COVID-19 Update: Fall 2020 Faculty Course Information
July 1, 2020
Dear Saint Louis University faculty and instructors,
As President Pestello mentioned in his recent message, we write to share our plans for classrooms and experiential learning spaces (labs, clinicals, studios, etc.) this fall, and an update on the work we have completed to date.
We want to thank the many people who are hard at work, scheduling as many courses as possible in our existing classrooms, labs, event spaces, and other venues on campus so we can offer a mostly in-person experience. In addition to promoting health and safety, helping our students advance toward completing their degree is a top priority for us.
To help make this possible, we have spent the past few weeks doing the following:
- Surveying faculty members to understand which course sections need to move online due to health conditions or other, special considerations.
- This survey included a question about childcare concerns. Please know we are keeping a close eye on plans from area school districts and daycare centers. We will adjust schedules as needed for those faculty members who are impacted by any potential closures or modifications.
- Freeing up event and meeting spaces with the help of Event Services staff to use these as classrooms.
- Collaborating with schools and departments to open spaces within individual academic units.
- Identifying those spaces where required physical distancing may be challenging for students and faculty due to the nature of the course, such as some labs.
Earlier today, we sent a short survey to our students to understand their intent to return to in-person instruction in the fall, or if they have a need to attend their courses online.
This survey data will help us with classroom scheduling so we can provide our students and faculty with their fall schedules by Friday, July 17. We plan to have specific course time, location, and modality available in Banner by this date. As Dr. Pestello said in an earlier note, current course schedules may change, but most course days and times are largely staying the same.
We are still working through our plan for labs and other experiential learning (i.e., studios, clinicals, etc.). These courses typically have dedicated spaces that are not as easily moved to larger spaces, and our various schools and departments have different needs depending on the course. Some of these details may be provided by individual schools and departments, but we are committed to sharing this information as soon as it is finalized.
We are making every effort to ensure students can continue attending their labs and experiential learning courses, and progress in their degree completion. However, due to the nature of a small number of courses, we may not be able to make these available online. We are working through alternative options for these sections (i.e., possible off-cycle lab sections), and will communicate them as soon as possible.
We want to close by mentioning that this will be Dr. Gillis’ final message as interim provost. The following message comes from Dr. Gillis:
I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Saint Louis University, and although it was shorter than I anticipated, I will always remember my time at SLU and the many engaging, disciplined, and student-focused faculty with whom I had the privilege of working. I know I am leaving academics in the capable hands of our new interim provost, Dr. Michael Lewis.
Thank you and God bless,
Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Chet Gillis, Ph.D.
Interim Provost, Outgoing