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June 23, 2020 - Virtual Family Open House with Andy Feinstein, UNC President; Dan Maxey, Chief of Staff; Mark Anderson, Provost and Katrina Rodriguez, Vice President of Student Affairs.
Whitney Bonner (00:00):
Hello everyone. My name is Whitney Bonner and I am the interim director of recruitment for the UNC Office of Admissions. I am very excited to have you joining us tonight and to introduce you to three very dedicated campus leaders who are going to answer some of your questions about what the fall 2020 semester is going to look like. As you know, the situation with COVID-19 is ever evolving, so we will do our best to answer your questions throughout tonight using a Q&A function, which you'll see at the bottom of your screen. You are more than welcome to go ahead and start asking questions there right now. If by chance any of those questions aren't answered tonight during this session, we are happy to follow up with you afterwards.
Whitney Bonner (00:41):
With that, I would like to go ahead and transition you to our moderator for this evening, UNC's chief of staff, Dan Maxey.
Dan Maxey (00:50):
Thank you, Whitney, and thank you everyone for joining us. I'm glad to be here today to introduce three UNC leaders and mentors, our president, provost, and vice president for student affairs. First, Dr. Andy Feinstein is the 13th president of the University of Northern Colorado, a role that he assumed in July 2018. He has devoted a career to teaching and learning, research and scholarship, and student success, which is his top priority at UNC.
Dan Maxey (01:16):
Next, Dr. Mark Anderson is UNC's chief academic officer. Dr. Anderson joined UNC as the provost and senior vice president for academic affairs in spring on 2019. Dr. Anderson most recently served as dean of The College of Science and Mathematics at Kennesaw State University. As provost, Dr. Anderson oversees everything from enrollment management to advising, to our academic programs.
Dan Maxey (01:39):
Finally, Dr. Katrina Rodriguez is UNC's vice president for student affairs, where she oversees everything from the dean of student's office to residence life, dining, campus recreation, the career center and student life. I'm grateful to have these three with us today, and also to have all of you here. We have quite a few folks joining us today, about 100 participants this afternoon.
Dan Maxey (02:03):
Though some of you have met Andy Feinstein during a campus visit, I'll let him kick things off by introducing himself and telling you a little bit more about UNC, what's happening today, where we're headed, and then our provost and vice president will join him in providing some comments and updates. Following that we'll take your questions. So President Feinstein, I'll turn this over to you.
President Feinstein (02:25):
Thanks, Dan. I want to thank everybody for being on the call, and very excited about seeing all of you this fall semester. It has been a busy summer so far, as we plan for onboarding in end of August. You'll hear more about that from our provost, Mark Anderson. So I'm going to stop there and let Mark introduce himself, but I'm looking forward to answering all of your questions this evening.
Mark Anderson (02:48):
Thank you, Andy. I'm Mark Anderson, provost at University of Northern Colorado. I'm also really excited to meet you in this virtual environment and look forward to answering your questions. COVID-19 has really impacted all the universities and the University of Northern Colorado is no exception. We've been working diligently, really since the spring, in planning for our fall semester. We are really excited to have you here on campus and give you a robust on-campus experience, both academically and in the co-curricular. The classes will be a little bit different. You're likely to have a mixture of classes that are face-to-face, a hybrid, where some of the class meets face-to-face and some of it is in a virtual environment. Potentially some online classes as well. We're working hard at finalizing the schedule based upon public health standards that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment have established for us, but also working with our faculty to ensure that you get the best possible experience as a student. With that, I will turn it over to my colleague, Katrina Rodriguez, who will talk about student life and the interaction between student life and the academic enterprise. Katrina.
Katrina Rodriguez (04:12):
Thank you, Mark. Hello everybody. So great to be here with you today. I come to you from our beautiful campus commons, a photograph here that you'll get to enjoy when you get to campus. I've been at UNC for 21 years and I've had the opportunity to work in residence life, as faculty member, at the dean of students. So I have a really deep love for UNC, for the students, and staff and faculty. UNC is a place where people really care about each other, and we care about our students and we want them to have a robust experience, a fun experience, really integrated opportunities for learning inside and outside of the classroom. So a lot of the questions that you'll be asking today related to how we're engaging students this fall on campus. We have a lot of tremendous efforts going forward to ensure that students get to meet each other, build those friendships, and live in our residence halls, eat in our dining rooms, as well as having a student life that involves co-curricular activities and clubs and orgs, the things that students really enjoy being here on campus. So look forward to your questions, and Dan, I'll turn it back over to you.
Dan Maxey (05:33):
Great, thank you, Katrina, and I'm not going to wait long to kick it right back to you here. We're getting a lot of questions about residence halls and move in, and I wondered if you could share some information about what our plan looks like for move in right now. What the sort of timeline and dates might be, and whether we expect that parents and family members will be able to help their students to move in?
Katrina Rodriguez (06:00):
Absolutely. We've been waiting for this information for a while. Earlier this week we had the chance to finalize our plans. So currently our housing folks are getting ready to send out housing assignments to students. So you'll know where you'll live, and about who your roommate is going to be. You'll also have ... What we're going to do is assign move in times to folks so that we can ensure social distancing. We'll have various zones in each of the residence halls, and we'll be having staggered move in.
Katrina Rodriguez (06:43):
We are going to allow families to assist their students to be able to move in. We may have to limit that sort of depending on the building and the amount of folks we have in there, but we can let you know those definite numbers. We are looking at the Friday prior to, the week before school opens. I don't happen to get that date for you right now. I've got it in my mind, but not an actual date. We would have students moving in I believe on the 14th of August, all the way up until August 20th. So that gives us a few extra days to be able to allow students to move in and folks can ... If you get assigned a time in the day that doesn't work, we are happy to work with you. We understand that there's a lot of moving parts in terms of getting your student to campus, and so we certainly want to be as flexible as possible as well as being able to assign a time, and if that works for folks we'd love to have you come during that particular time.
Katrina Rodriguez (07:55):
Dan, did I hit all of the aspects of your question?
Dan Maxey (07:59):
Yes, you did.
Katrina Rodriguez (08:00):
Dan Maxey (08:02):
Thank you very much for that. I guess this question could go to any of the three of you, but I'll direct it to Mark and Katrina. Will students be required to wear masks on campus in the fall and how will this requirement be enforced?
Mark Anderson (08:20):
So that's a great question. We are going to require students to wear masks in different parts of the campus. In classrooms we certainly want students to wear a mask. The reason for this is the epidemiology of the transmission shows that mask wearing is the most effective way of preventing transmission. So we are configuring our classrooms to accommodate six feet of separation, that's one best practice. Another best practice is wearing of masks. So our primary reason for this is that we want to ensure the health and safety of our community, our students, our staff, as well as our faculty. We're going to be generating a lot of educational materials about coronavirus, COVID-19, and the enforcement will be really through the community responsibility to each other. We can, through our own responsibility to the community, prevent the transmission of the disease, and the best way to do that is by responsible practice. So we're going to be generating some educational materials about this, and really we're relying upon the community to enforce it amongst themselves. We are going to put some language in our student code of conduct that really speaks to the importance of being responsible to each other.
Mark Anderson (09:54):
So in the campus environment, particularly in the teaching environment, we are going to require students to wear masks. Katrina, could you address some of the other areas?
Katrina Rodriguez (10:04):
Absolutely. So in a students' residence hall room we would not expect a person to wear a mask if it's their room. If students are in other parts of the building or visiting a student down the hall, we would ask students to have their mask on when they're in the hallways or lounges, that kind of thing. In addition, we would ask that students in the dining rooms, if you're waiting in line to either pick up something as grab and go or to sit down in the dining halls, we would want you to wear a mask, and certainly while you're eating you would not. So it really, again, as Mark said, really a community effort to try to stop the transmission and really asking everybody to help everybody else to remember to bring a mask and wear a mask in those spaces. We'll all be doing it, faculty, staff and students. So it will become, as it is now, the norm as we're outside of our homes.
Dan Maxey (11:08):
Great. Thank you all for those questions. Sort of following up on the discussion about how we ... Where a mask will be required and how we enforce that? There's a question here about what if a student's roommate isn't sort of following all of the best guidance on prevention strategies and such, and an individual feels unsafe in their room assignment as a result. Is there a possibility that a student can be reassigned to another room if they feel unsafe in the particular circumstance they're in?
Katrina Rodriguez (11:47):
Sure. We do a lot of work to ... This would sort of be one of those conflicts that happens with roommates. So we would want to certainly try to work with roommates first to figure out if we can find a middle ground, and certainly when that is not possible, and we are able to have students move locations. In some cases, I know there's a question on a post that some single rooms would be available for those who wanted singles, and we are absolutely, we have spaces designed that would be singles only. We will be able to accommodate those as well.
Dan Maxey (12:29):
Great. Thank you very much. Maybe Katrina you can give us an update too on ... From our prior conversations in these town hall forums, we've discussed the potential for giving students a single room if they'd like. Is that still part of our plan? Maybe you can give a little bit of an update too on the guidance that we're getting from Weld County Department of Public Health about roommates, sort of comprising a family unit and the way that we are looking at roommate situations in the context of the public health orders that we're working within right now.
Katrina Rodriguez (13:11):
Absolutely. As you know, we've been looking at every potential guidance out there to make sure that we are in line with what is being shared with us by the experts. So each residence hall room and suite where bathrooms are shared or common space is shared, that is considered a family unit, and that is why we're able to have roommates and suite mates in a particular space, because they're living together, they're engaging in conversations and those kinds of things in that space. So that is considered a family unit. Then, like I said, so we're ... Let me stop there. We'll have the family unit. We also are going to have spaces for quarantine. We know that as students potentially test positive we would want them to see the student health center to be tested. They would then be asked to go into quarantine for two weeks. So we have those rooms available as a single. They'll have a micro fridge, microwave and refrigerator unit in there. We will bring meals to the students who are in quarantine, so they may have their meals and there will be options for frozen meals they can heat up later and those kinds of pieces. Then we also will have the health center contacting, making contact with those students on a regular basis to see how they're doing.
Katrina Rodriguez (14:35):
So we do have an opportunity to I think serve a manner of incidents and people's desires in terms of their living situation.
Dan Maxey (14:47):
Great. Thank you, Katrina. Mark, we have some questions about when students will know a little bit more about what the modality of their courses will be and when we'll be sharing that information with them, as well as what sort of opportunities students will have to make modifications to their schedules if need be.
Mark Anderson (15:10):
Sure. So we are in the final stages of identifying how every section of every course will be taught the modality, whether it'd be fully face-to-face, hybrid, partially face-to-face, partially online, or fully online. So we anticipate that by Wednesday of next week that that final determination will be done. We have to do some work in our student information systems, the computer systems, to make necessary changes. That should take about a week. So we are targeting just after the Fourth of July to reach out to students, and we'll do so in a couple of ways. We'll have a general email alerting students how they will be able to find out the modality of their instruction. That is usually through the course management system. We use a management system called Canvas. Then we're going to be reaching out, we would ask students who are interested in investigating different options that are available to them to work through their professional advisors. So we also are working through the advising network at the university to have an outreach to all of our students. So some time after the Fourth of July, probably closer to the sixth or seventh, you'll start to receive communication as well as information about contacting an advisor to help you understand your schedule and options and opportunities there might be to alter your schedule if the changes to your course instruction don't suit your interest.
Dan Maxey (17:02):
Great. Thank you. Mark and Andy, if the majority of a student's classes, or most, or all of them end up being online for any particular reason, will a student's tuition rate change?
Mark Anderson (17:15):
So let me first address the first part of the question, which to me is what is the possibility that all my classes will go into an online environment. We've been keeping very close track, and right now just slightly short of 50% of all of our classes are going to have a face-to-face component. So I'd say it's very unlikely that your entire schedule would be virtual or online. So we've been working really hard within the public health guidance that we're getting for social distancing to assure that everybody has an opportunity to have the majority of their schedule having some component of face-to-face.
President Feinstein (18:09):
Well, I mean, I'll just add to that. We're not planning on changing pricing structures based upon the modality of instruction the courses are being taught. In fact, a lot of working effort is going into ensuring that the experience that our students are receiving is first-class.
Dan Maxey (18:26):
Great. Thank you Mark and Andy. How much of the campus do we anticipate to be open in the fall, recognizing that we have a lot of different student services that are available and a lot of different functions like intramural sports and all of these different things. Sort of outside of the classroom, what do we anticipate the fall experience to look like across the rest of campus?
Katrina Rodriguez (18:50):
We are still working on some of our intermural sports. We will have some more information in the next week and a half or so on how we'll be able to do that. We're still looking, obviously watching the social distancing guidelines, but I know that our campus rec center, who they lead the intermural sports groups, we are working on ways to be able to have students participate in those sports, much like as we look at our athletic teams and how those are ... There's folks who are starting to practice right now on our football team and others. So we do anticipate having a number of activities available on campus. Those that will be sponsored and facilitated by the staff, and then there'll also be, we have 150 clubs and organizations for which students are engaged. They have different activities or different kinds of things that they enjoy doing. So those will all be absolutely available and open to students to work through.
Katrina Rodriguez (19:53):
So we are expecting to have a level of experiences available to students, and also some things that can also be simultaneously virtual, so that students who might be in quarantine or just maybe feel like they've had their fill of being out for the day might like to stream into some of the activities that are happening. So we're working on all manner of, sort of like Mark shared in the classroom, being able to provide things both virtually and face-to-face. So I'll stop there.
Dan Maxey (20:28):
Great. Andy, you're the incoming chair of the Big Sky Conference Presidents' Council. So I know that you're in regular touch with the NCAA and Big Sky Conference. What's the outlook for fall athletics right now?
President Feinstein (20:42):
Well, our fall teams are actually practicing right now. They're doing weight training and cardiovascular. They're not in full contact yet, but I assume that'll happen very shortly. We're going to have the football season this fall. We're going to have a volleyball season, and we're going to have a soccer season. We're conference champions in volleyball and in soccer, and we have a brand new coach, Ed McCaffrey heading of our football program. So I'm very excited about athletics in the fall.
Dan Maxey (21:09):
Do we anticipate that fans will be able to attend these events?
President Feinstein (21:13):
They will, but we're working it all up. Obviously addressing all of our social distancing requirements, making sure that our students, faculty and staff are safe, and we're working on plans to ensure that occurs in all of our athletic venues.
Dan Maxey (21:28):
Great. Thank you, Andy.
President Feinstein (21:29):
The band may be a little bit more spaced out this year than in previous years, is my guess.
Dan Maxey (21:34):
Mark, the next question is for you. Naturally, when we have these discussions, we get a lot of questions about what some of the different types of courses and extracurricular activities that are academic in nature might look like, things like labs, performing and visual arts performances, these different types of courses and again, experiences. What do we anticipate all of these are going to look like when we get back in the fall?
Mark Anderson (22:07):
That's a great question, and there is no one answer that covers the broad spectrum of those types of activities. I think lab classes in the sciences will be held in a regular format, but in order to maintain six feet of separation, classes might have fewer students in them. What that has done, and for context, my discipline is chemistry, so this is something that's very interesting to me, is looking at the learning outcomes, the learning goals of lab classes, and really thinking about those experiences a little bit differently. So some of the lab classes are thinking about the laboratory experiences from the learning context as opposed to the experience context. Lab classes will be scheduled to meet on a regular weekly schedule, but the actual hands-on material, the hands-on manipulations might happen only once every two week and then the off week you'll be engaged in analysis and some background kind of work, which is more similar to the actual research experience that one gets in problem solving in a laboratory. Art studios are going to be very much the same, where the numbers of students who are in a particular section will likely be less due to social distancing.
Mark Anderson (23:39):
Both art studios as well as laboratory settings, students are using common space but also specialized and common equipment. So there was a question in the chat about disinfecting. So there'll be a deep cleaning in the evening, but during the actual day, we're expecting the community to take responsibility by cleaning up their work station, wiping things down when they're being used, and disinfectant, et cetera, will be available.
Mark Anderson (24:09):
When we start to talk about the performing arts, theater as well as music, those are going to look a little bit different as well. The large ensemble kinds of classes are going to be difficult because we have to find a space that can accommodate those. Things like orchestra, we have a really wonderful performing center, and we might have to use that performing center to teach and get those larger groups, but probably not as large as what we've had in the past. Theater is looking at their instruction but also their performances and trying to identify different types of activities that require or can be done with smaller groups of students.
Mark Anderson (24:56):
So we will continue to engage in the types of material, or the types of instruction, the types of co-curricular activities that support that instruction, but doing it in a way that is mindful of social distancing and best practices. Generally that means in those environments fewer people in a space.
Dan Maxey (25:20):
Great. Thank you, Mark. I'll put this next question to you also. Katrina spoke a little bit earlier about the fact that we will be prepared to make arrangements to quarantine students in residence hall spaces, if need be. What will that look like with regard to a student's coursework and their ability to attend and participate in class? So if a student is quarantined, how are they going to be able to keep up with their classes during that two week period?
Mark Anderson (25:51):
That's a great question. The good news is that when you have a university with roughly 12,000 students like we do, students get sick, and are unable to attend their classes. So in any semester we have students who are unable to attend the classes, and faculty are used to that and provide the instruction and the instructional materials in an alternate format for those students.
Mark Anderson (26:19):
Now, when we're talking about quarantining and best practices in this environment, you're talking about an extended period of time, not necessarily just a day. So we've asked all of our faculty regardless of how they ultimately will be teaching their classes, to be prepared to provide the instruction in some alternate delivery for a couple of reasons. One of those reasons is to meet the educational needs of students who because of the coronavirus have been quarantined for a period of time. So we're prepared to provide that instruction in a different format for students who are unable to attend their class. That format might be, it will be in a virtual environment. It might be synchronous with the rest of the class, so they're actually participating with the class in real time, just in a different location, or asynchronous, in which the material is recorded and provided at some other time outside of the normal class meeting time. So we've been thinking about that in faculty. That is top of mind for faculty and I think we're prepared to continue the instruction in a way that a student won't be left behind or won't feel like they are not getting the equivalent experience.
Dan Maxey (27:42):
Great. Thank you, Mark. Katrina, I'll turn to you next. We're getting a lot of questions about dining. I know that your team has had a lot of discussions over the last few days and we've made some decisions about what the dining experience might look like. Tell us a little bit about what our plans are. What the buffet lines will look like, what sort of grab and go options we might have, and whether students will have the opportunity to sit down and have meals with their roommates and friends?
Katrina Rodriguez (28:10):
Absolutely. So we are going to be able to open our dining rooms, not at the capacity that they can. We obviously have to look at six feet distancing and those kinds of things, but we are going to be able to have students enjoy a meal in the dining room. We will no longer have buffets. We will have many items that students can pick up and sit down at the table, as they have been used to doing. We will also have a number of grab and go options. We have something called a jade container, jade box, and it's a plastic type of material that is a nice size container that students can fill with various things that they'd like to have, say for lunch, and it snaps so also nothing can spill out of it. If they're headed to class, they can take that with them, go to class, and then when they come back for the next meal they can turn that one in and have their meal put into a fresh one. So it's a way of reducing paper goods and those kinds of things as well as being a nice secure container. So we'll have a program around that. Grab and go options will be extensive.
Katrina Rodriguez (29:33):
Students can also choose to pick up more than one meal at a time. So if their schedule is tight and they want to pick up say meals for the day, they can do that, take them with them. There's also an option to have some of our meals that will be prepared and then frozen so that students can warm them up in a microwave later that day or the next day. So there'll be a number of options. We're working really hard to ensure that we can move students through a line to pick up the food, to have a nice variety of foods. That we know folks have different tastes on different days and we want to certainly make sure that we are offering students a really great variety of items. So those are some of our plans as we're moving forward. Jenna, is there any ... Dr. Jenna Finley is on our call as well. Jenna, is there anything you would add to that that I might have missed?
Jenna Finley (30:28):
I think we are aware because of the capacity in the dining rooms is going to be reduced in terms of the number of students that eat in. So we are actually expanding our options for students to be able to get meals this year. There'll be additional hours and some additional locations, and students will be able to pick up multiple meals at a time. Some of our meals will be frozen. So if students really want to be able to pick up something and take it back to the room and eat it later, that's going to be an option as well. So the dining staff has come up with a lot of different ways to offer a great deal of variety to students this year.
President Feinstein (31:07):
I've also heard that we're working on an outdoor dining too. Is that correct?
Jenna Finley (31:13):
We are working on a outdoor dining. The capacity in terms of the number of students that can be together is greater when people are outside, similar to what you're seeing in restaurants in your local communities. So we are increasing the amount of outdoor seating and we'll have some ways to build community around meals outdoors, which I think is actually a really exciting thing that we can add in terms of our hospitality and community building.
Dan Maxey (31:39):
Great. Thank you all for that. We have some questions about coming back to the possibility that a student could take all of their courses online. We have a few questions about from incoming freshmen students who wonder if they have the opportunity once the course schedule is available to opt for all of their courses to be online, if they would be allowed to do that and if they would be required to come to campus if that's something that's possible.
Mark Anderson (32:13):
So I'll take the first part, Dan. If that is your choice to take all online, I think that would be possible to do. Like I said, around the 5th or 6th of July we will have the modality for all of our sections and instruction completed and we'll be reaching out to students to alert them to their courses. If you wanted to go to a entirely online course schedule at that time, I think that would be possible. There are programs already, even before coronavirus, that were fully online for UNC. I'll turn it over to Katrina for the second part of that question.
Katrina Rodriguez (32:53):
Sure. At this point we do have a live on requirement for all of our first year students. So that requirement is in place. We do have a process by which students can appeal to have a waiver to live off campus, and there are a number of reasons why a student can petition to have that waived. So we would just ask that if you prefer not to live on campus and you prefer to take your courses online, that we would just ask that you complete the waiver application and then we can see what we can do with that, sort of depending on circumstances. So we're happy to work with you on that and see what we can come up with.
Dan Maxey (33:45):
Great, thank you. We have some questions about how optimistic we are that our plans to be back in the fall will hold, just given some of the uncertainty that continues to exist about the possibility of a second spike in cases. I wonder if the panel can speak a little bit to the trends that we're seeing here in Colorado and what gives us confidence that we will be back in August.
Mark Anderson (34:10):
I'll jump in here, Dan. I think we have been very diligent as an institution following the trends in what's going on with he coronavirus and the transmission of the disease. Beginning in the middle of March we had daily updates on the local as well as the state and regional cases, and what was happening within our community. So we feel very good about where we are locally with respect to watching the progression of the disease. Colorado I think has been among the leaders in doing what's necessary in terms of wearing masks and social distancing to prevent the transmission, and I think that is showing up. In the areas where there has been spikes recently are areas that don't have the density of mask wearing or the following of some of the social distancing that Colorado has. So we feel very good about our ability to monitor what's going on and to appropriately react to the local condition. Because of that, that gives us great confidence that we are doing everything we can to be prepared to open in the fall, but react to whatever conditions occur. We don't know what the future holds, but we are planning for every possible contingency.
President Feinstein (35:45):
I had a chance to meet today with the Colorado Commission of Higher Education and the other CEOs of public higher education institutions across the state, and all of us are confident that we'll be open in the fall.
Dan Maxey (35:58):
Great. Thank you Mark and Andy. What will community building look like on campus, Katrina? I know we talked a little bit about some of the services that will be accessible and that we're still sort of navigating some of the details about what things like intermural sports might look like, but tell us a little bit about what it might look like for students to be able to engage with one another in the wider variety of ways that our students do and how that might be different this fall from a normal fall semester.
Katrina Rodriguez (36:29):
Sure. I think all of us really desire to get to be engaged with students. We enjoy getting to have students get together and do various things. Typically during our fall welcome we do, and clearly through the semester, there might be opportunities for ... Trying to get the name of it, kind of like an American Idol, UNC idol, where there are performers, students who want to vie for that top spot as a singer, and a number of us on the call have been judges for that. So those kinds of activities will happen. What we will need to do is figure out the social distancing on that, right? Wearing masks at an event like that so that we can still have participants in the space, perhaps streaming that, right? So folks can have an opportunity. We will do movies on the lawn. Being outside is a little easier in terms of more fresh air, that kind of thing. I think certainly students will get together in the residence halls as students are probably in and out of each other's rooms and hanging out, that kind of thing. So I think those things will happen.
Katrina Rodriguez (37:44):
I know there was question about whether if a student, if we're going to have visitors in residence halls in a hall they don't live in. Right now we are going to limit that because we want to ... On top of wanting to have a full array of events, we also want to really think about that safety piece. In June right now what we're saying is we are going to limit students going into other residence halls, and there are other places to certainly meet, the university center or campus commons, various other places on campus, attending a sporting event or a performing and visual arts events, plays or those kinds of things. So I think it's a matter of we fully intend to have these things, the activities and events in place, just figuring out how to do that in a socially distanced way so we're able to also think about health and safety as a priority.
Katrina Rodriguez (38:50):
Dan, does that kind of get to? I don't know if there's additional pieces of that that I could be helpful with?
Dan Maxey (38:55):
No, I think that's very helpful. Thank you. We have some questions about what some of our traditional fall events might look like, so things like homecoming, friends and family weekend. We anticipate that these are going to be things that we might be able to still host in the fall, or is there a chance that those are going to be canceled this fall?
Katrina Rodriguez (39:18):
I would imagine we could do some elements of them. I think some of the activities might change. I know for friends and family we did a ropes course. So for those who want to participate, I don't know if there's a way to modify that in some way possibly. I think we don't exactly know what those will look like at this point in time. They've not been canceled. So I think we're just kind of waiting to see what that's going to look like. Again, as Andy shared, having football in the fall and having the opportunity for folks to be in the stands in a large part of both of those, of homecoming and family and friends weekend. So I think as we get, just in the next month and month and a half, we'll have a better sense of what the actualities of how many people can be in the stands and those kinds of things, and the types of events we can hold.
President Feinstein (40:11):
One of my favorite days is the bonfire at homecoming and the fireworks. So we got to find a way to make that happen.
Katrina Rodriguez (40:20):
Dan Maxey (40:20):
Sound like outdoor activities to me, so maybe there's still some hope there.
President Feinstein (40:22):
Dan Maxey (40:25):
We've received a few questions about testing in the student health center. I don't know that. This is a great question for any of you, but I will say that our student health center is equipped to conduct COVID-19 testing. We have access to both antibody tests and to tests for the active virus. So we will be equipped here on campus to provide testing to confirmed cases as we are treating students who are presumed to be positive for COVID-19. Some individuals had questions about different health insurance and how all of that works, and I would refer those questions to our student health center. Their website is unco.edu/student-health-center.
Dan Maxey (41:18):
The next question here, we've got some parents asking, particularly an out of state parent here in this case, wondering how often their student will be in the classroom. Mark, you talked a little bit about some of the in person courses and sort of hybrid courses that might mix an in person experience with an online or virtual component. How often should a student expect that they're actually going to be in the classroom if they end up in one of these hybrid formats?
Mark Anderson (41:50):
That's, again, a great question. We have a fairly traditional academic weekly schedule, where classes typically meet either Monday, Wednesday, Friday, or Tuesday, Thursday. In a hybrid environment, the expectation would be that students would meet at least one day a week in a face-to-face setting. So for example, if we have a class that has an enrollment of 60 students, and social distancing provides a room that can accommodate 20 students at any one time, Monday, Wednesday, Friday, that class would be set up in a cohort of 20 students, and 20 students would meet face-to-face with the instructor on Monday, another 20 on Wednesday, another on Friday. The exact mechanism for any one class is going to be dependent upon the size of the class, size of the classroom, but also what is the best instructional practice for that particular class, and that ultimately is determined by the faculty member teaching the class. But if you're in a hybrid class, you would be meeting face-to-face at least once a week with that class.
Dan Maxey (43:11):
Great. Thank you very much, Mark. Just scrolling through the questions here, we have a few more questions about residence halls, Katrina. If a student's already been assigned a roommate, will that change or will the existing roommate assignments be sustained as we approach the fall?
Katrina Rodriguez (43:35):
At this point in time the roommate assignments will be in place, unless there is a request by anybody if they decide they want to have a single or some other opportunity that they'd like. So yes, I would say at this point you can plan on those folks being your roommates and suite mates.
Dan Maxey (43:56):
Great. Katrina, can you just follow up a little bit too on, I think we talked about this earlier, but what the timeline and process is if a student changes their mind and wants to have a single room for the fall instead of having a roommate?
Katrina Rodriguez (44:08):
They're actually able to do that, but I am going to defer to Jenna on the exact process, because I don't have that level of detail to get it accurately correct.
Jenna Finley (44:18):
The process is going to be communicated in the letter that'll be coming by June 30th. I think we are still evaluating if it's most efficient to allow students to go back into the system and assign themselves as they get in the spring or for us to do that in a more manual process for us. Stay tuned. It will be coming in the letter.
Dan Maxey (44:45):
Great. Thank you Katrina and Jenna. Just looking over what we have left here. Katrina, I'll send this one to you here. Will the campus rec center be open in the fall? What do we expect to see there?
Katrina Rodriguez (44:58):
You know, that is one that we are getting a proposal I believe early next week. We are absolutely watching all of the state guidelines and the local guidelines on this, and determining how it is that we can, if we are able to open, what that means in terms of distancing in the rec center. We know that this is an important part of our students' academic life or campus life, so we have interest in being able to open if we are able to do so. So please know that we're working quickly on this one and just trying to gather information. It's almost like the situation, we know what we know now and try to also predict where do we think we'll be. So we should have that information I'd say in the next couple of weeks [crosstalk 00:45:48].
President Feinstein (45:47):
I think things are pointing positively though. The state has allowed us to start using our gyms and recreation facilities for student athletes and provided that we practice social distancing. I think there'll be no more than 10 in the facility at a time and that we practice proper sanitation practices. So I see that as restrictions continue to ease in Colorado, that we will eventually be able to open up our campus recreation facilities as well.
Dan Maxey (46:17):
Great. Thank you, Andy. I'll put this next question to you. A handful of other institutions around the country have announced that they won't bring students back after the Thanksgiving break. Is that something that we're thinking about here at UNC?
President Feinstein (46:32):
It's something that we are not planning in doing, but we'll be prepared should it be necessary to have students not return after Thanksgiving break. Right now we're going to start August 24th, like many other universities are, and plan to hold classes throughout the semester. But if things should change and restrictions or guidance from the state necessitate us to make those adjustments after Thanksgiving, for instance we may be moving our finals to an online modality if necessary. But our hope is that we'll continue to have instruction and courses in person and in a hybrid fashion throughout the entirety of the fall semester.
Dan Maxey (47:14):
Great, thank you. We have a question about commencement in December, and that feels like a lifetime away at this point. But are we still optimistic at this point that we'll have a commencement ceremony in December?
President Feinstein (47:26):
We are, but again, it's going to really depend on how the state responds over the next couple of months to the pandemic, and the ability for us to hold gatherings of more than 50 people. I think right now, well, I should say for many, many months we were restricting all gatherings, and there's been a slight easing of those restrictions over the last couple of weeks. We're now allowed to have up to 100 people in very large venues and 50 people in medium sized venues. Then our classrooms provided again that we have proper social distancing, wear masks, and PPE, and spaced at six weeks. That's going to be a challenge for us in holding a commencement ceremony with four, 5,000 people, even in our stadium. So we're going to have some work to do to figure this out. Luckily, we have some time, but at this point in the middle of June, I'm confident that we'll be able to work this out and find ways to ensure that not only our December graduates have a commencement ceremony, but also our May 2020 graduates are able to come back to campus and walk across the stage and celebrate their accomplishments as well.
Dan Maxey (48:40):
Great. Thank you very much, Andy. I see that we have just a few more minutes here left, so I'm going to close with a question about virtual parent orientation. I know that we've been having new student orientation programming for a couple of weeks now. Do we know when the virtual parent orientation is going to take place? Katrina, is that under your umbrella there? I can't remember exactly who hosts that.
Katrina Rodriguez (49:04):
It's actually Mark [inaudible 00:49:06].
Mark Anderson (49:06):
It is me, and the short answer is I don't know, Dan, but I will find out-
President Feinstein (49:11):
We will get back to you.
Mark Anderson (49:11):
... and get back to you.
Dan Maxey (49:13):
Great. Thank you very much. I appreciate that, and for any of you who asked a question, sometimes we get some very specific questions. I know that our admissions team has been following up on the various questions that have been asked, even in many cases if they were asked and answered here by our panel. So if you happened to ask a question or a particular piece of your question wasn't answered here, they will be following up. I also want to encourage our admitted students that if you continue to have questions, you're certainly encouraged to reach out to your admissions counselors to ask those questions and to receive answers. We want to make sure that you are all well prepared for the fall semester, and happy to do that. On the closing slide at the end of this panel we'll also have the email addresses for our three panelists today and I encourage you to reach out to them if you have concerns or questions that you'd like to address as well. With that, I'll turn it over to President Feinstein for some closing remarks.
President Feinstein (50:22):
Looking very much forward to seeing all of you in the fall. Still have some work to do, as you've heard today. We don't have all of the answers but we're making progress. Thanks for your time and know that I'm happy to receive emails and calls from you if I can be of any assistance or help over these next couple of months. I think that Dan is going to share my email address here in a moment. So go Bears.
Dan Maxey (50:46):
Go Bears. Thank you everyone for joining us.
President Feinstein (50:50):
Take care everybody.
- Campus Updates and Information - July 30, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - July 14, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - June 29, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - June 23, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - June 16, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - June 9, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - May 21, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - May 18, 2020
- Campus Updates and Information - May 13, 2020
- Living on Campus Open House - May 11, 2020