Dear DePauw Faculty and Staff,
Thank you for your patience as we continue to plan for the fall term. This email serves as an update on a number of areas that impact our community, so please read each section carefully. All of this information is also being sent to students, but without the employee-related return-to-work information.
COVID-19 Task Force
As you may have read, we have formed and pivoted to a new COVID-19 Operations Task Force, reporting to Cabinet, that will coordinate sub-groups of faculty (formed after consultation with Faculty Governance), staff and students to develop and operationalize plans for the 2020-21 academic year.
The Task Force will operate through a project management process and be guided by a central mission, grounded in the health and safety of DePauw’s students and employees. The task force will work in a “pod” format, which means various groups and subgroups will work in coordination with each other. The initial list of work areas and pod leaders can be found on the coronavirus website. The pods are as follows: Academics, Health and Safety, Housing, COVID Education, Facilities Management, Finance, Events, Employee Support, Visitors Process, Student Support, and First Year Transition and Programs.
Changes to the Fall Academic Calendar
The Course and Calendar Committee has approved changes to the Academic Calendar for fall 2020. The fall term will begin with the equivalent of one week of online engagement (e.g., reading assignments, forum posts) for each course during the week of August 17th. Because students may be traveling during this time, this online coursework will be structured so it can be completed on student’s own time. Face-to-face instruction will then begin on Monday August 24th.
Due to the risk to our community when large numbers of us travel to and from campus, we will eliminate our typical fall break. We will end on-campus academic work at the end of the day on Friday, November 20th so students can depart campus for the remainder for the fall term. After a week-long Thanksgiving break, we will have a one-week period, starting on November 30th, when students will work remotely on final papers, exams, projects and presentations.
The complete academic calendar is available here. This calendar provides our traditional 14 weeks of instruction (with one of those weeks accomplished via online learning the week of August 17th) followed by one week for final assessments.
Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements
We have published the first iteration of a living web document -- the contents of which may change as we continue to monitor COVID-19 -- to facilitate our planning: DePauw On-Campus Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements. On-campus learning will require adherence to the Health and Safety Recommendations and Requirements. We thank upperclass students for providing us preliminary information on their individual thoughts for fall.
Employee Return to Work
The Cabinet has also approved a playbook for employees entitled Leading your Team Back to Work. Supervisors should study this document and prepare office or departmental plans for returning their areas to work throughout the summer through the framework of this and the Health Practice Recommendations and Requirements document. Each area will be contacted by a member of an Implementation Team dedicated to phasing in employee work on campus.
In an effort to support supervisors in the development of their departmental plans, workshops will be held on the following dates and times by division. Please note that chairs of Academic Departments and Programs will be contacted separately about their training.
Monday, June 8; 8:30-10:30am - Academic Affairs and Information Services
Monday, June 8; 3-5pm - Athletics, Student Academic Life and Spiritual Life
Wednesday, June 10; 9-11am - Facilities Management, Finance, Communication and Marketing, Admissions
Wednesday, June 10; 3-5pm - Make up day for anyone who can not attend their designated session.
Links for each workshop will be sent in a follow up message to supervisors. Additionally, we expect to update the community on our continued planning for fall in late June, if not before. We do not yet have all of the answers, and thank you for your patience as we work together through this constantly changing landscape. If you have questions, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org to reach the COVID-19 Operations Task Force or reach out to any one of us directly.
Dave Berque, Vice President for Academic Affairs
Alan Hill, Vice President for Student Academic Life and Dean of Students
Bob Leonard, Vice President for Finance and Administration