3-12-20 Message to the Community


Topics for today:

  1. Study abroad cancelled, students recalled
  2. Support for remote teaching
  3. Support for students with disabilities
  4. Submitting information about IT issues

We made it through Thursday! I know that for many of you, this is your first experience with remote delivery of instruction and we are all learning a lot along the way. The last several days have us all on a steep learning curve but I know that we can and will get through this together as a community. If I could wish one thing for each of us, it is that we try and find the humor in these trying situations and celebrate any and all victories.

Here are some updates about what is happening around campus:

Study abroad cancelled, students recalled

Late last night, we made the decision to recall our students from their overseas studies. Prior to President Trump’s address to the nation last night, bringing them back to campus was the last option we wished to pursue. With the heightened risks around European travel and new CDC regulations, we had to prioritize getting our students home safely and quickly. We regret having to interrupt their time abroad and be assured that we will work with the impacted students to ensure their semester can be completed successfully.

Support for Remote Teaching:

ELearning Miami, eCampus Regionals, Center for Teaching Excellence and other units have been working feverishly to provide resources for faculty and students in this time of remote delivery of instruction. The Continuity of Education website is being frequently enhanced, and a survey is being sent to all faculty to gain insights on additional forms of support that are needed.

Please only university supported software and tools, as that allows us to be more effective with supporting you. Also, those official packages are better suited to meeting the accessibility needs of our students.

Tutoring and Writing Center Consultations:

The Howe Center for Writing Excellence has posted some resources on our website about teaching writing online, and it is now offering fully online writing center consultations so that your students can get the support they need.

The Rinella Learning Assistance Center is still offering subject area tutoring in person. Remote tutoring opportunities will be available beginning next Tuesday.

Support for Students with Disabilities:

The Miller Center for Student Disability Services is proactively contacting faculty who have students with visual and hearing disabilities to provide support. If you encounter a barrier relating to accessibility and accommodations for students with disabilities, you are encouraged to complete the Barrier Form.

IT Issues:

We know that some faculty experienced challenges relating to holding classes via Webex yesterday. IT Services has been working with Cisco to troubleshoot these problems so that the system will work well in the future.  Faculty are encouraged to complete Help Desk Tickets when they experience difficulties so that IT can track salient and systemic problems and address them expeditiously. The Help Desk contact information is 529-7900, or you can communicate by chat via IT Services will be issuing a survey to gather additional input so that they can continuously work to improve our technology systems.

Love and Honor,

Jason Osborne


All resources related to COVID-19 are available at our one-stop web page: coronavirus/index.html.