Continuity Team Updates for the Week of August 9th

Dear FSU Community,

Below and attached are the Continuity Team updates for the week of 8/9. 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.

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 9th:

Academic Affairs Continuity Team:

  • No update for this week.

Administrative Services Continuity Team

  • Testing Plan
    • Walkthrough of planned operations completed
    • Volunteers needed (20-30 positions in various roles)
      • For certain roles, training will start next week
    • Onboarding testing will occur 08/24-09/01 with every Tuesday testing sessions thereafter
  • Child Care
    • Email sent to campus community that provided list of available resources
    • Upcoming follow-up meeting with oversight group scheduled
    • The FSU Pre-School Program currently has two spaces available
  • Facilities
    • Classroom setups nearing completion
    • Larned Beach tent to be installed next week
    • Signage installation ongoing
  • Instructional Technology
    • Classroom instructional technology installations on schedule
    • Walkthroughs with faculty being scheduled
    • Portal roll-out with enhancements scheduled for Monday
    • IT Support Operations Plan being finalized and will be added to Covid information website
  • Housing
    • Setups completed
    • Email has been sent for resident students to schedule move-in times
      • Move-in will be scheduled over six days with specified limitations
    • Resident Assistants training underway
    • New IDs process underway
  • Dining
    • Dining area setups completed
    • Forum to be utilized
    • Outdoor seating areas to be setup within the next two weeks
  • Bookstore
    • Setups completed
    • Operations plan reviewed
    • New book voucher system to support online ordering to be implemented this week
  • Transportation
    • Contracted drivers backfill will likely be required for early in the semester
    • Consolidation of resident student parking will initially be in Franklin Street lot (due to reduced numbers); likely consolidation into an on-campus lot after start of semester once commuter parking demand is determined.

Broad Spectrum Continuity Team:

  • Ilene Hofrenning updated the group on the plans for COVID-19 testing on campus.
  • The group reviewed a draft document that outlined metrics to be evaluated upon the return of students and staff to campus in late August to aid in monitoring the presence or spread of COVID-19 on campus or in the surrounding MetroWest areas.  Specific numbers and thresholds for each metric will be established by a team currently being identified (COVID Campus Analytics Team).  The document was released on Wednesday to the University community.

Enrollment Management Continuity Team:

  • A vendor was selected to expand our virtual tour functionality.  The name of the vendor will be shared when the contract is finalized.
  • The Team discussed how best to proceed with scheduling on-campus visits in the Welcome Center starting in September.  A plan will be codified in the coming weeks.  Admissions is actively promoting remote visit options and on-demand video tours to prospective students.  Current options are available at admissions visit webpage.
  • The Team discussed ways to connect prospective students with department chairs/faculty during the fall semester, in addition to ways to keep department chairs abreast of recruitment strategies.  More discussion will follow.

Instructional Continuity Team:

  • The Instructional Continuity Team is shifting its primary focus to planning and coordinating additional training, communications and the dissemination of information during the remainder of August.  The installation of technology in the classrooms, the build-out of a general lab “in the cloud” for students, and other projects associated with maintaining instructional continuity during COVID-19 are all on schedule to be completed on time this month.  A new training opportunity is available now to faculty before the semester begins, which will provide them a chance to walk through how to broadcast and record classroom proceedings that take place on campus.  Up to four faculty can register for each session. This will allow us to social distance and also let the participants test-drive the technology with IT staff in the room.  At the same time, faculty can register for another session and participate remotely in order to gain the perspective of the students who may be online rather than in class.  In addition to these demonstration sessions, our goal is to publish and distribute companion documentation by the end of next week.  This includes a step-by-step guide to broadcasting and recording classroom proceedings has also been documented which will be made available to faculty teaching face-to-face courses on campus. A faculty guide to instructional continuity is nearly complete and ready to share as well.

Student Programs and Support Continuity Team:

  • Student Employees--The group continues to discuss student employees. There are some critical university areas that are short staffed that may actually need more student workers than in the past. 
  • Students and Testing—In addition to discussions about providing students basic information about testing, the team discussed ways to make students feel welcome even during testing, so the dominant impression of the first days is not about testing but more about campus community and shared health responsibility.