Start of Term Information for Faculty

Fall 2021, Email from Dean Amanda Claybaugh to FAS Faculty: Information for Faculty Teaching this Fall (Harvardkey login required)

Illness/Isolation Many of you are wondering how best to handle illness this fall—not only the illnesses of your students, but also, possibly, your own. As always, you have the discretion to set policies for your courses, within the limits set by the Student Handbook. The one exception is if you or your students are put into isolation. People who test positive for Covid-19 will be required to isolate for ten days, but many of those people will have mild symptoms, if any, and will therefore be able to carry on with their courses. (Students who are more seriously ill may request an Extension of Time to complete their work). We ask that you maintain academic continuity through isolation, and we’ve gathered a list of suggestions for how you might do so with relative ease

Masking The FAS has decided to prohibit all unmasked teaching, irrespective of the distance between lecturer and students. Many of you also have questions about teaching while wearing a mask. Doing so may feel a little strange at first, but the Bok Center has created guidance about creating a sense of warmth and engagement even in a masked classroom. Those of you who are teaching in larger classrooms may find it helpful to use a microphone; you should find one waiting for you (contact ess@fas.harvard.edu if you need assistance). You should also find a supply of masks, in case anyone forgot theirs (contact the building manager if you need more). You can also contact the Accessible Education Office if you need clear masks because of a disability and the OUE if you need them for pedagogical reasons. Once you receive approval, please contact your department administrator to place your order through Buy2Pay. Instructions can be found here. In general, students have been very good about remembering to wear their masks and the few who forget have been quick to comply when reminded. If, however, you run into any difficulties, you may refer students to the DUS and their resident deans.

Remote Teaching Some of you have asked whether you might continue teaching remotely. The FAS is returning to in-person instruction, which means that no lecture, seminar, or section should be taught online. Exceptions may be granted for medical reasons (you may apply for a modification through University Disability Resources). Exceptions may also be granted on very limited pedagogical grounds, specifically, for courses that cannot be taught effectively in person. (Contact oue@fas.harvard.edu for more information). As for office hours, you are free to hold them either in person or remotely. If you choose to hold your office hours remotely, please remember that students may be zooming in from crowded dorm rooms and make sure to provide some way for them to discuss sensitive matters more privately.

Accommodations and the Accessible Education Office (AEO) We are committed to ensuring that all of our students can participate fully in the life of the University. Among other things, this means ensuring equal access to all educational opportunities. The AEO works with our students (and others, as appropriate) to determine what accommodations they may need in order to participate fully in a particular class. Please make sure that you comply fully with all AEO recommendations. At the same time, please do not offer your own accommodations to students who do not present you with an AEO letter (except in the case of emergent, temporary, and visible injury, say, a broken wrist).

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