Jan. 8: Spring semester information for instructors

Dear MSU Educators:

As we begin another semester together in this largely remote teaching environment, I want to thank you for extending grace and empathy to one another and to all members of our MSU community. Many of us are struggling with feelings of isolation and frustration, so now more than ever we need to focus on our shared goal of providing the high-quality learning experiences for our students. Our students’ success depends on your good work and on your agile and innovative approaches to tackling each new challenge. Thank you!

As announced last month, the spring 2021 semester will begin on Jan. 11, with a “reading, reviewing, and reflection” week that will not include any online or in-person class meetings. As per MSU’s agreement with state officials, students will move into the residence halls beginning Jan. 15. Online classes will begin meeting on Jan. 19. In-person classes may begin meeting online on Jan. 19 and then transition to in person beginning Jan. 25.

By Monday, Jan. 11, all instructors should:

  • Post their course syllabi and schedules to allow students to begin their preparations for the semester, and
  • Be available by email Jan. 11-19 to answer any questions that students might have.

In your initial communications with students, you might consider:

Later today I will be sending a message to MSU’s undergraduate students explaining our expectations for them regarding coronavirus testing and adherence to MSU’s community compact. All undergraduate students living, learning, or working on campus will be required to be tested at least once each week.  MSU’s COVID-19 Early Detection Program is a centralized resource for testing. Each college’s Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education (or equivalent) will contact educators who are teaching in-person undergraduate classes to provide them with additional information.

Our situation is very dynamic, so we are using webpages to provide resources. If you find yourself unable to find the guidance you need or if anything on these pages is lacking, please reach out to me or anyone else in the Provost Office with questions. We will adapt and amend resources as needed. The following resources have been created to help you this semester:

Additional existing resources that may be beneficial to educators as we start the semester include:

As always, thank you for your ongoing commitment to student success, to one another, and to MSU.

Mark Largent
Associate Provost for Undergraduate Education