May 21, 2020
Dear faculty colleagues,
Thank you again for your incredible perseverance, persistence and patience this last semester. Now that our astounding spring semester has wrapped, I hope you can engage once more with your students and cheer them on in your respective virtual commencement ceremonies on Saturday. I also hope that each of you can find moments to rest and reflect – even if only for a few days over the long weekend – before the summer session begins in earnest.
The summer will offer more time for adjustment while we all prepare for our transition to the fall semester. We will continue to prioritize the needs of faculty during this time and will share new information as it develops.
Please find below a series of important updates for faculty this week. First some kudos and opportunities and then some information:
Faculty Awards Announcement
Many congratulations to this year’s recipients of the William David Blunk Memorial Professorship, the Dads’ Association Centennial Teaching Fellowships and UT Austin’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers! These awards recognize outstanding contributions and sustained excellence in undergraduate teaching.
Provost’s Faculty Leadership Fellows – NEW!
The Executive Vice President and Provost’s Office is offering a leadership development opportunity through its inaugural cohort of Provost’s Faculty Leadership Fellows. This cohort will collaborate with members of the Provost’s team to lead specific, essential campus-wide projects. For more information and to submit your application, visit the position announcement here.
Call for Nominations and Applications for Faculty Ombuds – Due by June 15
Mary Steinhardt will complete her highly successful term as Faculty Ombuds this summer (do thank her for her amazing service in that role). Therefore, we are seeking nominations for the next Faculty Ombuds, an office that provides faculty a prompt and professional way to resolve concerns and conflicts beyond turning to their supervisors. To learn more about the two-year appointment and submit an application or nomination, visit the position announcement here.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)
Under the new Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), university employees affected by COVID-10 have two new paid leave options: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL), and Expanded Family and Medical Leave (EFML). These options are effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020. Learn more on the HR website.
Faculty Affairs Leaves – Recap
Our team recently held a Faculty Leaves Discussion about the different leave options available to faculty. For those who were unable to attend, you can find the full presentation here.
DUO two-step authentication
There has been a major increase in phishing attacks and online scams since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. In an effort to increase security, multi-factor authentication (Duo) will now be required to access most online services that require a UT EID login by June 15. Canvas and Zoom will begin requiring Duo on May 26. All other services, including MyUT, will require Duo starting June 15. To learn more about multi-factor authentication, please visit the ITS/Duo website
The university is administering surveys to gather feedback on the overall COVID-19 response and provide a forum for community members to share individual perspectives, experiences and needs. You should receive a survey specifically for faculty members by early next week. The more data you share, the more informed our leadership can be as they make decisions about our paths forward.
Public Access to Course Information for Summer Courses (HB 2504)
In accordance with HB 2504, the University of Texas at Austin is required to make available to the public on its website certain undergraduate course information. Please find the state requirements below.
Provide Syllabus to Students by First Meeting Day
Course syllabi and instructor-of-record CVs are due in departmental or dean’s office by:
- June 4, 2020 (first-term, nine-week, and whole-session summer courses)
- July 13, 2020 (second-term summer courses)
Please upload your syllabus to Canvas, if you use it to support your course. This is where students most frequently look for their course information.
Public Access To Course Information
Each undergraduate classroom course offered for credit must be made available to the public, Documents should be uploaded to Access Syllabi and CVs system by departmental or dean’s office by:
- June 11, 2020 (first-term, nine-week, and whole-session classes)
- July 20, 2020 (second-term classes)
Find more details on the provost’s HB 2504 website.
Digital Course Materials, Copyright Clearance Center, and OER
We strongly encourage the use of digital course materials for summer and fall. If you are having trouble finding digital versions of textbooks, contact the Co-op for assistance.
Digital versions of articles and book chapters can be included in your Canvas course page because of our Copyright Clearance Center institutional license. This license covers the right to share text-based resources (journal articles and book chapters) as long as that sharing is restricted to UT Austin faculty, staff, and students. Many, but not all, publishers are included and you can find a listing here. (The license does not include the ability to copy entire books or AV materials. For that, you would need to consider fair use.) Questions can be directed to UT Libraries. Digital course packets are also available through UT Document Solutions and the Co-op.
As you think about digital course materials for summer and fall, this would be a great time to consider using Open Educational Resources (OER), including textbooks. OER are online, effective, free to students, and licensed in a way that allows you to customize them for your course. Your subject librarians can help you find appropriate OER for your course. The Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board recently announced a grant program intended to promote development and adoption of OER materials in core courses. The proposal due date is June 15, 2020.
Zoom 5.0 Upgrade
There will also be new security measures added to Zoom. Starting May 30, Zoom will require all users to upgrade their current version to Zoom 5.0 to improve security and further protect Zoom meetings. For instructions, please visit the ITS/Zoom website.
Please send the Faculty Affairs team an email with any questions, concerns or suggestions that you have. We’re here to support you in any way we can. Enjoy the three-day weekend and happy Memorial to all, especially to our veterans and military personnel!
TASHA BERETVAS | Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
The University of Texas at Austin | Office of the Executive Vice President & Provost | provost.utexas.edu