RECAST | COVID-19 update for faculty: instruction, travel and potlucks
Dear faculty colleagues,
With the UW moving to online instruction this coming Monday and EWU taking extra precautions, several faculty have asked about Evergreen’s classroom plans. As of March 6, 2020, no members of the Evergreen community have been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). There have been no recommendations from health authorities to suspend campus operations, and Evergreen campuses remain open. Here is more information about coronavirus prevention at Evergreen.
We need to be prepared for changes to instruction, including teaching online. At next week’s faculty meeting (March 11, 3-5 pm, Purce Hall 7) there will be a presentation by the COVID-19 planning group about maintaining academic continuity during suspended operations and the tools and resources available for expanding our use of online teaching. More in-depth workshops will be offered on March 19, 20, 23, and 24: faculty will be asked to RSVP for these sessions. Stay tuned for details! Many thanks to staff in Academic Computing and Media Services for putting these together.
Some faculty have asked if they can move their classes online immediately. This may be preferable for those at higher health risk from COVID-19. Should you wish to engage in full online instruction, please contact your curriculum dean or program director. We want to ensure we have a working list of classes that have moved online so as to provide you with instructional resources and to ensure we are meeting students’ accessibility needs.
We are following guidance from the CDC regarding approval of study abroad trips. We will cancel any trips to countries with a COVID-19 advisory at level II or higher. We have already cancelled study abroad trips to China and Italy. The situation is evolving rapidly, so there is a chance that remaining trips this quarter to Greece, France and Ireland will be cancelled if the current level I advisory for this countries is changed. We will be advising students about this risk next week and helping them to understand their options should they wish to withdraw from a trip.
Domestic Field Trips
We are reviewing our standards for approving domestic academic field trips. We are currently gathering information about the locations of planned domestic field trips for spring quarter. In the coming weeks we will be asking faculty who are planning domestic field trips during spring quarter to inform us of times and locations. We will contact faculty if there is an advisory from the CDC or the Washington Department of Health regarding recommendations or restrictions on domestic travel.
We will follow the recommendation of the CDC and Washington OFM/HR regarding international and domestic travel. In particular, we will not approve trips to countries with a CDC COVID-19 advisory at level II or higher. Those countries currently include China and Iran (level IV), Italy (level III), and Japan (Level II). We will send updates when advisories for international or domestic travel change.
Potlucks, Brown Bags, and Deans’ Treats
End-of-quarter potlucks are an Evergreen tradition. Our resident faculty virologist, Clarissa Dirks, is urging some caution, given what we know about how the virus is transmitted. Rather than a potluck, consider a brown bag lunch! The deans are intending to offer grab-and-go snacks during evaluation week, rather than our typical breakfast and lunch offerings.
Thanks to all of you—we will continue to be in touch as we navigate this changing landscape.
Jennifer Drake, PhD | Provost and Vice President for Student & Academic Life
3805 Library, The Evergreen State College
2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, Washington 98505
(360) 867-6400 I firstname.lastname@example.org