Dear College of Education faculty, staff, and students,
We are all adjusting to a new sense of normal, with COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) considerations influencing our decision-making for work, home, and social life. Everyone must be diligent to do our part to slow the spread that threatens to overburden our healthcare systems. College leadership is taking swift and prudent measures to flatten the infection curve of this highly-contagious virus.
The health and wellness of our College community remains our highest priority. Specifically, it is the College’s goal to move as many staff as possible to remote work by Wednesday, March 18, following the practice drill on the afternoon of Tuesday, March 17. Many of you have already made the transition to work remotely, and we thank you for doing this quickly.
As the situation related to COVID-19 continues to evolve, please keep checking the FAQ page of the COVID-19 website for updates from the University of Illinois System and Urbana-Champaign campus.
These College of Education-specific resources have been created to provide up-to-date information:
Additionally, the College of Education is adopting the following practices, effective immediately. These should be followed for the rest of the Spring 2020 semester.
- Social Distancing: Please limit face-to-face contact. If you must meet someone in-person, appropriate social distancing (six feet separation) must be practiced at all times.
- Events: All in-person events, including seminars, job interviews, etc. are cancelled. Each activity should be evaluated to see if an appropriate virtual option can be provided. For example, job interviews should be conducted virtually, candidates should not travel to the campus / College.
- Meetings: Meetings should be held as virtual meetings, even if participants are physically on campus and it is a small, two person meeting. This includes ALL meetings: departmental meetings, course staff meetings, research group meetings, RSO meetings, study groups, etc. If people are involved in in-person meetings, then appropriate social distancing (six feet separation) must be practiced.
- Travel: All business-related travel, international or domestic, is restricted until further notice. Travel that had been approved prior to this message must be resubmitted for department head / chair approval. Personal travel is strongly discouraged and those returning from any trips are expected to follow the advice from the CDC.
- Facilities: At this time, the College and Children’s Research Center (CRC) will remain open. However, College controlled classrooms, conference rooms, research labs, and the O’Leary Learning Center will be closed.
Transitioning to Remote Operations: Instruction, Research, Services
Below are some of the actions that the College of Education is taking to transition to remote administrative operations while ensuring continuity in instruction, research, and services. We are implementing these actions as soon as possible.
- Courses: Classes currently offered online will resume on Monday, March 23. All College of Education face-to-face classes will be cancelled Monday, March 23 and Tuesday, March 24 to allow instructors time to transition to an alternate instruction method. These classes will resume in their alternate format on Wednesday, March 25, 2020.
- Advising and Student Services: We know this is a stressful and challenging time, and we are committed to our students having an excellent educational experience and to their ultimate success. . We will be moving to 100% online advising for all students— undergraduate and graduate—effective immediately. The keeplearning.education.illinois.edu webpage provides information for students on how to take advantage of these resources.
- Research: Faculty, staff, and students working on research should perform their work remotely unless absolutely necessary. Additionally, all meetings (including research group meetings) should be held virtually.. If an in-person work, meeting, or research group meeting must occur, it must be held in a space where social distancing of at least six feet can be practiced. Visit the BER: COVID-19 page for more research-related information and policies.
- College Administrative Operations: Campus administration communicated for units to move as many staff as possible to remote work by Wednesday, March 25. College of Education staff have already begun preparing for remote work, and our goal is to move to maximal remote work by Wednesday, March 18. We are working with staff supervisors who will be communicating with their staff in the next few days. The keepworking.education.illinois.edu page provides information on how College operational support will be provided.
Finally, please know that College leadership is doing our very best to empower students and scholars to continue their coursework, as well as staff to carry on their important work, during these very unusual and stressful circumstances. We are an innovative, adaptive community and will come through this even stronger, together.
James D. Anderson
Dean, Gutgsell Professor of Education