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
Wednesday, February 5: First Meeting
Wednesday, March 11 (Faculty-led)
Wednesday, April 15
Wednesday, May 20: Final Meeting