Dear students, faculty and staff,
With just over three weeks of classes remaining in the spring term, we wanted to check in with each of you and provide updates on the work of the Cabinet, CIMT, and many others across campus.
Student Academic Life sent their first newsletter, SAL-utations, yesterday to all students. The email is a weekly check-in from the division and offers additional ways to stay connected while we are away from campus. Students should expect SAL-utations in their inboxes each Tuesday. Seniors and senior families will receive an update regarding Commencement tomorrow, and we will forward this information to employees as well.
As a reminder, the pass/fail deadline is 4:30 pm on Friday, May 1st. The Spring 2020 Pass/Fail Resource Website provides instructions and answers to many questions regarding the policy.
The Business Office has been working diligently to send electronic payments and issue checks for those of you who are due room and board refunds from the University for the spring term. The Business Office hopes to have most refunds for those who were living in University-owned housing completed by week’s end. Students who have questions may contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
May Term and Summer Internships and Summer Student Employment
Most employers have canceled on-site summer internships. Due to health and safety concerns, and to avoid the possibility of on-site internships being canceled mid-summer, DePauw will only provide Extended Studies Credit and Extended Studies Internship Financial Support for May 2020 and Summer 2020 Internships that are completed remotely (from a student’s residence). No support will be provided for experiences that require students to spend time at an employer’s work site and no support will be provided for travel of any type. The Hubbard Center can help students seek, and prepare for, remote internship experiences.
As previously announced, DePauw will not fund any on-campus student employment in summer 2020. We want to clarify that DePauw will support remote student employment, where students work from their residences, in one of two situations, each of which require approval of a divisional Vice President:
- Employment is relevant to the student’s educational experience (e.g., performing remote faculty-student collaborative research approved through the Faculty Development Committee or sponsored by an external grant, working remotely on an academic project such as a technology project, associated with a department or center). Employment that is relevant to the student's educational experience are being considered through the normal application channels and deadlines that are already in place.
- The employment is related to a critical University need (e.g., calling prospective students to support our Admission pipeline).
Planning for return to campus
The Indiana stay at home order is currently scheduled to be lifted next week. Even if it is lifted, until further notice, DePauw will continue our model of employee remote work with the exception of previously designated essential employees. The Administrative Council is drafting a proposal for returning employees to campus when appropriate, using a framework that centers health and safety considerations for DePauw employees. More information on that plan is forthcoming.
The university has also begun a rigorous planning effort to consider various fall 2020 scenarios. We have created working groups tasked with defining the public health practices and parameters by which we would safely move toward a return to in-person, on-campus operations. These efforts are also considering the decisions that need to be made in areas such as academics, housing, dining, and student services in order to make this shift.
The Vice President for Academic Affairs has solicited input from Department Chairs and Program Directors related to the academic components of our planning. In addition, representatives from three faculty governance committees (the Curriculum Committee, the Course and Calendar Oversight Committee, and the Student Academic Life Committee) are serving on the primary academic planning working group. Additional input has been solicited from all members of these committees, including the student members. Individuals working on other components of our plan include faculty members, staff members, our medical director and other subject matter experts.
As we have seen with the progression of COVID-19 across many countries, it will neither be easy nor quick to transition back to the way things were just a few short months ago. As a result, our preparation accounts for various scenarios based on a sliding scale of health and safety considerations.
After considering input from working groups and committees, we have already committed to offering some fall courses remotely for students who are unable to travel to campus due to personal circumstances. This is just one step in our work and we are continuing to plan for appropriate ways to help us remain a safe, supportive, and healthy educational community. We will keep the campus updated as these plans develop.
Our thoughts are with each of you and your families near and far. It is more important than ever that we stay connected and lean on each other, no matter our distance. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us directly. We also encourage you to find ways to reach out to your friends and support groups even if they are geographically dispersed.
Dave Berque, Interim 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