Academic updates - Nov. 9, 2020

Faculty and Staff — November 9, 2020

Academic updates - Nov. 9, 2020

Academic leaders,

Through this weekly newsletter, we share information of interest to the academic community.

Message from the provost

It may still seem in the distance, but we will be celebrating Thanksgiving in less than three weeks and then shifting to distance learning for the remainder of the semester.

Allow me to encourage all of our academic leaders to double-check your plans to assist students and faculty through this transition — and to ensure that there are clearly stated expectations and access to resources for this shift.

As you know, in-person classes will continue through Wednesday, Nov. 23, but that is not the end of the semester. Courses will continue through distance learning the week of Nov. 30-Dec. 4, and finals will take place Dec. 7-11. As the president shared last week, a virtual commencement will take place Dec. 13.

If your faculty need any guidance as they finalize assessments or other aspects of virtual instruction, please review the materials at

Campus buildings will remain open for virtual instruction or other academic work through the end of the semester, so faculty will continue to have access to classrooms, labs and other academic spaces after Nov. 23. Instructors may continue to use these spaces to stream or record lectures, but there should be no in-person instruction during this period.

Please remind instructors that our students may be in different time zones for the end of the semester, and they should account for this in their approach. Again, the keepteaching site has information about how to provide asynchronous lectures or record live lectures for viewing at other times.

As we prepare for the academic transition, the Office of Student Life and other partners have been actively communicating with students about moving out of campus residence halls, COVID testing and safety procedures for the transition taking place this month. These include messages and information about:

  • Remaining vigilant with safe and healthy habits in the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving
  • Knowing their COVID-19 status by testing before traveling home to friends and family
  • Practicing safe and healthy habits when home for the holidays
  • Following university re-entry protocols for spring semester

A summary of this information can be found on the Student Life website, which is also referenced on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

Thank you for continuing to reinforce the importance of our safety measures, and for your work to provide a smooth and successful end of the semester.

— Bruce

Forum on post-election conversations

A forum titled "Unpacking the 2020 Presidential Election — Can we talk?" will be held Tuesday (Nov. 10) fron 6 to 7:30 p.m. Designed primarily for students, this session features ideas for engageing in challenging post-election conversations from experts around campus. Registration is required in advance and participation is limited to the first 200 participants. The forum is the second in the Education for Citizenship Post-Election Dialogue Series.

Webinar on race in America

The "From Conversations to Action" webinar will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 12) as part of the continuing series Ripe for Change: Conversations on Race in America. Panelists include Nwando Olayiwola, chair and professor in the Department of Family and Community Medicine; Andreá Williams, director of the Women's Place and associate professor in the Department of English; and undergraduate student Eyako Heh, a political science and geography major.

Join the Ohio State Online Programs Network

Connect with people involved in and considering online degree and certificate programs from across the university in Microsoft Teams. Topics include online program administration, marketing, and student success. Join using the link if you already use your Ohio State Microsoft Teams account, or log in at and then click the link.

Safety resources

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to sign up for Buckeye Alerts and make use of other resources available on through Ohio State's Department of Public Safety. Cell phone numbers that are registered in PeopleSoft or through the Student Information System or PeopleSoft should automatically be enrolled to receive Buckeye Alert text messages, but individuals can register up to two additional contacts. For other resources, see the safety communications toolkit.

Upcoming events

The inaugural Council on Research in Student Progress and Educational Excellence (CRISPEE) conference begins this week, on Tuesday (Nov. 10). This conference will focus on research, including the collection and analysis of data on student learning, for the purposes of improving equity, student success and educational excellence. A second session will convene on Nov. 18.

Other upcoming events include:

  • At 1 p.m. today (Nov. 9), ODEE's Planning for Your Online Course workshop will offer strategies for meaningful student engagement and supportive learning environments.
  • At 9 a.m. Tuesday (Nov. 10), consultants from the Drake Institute will be available to answer questions about the institute's Instructional Redesign program.
  • At 1 p.m. on Tuesday (Nov. 10), the Drake Institute and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion are co-hosting a workshop, When Politics Enters the Classroom: How to Mediate Controversial Topics in Class, that will give instructors a framework for interpreting, mediating and nurturing political discussions.
  • At 3 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 12), new faculty are invited to learn about resources, engagement opportunities, and policies and procedures related to diversity, equity and inclusion at Ohio State.
  • Also at 3 p.m. on Thursday (Nov. 12), the Drake Institute will showcase three successful Instructional Redesign portfolios by faculty from various disciplines, including the evidence-based instructional strategies and assessment techniques they implemented in their work.
  • At 12:30 p.m. next Monday (Nov. 16), ODEE will answer questions about academic integrity in online courses.

At 1 p.m. next Monday (Nov. 16), the Office of University Compliance and Integrity is providing a workshop to learn about Ohio Ethics Law.