Message from leadership - July 15, 2020

Academic updates for fall 2020; town hall; faculty resources

Dear faculty,

Thank you for your continued hard work and commitment to student success. As President Rao mentioned in his message yesterday, this has been a busy summer preparing for the fall 2020 semester. Earlier this morning we sent an email message to all students with important academic updates and we are pleased to provide those updates to you, as well as additional opportunities and resources for faculty.

The revised Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes is available.

The revised Fall 2020 Schedule of Classes is now available and includes descriptions of the course modality (how the course will be taught: in-person, online, or a combination) for more than 8,200 course sections.

Additional online course fees have been waived for fall 2020 and spring 2021.

The additional online course fee that is normally assessed to online courses is being waived for the fall 2020 and spring 2021 semesters. Tuition and other fees are still being assessed at the standard rates.

All faculty are invited to a Town Hall on July 20 at 1 p.m.

A Faculty Town Hall will be held virtually on Mon., July 20 at 1 p.m. You can register here. This event will be recorded and available online at a later date.

New and revised resources for faculty are available.

  • If you need additional support in online course design, ALT Lab is encouraging faculty to register for the Designing Online@VCU, a self-paced course through which you will receive feedback from instructional designers on course elements as you create them.
  • In an email sent in early May, VCU announced the year-long transition from Blackboard to Canvas as the university’s central learning management system (LMS). For up-to-date information visit the VCU Canvas webpage. It’s important to remember that if you are not ready to teach in Canvas, Blackboard is still available and viable for your fall 2020 courses.
  • The Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE) hosts several programs weekly to support faculty success. To stay informed so that you can easily take advantage of these opportunities, sign up for the CTLE Newsletter. This week’s edition is a great example of the number and types of opportunities available virtually.
  • The VCU Peer Support to Keep on Teaching Facebook group page remains a faculty resource to share ideas, pose questions, and find support among VCU faculty peers.
  • The Keep on Teaching webpage, which was central to our rapid transition to remote teaching and learning last spring, continues to be a regularly-updated resource.

Student Return to Campus training and information session.

Students, like faculty and staff, are required to complete the online Return to Campus training. You can view the student version of the training here. A student/families information session is being held on July 21.


We will continue to share information as it is available and hope that you will be able to participate in the Faculty Town Hall on Mon., July 20.

Best wishes,

Gail Hackett, Ph.D.
Provost and senior vice president for academic affairs

Peter Buckley, M.D.
Interim senior vice president for health sciences