• 1

Dear LLP students:

I am writing to give you information about Fall classes in Painter Hall. We are planning to resume face to face instruction, but there will be some changes to classes. We want to do everything we can to provide you the quality education you expect in a safe environment.

Any student who is unable to return to campus will be able to take online classes, including participating in face-to-face classes remotely. Even if you are on campus in the beginning of the semester and then need to move off campus and participate remotely, this should be possible. Your faculty are working hard to retool their classes and make it possible to meet your needs wherever you are, though we, like many of you, look forward to seeing each other on campus in August!

We realize that moving off campus last semester disrupted many of your lives even more than it disrupted ours, and we know that you may not have been able to go through advising or you may be waiting to see what Fall semester is going to look like before you make up your mind about returning. Please feel free to contact me with your questions or to contact me or your regular advisor for advising. If you are a new student and would like additional advising or to talk to someone in the department, please contact me as well.

We are working on an update to our Fall class schedule, so you will know soon which classes are moving online and which will be held face to face. Most face to face classes will be hybrid — you may not come to class every day, so we can limit the number of students in a room at one time. We plan to have that updated by July 3.

As you are considering your schedules, please know that we are excited to welcome four new faculty members in our department: 

  • Dr. Shahara’Tova Dente will teach African American Literature, composition, and Black Feminist Thought (in the Master’s in Women’s Leadership program — seniors, you may be eligible to take this class for undergraduate and graduate credit if there is room, so contact me if you’re interested).
  • Dr. Allene Nichols will coordinate our Teacher Ed program and teach Advanced Grammar, Basic Writing, and Methods and Materials in Secondary English (contact me if you need to get into this class, since you have to apply to the Teacher Ed program through the Dept. of Education, get a background check, and meet other prerequisites)
  • Dr. Jill Drouillard will teach Introduction to Philosophy, Ethics, and Medical Ethics
  • Dr. Megan Bowen will teach Latin online

We hope you have all seen the recent announcement about the changes to the Fall 2020 Academic Calendar. Classes will be starting on August 17 and the semester will end by Thanksgiving.

If you haven't already seen it, you may want to watch the latest update from our Campus Renewal Task Force. Be forewarned, it's 40 minutes — there's lots of information. Besides President Millers' opening statements, Dr. Whitehead's statement from the committee on Student Well-being and Dr. Brooking's from the Academic Integrity committee are probably of the greatest interest to students. http://www.muw.edu/renewal

A few highlights are:

  • IHL has tasked universities in the state to reopen in the fall with face to face classes
  • Some classes that are currently listed as Face to Face may be taken online or taught as hybrid or parallel classes
    • Parallel classes are when some students in the class are meeting face-to-face and some are online
    • This may be half F2F one day and the other half F2F the other day each week
    • Or we may have students in a F2F class who cannot come to class and will participate online for all or part of the semester
  • Universities have been told we should suspend the attendance policy for Fall 2020
    • A participation policy may be a better way to think about it, instead of counting attendance — we want everyone to be involved as much as they can
    • Participation policies should actively discourage students who feel unwell from attending classes
  • Course materials and assignments should all be collected electronically in Canvas
  • Lectures and other class materials need to be made available online
    • We are purchasing cameras and microphones for all Painter classrooms so  we can record classes
    • These have been tested in different rooms and will provide quality sound and video
  • Most classrooms in Painter can hold 8 students with social distancing of 6 feet
    • Desks and chairs will be rearranged or removed to enforce social distancing
    • Masks will be required
  • PA 113 and PA 209 hold up to 21 students; additional classes could be scheduled there for larger classes
  • We are identifying other larger spaces on campus for these classes, but we may also split classes into smaller groups for parallel instruction
  • Students and faculty will wipe down their own desks/areas before class, using cleaning supplies provided
  • The Academic Calendar has been changed so that all class meetings end prior to the Thanksgiving holiday
  • We are going to be prepared to move all classes online at any point during the fall semester if the situation warrants it

Thank you for reading (or skimming) to the end of a long message! We hope you all have a good summer or as good as it can be under the circumstances. Please stay safe and stay healthy, and know that your W family cares about you and wants to see you back next semester. We will do everything we can to make it as rewarding and as safe of an experience as we can. We are all hard at work preparing for your return!

Best wishes,

Kendall Dunkelberg

Dept. of Languages, Literature, and Philosophy, Chair Mississippi University for Women 1100 College St., MUW-Box 1634 Columbus MS 39701