Update from Provost Harbor

April 3, 2020

To the Campus Community,

I hope this finds you well. I write to provide an update on further changes we are implementing in response to coronavirus. Some of these may not apply to you, but it’s important everyone know about them.

Changes for Faculty

Sabbaticals: We acknowledge that faculty awarded sabbatical for AY 20-21 might want or need to change their plans due to travel restrictions and other limitations. We have contacted these individuals to offer them the opportunity to adjust their plans

Tenure clock extension: The Montana commissioner of higher education has issued a one-year extension on the tenure clock for all current probationary faculty. Probationary faculty may opt out of this extension if they wish.

Faculty evaluation consideration: The University Faculty Association, Missoula College Faculty Association, and administration are discussing how to give special consideration to Individual Performance Records submitted in fall 2020, given the barriers that faculty face in continuing some activities listed in unit and university standards.

Course evaluations: As previously announced, our typical end-of-course evaluations for face-to-face courses will not be required this semester. I encourage instructors to assess the impact of their teaching using other approaches, such as teaching portfolios or learning outcome assessments.

Alternate Grading for Spring Semester 2020

For undergraduates: Last week the Faculty Senate approved an alternate Complete Credit/Credit/No Credit grading option for undergraduates. Choosing this option (a form will be posted on Cyberbear for students to opt in) will have no bearing on GPA, academic standing, dean’s list, etc., but courses completed with a CCR will count toward degree requirements, general education courses, and as prerequisites for advanced courses.

For graduate students: This week, the Graduate Council preliminarily approved a Credit/No Credit alternative for graduate students to be voted on next week by the Faculty Senate for formal approval. More information is forthcoming.

New Ways to Work and Learn

UM employee work exchange hub: To help us adapt to decreased activity in some areas of campus and new, unexpected needs, UM’s Human Resource Services has set up the UM Employee Work Exchange Hub to identify and make best use of our colleagues’ excess capacity across campus. More information is available on the UM HRS – Managers & Supervisors webpage.

Professional development: The Office of Organizational Learning and Development has collected a set of resources for working remotely, mental health and connectedness, and leading virtual teams. Visit the OOLD website to learn more.

Take Care of Yourselves and One Another

Resources for students in need: Our Student Success team is working hard to reach out to students, provide for their basic needs, and reduce stress for them. If you are a student in need, or know one, please direct them to Sarah Swager, Vice Provost for Student Success, in UH 022, via phone at 243-5225, or email studentaffairs@umontana.edu.

Fresh air: As many of you know, my preferred mode of transportation is walking. I highly recommend getting outside in whatever way you enjoy and are able, and clearing your head in the fresh air. If our current weather makes that a challenge, Campus Recreation is providing live online fitness classes so you can work out at home.

Thank you so much for making the best of this unprecedented situation. As always, I welcome your input and feedback. We have scheduled additional times for my virtual office hours this month, and I hope many of you will take advantage of these to tell me what’s on your mind.

Jon Harbor

UM Provost

 This message was sent by University Relations on behalf of the Office of the Provost to all UM students, staff, faculty, administrators, and affiliates.