Will the College remain open?
Instruction has been moved to online and remote learning, and vice presidents have instructed employees within their divisions to work from home, unless key service delivery requires their presence on campus. Many College offices will have limited hours, so please email or call in advance. The Colby Museum of Art and the athletic center are closed. The bookstore and mailroom will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.
If you remain on campus, use your ID card to swipe into each building. While normally we suggest holding the door open for each other, using your ID will make it much easier for us to identify students, faculty, and staff who may have come into contact with an infected person and take appropriate action quickly.
A number of students remain on campus for a variety of reasons, and they require most of the services provided during the regular semester (e.g., food service, health services). Their needs are being accommodated.
Are there restrictions for meetings or gatherings?
Group meetings or gatherings are limited to no more than 10 people until further notice. Participants should maintain appropriate social distancing and follow CDC guidelines, the most important of which is to wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Requests for exceptions to this policy will require approval from the Wade Behnke, director of employee health and safety (207-859-5504 or email@example.com), and either Provost Margaret McFadden or Vice President Douglas Terp.
What about schedules for employees who provide critical services?
Work schedules for staff in Dining Services, Facilities, and Security will be adjusted for the next two weeks—to provide roughly 50 percent of normal coverage—to reduce the number of employees on campus at any given time, while still providing critical services. We will, however, be maintaining the regular salaries of those staff.
Is overtime pay available?
Overtime may not be scheduled without advance approval by the divisional vice president and the vice president for administration and chief financial officer.
What is the status of open positions and summer hiring?
Current and new staff searches will be temporarily suspended effective immediately, with limited exceptions (e.g., positions required to support next year’s academic program). Exceptions require approval by the divisional vice president and the vice president for administration and chief financial officer.
Searches for summer positions—summer research and administrative openings—are also temporarily suspended.
Are there restrictions on departmental expenditures?
Vice presidents have been asked to review operating budgets for expense reductions. These include, but are not limited to, suspension of business travel, entertainment, catering, and equipment purchases, as well as one-time expense items that can be eliminated or deferred to the next fiscal year.
Can Colby tell employees to stay home because they are sick or have been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19?
Yes. Colby has a responsibility to instruct visibly ill employees to stay away from the workplace and recuperate to prevent the spread of illness. If a staff member feels sick, they should stay home. Everyone’s health is a priority. Sick time would be taken and tracked by the department.
What resources and tips are being provided to employees regarding virtual meetings?
Human Resources developed this resource for staff members who will be engaging in virtual meetings.
Is there a central place for resources for remote teaching and learning?
The Center for Teaching and Learning and Academic ITS have gathered resources on a website called remote teaching and learning (colby.edu/acits/remote-learning/). Please review the information on this website to help develop the plan for your courses. This site is still under development and new resources are being added continually, so please continue to check it regularly as you plan.
There is also a Teaching Remotely at Colby blog that offers the teaching community at Colby a place to share ideas and build community. Login using your Colby credentials to this password-protected site. If you have trouble logging into the site you might need to do a master logout at colby.edu/ColbyMaster/logout. You will be prompted to login the next time you visit the blog.
If you have questions, you can consult with Academic ITS staff by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or the CTL at email@example.com. There will be scheduled events to support faculty as the semester unfolds.
Can I receive individual help with remote learning?
Virtual consulations are available to faculty that are focused on your instructional needs. They’re offered by these centers and offices:
Center for Teaching and Learning
Research and Instruction Librarians
Student Access and Disability Services
What library resources are available for faculty?
Please check out the library resource page for faculty. The library is purchasing many new eResouces to fill gaps and duplicate print resources in digital format(s). Find out what is coming and what is new here.
Many textbook publishers (e.g., Cengage and Pearson) are offering FREE e- textbooks. Find out the status of your textbook by contacting the bookstore or vendor directly.
Will the libraries be open?
No. Effective March 17 the College Libraries will be closed.
If faculty have remote-learning expertise, how will that be shared?
Many members of our faculty have shared their expertise. Here are a few sample videos from faculty members:
If faculty have helpful videos they’ve figured out how to make, please share them with the Center for Teaching and Learning at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How will courses that rely on student tutors, TAs, or test graders be affected?
To the extent possible we will continue to employ students as tutors, TAs and graders. We are currently exploring the details of how we can implement this, while staying in compliance with applicable labor laws. More details will be provided as they become available.
What if courses don’t shift easily to remote instruction?
We recognize that for some courses it will be particularly difficult to shift all aspects of your courses to the remote instruction model because of the nature of the coursework (e.g., laboratories, studio classes), and we are ready to work with you to find appropriate alternatives. As you move to remote instruction for your courses, the primary focus should be to support the most important learning outcomes for your courses, which may require adjustments to the specific assignments and assessments you typically use to achieve these goals.
Can my students still participate in my online courses even if they live in very different time zones?
We are encouraging faculty members to use non-synchronous approaches as much as possible for posting course content. This will make it possible for students to access the course content at any time of the day and also alleviate any problems with bandwidth limitations at peak hours.
What’s available for faculty development and diversity resources?
We recoomend contacting the National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity Resources. If you haven’t set up your account visit facultydiversity.org/join, select Colby College, and create your account. Then you can access the resources described below.
NCFDD have curated a list of support resources specifically in response to the current climate. These resources focus on self-care, transitioning to online teaching, and adjusting previously laid plans to current circumstances.
COVID-19 Support Resources: facultydiversity.org/covid19
What about students who have approved academic accommodations, such as extra time on exams or note-taking. Do those accommodations still apply?
Yes, and we recommend these tips:
Create intentional and regular meetings with students to identify and respond to issues early on and support self-scheduling and time-management skills.
Offer multiple ways for students to receive content, from videos to lecture notes to alternative web-based resources to support your lectures.
Offer multiple opportunities for students to engage with the content, from using small group/pairs to review and discuss material to asking students to submit responses before and after each lecture on specific topics.
Offer multiple opportunities to be assessed, from traditional timed quizzes to short responses, oral exams via Google Hangouts and project-based work.
Include flexible policies and practices to support students who manage chronic or mental health conditions as their stress and anxiety are likely to increase.
Use a universal design approach to implementing academic accommodations remotely. For examples and more information, check out colby.edu/disabilityaccess
Reach out to Kate McLaughlin, associate director of student access and disability services, to troubleshoot the specifics of your remote teaching plan to implement accommodations efficiently.
What provisions can be made for students who are conducting thesis research or independent study?
The best approach to managing thesis research and independent study projects will depend very much on the type of research being conducted. Access to library resources will continue throughout the semester. Research projects that rely on specialized equipment or other resources that are only available onsite at Colby may need to be modified so that students can complete them remotely. These will need to be worked out based on the individual circumstances of each project. But please do share creative ideas with your colleagues.
How will academic advising be managed?
Academic advising meetings, just like other meetings with students over the course of the semester, will be conducted remotely. Advising meetings can take place by phone, email, Zoom, or whatever medium works best for you and your advisees.
Is it possible that a student could be unable to receive the necessary credits to graduate because of the change to online learning?
Since all courses are being converted to remote learning and will be finished in that manner, students should be able to complete all of their spring semester courses and receive credit for them.