Fall 2020 > Updates > March 26, 2020—Faculty and staff Spring Quarter preparations

Faculty and staff preparations for Spring Quarter

March 26, 2020 

Dear faculty and staff, 

In the last two weeks, you have met the challenges of our current circumstances and brought almost every aspect of a 20,000-student university online. Next week, DePaul students will begin taking approximately 4,000 courses taught remotely. Thank you for your massive, collective effort to keep DePaul running and to help our students continue progressing toward their degrees. Your dedication gives strength to our community.

This has been a highly disruptive time in all of our lives, both personally and professionally. As you prepare for students to return virtually after Spring Break, please take time to care for yourself. DePaul offers benefits to connect you with mental health, child or elder care or other resources to help you cope. You can reference the Benefits FAQs on DePaul’s COVID-19 Updates and Guidance site to learn more. We also recommend that you read this March 24 Newsline article by Jeff Lanfear, director of University Counseling Services, with useful tips on coping in the age of COVID-19.

Unless specifically noted, the measures listed below will be in place in the Spring until further notice. Faculty and staff also may hear from their department or unit leader with additional guidance.

This message covers:

  • Support for remote work
  • Access to DePaul buildings
  • Academic support services
  • University libraries and campus bookstores
  • Computer labs
  • Looking ahead
Support for remote work
As we communicated to you on Sunday, DePaul expects all faculty and staff (with some exceptions) to continue working from home through at least April 7—the end date of Governor JB Pritzker’s “stay at home” order. We will share additional instructions with you before April 7.  Support for you is available during this time.

  • Remote Teaching Options: Webinars offered by the Center for Teaching and Learning have attracted close to 900 attendees in the past two weeks. Keep checking go.depaul.edu/remote-teaching for more webinars, instructional design services and remote-teaching resources.
  • Knowledge Base on Remote Work: Information Services created a list of resources available at DePaul related to remote work, technology for teaching and learning, and instructions for using support services. This site will be updated continually with new resources. Check back frequently.
  • Microsoft Teams and Zoom: Learn about new faculty and staff access to Microsoft Teams and information about Zoom. DePaul will soon make these services available to students as well, giving them a new @depaul.edu email account in Office 365, and making students available in the Outlook address book.
  • More Tips for Using Zoom: Many of us will use Zoom frequently in the coming weeks. This site shares detailed tips for how to access conferencing software through your DePaul account for remote meetings, screen sharing and more.
Access to DePaul buildings
If at all possible, please stay home. Please give serious consideration to the necessity of visiting campus while the “stay at home” order is in effect. However, if on-campus resources are essential to your work or preparation for remote teaching, we will make sure you can access what you need.

With few exceptions (noted in the computer labs section below), access to DePaul buildings will be available from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • Lincoln Park: All buildings will operate in controlled access mode, requiring an ID card swipe for entry.
  • Loop: All DePaul buildings will require you to show a DePaul ID and sign in.
If you had authorized access to a DePaul building before Spring Break, your access level will remain the same. If it is absolutely essential for you to access a DePaul building outside of the specified time periods, contact your college or department office to request authorization.

Student access to DePaul buildings will continue to be restricted. If colleges or schools have already granted access to student workers, graduate assistants, etc., that access will remain in place.

Academic support services
DePaul’s Student Success website offers resources to support students’ learning experiences, including crowd sourced tips for succeeding as a remote student, as well as access to technology tools and services.

If you hear from students in need of other academic support services, please encourage them to reach out for assistance. Many of the same services DePaul has always offered will be available virtually. This includes but is not limited to:

University libraries and campus bookstores
The John T. Richardson Library, Loop Library and Rinn Law Library will be closed through Spring Quarter. Library staff will continue to provide virtual reference and instruction services, as well as virtual support for services such as course reserves and electronic document delivery. Please visit the University Library website, the Rinn Law Library website, or read details in Newsline to learn more.

While the Barnes & Noble campus retail locations remain closed, the bookstore will continue fulfilling online orders, including new books, used books (when available), rentals and e-books. All orders of hard-copy books will include free shipping. Barnes & Noble is continuing to collect course material options from faculty and academic units for Spring Quarter through its usual methods. Faculty should reference the March 20 message from Interim Provost Salma Ghanem for guidance on selecting course readings for the upcoming term.

Computer labs
Nearly all on-campus computer labs will be closed. Students who have an essential need to use DePaul computers, whether they need access to a specialized computer program or do not have home access to a computer or the Internet, will have very limited on-campus access to computer labs. As Interim Provost Ghanem communicated to faculty yesterday, instructors should fill out this form as soon as possible to request essential software titles that your students may need to access through a new virtual lab environment, delivered via Apporto.

A university email to students today will share this computer lab availability:

  • Loop Campus:
    • Lewis Center (25 E. Jackson Blvd.) Room 105 (Show DePaul ID for entry.)
    • Daley Building (14 E. Jackson Blvd.), First Floor (Swipe DePaul ID for entry.)
    • Hours for both locations: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. – 1 p.m. on Saturday; closed on Sunday
  • Lincoln Park Campus:
    • Brownstones in the Student Center (2250 N. Sheffield Ave.)
    • Hours: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (weekdays and weekends)
    • DePaul IDs will need to be shown to gain entry. Access is limited to the Kenmore Avenue entrance only. Please check the Student Centers website before visiting because hours are subject to change.
Labs and computers will be cleaned regularly throughout the day and sanitizing wipes will be provided. Social distancing will be required. Hours are subject to change. Please check the COVID-19 site’s FAQs page on university operations for the most up-to-date information.

Looking ahead
The COVID-19 Prevention and Response Task Force will continue meeting to consider how DePaul navigates its short- and long-term response to COVID-19. We know you have questions about the future, including plans for Summer Quarter courses. We promise to share information with the university community on this topic and more as soon as possible, given the quickly changing nature of the situation.

It cannot be said enough: thank you for everything you are doing for DePaul. We’ll get through these times together—in support of our students and the health of our entire community.

Sincerely,

A. Gabriel Esteban, president
Salma Ghanem, interim provost
Jeff Bethke, executive vice president