Sharing the Information Students Received Over Last Three Days

To: Faculty

From: Vincent J. Del Casino, Jr., Provost and Senior VP for Academic Affairs

Dear colleagues,

As we go into tomorrow’s brave new world, I want to thank each and every member of the division – faculty, staff, graduate assistant, and student worker – who have had to do so much with so little time over the past week. Clearly, we have rallied to this moment. I know how challenging it is to make even the simplest switch in course pedagogy, let alone being asked to figure out how to deliver your course in an entirely new modality. And, we continue to pivot each and every day as we learn more about the progression of COVID-19 (see most recent message to our students below). 

None of what we do over the short-term will be perfect. How can it be? It will be the best we can do, though. And, that is all that we can ask. We have to be incredibly flexible, thoughtful, and creative in this time of real disruption. This flexibility stretches from the central administration, which has to provide room for people to simplify their goals for this year, to faculty that will have to rethink what the core expectations of their courses may be when it may be difficult (to near impossible) to translate everything into the new reality for this semester. COVID-19 cannot (and will not) have long-term adverse impacts on the professional growth of our faculty colleagues or the success of our students. We create the rules and parameters of evaluation and success. We will adjust as appropriate to this current, short-term, reality.

I have received many messages over the past two weeks. I can appreciate the deep frustration that people feel. It is one of helplessness, almost a lack of control. Let me tell you, I feel that as well – so many external decisions that are not our own but to which we must react. But, we have also been incredibly proactive and ahead of the curve in many ways. This is only possible because of your effort. I continue to find a deep sense of satisfaction in my work as provost – I know I came to the right place and joined the right team. 

Tomorrow we pick up the work of our core mission again – to educate thousands of students. I have sent several messages to students to prepare them for this change. The latest message, which has a link out to an important Student FAQ in SJSU Health Advisories website, can be found below. For our part, we (and I include myself here) have to remember:

  • We must be very communicative with our students and may need to remind them about things we have already told them or repeat information
  • We must appreciate that our students are getting messages from many different directions and they are trying to process as much information as we are
  • We must be kind with our students and each other even when we are frustrated by this situation

As we move forward into the next few weeks, we may need to make even more adjustments. So thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility. I commit that my office will continue to do everything it can to provide our faculty, students and staff  the space and support that everyone needs to meet the learning goals of this campus. 

Thank you, 

Date: March 15, 2020

To: All Students

From:Vincent Del Casino, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs

Latest Guidance for Students About Classes Next Week

Dear SJSU students,

In response to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and new county and state guidelines, we have decided to move all courses, including small labs, practicums and studio-based courses to remote format only (see Student FAQ). Beginning Monday, March 16, all classes will be taught remotely. As of now, remote classes will continue through March 27. 

There remain a few exceptions, including research labs, outdoor field courses, and clinic-based field placements that may continue to run as originally planned. Please consult your faculty member or supervisor in these very small cases. 

Faculty are developing innovative ways to support student learning in this new environment. We are committed to your success and are here to support you! Please reach out to your instructor, advisor, or program coordinator if you have questions or concerns about navigating online learning or are having difficulty balancing schoolwork with child care or other responsibilities. Faculty and staff on the campus are prepared to make accommodations for students who might have greater risk. Please be reminded, though, that you do not need to disclose any particular condition. 

Campus remains open and services continue. Study spaces and computer labs are available in the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Diaz Compean Student Union, and Clark Hall. Writing Center tutors are available for on-line support. Academic Advising is taking place in-person and virtually. Staff in the Accessible Education Center (AEC), Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS), the Student Health Center, and SJSU Cares are available for both in-person and virtual consultation and support. Additionally, the eCampus office can also help answer technical questions for students about navigating Canvas, Zoom, Google Chat, or other new technologies associated with their classes (408-924-2337). 

For the latest information, please visit the SJSU Health Advisories website for current COVID-19 information, advisories, FAQs, and resources available to our campus community. 

Vincent J Del Casino Jr