provost---faculty-newsletter-banner.png

 

January 7, 2022

Dear Faculty Members and University Instructors,

I hope you had a peaceful and restful Christmas and New Year’s break, and are refreshed at the beginning of a new year and a new semester.

With this new semester quickly approaching on Monday, January 10, 2022, there are several important issues that I want to bring to your attention before the semester begins.

I would ask that you read through this newsletter and visit the Provost office website at https://provost.catholic.edu/resources/spring-2022-faculty-faq.html for our spring 2022 Frequently Asked Questions.

Course Delivery

As President Garvey mentioned in the Keep Catholic Safe plan for the spring semester issued earlier this week, during the first week of the spring semester, and in order both to give us time to test our population and set a baseline for the semester, we will hold classes virtually.  Please make sure you have your Zoom or Google Meet links available to students prior to Monday, January 10, so that students will know how to “find” your class.

The second week of the semester is a short week, with no classes on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday (Monday, January 17) and classes cancelled for the March for Life (Friday, January 21) from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. During that second week, faculty will have the option to teach in person. All faculty who decide to teach in person will be required to offer students the opportunity to attend either in person or virtually at the student’s discretion.

All classes will resume in person on Monday, January 24.

Class Rosters – Students attending who are not registered

All instructors are responsible for checking class rosters on Cardinal Station regularly through the end of the drop/add period, which is Friday, January 21, 2022.

For the Columbus School of Law, the last day to add or drop a class is Tuesday, January 18, 2022.

Do not permit a student who is not registered to attend class. All students must be properly registered. If a student who is not on your class roster attends your class, you may allow her or him to remain for that class period only; however, please tell the student that you will not permit further attendance until her or his name appears on the official class roster and communicate clearly so that the student does not think that you are resolving the situation for him or her.

If the student is unsure what to do, direct her or him to the Center for Academic and Career Success (https://success.catholic.edu) or to the appropriate dean’s office.

Class Rosters – Students registered and on the roster who are not attending

Please inform the Center for Academic and Career Success (https://success.catholic.edu) if undergraduate students on your rosters are not attending class. The Center for Academic and Career Success and the dean of your school will follow up to determine the status of these students.

Class Rosters - Verifying student quarantine/isolation status

This fall, we implemented a new procedure to share information on who was isolated or quarantined following the University processes.  We created a hold, “Quarantine,” to reflect that the office of the Dean of Students had verified that the student should be missing class.  This hold is dated to go on/off with the quarantine period, so it is dynamic.  To view this hold, instructors should go to the Faculty Center on Cardinal Students.  From there, click on the class roster icon next to the relevant class. In the upper righthand corner above the roster, click on "Download Class Roster." The roster will appear with columns for remote group, vaccine reporting status, and quarantine status.

The Center for Teaching Excellence

The Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) remains committed to assisting all full and part-time faculty members in fostering an environment in which students are given a robust teaching, advising, and mentoring experience within a world-class research context.  The Center continues to provide individual consultations, feedback on syllabi, course design, and instructional coaching, and will be sponsoring workshops and orientations throughout the academic year.

What may be of particular interest to you at the beginning of this semester are the many virtual presentations on the CTE website. These presentations are supplemented by numerous resources gathered and developed by the CTE staff of instructional designers, instructional coaches, and contributors.

The Center is planning numerous events, training sessions, and programming throughout the fall semester, so I encourage you to bookmark the CTE website at https://centerforteaching.catholic.edu/index.html as a favorite place on your web browser.

Attendance and Academic Performance Surveys

There is a strong correlation between attendance and student success. As such, instructors are asked to review their attendance policies during the first class.  Instructors of first-year undergraduate students must take attendance. All instructors will receive surveys soliciting information about student attendance and academic performance via cardinalsuccess.cua.edu. I ask you to please complete these surveys promptly. Concerns about students can also be reported at any time to the Center for Academic and Career Success (https://success.catholic.edu) or by issuing an alert through cardinalsuccess.cua.edu.

Course Syllabi

Course syllabi are required. Each syllabus should incorporate specific goals for student learning and how these will be assessed. You can find guidelines for University Syllabi at http://pir.cua.edu/course-syllabi/course-syllabi.cfm.

While academic units can modify the template to fit their accreditation or regulatory mandates, instructors should use the modification provided to them by their academic unit. Syllabi must be uploaded to the Syllabus Manager before the first class meeting (see https://secure.cua.edu/syllabi/login.cfm). There are no exceptions to this requirement. Please be aware as you write your syllabus that final exams, if required, must be administered on the day and time assigned by the Registrar during the final examination period.

Please visit the Center for Teaching Excellence website for the particulars in building a Blackboard syllabus, as well as the benefits of using the Center’s specifically-designed syllabus template. The virtual presentation on building a Blackboard syllabus can be found here.

Classroom Setup

Once we move into on-campus instruction, please be sure that if you, your teaching assistants, or your students rearrange the furniture in your assigned classroom during your class, you reset the room and move the furniture back into its original position before class is over.

When the classroom is not reset, we are causing extra work for our facilities staff since there is typically only one person cleaning each room and that one person will need to reset the room (sometimes moving 30+ desks) by themselves.

Each classroom has the approved room layout on the wall by the door which makes it easier to reset the rooms at the end of each course meeting.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is central to the teaching and research missions of the University, both understood in their broadest terms: educating the whole person and pursuing the truth in all of its forms. Our need to maintain academic integrity is all the more important during this semester, since many of our students are spread throughout the country and may be tempted to use different methods to complete their assignments and examinations.

Instructors are obliged to familiarize themselves with University policies and procedures and to follow them (see http://policies.cua.edu/academicundergrad/integrityfull.cfm). 

It is important to be proactive in educating students about academic integrity. Best practices include:

  1. Use the distribution of the syllabus as an opportunity to discuss academic integrity within the context of the course and the discipline/field. Explain why it is important as a member of the academic community. This concept is even more important for graduate students who are becoming intentional members of that community; expectations are higher for that reason. 
  2. When possible, include professional codes of ethics, case studies, and/or discussion questions to prompt student thinking beyond mere consequences and sanctions. Stressing integrity over dishonesty puts the proper constructive context on the discussion.
  3. As the first "major" graded assignment nears - paper, report, design, midterm, etc. - revisit this discussion and acknowledge the increased pressure compared to the start of the semester. Situations like these are the decision points, and there are resources to help students make the best decision; the first and most important resource is the instructor. Asking questions is the best way to avoid suffering sanctions. There are other resources, including the Center for Academic and Career Success and the Writing Center.

Textbook Mandates – Higher Education Opportunity Act

In order to ensure we are in compliance with U.S. Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) and Middle States accreditation requirements, we are obligated to “disclose, on the institution’s Internet course schedule and in a manner of the institution’s choosing, the International Standard Book Number and retail price information of required and recommended college textbooks and supplemental materials for each course listed in the institution’s course schedule used for preregistration and registration purposes.”

To ensure compliance with HEOA mandates, there is functionality in the Campus Solutions Student Administration system (Cardinal Students) that will allow us to include textbook information as part of the class maintenance table for each course section.  This information will be displayed on the schedule of classes in Cardinal Station Self-Service to students and faculty.  The textbook and pricing data are populated by an interface with the bookstore ordering system. It is therefore imperative that your textbook information is completed accurately so that the ISBN and price information in Cardinal Students is updated and available to students as they register for courses.

Remote Lab Access

Catholic University provides access to technology resources intended to be used by students as a component to their academic progress.

In addition to the in-person use of desktop computers located in campus computer labs, classrooms, dedicated spaces and library facilities, the University provides students with remote-friendly access to both specific applications and to individual desktop environments. 

The remote lab access website is https://technology.catholic.edu/programs/labremoteaccess/, and I encourage you to share this link with your students, so that they can take advantage of this access and find which type of access is most useful to them.

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

Patronal Feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas

The University Mass celebrating the patronal feast of Saint Thomas Aquinas is scheduled for Thursday, January 27, 2022 in the Great Upper Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. No classes will be held that day between 11:50 a.m. and 3:00 p.m.

Libraries

Mullen Library will open on a regular schedule on Monday, January 10, 2022 and overnight service will start on Monday, January 31, 2022.

Any changes in the schedule will be communicated on the library website.

A reminder that only Catholic University students, faculty, and staff with a current valid University ID may enter Mullen Library at this time. Face coverings are required at all times in Mullen Library, and no food or drink are allowed in the building.

Office of Global Strategies

The fall 2021 reopening of Catholic University's Rome Center was small with only nine students, but nonetheless proved to be a success.  The semester was able to proceed with in-person classes and site visits, and concluded with no known cases of COVID-19 among students, staff, or faculty.

The spring semester of the Rome program, which begins on January 8, will be more robust with 35 students. This spring semester also reflects a return to greater participation in study abroad, with 62 Catholic University students set to attend long-time, favorite programs such as the British Parliamentary Internship, the Oxford program, and our Exchanges – up from just 13 who went abroad in the fall.

For your student advisees who are looking ahead for future opportunities, the deadline to apply for most fall study abroad programs is March 1, while summer internships abroad have an earlier application deadline of February 15.

Applications are currently open for the Rome Summer Institute as well, with courses being offered in history, literature, music, nursing, engineering, and more. Fifty-seven students have started applications so far, and the deadline to apply is March 1. Vaccination is required for the safety of the program and to ensure compliance with Italian law.

University Research Day

I want to take the occasion of this letter to remind you that University Research Day (URD) will be held on Thursday, April 7, 2022. The event has proven to be a great success since its inception six years ago, and last year’s Research Day saw thousands of visitors enjoying live-streamed talks and access to nearly 140 recorded presentations plus musical performances.

Since the seventh annual research day is now only three months away, I strongly encourage faculty to work with students on ways in which they can prepare to participate in URD’s panels, poster sessions, and interactive research demonstrations. I also want to emphasize that URD is not limited to student presentations, and faculty members are encouraged to share their research with the University community on April 7.

The Research Day Planning Committee sent out a Call for Abstracts in November and again in December, and set the submission deadline as Friday, January 28, 2022 at 5:00 pm. The committee has also posted guidelines, helpful hints, and abstract examples on the abstract submission page.

For more information, please contact URD co-chairs Becky Robert (robert@cua.edu) or Beth Edinger (edinger@cua.edu).

CALENDAR REMINDERS

Reminders – Holidays, Schedule Changes, and Deadlines in January

Monday, January 10: Opening of classes in the spring 2022 semester.

Monday, January 17: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Holiday - The University is closed.

Friday, January 21: Last Day to Register or Add Regular Session Courses for Credit, and the Last Day to Drop Regular Session Courses without Record. After February 5, any withdrawal from a course will result in a "W" on the transcript.

Friday, January 21: March for Life - No classes between 11:00 a.m. and 3:10 p.m.

Monday, January 24: First Day of In Person Classes

Thursday, January 27: Patronal Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas University Mass - No classes between 11:50 a.m. and 3:10 p.m.

Friday, January 28: Deadline to Submit Abstracts for University Research Day

**Courses in the Columbus School of Law are following the school-specific calendar for the spring 2022 semester.

Thank you for your attention to these issues and events. I wish you and your students every success during the upcoming semester.

Sincerely yours,

Aaron.

Previous Faculty Newsletters from Provost Dominguez

2021-2022 Academic Year

2020-2021 Academic Year

2019-2020 Academic Year

Provost Updates to the Academic Senate

2021-2022 Academic Year

2020-2021 Academic Year

2019-2020 Academic Year