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Guidance for Faculty

As the situation develops and we get closer to the start of the semester, additional guidance will be shared by your dean and department chair/school director as appropriate. Please check your email regularly for important updates from the Provost’s office and other university offices. It is also your responsibility to review and understand the Academic Affairs Continuity of Operation Plan and to be on alert for any emails that indicate a revised version has been published.

All policies noted in this guide including those about cleaning and mask-wearing protocols apply to faculty. See the Health and Safety section for more guidance.

General Instruction Best Practices:

  • Under no circumstances should you teach while experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Depending on the severity of illness, you may continue instruction through online delivery or a backup instructor can be assigned. Please work with your chair and dean as needed. 
  • If you need to teach online for the duration of the pandemic as a precautionary risk-reduction measure, the university will accommodate all reasonable requests.
  • HyFlex and on-ground classes will need to follow social distancing protocols that are facilitated through, for example, reduction in the percentage of the class meeting at one time or assignment to a larger more open space. After you are assigned a classroom, you must abide by the adjusted COVID room capacity requirements and university classroom pool capacities and set ups
  • Just as not showing up to class for the year would be a violation of your faculty responsibilities and cause for termination under Chapter Nine of the Faculty Handbook, failure to engage in regular and substantive interaction in the online environment in the event of a suspension of campus operations is a violation of basic job responsibilities. Annual review of faculty performance in teaching must make reference to quality of online instruction. Peer review guidelines and tools for evaluation will be provided to chairs and deans by the Center for Faculty Innovation.

Classroom assignments are now finalized. You may review your assignment in the Faculty Schedule/Syllabus upload section of LORAFAC. 

Best Practices for Online Learning:

  • Courses that are formally part of the online program are reviewed by the Online Learning Team. The Online Learning Team and the Center for Faculty Innovation are happy to provide courtesy consultation and review to ensure your course meets appropriate design and student success standards.
  • Online courses will be taught in the Canvas, in conjunction with the Zoom platform for video meetings. All assignments and deadlines for online courses must be tracked in Canvas. 
  • Synchronous meetings must be recorded for students who are ill or for students who have other accommodations.
  • Unless students have been given fair warning at the time of registration, they may not have access to webcams or computers with specifications sufficient for online proctoring. Please work with your associate dean to ensure courses using Respondus, Examity, Examsoft (Law), or similar solutions are indicated as such on LORA and in the syllabus.
  • Campus computer labs will be available, with appropriate social distancing protocols for students with inadequate access to technology.
  • Please help us identify students enrolled in HyFlex classes that will be completing them completely online. Continue to encourage students to reach out to the technical advisors/student support staff in your college with this information so students can be coded appropriately in SIS. IT is working to add this information to your course roster in LORA. 
  • Don’t forget to check your syllabus for language referencing Blackboard instead of Canvas. The syllabus templates (graphic) or (standard) have been updated to include Canvas information and you are free to copy-paste information into your own syllabi. 
  • Use of the course templates is very strongly encouraged, but not required. The templates are meant to provide you with a best-practice method of setting up an online course; however, if you have taught online in the past and what you were doing worked for you and your students, by all means you should keep doing that! For examples of what you can do with a course homepage, visit this Canvas community page

Attendance Requirements:

Your attendance policies and delivery modality should be sufficiently flexible to accommodate students who are ill or need to self-isolate after exposure. Attendance policies that encourage coming to class while sick put the entire campus at risk. Online synchronous courses should be sensitive to equity issues that make students uncomfortable showing their home environment on screen and to time zone considerations that might make live attendance problematic.

Changes to the Academic Calendars:

The Academic Calendars have been adjusted to minimize the additional risks to community health created by Thanksgiving travel. The remainder of the semester and the examination period will take place remotely after Thanksgiving.

Undergrad/Graduate Academic Calendar     College of Law Academic Calendar

Professional Development:

  • Dr. Dan Guo, our Instructional Designer, will continue to hold workshops this week for those interested in a live opportunity to ask Canvas questions. Please see the schedule here. A few days after each event you will find a recording in the “completed” tab of the schedule.

    • Zoom link 

    • Meeting ID: 967 9956 0367

    • Password: 755204  

  • The Center for Faculty Innovation will facilitate multiple opportunities for faculty development in preparation for additional outbreak-related disruptions and increased use of online learning approaches. The CFI hosted a five-day online teaching conference from June 8-12. View the recordings and slide decks for those sessions.
  • Media Services will provide updates and training related to enhanced campus classroom technology. If you have questions about classroom technology, please consult Susan Brower in Media Services via email at Law faculty should consult Johanna Kalb via email at

Browse these pages for additional resources to support learning outcomes for the Fall 2020 semester:

Additionally, all faculty members have been assigned a Canvas Trainer to help answer your questions. They should have already been in contact with you, but if you are unsure who your trainer is, please email

Student Resources:

View the Student Academics page for more student-facing resources and information. 


  • University-sponsored travel is prohibited until further notice.
  • Access to campus laboratories will be made available contingent on being in compliance with all city and university related ordinances.
  • Access to campus offices will similarly follow city and university guidelines, though faculty are encouraged to work remotely as much as possible.
  • The university libraries continue to provide support in accessing materials.


  • All university, college, and departmental committee meetings should continue to take place remotely via teleconference or videoconference tools such as Zoom. 

Academic Instruction FAQs