Update: It seems the deans of the colleges are willing to be much clearer on what will happen in Winter than our president and provost – or maybe their messages don’t get filtered by as many layers of PR flacks. A sample from the CHC: you’re going to be teaching on-line unless you want to opt out and have a damn good reason, in which case we will probably just cancel your class:
“First, we expect that the majority (if not all) of the course offerings in the CHC will be synchronous remote classes. You should plan to have live, remote engagement with your students during your scheduled class times. Asynchronous online teaching is not an option for Honors College courses. Please let us know if you anticipate any challenges in offering live engagement for your remote course.
Second, if you would prefer to have your class scheduled as an in-person class (with the COVID-19 precautions outlined in today’s email from Schill and Phillips) please let us know and we will do our best to accommodate your request. Please be aware that we do not yet have guidance on whether the CHC will be allowed to offer in person classes and that the status of Winter 2021 in-person offerings may change as the COVID-19 situation evolves. If your class REQUIRES in person engagement (i.e., would need to be cancelled rather than offered remotely), please let us know as soon as possible.”
10/13/2020: Surprisingly, today’s email from our President and Provost is a bit unclear about that, just saying that we will be surveyed, but not explaining who has final say. Last spring the administration did 2 surveys for Fall teaching. The first asked about pre-existing conditions and preferences. The second, done after pushback from our faculty union, eliminated the bit about pre-existing conditions and just asked for choices, making clear these would be respected unless a class simply couldn’t be done on-line. I assume the survey for Winter will be of the second type – I don’t know why this email just doesn’t say that.
Also, shouldn’t this email be coming from Francis White, Prof of Anthropology and Chair of the UO Senate’s Academic Council, instead of just from UO’s president and provost?
We are writing to announce that winter term courses at the University of Oregon will continue to be delivered much like they have been for fall term, with a mix of remote, online, and some in-person courses. In-person instruction will focus on some experiential courses, such as labs, studio or creative classes, physical education, and a handful of other courses. All in-person classes will follow strict COVID-19 precautions such as requiring face coverings, reduced density, increased air circulation, and physical distancing.
We made this decision based on our careful monitoring of COVID-19 indicators and prevalence in Lane County and across Oregon. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of the entire UO community remains our top priority. We will continue to take precautions, evaluate the situation, and adapt as necessary in coordination and compliance with guidance from the Oregon Health Authority and appropriate local health authorities. As is the case now, many of our buildings, including residence halls, the Knight Library, the Student Rec Center, Erb Memorial Union, research facilities, and some classroom spaces will be open to the campus community. This map provides information about operational status of all campus buildings.
As with fall, instructors will be surveyed regarding whether their winter term course will be offered in person, remotely, or as a hybrid. We will send that survey to faculty and GEs later this month.
We anticipate the winter term class schedule will be released on November 16. We will continue to offer all-remote options for students. Employees not teaching winter term will continue to perform their work as they have during the fall term, with some faculty members, officers of administration, and classified employees working in person to support research activities and to provide necessary services to our students and the university community, and others working remotely to maintain appropriate density on campus. We encourage supervisors and employees to use this as an opportunity to check in on how the implementation of unit resumption plans, individual work schedules, and other arrangements are going.As we look ahead to spring term, we will continue to monitor the COVID-19 indicators. Our COVID-19 Monitoring and Assessment Program team will continue to ramp up capacity to allow for greater surveillance testing of students, faculty, and staff.
We hope to be able to expand the level of in-person courses and experiences, as it is safe to do so. This can only happen if we all work together to prevent the spread of the virus. This requires diligent adherence to prevention measures such as mask wearing, staying home when sick, physically distancing, and not gathering in groups. It is vitally important to take these precautions on campus and off to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and our community. Thank you for your resilience, perseverance, and commitment to caring for each other and our University of Oregon community.
Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law
Provost and Senior Vice President