Updates from the Provost
- Monday, November 9th, 2020
I want to begin this update by saying thank you. Thank you for your commitment to WKU and our students. By any definition, this has been an amazing semester. The incredible hard work that faculty and staff have put forth to develop new ways of teaching and connecting with students and with each other has been impressive. The creativity that is so apparent as we have diligently worked through our challenges has been remarkable. Further, your daily commitment to carry on our fundamental responsibility of educating and engaging with our students is notable. It is because of you that we are approaching Thanksgiving and fully able to imagine the successful completion of this challenging semester.
I also want to reinforce our commitment to student wellness and success. Not unexpectedly, there have been recent reports of an uptick in stress, depression, and anxiety. Please encourage students who are struggling with these issues to reach out to the Counseling Center. For students who are struggling academically, please encourage them to reach out to academic support services. For many students, learning remotely has been a challenge. Grace and flexibility go a long way to helping these students succeed especially with respect to deadlines. To that end and to provide additional time for students to succeed this semester, we have pushed the withdrawal date to the last class day of the semester (December 4th). Students who had already withdrawn were given the opportunity to be added back into their courses and several did so.
Spring 2021 registration is tracking similarly to spring 2020, and we are on course to meet budget projections. As a reminder, please check with your students to make sure they have registered. Even though we will not be teaching courses face-to-face after Thanksgiving, a recent survey indicates that approximately 40% of residence hall students are planning to return to campus for the last week of classes and final exams. We suspect that many apartment dwelling students will also return to Bowling Green. Given that, we must provide the usual student services including access to campus dining options, study spaces, advising, library, academic support and counseling services, computer labs, etc. Support services should be staffed as they were last summer with people being encouraged to work from home, if possible. Faculty should have full access to their offices and labs during normal business hours. However, considering the recent flair up of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky and Warren County, please remain extra vigilant in practicing physical distancing, wearing your mask, continuing good hand hygiene, and avoiding large gatherings in order to minimize the spread.
Stay healthy and well (and please get a flu shot),
Cheryl L. Stevens, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs