Message to USC Faculty
We are very excited about the prospect of a return in the coming months to teaching and learning on campus. As we see COVID-19 cases drop and vaccine administration expand, we are hopeful for guidance from L.A. County public health authorities to allow you, our students, and staff to safely return to classrooms, labs, and residence halls in the Fall.
In addition, as you may have seen in today’s letter to the community, https://we-are.usc.edu/2021/03/23/3-23-important-update-from-provost-zukoski/, we are already gearing up for some on-campus activities this semester. We anticipate expanding these further in the summer and, of course, all of this will depend on conditions in L.A. County.
During the pandemic, you have displayed tremendous creativity in developing novel and effective teaching strategies. We encourage this creativity to continue as we return from the virtual environment of the past year and, where appropriate, the new teaching modalities should be considered in the schools and units for continuation. As always, these decisions should be made with a focus on the highest quality education that benefits our students. As an example, programs may need to plan for alternatives to large lecture classes that instead use a mixture of online lectures and in-person sections. As faculty plan for the fall semester, schools should use their usual curriculum and planning processes to determine the choice of teaching modality for each course. Alternatives to in-person teaching may be considered and recommended by faculty curriculum committees.
If a shift to online modalities requires faculty to invest more time in course preparation, and/or less time in course delivery, such issues of crediting courses should be addressed by those usual curriculum and planning processes.
If there are limitations that may affect an individual faculty member’s ability to return to campus, those limitations should be raised with the school’s dean of faculty for assessment.
We all are looking forward to being back together, seeing each other face to face, and having those spontaneous interactions that are possible when we are on campus.
I want to express once again my deep gratitude to you for all that you have done to maintain exceptional teaching and learning during these trying months.
Charles F. Zukoski
Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
cc: Office of the President
President’s Senior Leadership Team
Provost’s Leadership Team