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Message Sent To:All Faculty
Message From:Message from the Office of the Provost
Date Sent:Monday, January 11, 2021 09:30 AM CST

Summer and Fall Courses

January 11, 2021

Dear Faculty,

Happy New Year! Your school will be reaching out soon to determine your interest in teaching in person during the summer and fall 2021 terms. Before that, we want to share some information to assist you in making a decision that is right for you.

Safety in the classroom

Public health experts are forecasting improving conditions in 2021 as the COVID-19 vaccines continue to roll out. Recognizing there are many unknowns, we will have to make decisions on class format in the coming weeks with incomplete information about vaccine distribution and the trajectory of the virus. We are working with current public health guidance on safety and will pivot if necessary as conditions improve.

It is reassuring that there is little-to-no evidence of transmission of COVID-19 in classrooms that implement widely accepted safety protocols such as social distancing, use of masks and hand sanitizer, and regular surveillance testing. On major campuses there were no instances of student-to-faculty transmission. For more information, watch a discussion of health and safety insights from other universities presented by Phil Hale, Loyola University Chicago’s vice president for Government Affairs.

We understand that some faculty may still be concerned despite these studies and statistics, but the analysis suggests that Loyola is on the right track with our surveillance testing program and required personal safety practices.

Teaching HyFlex

Some faculty also expressed concern about teaching in the HyFlex format, with students simultaneously in person and online. While this format has a learning curve, we have seen our faculty successfully adapt and even flourish in this dual environment. Watch three faculty members discuss their positive experience teaching HyFlex courses in fall 2020. We also invite you to take advantage of the resources listed on the HyFlex Classrooms webpage, including a HyFlex training tomorrow (January 12) and 1:1 on-campus training.

We understand that this email may not allay all faculty concerns about teaching in person, but we hope that this information can help you make an informed decision. Please reach out to whoever manages course scheduling in your area or covid-19support@LUC.edu with any concerns and ideas.

Together in Loyola,

Norberto Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer