Provost’s Update to Faculty
It has been an interesting couple of weeks for all of us. Each day seems to present new challenges as to how you can deliver the most meaningful academic experience to our students, and what we can do to provide the tools and support you need to achieve your desired outcomes. I want you to know that I have been impressed by our collective response to this evolving situation. Faculty have actively engaged with professionals in COLRS and ITS to receive the level of assistance they need to convert their courses to a remote delivery format for the remainder of the semester. Some faculty colleagues needed very little support and approach the resumption of classes on Monday with very little concern or trepidation. Other faculty required more support and are anxious and concerned about their ability to function effectively in providing remote instruction. Regardless of how you feel, I want you to know that faculty and administration are aligned in their commitment to our students and that the level of support you need to be successful will continue to be provided.
There are many secondary issues that we will need to address in the coming weeks and months. If COVID-19 is the stone that has been tossed into our pond, these secondary issues are the ripples. I want you to know that we have already started to identify these issues and explore possible responses that will not adversely impact faculty. The leadership of United Faculty and Campus Senate have been positive and productive partners in these conversations. Over the next few weeks you will be receiving periodic communications that are intended to provide appropriate relief from the primary sources of concern that you may be feeling presently. Should you have a concern that does not appear to be under consideration, do not hesitate to bring it to the awareness of Provost Papini, Chair of the Campus Senate Dr. Ann Strahle, or President of United Faculty Dr. Kristi Barnwell.
On behalf of the entire leadership team in the Division of Academic Affairs, I want to conclude by extending to each UIS faculty member our collective admiration and respect for the quantity and quality of your work in response to this significant transition to remote instruction. COLRS and ITS (along with all other support units) stand ready to assist you during the start-up next week and through the remainder of the semester. Thank you for your dedication and commitment to our students.
Dennis R. Papini
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Provost
University of Illinois at Springfield
Public Affairs Center, Room 530
One University Plaza, MS PAC 525
Springfield, Illinois 62703-5407