Campus Update from Provost Ross Alexander - March 30, 2020

Faculty Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you and your families safe and well. Perhaps you were even able to get a modicum of rest over Spring Break. I am writing today to follow up on today’s important academic announcement and decision, which was not taken lightly and which best safeguards students, faculty, and staff during this ongoing crisis. Additionally, this decision and action was unanimously endorsed by the COVID-19 Team—comprised of both academic and elected Shared Governance leaders—and informed by many of you who have provided feedback and guidance over the past weeks. I do not need to tell you that this crisis has us all making new decisions and plans by the day and hour.

After discussion and consideration, the University will continue the remote/online instructional environment throughout all Summer sessions. As you have probably read, many other institutions have already or are considering this move and it is vital that UNA be proactive. Simply, it is the safest decision for everyone involved. Pre-crisis, nearly 80% of all UNA Summer 2020 courses were already scheduled for online delivery. Thus, we are much more able and better positioned for this transition than many of our peer institutions in the state and region.

Additionally, for the past several weeks, deans and chairs have been working with faculty members on this exact possible contingency. Also, just a few days ago, all universities in Alabama received guidance from Alabama Commission for Higher Education (ACHE) supporting, recommending, and encouraging maintenance of the remote/online instructional environment for the entire summer. Just as we have during the Spring transition to remote/online, some select classes may utilize a remote/synchronous environment, which should be coordinated with your respective academic dean and the University Registrar. Personally, I am fortunate that my class this Spring semester has been online from the start.

I remain awed and impressed by your collective response to this crisis. Student success and support remains our top priority. I look forward to “seeing” you all very soon. I for one have a scheduled packed with Zoom meetings as I model good “telework” and social distancing behavior. I deeply appreciate the words of encouragement and support you have shared with me during this crisis. Thank you and Roar Lions!

Best,
Ross

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