UO goes all-remote for all spring.

Obviously this and next fall will be devastating to UO. And obviously there will be huge amounts of cash flowing from the feds to the states, and UO will get a share of it. How big a share? Well that will depend on lobbying – and the Trustees ridiculous decision to take $12M from some clueless donor for a bigly new Autzen video screen is not going to make it easier to show how needy we are.

From Pres Schill:

Dear University of Oregon community,

I want to share the latest information about the University of Oregon’s response to the coronavirus outbreak that is accelerating in Oregon and nationally. It is important for me to emphasize that every decision we make as an institution is grounded in the following principles:

    • We must prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, faculty, and the broader community.
    • We must do everything humanly and institutionally possible to further the education of our students and make it possible for them to graduate from the UO in a timely fashion.

Together, we can help slow the spread of COVID-19, maintain our students’ path to on-time graduation, and support the UO’s vital mission of teaching, research, and service.

With that in mind, the UO will provide remote education for the entire spring term, which begins March 30. Previously, we had announced that we would operate remotely for the first three weeks of the term. An executive order from Oregon’s governor yesterday mandated remote educational delivery at public universities through at least April 28. The UO is electing—like many public universities in Oregon and our national peer institutions—to deliver the entire term remotely. We will return to normal campus operations and face-to-face instruction as quickly as is feasible, but making the decision now to deliver the spring term remotely is designed to provide certainty to our campus as faculty structure their courses for the term, and enable our students to more effectively manage their lives and plan during uncertain times.

I know many students will likely choose to take classes from home, which is good and entirely appropriate. UO residence halls and residential dining will remain open during spring term. Campus currently remains open for students, faculty, and staff and those with official business, though it is closed to the general public. For the upcoming term, it will not be possible to maintain all of our normal operations given the restrictions necessitated by the COVID-19 response, but we will prioritize services and operations that support students, faculty, and our core educational mission. We know things may be a bit bumpy as we start out the term. Stick with us though; I promise we will work through any challenges and we will get through this together.

We have received many questions about tuition rates as we move to a remote instructional model. We cannot discount tuition. We will not, however, charge students for housing and dining if they are not living in the residence halls. Students will be able to cancel their UO residence hall contract without penalty, and University Housing will be reaching out to residents via email with more information. We are also examining the feasibility of reducing administratively-controlled fees for services that we are unable to provide during this time. Also to help students with financial challenges, we will not assess interest or billing fees in April, May, or June on overdue student billing accounts.

Provost Patrick Phillips and I are dedicated to ensuring an excellent, quality education at the UO during this crisis and for the long term, and that means managing the UO’s finances responsibly so that we remain a viable institution and have the resources we need when we’re able to return to normal operations. The costs of providing remote education to students are just as high—if not higher—than traditional, in-person classes. We will continue to employ faculty, graduate students, advisors, and other staff on the payroll to teach and support our students. And we need to provide additional technology and support for them to be effective. But even more important, we remain committed to delivering the same education without missing a beat, which is incredibly important to keep students on track for timely graduation.

As I and others have said many times, due to the constantly evolving facts and conditions surrounding COVID-19, I regret that we cannot answer every one of your questions today. I do make you this promise: As soon as decisions are made we will communicate them honestly and transparently. For the latest information—including a list of adjusted or suspended operations on campus—please visit uoregon.edu/coronavirus and read our FAQs. Questions, concerns, or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays).

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging time. The UO community is resilient, especially when we need to face challenges. We will get through this together and come out on the other side even stronger.

Michael H. Schill
President and Professor of Law

Chief Resilience Officer: UO closes to “general public”

Dear students, faculty, staff and community members,

The coronavirus outbreak has created unprecedented challenges for the University of Oregon, our state, and the nation. As we work to respond to this quickly-changing situation, our first priority is the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. As part of this focus on the UO community, the university will be shifting to a modified operational status.

Campuses in Eugene, Portland, and Charleston are open only for students, faculty, staff, and those with official business on campus. Effective immediately, the university’s buildings and facilities are closed to the general public. All members of the UO community who remain on campus are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control. Plans are being developed to address access for those with official business, including deliveries and vendors. At a minimum, signage will be placed on doors with the phone number to contact UOPD for assistance with access.

Thank you for your patience, cooperation, and understanding during this challenging time. Please know this is a fluid situation, and our operational status could change with little notice. For the latest information – including a list of adjusted or suspended operations on campus – please visit https://uoregon.edu/coronavirus. Questions, concerns or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays).

Thank You,
André Le Duc
Chief Resilience Officer
Safety and Risk Services

Video from UO profs in Italy on coronavirus

3/15/2020: Interviewed by Andrew Theen for the Oregonian on 3/13:

3/13/2020: 

The March 10th email to UO from Prof’s Graboyes, Burlando, and Redaelli (below the break) was prescient, and they’ve been quoted in the WSJ etc. Here is their update from Belluno in northern Italy. They note:

In the Italian town of Vo, which was an early hotspot for coronavirus 95% of the city’s residents were tested. Among the 3% who were positive for the disease, the vast majority had no symptoms. Had those people continued going around town, attending to their normal work and personal life activities, each positive person would have caused between 2-3 new people to become infected.

Hence the social distancing – the government has even postponed the Giro D’Italia. Click here for video from 1940 of Coppi v. Bartali. Fausto wins! UO’s coronavirus resource page is here.

New Letter:

March 12, 2020

We are three University of Oregon professors currently based in Northern Italy where the COVID-19 outbreak is raging. We are writing to alert residents of our home state to the public health emergency that is unfolding here in Italy and to raise the alarm about the limited window of time Oregonians have to prepare. We have 4 suggestions for how Oregonians should be preparing and responding–primarily through practicing rigorous social distancing and widespread closures of schools and activities–and call on all citizens to demand more widespread testing of suspected coronavirus cases.

Continue reading

Student Senator Brian Sun concerned students may drop UO’s ersatz remote classes, take real on-line classes at other univs.

Posted with permission:

Dear Senate President Skowron, Provost Philips and the Academic Council,
     My name is Brian Sun. I am a student senator on the University Senate. I hope everyone is staying healthy at this crazy time.
     We had lots of meaningful conversation regarding the continuity of this university in the next term during yesterday’s senate meeting. I am glad to hear that everyone is trying to put students at the center of this conversation.
     However, we are seeing many senators raising concerns about the ability of faculty to teach their course remotely. It is a totally valid point that the new remote teaching will create obstacles for instructors to teach.
     But by saying it is “acceptable” to teach in a lower quality is not something we as students want. We need to keep in mind that students pay a tremendous amount of tuition to go to this university to get a quality education. Even it is remote teaching, there are still expectation from students for the quality of classes.
     If our courses are all moved to remote teaching during the entire spring term, why would students take a low quality “online” class here, instead to take online classes at a professional online education institution at a lower cost?
     I appreciate the hard work of everyone in the academic council and Office of the Provost and all faculties who is working hard to provided students with quality education here. Please take into consideration of student expectations in the changing operation.
Sincerely,
Brian Sun
ASUO Senate Seat 18

Pres Schill on coronavirus response: no sports spectating, meetings restricted, no in-person finals, first 3-weeks next term all online

Provost Phillips is talking about this to the Senate now. Very knowledgeable and sensible. Answering many many questions, earning every penny of his full-priced provost pay. Emphasizes UO is not closing, but practicing “social distancing”. I expect UO’s response plan below will reassure a lot of people who have already been taking similar steps themselves.

I shudder to think how Scott Coltrane, who couldn’t even deal with a GTFF strike, would have handled something of this magnitude. Gottfredson on the other hand was a natural at social distancing from day one.

Also, we’re not supposed to say we’re “teaching online”. We’re “teaching remotely”. Online is apparently now a bad word. Does anyone know why?

5:00 In the Senate, Pedro Garcia-Caro has proposed extending the session and suspending the rules to introduce an emergency resolution:

Resolution on the academic response to the pandemic Coronavirus impacting classes in spring 2020

Sponsors: Kristen Yarris (Global Health and International Studies) Pedro García-Caro (Spanish and Latin American Studies), Eileen Otis (Sociology)

WHEREAS campuses across the region and around the US, classes are being moved from physical, in person classes to online format classes to provide necessary social distancing to avoid contagion

WHEREAS the UO administration has announced that spring classes will be offered as online classes throughout the beginning and perhaps the whole of the spring term

WHEREAS academic continuity is guaranteed by the current provisions of our legislation but the extent of this crisis impacts the quality of academic instruction for an extended and indefinite period of time

The SENATE has agreed on the following RESOLUTION

    1. INSTRUCTORS OF RECORD will be allowed to use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online
    2. We acknowledge that online education is never the same quality or value as what we do in classroom/in person teaching. Not setting an expectation that we will be great or even good at teaching online in the spring, with so little transition time (doing just ok as a form of resistance)
    3. online content produced for these classes will remain faculty intellectual property, and we ask the administration and departments not to assume otherwise
    4. We recommend having week-long inservice, online meetings and trainings to prepare to teach online before actually doing so,
    5. We acknowledge the impact that all this will have not just on professional-class workers, but on the service workers around us, who clean and maintain and otherwise keep our universities running,
    6. We will expect institutional financial support for the technology and infrastructure needed to do online teaching (e.g. site licenses for Zoom and other online platforms),
    7. During this time of temporary modification to our teaching practice, we recognize and seek to mitigate the impact of the virus not just on our universities and students, but on the public health systems that surround us.

UAUO Pres Sinclair: Believes motion covers matters related to working conditions, which the faculty union can negotiate with the Admin, by law. This motion is unnecessary.

Prov Phillips: We will continue to consider something along these lines.

More debate ensues. Senate barely has a quorum, including online senators. Sorry, I mean remote senators.

Me, online: We already have a process for what this motion covers, through the Academic Council and the Faculty Union. Why would we do this as special legislation?
 It’s called a Resolution, but it reads as binding legislation.

Someone moves to amend to replace “online” w/ “remote”. Seriously. Passes.

I argue remotely against the motion, on the grounds we have a policy that gives part of this authority to the AC, a CBA that gives some to the Union, and that both reserve the rest for the faculty to make their own decisions under academic freedom.

Frances White makes the same argument in RL, and with more emphatic language.

Garcia-Caro praises the Pres and Provost for their response so far, still supports the motion.

Koopman: The admin has said that all instructors can already do what’s in A: use two weeks at the start of spring term with no instruction as preparation time to move their classes online. Where is it written?

Skowron: Clarification will come.

5:30 PM: Vote called, motion fails.

Brief video recap of discussion here.

Message from Pres Schill to campus:

Dear University of Oregon community,

For some time now, the UO has been monitoring the outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and preparing contingency plans as the virus spreads across the state of Oregon, our nation and the world. At this time, there are still no known cases of COVID-19 in Lane County, but with spring break quickly approaching, we believe it is time to enact active measures to increase social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and protect students, faculty, staff and the broader community. The UO will take the following steps:

    • Effective Sunday, March 15, the UO will cancel nonessential events and gatherings of more than 50 people. For information and guidance about events or to seek a waiver, please use this web form. In addition, attendance at all UO home athletic events will be restricted primarily to participating student-athletes, essential personnel and credentialed media. The UO Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will communicate directly with ticket-holders about refunds.
    • No finals exams will be offered in-person for winter term. Provost Patrick Phillips will send guidance shortly to all UO instructors, who will be asked to quickly provide clear direction to students about how they intend to complete courses and assign final grades. Students will receive additional information in the coming days.
    • For the first three weeks of the spring term – which starts March 30 – the UO will deliver all classes remotely. We will continue to assess and monitor the situation, and provide further guidance about plans for the rest of the term no later than April 10.
    • Effective Sunday, March 15, all nonessential university travel, both domestic and international, is suspended indefinitely. For more information and guidance on UO travel or to seek a travel waiver, email travelsafe@uoregon.edu.
    • We strongly encourage students, faculty, and staff to consider not traveling during spring break. We know that may not be possible, but everyone should be aware of travel warnings, quarantine restrictions and other guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help inform personal travel choices.
    • The UO campus remains open and operating under a normal schedule, including business functions, offices hours and other support operations. Classified employees and officers of administration should continue to perform their normal functions. Employees should review the frequently asked questions and work with their supervisors to learn more about social distancing techniques and flex work options.
    • Residence halls will stay open over spring break and beyond, and limited dining will be available during spring break.

We are continuing to work in close coordination with the Oregon Health Authority. Many of the steps we are taking will be disruptive to our institution and to many of you individually. We do not take these actions lightly, and even though the UO campus will remain open, we recognize and appreciate that many of these measures will have a significant impact on our operations. We also do not have answers to all the questions that will come from these decisions. This continues to be a very fluid situation, and we have an incredible team that is working tirelessly to implement these policies and to protect the safety and wellbeing of campus. Please be patient and know we are moving as fast as we can under some extraordinary and unprecedented challenges.

Students, faculty and staff will receive additional instructions in the coming days about the specific impact of these changes on their activities. We will communicate as quickly as we can with updated information, so pay close attention to your university email and frequently monitor the UO’s coronavirus website, which includes a list of frequently asked questions and extensive links to outside health agencies. We will continue to utilize the website as the best place to get the latest information about the UO’s response to COVID-19.

Questions, concerns or suggestions should continue to be directed to this web form or to a new coronavirus information line at 541-346-7007 (the line will be staffed from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on weekdays). The UO’s Incident Management Team (IMT) – which has grown to more than 150 people working – is monitoring and responding to queries submitted online and by phone. Depending on the volume of questions, they may or may not be able to directly respond to every submission, but the information will be used to inform changes to campus operations, update FAQs or to draft additional communications to campus audiences to address emerging issues.

If you are not feeling well, stay home and follow the health support instructions listed on the UO’s coronavirus website. We know one of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is through good hygiene, so please follow the CDC’s guidance for hand washing and other prevention recommendations.This is a tough time, to be sure, and I wish the steps we are taking were not necessary. Some of these disruptions to our schedules and routines may create stress or anxiety. Take care of yourself and demonstrate grace to each other in the face of these challenges. Now is the time for the UO community to band together to ensure that, even in the face of adversity, we are dedicated to supporting students and committed to delivering on our mission of teaching, research, and service.Thank you for all that you are doing on behalf of the UO.

Sincerely, Michael H. Schill, President and Professor of Law

Oregon Supreme Court, wary of UO Law profs and students, cancels annual visit to Law School

A generally reliable source passes on this snippet from an email apparently sent to all UO Law students:

I regret to inform you that Oregon Law, in consultation with the Oregon Supreme Court, has changed its plan for tomorrow’s scheduled oral arguments.

In light of the large number of attendees and the planned participation of individuals in high-risk populations, we have made the difficult decision to modify certain aspects of the event.  The Court will hear arguments in Salem, while students will watch live via webcast (http://oregoncourts.mediasite.com/mediasite/Catalog/catalogs/default) or later via recording.  Following each argument, the justices will answer questions submitted in advance by Oregon Law students.  In addition, out of an abundance of caution, the Lane County Bar Association luncheon that was to follow oral arguments has been cancelled.

We look forward to hosting the Supreme Court and the local bar on campus again next year.

Duck branding contract lets IMG cut payments if we cancel games

Pretty prescient, from the 2016 contract. IMG pays the Ducks a fee for the right to sell advertisements at games, license Puddles and the O for apparel, etc.  Note that this language also lets them off the hook for just about anything else imaginable, including, as I read it, a change to the NCAA cartel’s restrictions on player’s ability to sell their name, image, and likeness:

America’s courseware publishers eager to seize corona-opportunity

This is the first one to make it through my spam filters. Please post any you get in the comments.

Dear Professor Harbaugh,

I’m reaching out to you about the on-going COVID-19 outbreak and the ways that McGraw-Hill can help.

Recently, several schools have decided to suspend or are considering suspending face-to-face classes to help mitigate the potential risk for students and faculty. We know this potential change comes at a difficult time, during the middle of the term, and could be extremely disruptive to your class. That’s why McGraw-Hill is here to support you and your students. It is my utmost priority to ensure you and your students have access to the materials you need to be successful, while making sure everyone stays healthy and safe. Whether it be helping you to:

Explore online assignments in replacement for in-class activities
Learn how to assign online textbook readings
Learn how to create virtual lab activities and assessments
Find additional resources or online materials

McGraw-Hill is here to assist. Let me know how I can help you.

Thank you,

Academic Council, Senate Pres, Provost on Academic Continuity Plan for coronavirus

Dear University of Oregon Faculty,

As you are probably aware, the coronavirus situation is changing quickly as COVID-19 spreads and there is a lot of concern about how it may potentially disrupt our campus. The UO has fully activated the Incident Management Team (IMT), which is reviewing and updating the UO’s pandemic plan and developing strategies to ensure that our university community remains as safe and prepared as possible. To assist this process, the UO took the step over the last few days of formally declaring an emergency, which activates the Academic Council who, in coordination with the Office of the Provost, determines an appropriate academic continuity plan to manage any disruption in academic activities.

Before we address academic continuity planning, we want to remind everyone that information about the UO’s response to COVID-19 is available at a new coronavirus website that was launched this week. In addition, anyone with questions, concerns, or recommendations related to the UO’s response and preparation should use this web form. The queries will go to the IMT, which will ensure they are routed to the appropriate people on campus, and the responses may be used to update the FAQs on the coronavirus website. IMT staff try to respond as quickly as they can, and the team is doing its best to get the latest information out quickly to those who need it.

All UO facilities – including the Eugene and Portland campuses – are currently open and operating normally. A formal campus closure and interruption of academic activity would come at the direction of the Oregon Health Authority, working in conjunction with local health authorities and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a message sent by the provost earlier this week, it was mentioned that it remains important for us all to work with faculty and students who are worried about missing classes due to concerns about the coronavirus. We want to provide every opportunity for coursework to be completed in a fair and reasonable way.

To that end, the UO’s Academic Council met on Wednesday, March 4, and approved a series of expectations and guidelines to help faculty prepare for issues that might arise in the event of an emergency that causes instructors or students to miss classes. The council approved the following specific expectations for instructors.

During any term, including the current winter term, the Academic Council:

  • Reminds instructors to work with their department head or supervisor as they normally would if they will need to miss class.
  • Reminds instructors to communicate to students in advance if class meetings are cancelled and let them know what work they should complete. The goal should be to continue instruction even if that has to be done by a replacement instructor and/or remotely.
  • Directs instructors that they cannot cancel courses. At present, campus is continuing courses as scheduled. Any decision to cancel courses will be made centrally.
  • Reminds instructors that they shall not ask students for doctor’s notes or other documentation to verify absences. Instructors shall have clear communication and make-up protocols in place for students to follow if they are going to be or have been absent. If a student is missing enough class that make-ups will be difficult and they are at risk of not passing, they should communicate with those students, and enlist advisors for help.
  • Requires instructors with attendance or participation polices to modify those such that attendance is not counted in grades and participation points could be made up or waived.
  • Informs instructors that they may modify course expectations such that required work is reduced or grading schemes are adjusted provided they can still meet course learning objectives.
  • Requires that instructors shall have make-ups or alternatives to exams. If instructors will need support to manage an increased volume of make-ups, they should work with their department head, who will take guidance from the school/college Academic Continuity Team. In some cases, a grade of Incomplete may be used for make-ups that will take place after grades are due.
  • Requires instructors to provide clear, consistent, and specific communication to students about any modifications to the course and changes to assignments and deadlines. Instructors, as a matter of good practice, should provide clear and consistent expectations of course graders for timely grading and assessment of materials and recording of grades to the Canvas gradebook for students to see. The Academic Council requires the use of the course Canvas site for all of this communication.

In preparation for spring and potentially summer terms, the Academic Council:

  • Requires use of Canvas for courses starting in Spring term and for the duration of the academic disruption, as it will make adjusting for absences/campus closures easier. Instructors shall publish their Canvas sites and use them to post materials, collect assignments, provide alternatives to lectures/discussions for students who are absent from class, and post grades. This has been an expectation and best practice so faculty are likely already doing this.
  • Asks instructors to explore options and tools to deliver their course content for an extended period on Canvas with either synchronous and/or asynchronous options. The Office of the Provost has created a resource page to help instructors (https://provost.uoregon.edu/academic-continuity-preparations). This page will be continually updated.

Please visit this link to see the full text of expectations and guidelines approved by the Academic Council.

Admittedly, this is a time of concern for all of us, and the situation worldwide around the coronavirus is dynamic and fast-changing. It is important for us all to work together and do our best to take care of ourselves, each other, and our students.

Again, please visit the UO’s coronavirus website for the latest on the university’s response and other helpful information. Thank you for all you do to make the University of Oregon a strong, caring, and compassionate institution for our students, faculty, staff, and the entire community.

Sincerely,

Frances White
Professor and Department Head, Anthropology, and Chair of Academic Council

Elizabeth Skowron
Professor, Psychology, and Senate President

Patrick Phillips
Provost and Senior Vice President

UO distributes hand sanitizer to all instructional faculty

In 2009. The response of former SVP Russ Tomlin to the 2009 swine flu is below. I don’t know why our Chief Resiliency Officer has not done this yet for the coronavirus. You’d think he’d have buckets of basics like this stashed away, along with crowbars for extricating faculty from the ruins of PLC after the big one. But maybe the Ducks spent all the Resiliency money insuring against football concussion lawsuits.

From: tomlin@uoregon.edu
Subject: uotenured: H1N1 Pandemic Preparations
Date: September 14, 2009 at 11:08:32 AM PDT
Reply-To: tomlin@uoregon.edu


MEMORANDUM
September 14, 2009

TO: All instructional faculty
FROM: Russ Tomlin, Senior Vice Provost for Academic Affairs
SUBJECT: The H1N1 Flu Pandemic


WHAT WE CAN DO AS FACULTY TO MINIMIZE H1N1 IMPACT ON THE UO

At the beginning of the school year most of us have much more to do than worry about H1N1 (the so-called “swine flu”), but alas we need to prepare for it. Please read and engage with the following important information, presented in two sections: (1) the nature of the H1N1 pandemic and its likely impact on Oregon, Eugene, and the UO, and (2) the importance and practice of influenza prevention behaviors, including social distancing and attendance policies, as critical tools to minimize the impact of H1N1 on our students, our colleagues, and our families. As members of the faculty, you play an important role in reducing the extent of infection and illness here and, for that matter, at home. More can be found on the general UO H1N1 site: http://em.uoregon.edu/info/h1n1.

(1) H1N1: Brief summary of what we expect for Oregon, Eugene, and the UO.
The UO has a more detailed discussion of the H1N1 virus, its behavior, and its likely effect on Oregon, Eugene-Springfield, and the UO here: http://em.uoregon.edu/info/h1n1. Still, there are five points to emphasize:

    1. Even though in most cases, the H1N1 flu is similar in symptoms and severity to more common seasonal flu, its impact, if no measures are taken, will be extensive and disruptive to the instructional and research mission of the UO. The easiest way for our community to ensure H1N1 results in a disruptive impact on us is to do nothing and to assume or conclude it is just another seasonal flu.

    2. Overall rates of illness, hospitalization, and death due to H1N1 influenza will exceed those occurring during seasonal influenza outbreaks. Young adults (ages 18-24) will continue to be at high risk of infection with novel H1N1 influenza and will likely experience higher rates of complications if illness is widespread. This means that our students living in University residence halls and other large group living situations will be at risk for infection rates exceeding those in the general community.

    3. With the start of the K-12 school year in early September pandemic influenza activity will increase and expand rapidly within the Eugene/Springfield community over a period of several weeks. Infection rates will likely reach 20% in the Eugene/Springfield community and may exceed 30% in K-12 schools. Influenza-related absences among UO students and staff may approach 40% at the peak of the pandemic wave. A second wave will likely last for 8-10 weeks in the Eugene/Springfield community. Other waves may follow separated by weeks or months.

    4. The novel H1N1 vaccine will not be available at the start of the UO academic year. Novel H1N1 vaccine will be available in limited amounts by mid-October and likely available to all by late December. Priority vaccine recipients based on Center for Disease Control recommendations include: pregnant women, household contacts and caregivers for children under 6 months of age, everyone 6 months through 24 years old, persons 25 through 64 years old with health conditions associated with higher risk of medical complications from influenza. Because we cannot rely on vaccination, we must take other kinds of preventative and mitigating actions.

    5. The incubation period for the H1N1 flu will average 2-4 days. Infected persons can transmit the infection to others one day prior to the onset of symptoms and for up to 7 days after symptom onset. Our plans and actions as responsible colleagues must take this into account. If you have flu or flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after you no longer have a fever (100 degrees Fahrenheit) or signs of fever (chills, feeling very warm, flushed appearance or sweating).

(2) We must take influenza prevention behaviors and social distancing actions together.

We already “know” that flu prevention steps include hand washing and cough covering. That’s fine, but it’s really not enough. This pandemic requires a level of attention and deliberate action that is unusual and exceptional, not part of our usual academic cultural practice of work, work, work, without regard for our own health or, worse, the health of colleagues and others near us. If we behave as usual, we will ensure optimum success for H1N1 at our own expense. We must practice deliberate efforts at social distancing, separating ourselves from others, especially where we have encountered risk or likelihood of infection. The one pattern of behavior each of us can control is our own, and the steps and practices listed below are the ones I will follow and encourage my colleagues in Academic Affairs to follow.

    1. Avoid infection by avoiding or killing H1N1. H1N1 survives for several hours on surfaces. Touching that surface and then one’s eyes, mouth, or nose transmits the virus to its favored destination.
      a. Use hand sanitizer liberally and frequently to kill the H1N1 you pick up (or might deposit). A sample has been provided; we hope you’ll put it on your desk and use it.
      b. Set up an office or lavatory hand sanitizer station. Ours is operational as you read this.
      c. Allow doors to stand ajar during the day – office doors, etc. (though not fire doors).

    2. Avoid bringing the infection to others. This one is difficult because we may not know we’re infected and the pervasive cultural sense of responsibility to our students and our colleagues makes it very difficult to stay away.
      a. If you get the flu, do not return to work for at least 24 hours after the fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medication.
      b. If someone in your household gets the flu, please practice unusual vigilance and social distancing courtesy while you come to work.
      c. Do not bring a sick child to campus. Stay home to take care of your child. The rest of us will back you up, and your sick leave benefit supports you as well.
      d. If you feel symptoms develop, stay home until you know you are not ill.
      e. If one person in the department becomes ill, take greater care to create distance among the remainder. Delay or cancel less essential meetings. Sit at least six feet apart when they cannot be avoided.
      f. Roommates, household members, or those caring for an ill person should follow guidance developed for caring for sick persons at home. (See Interim Guidance for H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu): Taking Care of a Sick Person in Your Home).

    3. Reduce infection risks in classroom settings. [Remember, we’re talking about the fall term only].
      a. Consider suspending or modifying mandatory attendance policies so that students can practice self-care with less risk of penalty and less pressure on what will be an already stressed Health Center. Please note that the University Health Center will not be issuing excuses for students who miss class this fall due to illness.
      b. Encourage use of distance (six feet is the standard) between students in classes, studios, labs, and other collaborative activities.
      c. Consider foregoing projects and activities that require sitting or working together in close proximity. Don’t penalize students who choose to opt out of such proximate activities.


Check the Office of Emergency Management website frequently for novel H1N1 influenza information (http://em.uoregon.edu//info/h1n1/) and related informational links.

UO Senate’s Academic Council to meet on coronavirus & Academic Continuity Plans

No panic yet, (although see the change.org petition from students here) and the university has processes in place for an orderly response, at least in terms of classes and grades, and it’s under the control of the faculty and Senate.

The Academic Continuity Policy was passed by the Senate and adopted by the University Administration last year, and is designed to cover situations like this. The gist is that, after the University President declares an Emergency, the Senate’s Academic Council can declare a “Significant Academic Disruption” and authorize an “Academic Continuity Plan” which could authorize emergency grades, etc:

  • The Academic Continuity Plan shall include provisions for continuation of academic activities and awarding of grades. Because a Significant Academic Disruption will affect academic activities differently across campus, the academic continuity plan shall provide a range of options which maintain academic integrity, transparency for students, and fairness for students as described above. These might include alternative instructional times and methods, use of online technology for instruction and assignments, modified assignments, extended deadlines, exceptions to prerequisites and grade requirements, etc.
  • Department heads, under the direction of their Dean, will coordinate implementation of the academic continuity plan with instructors in their unit.

It’s at https://policies.uoregon.edu/vol-2-academics-instruction-research/ch-1-curriculum-instruction/academic-continuity-and-emergency and the full text is below, followed by a message from the Provost.

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