UO Senate Message – Coronavirus update & planning

Dear UO Senators,

We are facing unprecedented times created by the novel COVID-19 pandemic. As you know, the University of Oregon is closely monitoring the global outbreak and is working in close coordination with local, state, and federal health officials to guide decisions about university operations. We encourage you to visit the UO COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information website often for information, answers to frequently asked questions, and links to important resources.

Senate leadership is working with the Administration, to ensure that solutions and supports provided to faculty and students reflect the input of broad representation across campus.

We thank our Academic Council for its extraordinary efforts to create guidance on academic continuity planning, and the Office of the Provost for developing resources to facilitate high-quality remote instruction even in these difficult times (e.g., Academic Continuity Resources and Guidance for Faculty and Instructors). The Senate will do its best to support these efforts and the work of other administrators and faculty who are working to ensure operations are running as smoothly as possible for our students.

Within the University Senate, we are preparing behind the scenes to transition upcoming Senate meetings from in-person meetings in the EMU to a remote format for the foreseeable future. Thus, beginning in April, 2020 and until further notice, we will (1) hold senate meetings via remote teleconferencing using Zoom, and (2) reserve 30 minutes at the outset of each meeting for Open Discussions, after which we will proceed to other scheduled senate business. Please contact us to add a topic to the open discussion section and we will add it and invite relevant members of the administration to participate and/or field queries. Topics may include discussion about how instructors and students are dealing with remote instructional approaches, impacts on research and scholarship, supporting members of our university community, and so forth, and provide additional opportunities for information sharing, for example. As always, we welcome your suggestions for discussion topics.

Please feel free to reach out to us directly as well. We will continue holding weekly drop-in office hours on Wednesdays 10:00 to 11:30 AM, however effectively immediately, these will occur via zoom meetings through Winter term finals week, and resume during Spring term week 1:

You may also contact us directly as well at the email addresses below. Thank you for your participation in shared governance here at the University of Oregon.

Elizabeth Skowron, Ph.D.
Professor, Department of Psychology President, University Senate eskowron@uoregon.edu

Elliot Berkman, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Psychology Vice-President/President-Elect, University Senate berkman@uoregon.edu

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