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COVID-19 Update: Reminders and Additional Information for Fall 2020

Aug. 12, 2020

Dear Saint Louis University faculty and staff, 

As we continue forward with our plans to offer a mixture of in-person and online courses starting Aug. 17, I wanted to provide you with additional information on the following topics: 

Technology tips and reminders 

ITS is currently working to ensure that all classroom and event spaces being used this fall are ready for in-person and hybrid courses (courses with both in-person and online students participating at the same time) from a technology standpoint. To aid our faculty in navigating this new landscape, I wanted to pass along some brief technology information. 

Additional details were provided by ITS in this Monday’s Newslink

Additional policies and guidance for the fall  

A number of policies, syllabus statements and guidance for our faculty and staff were developed in the last few weeks. These were designed in response to the pandemic and to keep public health as the top priority for our community this fall. Please read on for more information. 

Returning to campus and events information 

As I mentioned in my message to faculty last week, our detailed guidance on returning to work provides information to return to campus safely. For our faculty and staff, this means: 

As the President’s recent message outlined, we are cancelling all in-person events for the fall. For the fall semester, Event Services will be following our interim policy on campus space prioritization to ensure that these spaces are dedicated to academic instruction. 

Flexibility for our students 

Some students are asking to start the semester online and move to in-person classes a few weeks into the semester; we will handle these requests on a case-by-case basis. Others may need to move to isolation housing and start the semester online if they test positive for COVID-19, or move to quarantine housing if they have an exposure to someone who tests positive. Many international students are quarantining for two weeks upon arrival to St. Louis and will start their classes online. Our faculty and staff may hear from these students, so I urge you to be flexible and offer grace in dealing with these requests. 

Finally, please ensure you are offering that same grace and flexibility to our international students who are unable to return to campus. A number of these students live in countries where internet access, restrictions on specific websites, or time zone differences may impact their ability to participate in their courses. Students studying remotely may also experience significant delays in the arrival of their textbooks. Faculty are encouraged to confirm student access to course materials. 

I realize this is a lot of information, so I thank you for all you are doing for our community to make this semester a success, especially during this uniquely trying time. 

Thank you and God bless, 

Michael Lewis, Ph.D.
Interim Provost