Message from Provost Stevens - Update
- Cheryl Stevens
- Monday, March 16th, 2020
I am inspired by both the resilience and the flexibility that you have shown as we make adjustments to serve our students at this difficult time. Evidence of you rising to the challenge is already abundant. More than 400 faculty have already attended and continue to register for training from CITL to transform classes for online instruction. Blackboard natives have reached out to technological novices to help them manage the conversion. Support staff are transforming services from face-to-face to virtual to help students manage the change. Librarians are marshalling learning resources as faculty determine alternative pedagogies. One colleague has even mailed materials to students who do not have access to lab technology from home. The list could go on and on; knowing WKU faculty, I am positive we will witness many such acts of ingenuity and grit in the coming weeks.
I recognize that you all have family and friends to care for and that the home pressures are just as challenging (if not more so) than the work stresses. None of you signed on for work under these conditions, and I realize you are being stretched to your limits. I wish I could say it is going to get easier, but as you know, even harder work is ahead as we begin to execute our plans when students return. Based on what I’ve observed this past week, though, I have no doubt that we will rise to the occasion as we fulfill our mission of serving students. The uncertainty is real, but we will make our way through this crisis working together day by day.
Thanks for your dedication. I am particularly grateful to department heads, directors, and deans for the leadership they have exercised and to all of the administrative staff who have supported WKU during this time. I would like to give special acknowledgement to the CITL team who are working overtime to support students and faculty.
Rest assured that once over, the crisis will not be the new normal, but rather a trial we will be proud of having overcome together.
The following notes are a few reminders that will help us transition through this week.
Students, Faculty, and Staff, do you need to borrow a laptop at no cost to allow you to work or do classwork from where you live? If so, please let TopperTech know via this request so that we can provide information regarding our laptop loan/checkout program.
Faculty, please reach out to the students enrolled in your courses by tomorrow or Wednesday to let them know what is planned. Even if you haven’t finalized your changes, please just let them know that you are working on it and will be in touch. Students are very anxious about this situation, and like you, they appreciate the communication.
If possible, I and the WKU leadership, strongly encourage you to work from home in order to mitigate the transmission of this virus to our most vulnerable populations. Our intent is for WKU to remain open for business with minimal staff in each office. Please work with your supervisor (or their supervisor, if necessary) to identify work that can be accomplished at home.
We continually evaluate the local, regional, and national situation and are prepared to adjust our campus response as necessary. If changes occur, we will communicate those changes to you as soon as possible.
I have been made aware of issues with clinical and off-site training regarding accreditation and graduation requirements. We are working toward a resolution and will share as soon as possible.
Finally, please take this as a reminder that this is a non-instructional week and, as such, no assessments should be given or required.
Thank you again. It’s my pleasure to serve WKU with each of you.
Cheryl L. Stevens, PhD
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Western Kentucky University