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COVID-19 (coronavirus) guidance for remote teaching

COVID-19: Instructional Continuity Guidance

April 2, 2020 - "Zoombombing" and revised Spring virtual office hours

Dear Senate Colleagues:

I write to announce a revision to my virtual office hours for Spring 2020. I will hold open Zoom sessions for anyone who wishes to drop in on Tuesdays from 9-10 am, through the Spring Quarter. Our conversations will be secure, one-on-one meetings. Just use this link

I am also writing to bring our collective attention to the unwelcome surge in the "zoombombing" of virtual classrooms around the world. Zoombombing—the intrusion on videoconference classes by uninvited and unwanted users—takes the form of racist, anti-Black, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, and xenophobic abusiveness that creates significant distress for students and teachers.

While there are some measures we can take as faculty to prevent or minimize the possibility of such disruptions (see this link), it may be helpful to address this matter in open conversation with our students and each other. I urge you to refuse to “privatize” any such incidents: report them to your department chairs and deans, talk to your colleagues to build awareness about what’s going on, and please feel free to reach out to me as well.

I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

Peace
dylan

March 17, 2020 - Senate Chair office hours (on Zoom), research curtailment, and more
March 14,2020 - Get your stuff this weekend: Campus ordered closed March 16-April 3
March 13, 2020 - Four Points on Spring 2020 "Remote Learning
March 10, 2020 - Senate follow up on "COVID-19: Important instructional continuity guidance"

Update on COVID-19 contingencies for Senate

March 9, 2020

Dear Senate Colleagues,

I am writing to assure you that the UCR Academic Senate is actively preparing for potential campus contingencies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m sure you have been paying close attention to this serious, constantly changing global health crisis. As UC campuses in Northern California begin to seriously consider the possibility of temporary closures, we must prepare for the possibility that our campus may be doing the same very soon.

While our Senate is navigating unusual and exceptional circumstances on this issue, i would like to offer some basic guidance on how i am asking our Senate committees to approach their work in the event that the campus temporarily shuts down.

Some committees find it perfectly reasonable and efficient to periodically carry out their work through email discussion and decision making. On matters that are not of extremely high confidentiality, this practice may need to expand a bit, to whatever degree the committees and their leadership deem it appropriate.

The Senate has generally not encouraged or sanctioned videoconference meetings--Skype, Zoom, and the like. This is because the matters discussed in committees are often of high sensitivity and utmost confidentiality. Security can be very easily compromised, usually involuntarily or unintentionally, when using videoconference technology. Further, Senate leadership has consistently expressed concern that allowing individual committee members to participate in meetings through videoconference might well undermine the coherence and integrity of their committees in the long run. As many of us have expressed in relation to online learning, there is no substitute for face-to-face interactions, especially when dealing with complex, challenging, or contentious matters.

Yet, the unusual circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic compel some temporary flexibility in the Senate’s approach to committee meetings. The Senate analysts working with committees will contact committee members in the coming days to provide options for utilizing videoconference technology (Zoom) in the event of a temporary campus closure. If the campus shuts down, i encourage committees to utilize this technology to hold committee meetings that do not involve highly confidential exchange of information on personnel files, faculty grievances, and so forth.

We must be highly selective and judicious about the use of such meeting technology in regard to the sensitive discussions of our Committees on Academic Personnel, Charges, Privilege and Tenure, and others whose agendas may include discussions and decisions that must be kept in the highest confidence. Thus, on such matters, i would like to offer the general guidance that these committees do their best to refrain from discussions and decision-making during any potential campus closure, with highly specific exceptions to be decided by the committee Chairs in conversation with committee members and analysts, and perhaps with me if they think it would be helpful.

These highly specific exceptions would be made in instances where the matters at hand are so urgent that any delay of deliberation and action would compromise our colleagues’ (personal and/or professional) well-being and/ or the fundamental integrity and credibility of the committee’s work.

(One example of such a highly exceptional instance would be in the case of a personnel action that had direct implications for a faculty retention or appointment—that is, a personnel action that was not otherwise typical.) I trust the judgment of the committee chairs, analysts, and members to determine their approach, and will be readily available to discuss these decisions if committees need my input or analysis.

Finally, in order to sustain our Senate’s work in the event of a temporary campus closure, i ask that all committee members pay close attention to their email for communication from committee chairs and analysts. We must act decisively and urgently in response to this spreading health crisis, while simultaneously fulfilling our responsibilities to the Shared Governance process.

Peace
Dylan Rodriguez
Chair of the Riverside Division of the Academic Senate

Riverside Division Meetings

The following meetings will be held at 1:00pm in Genomics Auditorium, Room 1102A:

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