COVID-19 Academic Planning and Updates for Fall 2020
Grading Policy Fall 2020Grading Policy Fall 2020
Voted on by Faculty Senate, August 7, 2020
Bard has a long tradition of faculty autonomy in setting grading criteria for courses based on disciplinary standards and individual faculty members’ pedagogical goals. Given the current dual crises of the COVID-19 pandemic and structural racism and violence, our students are differentially affected by a wide range of contextual factors. These circumstances compel us to embrace during the coming academic year the following more flexible grading policy with the aim of generating the best learning outcomes for all students while also addressing practical concerns such as financial aid requirements and graduate or professional school admission standards. At the same time, we recognize that a grading policy cannot address all the inequities that affect the learning process, so we also encourage all faculty members, regardless of discipline, to explore the pedagogical strategies afforded by universal design and open access materials to create the most accessible and equitable learning environments possible at Bard.
During Fall 2020, the Bard grading system will be letter grades as a default; students may request P/F/D at any point, even after receipt of final grade. The decision to change from a letter grade to a P/F/D should involve faculty providing a clear path to what is needed to pass the class and ways in which a student might be supported to do so. No student should have to reveal personal information when making a request to change grading options. If students are uncomfortable approaching their professor about opting for P/F/D grading, they can reach out to their class dean for support and guidance to negotiate the situation. Students will have until the start of the following semester to make a choice about changing the grading option for a class.
Attendance Policy Fall 2020Attendance Policy Fall 2020
There are various ways to assess participation and encourage student engagement with course materials that take attendance out of the foreground. The fall 2020 semester will be a time to draw from such models and broaden ways to think about participation. Students should be told not to attend class if they are sick. Instructors should not include attendance as part of their grade for two reasons: (a) students may be absent from class because they are placed into quarantine; and (b) grading attendance will incentivize students to come to class even when they do not feel well, which is the opposite of what we need them to do for public health and safety.
Faculty are urged to keep careful records of attendance in the interest of public health and in order to facilitate contact tracing. But they should explicitly decouple this practice from grading itself. There are many reasons that could account for a student to be absent or to be placed in quarantine. Faculty members should not assume that students who have to miss class, even for personal health reasons, have contracted COVID-19. The health of students and their families is a private matter and should be treated as such. To encourage and facilitate student participation, courses should emphasize optimizing accessibility and allow for multiple points of entry for all learners. Recommended strategies include: creating small note-taking cohorts, using Brightspace or Google Classroom to provide assignments and materials, varying forms of oral, creative, and written engagement, incorporating synchronous and asynchronous group work, scaffolding longer writing assignments, and avoiding infrequent, high stakes testing in favor of continuous, formative assessment.
SUGGESTED LANGUAGE to be included in SYLLABUS: Please do not attend class if you are sick, feel ill, know you may have been exposed to coronavirus, or have any of the symptoms listed on Involvio, the College daily health screen app. You are expected to complete the daily health screening using the College Involvio App before showing up to class; a green pass will give you access to academic buildings. Please note that you will not be penalized for absences. Participation in this course will include online activities that can be completed outside of class.
The contact tracing process is confidential, and contact tracers will not reveal the identity of any person who has tested positive to the people they speak with throughout the process. Similarly, any information provided about the actions or interactions of persons who have contracted the virus, or their close contacts, will also remain private. This privacy is essential in order for those who have contracted the virus to feel comfortable providing accurate and thorough information about any possible transmission of the virus. Medical information will be kept separate and apart from regular employee files and will not be accessible by anyone other than those with a need to know, and that information will not be used in any future personnel decisions.
Updated Mask PolicyAugust 28, 2020
To the Bard College community:
This message clarifies Bard College’s current policies about face masks, and supersedes all previous messages regarding face coverings. Wearing a face mask on campus is mandatory for all students, faculty, and staff. Consistently wearing a face covering is one of the most effective ways of preventing the spread of COVID-19 (along with physical distancing and handwashing). The College’s policy complies with new public health regulations in New York State requiring any person over age two to cover their nose and mouth with a mask when in a public place and unable to maintain physical distancing. Much of the Bard campus can be classified as a “public place,” so both Bard College policy and New York State face mask regulations apply throughout the Bard community
Face coverings must be worn in all locations on the Bard College campus, both indoors and out, with the following exceptions only:
In a private office when working alone.
In your own dorm room* and when brushing your teeth or taking a shower (masks must be worn in the hallway between your dorm room and the bathroom), or in your own private family residence.
When eating while practicing physical distancing (all Bard community members must wear face masks inside the dining hall at all times, except when seated in any designated dining area).
In a designated mask respite area (which may only be used by one person at a time).
For B&G grounds workers only: when working on campus grounds away from buildings and all other people.
The College will coordinate with public health authorities to consider exceptional circumstances.
Bard shuttle drivers will refuse entry or ask riders to get off the shuttle if face masks are not worn the entire ride.
In keeping with New York State regulations, wearing a face mask is also mandatory in all public off-campus locations, including inside all public buildings and businesses and on sidewalks in town.
Mutual Responsibility: “Remind and Remove”
If you see someone not wearing a mask, please remind them that masks are mandatory. There are mask dispenser stations in RKC, Olin, Kline, Campus Center, Bito/Blum, Fisher Center, Rose/Hegeman, Fisher Arts, and Security should they need one. Then remove yourself from any situation that is unsafe or not in compliance with the required policies.
The College’s capacity to monitor and enforce this policy is limited. We hope not to have to use it, but the College has instituted a reporting and disciplinary process for COVID-19 policy violations. In the majority of cases, reminders of the rules and assistance with compliance will suffice. Referrals for more egregious violations will be addressed through the College’s disciplinary mechanisms that can include administrative or board hearings. Students violating COVID-19 policies risk removal or barring from campus. These policies apply to all students both on and off campus as well as to faculty and staff. If you would like advice on how best to engage with those who are not in compliance, or would prefer an intervention from the College, please contact the Bard Cares Team at email@example.com or Bard Security at 845-758-7460. Maintaining community health requires a community effort.
How to Wear a Face Covering
Wearing a face mask properly is a simple and extremely effective protective behavior that also shows you respect the health and wellbeing of all members of our community.
Keep the mask on your face the entire time you’re in public.
Don’t wear the mask around your neck or up on your forehead.
Wash your hands before putting on your face mask.
Avoid touching the exterior of the face mask, wash your hands if you do.
Make sure the mask covers your nose and mouth and fits securely under your chin. Try to fit it snugly against the sides of your face.
Change or launder face masks when they become soiled, wet, or after one day of use.
Disposable masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in the trash after use.
Don’t be complacent with other protective measures like physical distancing.
Acceptable Types of Face Coverings
Safe Face coverings, and ones that are permitted at Bard, are defined as those that secure via ear loops, or with ties, and have a close fit to the face, nose, and under the chin. Cloth masks are also acceptable for use. Face coverings with valves do not provide protection to the user or to the community, nor do loosely fitting bandana, gaiters, or scarfs.
Thank you for practicing this essential and required behavior.
*As outlined in the Addendum to the Student Handbook, visitors are not allowed in any dorm facilities, and only the residents of a specific dorm room should enter that room. If anyone besides you and your roommate enters your room, you all must put on masks.
Bard College COVID-19 Response Team
Coleen Alexander Murphy, Vice President for Administration
Kimberly Alexander, Director, Human Resources
Jonathan Becker, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Barbara Jean Briskey, Director, Health Services
Erin Cannan, Vice President Student Affairs/Dean for Civic Engagement
Deirdre d'Albertis, Dean of the College
Malia Du Mont, Chief of Staff, President's Office/Vice President for Strategy and Policy
Brooke Jude, Associate Professor of Biology
John Gomez, Director, Safety and Security
Emily McLaughlin, Associate Dean of the College
Jennifer Murray, Dean of International Studies
Bethany Nohlgren, Dean of Students
Kahan Sablo, Dean for Inclusive Excellence
David Shein, Associate VP for Academic Affairs/Dean of Studies
Éric Trudel, Chair, Faculty Senate
August 11th Faculty Updates for Fall 2020August 11th Faculty Updates for Fall 2020
Each week we will be bringing you important information to help you plan for your return to the classroom at the end of this month. Please open and review the attachments with this message.
DoC communications are archived for your easy reference at: https://www.bard.edu/doc/
Response Team communications, college-wide updates, and FAQs can be found at: https://www.bard.edu/covid19/
Health and Safety Questions:
Please send questions you would like to have answered by our consultants at Nuvance directly to Brooke Jude (firstname.lastname@example.org). Forward your queries by Wednesday each week: she will collate and present them to Nuvance and then issue a quick Q&A report by the end of each week.
Please use the attached one-pager as you prepare to interact with students in class. Large, laminated copies of the guidelines will be posted in all classrooms and instructional spaces. Go over these guidelines together.
Mask Dispenser Locations:
- Olin Humanities - Dispenser located to the right of the elevator on the first floor.
- Olin Language - Dispenser located across from the elevator on the first floor.
- Security (Old Gym) - Dispenser located to the right of the dispatch window.
- Kline - Dispenser located on the right hand side wall near the main entrance.
- Campus Center - Dispenser located on the first floor across from the information desk.
- PAC - Dispenser located inside the rear loading dock entrance to the left.
- Rose - Dispenser is located across from the fire panel in the first floor entranceway.
- Hegeman - Dispenser located to the left of the fire panel across from the stairwell.
- RKC - Dispenser located across from room 103.
- Environmental Services will clean in the 30-minute time blocks between classes (wipe down and reset of furniture) in both classrooms and tents
- ES will install small shelving units in classrooms and tents with signage for designated sanitizing stations - towels and Oxivir sanitizing spray will be stocked at these stations.
The Faculty Senate has convened to craft specific policies for the 2020-21 academic year. Information will be shared by August 15th.
The Registrar's Office will be making changes this week and next and communicate directly with faculty about matching enrollment to classroom capacity to allow for physical distancing.
Daily Health Screening for Faculty and Staff:
All faculty are required to complete 1) online training 2) a health pledge and 3) daily screening. The screening should be performed every morning before arriving on campus. A daily reminder with a link to the form is sent each morning at 5am. To get started, visit HR "Returning to Campus" at https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/covid-19/
Daily Health Screening for Students:
Students will also be required to perform a daily health screening through the Involvio app either on their phones or desktop. Students will be asked to show a green "pass" (signifying they have successfully completed the screening) as they enter your classroom. Faculty can also collect this information via their learning management system, e-mail, or as a print-out the day of class. Clearly communicate to students in your syllabus how you plan to check on the health screening. You may wish to access the app (apple or android) yourself. When you log in, choose the school (Bard) and then log in as faculty and use your Bard BIP credentials. You can also access via this browser based website: https://us.campuskit.io/onboarding/select/school
Q: if faculty have downloaded the Involvio app, can they complete daily screening through that app?
A: No. The "Daily Health Screening Reminder" is run through Bard HR and is being monitored for contact-tracing purposes. All staff and faculty should use the HR screening form: https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/checkin/
Visitors on Campus:
This semester Bard will operate as a restricted campus, with Bard facilities open only to students, faculty and staff, and a small number of approved visitors. The campus’ outdoor spaces will remain open to the public to engage in physically distanced activities, but access to buildings is restricted to members of the Bard community. Access to residence hall dormitories will be limited to those who reside there.
To optimize the health and well-being of our students and employees, Bard is establishing “restricted facilities”—classrooms, residence halls, laboratories, dining areas, sports facilities—that are only open to Bard students and employees. Our restricted facilities will:
- Prohibit unauthorized/non-essential visitors. We will webcast as many student artistic events as possible.
- Limit non-instructional gatherings and congregations in communal spaces.
- Limit the number of students in the classroom and provide for social distancing.
- Designate entry and exit points for buildings.
- Adhere to sanitization and social distancing requirements, including adequate hygiene and PPE supplies, and reduce common seating areas.
- Limit occupancy of classrooms and other public spaces on campus to 50%.
- Enforce social distancing through placement of signs and barriers.
On the advice of our partners at Nuvance Health, Bard has instituted a requirement for all students to take a COVID-19 (PCR) test within five days prior to their arrival and to present proof of a negative test before they arrive. Positive antibody testing is not considered a negative COVID test result and cannot be submitted in place of a negative test result. Students who are able to get a test and result within five days prior to arrival should submit that result to email@example.com. Between the time of the test and arriving on campus, it is important that students adhere to safe behaviors: no large gatherings, wear a mask, and practice physical distancing (see information below). All students will be retested within five days after their arrival.
College employees can get tested locally through their health insurance, and should discuss their options with their primary care physician. You can locate your nearest COVID testing site at this site operated by the New York State Department of Health, or at the Empire Blue Cross/Blue Shield Coronavirus Resource Center here. More information will be forthcoming for employees who wish to be considered for inclusion in weekly random testing on campus.
Quarantine and Shelter in Place:See attached guidelines for recently arrived students to understand important differences between quarantine and "shelter in place" that may impact attendance and participation in class.
Contact Tracing:See attached for specific information about how "contact" is defined and how the contact tracing process will work at Bard.
Privacy Concerns:The contact tracing process is confidential, and contact tracers will not reveal the identity of any person who has tested positive to the people they speak with throughout the process. Similarly, any information provided about the actions or interactions of persons who have contracted the virus, or their close contacts, will also remain private. This privacy is essential in order for those who have contracted the virus to feel comfortable providing accurate and thorough information about any possible transmission of the virus. Medical information will be kept separate and apart from regular employee files and will not be accessible by anyone other than those with a need to know, and that information will not be used in any future personnel decisions.
Please do not hesitate to reach out with questions or concerns in the coming days. Bard's Response Team is the first point of contact for all COVID-related planning and communications so you may wish to begin there with specific queries (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Thank you for all of the energy, creativity and hard work you are bringing to your preparations for the start of term!
August 3, 2020 Faculty UpdatesDear Colleagues--
First-year students, L&T instructors, and peer counselors will be returning to Annandale this week in anticipation of the start of Language and Thinking (August 10-26). This seems a good moment to update you on Bard's latest plans for reopening and to share resources as you continue preparations for the start of term. This message is meant to supplement the Bard Response Team's regular e-mails and information available on Bard's COVID-19 Response site: https://www.bard.edu/covid19/
As you are aware, the State of New York has issued a travel advisory that requires visitors from certain states to quarantine for 14 days. This list currently includes 34 states plus the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico and is updated daily:
Many of our students will be arriving from these states and will be required to quarantine for 14 days. For specific information about quarantining as well as testing protocols for students, please consult Bard's COVID-19 Response site: https://www.bard.edu/covid19/
The College is aiding students to quarantine both on campus and off: this logistical challenge is being handled with aplomb and considerable grace by our colleagues in Residence Life and Student Affairs.
Staggered arrivals for first-year students will take place between August 4-7; returning and transfer students are scheduled to arrive between August 18-25.
Some quarantining students will participate remotely in instruction and return to in-person learning on campus 14 days after their arrival. The latest we would expect students to complete quarantine, therefore, would be by September 8th (the semester begins on August 31st).
As you prepare your syllabus and course plans for the first ten days of term, please be aware that some students will need to join your class remotely until they are cleared to leave quarantine: we will wish to extend maximum flexibility and support to these students as they navigate the transition from remote to in-person learning. If you are teaching a "remote only" or "remote accessible" course, you will have already created multiple pathways for students into the material covered in these first few class meetings. If your course is "in person" only, please be mindful of the needs of quarantined students, consider how you might "catch them up" on material covered in the first week and a half, and communicate at the outset how you plan to support their entry as soon as they are able to join the class. When you look at your class roster in BIP, quarantining students will be identified to aid you in this process.
Please note: all first-year students will have already completed quarantine during L&T and many students from our region will not be quarantining at all. You will want to be thinking about how to accommodate all of these groups as you plan for the first two or three meetings of your course.
Add/Drop ends on Wednesday, September 9th and late drop period will end on September 30th. Please extend to quarantining students every consideration as they may wish to drop or add courses somewhat later than usual this September. Through no fault of their own, they may require extra support and guidance not only from their faculty advisors but also from their instructors in adjusting their schedules for the fall.
Advising and Registration:
I want to express tremendous gratitude and appreciation for the thirty-seven faculty advisors who have worked closely with entering first-year students throughout the month of July prior to course registration July 30-August 3rd. Thanks to these and related efforts, retention of the class of 2024 has been strong. Overwhelmingly, students have signaled to us a strong desire to live and learn in Annandale.
Thanks are also in order for faculty who changed their teaching times to accommodate remote participation by international students in different time zones. For instance, 37 Chinese students, including 9 first-year students, have signed up as a cohort for residential learning abroad arranged by the College in cooperation with institutions of higher education in Shanghai and Beijing this fall. While we have nearly 200 international students overall, only 70-90 are currently living outside of the United States. For those who have remained in the country, a return to campus may be expected.
You will recieve information the week of August 10th about instructional spaces and capacity (adjusted for physical distancing) including:
--classroom assignments will be based on course enrollment (i.e. a larger room, an outdoor location if requested). Please do not assume that you will remain assigned to the same classroom, and
--which rooms will feature A/V setup allowing for simultaneous remote and in-person class participation (we expect to have at least 12 such classrooms but possibly as many as 16). This month, CFCD will be sharing "how to" instructions for hybrid teaching. There will be a "demo" class for interested faculty on Wednesday, August 5 at 10:30 AM (contact email@example.com for more details).
The Bard Response Team, Academic Planning Working Group, and Faculty Senate are discussing the need for a revised attendance policy for Fall 2020. [Expect guidance and sample language for your syllabi in the coming weeks]. All faculty are urged to keep careful records of attendance in the interest of public health (to facilitate contact tracing) while explicitly decoupling this practice from grading itself. There should be no incentive for an unwell student to attend class and courses should rely on universal design principles to allow for multiple points of entry for all learners (creating small note-taking cohorts, using Brightspace or Google Classroom to provide assignments and materials, and avoiding infrequent, high-stakes testing in favor of continuous, formative assessment). Please be sure to offer ample opportunity for students to confer with you during office hours, either in person (more spacious options than your faculty office will be available to reserve on the third floor of Olin through the Office of the Registrar) or via Zoom.
Bard's new Director of Disability Resources and Accessibility Erika van der Velden is a wonderful resource for our community in adopting such universal design principles. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Erika or to Michael Sadowski, Director of Inclusive Pedagogy and Curriculum, as you think about how best to accommodate all students as they begin their coursework this semester.
CFCD has created a rich schedule of workshops and pedagogy trainings this summer to assist faculty in creatively imagining how best to structure class time in relation to our standard 80 and 140 minute sessions (https://cfcd.bard.edu/). Changing delivery to include face to face as well as other modes of interaction is a challenge for in-person as well as blended teaching. Faculty will want to build time for a 10 minute "mask respite" into every class meeting (suggestions for how best to implement such breaks will be forthcoming). For longer seminar, lab, or studio classes, faculty will want to think about breaking long stretchs of time with rotating activities, group work, or location shifts. For those teaching entirely remotely, the imperative to avoid long Zoom sessions will be equally urgent. All of this is to encourage you to reach out to Emily McLaughlin, Eric Trudel, and Phil Pardi as well as Erica Kaufman to identify resources that will be most helpful as you plan for the upcoming semester. Stephanie Kufner, Academic Director of the Center for Foreign Languages and Cultures, has kindly offered to host faculty interested in recording remote lectures in the Olin LC Language Lab (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Calendar NOTE: Fall 2020 classes will meet without any scheduled interruption or Fall Break through November 20. Instructors should provide paths for remote instruction after this date through the final day of classes on December 18.
Health and Safety Protocols at the College:
Many faculty are wondering what to expect as they walk into the classroom this fall. What will happen if someone refuses to wear the mandatory face covering in class? How will our new movements through spaces designed to promote physical distancing eventually become habitual rather than awkward and strange for us?
Take a look at the attached classroom guidelines being developed to post in each instructional space for faculty and students. Importantly, students will be required to use the Bard Involvio app for self-screening each day: this app will allow students to signal an easily legible "green screen" on their phones as they enter Kline Commons and your classroom. Environmental Services will be implementing the following classroom cleaning protocols:
clean in the 30-minute time blocks between classes (wipe down and reset of furniture) in both classrooms and tents
install small shelving units in classrooms and tents with signage for designated sanitizing stations - towels and Oxivir sanitizing spray will be stocked at these stations
The Response Team welcomes your ideas and suggestions about creating and sustaining a campus culture of responsibility and care. The Bard Cares Team--a group of five students, five faculty members, and five staff members to be headed up by Kim Gould and Josh Bardfield-- is currently being formed to help all members of our community adapt successfully to these new ways of living together. They will be inviting you to join a "community conversation" webinar about shared values that can and should inform our engagements with one another as we pledge to abide by crucial health and safety protocols in the coming weeks and months (time and date forthcoming).
Non-essential work travel is prohibited until further notice, and the college strongly encourages all employees and students to refrain from non-essential personal travel outside the immediate area of the college. We are making great efforts to implement a carefully planned return of students to campus throughout August, and these efforts will be most effective if all members of the Bard community minimize travel once classes begin.
Finally, allow me to remind you that all faculty are required to complete 1) online training 2) a health pledge and 3) daily screening before returning to work in Annandale. The screening should be performed every day. To get started, visit HR "Returning to Campus" at https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/covid-19/
Housing Options for Faculty (Fall 2020)COVID-19 is changing many things about daily life. For the 2020-21 academic year, we want to provide you with practical resources to support you in your work at the College and with our students. Many commuting faculty members are exploring options for overnight accommodations on or near campus. While we cannot vouch for particulars, we are pleased to assist in this quest by sharing information in advance of the fall term.
For general questions about housing resources and options for longer-term arrangements, please feel free to contact Sherry Gildersleeve (email@example.com) in the Office of the Dean of the College. If you have a room or house to rent, please let Sherry know--the DoC can serve as a clearinghouse in this time of special need.
NOTE: All regular on-campus faculty housing units are overseen by the faculty Campus Facilities Committee (Lester, O. Chilton, Hulbert, Townsend, Adams). Details about the annual housing lottery can be found in Bard’s Faculty Handbook (p.79ff).
(reservations available on a per night basis, payment by check to Jen Martin-Brownfirstname.lastname@example.org campus mail)
- Haddad House ($40 a night, shared bathroom) contact Stacey Adams (email@example.com)
- Finberg House ($100 a night, room + bath) contact Irene Zedlacher (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Grand Dutchess B&B $125.00 a night - taxes included, no breakfast.
- In accordance with New York State Law, Guests will have to wear a mask when not in their rooms. No staff will be entering into a guest room once a guest has checked-in.
- There is a 48 hour window between guests checking into a recently vacated room. We are using cleaning products on the CDC's recommended list.
- To offer this rate to Bard College professors, the B&B can only accept payment via the following methods:
- Check made payable to The Grand Dutchess
- Zelle to 917-593-8750
- PLEASE NOTE: there is a $10.00 additional charge for payments made with a credit card.
Kaatsbaan $150 a night, room + bath after September 30th only, contact Stacey Adams (email@example.com for details)
For a full list of local accommodations please visit: https://www.bard.edu/visiting/accommodations/
Faculty Updates for Fall 2020 Course ListDear Colleagues,
On July 1st, President Botstein introduced Bard's reopening plan: faculty and students will return to campus to resume teaching and learning this fall. The College is committed to ensuring that students who are on campus have the ability to select a schedule that meets their needs/expectations as learners in Annandale and that those few students who must study remotely will have access to a representative range of courses.
We will be communicating specifics to students and their families as they prepare to make tuition payments on July 20.
To do this, we plan to update the course list with information about course modality in the next week.
The Registrar will need to collect this information by Wednesday, July 15.
The expectation is that the majority of our courses this fall will meet regularly in-person and that many of those courses may employ a blended format — a mix of in-person and remote learning experiences. If not otherwise indicated, this will be the standard format for instruction.
The course list will explicitly note courses that are in person only (students must be present on campus to take the class, with no remote element) and remote (course offered to students on or off campus in an online format only). These designations are meant to guide students in their course selection. All faculty should be prepared to support remote learning as needed after November 20.
Some courses will be offered remotely for a range of reasons. The College will plan for a limited number of FYS and Common Course sections, for instance, to be made available remotely. Program-level coordination will be crucial in making such determinations.
Students not on campus — for instance, international students — will be advised to consult with individual faculty members to confirm if it is possible to study remotely in courses not designated as “remote only.”
There will be an opportunity for students to add/drop courses and adjust schedules according to their needs (drop/add period ends on September 9th and late drop/add deadline is September 30th). First-year students will be guided by faculty advisors this month before registering for courses between July 30 and August 3.
The importance of this timely update to Bard's course list is understood by all. The institution has an obligation to teach in the manner communicated in good faith to its students (subject to modifications beyond its control): assistance in providing this information is critical to planning for the fall.
We know that 2/3 of our students live within driving distance of campus. As more information comes in from the Dean of Students and Dean of Studies offices we will have a clearer idea of the number overall who are approved to enroll remotely and how many to expect in person on campus in the fall. Please know also that the College is hosting regular webinars with returning students (many faculty have participated, thank you very much!) to answer questions honestly about what to expect in terms of distancing, health and safety measures, and life on campus this coming year. Webinars for new students and their families are also being offered throughout the month.
Faculty members who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidelines or who suffer from a disability may consult with Human Resources about specific concerns relating to their return to work on campus. As appropriate, the College will engage in an interactive process to assess any reasonable accommodations (individuals, for instance, may be accommodated by teaching remotely). This process is completely confidential and separate from other offices at the College. It is prohibited to discriminate against employees who request or are granted accommodations. For more information, employees are encouraged to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty teaching in person and blended courses are encouraged to revisit--in light of their own personal circumstances and specific concerns--particular details of teaching times, weekly schedule, or class location (including evenings, weekends, outdoor venues). A complete inventory of teaching spaces and venues with physical distancing/enrollment capacity information will be available online by mid-month. People are encouraged to reach out to the Office of the Dean of the College and/or Registrar to discuss such possibilities.
Bard Nursery School and Children's Center
The Nursery School and Children's Center will follow the in-person scheduling of classes at the College (not the local public school calendar): they plan to be open five days a week. AAUP members and interested faculty will follow up with Coleen, Kimm, Deirdre, Carol Murray, and Kristine Williams about possible expansion or flexibility with this important support for Bard families. Bard students, eager for work-study or campus employment, will also be eligible (as always) to provide reimbursable child care under existing provisions of the faculty contract.
Based on questions in the CFCD webinar, I want to share important information you may not have seen yet.
Take a look also at Bard's central communication site for updates/Q&A on COVID-19: https://www.bard.edu/covid19/
Daily screening plan for all college employees https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/checkin/
Health pledge for all employees https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/checkin/health-pledge/
HR COVID-19 online training required before return to campus https://rise.articulate.com/share/5-5yc6FbJLNryO2yC_fBbj_AQ674nCJb#/
HR Guidelines for return to campus
HR CoVID-19 page: https://www.bard.edu/humanresources/covid-19/
Subject to Modification
We are all aware that this is a rapidly evolving situation. As Brooke Jude has observed about the College's approach to testing protocols, you have to have a Plan A and a Plan B. The College is formulating its plan(s) in accordance with New York State guidelines (meeting or exceeding expectations for compliance). Let me encourage you to review the attached guidance and continue to communicate questions and concerns as we move forward.
Reach out to the Response Team (email@example.com) with general questions about reopening plans for the College. Answers will be forthcoming. And allow me to express my appreciation for your ongoing commitment to our students as well as your service to the College under uniquely challenging circumstances.
Message from Dean d'Albertis on Faculty Planning for Fall ReopeningJuly 1, 2020
We hope this email finds you well in these early days of summer after a particularly intense and challenging semester.
This is a moment to honor the creativity, professionalism, and compassion with which you mobilized (essentially overnight) to support student success as the College moved rapidly to remote instruction this spring. Now we are in a position to make informed choices for academic planning in the context of COVID-19, deepening efforts to design a resilient, equitable, and responsive curriculum for Bard students in 2020-21.
President Botstein will host an Open House for Faculty on Thursday, July 2nd at 11 AM, to discuss reopening plans for the fall. To participate, please use this link and password:
The Center for Faculty and Curricular Development is eager to begin the process of preparing for the fall in partnership with you over the coming months. We ask that you save the date for a first CFCD webinar on July 7 at 11:00am ET. During the remainder of July and August, CFCD will offer regular, weekly events in preparation for the fall semester. Shared programming with OSUN (courtesy of the indefatigable Erica Kaufman) will be integral to this ample calendar of offerings. You can expect to receive the full calendar of events by the end of this week.
Return to Campus: Bard’s Response Team has been working diligently to plan the College’s reopening, in collaboration with the Council on Independent Colleges and Universities (CICU) and in accordance with NY State guidelines, which were released on June 20th. In July and August, you can look for ongoing communications from the Response Team and the Office of the Dean of the College about what to expect in terms of health and safety protocols in the classroom and across campus.
To allow for social distancing, a complete audit of all instructional spaces has been performed, the inventory of available venues for teaching in the fall has been expanded, outdoor spaces are being evaluated, and scheduling options that take best advantage of our time together on campus are being formulated, following best practices identified by the NYS Department of Health, American College Health Association, and the CDC. You can expect to hear from the Registrar’s Office with location and scheduling updates soon.
This fall we are planning for faculty and students to return to teaching and learning on campus: due to circumstances and official guidance, however, all must be prepared to shift to remote instruction as needed. The three options for instruction will be: in-person, remote, and blended (with some in-person and some remote activities--for instance, alternating recorded online lectures with in-person discussion). So-called “hybrid” or Hy-flex teaching will be difficult to support on a large scale, requiring specific accommodations that should be arranged well in advance.
An Academic Planning Working Group with faculty representation from all four divisions will be meeting to address real-time concerns throughout July and August. We want to thank members of the Executive Committee for polling each division, offering important feedback as we transition to this active planning phase. Faculty have been invited to join working groups on Student Affairs, HR, and Health as well as the Response Team.
Academic Calendar: For planning purposes, know that Fall 2020 classes will meet without any scheduled interruption or Fall Break through November 20. At that time the College, if necessary in light of the relevant public health considerations, will provide paths for instruction remotely until the final day of classes, which will be December 18th in accordance with the original academic calendar.
BrightSpace: Let us draw your attention to an important enhancement of your ability to prepare for potentially syncopated rhythms of teaching in 2020-21: an institutional investment in a new hosted learning management system, BrightSpace. Compared to Moodle, BrightSpace is robust, fully featured, and exceptionally user-friendly. Our installation of BrightSpace will be available in the next few weeks. It will be cloud-hosted (so that power outages on campus don’t make our critical resource unavailable, as is currently the case with Moodle) and have its own help desk to assist faculty and students after-hours or as needed. During the next academic year, faculty will have the option to use Bard BrightSpace, Bard Moodle, or Google Classroom. The Google Classroom platform will be supported as long as faculty wish to use it. All Bard Moodle courses will be migrated into Bard BrightSpace before summer 2021. Thank you Leslie Melvin for guiding us every step of the way.
Accessibility: Bard affirms its commitment to building and sustaining a culture of accessibility. New materials for online courses should be designed to be accessible to all students; workshops and resources will be made available to assist faculty in this process. We are delighted to welcome Erika van der Velden ‘04, our new Director of Disability Resources and Accessibility, to guide us in these conversations. In her work here at Bard, Erika will support students in accessing resources and accommodations to help them thrive in our learning environment. She will also work closely with the CFCD to support faculty in teaching and supporting students with learning differences. Please do not hesitate to contact Erika with questions or concerns as you plan for the fall semester (firstname.lastname@example.org).
New Options for R&T Funds: We recognize that faculty are in the midst of recalibrating professional/scholarly projects as well as teaching plans for the coming academic year. Adaptation and retooling on both fronts may depend on the timely purchase of technology upgrades and enhancements. We are pleased to announce that the College will support faculty Research and Travel requests for reimbursement in 2020-21 of personal technology purchases (ipads, for instance). Questions regarding this special one-year use of R&T funds should be directed to Rachel Price in the Office of the Dean of the College. Faculty may also be eligible for limited funding reserved for pedagogical development projects: please contact Rachel Price with questions about how to apply.
There are many challenges ahead. Recognizing the ongoing struggle to live up to the promise of higher education in the face of inequality, violence, and suffering in this country and the many communities we call home, the College and its faculty carry a special responsibility at this time to listen and learn how to transform practices, question assumptions about the academy, and reimagine our interactions with one another. Your role in leading this necessary institutional work cannot be overstated. This summer we invite you to help us define in real and actionable terms the scope of such a commitment. The Office of the Dean of the College and faculty committees can anticipate partnership with the Council for Inclusive Excellence in coordinating much-needed support for course and program development as well as faculty-initiated panel discussions, video projects (Drew Thompson’s Reflecting on the Moment), essay series (In the Moment), teach-ins, and curricular planning initiatives overseen by VP for Academic Inclusive Excellence Myra Armstead. Inclusive pedagogy and curriculum will be a renewed focus and emphasis with Michael Sadowski’s ongoing presence in the DoC/CFCD this year. As we prepare to engage on campus with students and colleagues, we invite you to share with us your hopes and expectations for what Dean of Inclusive Excellence Kahan Sablo has powerfully described as a “bigger,” more inclusive, and equitable vision of Bard.
We look forward to seeing you on July 7.
Deirdre d’Albertis, Dean of the College
Emily McLaughlin and Éric Trudel, Co-directors of CFCD
Phil Pardi, Director of College Writing
Message from President Botstein on Bard's Reopening PlanUpdate 7/1/20
To the Bard community,
As promised, today I am sending you Bard College's reopening plan for the upcoming academic year. It is our intent to reopen the campus for in-person classes as originally scheduled for the fall 2020 semester. We will do so with the utmost consideration for the safety and well-being of our students and employees. Our plan has been formulated in close coordination with state and local authorities and public health officials, and with our partners at Nuvance Health.
The key to a healthy and productive reopening will be the commitment by everyone in the Bard community to understanding and following protocols. We all must take responsibility not only for ourselves, but for the health and safety of neighbors, friends, and strangers. Undoubtedly we will be faced with the unexpected. But Bard is uniquely situated to improvise and respond thoughtfully to the moment. Our commitment to teaching and learning informs our approach to the challenges we are facing in and out of the classroom.
The College and its community must work together to uphold standards of behavior and public health best practices that support wellness and align with federal and state guidelines. Bard has the advantages of a 1,000 acre campus, a rural location, and small class sizes. It can create and implement a sound reopening plan. The College is encouraging creativity and innovative practices in providing an outstanding and rigorous academic program that is accessible to students regardless of location and health status. We seek to create a community of learning, the cultivation of the arts and civic engagement here in Annandale in the context of a national and international public health crisis.
Reopening the campus will require a high standard of public trust. The College will strive to develop and deliver, collaboratively, imaginative alternatives while continuing to offer exceptional educational and cultural experiences.
The College’s COVID-19 Response Team, with input from faculty, staff, students, and alumni/ae, has developed a detailed, carefully considered plan for reopening, which I include below. As the public health situation evolves and the state provides new guidance, we will adjust accordingly and will keep you updated.
Bard is a unique and adaptable community, and I am confident that together we will make it through this challenging and unpredictable time. We have finalized plans for our August commencement on the weekend of August 21, 22, 23. Details will be sent out tomorrow.
The entire staff and faculty of Bard look forward to welcoming students back to Annandale in August.
The key to a healthy and productive reopening will be the commitment of everyone in the Bard community to understand and follow these protocols and to take responsibility not only for themselves, but for the health and safety of others. Bard is uniquely situated to respond to the moment. The delivery of a quality education in unlikely places around the world informs our approach to the challenges we are facing in and out of the classroom.
Arrival and Academic Calendar
We are staggering arrival dates and moving much of the arrival documentation online to allow for appropriate social distancing during move-in. The College is preparing to welcome first-year students between August 4-7 and returning students and new transfers between August 18-25. New students will be allowed two people to accompany them when they arrive to move in and we ask that returning students bring just one person to help them move in. Social distancing protocols will be in place and everyone must wear a face covering.
The Office of Residence Life will send out more details about arrival next week, including a reservations form for students to determine an arrival time that considers each student’s travel schedule and unique situation. New York State may also require some students to quarantine upon arrival, depending on where they are traveling from, and the College is prepared to help students uphold that requirement by providing quarantine facilities and support as needed. As of June 30, New York State has issued quarantine requirements for travelers from: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Nevada, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. The College will be in touch with students traveling from states with a quarantine designation to plan for the specific requirements. Questions related to individual needs related to quarantine should be directed to email@example.com.
Students will be required to have a coronavirus test taken within five days before traveling to Bard. If it is positive, you must stay home until you have tested negative. If testing is not available in your area or you otherwise have difficulty accessing a test, please be in touch with Bard Health Services and they will advise you on safely returning to campus. All students can also be expected to be tested soon after arrival on campus. More information about testing protocols for students will be shared in the next update.
Bard will maximize the opportunity for in-person learning and leverage alternative classroom spaces including outdoor venues for increased physical distancing. The total number of contact hours and weeks of instruction remain the same.
The calendar for the Bard College 2020-2021 academic year:
Early August: staggered student arrivals, including online orientation and check-in (dates and details above)
August 10: Language and Thinking begins for all first-year students
August 31: The fall semester begins, with students and faculty unable to return to campus participating remotely
October 23-25: Family & Alumni/ae Weekend. The College is planning for a variety of contingencies to align with whatever the public health guidance is at that time.
November 20: Fall 2020 classes will meet without any scheduled interruption or Fall Break through this day. At that time the College, if necessary in light of the relevant public health considerations, will provide paths for instruction remotely until the final day of classes, which will be December 18th in accordance with the original academic calendar. Students wishing to travel for Thanksgiving will be advised that, depending on public health restrictions at that time in Dutchess County and their travel destinations, they may not be able to return to campus. Any student not permitted to return after Thanksgiving owing to COVID-19 restrictions will have a path to remote completion for the semester. Any student unable to travel is welcome to stay on campus at Thanksgiving and remain on their meal plans for the duration of the semester, through December 21st. Tuition adjustments will not be made should coursework be moved online following the holiday.
The semester will formally end on December 21st. Housing will remain open for students who cannot return home after the semester. Provisions will be made for food and other support services.
The Dean of the College will share specific information with the faculty under separate cover about summer development workshops and resources to prepare for in-person and remote teaching this fall.
Protecting Health and Safety on Campus
The College has a formal agreement with Nuvance Health, one of the largest health care providers in the region, and with them is planning the design and implementation of public health and hygiene measures, including detailed protocols for testing and screening, daily monitoring of symptoms, contact tracing, quarantine practices, and social distancing across the Bard campus. Our Health Services Team is following guidance from the American College Health Association and is in close contact with local and regional health officials. The College will release more information as these measures are finalized.
Social Distancing and Face Covering
New York State has defined standards for social distancing and personal protective equipment use. In accordance with these standards, the College will require the wearing of face coverings in all classrooms, public shared spaces on campus, or in areas where social distancing cannot be observed, including in residence halls and teaching spaces. The class schedule is being extended and alternative teaching spaces have been identified to allow for longer periods between classes and to minimize traffic. Face coverings must be placed over the nose and mouth and will be required indoors in all classrooms and in all campus buildings any time it is not possible to be at least 6 feet away from another person. Outdoors, face coverings must be worn on pathways and in any open area where you are passing another person less than 6 feet apart. Under New York State guidelines, students who share a dorm room are considered a household and can be mask-free in their rooms, but must wear face coverings in all communal spaces.
Face coverings and disinfecting supplies are being provided to all students and employees who need them, to support social distancing and aid in keeping personal areas sanitized. The College has purchased and stored extra supplies of PPE and disinfecting materials.
The College is prohibiting all non-essential employee travel, encouraging alternate methods of contact including remote meetings, and limiting in-person appointments.
Staggered dining times and takeaway options will be available for students as well as decentralized dining in two additional locations. Students will be able to use their dining card at a small grocery store on campus. The College opened a food pantry last semester that can supplement the offerings made through the dining commons.
Testing, Screening, and Monitoring
The College is developing, in consultation with Nuvance Health, testing and screening protocols and systems for on- and off-campus populations. Students will be able to get tested at Bard Health Service and with our local testing partners.
Protocols already in place include self-administered health screenings by all employees working on campus. In accordance with NYS guidelines, all employees are required to conduct a daily health screening prior to coming to campus, wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and follow all recommended public health guidelines. If concerns arise during the self-administered health screenings, they will be directed to self-isolate until it is determined that it is safe for them to return. In the case of a positive test result, contact tracing protocols will be initiated. If needed, employees will quarantine and isolate in their own homes.
The College has created a COVID-19 Contact Team responsible for the daily monitoring of and follow up to community cases. This includes oversight of trained on-campus contact tracers for presumptive or confirmed cases. The team will, among other things, track the daily health screenings for all on-campus employees required by NYS, identify and trace possible exposures, provide administrative support to Health Services, and remain in close contact with the Dutchess County Health Department.
Students with positive test results will be moved to dedicated quarantine housing and students with close contact will be asked to self-isolate. While keeping a student’s identity and health information secure, the College will, in coordination with the Department of Health, conduct contact tracing and monitoring of student health. As we did this past March, Health Service providers will conduct daily check-ins with students in isolation or quarantine via Telehealth or in person for mild or moderate illness, ensuring they have the medications and supplies they need. Meals will be delivered and isolation housing will include beverages and snacks. Bard Counseling Service will be available via Telehealth for mental health care and a student wellness team will provide additional support. Academic support will be provided by academic advisers and the deans in the Center for Student Life & Advising.
Students will be required to take online COVID-19 training and to sign a pledge which acknowledges the new commitments we all need to take prior to their arrival to campus. Staff and faculty are required to go through a similar training and are also submitting health pledges acknowledging the need for all of us to do our part to keep each other safe. The Dean of Students Office, in coordination with the peer review board and student judiciary board, is working on orientation, training, education, bystander intervention techniques, and restorative practices to help enforce these community standards.
The Bard Health Service website will update current COVID-19 information throughout the semester. Additional information can be found on the College’s COVID-19 Response website.
Environmental Services conducted cleaning and sanitization of all campus facilities over the past three months. They have now implemented cleaning and disinfecting protocols in all public buildings, academic and administrative spaces, and residence hall common spaces (kitchens, hallways, lounges, bathrooms) in accordance with CDC guidelines, using EPA-approved disinfectants, and following health and safety protocols and OSHA guidelines. All employees who are returning to work on campus will be trained and supplied with EPA-approved cleaning/disinfecting supplies to use in their personal and shared spaces. Over 100 new sanitizing stations have been installed near doorways throughout campus, and all existing sanitizing stations were re-filled with greater than 60% alcohol product.
Bard’s HVAC department replaces air filters and cleans coils in campus filtration systems on a regular rotating schedule throughout the year. All filters have been cleaned and/or replaced within the past six months, and will continue to be cleaned and/or replaced as scheduled. All units designed for HEPA filters received new HEPA filters. The plumbing department has flushed water systems in all buildings, checked HVAC systems and replaced filters, made sure safety systems were fully operational, and all systems are in good working order.
To optimize the health and well-being of our students and employees, Bard is establishing “restricted facilities” - classrooms, residence halls, laboratories, dining areas, sports facilities - that are only open to Bard students and employees. Our restricted facilities will:
Prohibit unauthorized/non-essential visitors. We will webcast as many student artistic events as possible.
Limit non-instructional gatherings and congregations in communal spaces.
Limit the number of students in the classroom and provide for social distancing.
Designate entry and exit points for buildings.
Adhere to sanitization and social distancing requirements, including adequate hygiene and PPE supplies, and reduce common seating areas.
Limit occupancy of classrooms and other public spaces on campus to 50%.
Enforce social distancing through placement of signs and barriers.
We understand that many students have experienced a great deal of change and disruption during these past seven months. Bard Counseling Services, in collaboration with Health Services, Student Government, Residence Life, and Wellness, plan to offer a range of workshops, programs, training, and support groups that use a trauma-informed approach and are guided by racial and social justice principles. Our programming will be geared to support the mental well-being of all students as they begin or return to Bard.
Bard College remains cognizant and concerned about the disparate impact of this pandemic on people of color and individuals from financially challenged backgrounds, and the additional stress and anxiety during these difficult times. The Office of the Dean for Inclusive Excellence, the Financial Aid Office, the Office of Equity and Inclusion, and other campus resources are available to offer assistance in coping with the additional stressors generated by COVID-19.
Accessible Academics and Advising
Faculty have been invited to participate in a special summer advising program for entering first-year and transfer students who are preparing to join us for the first time in Annandale. Students have completed an advising survey already: assignments are in the process of being made. Throughout the month of July, advisors will meet in group as well as individual advising sessions to orient incoming students to the curriculum and life at Bard. Summer registration is scheduled to take place between July 30-Aug 3. For registration information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer Webinars for Rising Seniors
Monday, 7/6, 6-7pm (EST )- theory-based projects and projects in the humanities, with Professors Jay Ellott (philosophy) and Dominique Townsend (Religion). Zoom link.
Tuesday, 7/7 230-330pm (EST) - projects in the social sciences and that involve case studies,with Professors Rob Culp (history) and Michelle Murray (Political Studies). Zoom link.
Wednesday 7/8, 2-3pm (EST) - art installations and performance-based projects, with Professors Ben Coonley (film) and Maria Simpson (dance). Zoom link.
Thursday, 7/16, 3:30-430pm (EST) - projects in languages and literature (including written arts), with Professors Cole Heinowitz (literature), Marisa Libbon (literature), and Dinaw Mengestu (Written Arts), Eric Trudel (French). Zoom link.
Friday, 7/24, 230-330pm (EST) - projects in the sciences, mathematics, and computing, with Professors Emily McLaughlin (chemistry), John Cullinan (mathematics) and Keith O'Hara (computer science). Zoom link.
This fall, the College will be offering a suite of multidisciplinary Common Courses available to all incoming first-year as well as interested second-year students. Each of these courses will address a critical global or local contemporary issue from multidisciplinary perspectives and allow for instruction either in person or online.
New Common Courses for 2020-21
Epidemics, Society, and Culture: What do epidemics tell us about microbes, markets, and ourselves? This course will cover the history, science, and art of protecting the health of populations and the social, political, philosophical, and cultural implications of public health catastrophes.
The Making of Citizens: Local, National, Global: This course aims to interrogate and analyze the concept of citizenship. Drawing on different disciplinary approaches, faculty will encourage students to think about how citizenship emerges, exists, and differs at the local, national, and global levels, and what forms of participation are necessary to sustain meaningful citizenship for themselves and others.
Resilience, Survival, Extinction: How do individuals, species, languages, and cultures survive, show resilience, and become extinct? This course introduces students to methods of biological analysis and cultural interpretation that explore the many ways we understand resilience, survival, and extinction.
Designing the Futures Around Us: This course invites students to approach design as a tool for reflecting on the existing worlds in which we find ourselves and as a means to rethink them and invent new ones. In the spirit of critique and experimentation, students will engage in visual projects, design practices, and study the history of the ways the spaces around us have been constructed and understood.
Alternate Worlds: In his essay “On Fairy-Stories,” J. R. R. Tolkien responds to accusations that fantasy constitutes an irresponsible “escapist” flight from reality. In this course, we will be considering the relation between imagination and reality by considering counterfactual histories, fantastical literary works, and utopias or dystopias.
Questions about academic advising can be directed to Dean of Studies David Shein at email@example.com. Questions about accessibility can be directed to the College’s new Director of Disability Resources and Accessibility Erika van der Velden ‘04 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Life and Civic Engagement
While many traditional events will have to be reimagined for the fall, the Student Services team is working hard to plan a robust and thoughtful calendar of events to engage all students. We will have both in-person and online events, targeted at keeping the community together, helping people make connections, engaging in thoughtful leadership and conversation, and staying civically engaged. Protocols on how events can happen are being finalized right now in accordance with state and CDC guidelines, and all club and organization leaders will be given ample notice so that they can start planning events. New online platforms for connection, particularly around music and the performing arts, are being tested this summer and will be available to students this fall. Students can anticipate smaller events across campus with a lot of outdoor engagement.
You will be receiving more details as we approach arrival dates. There are a number of decisions that must be based upon forthcoming guidance and changing events. This poses challenges to all of us, but we’re confident that, working together, we can have a safe, successful, and fulfilling semester.
Bard College COVID-19 Response Team
Coleen Alexander Murphy, Vice President for Administration
Kimberly Alexander, Director, Human Resources
Jonathan Becker, Executive Vice President and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Barbara Jean Briskey, Director, Health Services
Erin Cannan, Vice President Student Affairs/Dean for Civic Engagement
Deirdre d'Albertis, Dean of the College
Malia Du Mont, Chief of Staff, President's Office/Vice President for Strategy and Policy
John Gomez, Director, Safety and Security
Brooke Jude, Associate Professor of Biology
Emily Mclaughlin, Associate Dean of the College
Jennifer Murray, Dean of International Studies
Bethany Nohlgren, Dean of Students
Kahan Sablo, Dean for Inclusive Excellence
Éric Trudel, Chair, Faculty Senate
COVID-19 Academic Planning and Updates Spring 2020
Communication to Students and Faculty: P/F/D Grading PolicyI am writing to update you on grading policies for classes this spring. Normal deadlines for pass/fail have been waived by the Executive Committee of the faculty. If you feel that you would be better served by taking any of your classes Pass/Fail/D please let me know and I can contact the faculty and update your record. A “pass” does not factor into your grade point average, and this will have no impact on your academic progress (pass courses count fully toward the degree and can be used to meet distributional requirements). If you are thinking about taking a course in your major pass/fail please check with your adviser before doing so.
There is no need to rush into this decision. The option is open to you now, and will remain open throughout the semester. Bard has no limit on the number of pass/fail classes a student can take: the College observes a P/F/D system so that a pass is C or better and will transfer, while a D or F will not. This is noted in the transcript key. (March 2020).
From the President of Bard CollegeTo Members of the Bard Faculty,
I hope this brief message finds each of you and your families safe and well. As we enter the final weeks of the spring 2020 semester, I want to thank the faculty for its extraordinary efforts to adapt coursework and student advising to remote, online platforms in a challenging and shifting circumstance, the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bard's traditions and ethos have enabled the college to use technology effectively and imaginatively. But this spring’s experience has strengthened our resolve to resume in-person, on-campus teaching as soon as possible.
Bard will begin the fall 2020 semester as scheduled, and on time. Our intention is to do so with in-person classes on campus. The news from the Admission Office is very good, despite the fact that all deadlines and past patterns in the college admissions process have been shattered by the crisis. We anticipate a strong entering class, the Bard Class of 2024. The Board of Trustees has authorized a freeze on tuition at the 2019–2020 level, in recognition of the economic consequences of the pandemic.
The fall and perhaps even spring of 2021 may require new campus protocols concerning person-to-person contact, class size, formats, location, and meeting times. We may have to resort to the periodic use of blended learning and remote strategies, depending on local and state regulations. We are in close consultation with health experts in the region and are taking steps to be prepared, on behalf of the safety of faculty, staff, and students, for the resumption of campus life. But we need to remain flexible and innovative, without sacrificing the quality of instruction, as we seek to serve all of our students, here in Annandale and abroad. We need also to be able to support faculty members as they adapt to technology and changing circumstances .
Patience is needed on all our parts. There are many unknowns with respect to the pandemic. We would be well advised to move slowly and cautiously, losing as little time as possible in speculation. We are watching local, state, and federal guidelines closely and consulting with state and county officials as we chart a path back to in-person teaching. But unanswerable questions will remain. By July 1, the start of the 2020–21 academic year, there should be more clarity. What has been helpful is that Bard is in touch the several public school systems in which it operates Bard High School Early Colleges and can gain a sense of plans in the public system with respect to the fall. I will provide the faculty with an update by June 30.
We are determined to do our best to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and employees. Bard has shown resilience and ingenuity in the past. In trying times and without a significant endowment, Bard has managed to offer an unparalleled liberal arts education, to promote a public culture in which the arts are prominent, and to open up opportunities to students for engagement with the region, the nation, and the world. I am pleased to report that Bard’s Board of Trustees is committed to support the College through this unprecedented crisis.
From the Dean of the College: Program Director Planning Report Due May 30Program Director Meeting (Summary) May 6 and 8, 2020
Learning from this semester:
- Mark Halsey will oversee administration of Higher Education Data Sharing (HEDS) survey going out to students on May 11.
- Faculty and Staff surveys will be distributed later this month. Data reported in aggregate. For more information see: https://www.hedsconsortium.org/covid-19-institutional-response-surveys/
Registration: May 7
- All students register regardless of account status
- Register at regular caps to accommodate current students
- Baseline information with which to plan for Fall 2020
- Numbers less certain than in previous years, expect change
- Divisional chairs may consult with program directors and faculty members after first round of registration
- Adapt over summer
- Admissions efforts very strong: faculty made a major difference with their involvement and participation in March, April
- 1st year enrollment (engagement strategies over the summer + advising opportunities)
- Retention/returning students
- Deposits/wait lists/tuition payments in June and July
- June 30 – July 1 initial checkpoint for fall planning
- July as a time to adapt and make necessary changes (retrofitting courses once guidelines available)
- Students return to campus in August
Program Planning for Fall 2020
Confer as a program now about learning goals, approach to required courses v. electives, and support for student experience across a range of scenarios—maximizing contact and intimacy, enhanced presence—with specific consideration of how and when to use synchronous AND asynchronous engagement. Inclusion and equity concerns: seeing and being seen in remote environments (pedagogical challenges).
Arc to the semester: 15 weeks—build with smaller units across the term, esp. after thanksgiving-- imagine flexible approach to each unit depending on changing conditions and modes of access.
Please submit program plan, needs, questions, and concerns to the Office of the DoC by May 30: this will serve as your annual academic program report for 2019-20.
Resources for programs and instructors
(thanks to Dave Brangaitis, Leslie Melvin, Erica Kaufman for all their help this spring!)
Faculty Development: Erica Kaufman reports
- Cary Institute workbook/online resources
- OSUN workshops over summer
- CFCD: Emily McLaughlin, Eric Trudel, Justin Dainer-Best, incoming Christian Crouch
Technology needs: Leslie Melvin reports
- Introducing Brightspace--glad for feedback, faculty testing / Google Classroom still in use
- webcams in performance spaces and other specific concerns to be addressed
Library and Electronic Resources: Betsy Cawley reports
- Library cannot open until NYS gives the go ahead
- Library standing by to assist with electronic resources and faculty/program planning
Planning and Working Groups
- Instructional spaces audit: Mark Halsey, Peter Gadsby, and Craig Jude
- Practicing Arts Planning Group: program chairs from Dance, T&P, Studio Arts, Photography, Music
- Working Group on Facilities Planning and Instructional Space: Mark Halsey, Peter Gadsby, John Cullinan, Maria Simpson, Stephanie Kufner, Gideon Lester, Swapan Jain, Michelle Murray, Mary Krembs, Ani Mitra, Gideon Lester, Liza Parker (Fisher PAC)
- "Escape from Zoom" Working Group--Experiential Learning and Pedagogical Innovation with Hybrid Instruction: CFCD Eric Trudel, Emily McLaughlin, Erin Cannan, Felicia Keesing, Lauren Curtis, Stephanie Kufner, Mary Krembs, Gideon Lester, Tabetha Ewing, Laura Kunreuther, Erica Kaufman, Drew Thompson
Academic Program Budgets:
Deirdre, Mark Halsey, Laura Ramsey, and Taun Toay will work with each program to respond to and adjust budget requests.
Note from the Executive Committee:
Talk with program members about clearly communicating to students what it means to Pass this semester--be explicit and supportive in finding solutions. P/F/D option is open to students until very end of term. Sensitivity to student concerns about privacy: allow for student desire not to discuss personal circumstances while offering practical plans to complete the term and work in course.
From the Dean of the College: Tenure Clock ExtensionIn light of the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, current tenure-track faculty are guaranteed an additional year on their tenure clock, unless they choose to opt out of the extension. The decision to opt out is to be taken voluntarily by the individual faculty member.
This guarantee extends to all candidates for tenure after 2020, who began an appointment during or before the 2019–20 academic year. The one-year extension will take place between reappointment and the scheduled tenure review, unless the faculty member requests that the extension apply before reappointment. Tenure-track faculty may instead choose to adhere to the current tenure clock without disfavor to their candidacy.
The deadline for the final decision to opt out of the extension (or to request an extension prior to reappointment) is June 30 of the academic year preceding the scheduled evaluation and is to be made to the Office of the Dean of the College. Regular processes for evaluation, such as naming divisional evaluators, external evaluators, and meeting with the Dean, will take place as usual during the spring semester in accordance with the Faculty Handbook. Extension of the tenure clock by one year—or the decision to remain on the current clock—will be regarded as neutral and will not alter the evaluation process. (April 2020)
From the Vice President for Institutional Planning and Research: Suspension of CAFE FormsWe appreciate all the work that you have done in meeting the challenge of quickly moving to remote instruction. As this is a completely new endeavor for most Bard faculty, we are suspending the distribution of Course and Faculty Evaluation (CAFE) surveys for all undergraduate courses for the spring 2020 semester. The Center for Faculty and Curricular Development will be sharing model survey questions and instructions on making a Google Form that can be used by faculty to gather student feedback, should they choose to do so. The College will seek general feedback from students, faculty, and staff about their experience of the semester via HEDS surveys administered at the end of the term to help inform COVID-19-related planning for 2020–21 at the institutional level. (April 2020)
From the Center for Faculty and Curricular Development: Suggested Template for Student Feedback FormFollowing the communication from Mark Halsey, Deirdre d’Albertis, and Emily McLaughlin on Tuesday, April 28, regarding the decision not to distribute and collect CaFE forms this semester, the CFCD is providing you with a template to solicit student feedback on each of your spring courses.
This Google Form template is for your own use and information, and only you will have access to the resulting data on Google Drive. However, you may also choose to share this feedback, for instance, when preparing your evaluation file submission or other materials for contract renewal.
The template that we provide is available as a Google Form (which can be accessed when you are signed in via your Bard email account), and we recommend using a separate form for each class. You can and should feel free to edit the document, but we recommend keeping all answers optional and refraining from collecting email addresses. Assuring students of their anonymity will increase the response rate and the utility of responses. Additionally, CFCD has created open-ended questions and advises using such open-ended questions in lieu of numeric ratings, which we believe will provide you with more useful feedback for professional development.
Copy This Template
You can navigate directly to the template using the link or create the form from your Google Drive.
- While signed in to your Bard email account, go to Google Drive and navigate to the folder where you would like the Google Form.
- Click the big “New” button to the top right, click “More,” click the arrow to the right of “Google Forms,” and click “From a template.”
- Make sure you have “Bard College” selected (rather than “General”).
- When you click on “CFCD Recommended Student Feedback,” a new form will be created in your Bard Google Drive.
Sending our best,
The CFCD team, Emily, Éric, and Justin (April 2020)
From the Curriculum Committee and Dean of the College: Announcement and Call for ProposalsRecognizing the existential challenge presented to young people and their families as well as to institutions of higher learning by the pandemic and its aftermath, the College is committed to meeting the COVID-19 crisis with an educational experience uniquely created to respond to this extraordinary moment.
This fall, the College will be offering a suite of multidisciplinary common courses created specifically for incoming first-year students as they embark on their education at Bard. Cohort building and connected liberal arts learning will be integral to all Common Course offerings.
The Curriculum Committee and Dean of the College invite the faculty to submit new proposals for or participate in existing common courses supporting the general mission:
- in bringing together teams of four or more faculty to offer a course that would engage a theme/question of contemporary moment with multidisciplinary perspectives, enabling students to fulfill two distribution requirements; and
- allowing for instruction either in person or online, but with an assumption of blended learning (online combined with place-based classroom educational methods) and creation of an online platform for each course.
- team leaders who take on responsibility for organizing the common elements of the course and oversight of the design process will be compensated with a course release in 2020–21.
- all members of the team will receive full course credit and draw upon their unique expertise as it contributes to the scaffolding of the course design.
- all faculty involved in creating common courses will receive a stipend for planning work prior to the start of fall term ($2,000 at minimum).
- additional funds for materials and events will be set aside for each course: an estimated budget should accompany new proposals.
Please note that this Call for Proposals is functioning on a short timeline as is necessary for funding and planning for fall 2020. Proposals for additional common courses should be submitted to the Curriculum Committee and Dean of the College at email@example.com by Monday, April 20, at 10 am.
We look forward to hearing from you,
Deirdre d’Albertis, Emily McLaughlin and members of the Curriculum Committee: Rufus Müller (chair), Olga Voronina, Sarah Dunphy-Lelii, and Gregory Moynahan (April 2020)
Course Continuity Resources
Teaching Remotely during a College Closure
There are a number of online tools available on campus that you can leverage to stay connected with your students during a disruption to campus life. Establishing a communication plan and maintaining contact with your students are key.
Remote Teaching Resources
In the Moment
Ask an Expert
The semester is well and truly ended. Professor of Dance Jean Churchill explores some of the stranger aspects of our "through the looking-glass" experience of the last few months in this AAE entry, "Bobbins and Syllabi."
Ludlow & Willink, 2nd Floor
8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.,
Monday through Friday
*Please note beginning with the academic year 2020-2021, all faculty meetings will begin at 5:40 p.m., due to the change in class schedule.
During the fall 2020 semester, they will be held via Zoom (details to follow from the Dean's Office)Fall 2020
Wednesday, September 2: First Meeting
Wednesday, September 30 (Faculty-led)
Wednesday, November 4
Wednesday, December 16: Final Meeting