Following President Ashish Vaidya’s announcement yesterday that NKU will move to alternative delivery for instruction, Provost Sue Ott Rowlands informed faculty and staff in an email that workgroups are busy outlining the details of the transition.
Seven-week accelerated online courses will begin as usual on March 16. Seven-week in-person courses will now be taught online and will begin March 23. Sixteen-week courses, whether originally taught in person or online, will have an extra week of spring break and will resume instruction online on March 23, according to the email.
Rowlands asked faculty to reach out to their students to let them know that the University is committed to:
“Being creative to find ways they can participate in online courses and to complete their coursework;
Communicating regularly with any updates, news or announcements and responding to feedback and questions;
Adapting advising to support them remotely when needed and guide them through the changing environment; and most importantly:
Ensuring they stay on track toward their planned graduation dates.”
According to the email, Rowlands will share more details with faculty in the coming days with training and will outline the plan to assist instructors in transitioning to online delivery.
“Please keep in mind that as disruptive as this is for you, it’s also greatly impacting our students. Staying engaged with them during this period will be essential, so students know the university is here to serve them,” Rowlands said in an email.
In an email sent out to faculty and staff, President Vaidya said in order to balance flexibility and provide essential services to the University, employee work schedules should continue as much as possible.
Vaidya said that student employment assignments should be continued when possible. Student employees should contact their supervisors for arraignments about their work schedules, responsibilities and questions, Vaidya said.
Vaidya said department heads should be flexible when possible with telecommuting or working from home in order to minimize any unnecessary contact. He also said department heads should be mindful of social distancing recommendations, and they should consider limiting large staff meetings or reschedule them virtually.
Vaidya said he understands that not every employee can or will be able to work from home and that department heads should consider the “nature of the work and whether the necessary equipment and technology are available to allow employees to fully perform their job duties away from campus.”
For those who are unable to work at home, Vaidya said departments should work to create a safe environment on campus, keeping social distancing recommendations in mind.
In the email, Vaidya also addressed employees who may be more at risk for contracting coronavirus. He said he encourages anyone who is experiencing symptoms or potential exposure to COVID-19 to stay at home.
Rowlands also asked faculty and staff to remember the Centers for Disease Control’s guidelines to stay home if you feel sick or have a fever, and follow the Northern Kentucky Health Department’s recommendations if you are sick and to continue practicing proper habits for good health. Additionally, Rowlands said NKU’s Employee Assistance Program resources are available to faculty and staff during this time and that students should be sent to Health, Counseling & Student Wellness if they need support.
The Northerner is currently investigating the impact of the switch to online learning, including but not limited to how housing, dining, student workers, labs, studios and the office of Health, Counseling and Student Wellness will be affected. For any questions you’d like to know about the decision, contact us anytime on Twitter or Instagram. For questions or concerns about how the virus could potentially affect campus, contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep checking The Northerner for all updates on NKU’s switch to alternative instruction.