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COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Overview

Overview

The international public health crisis of COVID-19 has caused the University of Houston to make many substantial changes in the way our faculty teach, how our students learn, and how we support each other during this critical time.

This website will be an online repository for the policy changes that affect students and faculty. Please bookmark this site for future reference as any additional updates will be posted here.

 

Student Spring 2022 FAQ

(Updated January 07, 2022)
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Faculty Spring 2022 FAQ

Fall Planning FAQ  (Updated January 07, 2022)
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Probation Extension Policy

Modifications to the  Promotion and /or  Tenure (P&T) Process

  • Guidelines on extension of the probationary period due the impact of COVID-19 will apply to both tenure track (TT) and promotion eligible non tenure track (NTT) faculty members.

  • With support of their department chair and/or dean, a faculty member may request an extension based on  the negative impact of the current COVID-19 situation on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure. Such a request can be made under existing provisions in the current P&T and NTT policies for “Extension of the Probationary Period for Emergencies”.

  • Extension requests related to  the negative impact of COVID-19 on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure may be made by a faculty member at any time during their probationary period up until March 1 of the year in which their mandatory review is scheduled.

  • For those faculty members currently scheduled for mandatory review beginning in fall 2021 that are interested in putting in an extension for mandatory review, please submit your request by the March 1, 2021 deadline.

  • Current policy allows up to two, one year extensions of the probationary period for birth or adoption of a child. Faculty members who have already received two previous extensions for birth or adoption of a child may request an additional extension based on  the negative impact of the current COVID-19 situation on their timely progression towards promotion and/or tenure.

Interim Student Course Evaluation Policy (effective April 9, 2020)

Due to the unique and unprecedented challenges associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University of Houston will implement an interim policy for administering and utilizing the results of student course evaluations. The intent of the interim policy is to ensure that faculty members continue to receive useful quantitative and qualitative student feedback on the courses they have taught during this period. In addition, the interim policy is designed to account for the impact of the sudden and unforeseen transition to online instruction, while also acknowledging that standard indicators of student learning and faculty teaching performance might be skewed or un-calibrated under the current circumstances.

The interim policy is effective immediately and will be implemented as follows:

  1. The Interim Student Course Evaluation Policy applies to all faculty members teaching courses offered during the Spring 2020 semester including Sessions 1, 5, and 6, the 2020 Summer Mini Session, the Summer 2020 semester including Sessions 1 through 4, and the Fall 2020 semester including Sessions 1 through 6.
  2. This policy applies to student course evaluations administered in all undergraduate, graduate and professional program courses taught by all instructors of record regardless of faculty title during the time period this interim policy remains in place.
  3. The following steps will be undertaken as it relates to student course evaluations under the interim policy:
    1. Online student course evaluations will continue to be administered for all classes using the processes and procedures already in place for each department and college. Student course evaluations for the spring 2020 semester will be available for students to complete online beginning April 13, 2020. Student course evaluations for future terms will be available to students following the previous calendar.
    2. Once completed, student course evaluation results will be available online for review by the individual faculty member. The faculty member will have the opportunity to review their evaluation results (both quantitative scores and qualitative comments) at the individual course and/or section level and to then make a choice on whether or not to retain the results of the evaluation or to mask a particular evaluation in the official record.
    3. Student course evaluations masked in this fashion by the faculty member shall be excluded from being part of any future faculty performance review processes, such as the Faculty Annual Performance Review (F-APR) process and the promotion and/or tenure review process.
    4. As such, if an individual faculty member chooses to mask a student course evaluation, the content of such a masked evaluation shall not be used or included as part of any future performance evaluation of the faculty member by any departmental, college or university committee, or administrator.
    5. The Office of the Provost will provide further instructions on the online procedures to be used by individual faculty members to first review and then either accept or mask their student course evaluations as soon as possible.
    6. In order to specifically acquire student feedback on remote learning in a course, the following additional question will be added to all student course evaluations beginning with evaluations for courses taught during the fall 2020 semester. The question is as follows:
      1. Please share feedback on your course experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Your comments on different aspects of the course (such as lectures, virtual sessions, online discussions, course communications, assignments and testing methods) will be appreciated. (free response)

Blackboard and online learning platforms

Faculty can receive technical support and learn best practices for Blackboard and other online learning tools at instruction.uh.edu

University Information Technology

713-743-1411 UH IT Tech Support Help Desk

Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 8pm.

Faculty Engagement and Development

The FED has transitioned its face to face faculty development programming to both synchronous (i.e. Teams, Zoom, live streaming) and asynchronous  (video recordings, pod casts, SharePoint site) remote platforms  that can all be accessed through the FED homepage website . In addition, the FED already maintains and curates a wide range of on-line faculty development resources and programing on its website that remain available to faculty members at any time.

These events and resources include:

  • The FED Events calendar  where faculty can virtually join f ace to face programing originally scheduled for April (e.g. Mastering the Craft of Teaching, Advancing Pedagogy, CITE Info Hours, Frontiers in Research Collaboration, DOR-led presentations, etc.) , or interact with their faculty colleagues in a less formal setting during our virtual morning Faculty Bagels sessions held twice a week. 
  • T he FED Resources SharePoint sit e provides access to  a variety of  on-line  resources  and  information  available to faculty mem bers concerning remote access,  on-line instruction , research and scholarship resources, informational videos and pod casts, working and schooling from home, work-life balance and self-care, ideas on how departments or groups of individual faculty members can organize and manage virtual face to face events  for faculty such as departmental meetings, “water cooler” conversations, drop-in “happy hours”, music concerts, etc. 

The FED staff remain available remotely to answer any questions that faculty members  through Zoom, Teams or voice call. The FED can be contacted via email at FED@central.uh.edu . Contact information for individual FED staff members can be accessed here .

Faculty are encouraged to use all the resources the University offers to maintain physical and emotional well-being.

 

Syllabus Language Spring 2022

Required and Suggested Syllabus Language for Spring 2022
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Virtual Office Hours

Below are several dates for Virtual Office Hours to answer any specific questions:

Office Hours for Faculty Affairs, Mark Clarke, Thursdays, 3 - 3:30 p.m.
Office Hours for Undergraduate Education, Teri Longacre, Fridays, 1-1:30 p.m.
Office Hours for Graduate Education, Sarah Larsen, Fridays, 10-10:30 a.m.