Physics307L:Schedule/Week 1 agenda/Introduction/Provost note

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August 21, 2009

TO: All Teaching Faculty

FROM: Suzanne Ortega, Provost and EVP for Academic Affairs

SUBJECT: Preparing for H1N1 Influenza

As you may already know we are expecting a second wave of H1N1 influenza sometime this first semester, and then perhaps a third wave along with the normal flu later in the academic year. We can’t predict the severity of these events at this time, but we have several incident management groups working to coordinate whatever responses prove necessary.

I write to you today to outline my suggestions about how to prepare for the academic impact of student and instructor absences. First, the recommendation is that individuals who have flu-like symptoms must stay home until they have been symptom free (no fever) for at least 24 hours. We feel most such individuals will be out of action for 5-7 days. Accordingly, some academic flexibility is going to be essential. I recommend:

  • Eliminating penalties for missed classes and exams due to illness;
  • Eliminating absolute requirements for a medical excuse for absences (the clinics are likely to be too busy to issue routine excuses);
  • Prepare to use remote learning strategies for students who cannot attend classes do to illness;
  • Department chairs should develop strategies for continuing education when faculty members are ill and unable to teach, including protocols for canceling classes and communicating with students.

Finally, I ask that you discuss these issues with your students as classes begin next week.