Faculty Update – 4.8

Dear faculty colleagues,

I hope that each of you is adjusting to our second week of virtual teaching. We all recognize that this has been a challenging transition for everyone. I also appreciate that you are likely being bombarded with a great deal of information and guidance, while also having to juggle everything else that you need to manage in your work and home lives.

I’m sorry to inundate you further but hope that the updates and reminders for faculty in this email can prove useful.

Q&A: “Stop the Tenure Clock” Probationary Period Extensions – Tomorrow

We are offering a Zoom Q&A Meeting tomorrow about the newly added probationary period extensions FAQs (both in general and with respect to the impact of COVID-19) on the Provost’s website. This meeting is for all faculty members who are interested in learning more information about probationary period extensions including both those on the tenure-track and their mentors.

Thursday, April 9th at 2:45pm – 4:00 pm.

Add to Calendar

Note that if you cannot attend this session synchronously do please ask any questions you have using this email address.

Mezes Award Deadline Extended to Monday, April 13

Each year, the Sidney E. Mezes Faculty Donation Committee recommends monetary awards to provide financial support to faculty members who may need assistance due to unexpected circumstances, such as an illness, accident or other calamity.

Now more than ever, opportunities such as the Mezes Award can benefit many of our faculty colleagues who find themselves in increasingly challenging circumstances. Faculty experiencing hardship may self-nominate, or nominate their colleagues.

Please submit your recommendations via email no later than Monday, April 13, 2020, to Michelle George at michelle.george@austin.utexas.edu and include in the nomination information as to how the faculty member’s absence has created a significant loss to the department or unit.

Helping Students Adjust to Asynchronous Learning

It is critical that you offer asynchronous opportunities for learning to your students especially in support of those encountering personal and technological connection challenges. However, asynchronous learning can also introduce a challenge for students who prefer the structure of fixed class meeting times. The Sanger Learning Center offers some useful resources (advice, tutoring, learning specialist appointments) to help your students plan their schedules and structure their asynchronously timed learning opportunities. Do please share these resources and other advice you might have with your students.

Teaching Tips: Peer Observations and Teaching Reflections

Many of you have recently spent time restructuring your courses. Self-reflecting about your teaching can be a powerful tool for identifying challenges, sparking innovation, and taking time to acknowledge what you are doing well in facilitating your students’ learning. And documenting those self-reflections are critical for materials that will offer useful information to include in a teaching portfolio. For more information about self-reflection and how you might think of tying it to peer observation, please see this Teaching Tip from Provost’s Teaching Fellow, Jen Moon.

Wishing each of you the best. I hope that you are finding ways to take care of yourself amidst this crisis.  Please reach out with any questions to the Faculty Affairs team.

Stay well,

Tasha Beretvas

Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost

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