Process for Addressing Faculty COVID-19 Related Teaching Adjustment Requests for Fall Semester 2020
June 29, 2020
Michigan State University will begin Fall Semester classes on September 2, as previously scheduled. There will be both in-person and online components to instruction. Academic units, with their faculty (i.e., professors, instructors, academic specialists, and graduate teaching assistants) are in the process of finalizing decisions on the courses to be taught, including delivery method.
We recognize that each faculty member faces different circumstances that will impact one’s ability and willingness to engage in in-person instructional duties. As a philosophy, MSU units will be as flexible as possible with work arrangements.
- Faculty may be immuno-compromised or otherwise at a greater risk from COVID-19, per CDC guidance https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/index.html,
or they may have household members who are high-risk.
- Faculty should inform their chairperson or director as soon as possible, but definitely prior to August 16, if they need an alternative to the planned course delivery method for one or more of the courses they are scheduled to teach in the fall.
- Deans, chairpersons and directors will not request or gather personal or family health information.
- Deans, chairpersons and directors are asked to work with faculty requesting an alternative to the planned course delivery method, to find strategies to meet all course responsibilities, e.g. office hours, meetings, lectures.
- Such strategies may include remote, hybrid, or in-person instruction.
- If such mutually agreeable strategies cannot be found, the unit administrator should contact the Dean, who will engage Academic Human Resources (AHR) to attempt to arrive at a resolution.
- Because the need for an alternatives to the planned course delivery method may arise during the semester because of health and safety issues of the faculty or student, faculty should plan for such an occurrence, and should inform students in the syllabus that alternatives to the planned course delivery method may occur.
For those faculty that cannot be accommodated through the process above, the Americans with Disabilities Act requires reasonable accommodations for individuals with physical or mental disabilities. One who believes that they have a qualifying disability should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities (RCPD), which makes an assessment and, if warranted, refers to the Accommodations Specialist in Human Resources to determine any required accommodation that the University must make. In such cases, RCPD should be contacted as soon as possible.
Faculty with issues emanating from care of family members, including dependent children, should also contact their chairperson or director as soon as possible but definitely before August 16, to discuss how this could impact teaching in the fall. If mutually agreeable strategies cannot be found, the chairperson or director should contact the Dean, who will engage Academic Human Resources.
 Faculty used in this document refers more broadly to faculty and academic staff as well as graduate teaching assistants.