Questions on academic issues that were submitted during the recent Virtual Town Hall meeting aligned with several focus areas. Those themes have been used in addressing our responses.
Impact on Course Scheduling for Academic Year 20–21
- GEP 101 will be a first-block, blended-class format for fall 2020.
- Study away short-term international trips will not occur for fall; spring depends on COVID-19 conditions.
- Class sections for the fall term reflect an increase in alternative delivery modalities compared to fall 2019, but the majority are seated.
- Where possible, seated classes have moved to larger rooms and some classroom changes may still occur to optimize space separation to the extent possible.
- The FCTL is providing extensive professional development opportunities for faculty.
- Classroom upgrades to assist possible alternative delivery of course work include equipping 77 rooms with Zoom-utilization capability. Twenty-three of the larger rooms will have tracking cameras.
Policies Impacting Faculty
- The tenure clock for all probationary faculty has been extended for one year due to the potential impact of COVID-19.
- The Faculty Handbook has no changes in guiding principles for Departmental Tenure and Promotion criteria, and the processes for any restructuring of Departmental T&P requirements remain in place.
- The university workload policy (as reflected in OP 3.33 and as referenced in the Faculty Handbook) has not changed. Instructors may still teach up to 15 equated hours per semester depending on service responsibilities or other re-assigned duties for the department.
- Budget, performance, and meeting needs of the department and programs as reflected in the Faculty Handbook still stand as the criteria or justification for the annual reappointment of instructors and clinical faculty.
- In keeping with current practice, the Colleges determine the compensation and instructional need for per course faculty. Enrollment, special expertise, and availability of full-time faculty are the prime factors determining departmental employment of per course instructors.
Support for Faculty and Programs
- The implications of budget tied to a reduction in state revenue and lower enrollment are an evolving reality. However, the hiring of new faculty that has already occurred for 2020-21 reflect the university’s commitment to maintaining strong academic programs that will meet the goals of MSU students.
- MSU Summer Faculty Fellowship and Sabbaticals Awarded for 2020 have been maintained.
- Support of Faculty Research Grants, Curriculum Grants, and Assessment Grants are planned to continue in the coming academic year.
- While it is not possible to predict the final budget for FY 21, research and creative work of faculty is valued and Department and University assistance will continue to the extent possible.
- Obtaining external funding is increasingly critical for promoting faculty and student research activity.
Office of the Provost