A Message from Provost
Dr. Rick Muma
Thank you for everything you’ve been doing on behalf of students and the university during this time of COVID-19. We’ve been sending a lot of information out to you over the last month, and I know that’s probably been overwhelming. The Provost Office staff is cognizant of that too and have been busy making sure that there’s a centralized location for this information. On this site, you’ll find a host of information that’s important to you as a faculty member. It not only has information we need you to know, it also links to the Faculty Senate website and the University’s COVID-19 site. The information you’ll find is geared toward faculty members such as proposed changes to tenure, sabbaticals, and new timelines.
Provost Video Message, April 13, 2020
Provost Video Message, March 27, 2020
Academic Affairs Updates
Annual Faculty Evaluations (FAR) and Post Tenure Review
Any faculty evaluations and PTR reviews not yet submitted to the Provost’s Office can remain in the Dean’s offices until we return to campus.
Tenure and Promotion Posted 04/16/2020
The Faculty Senate, at its April 13th meeting, endorsed an automatic one-year extension of the probationary period for all tenure-track faculty. The Senate recommended the immediate adoption of an automatic one-year extension of the probationary and mandatory review period with the opportunity to opt-out of this extension. Faculty wishing to maintain the current mandatory year for review can choose to opt-out of the extension. The Provost’s office will implement processes for mandatory year extension and opting-opt of the extension. Further information will be disseminated and posted to the Academic Affairs website.
At its April 15th meeting, the Kansas Board of Regents approved a one-time systemwide exception to policy 2.C.2.b.vii.2.e for tenure-clock extensions granted based on COVID-19. This would exclude COVID-19 related tenure-clock extensions from counting toward the two-extension limit that is prescribed in policy. Kansas Board of Regents policy specifies that faculty are limited to two extensions to their tenure-track clock. When looking at this specific policy in relation to the recent COVID-19-related disruptions to scholarly work and teaching, it is anticipated that tenure-track faculty will need additional flexibility in 2020. Because this pandemic is an “unexpected special and extenuating circumstance” affecting everyone, as opposed to an individual faculty member having a unique experience disrupting their work, institutions may find it expedient to grant a campus- wide exemption that should not count against faculty as one of the two extensions currently allowed by Board policy.
The tenure and promotion calendar for the current cycle and next year will not be changed. All the deadlines and due dates for notification and review are still in effect.
Sabbaticals Spring 2020
For those currently on Sabbatical, if you are not able to complete your work as planned in your proposal, consult with your department chair and dean to adjust your plans and receive written approval for revised plans. Changes should be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 8.
Although we hope that faculty can take sabbaticals as planned during the academic year, if changes need to be made due to COVID-19 (includes changes to focus, location, timing, or choosing to decline or reapply next year), please notify and obtain approval from your chair and dean. Please forward changes to email@example.com by May 8. As there may be changes required after May 8, please consult with your chair and dean and these changes will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. In any case, please forward changes to Linnea GlenMaye.
A Note from the Faculty Senate President - Jeff Jarman
As instruction continues in an online/remote format, questions will come up. Feel free to reach out to Faculty Senate President, Jeff Jarman or any other member of the Faculty Senate. Questions are likely shared by other faculty.
Also note that the Faculty Senate President, Jeff Jarman is engaged with the university at many levels (including regular phone calls with the provost and the tri-weekly academic affairs COVID-19 operation call) to help understand and shape the academic decisions that are being made. The Senate will hear about those decisions at the meetings over the rest of the semester. But, if there are specific concerns, please share those with Faculty Senate President, Jeff Jarman and other members of the Faculty Senate. Finally, note that faculty perspectives will be shared as decisions are being made.
Documents & Reports for Upcoming Meeting
T&P Extension Recommendation (4/13/20)
DRAFT Credit/No Credit Proposal (4/13/20)
Strategic Initiative Proposal Packet (4/13/20)
On April 16, 2020, Provost Muma announced an option for students to adjust grades, on a per class basis, from the assigned letter grade to a credit/non-credit option for undergraduate students and satisfactory/unsatisfactory option for graduate students.
These options for undergraduate and graduate students will provide a grading option that will not impact GPA calculation.
Students will be able to opt-in to this grade adjustment at the end of this semester after reviewing the grades awarded for their classes. Frequently asked questions about this topics can be found at COVID-19 FAQ website in the Guidance for Students (academics) section.
Friday, April 17, is the last date for withdrawing from a course with a W, so it is important for students to know that this option will be available. The Faculty Senate has endorsed this option in recognition of the unique challenges of moving quickly to remote and online formats.
Students are encouraged to consult with advisors before choosing this option to discuss any issues or cautions that may apply.
INFORMATION REGARDING TEACHING ONLINE
Ongoing Instructional Support
- As classes resume online, do not hesitate to reach out for additional support. Instructional Design and Accessibility is ready to help. They can help you deliver the content you were planning to deliver as well as support you in developing new material you want to create for later the semester. Review the great resources online and also consider the step-by-step guide they developed to help create course content to keep your students engaged. Several training labs also are available every week.
- Whenever you have technological trouble, there is a strong support staff to help you fix glitches. They want to help you do your best. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Synchronous Class Meetings
- If you are meeting synchronously (live) with your class, it is important to stick to your scheduled course time. Students may have other faculty who are also expecting them “in class” during their scheduled time.
- Consider recording your zoom sessions and posting those for students to view later who are unable to join you live due to new home/work obligations.
Online Proctoring Services
- Proctoring exams can be a challenge. The MRC has several options to improve exam integrity that do not involve proctoring. A comprehensive overview of proctoring options also is available.
- Respondus Lockdown Browser is the recommended tool for online proctoring. This tool locks down a student’s browser (but not any extra devices they might have) and provides AI monitoring through a webcam of the student taking the exam. Exams must be offered in online format. Similar to ProctorU, it flags irregularities for later review by a faculty member. Additional information is available online at: https://wichita.edu/services/mrc/instructional_technology/Respondus/index.php
- ProctorU: This service likely will not be available prior to final exams. ProctorU provides AI monitoring for online exams that flags irregularities. The cost is $10 per student per exam. You must have permission from the Dean to cover the cost of these exams. As a reminder, the cost of the test cannot be passed on to students.
Testing with Disability Services
- Students registered with ODS should not have to pay for their test to be proctored. The plan is to have Testing Services proctor the test via zoom or skype.
- Zoom Bombing is when an uninvited guest joins a zoom meeting and disrupts the event,
usually with offensive content. This is a particular risk for events that are promoted
in a public way (like recruitments events that cast a wide net).
- You can protect yourself using Zoom’s security features. For guidance, go to wichita.edu/zoomsafe.
- You can request a co-host for your Zoom session – a CMS A/V technician who will help monitor your event and handle problems if they occur. https://wichita.teamdynamix.com/TDClient/1907/Portal/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=42814.
- If you experience a Zoom Bombing event, please report the incident using the Institutional Equity and Compliance Report form. The Compliance office is helping to track these incidents and manage any necessary institutional response. For report form is available online at: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?WichitaStateUniv&layout_id=8.
INFORMATION TO SUPPORT YOUR STUDENTS
- If you are not meeting synchronously with your students each week, consider ways to touch base with them regularly. If you wait until the next assignment or test is due and they don’t submit work, it may be too late to get them back on track if they are struggling. A live Q&A session or a short email asking for a reply is a great way to keep students engaged.
- If you encounter students in need or distress, please submit a CARE report. CARE Team is ready to serve students in distress during these trying times. To help address concerns regarding emergency assistance and self-care resources, share the below link to help connect individuals to resources in our community.
- If students are struggling academically, GEEKs, the Math lab, the Writing center, and tutoring services have all moved online.
- You may have students who are now in need of additional academic support and coaching.Success Coaches are available in each college to provide support for course engagement, time management, navigating classes, online study skills, accountability, etc. Critical concerns such as mental health, recent layoffs, food and housing insecurity, should be submitted to our Care Team (see above).
Sharing Academic Information with Students (protecting Student FERPA rights)
- Blackboard is the ideal mode to share information about grades with students.
- Zoom meetings between the instructor and the individual student can include discussions about grades and academic progress.
- Emails to students at their assigned @shockers.wichita.edu email address can include explanations and information related to grades and academic progress.
- Phone conversations with students are allowed, but verification of identity is difficult. Use a phone call if it is necessary to be accessible to a student to answer their questions or address their concerns. Use caution in sharing specific academic information because of the difficulty of verification of identity.
INFORMATION FOR THE END OF THE SEMESTER
You may be asked by a student if they can take an incomplete in your course for this spring. This decision is yours, but please see the notes from the Registrar when considering the request.
- Use caution when considering granting Incompletes. It pushes work down the road for you and for students. Giving an incomplete solely because classes moved online (without requiring some other extenuating circumstances) could bring a lot more requests for incompletes your way.
- Remember you have the ability to adjust the Incomplete Final grade. The grade of F is the default grade if no grade change is submitted before one year. If a student, for instance, would receive a C without submitting further work, you could change the Incomplete Final Grade from F to C. The C would be the grade rolled to their record at the end of one year, you would not be required to take any further action. If they did complete the work, you’d submit a change a grade via the Grade Change link in myWSU.
- Do not give an incomplete if the student is going to need to repeat the course. Repeating a class doesn’t remove the original attempt from the student’s transcript. An Incomplete will still turn into an F (or whatever default grade you enter) and will show on the transcript. A repeat of the course will replace the previous grade in the student’s GPA, but the original course will remain on the transcript.
- You can review the catalog detail regarding incompletes at these links:
- The final exam schedule has not changed. Faculty teaching courses that began in-person and are administering a final exam at a specific time are expected to utilize the day/time specified for that course on the final exam schedule.
- Courses that have been online courses throughout the semester can schedule their final exams at the discretion of the instructor, but they should still take place during finals week.
- If your final is a “take-home” or a final assignment that isn’t administered at a specific time, be sure to allow adequate time for grading to meet the May 19 grade submission deadline.
- All courses/finals, including online, are subject to catalog policy requiring students to take no more than 2 final exams in one day. Instructors with questions regarding this policy can contact the Office of the Registrar at email@example.com.
Change of grading mode (Credit/No Credit vs Pass/Fail)
- Faculty will enter grades at the end of the semester as usual following the traditional scale.
- WSU is considering a process where students can opt-in to change the class grading system to Credit/No Credit at the end of the semester if they feel that would be appropriate. This would not change normal grade entry but would convert the grade after it posted. The details are under consideration and an announcement will be made soon.
- Although some universities are choosing to convert all classes from letter graded
courses to pass/fail (credit/no credit) courses, WSU has decided not to implement this change. There are several factors shaping this decision:
- Although there will be some students who will struggle to finish the semester strong in this new learning environment and would prefer to avoid a low letter grade by getting a “pass” instead, there are also students who have worked hard for their good grades and would not be pleased to have that hard work recorded as a “pass.” Establishing a fair way to handle these would be challenging at best.
- Some accredited programs may not be allowed to offer pass/fail grades based on their accreditation policies.
- Pass/Fail (credit/no credit) classes on a transcript can be problematic for admission into a number graduate programs.
- In order to convert classes to a pass/fall modality, the registrar’s office would need to manually unenroll students, change every course to pass/fail, and manually re-enroll every student in every class.
Submitting Failing Grades
Please note the below information and be sure you are entering the correct grade and only entering a Last Date of Attendance when it is required/appropriate.
- With classes going online, you’ll be looking at it as a last day of educationally-related activity more than before. The date you’d use will likely be the last date the student interacted with you or with an online chat, assignment, or exam. It is still up to you to determine what that date is based on the structure of your class/instruction.
- Faculty can no longer submit the specific failing grades of F, U, NCR or NBG. Instead, they submit one of three failing grades in each category.
Final grade student should receive (and will see):
If student neverattended class/logged in or participated online , enter:
If student attended class/participated online for entire course and earned failing grade, enter:
If student started but stopped attending/participating online and failed course, enter:
Do not enter Last Date of Attendance
Do not enter Last Date of Attendance
You must enter Last Date of Attendance
During this remote work time and online learning, campus offices (with the exception of the Academic Advising offices) have been set to forward directly to the call center. The best way for a faculty or staff member to reach on-campus offices during the Stay-at-Home Order is via campus-email.
OneStop previously provided support for the areas of Admissions (Undergraduate, Graduate and International), Registrar (Records and Registration), Financial Aid, Student Accounts, Parking and Academic Advising in partnership with the Blackboard Student Services Call Center.
In some cases, offices have been set up with the option to “press 2” and be connected directly to the campus office for Faculty and Staff.