Academic Update for Instructors - 9/4

September 4, 2020

We hope that the beginning of the semester has gone well. Thank you for all of the hard work and dedication you have put forth to prepare for this semester. We hope you are beginning to settle into a routine with your students that will lead to great success in the coming months.

While we are excited to see your hard work be put into action this fall, we also know that many of you, like many of our students, are facing stresses and challenges this semester. Campus resources that are available to help include EAP, CAPS, and well-being coaching through Big Red Resilience. The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity also offers resources to instructors, and Student Affairs recently passed along this Harvard Business Education resource for instructors.

Included in this email:

  • Supporting Students in Quarantine and Isolation – new
  • Guidance for Instructors who Need to Quarantine or Isolate – new
  • Study Space Support for Students – new
  • Clear Face Coverings Available – new
  • Reporting Academic Integrity Violations – new
  • In-person Teaching Tips for Instructors – reminder

Supporting Students in Quarantine and Isolation

When students share that they are in quarantine or isolation, please make accommodations for them to access and complete all of their work remotely. Quarantine and isolation are important ways to help keep our campus community healthy. Quarantines are established and mandated by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. It is important that we make it possible for students to meet their obligations during periods of time that require quarantine. Please be aware that in some instances, especially those in dormitories and fraternities and sororities, quarantines may extend beyond two weeks because of the rolling nature of how the quarantine is implemented (i.e., it begins anew from the start of the last positive case identified).

Instructors are encouraged to review the Faculty Senate-endorsed guidance regarding course attendance and engagement expectations for fall semester to help manage accommodations and expectations.

Guidance for Instructors who Need to Quarantine or Isolate

If you need to quarantine or isolate, be sure to keep your students informed about any changes to the course structure. While it is important that you inform your supervisor (e.g., department chair) and report any positive test result to the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team at or via text at 402-266-6865, it is up to you whether to share with your students the fact that you are quarantining or isolating.

Study Space Support for Students

Additional study spaces on campus have been identified for students to attend Zoom classes, access remote course materials, and collaborate on small group projects while staying safe and physically distant. Please let your students know that they can reserve spaces in advance at or drop into areas listed at on a first-come-first-served basis. In addition, the University Libraries has study spaces listed on its website and the university has a WiFi outdoor map for students who want to study outside.

Clear Face Coverings Available

CDC guidance was recently updated, and face shields are no longer acceptable alternatives to cloth face coverings unless they include a bottom or drape that provides fully enclosed coverage for the face and neck. The EVC Office has disposable clear plastic face coverings for instructors who have students in their classes who need accommodations that require lip reading. They are available for pick up in 208 Canfield between 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.

Reporting Academic Integrity Violations

The new Student Code of Conduct was recently approved by the Board of Regents. The Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards has created two forms for reporting academic integrity violations based on when an incident occurred. Use this form for an incident that occurred on or before 8/13/2020 and this form for an incident that occurred on or after 8/14/2020.

In-person Teaching Tips for Instructors

2020 UNL Instructor Training video has been created with a specific focus on in-person classroom instruction and is strongly recommended for instructors who are or will be teaching in-person courses this year. It covers topics that include face coverings, physical distancing, classroom disinfection, instructor-student connection, attendance, and assessment. Here are some tips to help you access the video.