FAS follow up-to Provost Strobel’s message (May 13, 2020)

[Summary: This FAS follow-up to Provost Strobel’s message highlights the forthcoming phased reactivation of laboratories and libraries, describes FAS procedures for access to on-campus offices for retrieval of materials, and outlines the FAS committees and task forces that will support the next phases of the planning process.]

To: FAS Faculty (ladder, research and instructional); FAS Chairs’ Assistants, Lead Administrators, and Operations Managers
CC: FAS Dean’s Office, FAS Steering
Lead Administrators and Operations Managers: Please feel free to forward to your staff

Dear FAS Faculty and Staff,

Earlier today, you received a message from Provost Scott Strobel outlining Yale’s phased approach for reactivating the campus. In addition, the Yale College Dean’s Office and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences have sent messages to graduating undergraduate students, continuing undergraduate students, and graduate students, respectively, with information relevant to their roles.

Below, we highlight three items of particular interest to FAS faculty and staff: the reactivation of laboratory research and library services, office materials access, and the launch of a set of FAS committees and task forces who will support the next phases of the planning process.

Reactivation of laboratory research and library services

As outlined in the provost’s message, we are preparing for a phased reactivation of laboratory research and the resumption of essential library services. For this initial phase, on-campus research will be limited to that which can only be performed on campus. Please refer to Provost Strobel’s message for guidelines on obtaining approval to conduct on-campus laboratory work through the research reactivation application and for an outline of essential library services that will resume in the coming weeks.

Deans Kathryn Lofton (Humanities), Alan Gerber (Social Sciences) and Jeff Brock (Sciences and SEAS), along with faculty colleagues on the Research Continuity Committee, will continue to represent the needs and concerns of the FAS as we move to the next stages of the research planning process.

On-campus office access for retrieval of materials

As the gradual process of re-opening begins, the FAS is preparing to allow faculty limited, brief access to on-campus offices to retrieve necessary research and teaching material. To mitigate the need for disinfection and cleaning, such access will be limited to visits based on demonstrable need and will be scheduled and staggered to maintain social distancing protocols. Division-specific instructions for requesting access will follow no later than early next week.

Planning for graduate and undergraduate teaching

Individual departments and programs, working in conjunction with the dean’s office of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, will determine how best to conduct graduate education and training in their units during the fall semester.  The Yale College Dean’s Office is overseeing decisions and implementation related to undergraduate residential and co-curricular life.

Planning for undergraduate education will be supported by a set of faculty-led committees and task forces whose members will include ladder and instructional faculty, students, and staff. These committees and task forces have a matrix structure:  the two committees will focus on cross-cutting issues; the six task forces will focus on specific areas. The chairs of the committees and task forces will gather regularly to coordinate across the groups.

Committees and Task Forces

Two committees will focus on cross-cutting issues of policy, practice, and infrastructure:

  • Academic Policy Committee: focuses on questions of policy and practice including course matrix; inter-departmental coordination; calendar issues; grading policy; assessment policy; accommodations; equity and inclusion
  • Instructional Support Committee: focuses on questions of best practice and the infrastructure needed to support it, including team teaching models; remote teaching models; teaching evaluations; resources, equipment and support; faculty training; TF training; assessments, exams, and academic integrity; senior essays and other capstone projects; equity and inclusion

A set of task forces will focus on the specific concerns that arise in each of the following areas, working closely with departments and programs to identify challenges and ideas:

  • Lecture course task force
  • Seminar task force
  • Lab-based course task force
  • Studio, performing arts, collection-based course task force
  • Language and writing course task force
  • Department operations task force

We will announce the members of the committees and task forces in the coming days; we thank the FAS Senate, FAS department chairs, and colleagues across the FAS for their nominations.  Questions, comments or concerns you would like the committees or task forces to consider can be sent at any time to contingency.planning@yale.edu and will be shared with the appropriate group.

Thank you again for your extraordinary efforts over the spring semester. We look forward to working with you in the weeks to come as we plan for the fall.

With thanks,

Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Marvin Chun
Dean of Yale College

Lynn Cooley
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences