COVID-19 Briefing Series: Academics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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COVID-19 Briefing Series: Academics | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

>> Robin Kaler: Good afternoon and welcome to our COVID-19 briefing on academics, specifically focusing on fall 2020 instruction I’m Robin Kaler, the associate chancellor for public affairs, and I’ll be moderating today’s discussion Let’s talk by introducing our four panelists today Chancellor Robert Jones, Provost Andreas Cangellaris, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs Bill Bernhard, and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Kevin Pitts Thank you all for joining us for the second in a series of live streamed COVID-19 briefings we’ll be holding over the course of the summer These will all be linked to the COVID working teams that have been charged with helping guide our university operations through the duration of the pandemic Our next one will be on Tuesday, June 16th at 11:00 AM That one will be focused on COVID-19 testing and exposure notification for our university community You can watch that briefing using the same link that you’re using today, and all of the briefings will be recorded, closed captioned and posted to the COVID19.illinois.edu website Although the topics will vary and the participants may be different each time, these sessions will all generally follow the format you’ll see today We’ll start with some opening comments by the chancellor or provost or one of the team leaders and then we’ll move in to asking the panelists questions on a briefing topic that were solicited from members of the campus community in advance For today’s session, the questions I’ll be posing to Robert, Andreas, Bill and Kevin came to us from feedback about the draft report for the fall 2020 instruction that was shared with the university community last week We can’t cover all of the questions submitted in one hour, but we were able to go through and find a list of those that seem to be most frequently asked So with the ground rules explained, let’s get started on today’s COVID-19 briefing on our academic status Andreas, would you like to offer some opening thoughts today? >> Andreas Cangellaris: Thank you, Robin, and thanks to all of you for joining us for this briefing today As you know, last week the COVID-19 team on academics released a draft report for fall 2020 instruction The chancellor and I charged this team to consider strategies for fall 2020 instruction in the context of the COVID-19 global pandemic I asked this group to identify instructional options informed by a variety of COVID-19 health and safety conditions that may be present with us in the fall And to count all of the benefits and weaknesses of each option This team consists of individuals from across campus Whether representatives or faculty, staff, students and members of the academic senate I want to give credit to Bill Bernhard and Kevin Pitts who have led this team, and also to each of the team members for their careful, tireless and thoughtful work that led to this report I cannot stress enough that safety is our number one priority It factored in heavily in the team’s deliberations and in their recommendations And the deep historical disparities across different communities that the COVID-19 crisis brought into sharp focus, where the most vulnerable members of a society are affected the most by both the virus and its consequences were on everyone’s mind as the team members went about their work The team also recognized and considered the disparate impact of the pandemic for members of our staff and faculty who face a variety of personal, professional and economic challenges in managing remote learning and remote work They have put together all the information that our community needed in considering the possible scenarios for fall 2020, as they provided feedback to the report and initial recommendations The report’s recommendations, along with the additional input we received from faculty, staff and students and their families will be extremely helpful as the chancellor and I work to make a decision about the specifics of instruction in the fall We will make the decision and announce it within the next two weeks In the meantime, we both hope that this event gives you further insight into how we are making these decisions And we hope you will revisit the report and provide us with additional input on issues and ideas that our academics team, the chancellor and I should consider as we turn recommendations into decisions I want to thank you all sincerely for your partnership, your patience and understanding as we navigate these issues together We must — and I am confident we will — find our way through this most challenging pandemic with the same determination and creativity that has sustained us through 150 years of our history And with that, I would like to ask Robin to get us started

with the rest of the conversation >> Robin Kaler: Thank you, Andreas Before we get started with the questions though, I know a lot of you are probably really busy and haven’t had a chance to read the report So I’m going to ask Kevin Pitts, if you could share your screen with us now, Kevin And just walk folks through the draft report >> Kevin Pitts: Thanks Robin So I’d like to begin — this is just a brief summary of some of the elements of the report And I would like to begin by thanking members of the task force We came together in April, a group of faculty, staff and students And they devoted quite a bit of time and effort, very thoughtful input and lots of homework and some very frank discussions as well to think through all of the challenges and the opportunities and the issues related to how COVID is affecting us as an institution and in particular what we need to be thinking about in terms of following instruction The charge to this task force, as Andreas told you, was really to identify the options for instructional delivery Our job was not to make the final decision as to what fall instruction would look like, but really work through the options of instructional delivery And look at the benefits and drawbacks of each of those options And of course that work was informed by not only the work of our task force but also through close communication with other institutions through the Big Ten Academic Alliance and through consultation with faculty, with students through surveys that have been performed earlier in the spring semester, and also based on what we learned as we quickly moved through remote instruction in the spring So a lot of our work was involved in trying to look at different opportunities and options for the fall semester and trying to outline the benefits and weaknesses of those Safety, as Andreas mentioned, is always at the top of the list Health and wellness is the number one priority for all of us But we were also looking at these issues through multiple lenses, one of equity, equality of opportunity for all of our students, what’s in the best interest of the institution and how for example for new students who haven’t been on campus before, can we really ensure that they can benefit from the Illinois experience given that we’re in these pretty extreme times Our report really stems from a set of fundamental assumptions, foundational assumptions And I think this is a good place to just talk about how we really approach this problem If you think about the kind of extreme cases, we actually spent a lot of our time in between What I mean by that is in one extreme which is where we’d all rather be living is business as usual Where we were on campus with a normal semester with full face-to-face instruction The other extreme would be a fully remote, fully online semester The conditions related to COVID-19 and the governor’s Restore Illinois plan is really the thing that would define those We can only be in a normal face-to-face environment once we’re in so-called phase five of the governor’s plan, really having the virus under control We would be driven to a fully online semester if we were still in phase three which is where we are now, just gatherings of no more than ten are allowed And what that really means is a lot of the interesting conversation and thought was really around that middle ground where we would have on-campus instruction but it would be considerably limited by social distancing and by the other parameters related to health and safety And so that’s where we spent a lot of our time and a lot of the issues that arose were in this context So some of these foundational assumptions include first of all an assumption we would be in phase four of Restore Illinois And for example, that allows gatherings of up to 50 individuals We could be in phase four as soon as I think late June or early July, but certainly the assumption is we’re there by the beginning of the fall term We certainly assumed kind of on the health and wellness side that the campus and community have sufficient test-trace-quarantine procedures in place And as you heard from Robin, you’ll be hearing from the SHIELD team next week about the really amazing progress that they’ve been making in that respect We also have an assumption that campus community members are going to behave in a manner that maximizes safety And this has to be really all of us We can do all that we can to enforce social distancing and wearing of masks in the classroom But if members of the campus community are not following through on similar behavior outside of the classroom, it really is all for naught So this is a really important point I know that the student affairs working group is thinking about this quite a bit For a number of reasons related to COVID-19,

we know that some faculty, students and staff will be unable to return to campus, and that’s an important consideration as we talk about what the fall semester will look like Finally, as we’re thinking about limitations on space due to social distancing, we’re going to have to rethink kind of how the day looks in a modified full semester And in some cases, physical space and time for instruction will have to take priority over some what we think of as traditional non-academic activities There’s a great recognition and appreciation for the fact that the student experience is much, much more than just the classroom That the cocurricular experiences are a valuable part of the college education and experience So we want to be thoughtful about that and balance that, but we also recognize that we’re going to be in pretty extreme — a pretty unique situation in the fall semester Some of these objectives that we looked at for this — first of all, thinking about new and continuing students that don’t return to campus, they must have an opportunity to access courses and an opportunity to make progress toward their degree We don’t take that to mean that every single course we have to offer has to be available online But we have to have a sufficient portion of the catalog available to folks who may be unable to come to campus due to health reasons or due to visa challenges, whatever reasons So that they can have access to our education, our curriculum and make progress toward their degree Instructional faculty — and that term here is an umbrella for everybody in the classroom, whether it’s tenure-track faculty, specialized faculty, graduate teaching assistants who are unable to return to campus, should still have opportunities to reach remotely And we of course got some experience with that in the spring 2020 semester and recognize that that’s going to continue to be an issue in the fall for some of our instructional faculty We want to strive to maximize face-to-face instruction to the degree that safety allows We recognize the benefits of face-to-face instruction in so many of our learning environments, peer instruction, peer interaction, hands-on learning And we want to maximize that to the degree possible To the extent feasible, units should have the ability to determine the appropriate delivery modality for their courses The Department of Chemistry knows best how to deliver chemistry labs in a world where we’re enforcing social distancing And they should have the opportunity to determine how best to deliver their curriculum to students And finally, the university should utilize face-to-face instruction where it can have the most impact on the student experience There’s going to be a tradeoff in a modified face-to-face semester where some of our curriculum is absolutely going to have to be delivered online or through remote instruction So we want to prioritize the pieces of face-to-face instruction where they’re needed most We tackled many of these issues kind of in different categories, and I’m certainly not going to go through all of these But one set of issues we’ve tried to look at are what I would refer to as logistical issues A lot of this has to do with how we utilize space, how we can best utilize space And just to give you a sense of what we’re talking about If you think about the capacity of a normal classroom, you probably have to divide by anything between three and divide by six to get to a safe capacity with social distancing And so we’re talking about really changing kind of what the number of students in the classroom looks like Also thinking through entering and exiting classrooms so we don’t have traffic jams and unsafe situations there as well So looking at, as I mentioned, classroom capacity and also working through issues related to additional instructional spaces Because simply space is going to be a real challenge for us, and how we might optimize that space is a work that started through this task force but is now continuing with folks in the Registrar’s Office, folks in the Provost’s Office And in fact, we met yesterday with schedulers from across campus to continue these conversations about how we can go about really optimizing space Another set of issues we looked at were related to the calendar And this is — do we need to modify or consider changes to the academic calendar given the constraints provided by COVID-19? Just to give you one example, the SHIELD group and the folks doing some of the modeling have told us that one of the things we can do to enhance safety is to minimize the number of times the entire student body returns to campus Well, of course they all need to come back in August, but for example, fall break or Thanksgiving break occurs near the end of the semester So one of the things we investigated and considered was, are there ways that we might be able to modify the end

of the semester so that we don’t have to bring students back for what really turns out to be the final eight days of face-to-face instruction, one reading day and then six days of final exams? So those were the things that fell under calendar issues And then of course we looked at instructional issues These fell under both modified face-to-face issues and also issues related to online and remote instruction, things related to course development, support for faculty, issues related with how do we do assessments? Because one of the challenges when courses are offered remotely is how are you doing kind of your traditional exams? Classroom technology, if we’re using nonstandard instructional spaces, is something we need to think about Accommodating students with disabilities is a very, very important topic and something we have to work with at all times But it’s certainly amplified when we’re talking about some of the modifications related to COVID-19 Also issues related to intellectual property, harassment and content sharing when it comes to material that is available online, are things that were all considered and are discussed in some detail in the report The report includes 19 recommendations As I mentioned in the beginning, our job was not to say exactly what fall instruction would look like So many of the recommendations are actually in how do we help prepare for fall instruction? What is our philosophy about fall instruction? And it’s not prescriptive to exactly what the fall will look like But I’m happy to say that some of those recommendations were actually already acting on some of those And you’ll hear a little bit more about that as we move forward This is the link to see the full report And if you follow the link from the email the provost sent last week, you can also share your thoughts on the report And we certainly appreciate the feedback we’ve gotten So far it’s been very helpful, and we look forward to additional feedback I’ll stop there Thanks very much Robin? >> Robin Kaler: Thank you, Kevin And I’d like to ask the first question of Andreas Andreas, we’re talking about bringing 40,000 students back to campus Why does the report express a preference for in-person classes if we’re able to do that? What are the benefits to in-person? Why not just say remote indefinitely? Oh, and I think you’re still muted, Andreas >> Andreas Cangellaris: Thank you, Robin I was saying that’s a very good question, and I think everything I say will speak for everyone who is a member of this community Because look, I have been with academic institutions for my past 33 years And one of the things I have learned the hard way but also the most exciting way is how priceless is the residential experience that public research universities like ours offer their students You know, the opening — the broadening of the mind that we call education hinges upon the ability of the individual to immerse themselves in an environment where teachers, mentors, peers share in their learning and the debate of the past and the new And this is how we prepare the citizens of tomorrow, by providing them an environment, reaching diversity of experiences, ideas, opinions, beliefs, expectations, aspirations For them to learn to share their knowledge and talents and to appreciate and to seek the knowledge and the talents of others An environment that challenges them to reflect upon their values and to treat them and to change them so they best serve not the me, but the many And I think now more than ever, we need that We’re at our best when we are in in-person community in academia And frankly, I just do not know how to do any of this via Zoom Another important question raised that I know weighed heavily on the team as they went about their thinking was the several disadvantages that many of our must vulnerable students were confronting during the remote teaching experiences they had this past spring Beyond limited access to technology, many of them, they were dealing with lack of access to support networks, quiet spaces for study and reflection The engaged academic and advising support that makes all the difference as they go about their studies And of course lack of access to many of the other resources that are available on campus And all of this factoring significantly in their ability as students to look after their wellbeing

and to make progress toward their degrees And I think this is why all of us are working hard to make sure our continuing progress in understanding the virus, the way it spreads, the way it can be best contained and mitigated, how to test for it, how to test for it fast and effectively All of these provide us with a means of and confidence to return to this residential experience as safely as possible >> Robin Kaler: Thank you So this is the first report from any of the committees on the return to campus operations planning Robert, why does this one address only academics? >> Robert Jones: Well, Robin, thanks for the question I think it’s important to everyone to be reminded of the operational structure that we put in place to guide our return to campus operations As you well know, we have a steering committee that has approximately 17 people on it, an executive steering committee And then to support that work and to make sure that we are very comprehensive as we think about returning to work, we have seven teams that supports the work of the steering committee That structure is critically important because what we have been — we find ourselves in a position where we operationally and functionally have to think about almost every aspect of this university in order to return to campus operations in the fall and beyond safely The academic report that you’re hearing about today was the first one that was issued for a number of reasons I think you all would agree that the academy or academic mission is what brings all of us to this great university So it’s absolutely at the core of what we do If you’re thinking about going back or preparing for fall operations and beyond, you will naturally want to start with trying to discern and figure out what are the academic elements of the university that we need to kind of rethink? And how do we first evolve, as many of you have said, looking at safety of our faculty, staff and students as the first consideration? The other reason this one is first is because Provost Cangellaris has charged this committee about two weeks before we created the steering committee and the other work team structure So they’re already about two weeks, if you will, ahead of the pack in terms of thinking about how do we return to campus operations And so the plan is for each of those work teams as a part of our commitment to transparency and engaging all members of our community, we’ll have an opportunity to participate in these briefings And this first one around the academics from my perspective was at the absolute core of what we needed to consider before we move onto making final decisions about what fall of 2020 is going to look like and beyond >> Robin Kaler: Very good, thank you So Robert, you just mentioned safety Andreas, you mentioned safety Kevin, you mentioned safety Andreas, you know, the report says that any plan to have students do face-to-face instruction will put safety first How can you ensure the community’s safe if we come back to campus? >> Andreas Cangellaris: Robin, safety of course starts with self-care As we all know, the most important thing in dealing with a pandemic, a virus for which we are learning along the way what it is and how to deal with it, is to make sure that we follow the guidelines of the CDC and our local public health district experts and the healthcare providers And make sure that by caring bout ourselves at the same time we care about everyone else around us But in addition to that, that’s where science and the advances we have made in terms of our ability to forecast the pandemic and anticipate how to deal with it in the most effective way, until a vaccine is available to us, has been one of the priorities of our plan to reopen and to bring our people back And this is SIL team’s responsibility I want to say that the SIL team is an incredible team Any time I talk to the leader of the team, Professor Marty Burke, and I ask him how many people are part of the team,

first there were 40, and now there are 50 and now there are 60 What this tells you is how that team is reaching out across campus and beyond the campus, bringing in expertise and others who can contribute to their thinking about the development of a comprehensive plan in a way that prepares us to provide safety to the degree possible, given the extent of the pandemic and the virus And you know, I look forward to their briefing next Tuesday I can tell you they have been working tirelessly and diligently over the past several weeks And again, the guidance and the close collaboration with the CU public health district, the McKinley Center, our local healthcare providers, is making all the difference in the world for us to demonstrate that we don’t think about this comprehensive plan as a plan that is limited only our campus It’s a plan that encompasses the entire community because we know very well that our people, our staff, our faculty, live in the broader community Our students are going to interact with the broader community And you know, our concerns about safety are the concerns of the broader community And I want to also impress upon ourselves that this is a responsibility that every community should consider as their number one priority as we are waiting to make sure that we have the best weapons against the virus, which is a vaccine We cannot stop our lives because of fear I think we need to embrace our growing knowledge and understanding of the virus and how to deal with it and mitigate its impact and contain its potential spread in a way that we move forward and everyone is as safe as possible >> Robin Kaler: Great And we at the university pride ourselves in working side-by-side closely with each other We sit close to each other in classrooms We’re standing next to each other in labs And of course when our students are changing from one class to another, the hallways are pretty crowded Anybody who’s ever tried to go to a meeting that starts at the same time in the passing period can attest to that So Kevin, tell me, what are we doing to try to keep people maintaining social distancing in classrooms and labs and in hallways and that sort of thing >> Kevin Pitts: Robin, of course we start with the classroom concept, and there we know that one limitation will be in the overall size We’re not going to be permitted to having more than 50 students in any given classroom, even if social distancing would permit that So first of all, we’re looking at putting a lot of our larger lecture sessions, moving those to online instruction just out of necessity For other classroom experiences, of course we want to enforce social distancing within the classroom FMS is working very hard both on assessing the availability of seating in the classroom, especially for rooms with moveable chairs But also trying to mark off spaces where students can be, looking at the proper geometry, marking entrances and exits to optimize traffic flow We would really like to minimize the amount of time that students are congregating outside of classrooms One of the things we were looking at as a task force was the idea of perhaps extending the time between classes Everyone has the experience of a ten-minute break between classes where you’ve got a group of students that are trying to exit to head out and then the next group’s trying to come in and folks are in the front of the room talking to the instructor So one idea that we considered as a group was, well, if we expanded that time by even a few minutes, by five or ten minutes, we might be able to be a bit more orderly in exiting the classroom, having some time for things to settle down before the next group comes in So trying to think holistically about that, and of course working with the experts Matthew Tomescevsky and Mike DiLorenzo and the steering committee have enlisted some faculty from civil and environmental engineering who are experts on things like traffic flow to help us think through these issues and recognize that social distancing in the classroom is one important piece of it, but it’s certainly not the end of the story Robin? >> Robin Kaler: Great, thank you Bill, Kevin mentioned in his briefing that there’s a recommendation to not come back in-person after Thanksgiving break Can you tell us a little more about why that is a recommendation? >> Bill Bernhard: Sure, thanks, Robin You know, as Kevin did mention, the report recommended

that students not come back after fall break, and really that was a recommendation for health reasons You know, every time students leave for a break, they go out to different communities, different locations They’re exposed to different things And every return to campus is going to probably involve some sort of period of testing or potential quarantine So minimizing the number of times that you know, these return to campus events take place was really important The task force talked about a number of different ways to achieve this One of the options in thinking about different ways to modify the calendar, one of the options was to start the semester early, to start it closer to August 1st, maybe And you know, that was interesting, but we ultimately decided that we needed some extra time to prepare to bring students back, and the campus just wouldn’t be ready in time to do that We also talked about the possibility of just shortening the semester And we looked at that and thought, you know, that’s going to create some issues too because we might have to adopt longer class periods to get through the course material And there’s some courses that require the full semester to achieve the materials and give the students the qualifications they need to move on So we ended up recommending that we basically take the period after the fall break and go remote for that final eight days of instruction and finals And we did so because I think this first of all is motivated by the safety of the community It really does protect us from this, you know, large return to campus event And for such a short period of time, it would have been very difficult to quarantine students — test and quarantine in that limited timeframe The second thing it does, it allows students to have a full semester of instruction And we felt that was really important to make sure our students had every opportunity to get the full class experience and the full range of knowledge and learning that goes along with the semester course We also know that we can do this part with remote online, given our experience in the spring You know, we know that people are able to deliver courses remotely And given the prep time that people have and the advanced notice, we think that they’ll be in a good position, both faculty and students, to deal with this change in the schedule Thank you >> Robin Kaler: Great, thank you >> Andreas Cangellaris: Robin? >> Robin Kaler: Sure, Andreas, yeah >> Andreas Cangellaris: I wanted to add to this question by mentioning something that I think is very important for our community to appreciate The academics team, like every other team the chancellor has appointed, in their work about planning for the fall are in constant communication with their counterparts Not only in the Big Ten Academic alliance but also beyond People at the APLU, we are working diligently and the chancellor or the vice chancellor’s in conversations with all of them about their plans Comparing ideas, because at the end of the day we are all in this together And I will tell you this option is about minimizing the number of times you bring back thousands of students to campus, is something that is receiving significant attention Several universities have already [inaudible] by our peers in the Big Ten and elsewhere >> Robin Kaler: Great Thank you The report does talk about changing the class schedule A couple of you have alluded to it, maybe longer classes, Saturday classes, a longer class day, that sort of thing Kevin, can you explain a little bit more about that? >> Kevin Pitts: Yeah So as we’ve alluded to along the way, the real challenge with social distancing becomes space Imagine a discussion section that has 25 students in it And normally we would cozily fit into a rather small room for that many students But now that section, for it to be carried our normally will need to be in a room that seats normally close to 100 folks So you can immediately see there are real challenges in just the number of seats and classroom space available It won’t surprise folks who are watching that on Thursday at 11:00 AM we’re normally about 96% occupied when it comes to classrooms But by the time we get to say 4:00 on Friday afternoon, we’re only about 10% occupied in terms of classrooms So when we say there’s a real crunch for space due to social distancing, we need to do everything we can to maximize not only the space that we’re using but the times

at which we’re using it So the task force was very thoughtful about ways that we could go about this, exploring different options for how we might modify the class schedule But we’re also very sensitive to the fact that the class schedule as a whole was set — took many, many months for it to be set and developed And in fact we now have more than 30,000 students who’ve already registered for fall classes with more registering now New freshmen are registering as we speak And so we want to be very sensitive for that We’re just not in a position where we can set a whole class schedule on its head and ask everybody to start over So we do not plan to make modifications to the class schedules that would force everyone to re-register We’re talking about making modest modifications that might in some cases result in a conflict that wasn’t there before But we hope to minimize those We hope to be able to deal with those as much as possible But at the same time, we have to find ways where we can maximize the space that’s available to us so we can really do as much as we can face-to-face, as Andreas and the chancellor have spoken to so well We know that the face-to-face community experience is absolutely crucial to what we’re doing as an institution >> Robin Kaler: Great But even with what you’ve said, obviously some courses are going to have to be taught online So Bill, who’s going to make those decisions, and how? >> Bill Bernhard: Well thanks, Robin I think the first wave of the decision is going to be determined in part by the class size and the availability of different space You know, we’re going to be, as Kevin said, we’re going to be very limited in the amount of space and the amount of available classrooms that we have across campus And we also have limitations from the state on the number of people that we can have gathered in one place under phase four So the first step will be to take those large course sections and move them online So that basically we’re looking for, you know, courses that have an enrollment of greater than 50 individuals will need to go online And then, you know, look and see what classroom availability we have for those courses that have 50 or fewer people So after taking care of those large sections, you know, it becomes important to think about, you know, what’s the priority for how we fill out those other classes? And the task force emphasized the need to prioritize classes that would — for our physical space that would most benefit from face-to-face instruction So thinking about, you know, labs, performance spaces Other courses that require some sort of interpersonal interaction to be successful And to put those forward as priorities to claim the available space Who’s in the best position to make a decision about what those classes are? Well, it’s the colleges and the departments that are really going to understand what the courses are about, understand what the students need, understand what the pedagogical needs are of those courses So we’re going to look to those colleges and departments to determine which courses will be face-to-face and which will be online And they’re the ones that are going to be making the decision about their own courses and the appropriate modality to teach them But let me note here too, it’s not just a binary choice between an online format or face-to-face format We know that many departments are talking about and considering preparing some sort of blended learning approach for their classes that would involve a combination of both face-to-face and online components So for instance, a course scheduled to take place on Tuesday’s and Thursdays, you know, perhaps Tuesday’s meeting would be face-to-face and then Thursday’s meeting would be online where there’d be some kind of online activity that would take place in lieu of getting together And that type of approach economizes on space while also preserving the face-to-face element to instruction So it’s very exciting to see some of these creative ways that units are beginning to think about dealing with these space constraints >> Robin Kaler: So once the report is finalized and units know how to begin making those decisions, Kevin, how long will it be, or how will students know about these impacts on their own schedules that you alluded to earlier? >> Kevin Pitts: So thanks, Robin I just want to thank Bill for that What he just said is really important, this concept of blended learning we think is really, really important And I think it’s a way that we can really benefit still from the components of face-to-face instruction to some degree while working around all of these other constraints And this is going to take us a little bit of time to work

through from the standpoint of the class schedule As I mentioned earlier, we were meeting with schedulers from across campus yesterday to talk through how some of these steps would work One of the things we’re looking at right now that we’ve already discussed are the larger sections And I do want to be careful with my language here When we talk about large sections — so for example, if you imagine a course that has maybe a large lecture and then smaller discussion sections, maybe the lecture is the piece that’s going online to remote delivery and the discussion sections are remaining face-to-face So it’s not a fully online course, as Bill said That’s a blended course So we’re going to be working through these changes over the next several weeks And it’s going to take us a little bit of time because we offer more than 5,000 courses a semester, so this doesn’t happen overnight I certainly encourage students to be patient with us for a little while We will be in contact with you You’ll see some sections go from what were originally scheduled in a classroom to online sections And there will be other changes taking place over the next several weeks But these will not happen overnight We will stay in contact with students Students will have an opportunity to work with their academic advisors if there are conflicts that develop We hope there aren’t many, but we know there will be some scheduling conflicts that develop as we try to better take advantage of the space and time available to us We’ll make sure that students have an opportunity to work through those and to work with an advisor to make those changes But those won’t happen probably until later in the summer Over the next several weeks we’re going to be working through these changes, Robin >> Robin Kaler: I know my mom has been doing a lot of jigsaw puzzles, and that sounds like the biggest puzzle I’ve ever heard of So more power to you So Bill, I mean, clearly as Kevin was saying, you were saying there’s going to be a lot of blended, a lot of online What are we doing to maintain the excellence of the education for those courses? >> Bill Bernhard: Sure, thanks, Robin And that’s right, you know, regardless of whether we bring students back or whether we go all remote format, you know, course instructors are going to have to engage new modalities and approaches to their courses In particular, to make them as consistent with the standards of excellence that our students expect You know, we had an experience here in the spring where our instructors really did an amazing job to pivot so quickly to deal with the crisis moment But you know, faculty didn’t really have the time, the expertise, the opportunity to develop sophisticated online courses A lot of them said, “Hey, look We’re delivering course content remotely We’re not delivering an online education.” We’re not taking advantage of what the technology can do, because they simply were not in the position to do so So you know, part of the conversation now is to give time for people to plan and to begin to think about different ways that they can organize their courses The campus is also organizing a number of educational opportunities over the summer, summer teaching academies, to help faculty who perhaps haven’t had much experience in the online space To learn more about what they can do with the technology, what they can do with different techniques, what they can do with different approaches, both to — course delivery to assessment to — you know, on down the list To rethink the way they organize their courses So we started just this week with a summer teaching academy We had about 500 participants enrolled in that We’re also going to offer future versions in July and August where faculty and instructional faculty can go and learn about these different ways of approaching and what they can do with technology So we’re excited about the amount of interest that we’ve seen from our instructional faculty and look forward to seeing what they can do to meet this new challenge >> Robin Kaler: Great Thank you, Bill Andreas, are you worried if we would go entirely online that students just wouldn’t come back for that? >> Andreas Cangellaris: Well, the thing I do know, Robin, is that our students and their families know that we, as we must, are putting safety first as we consider our decisions for the fall And I believe they trust us to make a decision that minimizes the risk for everyone in our community And this is why I don’t worry about students not coming back if for some unexpected reasons we have

to go completely online come next fall And this is why we must plan and be ready for this too And as long as we keep them informed, as Kevin said, we are in contact with the students, their parents, let them know when we’re going to be able to provide them with a next step date And as we keep them informed along the way about our planning and our decisions, I’m certain our students and their families will stay with us Because look, the value of an education from the University of Illinois has proven itself over and over again for generation after generation And those who come to us come to us for that reason So if there is one thing I am very concerned about, it is how the pandemic is impacting the financial means of families in our state and everywhere Especially the most vulnerable ones We know that the financial impact is significant, and it does touch many families across the state and the nation in ways that their ability to support their kids for higher education as they were originally planning are challenged And this is why I am a firm believer in the opportunity, in the promise of what I call a COVID-19 GI bill as our nation’s considering how to best support the people in their efforts to cope with this collateral damage and come out of it better >> Robin Kaler: Very good point So I have a follow-up to that Even if we are able to have face-to-face instruction for some of our students, we know we will have some students who cannot come back What are we going to do to make sure that they’re able to continue to make academic progress? >> Andreas Cangellaris: Well, as Bill and Kevin pointed out, this is something that we have made a commitment to, to ensure that everyone who cannot return to face-to-face for whatever reason does have the opportunity to make progress toward their degree These are unique times, and we must make sure that we do everything in our ability to accommodate those who need to continue their studies remotely And we know we are a university that has students from more than 100 countries, from every state in the union We’re an international campus And we want to make sure that all of our students have the opportunity to continue toward their degree progress during these difficult times We are committed to being flexible to serve our students And I will tell you, as we talk with colleges in the unit, we ask them to be as creative as possible in finding ways in which they can serve and accommodate each and every one of our students no matter where they are and no matter what the situation’s going to be next fall >> Robin Kaler: So Kevin, Andreas mentioned the international students What happens if our international students can’t come back? >> Kevin Pitts: As a matter of fact, Robin, we recognize due to travel restrictions, the status of the virus, the time it takes oftentimes to obtain a visa, it will be difficult for some international students to come to Urban-Champagne to participate in the fall semester As Andreas said, we really want to make sure that those students have an opportunity to enroll, make academic progress and engage in our classes And as you heard earlier and as Bill was describing, we’re going to be putting content online during the fall semester Some of our courses will be fully online So we’re quite confident that there will be content for our students, courses and opportunities for online instruction for students unable to come to campus, be it international or domestic, to engage But we also recognize that a fully online schedule — and we saw this for sure in the spring 2020 semester as we moved to remote instruction A fully online schedule where we’re talking about four or five or six online classes is very challenging for students to keep up with So one of the things we want to do in fall semester is provide the option for students who are unable to come to campus to enroll part-time We always have that option for our students It’s not exercised very often for on-campus students, but this would be a way for students to continue to make academic progress Perhaps they could supplement that with one or two summer courses without trying

to navigate the challenges of five or six online classes at the same time And our academic advisors, our college offices will be working with students to advise them about how that would work and what their options will be But we think that’s an important option for them to have if they’re in the situation where they’re looking at a fully online semester >> Robin Kaler: And what about students with financial challenges? What are we going to do to help low-income students who aren’t able to return? >> Kevin Pitts: Yeah Thanks for that questions, Robin, because I think it’s really important And I there are two pieces here Andreas alluded first of all to students — and we know we have many — who have been directly affected the financial challenges related to COVID-19 pandemic Parents that have lost jobs, students themselves who have been unable to either retain their job or to get a summer job And without getting too far into the weeds of how financial aid works — financial aid awards are made on previous year tax return information So if a parent lost a job recently due to COVID-19, that’s not reflected in the financial aid award that we have already made for the fall 2020 semester However, we do have a process by which students can notify us about changes in financial circumstances and we will work with them to respond to those changes So it’s really important that students are aware of the fact that if they’ve had a change in circumstance due to a parent losing a job or due to illness in the family or whatever it might be, to reach out to the Office of Student Financial Aid to find out what their options are and to understand that we can help For students who are unable to come to campus, one of the things we know from the spring 2020 semester as we went to remote instruction is that access to technology and access to learning spaces is a big challenge for many students And so tech services working with the provost’s office in the spring very rapidly set up — and working with the dean of students as well — very rapidly set up a technology assistance program where we were providing devices, laptops, Wi-Fi hotspots for students that were unable to get access to internet, especially when they went home And we recognize that although that was a good program, it didn’t reach as far as we have hoped And so we really want to try hard and work with folks like the Office of Minority Student Affairs, programs like Illinois Promise to get the word out to students that technology assistance is available to them And we want to make sure that we can help them solve some of the challenges that might mimic their access to courses As Andreas said earlier, thinking about issues related to equity and access for students that are the most vulnerable amongst us is a very high priority and it’s something that I think we’ve been working on and we want to continue to do better And we need this help of our students and our faculty and our staff to make sure that folks understand that help is available >> Robin Kaler: Kevin, you’re doing such a good job, I’m going to ask you one more question and then I’ll leave you alone, okay? Which students are going to have in-person classes, and how is that going to be decided? >> Kevin Pitts: So our goal, Robin, first and foremost, is for every student who is able to return to campus to absolutely benefit from the on-campus experience in multiple ways And of course, one of those is the benefit from face-to-face instruction It’s going to be a challenge though As we were talking earlier about the jigsaw puzzle you referred to of working through space constraints and online content So it may be possible for someone to come to campus and have a schedule that’s fully online That’s absolutely not our goal, and we’re going to work very hard with college offices and with academic advisors to make sure that we’re avoiding that to the degree possible And as I mentioned before as Bill was talking about this idea of blended learning, those courses we very much want to have face-to-face experiences for students in the places where it really, really is valuable in terms of peer-to-peer instruction or hands-on learning So we’re going to be continuing to work over the summer with the departments and faculty to try to ensure that every student who is on our campus has face-to-face instructional experiences, hopefully multiple experiences and they can really benefit from all aspects of their Illinois experience But this is going to be an ongoing task and we’re certainly going to be working hard on it this summer >> Robin Kaler: Great Thank you very much Robert, how can we be sure that people are going to comply with the safety rules that we need them to follow? And how can we be sure they’re going to wear masks and social distance themselves and all that sort of thing? I mean, we’ve all seen the video from Lake of the Ozarks of people in the pool and that sort of approach What are we doing? Oops, and I think you are still muted, sir

>> Robert Jones: Unmute myself >> Robin Kaler: There we go >> Robert Jones: Sorry about that You know, I think that’s a critical question And it’s a critical thing that we really have to do And it’s been my experience the best way to do that is you have to instill in individuals a sense of ownership for the issue It’s been my experience, mandates and edicts normally don’t work very well What’s most effective is for people to take some ownership of wearing masks And as I’ve heard a number of my colleagues say over the past few days, if individuals aren’t willing to do it for themselves, then do it for others And I think we have to really over the next several months work very hard to try to instill that sense of concern for the other Because in most situations, most crises, it’s having that sense for the other that really leads to a sustainable, highly effective outcome And so I’m not exactly sure how we do that We’re going to have to try to work very hard to have individuals still own this if they’re not concerned about themselves But why should I wear a mask? So I don’t infect others and I don’t create an environment that when I go back to visit my parents or my grandparents I’m not putting them in harm’s way as well So that’s the way I look at this issue And we have to communicate and start to develop what I call social norms with that framework in mind >> Robin Kaler: Yeah, I was just going to say, Andreas, would you want to add some more about the committee work? >> Andreas Cangellaris: I want to add, I think it also sounds very nicely — that ownership of that responsibility is something that brings the community together in unique ways And look, by now I think everyone is familiar with the R number, the R number of COVID-19, you know, the infection reproduction number The number we use to measure how face the infection spreads And you know, the R number essentially tells us the average number of people that any one of us who are infected will pass the virus onto, right? And that number is what everyone is focusing on, and we’re trying to make that number below 1 You make that number less than 1 and once you keep it there, you have contained the virus Victory, right? And so I say as we think about exactly the question you posed, there’s another virus that we can use to help us fight the COVID-19 virus And in the absence of a vaccine, I think this virus is — our best personal way, our best personal weapon against this COVID-19 virus, and this is what we call self-care It is self-care It is our commitment to follow the CDC and our public health experts’ guidelines about testing ourselves for COVID-19, about doing our daily checkup about symptoms that have to do with COVID-19 And staying home or following up with our healthcare providers as appropriate, and wearing a face covering when we are in the presence of others We need to make self-care as contagious as possible We need an R number for self-care that is much greater than 1 And it starts with each and every one of us I think that’s what the chancellor is talking about when he says we need to own this Because that is the best weapon we have as we try to deal with this COVID-19 crisis >> Robin Kaler: Great Thank you very much And Bill, final question for you What happens if a member of our community tests positive? How will people be notified? What’s the process for that? >> Bill Bernhard: Sure, well I thank you So I think as both the chancellor and the provost said, you know, we expect members of our community to engage in safe behavior and to look out for each other and protect each other and you know, be part of the community If someone does get sick or test positively, we would expect that individual to quarantine, to remove themselves from the community while they’re infectious For students that may mean, you know, going home Housing is also setting aside some rooms for quarantine for the purpose For faculty, that would mean staying off campus and out of the classroom

So we’re also talking about and developing — the SHIELD team is developing protocols for those who come in contact with those who’ve been infected There’s contact tracing There will be notifications that go out to community members, and guidelines about what to do in case you’re been exposed You know, hopefully with the layers of — the layered approach that we’re taking to health and safety that involves, you know, testing and tracing and social distancing and the use of masks and PPE and the availability of sanitizer You know, these things are going to limit the type of heavy exposure to someone who’s been affected and limit the transmission of the disease in a positive way So you know, I think we’re using every tool that we have to make sure that we limit the spread of the virus >> Robin Kaler: Great, thanks, Bill That is all the time we have for questions I know we’re running a little long Chancellor, do you have a couple of words you’d like to say to conclude today? >> Robert Jones: Well yes Let me just say first of all, thanks to Provost Andreas Cangellaris and to Bill and Kevin and the entire academic team for the amazing work that you’ve done on behalf of this university over the last couple of months, particularly as it relates to return to fall 2020 and beyond As I said earlier, this work is absolutely at the core of our mission as a research and engaged university And all the rest of the work teams work actually centers around this core work of the academic group And I know there are many uncertainties, folks And there are many concerns about moving forward with our presence of face-to-face operation of the university But I can tell you one of the ways that I look at this is — I’m reminded by a quote that was on one of my favorite mugs and it goes something like this “Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass It’s about learning how to dance in the rain.” And folks, that’s exactly what we are facing here We have no certainty about how long COVID-19 will be with us And when we framed the steering committee, we framed it with a couple of keywords We said notwithstanding the persistence of COVID-19 pandemic in our community, we are going to move forward to try to establish the safest way to resume the operation of this great university And so that quote kind of is a framework for me for the work that we’re doing And I ask each and every one of you to think about that as we collectively work tirelessly to bring us back to campus operation if that is the final decision in the safest way possible Thank you all for joining us We really appreciate your engagement, your advice and your consultation Thanks a lot >> Robin Kaler: Thank you very much Thanks to all the panelists And yeah, thanks to each of you for all of the good work you’re doing It really is very inspiring to see all of the wonderful things people are doing to keep the university moving forward Once again, our next briefing in the series will be Tuesday, June 16th at 11:00 AM That one, as we said, will be focused on COVID-19 testing and exposure notification for our university community You can watch that one using the same link that you’re on right now All of the briefings will be recorded and close-captioned and posted on COVID19.illinois.edu