CLAS Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is working hard to help faculty and staff stay informed on University guidance and the change in operations. We will post updates to this page on a regular basis.

The latest official guidance and updates on UConn’s response to COVID-19 and its impact on the university community is being provided in real time at the link below.

 

View the University's Coronavirus (COVID-19) Updates Page


Frequently Asked Questions for CLAS Faculty and Staff

Last updated: March 25, 2020

General Questions

Where should I send my questions?

The Dean’s Office staff will be available on campus or remotely as is feasible through the duration of this change in operations and will respond as soon as possible to your concerns.

Please send questions to the following addresses, where they will be directed to the appropriate staff member.

How will my questions be answered?

The CLAS senior staff (dean, associate deans, and service unit directors) are meeting regularly to discuss and make decisions about the many questions from faculty and staff. In most cases, generalized questions will be answered in regular updates from the College via email and on this webpage.

Where do I report known or suspected cases of COVID-19 in UConn employees or students?

Human Resources has developed an initial set of questions and answers for employees, managers, and colleagues upon the presumption or confirmation of a case of COVID-19.

If faculty/staff have questions related to a potential student exposure, they can call either the Advice Nurse at (860) 486-4700 or the UConn Student Health and Wellness – Medical Care phone line at (860) 486-8987.

Will Commencement take place?

The University’s scheduled May commencement ceremonies have been canceled. We are deeply saddened that we will not be able to share the stage with our graduating students. However, students’ degrees will be conferred on schedule, and commencement programs listing students’ names will be available.

Departmental Activities

How should we handle departmental administration?

Unless a staff member is deemed “mission-critical” by the University, staff should work remotely. Departments may post a sign on their departmental office door with contact information for a department representative who can direct any requests to the appropriate remotely-working staff or faculty member.

Departments can forward their phone lines to another, off-campus phone number by contacting techsupport@uconn.edu. Alternatively, we encourage units that will not have a staff member in the office to provide in their main unit voicemail message the best email address to contact the unit. Staff and faculty can check their campus voicemail remotely by following the instructions under “Accessing Voicemail: While Out of the Office” on this web page.

I supervise staff. How should I organize telecommuting?

We ask that supervisors generate a plan with each supervisee that details their location and who is responsible at what times for critical office functions. In all cases, we recommend erring on the side of flexibility, responsiveness, and understanding of individuals’ specific needs.

Supervisors should send to each of their staff a memo, modeled after the Telecommuting Letter – Storrs/Regionals template provided by Human Resources. (For more information, please refer to the COVID-19 Human Resources page under the 2020-03-16 update on Telecommuting Guidance for UConn and UConn Health.) The end date for telecommuting can be filled in as “until further notice.” The letter can be modified as appropriate for your unit and specific situation. Questions about this process should be directed to CLAS Chief Operating Officer Deborah Shelby at deborah.shelby@uconn.edu.

Are we expected to keep normal business hours when we are working remotely?

To the extent that remote meetings and business calls will continue to occur, employees should expect to be available during their normal working hours. Supervisors and department heads should, however, be flexible when possible about extenuating circumstances such as childcare, elder care, and other issues surrounding this public health crisis. If an employee needs to adjust their hours, they should inform their supervisor and determine a mutually agreeable plan.

What should we do about undergraduate student employees?

If student workers can work remotely, they should. They should record hours and submit timecards as usual. Supervisors and students should work out a mutually agreeable work schedule while the student is away from campus. In the event that students cannot perform their usual work remotely, faculty and staff should work to find reasonable alternative work that is agreeable to the student.

If no alternative arrangements are available, and students cannot continue to work remotely, they will be paid for their usual hours from March 14 until April 5. This is consistent with the U.S. Department of Education's guidance on Paying Federal Work Study participants for the same reasons.

Technology

What technology should I use to work from home?

Staff and faculty with University-issued laptops should take them home and use these devices on their home wifi network.

Staff and faculty who do not have access to laptops may work on University matters from their personal computers. We strongly advise setting up remote access into each individual’s work computer to minimize risks to personal information. All University email business should be conducted using your UConn email address.

  • Borrowing Equipment: CLAS has a limited number of computers to loan to staff and faculty. Unit leaders can request computers for faculty or staff members by contacting clasit@uconn.edu. The CLAS Dean’s Office is prioritizing these loans based on critical college functions.
  • Virtual meetings: All faculty, students, and staff with a NetID have their own Personal WebEx Room. Additionally, CLAS IT has created several “Virtual Rooms” that can be used for interviews and committee meetings.
  • WebEx Rooms - You can find detailed information about WebEx at the ITS Knowledge Base (WebEx). To get started with hosting a meeting using your Personal Room, please see the ITS Knowledge Base instructions for hosting a WebEx meeting.
  • CLAS Virtual Rooms - To schedule a meeting in the CLAS Virtual Rooms for job candidate interviews or remote participants, please email clasit@uconn.edu and we will coordinate with you, including scheduling a time to test the system with your candidate or remote participant.
  • Connecting to your work computer remotely: Using the University’s remote desktop capability might be an ideal solution for connecting to your desktop computer while working from home. Please contact clasit@uconn.edu if you need assistance setting this up.

Additional training videos from the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

WebEx virtual training

Blackboard Collaborate virtual training

Kaltura Capture training

Please note: When the screen displays a message saying “There is no content to view at the moment” during the training videos, the session leader is talking with participants.

Research and Graduate Students

What happens to my research and my graduate students’ research during this change in University operations?

In response to the orders of the Governor and University on March 20, 2020, on-campus research must cease.

Please review carefully the below guidance from the Office of the Vice President for Research, including: 

  • Faculty and research staff should follow the Laboratory Ramp-Down Checklist: Procedures for Safely Vacating a Laboratory to close down their on-campus research.  Only work directly related to COVID-19 may continue.  To do be considered for this work, fill out a Critical Research Infrastructure Inventory form.    
  • Faculty with animals must contact the attending veterinarian as soon as possiblecurtis.schondelmeyer@uconn.eduacsinfo@uconn.edu.  
  • Any faculty with critical research infrastructure, such as unique reagents or cell lines, equipment, liquid nitrogen stocks, and certain long-term experiments must complete the Critical Research Infrastructure Inventory form. These will be reviewed and the faculty member will then be advised on how to proceed based on their individual situation. 
  • Any researcher or faculty member who is unable to halt their research by Monday’s deadline or who has a unique situation that needs to be considered should email ovpr@uconn.edu with a description of the situation or need and their recommendation for how it can best be met or addressed. The email should include a phone number(s) where the faculty member can be reached.
  • Graduate student and post-doctoral researcher contracts are valid until the end of their term, and principal investigators should be creative in finding solutions and relevant research-related work these employees can perform remotely.
  • Any student or employee who feels they have been asked unreasonably to continue on-campus research or teaching duties beyond Monday’s deadline should contact Kate Capshaw, CLAS Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for CLAS (capshaw@uconn.edu)without fear of retaliation.  

    As of now, the shut-down of on-campus research will be in effect until April 22, 2020. However, researchers should plan for a remote-work research operation and lab closure that could last for several weeks or months. 

    Can I submit grants during this time?

    Yes. All CLAS grant management services should be available, although there may be some additional response time needed if personnel are unavailable due to illness or quarantines.

    I have laboratory supplies (surgical masks, gloves, etc.) that I would like to donate. How can I do this?

    If you have supplies available to donate or are willing to help facilitate donations, please email Amy Allen (amy.allen@uconn.edu) with the following information:

    1. Name
    2. Department
    3. List of supplies and quantity available

    The supplies in greatest need right now are disposable gloves, surgical masks, new bottles of hand sanitizer, antibacterial wipes, lab goggles, and Lysol/Clorox wipes.

    How should we handle undergraduate research, including independent studies and honors theses?

    Undergraduate students should be able to complete independent study and honors thesis work so that progress to their degrees is not hindered. The faculty advisor should create a plan that is reasonable for the student to complete online for the duration of the change in University operations. Questions about specific cases can be directed to clas@uconn.edu. If you have undergraduate employees in a research lab, they may no longer come onto campus.

    Teaching and Undergraduates

    How do I teach my class?  

    Campus buildings are on lockdown, so teaching must take place online at remote locations.

    With prior approval from the Provost’s Office, there is certain limited and carefully monitored use of on-campus classrooms. To ensure that we do not create situations that inadvertently bring people together into a single space, and to limit the access only to those cases where it’s really necessary, the Provost’s Office has established a process for instructors to submit their requests directly to CETL, where they will be reviewed and assessed before making arrangements to provide appropriate access.

    Instructors who feel they require this special accommodation should complete the Limited Classroom Access Request form, which asks for details about the specific needs of the instructor and other important details.

    Not all requests will be honored, only those that cannot be addressed in another fashion. Second, there is not a guarantee that instructors will be able use the specific room in which they would have been teaching under ordinary circumstances, but only a room that provides the technology they need.

    There are many other UConn resources for teaching online, including:

    As a precaution, we suggest that you please back up grades and assignments as appropriate, just in case there is a failure of HuskyCT. UConn’s OneDrive would be appropriate for this purpose.

    How should I modify my course for online delivery?  

    All instructors must provide students with a modified course syllabus.  While the format of course delivery and specific nature of some assignments may change, the expectations and workload for students must not increase. Modes of assessment might be different than in the original face-to-face course, but they should be based on the same learning objectives. Instructors teaching synchronously are required to teach their courses at the scheduled time.

    I teach laboratory/language/other performance-based classes. How should I move those courses online?

    Instructors should work creatively and in consultation with their unit leaders to make the general content accessible online. Please consider the learning objectives and be flexible to find ways to convey the main ideas and offer reasonably parallel experiences to minimally impact student learning. In many cases, other faculty will be facing the same challenges, so we encourage you to talk with colleagues and collaborate on problem-solving for performance-based classes.

    The focus of the lab class that I teach are the skills and experiences gained through hands-on, in lab, work. Can I arrange for students to come to the lab and do the exercise(s)?

    All teaching is to move to online format for the time specified. Laboratory classes may not take place in person even if students volunteer and/or the on-campus class is optional. We urge instructors to think outside the box as they work to meet their learning objectives as best they can given the online-only constraint.

    Can I give incomplete (INC) grades and require that students complete work later?

    Our primary goal is to minimize disruption of student progress while maintaining the integrity of the course. Every effort should be made to achieve the course goals through online instruction. Be flexible and consider alternative ways that you can achieve the most critical course goals. As a last resort, if you find that it is not possible to meet the goals through online teaching, you may consider assigning an INC. In such cases it is important to evaluate the effect that an INC may have on a student’s progress. This is especially important in the case of seniors who are planning to graduate in May. If you are considering this option, you should contact Mansour Ndiaye to identify students who may be at risk for meeting graduation requirements.

    What are the expectations for teaching assistants?

    Teaching assistants will continue to be paid through the duration of this operational change. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s guidance on developing engaging online discussions and facilitating online discussions. HuskCT provides a platform for holding discussion sections within its discussion board feature.  These scheduled classes should continue using the online format.

    Do I have to follow my scheduled class time for online instruction?

    Instructors who are delivering real-time online instruction (synchronous delivery) of lecture or discussion sections must adhere to their registrar-scheduled meeting times. This will prevent scheduling conflicts among other classes doing real-time content delivery. Instructors must not reschedule classes to evenings or other times. When it is consistent with instructional goals, instructors may deliver content asynchronously, where students can access the material at any time; HuskyCT supports Blogs and Discussion Boards that enable students and instructors to interact asynchronously.

    How will the pass/fail option work for CLAS courses, majors, and minors?

    CLAS has altered the restrictions on pass/fail courses to increase the flexibility for students to use this option for some courses in their majors and minors taken in spring semester 2020.

    Students can count a maximum of 3 courses (up to 4 credits each) taken as pass/fail toward their majors, including related courses. Students can count a maximum of 3 courses (up to 4 credits each) taken as pass/fail toward their minors. In addition, over the full period in which degrees are completed, minimums of 5 courses (15 credits) within each major and 3 courses (9 credits) within each minor must be taken for a grade.

    Departments should determine whether key/core courses within each of their degree programs may be included within the 3 allowable pass/fail classes. We encourage units to be thoughtful about students who may have limited access to resources or are struggling in other ways. Unit leaders must email any possible restriction(s) on key/core courses in the major to clasasc@uconn.edu with a copy to Amy De Flumere at amy.deflumere@uconn.edu by the end the day on Friday, March 27, 2020, so that we can provide this critical information to students and advisors.

    Note that all general education courses may now be taken as pass/fail, and that students have the option to change to or from pass/fail any time prior to May 1 (prior to the beginning of final exams). More information on pass/fail guidelines can be found at the CLAS Academic Services Center coronavirus updates page.

    Although not required by University policy, students should consult with their advisors before electing to complete courses on a pass/fail basis.

    How should we handle undergraduate research, including independent studies and honors theses?

    Undergraduate students should be able to complete independent study and honors thesis work so that progress to their degrees is not hindered. The faculty advisor should create a plan that is reasonable for the student to complete online for the duration of the change in University operations. Questions about specific cases can be directed to clas@uconn.edu. If you have undergraduate employees in a research lab, they should work from home, if possible.

    What guidance should we give undergraduate students in internships?

    Internship operations should be determined by the agency or company at which a student is interning. Case-specific concerns should be addressed by the department head in consultation with the dean.

    Agencies have shifted to remote work or closed temporarily. If remote work is possible for an intern, that is the best option and should be coordinated with the supervisor at the agency and appropriate faculty/contact in the department at UConn.

    If remote work is not possible, faculty are encouraged to offer appropriate substitutes for the remaining hours the student would need to earn the full number of credits. Please be flexible and creative, while maintaining the learning objectives. For example, one might consider written assignments relating the current public health crisis to the type of experience/work the internship was intended to provide. Other options include:

    1. Proportionally provide credits to students based on the number of hours they have completed. When considering this option please think carefully about potential consequences.
    2. Submit a grade of incomplete and provide the opportunity to complete the work after the health crisis is over.
    3. Where appropriate, CLAS could work with faculty and students to turn the internship into an independent study.

    Travel

    I have travel questions. Where should I go?

    At this time, travel questions are difficult to answer. Please email your questions to clas@uconn.edu. We will find out as much as we can and share information when we have it. Many conferences that have been canceled are offering reimbursements of registration fees. If you cannot get reimbursed by your airline, conference, or hotel directly, CLAS will look into the possibility of reimbursement.

    My graduate students have travel questions. Where should they go?

    Please direct all graduate student travel questions to the Graduate School at gradschool@uconn.edu.

    Can I charge grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 to an external research grant?

    Non-refundable costs associated with grant-related travel that has been cancelled due to COVID-19 may be charged to the NIH award if they would have otherwise been allowable. Visit the NIH Grants Policy Statement website for detailed information on the allowability of travel expenses.

    Can I still bring in job candidates from out of state?

    Teaching assistants will continue to be paid through the duration of this operational change. Students are encouraged to take advantage of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning’s guidance on developing engaging online discussions and facilitating online discussions. HuskCT provides a platform for holding discussion sections within its discussion board feature.  These scheduled classes should continue using the online format.


    College-Wide Email Archive

    4/3/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Updates for Faculty and Staff

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues -

    We have made substantial progress in the transition to our new ways of working, and some aspects are taking on a rhythm. However, there is still much stress and exhaustion among us. Before I give today’s updates, I want to reiterate what I hope I’ve already been making clear: Please take care of yourself and your loved ones. Pace yourself, rest when you can, prioritize your work to focus on what is most essential, and remember that when this tough time is over, the College will be here to help you ramp back up.

    Announcements for today:

    Faculty satisfaction survey. Faculty, if you have not yet filled out the COACHE Satisfaction Survey, please do so. Data from surveys like this can help reduce workplace bias and remove barriers to advancement for underrepresented groups. If you haven’t received an e-mail about it, please contact the COACHE survey staff. Questions can be directed to Director of Academic Policy Sarah Croucher.

    Donating supplies. As mentioned in yesterday’s UConn-wide e-mail, UConn Storrs is gathering medical supplies to donate to UConn Health. See details of the April 7 and 9 drop-off opportunities here.

    I hope you have a peaceful weekend.

    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/25/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Faculty and Staff Update

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    Updates for today concern pass/fail options and reporting COVID-19 cases or exposures.

    CLAS implementation of pass/fail option. The CLAS Courses and Curriculum committee voted yesterday to adopt a policy about how students can use the new pass/fail option in their CLAS majors and minors. Please see the policy under Teaching on this website.

    All department heads should e-mail any restrictions on pass/fail courses to Mansour Ndiaye at mansour.ndiaye@uconn.edu, with a copy to Amy De Flumere at amy.deflumere@uconn.edu, by Friday, March 27, 2020.

    Reporting COVID-19 cases. Human Resources has developed an initial set of questions and answers for employees, managers, and colleagues upon the presumption or confirmation of a case of COVID-19. Please review.

    Stay well,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/24/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Updates, March 24, 2020

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    Here are a few updates from CLAS on COVID-19 operations.

    Halting research. As of today, on-campus research (that is not directly related to COVID-19) is prohibited. If you have been unable to halt your work, immediately contact ovpr@uconn.edu with a description of your situation.

    Teaching remotely. All instructors are now expected to conduct their teaching from home. If you have technological or other problems with teaching remotely, please see instructions on the CLAS website under “How do I teach my class?”

    Reporting COVID-19. We anticipate more information on this topic. For now, faculty and staff should notify their department head, who should contact HR at hr@uconn.edu or (860) 486-3034. If you have questions about a student exposure, call either the Advice Nurse at 860-486-4700 or the SHaW COVID-19 Health Line at 860-486-8987.

    Remote learning. All instructors must provide students with a modified course syllabus. While the format of course delivery and specific nature of some assignments may change, the expectations and workload for students must not increase. Modes of assessment might be different than in the original face-to-face course, but they should be based on the same learning objectives. Instructors teaching synchronously are required to teach their courses at the scheduled time. More info on teaching can be found on the CLAS coronavirus website.

    Guidance for graduate students. The Graduate School has published guidance for graduate students on how to modify work toward theses and dissertations. Students can contact the graduate school at gradschool@uconn.edu with questions.

    I plan to update you tomorrow on details of CLAS pass/fail course guidelines, and will continue to share information as it becomes available.

    Stay well,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/19/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Updates for Faculty and Staff

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    I write with further guidance and clarification related to developments in the last 24 hours. The CLAS COVID-19 website has been updated accordingly; excerpts are copied below. Please note that we will add information about the new University policy on Pass/Fail grades (just announced) near the middle of next week.

    Research. All campus-based research should immediately be ramped down, and principal investigators should prepare for the possibility that they will be required to put their research on hold. Essential activities can continue for the time being, but staffing should be at a minimum and work should be done in shifts, if possible, to minimize exposure. Individuals may maintain critical resources, including animals and instrumentation. Researchers should begin to enact a plan to protect what will be needed to start research up again when the health danger has passed.

    Departmental administration. Unless a staff member is deemed “mission-critical” by the University, they should work remotely. Departments may close their office and post a sign on their departmental office door with contact information for a department representative who can direct any requests to the appropriate remotely-working staff or faculty member.

    Internships. Internship operations should be determined by the agency or company at which a student is interning. Case-specific concerns should be addressed by the department head in consultation with the dean. At this time, most agencies are shifting to remote work or closing temporarily. If remote work is possible for an intern, that is the best option and should be coordinated with the supervisor at the agency and appropriate faculty/contact in the department at UConn.

    Undergraduate student employees. If students cannot continue to work remotely, they will be paid for their usual hours from March 14 until April 5. This is consistent with the U.S. Department of Education's guidance on Paying Federal Work Study participants for the same reasons.

    Commencement. The university’s scheduled May commencement ceremonies have been canceled. However, students’ degrees will be conferred on schedule, and commencement programs listing students’ names will be available.

    Telecommuting letters. Supervisors should send to each of their staff a memo, modeled after the template provided on the COVID-19 Human Resources page (under Manager's Guidance in the 2020-03-16 update - letter from HR VP Chris Delello). The end date for telecommuting can be filled in as “until further notice.” The letter can be modified as appropriate for your unit and specific situation. Questions about this process should be directed to CLAS Chief Operating Officer Deborah Shelby at deborah.shelby@uconn.edu.

    Job candidates. At this time, the Provost will not be approving external candidates’ travel to campus. If you have questions relating to academic job positions, you should contact the Provost’s Office (provost@uconn.edu). Questions related to other job searches should be directed to Human Resources (hr@uconn.edu). Read more at the updated CLAS FAQ.

    Please feel free to contact us at clas@uconn.edu or the appropriate e-mail address on the FAQ page.

    Thank you all,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/17/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Update, March 17

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    I write with a few updates from CLAS as the situation with COVID-19 evolves.

    General Inquiries. We continue to receive your questions and concerns on a range of topics, including tenure clock extensions, animal care, student internships, and more. Please know that we are actively discussing the issues within CLAS, and for those that extend beyond our College, I am engaging in conversations at appropriate levels. We are updating the CLAS COVID-19 webpage regularly, so please continue to check for answers and changes to operations. Please do not hesitate to contact us.

    Animal Care. The Animal Care Services unit of the Office of the Vice President for Research has established a plan to maintain animal husbandry activities, including training research staff to assist with care in the event animal care staff are not available. They are communicating directly with affected faculty and staff about these issues. Please contact Animal Care Services at acsinfo@uconn.edu with general questions or to be added to this list.

    Town Hall Tomorrow. President Tom Katsouleas and senior University leaders will hold a second virtual Town Hall meeting tomorrow at 11:00 am. Connect to the Town Hall and its live captioning here. My senior staff and I will be meeting in the afternoon to address any new issues that we learn through or prior to that event.

    Please know how grateful I am for the work you are doing during this extraordinary time. I appreciate the stress that you (we all) are under, and am thoroughly impressed by the adaptability, acts of kindness, and generosity of spirit that I am seeing.

    Until next time,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/13/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Update for Faculty and Staff

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    I’d like to share with you our new CLAS COVID-19 informational web page.

    This page includes a list of frequently asked questions about College matters, with further information and interpretation of the guidance given by the University on the main UConn COVID-19 website.

    Please be sure to review both sources of information as they pertain to your work. We will update this page as new information is available.  As always, please e-mail clas@uconn.edu with further questions.

    It came to our attention that previous College-wide emails about COVID-19 did not include adjunct faculty. I am deeply sorry for this oversight, and we have done our best to update the distribution list with the information available to us this morning.

    Finally, given this hectic time, we have extended the deadline for nominations for the CLAS Excellence Awards until Friday, March 20.

    Again, thank you all for your diligent work and positive attitude during this difficult time. I truly appreciate the commitment to this community that I see coming from our leaders, faculty, and staff in the College.

    Sincerely,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/12/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Update for Faculty and Staff

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear colleagues,

    Today has been a challenge for all of us, and I wanted to share a few updates. More will follow as we gain information and find solutions. Please know that we are listening to all of your questions and concerns and will address them as efficiently as we can.

    So far today, I have met with staff, department heads, and my leadership team (senior CLAS staff members and the associate deans). We have discussed a wide range of issues, including delivery of instruction to students (including for lab and language courses with components that are difficult or impossible to deliver online), updating all syllabi, continuity of research, how and when staff should telecommute, management of various CLAS facilities, travel, and more. Tomorrow morning, we plan to post a CLAS COVID-19 web page that will address as much as possible. We are prioritizing the most time-sensitive issues, and will continue to update the page as we have information to share.

    Please be assured that the Dean’s Office and the services we provide will continue to be as available as is feasible during these evolving times. It is our intention that the support we provide will not be diminished, although please be patient if it takes us just a little longer in times of substantially increased need.

    If there are questions that you have that cannot be answered within your unit, please send them to clas@uconn.edu, and we will get them to the most appropriate person in the College offices.

    Finally, I ask that during these difficult times you take care of yourselves and those around you. Please be kind and generous in the decisions that you make, and do your part to create as welcoming and inclusive of an environment (even virtual environment!) as possible.

    I’ll be back in touch tomorrow when the website is available.

    Sincerely,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/12/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Update for Faculty and Staff

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear Colleagues,

    As you have seen, after this week UConn will move to online instruction and some remote work until April 6.

    My office is right now gathering the many good questions you are sending us. We will learn more from the President’s forum today, and within CLAS have discussions scheduled for today in which we work on guidance for many critical issues. I will be meeting with Department Heads late this afternoon, and you can expect to hear from me via email later today as well.

    Thank you all, again, for all you are doing.

    Sincerely,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269

    3/11/20 – CLAS COVID-19 Update

    This message is intended for faculty and staff

    Dear CLAS Faculty and Staff,

    I believe you are aware that the University is in emergency preparation mode for COVID-19.  I want to provide some more information to help you understand how this is all working.

    Decision-making.  CLAS heads, directors, faculty, and staff should continue to follow the instructions from the Offices of the Provost and President about academic operations. We are expected to perform our regular duties until instructed by those offices to do otherwise. You can find all updated information, communications, and instructions at the University’s COVID-19 web page.

    Emergency working groups. The University’s Executive Policy Group is tasked with assessing the current COVID-19 threat.  Jeffrey Shoulson has also convened an Academic Affairs Working Group to assess and recommend actions surrounding academic continuity, as well as three sub-groups to deal with issues related to classroom teaching and the potential transition to online instruction, clinical and field placements involving students, and performance courses (such as labs and studios).  I am working to ensure adequate CLAS representation on each of these committees.

    Staff guidance. I have frankly been dismayed by the lack of communication about how University staff should be preparing.  Please know that I am working hard to secure better guidance for our many employees, including whether and how remote work will be expected if campus operations change. I will update you as soon as I have more information.

    Finally, please note that President Katsouleas is holding a virtual town hall tomorrow to discuss COVID-19.   Information is available here: http://dailydigest.uconn.edu/publicEmailSingleStoryView.php?id=153476&cid=24&iid=4500.

    Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with your questions. I appreciate all of you continuing to do your best work under the stress of this difficult time.

    Sincerely,
    Juli

    Juli Wade
    Dean
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
    University of Connecticut
    215 Glenbrook Rd., U-4098
    Storrs, CT 06269