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Campus Update and Planning for Spring for Employees

Published on Tue 09/22/20
Dear Texas A&M Community,
   
Tomorrow marks the beginning of our sixth week of classes. Thank you for all your work during this very unusual semester that set yet another enrollment record.

Spring Semester

Planning and course scheduling for the Spring semester is underway. Course delivery will be similar to Fall. However, at the request of the department head steering committee and the Spring planning group, instructors will have the option to teach a face-to-face class without remote instruction. Only a limited number of courses will be eligible, as the course will need to either be an elective or also offered remotely in a separate course section. Students who are ill or who need to quarantine will contact the instructor just as they normally would pre-COVID for missed work. Instructors will still be able to record the class and provide a link to students who are not able to attend. 

As in the Fall, instructors will soon be able to request teaching modifications for medical conditions that may lead to increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 or having a household member with such conditions. 
Finally, we are discussing modifications to the Spring calendar, including a shortened spring break. We will update the university community when final calendar decisions have been made.

Open Forum and Office Hours

For additional information on the spring semester planning and other matters, please join me for the Faculty Senate Open Forum this Friday morning from 10 to 11 a.m. Watch for details from the Faculty Senate later this week.

Some of you have asked if I would resume open office hours. I am happy to do so beginning Monday, October 12th, from 1:30 to 2:45 p.m. prior to the Faculty Senate meeting. To schedule a time, please email Vivian Medrano.

Student Exams

I ask that you inform your students if they need to take a proctored exam in an empty room in order to allow them time to notify roommates or secure a location. Additionally, Honorlock is now available to faculty as one of several proctoring options. Information for students about Honorlock is available on the university’s keeplearning page, which also includes an FAQ for students about student privacy, FERPA, and other questions. 

Your Creative Teaching

Thank you for sharing your creative teaching tips for remote and in-person classes. If you or a colleague have a creative tip to share, please send it to provostcomm@tamu.edu with the subject line TEACHING TIP so that we can share them. 

Thank you for your amazing work as we continue our goals of providing our students the best education as safely as possible. 

Sincerely,

Carol A. Fierke
Provost & Executive Vice President