I write to update you on our transition to online and remote teaching and learning as we continue to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you read in the message from Fr. Fitzgerald on Saturday, the university will hold classes online for the remainder of the spring semester and most students are moving out of residence halls this week. In addition, a shelter in place order was announced for the Bay Area this afternoon. Understandably, there are many logistical questions that we are working through, and I appreciate your flexibility and patience as we face this crisis together.
Given that many of you are focused on moving out by Saturday, March 21 and we are all learning and adjusting to remote learning, your faculty are keenly aware that you will need flexibility in the days and weeks ahead. To that end, we are committed to doing everything possible to support requests for excused absences, deadline extensions, and other accommodations. Please be in close contact with your professors and academic support staff. We are here to help.
The goal for this week is for individual classes to be connected as virtual communities by Friday. I have asked all faculty to prioritize using course time and meetings this week to connect with all of you. With all the uncertainty surrounding this transition to online learning and the COVID-19 situation generally, know that each and every member of the USF faculty, staff, and administration is focused laser-like on ensuring that the supportive, personalized approach to learning that is a hallmark of a USF education continues in this new environment.
We recognize that this transition in mode of instruction may be challenging. Please review the Keep Teaching and Learning pages on myUSF, which include resources to support your online learning. In addition, updates on the university’s response to COVID-19 are posted regularly to the myUSF resource pages.
This is a trying time for us all. In the midst of uncertainty and difficult decisions, I am incredibly proud to be partnering with such dedicated faculty and committed staff as we navigate these uncharted waters in support of each and every USF student. The health, safety, and well-being of you and your loved ones are what matters above all else, and all of us at USF are committed to ensuring your success during this challenging time.
Tyrone H. Cannon
Interim Provost and Vice President, Academic Affairs