H1N1 (Swine) Flu Emergency Preparedness
A Message from the Provost:
To: RIT faculty
From: Jeremy Haefner, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Subject: Reminder - Planning for Instructional Continuity
Date: 30 October 2009
As you may have read, the number of H1N1 (Swine Flu) cases across the nation has jumped up substantially. The Chronicle of Higher Education reported that college campuses are experiencing a surge in flu cases last week ( http://chronicle.com/article/Fresh-Surge-of-Flu-Cases-and/48967/?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en). RIT is also experiencing this surge. The Student Health Center saw 14 cases last week and this does not include presumably a larger number of faculty, staff and students who seek care from their own physicians. With exams rapidly approaching, it is a good time to remind you all about planning for illness or other interruptions to instructional activities.
In the memo sent on 15 September, I asked that each of you consider how continuity of instruction might best be achieved in the courses that you teach, and make plans accordingly, including a focus on both higher than normal faculty absenteeism and student absenteeism. As you plan, please:
- Review your attendance policy, and consider how you might modify it to help students who are unable to attend class or take exams to meet the course requirements without penalty. It is likely that students will not have medical verification as they are asked to self-isolate themselves. Please do not ask your students to provide a written excuse from either the RIT Student Health Center or their personal physicians.
- Review your process for communicating with students and for receiving and returning student assignments in the event an illness prevents them or you from being in class. Click on the link http://online.rit.edu/faculty/ to find information on myCourses and other strategies that can assist you in planning alternate methods of course delivery and communication. If you would like assistance with an electronic communication tool, please contact Cheryl Herdklotz at firstname.lastname@example.org or 475-2030.
- Have a plan for communicating with other individuals who support student learning, e.g., your department chair, internship supervisors, graduate assistants, laboratory technicians, student advisors, etc.
- For current information from RIT on the H1N1, log on to RIT’s H1N1 website - www.rit.edu/h1n1 - for information and guidance. An update on the flu will be posted each Monday
In the event of a significant H1N1 outbreak that impacts the academic delivery of courses or exams, the campus will turn to department chairs for their leadership in managing these issues. As a result, I strongly encourage each department chair to discuss this memorandum with faculty members. Department chairs should ensure that part-time faculty members have the opportunity to review and ask questions about this memorandum, as well. Of course, the support of the faculty for the efforts of the chairs on this matter is greatly appreciated.
Further information about the H1N1 and seasonal flu can be found at http://www.rit.edu/h1n1; information on other emergency situations or closures as well as plans for responding to emergencies, can be found at http://emergency.rit.edu/.
Thank you for your continuing cooperation in this important effort.