Week Six of Remote Instruction: Roundup
Dr. Gene Bourgeois, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs | May 9, 2020
Email sent to Faculty, Staff, and Teaching Assistants
As we end the sixth week of remote instruction in spring 2020, please join me in celebrating the resilience and courage of our faculty, staff, and students in making numerous and successful transitions in response to COVID-19. Texas State University’s community spirit and shared values have never been more apparent and important.
Next week, final exams conclude for the spring 2020 semester. This is a joyous time of the year, when we celebrate the graduation of thousands of students. Even if we are not gathering together in Strahan Arena, our heartiest congratulations and good wishes are with these students, their families and friends, and other supporters. My deepest gratitude is reserved for you – our faculty, staff, and teaching assistants who ensure these graduates are prepared to participate fully and freely as citizens of Texas, the nation, and the world. Thank you.
Once final grades are turned in for the spring 2020 semester, faculty are invited to participate in Camp Canvas, a series of learning opportunities focused on Canvas, the university’s new learning management system to replace TRACS. Faculty are encouraged to attend the camp’s online sessions, ranging from Canvas basics to in-depth sessions on multimedia, student engagement, and other topics. The Canvas Essentials workshop is recommended for all faculty who are new to Canvas.
DACA Task Force Recommendations into Action
This week, President Denise M. Trauth announced that the university has established the TXST Monarch Center for Immigrant Students to provide resources, support, and information to our university community. The Monarch Center will encompass the work of many offices across the university and serve as a catalyst for accomplishing key recommendations made by the DACA Task Force, which has transitioned into the center’s Advisory and Resource Network. The Monarch Center, located in existing space on the San Marcos Campus, will be accessible when Texas State returns to in-person instruction. In the meantime, students, faculty, or staff who would like to reach the Monarch Center, should contact Ms. Michelle Sotolongo, the TXST Monarch Center Coordinator at (512) 245-6001 or via email.
Pandemic and Post-Pandemic Work Groups
Several pandemic and post-pandemic work groups have been developed to address areas related to health, wellness and safety, continuity of education, faculty and staff morale, and other university priorities. President Trauth announced these work groups last week. The groups’ recommendations are due in the coming weeks, so if you have questions or ideas to share, please email them to the chair of the appropriate work group.
Professional Development Requirements for Teaching Online
AA/PPS No. 02.03.20 – Maintenance and Improvement of Quality in Teaching requires instructors who will teach an online (INT) or hybrid (HYB) course to participate in an approved professional development program. The Office of Distance and Extended Learning (ODEL) has contacted
faculty scheduled to teach a course in summer I and who have not previously been approved for online teaching. Other faculty are welcome and encouraged to participate in the program. Questions may be directed to ODEL at (512) 245-2322 or via email.
This is the final roundup email and I hope these weekly communications have kept you informed and connected during these uncertain times. Please continue to monitor your university email account and the university’s website for updates to plans and practices surrounding COVID-19. As always, I hope you and your loved ones remain safe and healthy.