teaching by March 19, I am writing to ask that within the next 24 hours you:

Create a Collab site for your course (if you have not already done so)

Collab Information

Ensure you can access Zoom, take a moment to become familiar with its basic functionality, and give it a test run

Setting up Zoom in your Collab course site
General information on Zoom  

Review UVA’s new Teaching Continuity website

For technical assistance on Collab or Zoom, you may contact collab-support@virginia.edu.

The A&S Learning Design & Technology team led by Judy Giering can also assist you with these tools as well as other solutions you may want to explore. A&S faculty can follow this link to book a 30-minute A&S Teaching Continuity Support session with a specialist on Judy’s team at New Cabell Hall, Gilmer Hall, or virtually through Zoom.

Information about A&S Teaching Continuity Support sessions and more is posted on their website:https://learningdesign.as.virginia.edu/. You can also contact them at any time at learningdesign@virginia.edu. I have asked Judy to request that members of her team be available to support faculty over the coming weekend (in addition to regular business days) and she will be doing everything she can to provide that added support.

As we take these steps to prepare, I recognize there are classes which will be more complex to move to a virtual environment (e.g. visual and performing arts, languages, labs). I’ve asked our Associate Deans (Alison Levine, Christian McMillen, Keisha John, and Dave Hill) to be working with Department Chairs and Faculty in these areas to collectively consider and design alternatives that will allow you to meet your pedagogical goals and address the needs of our students. While we are moving all classes (including these) away from an in-person format we want to work as imaginatively and creatively together as possible.

We will continue to follow up with you actively over the coming days and weeks and want to hear any questions or suggestions you have. We’ll also be following up with our students (undergraduate and graduate) to provide them with more information and to respond to their questions. If you hear from your students, as I imagine you will, please re-assure them of our unwavering commitment to support them and of our resolve to ensure that their education will continue and their courses be completed even in these challenging times.

Let me close with a personal note. It’s an extraordinary honor to be your colleague and to serve as your Dean. These coming weeks will demand a lot of us. You have my deepest gratitude and ceaseless admiration that I can ask for this help—that we can ask this of each other—knowing, as President Ryan put it, that we have the imagination, compassion, and commitment to our shared vocation as scholars and teachers to see this moment through.

With my sincerest thanks,

Ian

Ian Baucom
Buckner W. Clay Dean of Arts & Sciences
University of Virginia

RESOURCES

Faculty Support for Virtual Teaching

Teaching Continuity

A&S Learning Design and Technology

Email


ITS information

If you have technical questions or concerns, please contact the ITS Help Desk or your departmental LSP.

Priority phone support will be given via 924-HELP for faculty and students who are in an online class or attempting to connect to one that is starting soon. If you are in an online class or trying to join one, please use 434-924-HELP.

Chat/Email/Online


Student Information

A&S Undergraduate Website


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