Faculty FAQ

End of semester FAQs for faculty teaching undergraduate courses

Please review this list of questions and answers for guidance on student support, grading, and finals for spring 2020; this is intended to supplement the information in the Undergraduate Faculty Handbook. If you have additional questions, please contact the dean’s office for your college or school.

Student Support

1. What should I do upon learning that a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
If a student tells you that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please ask the student if you can share that information with the University. If you get that approval, please email the information either to the dean’s office of the school in which the student is enrolled (we will then forward it on) or else directly to Maureen Keown, Director of Health Services, who will reach out to the student to check on their status and to direct the student to university resources that can offer support, as well as Dean of Students of the relevant campus and John Carroll, Associate Vice President for Security Services.

If a student is hesitant to have the information shared, then please just let them know that University Health Services is available to help them if they have questions or concerns.

Depending on the student's needs, additional remote support may be found at: Campus Ministry; Counseling and Psychological Services; Office of Disability Services. The link to the student COVID-19 Emergency FAQ is also quite helpful.  If you have specific concerns about a student, you can always reach out directly to any of these offices, as well as the appropriate academic dean’s office.

2. What should I do when a student who isn’t attending class or completing assignments doesn’t respond to repeated outreach?
Please share that information with the relevant class dean and Dean of Student Support and Success. In some cases, these are students with whom we have worked and we may be aware of the larger context, or other faculty may have shared similar information. The deans will follow up with the student by email and/or by phone. They may also contact other faculty who have the student in class, to see if there’s a larger pattern. As needed, they will work with the Office of the Dean of Students on further outreach (which may include contacting family members) and referrals to CPS or other offices at the university.

3. What should I do upon learning of a student's financial, housing, or other need?
A variety of funds are available for students who are experiencing emergency financial hardship. Please reach out to the Assistant Dean of Student Support and Success of the student’s school about the need; the Assistant Dean will serve as the liaison with the Financial Aid office and/or with the committee managing Student Emergency Funding.

General Faculty FAQ

1. I have been asked by my dean to arrange for tutorials to serve students who recently returned from study abroad or whose study abroad programs never started. Will the University pay for the tutorials?
The Provost’s Office, in consultation with the Dean’s Office, will compensate lecturers, clinical faculty, and adjuncts for tutorials as appropriate. In cases when a Fordham student has been studying abroad through another university’s program, our preference is for the hosting university to help our students complete their courses remotely.

2. The University has suspended face-to-face instruction on campus beginning March 9. What does this mean for me?
At the advice of state public health officials, Fordham University has decided to suspend face-to-face instruction on its Lincoln Center, Rose Hill, and Westchester campuses, beginning March 9. This significant action is intended to minimize the spread of the coronavirus through person-to-person contact. Due to Governor's Cuomo's executive order closing all businesses and non-profit institutions as of 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, faculty, staff, and students are prohibited from entering Fordham property after 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, with the exception of a small number of essential staff in Public Safety, Facilities, Residential Life, and IT.  Most personnel are working remotely until further notice.

3. Are there resources to support online teaching? How do I teach online a lab-, studio-, or field-based course?
The Office of Online Learning and IT’s Faculty Technology Center have collaborated in identifying various online resources available to all Fordham instructors.

Some courses have essential components that may be challenging to replicate in an online environment. For example, many science courses have lab sections in which students learn to conduct experimental procedures using specialized materials or sophisticated instrumentation. Theater or Visual Arts courses often have essential studio components that may not translate well online. And many courses require students to engage in community-based fieldwork in specialized settings. In these cases, faculty should think creatively with their disciplinary colleagues whether elements of these activities can be adapted under the circumstances, alternative activities could be offered using virtual tools, or the learning goals for the course could be modified under these extraordinary circumstances.

4. With efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus, I am concerned with how important faculty meetings will take place. Can faculty participate in such meetings remotely?
The Office of the Provost and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee have been working together, in the spirit of shared governance, to facilitate flexibility with regard to personnel meetings, the submission of materials, and deadlines in light of the coronavirus. Specific guidance is available on the Provost Faculty Personnel website.

5. What are our plans to maintain continuity of labs, especially live animal facilities and labs that require daily maintenance for research samples?
Our focus is on minimizing the spread of the coronavirus. At the advice of the NYC Department of Health, Fordham has taken major steps to reduce person-to-person contact. Due to Governor's Cuomo's executive order closing all businesses and non-profit institutions as of 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, 2020, faculty and staff will be prohibited from entering Fordham property after 8 p.m. Sunday, March 22, with the exception of a small number of essential staff in Public Safety, Facilities, Residential Life, and IT. Select faculty and staff will be allowed to enter campus periodically and briefly to perform live animal care at Rose Hill, Lincoln Center, and the Calder Center after 8 p.m. Sunday. Faculty with questions should consult with the Office of the Provost, and staff should contact their immediate managers.

6. What if we have invited a special speaker or guest to visit campus in the near future?
The visit will need to be canceled or rescheduled until a time when the University has resumed normal operations.

7. We have scheduled a faculty candidate to interview on campus for a tenure-track position. How should we proceed if Fordham suspends normal campus operations due to the coronavirus outbreak?
During the period when Fordham has suspended normal operations, it will not be possible for a department to proceed with interviewing faculty candidates on campus as scheduled. In consultation with the relevant dean, the department may need to either postpone the campus visits or defer the search until such a time when campus operations have returned to normal.

8. While the University has suspended face-to-face instruction on campus, are there any restrictions on professors taking students to pre-scheduled off-campus events such as local museums or conferences?
At the advice of the New York State Department of Health, Fordham needs to take every step possible to minimize person-to-person contact so as to curtail the spread of the virus. Any related activities, such as taking a class on a museum trip or other off-site visits, would also pose a risk to the participants and should be postponed or canceled.

9. I am organizing a doctoral dissertation defense, and some members of the committee are not able to attend because of restrictions related to COVID-19. How should we proceed?
Every effort should be made to allow the student to defend his/her dissertation. Accommodations might include postponement of the defense or allowing individuals to participate via videoconferencing technology. Please consult with your school's dean about possible accommodations.

10. What are my responsibilities and the deadlines I must follow for Spring 2020 final grading?
Faculty (non-Law School) received an e-mail from the Office of Academic Records with detailed information on Spring 2020 final grading deadlines and instructions. The same information is also available at https://www.fordham.edu/facultyfinalgradinginfo.

Law School faculty should direct questions to the School of Law Registrar at registrar@law.fordham.edu or 212-636-6800.

Additional Questions?