Continuity Team Updates for the Week of August 3rd

Dear FSU Community,

Below and attached are the Continuity Team updates for the week of 8/3. You will also find a separate detailed review of the University’s testing and contact tracing plans by the Administrative Services Continuity Team attached to this e-mail.  The community is invited to continue sending in thoughts and feedback to  

Key Dates Moving Forward: 

July 15th to August 15th:

  • Periodic repopulation as needed for ongoing work requirements and to prepare for August Repopulation (e.g. safety preparations, install plexiglas, staff scheduling, rearrange furniture, relocations, etc…).
  • All signage established on campus.
  • Employee health & safety training conducted.
  • Telework agreements re-reviewed by supervisors to verify validity for fall 2020.

August 10th – Student drop for Non-payment of bills.

Week of August 16th - Deans and VPs will determine and authorize on-campus and off-campus remote service hours and the level of staffing for each area.  These schedules will be publicized via the web and on office hours.

August 26th –  Move-in date – residential life staff.

August 27th to September 1st - residential student move-in.

September 2nd – First day of the Fall semester. 

Continuity Team Updates for the Week of August 3rd:

Academic Affairs Continuity Team:

  • No update for this week.

Administrative Services Continuity Team

  • The ASCT reviewed the Covid-19 Testing and Contract Tracing Plan. In a separate attachment included on the Continuity Team Updates e-mail, you will find specific details of this review.
  • During Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting, a lot of discussion revolved around K-12 schools reopening plans impact on FSU employees’ ability to perform their jobs as K-12 remote instruction will result in school age children likely being home for significant periods during the fall semester.  During Wednesday’s Covid Oversight Team meeting it was suggested, as a response, that the University should encourage supervisors to revisit the telework agreements that have been made with each of their reports to ensure that this matter is being sufficiently addressed.  ASCT has proposed that a follow-up communication be developed that would request that each of these telework agreements be reviewed prior to the fall semester.  This communication can provide additional guidance to encourage as much flexibility in work schedules and modality as possible – recognizing the employee’s circumstances - while also ensuring that the employee’s work gets done and the institution’s needs are met.  Human Resources has been asked to take the lead on an additional telework communication and to work with the unions on its development. 

Broad Spectrum Continuity Team:

  • The group reviewed the recent Massachusetts Travelers Quarantine Requirement that took effect on Aug. 1.  Discussion ensued regarding these requirements for students coming in from out of state and in particular states or potentially countries outside of the exempted states.
  • Ann reviewed FSU’s status in regard to Higher Education Control Plan noting that two areas still needed further work including a testing plan, a plan to “pivot” back to a remote format and content on Community Communication and sanitation requirements after a diagnosed COVID-19 case.
  • Ann provided an update on testing on Ilene Hofrenning’s behalf including some of the formative actions that the group had begun the previous week (see the Administrative Services Continuity Team report for further details from this week).
  • Larry McKenna introduced a recent article and expressed concerns regarding identifying the factors that the University needs to be monitoring and analyzing related to COVID-19 to determine when the University would need to revert to remote operations again. The group discussed efforts currently underway to accomplish this.  A number of faculty were recommended to serve with this group.  There was lengthy discussion on this topic.
  • The issue of K-12 reopening’s effect on the University’s workforce and students was raised and it was agreed that there needs to be work done on this to address the concern.
  • The group discussed the need to begin addressing the Spring 2021 term and what will be the ongoing impact of COVID-19.

Enrollment Management Continuity Team:

  • A group led by Dean Sue Dargan and Professor Larry McKenna, with assistance from Stacy Cohen in ETO, created a video that explains how FSU faculty build community and engage with students in a remote learning environment. The video, which has been shared on FSU social media platforms, can viewed found at:
  • Work is underway to enhance remote recruitment.  Selected printed brochures will be converted to Flip Books and translated to Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese.  A system was implemented to review academic brochures, SMART worksheets, and academic webpages with Academic Affairs leadership.  Proposals have been requested to expand virtual tour capabilities (proposal reviews will take place next week). 

Instructional Continuity Team:

  • The team discussed creating new roles for ITS student workers to help deal with the challenge of having fewer student workers available, while at the same time an increased demand for services. The role would be a “peer tech tutor” who could work directly with faculty and students (with support from ITS) in order to facilitate and problem solve some of the more straight forward and most common technical and logistical issues that may arise during the semester. This new role still needs to be defined with input from others as a next step before sharing a job description with the Provost, Deans and Department Chairs.
  • Framingham State University’s general purpose computing labs, and some software used by a more limited number of students for specific courses, will be available “in the cloud” by the fall semester.  This means that students will be able to access all of the software virtually from a remote location that they can also access from one of the general labs on campus. 
  • The group went through the outline for a preliminary draft of a comprehensive “Instructional Continuity Guide for Faculty,” as a way to establish a shared understanding of the intended use for it, and how the content is being organized and structured for publishing it on the University website, and where we need additional input. 

Student Programs and Support Continuity Team:

  • Group is working on what kind of outreach schedule should be set up to keep students who have withdrawn or deferred because of a COVID-19 concerns engaged with the university and to keep students up to date on spring 2021 plans.
  • Group is charged with developing a student employee job description that will be put in place to help faculty and students better navigate remote learning. An email has been sent out to senior supervisors on campus to check which offices/departments may not be able to utilize all their student employee hours in the new format for this fall. We are also trying to provide other employment opportunities to students who have already lost jobs or hours.