From Provost Arden: Academic Continuity Plans for Fall 2020

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TO:  All NC State Instructors of Record, Fall 2020

FROM:  Warwick Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

SUBJECT: Academic Continuity Plans for Fall 2020

DATE:  May 1, 2020

As Chancellor Woodson recently shared with the NC State community, we anticipate having our new and continuing students on campus for the fall semester. Vice Chancellor for Business and Administration Charlie Maimone and I are leading the process to determine how that will work operationally in light of ongoing COVID-19 concerns, and we hope to share more details in the coming weeks. The health of the campus community continues to be our highest priority.

As we have learned this spring, it is crucial to take every opportunity to strengthen our readiness to continue academic operations during campus disruptions and ensure that our students can keep on track with their academic programs. Therefore, I am asking you to create academic continuity plans for each of your Fall 2020 courses. A brief template has been developed for your use at Submit your course plans to your department head or unit leader no later than July 31.

While this is not an exhaustive list, please keep the following items in mind as you create your plans for the fall.

  • Social distancing may still be in effect to some degree, making it necessary for large enrollment sections (with over 100 students) to be delivered remotely — in whole or in part.
  • One or more of your students may be placed on quarantine orders after exposure to a person with COVID-19, resulting in their inability to attend class in-person for two weeks or more. Consider any changes needed to absence policies and/or assignments such that students can continue to meet course requirements, as well as the possibility that such disruptions may occur during exam periods.
  • You may be placed on quarantine orders, resulting in your inability to teach in-person for two weeks or more.
  • Wake County or the state of North Carolina may impose a temporary stay-at-home mandate to manage a secondary spike in cases, resulting in the need for your class to be delivered remotely for several weeks.
  • Students may have difficulty participating in remote synchronous instruction. Please see my March 22 memo for more details and suggestions.
  • As part of your plan, please consider how you will communicate any changes in the course to students in a timely manner, as well as how you want students to communicate to you in the event they are affected.
  • As a best practice, please take the opportunity to test any technologies with a colleague or support staff to be sure that the proposed plans will work.

Please visit the Keep Teaching website for information and resources on developing robust continuity plans and know that you can contact the Office of Faculty Development or DELTA’s faculty help desk ( or (919) 513-7094) for assistance. 

Thank you in advance for your efforts. As you commit to this planning process for your courses and your students, I commit to you that I will communicate regularly with you, will inform you promptly of any changes that are needed to our operations, and will prioritize your health and safety as well as the health and safety of our staff and students throughout the coming year.

Link to pdf version of memo.

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