Further guidance for fall instruction planning

Dear Colleagues,

I write with additional information that I hope will be helpful as you consider your plans for fall instruction in light of President Gabel’s message today. I understand that this news adds tremendous stress to an already immeasurably difficult time; we are all learning a lot about what it takes to model the flexibility and resiliency we are trying to instill in our students.

I also want to underscore that President Gabel’s proposal is subject to Board of Regents approval at its special meeting scheduled for Monday. I hope that sharing this information in advance of that Board discussion will allow you more time to consider how to implement contingency plans.

  • If you were already planning to teach your courses at a distance, please continue to prepare for those courses in the same manner, to begin as planned on September 8.
  • If you were planning to offer your undergraduate courses fully in person or in a blended format, please be prepared to begin the semester at a distance, in either remote instruction or fully online formats (see the course format guide in MyU for a description of the differences between remote instruction and online formats). I remain committed to instructor autonomy in course modality, subject to public health constraints. If you wish to change the modality for the entirety of your course, please consult with your department or program chair/head.
    • With the help of each college, we will likely be identifying a small set of undergraduate courses that will be permitted to continue with in-person or blended instruction. College leadership will be reaching out to identify these courses. If your course is strictly required for degree progression, cannot be delivered at a distance, or you feel would qualify for an exception on other grounds, you should respond via that channel.
  • If you are assigned to teach graduate and professional courses, those will continue in the formats already established by those programs. Any further modifications will be communicated by program leadership. If you wish to change the modality of your course, please discuss this with your program chair/head.

Once the Board of Regents meets on Monday, we will develop additional information to address the Board’s actions and to answer questions.

I join President Gabel in expressing my deepest appreciation for your work; I remain inspired by your resilience, passion, and creativity in these trying circumstances and by your continued commitment to serving our students while keeping them, and yourselves, safe.

Sincerely yours,

Rachel T.A. Croson
Executive Vice President and Provost

email sent to the Twin Cities administrative e-mail list, all Twin Cities faculty, all instructors scheduled to teach on the Twin Cities campus this fall semester, librarians, and advisors on Friday, August 21