Teaching Instructions (October 1 – December 23, 2020)

Chancellor Gaber provided an update for our plans for classroom instruction beginning October 1, 2020:

  • Resume select in-person instruction on October 1, 2020, in specific areas of academic study and for those students making a transition to University life.
  • Move to all online/remote classes following the Thanksgiving break, including the delivery of all exams.

In order to keep the on-campus density low, we will prioritize classes that have the greatest need for an on-campus presence. These are courses where hands-on, experiential learning and access to specialized equipment is required for those disciplines. In addition, we are preserving in-person instruction for select 1000-level and 2000-level courses (Top 40 courses) that are important to the new student experience. Classes in these areas/levels should follow the format for which students registered.

Only courses that fit in these categories may resume the originally planned in-person components beginning October 1:

Not all these courses had a planned face-to-face component at time of registration and these are not expected to change. Courses that were orginally planned as fully online at registration should continue online. Faculty are not required to offer students multiple formats for the same section, although flexibility in meeting student needs is encouraged. Instructors should confirm their course delivery mode with their department chair.

All faculty members must affirm the delivery mode of their courses to students by 5 p.m. Friday, September 25, 2020, through email and/or Canvas announcement.


1) Am I required to change the format of my course beginning October 1st?
If your course was originally designed as fully online, then you continue as planned. The only courses that should resume the planned in-person component on October 1 are those that fit in one of these categories – Top 40, engineering, science lab, studio, performance art, healthcare clinicals, architecture. If your course fits in one of these categories but was originally planned as fully online, then it should continue online. If your course was originally planned as hyrid or face-to-face but does not fit in one of the exempt categories, then it should continue online. After Thanksgiving, all Fall 2020 courses and exams must be delivered online.

2) If my course that fits an exempt category has an in-person component, how should I accommodate students who wish to remain online?
Faculty are asked to provide maximum flexibility to students who are uncomfortable returning to the classroom. Faculty are encouraged to work with AISLE and the Center for Teaching and Learning to support students who need to remain remote. We realize that some courses may not be able to accommodate this request. In this case, the student may choose to withdraw from the course.

3) Can I decide after September 25th to change the format of my course?
No. Faculty must affirm the course format in an email or Canvas announcement to students by September 25, 2020, so students can make an informed decision regarding student housing for the fall semester prior to the cancellation deadline.

4) What grade do we give students who choose to withdraw from a course during this semester?
Students who find it necessary to withdraw from a class during the semester will receive a grade of WE, withdrawal for extenuating circumstances. Students are advised to consult an advisor before doing so and to be aware of the enrollment requirements for financial aid.