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Office of the Provost

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore

Messages from the Office of the Provost

The provost frequently shares information with the Academic Affairs division and with the campus community. This page will be updated often with messages shared from the Office of the Provost.

1/27/2021 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Update on Fall 2021

Dear Colleagues,

As we move through the winter quarter and continue to plan for the future, I would like to share an update on our planning for the fall 2021 quarter. Last week, I shared our plans for the summer and you can find that message at https://provost.calpoly.edu/messages.

Throughout the last year, the health and safety of our community has been our highest consideration. This is no different as we plan for the fall. We are continuing to monitor public health conditions and the vaccination processes in our community in close coordination with San Luis Obispo County Public Health as these considerations will be crucial to how fall operates.

We are currently planning for a majority of our courses and services to be in-person for the fall quarter. Given the time involved in planning and preparing for the start of the new year and the added work of moving from virtual operations back to in-person, we must plan for the possibility of greater in-person operations. If we do not plan for in-person courses now, our ability to fully serve our students will be unnecessarily limited. More details will be forthcoming on the criteria and process used to approve in-person courses in the fall.

This planning allows us to have the best chance of preparing courses and experiences that have value for our students, and, if public health conditions dictate, we will be ready to pivot to virtual operations. Our campus has proven that we can make that change.

We recognize that, even in the most positive health conditions that allow for greater in-person courses and services, there may still be students, staff, and faculty who cannot participate in person for health reasons. We will ensure that these members of our community are accommodated. We have shown our abilities to be gracious, flexible, and understanding with each other, and we must continue to manifest these qualities.

Thank you all for your work, your patience, and your understanding. It is a true pleasure to be working with you all.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

1/26/2021 - Message from the Office of the Provost to Faculty: Trauma-Informed Care

Dear Colleagues,

In the 2020 Cal Poly Campus Survey on Sexual Violence sponsored in partnership by the Office of Equal Opportunity and Campus Health & Wellbeing, 25% of students reported that they would disclose to a faculty member about an experience of sexual violence. It is important that you have the resources you need both to respond to disclosures of sexual violence, and to develop safe and trusting relationships and environments for our campus community.

Trauma-informed care acknowledges the widespread impact of trauma on our community and seeks to create environments that are intentionally healing-centered and avoid unintentional re-traumatization. Faculty are uniquely positioned to receive disclosures of sexual violence, and should be attentive to curating trauma-informed classroom environments.

Safer has developed a resource hub for faculty and staff regarding responding to disclosures of sexual violence with care, curating trauma-informed virtual environments, and integrating primary prevention techniques into your curricula, programming, and daily lives. Below you will find resources to help you learn more about trauma-informed care as you develop virtual content for your courses: 

  • Schedule a 15-20 minute specialized presentation from Safer for your department. 
  • Schedule a 1:1 consultation with our Prevention Specialist to integrate primary prevention into your curricula. 
  • Review Safer's one-sheet on Trauma-Informed Best Practices here
  • View Safer's webinar on Trauma-Informed Virtual Environments here. (passcode: qqjjV^6k) 

Access all of the above and more at Safer's new resource hub for faculty & staff partners

The CSU Systemwide Policies Prohibiting Discrimination, Harassment, and Retaliation, Sexual Misconduct, Dating and Domestic Violence and Stalking each require that any employee who knows or has reason to know of allegations or acts that violate the policies must promptly report all known information to the Title IX Coordinator Maren Hufton, the Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity at equalopportunity@calpoly.edu or (805) 756-6770.

Sincerely,

The Office of the Provost

1/22/2021 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Update on Summer 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that the winter quarter has been progressing well for you and that you are staying healthy. I am writing today regarding the university’s plans for summer 2021.

We are planning for courses in the summer to be mostly virtual, leaving open the possibility for some limited in-person offerings. Please note that any in-person courses proposed will need to be approved through the same process used during this academic year.

As we have done in the past, the summer will consist of four sessions: two five-week options, an eight-week, and a ten-week option. Important dates related to the summer can be found at https://registrar.calpoly.edu/calendars_deadlines. Information regarding cost of attendance and financial aid for the summer will be forthcoming.

In concert with this message, the Office of the Registrar will be reaching out to the academic departments to begin the process of building out our summer schedules. Thank you to all in the Office of the Registrar, the departments, and the colleges for the work in this planning.

Thank you all again for your continued excellent work in support of our students and colleagues. Your commitment is inspiring and much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

1/11/2021 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Winter Reminder on Cal Poly's Religious Observance Policy

Dear Colleagues,

As we find ourselves underway in a new quarter it is important to reflect on the fact that members of our community may be observing religious holidays.

Based on the Campus Academic Policy on Class Attendance and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is Cal Poly’s policy to provide the opportunity to students, faculty, and staff to observe the holidays set aside by their chosen religious faith. For students, religious holidays are considered an “excusable” reason to be absent from class. For faculty and staff, supervisors should make appropriate accommodations to ensure their employees have the opportunity to express and exercise their religious beliefs. Faculty and staff requests for time off for religious observances may be approved as vacation time, a personal holiday, or could include a schedule change in some circumstances.

Faculty and staff should be sensitive to the observance of these holidays so that students who absent themselves from class on these days, or during specific times of the day, are not disadvantaged.  As major assignments are planned, it may be helpful to refer specifically to a religious holiday calendar like the one found at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org. It is the responsibility of those students who wish to be absent to make the necessary arrangements in advance with their instructors. 

I encourage faculty to work together with their students constructively to find the best feasible solution for each instance. Please also keep in mind that for this year it is possible that some students are now located in different and distant time zones, so that the timing issues may vary. Without a simple, equitable, and dignified way to determine the validity of individual claims, the claim of a religious conflict should be accepted at face value. Please consider the ways in which these planned absences can be fairly and respectfully accommodated.

As an institution, we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our practices must conform to our commitments. Working together we can continue to build an environment that supports and fosters these values.

Thank you,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

1/7/2021 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff on the Events of January 6

Dear Colleagues,

In light of recent events in Washington D.C. and in communities around the nation, please be mindful of how the current and cumulative impact of these events may be affecting your students and colleagues.

If you have not already done so, please consider reaching out to your students to acknowledge the difficulties and stresses that they may be feeling. I encourage you to work with any student who may be having trouble focusing on classwork and related activities and to offer support through Cal Poly resources. There are several resources available to students, including Cal Poly Counseling Servicesthe Office of the Dean of Students, and Student Diversity & Belonging.

Similarly, please also check in with colleagues. This is a good opportunity to remind ourselves to demonstrate empathy, patience, graciousness and appreciation for each other at all times, and especially when there is uncertainty and difficulty abounding.

Finally, I hope you all remember to take care of yourselves during these challenging times. If you need support, please remember that the campus’s Employee Assistance Program is available free of charge to all faculty and staff.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

1/5/2021 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Welcome Back from Provost Jackson-Elmoore

Dear Colleagues,

Happy New Year and welcome back for our winter quarter! I hope that you all had a relaxing winter break and you were able to connect with your friends and loved ones. I am truly appreciative of all your work during fall quarter. We could not have gotten through the quarter without each and every one of you.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to doing the best for our students and colleagues. As a community, we have demonstrated the ability to do what may at times seem unlikely or impossible. Just as importantly, we will continue to navigate the challenges and opportunities that we face with patience, grace, resolve, excellence and an unmeasurable amount of good will and yes, even sometimes a sense of humor.  

I look forward to working with you over this quarter in service to our students and colleagues. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at cp-provost@calpoly.edu if there is some way that the Office of the Provost can be of assistance to you.

Thank you all again for your continued excellent efforts.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

12/9/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: 2021 Teach In: Save the Date

Dear Colleagues,

On Thursday, February 11, our campus community will participate in the fifth annual Teach In – a daylong series of virtual talks and workshops centered around equity and social justice designed to inform and inspire. These virtual events will be open to all members of our community and as always will feature numerous speakers and presentations from students, staff, and faculty from across the university.

As you plan for the winter quarter, I encourage you to allow your students to attend the Teach In events as a whole class activity or to consider offering extra credit for an assignment based on student participation or learning at one of the presentations. I also encourage you to attend the Teach In events with your students or as your schedule allows. For supervisors, thinking about ways to allow staff to attend some sessions is also encouraged.

For more information about the Teach In, visit https://cla.calpoly.edu/teach-in. The full schedule will be available soon.

Thank you all for your consideration and a special thanks to everyone who has worked to plan for this day of events, or plans to present. Your commitment to improving our culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion is much appreciated.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

12/4/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Update on the Winter Quarter

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing today to provide an update on our campus plans for the winter quarter.

We are still planning to begin our winter quarter classes, with a small percentage of in-person courses, on January 4. However, in the winter quarter, finals will be fully virtual. This will give students the option to leave campus following the final day of classes and allow for students to be away from campus for at least 16 days ahead of the start of the spring quarter on March 29.

Please know that, given the ever-evolving public health conditions and the possibility of changed local, state, and federal guidelines, it is possible that there will be more changes that are announced over the winter break. We will share new information via email as well as through the https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/ and https://www.calpoly.edu/roadmap websites.

More information on COVID-19 health and safety guidelines and how they may affect your courses or work is available at https://academicaffairs.calpoly.edu/frequently-asked-questions. You may find these helpful to review ahead of the start of the winter quarter.  Additionally, faculty members may benefit from syllabus statements and other instructional resources at https://ctlt.calpoly.edu/.

Thank you again for all of your hard work.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

11/19/2020 - Message from the Office of the Provost to Faculty: Reminder on Fall Grading Basis Deadline

Dear Cal Poly Faculty Members,

Tomorrow, The Office of the Registrar will be sending the below reminder to all students regarding the deadline for them to change their grading basis for any of their fall 2020 classes. Students received a similar reminder regarding the deadline on November 10 and more information is available to them at https://registrar.calpoly.edu/.

If possible, please consider reminding your students of this deadline during your classes or communications with them in the coming days. Please do your best to ensure that students’ current grades are updated, so they may make informed decisions on whether or not to change their grading basis.

Thank you all for your time and hard work this quarter. Please know that your work and the care you have shown for your students and colleagues are much appreciated.

Thank you,

Office of the Provost


Hello,

This is a reminder that you have until 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, November 24, 2020 to change the grading basis of any of your fall 2020 classes. Please verify your selected grading basis by reviewing your class schedule in your Student Center.

If you previously selected the “Graded” option, you may change to “Credit/No Credit.”

If you previously selected the “Credit/No Credit” option, you may change to “Graded.”

Fall 2020 grading basis change requests will not be processed once the November 24 deadline has passed. This is a firm deadline.

Please remember that undergraduate students must earn a C- or above to receive a grade of Credit in a Credit/No Credit course. Graduate students must earn a B- or above to receive a grade of Credit.

If you are pursuing a Blended program, please note that a Cal Poly student is either an undergraduate or a graduate student at any one time, and you are subject to the rules of your official standing. If you have not officially switched to graduate standing yet, you are subject to the CR/NC rules for undergraduate programs and undergraduate students.

Before making a change:

1.Thoroughly review the CR/NC allowances outlined in the frequently asked questions on the Fall 2020 – Term Information webpage.

2.Familiarize yourself with the CR/NC allowances set by your undergraduate major or Master’s programPLEASE NOTE: Several majors/Master’s programs have set different CR/NC allowances for fall 2020 and summer 2020. Review this information carefully.

3.Speak with your advisor. If you are in Academic Probation status or Academic Disqualification status, you should reconsider your choice to take a course CR/NC. If you are taking a class for grade forgiveness, you must select the “Graded” option.

Thank you,

The Office of the Registrar

10/29/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Handling Election Issues in the Classroom

Dear Colleagues,

As voting in this year’s presidential election will conclude on Tuesday, November 3, I am writing today to share some resources with you should any issues or concerns related to the election arise in your work with students.

No matter the result of the presidential election and other elections, our students will likely be feeling a broad range of emotions in the coming weeks. Recognizing this, I’d like to remind you of some helpful resources offered by the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology (CTLT).

The CTLT page on Acknowledging and Responding to Distressing Events includes general suggestions for responding to events, such as the election, that may bring up a range of emotions for students. Additionally, the CTLT’s information on Strategies for Addressing Behavior that is Detrimental to the Learning Environment provides general recommendations for how faculty can address a variety of scenarios in their classes, while reflecting an awareness of students’ rights to freedom of expression.

The Office of the Dean of Students has also created an Election Guide that offers resources for our community during the 2020 election, including information about post-election processing virtual spaces for drop-in discussion where students can discuss the outcomes of the recent election. If you do not plan to hold class meetings on or around Election Day, I encourage you to reach out to your students to ensure they have the support they may need.

Support for faculty and staff is equally important. Please remember that the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides confidential counseling services to all Cal Poly employees and their families. To speak with a counselor at any time, please call their 24-hour support hotline at 800-367-7474. More information about EAP's confidential services is available at this website.

As always, I thank you for your dedication to our students and community. I know this has been a challenging quarter for everyone, and I encourage you to remember to tend to yourselves in the coming weeks.

Thank you,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

10/16/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Students: Free Learning Resources Available

Dear Students,

I am writing today to share information about Cal Poly’s Writing and Learning Initiatives Office, which offers a comprehensive menu of academic resources that I hope you will utilize throughout your time at Cal Poly, and especially as you engage in virtual learning this year.

Free Tutoring in any Subject – Peer consultants offer free tutoring to all Cal Poly students. You can work one to one or engage in small-group tutoring sessions with trained undergraduate and graduate consultants on any activity, assignment, writing project, or exam. The sessions are student-centered and based around specific questions and needs that you bring to the session. Get connected through the Writing and Learning Center: https://writingandlearning.calpoly.edu/center.

Supplemental Learning Workshops and Study Sessions in STEM Courses – Supplemental workshops and study sessions provide support for specific STEM courses in a collaborative learning environment. These peer-led weekly meetings are designed to improve general learning strategies and increase opportunities for interactive engagement with course materials. For more information, and to access the online Study Strategies Library, check out the Academic Skills Center: https://asc.calpoly.edu/.

Support for the Graduation Writing Requirement (GWR) – Writing and Learning Initiatives Office staff can address questions about the GWR, and peer writing tutors at the Writing and Learning Center are available to help you prepare GWR-related documents that demonstrate your proficiency at writing in an academic setting. Learn how to fulfill this graduation requirement at https://writingandlearning.calpoly.edu/gwr.

The university invests in ensuring that students get the academic support they need to succeed, and we hope that you will take advantage of the programs and services offered through the Writing and Learning Initiatives Office. To learn more, visit writingandlearning.calpoly.edu or email writingandlearning@calpoly.edu.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

10/9/2020 - Message from Office of the Provost to Faculty and Staff: Invitation to CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Convening

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the CSU, all members of the campus community are invited to the CSU Graduation Initiative 2025 Convening on Friday, October 23, 2020, 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. via livestream.

This is the first year that the annual convening will be open to all employees of the CSU. You are all invited to join virtually and learn more about the systemwide efforts and progress toward meeting the Graduation Initiative 2025 (GI 2025) goals.

Register for the Graduation Initiative 2025 Convening here.  If you plan to attend, please register by Friday, October 16.

The convening will feature students, faculty, and staff sharing inspirational stories of how daily efforts around GI 2025 are transforming students’ lives. The CSU will also share the latest data and measure progress toward eliminating equity gaps and helping more students secure the proven, lifelong benefits of a CSU degree.

Thank you,

Office of the Provost

10/8/2020 - Message from the Office of the Provost to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Frequently Asked Questions

Dear Colleagues,

To help answer questions regarding in-person and virtual classes, COVID-19 safety guidelines, and additional issues related to our current teaching, learning, and working environment, the Office of the Provost has created a new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) webpage at https://academicaffairs.calpoly.edu/frequently-asked-questions.

This page will be updated throughout the academic year as more questions come up and we have more information to share. The link to this page has also been posted on Cal Poly’s Coronavirus website and the Roadmap website so our campus community can find answers to their questions and the information they need.

If you have any questions, please reach out to Keegan Koberl at kkoberl@calpoly.edu.

Thank you,

Office of the Provost

10/2/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Students: PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Program

Dear Students,

Given the wildfires and extreme heat conditions across our state, PG&E, the electrical provider for Cal Poly and much of the state, is preparing for the possibility of enacting Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). In a PSPS, PG&E turns off electricity in certain areas in the interest of public safety.

Cal Poly’s Department of Emergency Management has worked closely with PG&E over the past few years to prepare the campus for the possibility of a proactive power shutoff. Based on our most recent conversations with PG&E and San Luis Obispo County officials, we understand that Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo County are at low risk of experiencing a PSPS event.

I know that many of you are taking virtual classes from your residence outside of San Luis Obispo County, and you may be in areas that have previously been affected by PSPS events or are at higher risk of experiencing one in the future. I have asked your instructors to be flexible and understanding with students who may be affected by these power shutoffs. Similarly, if San Luis Obispo experiences a PSPS you may not be able to reach your instructor for this period of time.

If you are alerted that your area may experience a PSPS event when you are scheduled to have a class or an assignment deadline, please let your instructor know as soon as possible. This will be helpful to your instructors as they work to assist and accommodate you.

You can learn more about the PSPS program through this link: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-power-shutoff-faq.page.

Current PG&E power status by area can be viewed online at https://m.pge.com/#outages.

Thank you for your attention to this during an already challenging time. I hope you all continue to stay healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

10/2/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Faculty: PG&E Public Safety Power Shutoff Program

Dear Colleagues,

Given the wildfires and extreme heat conditions across our state, PG&E, the electrical provider for Cal Poly and much of the state, is preparing for the possibility of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS). In a PSPS, PG&E turns off electricity in certain areas in the interest of public safety.

Cal Poly’s Department of Emergency Management has worked closely with PG&E over the past few years to prepare the campus for the possibility of a proactive power shutoff. Based on our most recent conversations with PG&E and San Luis Obispo County officials, we understand that Cal Poly and San Luis Obispo County are at low risk of experiencing a PSPS event.

However, since many of our students are taking virtual classes from their residence outside of San Luis Obispo County, it is important to remember that our students may be without power for what may be an extended period of time if they are affected by a PSPS event. Please keep this possibility in mind if students are unable to attend a virtual class meeting or are delayed in submitting assignments.

I have sent a note to students today as well, asking them to inform their instructor as soon as possible if they are alerted that their area may experience a PSPS event when they are scheduled to have a class or an assignment deadline.

You can learn more about the PSPS program through this link: https://www.pge.com/en_US/safety/emergency-preparedness/natural-disaster/wildfires/public-safety-power-shutoff-faq.page

Current PG&E power status by area can be viewed online at https://m.pge.com/#outages.

You have all been incredibly flexible, understanding, and gracious with your students and colleagues, and I appreciate your continuing to show these traits as our state faces yet another challenge.

Thank you all again for your work.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

9/25/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Faculty: Reminder on Cal Poly's Religious Observance Policies

Dear Colleagues,

As we find ourselves underway in a new quarter it is important to reflect on the fact that members of our community may be observing religious holidays.

Based on the Campus Academic Policy on Class Attendance and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is Cal Poly’s policy to provide the opportunity to students, faculty, and staff to observe the holidays set aside by their chosen religious faith. For students, religious holidays are considered an “excusable” reason to be absent from class. For faculty and staff, supervisors should make appropriate accommodations to ensure their employees have the opportunity to express and exercise their religious beliefs. Faculty and staff requests for time off for religious observances may be approved as vacation time, a personal holiday, or could include a schedule change in some circumstances.

Faculty and staff should be sensitive to the observance of these holidays so that students who absent themselves from class on these days, or during specific times of the day, are not disadvantaged.  As major assignments are planned, it may be helpful to refer specifically to a religious holiday calendar like the one found at http://www.interfaith-calendar.org. It is the responsibility of those students who wish to be absent to make the necessary arrangements in advance with their instructors. 

I encourage faculty to work together with their students constructively to find the best feasible solution for each instance. Please also keep in mind that for this year it is possible that some students are now located in different and distant time zones, so that the timing issues may vary. Without a simple, equitable, and dignified way to determine the validity of individual claims, the claim of a religious conflict should be accepted at face value. Please consider the ways in which these planned absences can be fairly and respectfully accommodated.

As an institution, we are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and our practices must conform to our commitments. Working together we can continue to build an environment that supports and fosters these values.

Thank you,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

9/15/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Faculty: Update on Cal Poly's Transition to Canvas

Dear Colleagues,

Over the last year, Cal Poly successfully transitioned our Learning Management System (LMS) from PolyLearn-Moodle to Canvas. As has been announced many times over the past year, Canvas will be Cal Poly’s sole LMS beginning in the fall quarter.

Some key developments accomplished during the summer:

  • All PolyLearn-Moodle courses from fall 2019 through spring 2020 were moved to Canvas, and courses from summer 2020 will be moved in October. Faculty can back up any of their other PolyLearn-Moodle courses and import the content into Canvas (instructions available on the Canvas Support Site).
  • All third-party plugins that were available in PolyLearn-Moodle are now available in Canvas: iClicker Office, Google, Zoom, Math Type, and YouTube.
  • The following resources have been made accessible and secure through a partnership with the Information Security and Accessibility offices:
    • Additional plugins (Flipgrid, Piazza, Akindi for CSM, and Portfolium Assessment for Honors) were added this summer by the CTLT team.
    • Several publisher integrations (MacMillian Learning, McGraw Hill Connect, Pearson Learning, Pearson MyLab & Mastery, WW Norton, and Cengage Learning) have been completed. Several additional publisher integrations (Follett Direct and WileyPLUS) are in the works. For updates on publisher integrations, please see the Canvas Support website

In support of the CSU Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI), Canvas delivers many unified accessibility improvements for faculty and students.

  • Highlights include: assistive technology and screen reader support; flexible user settings (e.g., fonts, colors, contrast, sizing); streamlined keyboard and navigation; and accessibility enhancements to all core Canvas modules (e.g., calendars, gradebooks, quizzes).
  • Faculty may also complete the self-paced online course, Creating Accessible Canvas Content.

The university’s contract with Canvas includes robust faculty support through 24/7 phone and online chat assistance, as well as online guides for instructors and students. In addition to the Canvas support tools, the Cal Poly Canvas support team provides resources to assist users, please visit canvassupport.calpoly.edu or email canvassupport@calpoly.edu for more information.

The Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology provides support to all faculty, whether you are teaching in person, you are new to teaching virtually, or you want to enhance your instructional skills. The CTLT has helpful resources available for Instructional ContinuityOnline Assessments, and Secure Exams. The CTLT also offers a variety of workshopsself-paced online coursesvideo consultationsonline resources, and email support.

Thank you to everyone in the CTLT for their work to make this a successful transition.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

9/10/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore and Vice President Humphrey to Faculty and Staff: University Guidelines and Actions for a Healthy Fall Quarter

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The university, in partnership with SLO County Public Health, faculty, staff and epidemiology experts, has been working together over the past several months on ways to slow the spread of COVID-19 within the campus community and to create equitable pathways forward for those who choose to learn and work remotely or on campus. These measures center on the health and safety of individuals and communities and how they interplay with each other. After all, what we do as individuals has a ripple effect on those around us. 

Today we want to share with you the steps we are taking with students to help ensure a safer campus community. 

PROACTIVE SURVEILLANCE STRATEGIES

COVID-19 Self-Screening: This self-screening tool is a way for students to monitor their personal health, assess symptoms related to coronavirus, and receive immediate guidance. The outcome of the daily self-assessment will determine if students are permitted or not to enter facilities on campus that day. All students using campus facilities and enrolled in face-to-face classes must complete a daily self-screening. Students should be prepared to display their daily pass on their phone or electronic device before entering a classroom or any other campus facility. Faculty or staff members should request to view the pass upon a student’s entry to their classroom or any other campus facility. Students who do not pass the self-screening will be directed to Campus Health and Wellbeing for further evaluation, including possible testing. Students who are required by SLO County Public Health to quarantine or isolate will not be able to receive a pass until their quarantine or isolation period ends, preventing their access to campus facilities.

For more information, please click here.

Baseline Testing Assessment: As you already know, students living on and off campus who plan to participate in campus activities such as classes, work, and services are required to provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result before coming on campus, or by the first day of class on Sept. 14, whichever comes first. This form of asymptomatic screening helps to establish and assess the prevalence of the pandemic within a large group of people. More than 90 percent of residential students completed the verification process prior to their arrival on campus, while those who were unable to verify their results were directed to Campus Health and Wellbeing for testing prior to their scheduled move-in time. Off-campus students will begin this process today as part of their entrance requirements to campus and we hope to see the same high rate of participation. This is an important measure to implement at the time when several thousand students are arriving in the community. Additional on-site testing may be required based on data from the initial results.

Ongoing Surveillance Testing: This methodology tests sample groups of the student community on a routine basis, both residential students and those living off campus enrolled in face-to-face classes. A special focus will be placed on off-campus students engaging in structured organizations like fraternities and sororities, student-athletes, and band.  Students who are in a group that requires further testing will be directed by Campus Health and Wellbeing for further instructions. Any pass obtained from their COVID-19 self-screening tool will change to deny them access to classes or campus facilities until they have completed additional testing. 

Symptomatic Testing: Cal Poly is committed to the ongoing, continued testing of symptomatic students and confirmed close contacts of positive cases for diagnostic purposes. Currently enrolled students can obtain free testing at Campus Health and Wellbeing and are encouraged to schedule an appointment ahead of time by calling 805-756-1211.

Additional details about these testing strategies can be found online here.

REACTIVE SUPPORT AND CARE STRATEGIES

Isolation and Quarantine: The university has set aside 180 spaces in campus apartments for residential students who need to isolate or quarantine outside of their assigned residential community.  Meals, student support, and regular health checks will be provided to students in on-campus isolation or quarantine.  Students living off campus should isolate or quarantine at the direction of SLO County Public Health. Anyone directed to isolate or quarantine will not be able to complete the daily symptom screener and obtain a pass to campus. Complete details about isolation and quarantine can be found online here.

Exposure Investigation: The university continues to work closely with San Luis Obispo County's Public Health Department (SLOPHD), the City of San Luis Obispo and local medical resources.  In concert with SLOPHD, we will continue to closely track students who have been exposed in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to others and to support students in their medical care.

The university will stay in contact with students to provide support and coordination for housing and health education, as well as provide regular mental and physical health checks for the students in on-campus isolation or quarantine. Faculty may be contacted as needed to provide accommodations to students in isolation or quarantine.  We encourage the students living off campus to follow the direction of SLO County Public Health.

Holding Students Accountable to Requirements and Orders: The university requires members of the campus community to comply with all COVID-19 related protocols when on campus, including physical distancing, proper wearing of face coverings, and following local ordinances related to gatherings. All students are expected to comply with these protocols. Failure to follow the campus protocols will result in student conduct action, which could include suspension or expulsion. The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, within the Office of the Dean of Students, will oversee the enforcement of COVID-19 related expectations.

If you see someone who may not be complying with public health orders, you can report the incident here. This includes students who do not comply with classroom regulations.

For more information on strategies to assist with compliance in your classrooms, offices and facilities, including open Office Hours with representatives with OSRR to learn more about this process, visit the OSRR website.

DISEASE TRACKING AND INFORMATION

Data Dashboard:  Since spring, we’ve been sharing updated Cal Poly-specific case counts on the coronavirus website. In an effort to provide more information about how our campus community is doing, we have created a COVID-19 tracking dashboard with more comprehensive data such as the number of positive tests for on- and off-campus students who are tested at Campus Health and Wellbeing, the total number of recoveries, and much more. Please visit the coronavirus webpage for daily updates. The county will also track case counts for on-campus students only. 

Thank you for doing what you do best – bringing Learn by Doing to life and creating the graduates that California and our world desperately need. If you have any questions regarding these strategies and resources, please reach out to vpsa@calpoly.edu.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

Keith B. Humphrey, Ph.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs

8/28/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff: Academic Affairs Update on the Fall Quarter

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. Thank you all for your work to prepare for the fall quarter and to welcome our incoming and returning students to a new academic year. I would also like to thank you for the warm welcome that has been extended to me. I am writing today to provide you with information on how our division will approach the fall quarter. These decisions were made in consultation with Cal Poly’s Emergency Operations Center and in accordance with guidance from the state, the Chancellor’s Office, President Armstrong and executive leadership, the division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education, and county health officials. Links to key sources are noted below:

 • California Department of Public Health Guidance on Higher Education

 • CSU Guidance on Fall 2020 University Operational Plans

 • Cal Poly's Approved Fall Plan, as shared by President Armstrong

 • Guidance on Research from the Division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education

Fall Instruction and Research

We currently are planning to offer approximately 12% of our courses in person this fall, and only laboratory and activity courses that have already been approved by the CSU Chancellor’s Office and are on the Registrar’s schedule as in-person courses will be offered in person. Students who are required to take an in-person class, but cannot or choose not to take the class in person, will be accommodated. These accommodations may differ between colleges, but all students will be provided with reasonable on-time pathways to graduation. Please check with your college if you receive these types of requests for accommodations from a student and you are unsure what to do.

Please keep in mind that there is a possibility that, based on public health conditions in our county, we may need to pivot from in-person instruction to virtual at any time. Should this occur, facilities currently used for in-person instruction would remain available to faculty for remote teaching presentations or demonstrations.

Meetings with your students outside of approved in-person course times, including office hours, should be done virtually. All student clubs and organizations will not be permitted to conduct in-person activities in the fall quarter and will not have access to any indoor spaces or facilities, and all events during the fall must be virtual. Research will remain primarily remote as well, with some exemptions as outlined by guidance from the Division of Research, Economic Development and Graduate Education.

Campus Facilities

Please remember that many indoor spaces on campus are closed while our county remains on the state’s watchlist. These include the Kennedy Library, the University Union, and computer labs. The library is offering its services virtually, as well as contactless book pickup, and ITS has services available for students, faculty, and staff both for those on campus and for those who are working, teaching, or learning remotely. Additionally, ITS has created a map identifying areas on campus where outdoor WiFi is available.

I would like to reiterate that all employees in the Academic Affairs division should continue to telework if it is feasible to do so. For staff members, please do not return to campus unless you have received the proper approvals from your supervisor or department chair and you have made yourself familiar with the safety procedures as outlined by your college or unit. For faculty members, you do not need to receive approval to return to campus, but it is advised that you let your department chair know about your anticipated use of office space. Faculty and staff members with private offices will continue to have access to these spaces if they need to come to campus. If you plan on using a shared office space or area on campus, please be sure to check with the manager of that space for their specific policies for keeping the area clean and safe to use. More information regarding procedures for returning to work may be found at https://afd.calpoly.edu/hr/fall-work-plan.

Health and Safety Precautions

All Cal Poly faculty and staff members will receive a personal protective equipment (PPE) packet that includes a face covering and face shield. Designees from all colleges and units have been contacted and will be responsible for distributing the PPE out to their areas. Please check with your college or unit if you’re unsure who will be coordinating distribution for your area. More information may be found at https://afd.calpoly.edu/emergency/resources/coronavirus/ppe.

To help inform your students of the university’s COVID-19 safety and prevention guidelines, please consider adding a statement to your syllabi explaining these guidelines and the possible consequences for not following them. Recommended syllabus statements are available through the Center for Teaching, Learning and Technology.

More information about student conduct expectations and how to address students not adhering to university protocols will be shared next week. Additionally, all students are being required to take an online training on COVID-19 safety and prevention, and have been asked to complete this training before coming to campus or before classes start on Monday, September 14, whichever is sooner. 

The university is requiring all students living on campus or participating in on-campus activities, including classes, to present a negative test result for COVID-19 taken within the 72 hours prior to arriving on campus. More information about testing requirements and resources can be found at https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/covid-19-testing.

For more information about our planning for the fall quarter, please visit https://www.calpoly.edu/roadmap. For updated local confirmed case numbers and additional health information, visit https://coronavirus.calpoly.edu/.

Thank you all for your work and please stay safe and be well.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

8/18/2020 - Message from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Faculty: Possible Rolling Outages

Dear Colleagues,

As you may know, due to the extreme heat conditions in California, the manager of the state’s power grid has called for rotating outages statewide to protect the stability of the grid. All utilities in the state, including PG&E locally, may be required to turn off power in rotating outages.

Please be aware that these rolling outages may affect you, as well as students currently in California. If you are teaching a summer term course, collaborating with student researchers, or working with students in any other way, please take these possible outages into consideration if students are unable to attend a virtual class meeting or are delayed in submitting assignments.

For those who are teaching, if you expect or experience an outage that will affect scheduled class meeting times or deadlines, I ask that you do your best to minimize potential disruptions to your students’ learning.

Thank you all for your consideration and attention to this during an already challenging time. Please do take good care of yourselves and know that your efforts are appreciated.

Sincerely,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

8/3/2020 - Greetings from Provost Jackson-Elmoore to Academic Affairs Faculty and Staff

Dear Colleagues,

Today I am proud to be officially starting in my role as provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs at Cal Poly.

I am looking forward to meeting you all over the coming weeks and months; both over Zoom and in person when we are able to do so. When I interviewed for this role earlier in the year, I could see your dedication to our students, your fellow faculty and staff members, and to Cal Poly. I am excited to be part of this community and to be working toward the continued success and improvement of the university.

While we have multiple challenges ahead, we also have incredible opportunities as faculty and staff to support our students through these ever-changing times — as well as prepare them to enter the workforce and a new chapter in their lives in a world that is so different from when they began their time at Cal Poly. We also have the opportunity to continue to address the challenges facing our community, and the world, through our work, our teaching, and our scholarship.

I appreciate all the work that my predecessor, Mary Pedersen, and you all have already done to help us take advantage of the opportunities and meet these challenges. We are in a strong position to succeed together.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at cp-provost@calpoly.edu to introduce yourself, tell me about your work, and what you’re most excited about. I am thrilled to be here and to be working with you all.

Thank you,

Cynthia Jackson-Elmoore, Ph.D.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

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