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Office of the Provost

Provost Communication


All Faculty

December 14, 2020

Dear faculty colleagues,

Suddenly, it's the end of the Fall 2020 semester. Thanksgiving has come and gone, classes and exams have ended, final grades are due tomorrow, Tuesday, December 15 (how-to instruction sheets are available on the registrar's webpage), and we are celebrating our Fall graduates on a beautiful Class of 2020 website. The eloquent Al Letson, our first guest speaker in many years, offered a moving and relevant commencement address.

I'd like to take this opportunity to say, again, how much you are appreciated. In the two months that I have served as interim provost, I have been delighted and humbled daily by the commitment, care, and creativity modeled by faculty and instructional staff. Several of you were highlighted recently in an Innovative Approaches to Teaching During COVID Zoom webinar, but we know that many more of you have developed ingenious techniques to engage and teach your students within the remote environment. We want to showcase your work, too, so please watch for the upcoming announcement of an exciting new platform in development for that purpose.

I would also like to remind you that President Szymanski and I want to do everything possible within current budget constraints to support your ongoing professional development. The two-tier Faculty Development Pandemic (FDP) Funding Program was designed with that goal in mind. Tier-1 FDP funds, allocated to each college, are accessible through your department. If Tier-1 funds have been exhausted, eligible faculty may request Tier-2 FDP funds, facilitated by the Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE). Tier-2 funding guidelines and a proposal template are available on the OFE's Tier-2 FDP webpage.

An important initiative recently announced by the OFE and Center for Instruction and Research Technology (CIRT) is the Adjunct Orientation Canvas site, developed to support our critical and valued part-time instructional colleagues - and new for the Spring 2021 semester. We encourage each of you to explore this rich, four-module resource for yourself and share it with your department's visiting and contingent faculty via the self-enroll link.

Finally, for now, if you're curious about how you can stream, record, and capture lectures for your Spring semester face-to-face classes, I encourage you to drop by one of the Classroom Technology Brainstorming Open Houses hosted by Information Technology Services (ITS) and CIRT. These events take place in one of the newly upgraded general-purpose classrooms. CIRT and ITS personnel will be available to explain the capabilities of the new video camera and wireless microphone system. This is an opportunity for you to test out your technology plans for the Spring term. Open Houses will be held in Building 4, Room 1706, from 9 am to 3 pm on Wednesday, December 16 and Monday, January 4.

In the New Year, I plan to communicate with you at least monthly through these Notes from the Interim Provost. In the meantime, I wish each of you a joyous and rejuvenating holiday. As always, please reach out to me, to the Academic Affairs staff, the OFE staff, or the CIRT team if you need support.



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