A message from Provost Jennifer Summit to the SF State faculty at the start of Fall 2020.
August 28, 2020
I first want to thank and congratulate you on the successful start of classes this week. For many of you, I know that this success was the result of your careful and creative planning as you developed resilient teaching plans that included alternative ways to engage our students in meaningful learning experiences. The campus has spent this time of preparation assembling plans to limit the number of students, faculty, and staff on campus in order to meet health requirements and limit the spread of COVID-19.
We have just begun this Fall semester, during which 99% of instruction will take place in remote modalities, and yet our campus community has already been called to further demonstrate our resiliency by adapting and responding to a number of unexpected events. Some events are merely disruptive, such as the rolling blackouts to counteract increased energy consumption, or the 2-hour nation-wide outage of the Zoom web conferencing service on the first day of instruction. Some events are catastrophic, such as the social and economic disparities endured by our most vulnerable populations, compounded by the global health crisis, or the local forest fires which have displaced faculty, staff and students, and created hazardous breathing conditions.
As a community, we should strive to maintain patience and compassion with ourselves, and each other, as we confront known and unknown risks, and we should also strive to develop resilient teaching plans to ensure our students' progress toward their academic goals. This message is to enlist your help in planning for unforeseen events and to share with you a number of resources that can support you in this effort.
Please review the questions below within the context of your own teaching, and consult the resilient teaching and learning planning resources on the Instructional Continuity Website, especially the Keep Teaching Planning Guide, as appropriate for your needs.
Resilient Teaching Plan: What will you (or your students) do if one should fall ill or need to take care of a family member?
Communications Plan: How will you (or your students) communicate with each other and receive accurate university information during the event of an emergency?
Technology Plan: What will you (or your students) do if one should lose access to power, equipment or software services?
Emergency Assistance Plan: What will you (or your students) do if one should lose access to housing, food, or other basic necessities?
Health & Wellbeing Plan: What will you (or your students) do if one should require mental health services or medical assistance?
We understand that the uncertainties of our current circumstances make emergency preparation even more than usually challenging. Trust your patience and wisdom as we navigate these challenges. Again, you can find information and resources on the Instructional Continuity Website, the University’s COVID-19 site, and Academic Affairs’ Academic Work Under COVID 19.
Thank you for supporting our students and each other as we begin this unprecedented semester.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Student Planning Quickguide
How will you communicate with each other and receive accurate university information during the event of an emergency?
- Create your SF State email account, check it regularly, and encourage your students to do the same
- Ensure your emergency contact information is current within SF State Gateway so you will receive emergency alerts from the university, and encourage your students to do the same
- Use iLearn as the hub for course communications, and be sure to check it regularly as well
What will you do if one should lose access to power, equipment or software services?
- Consider creating a print out of emergency contacts that can be stored in a wallet, purse, or other area that are often with you
What will you do if one should lose access to housing, food, or other basic necessities?
- The SF State Basic Needs site is available to provide housing, food and economic assistance for students during a crisis
- Faculty and staff can access the Employee Assistance Program for free financial and legal consulting and referrals to other support services
- Faculty and staff displaced from their homes in an emergency may request temporary shelter from SF State housing, as available
What will you do if one should require mental health services or medical assistance?
- The SF State Counseling and Psychological Services is available for students experiencing emotional or psychological distress
- Faculty and staff can access emergency mental health services and referrals from the SF State Counseling and Psychological Services, and more extensive support from the Employee Assistance Program (EAP)