COVID-19 Updates and Guidance > Updates > March 5, 2020—Faculty to prepare

Provost advises faculty to prepare for the possibility of university closure

​March 5, 2020

Dear faculty,

We continue to monitor COVID-19 and the University is preparing for different scenarios that could result. In preparation for the possibility of a university closure, I have been in conversation with all the deans, and they are developing contingency plans for their units to include up-to-date contact info for employees, protocols for the remote continuation of critical functions in the event of a closure, etc.

As part of this larger effort, I ask two things of you as faculty:

First, please relax any class attendance policies related to illness for the time being and encourage students who are sick to stay home. The Dean of Students' Office will likely be very busy with requests for advocacy in this regard, so please forgo requests for documentation at this time.

Second, I am asking that faculty develop remote teaching contingency plans so that, if a closure occurs mid-term, courses can be completed rather than cancelled. I understand that faculty have different levels of experience with teaching remotely, but all of us must prepare.

  • If you have completed the DePaul Online Teaching Series (DOTS) training and regularly teach online or blended classes, you have the skills you need to move any face-to-face classes online if the need arises. Please give some thought now about how you might make that transition for any F2F courses you are currently teaching or you are scheduled to teach this spring quarter.
  • If you do not regularly teach online, I am asking that you acquire some basic skills as soon as you can. In the event that DePaul must close for a period of time, everyone, at minimum, must be able to complete the following tasks in D2L:
    • Activate your courses.
    • Use the email functionality to contact your students.
    • Upload documents (e.g. assignments) to the course site.

You might also want to consider learning how to create discussions, give quizzes, and conduct synchronous classes online.

Please visit to find information about remote teaching options and up-coming webinars on tools and techniques for remote teaching offered by The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL).

You can also reach out to your instructional designer to seek help on selecting the right tools and instructional methods for your course. You can find instructional designers assigned to your school or program on the CTL contact page.

Thank you for supporting our students during this complex time. For today, our answer to St. Vincent's question, “What must be done?" is that we prepare as best we can.


Salma Ghanem
Interim Provost