Q: Can we use USF space for in-person meetings with small groups of students, or with individual students, even though instruction has moved online?
A: For now, the campus remains open, and you can continue to meet with small groups of students (depending on the size of the room, small enough that people can have six feet of physical distance between them) as long as a) attendance is optional; b) you enforce basic public health measures (hand-washing, no physical contact, social distancing, etc.); c) you inform the Dean’s Office about the plan; d) you are mindful of the possibility that conditions may rapidly change and such on-campus groupings may become untenable. For instance, at this time students can still use rehearsal spaces in small groups, work in the USF garden in small groups, meet with faculty in small groups, participate in labs in small groups, and so on. Keep in mind that should a COVID-19 case be discovered at USF and/or the City of San Francisco changes its public health orders, USF will shut down altogether and these activities will have to stop. Please plan for that possibility.
Q: Can students access existing labs, lab equipment, and other facilities?
For now, the campus remains open, and students can continue to access any facilities that remain open. For instance, at this time students can still borrow lab or media equipment, use Media or Design labs, and access editing facilities. Please remind the studio managers and student assistants who work in these spaces to wipe with disinfectant all equipment, tables and tools as much as they can throughout the day (or when an equipment is loaned out or returned). Please keep in mind that should a COVID-19 case be discovered at USF and/or the City of San Francisco changes its public health orders, USF will shut down altogether and access to such facilities and equipment will no longer be available. Please plan for that possibility.
Q: Can we continue to do course-related activities that are off-campus, and can students continue to do those?
For now, students can continue off-campus course activities, assuming the sites in which they are engaged are open and they are observing existing public health guidelines. For instance, at this time students could continue working in school settings and visiting museum sites. These cannot be required, however, so alternative assignments must be provided for students who opt out. Please plan for the possibility that many venues and organizations may shut down by preparing alternatives to site visits for all students.
A note on Community Engaged Learning (formerly Service Learning) courses: The recommendation from the Director of Community-Engaged Learning regarding students working with community organizations is to instruct students to cease, for the time being, course-related community engagement activities that include direct service and onsite visits. Students may continue with any offsite project-based work they are doing for community partners, as this does not require direct physical contact. Please work with community partners to identify offsite work that will be of benefit to them, which students can do to complete their required service hours. Other alternate assignments may also be developed that meet Community Engaged Learning outcomes. If you would like assistance in adapting community engaged courses, please contact Star Plaxton-Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In cases where students want to consider continuing on-site work with community partners, they should first consult with the community partner to understand whether continuing direct service and onsite visits is possible and aligned with public health guidelines. The instructor should then follow up with the Associate Dean for a final decision.
Faculty teaching internship courses should follow the same guidelines and consult with the Dean’s Office if needed.
Q: We teach courses that involve hands-on learning, and the best online alternatives require software, subscriptions or licenses that create an additional cost burden for students. Can USF pay for those?
A: We are currently operating under the assumption that labs and equipment remain accessible (see above). However, in the event that this changes, we will work with the University to offset students’ costs of the movement for essential materials needed from in-person to online instruction. At this point funding is unknown, but in anticipation of such needs please we need estimates from you for the specific teaching needs. Please send that information — what you propose to use; cost per student; number of students; total estimated cost — to Eileen Fung (email@example.com) and Josh Gamson (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Wednesday, March 18th. We will then be in touch about funding possibilities.
Q: Will part-time faculty be compensated for the additional hours and materials required for training and transitioning courses to an online modality?
A: Yes. Part-time faculty who register and attend the 2-hour workshop/training no later than Friday, March 20th will be compensated at the hourly rate. Part-time faculty who choose to watch a video of the workshop/training should inform their Associate Dean directly. Part-time faculty seeking remuneration for additional hours for transitioning from face-to-face instruction to online delivery should email their Associate Dean. (Note: We view the canceled class times on Monday, March 16th and Tuesday, March 17th to be paid preparation time.) We will work with the Department Chair or Program Director to evaluate the additional time requested. Part-time faculty seeking reimbursement for materials to enable remote instruction should email their Associate Dean for approval before purchasing the materials. We will work with the Department Chair or Program Director to evaluate the request.
Q: Should our department faculty who meet all the preparation requirements subsequently be completing and sending telecommuting agreements?
A: Yes. At this time, the Temporary Telecommuting Remote Work COVID-19 Agreement should be completed by faculty and staff. See: Remote Working Policies Amid COVID-19.
Q: Can we add another class to make up for the canceled classes on Monday or Tuesday?
A: Yes. One option is to take advantage of online instruction and create an asynchronous class meeting covering the missed material. Another is to schedule an additional class meeting (online or, if in-person classes resume this semester, face to face) during the semester. Other options should be discussed with your Associate Dean.