HR update May 7, 2020
To keep communication as clear as possible, and archive it for later use, the Office of Human Resources will be sending out updates using this format.
If you have information that you would like to disseminate to all employees, please send that to email@example.com and we will coordinate adding the information to a future HR update.
For now, we would ask that you limit any mass communications to avoid confusion.
Update on Title IX regulations
As you may have heard, final Title IX regulations have been released by the U.S. Department of Education. These regulations outline how the Department of Education expects schools, including Augustana College, to continue to promote sexual equality, and in particular, how to respond to reports of sexual assault and other forms of sexual misconduct.
Over the next several months, we will carefully review the new regulations to determine what changes the regulations require to Augustana's policies and procedures. We will then work with the Board of Trustees, the Cabinet, and the Title IX Team in determining how to best implement any required changes. We will aim to preserve the aspects of our policies and procedures that reflect our work as an institution, including contributions from:
- The Title IX Task Force
- The Title IX Team
- The Sexual Health & Wellness Committee
- The Title IX Student Advisory Group
Members of the groups listed above, along with individual community members and those who have participated in a policy complaint, have provided valuable input in our current campus policies and procedures. Equally important is that we have made progress as a community in promoting awareness of prohibited behaviors as well as promoting awareness of the resources available to people on campus who are victims of sexual misconduct.
The new regulations are slated to become effective on August 14, 2020. You will be informed of updates to our policies and procedures, and you will be provided opportunities to learn about the changes.
Please note that our current policies prohibiting sex discrimination, including sexual misconduct, remain in effect at this time and our focus and our commitment are as strong as ever. If you have any questions about current policies, you may reach out to a Title IX Coordinator for help or information.
Thank you for your continued commitment to promoting the wellbeing of our campus community.
Please take care and be well.
Student employment survey - URGENT
This summer, it is extremely important that student employment happens in a very different way. Given increased safety concerns, cleaning protocols and the like, it is imperative that summer employment needs are coordinated. We are asking the student employment point person or supervisor from each department to complete the survey.
Any summer employment needs, whether already fulfilled or pending, must be shared ASAP using the Summer Student Employment Survey. Approved summer employment will have specific new safety guidelines to follow and those guidelines, as well as approval for summer work, will be shared.
Until we can more accurately project forward to fall student employment, we ask that any recruiting, posting, and hiring decisions be put on hold until budget decisions are finalized. You may direct any questions to Director of Human Resources, Laura Ford, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plans for returning to campus this fall
This message was sent to students today:
As Vice President and Dean of Students, I want to offer you all the assurance I can by sharing with you Augustana College’s plans for returning to campus this fall.
We want to welcome you while continuing to care for the health and safety of our campus community. Our sights are set on providing a welcoming environment and a high-caliber learning experience within the realities of the global pandemic.
It is our plan, expectation and hope that Augustana will open for in-person learning for the fall semester with the appropriate and necessary health and safety measures in place.
To do so, we will rely on and follow the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Rock Island Public Health Department. Employees across campus are working hard now, so Augustana will be well prepared to welcome you to campus under multiple scenarios.
Among the ways and reasons we we will be ready to welcome you to campus in the fall:
• Health Clinic. Augustana will partner with an award-winning hospital to operate a health clinic on our campus. Students will not be charged an extra health clinic fee next year, because of the importance of keeping everyone at Augustana healthy. Details about the clinic are coming together and will be shared in the coming weeks.
• Our campus setting. Our park-like location in Rock Island is an advantage. The Augustana campus is a largely self-contained 114-acre community, with comprehensive services and room to safely experience college life while maintaining physical distance.
• Small class sizes. Augustana’s smaller class sizes — with a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 — make it easier to accomplish social distancing. The average class size at Augustana is 18 students.
• Sanitized spaces. Our facilities team will increase cleaning efforts. They frequently will sanitize high-touch areas, including railings and doors. Staff in Dining Services will continue to be diligent in their cleaning protocols as safety and sanitation continue to be paramount. Hand sanitizer and washing stations will be regularly checked and refilled, and we continue to invest in our inventory of hygiene supplies.
In all public areas, people on campus will be required to wear masks. We are exploring which previously in-person transactions can move to electronic forms. We have turned off water fountains, with exception of those designed to fill bottles. And we will adopt a "gym mentality," meaning people will wipe down the area where they have been sitting and working before they leave, so it is clean for the next person.
• Academic program preparedness. Faculty members are working closely with Provost Dr. Wendy Hilton-Morrow and other leaders in the Office of Academic Affairs to plan for maximum flexibility. They will be prepared for possible disruptions and many scenarios. And they are making special plans for any students who are particularly vulnerable and require special accommodation for remote learning.
• Pandemic contingency protocols. I am leading the Augustana Strong Task Force currently focusing on three key areas: (1) Health and Safety, (2) Return with Gusto, and (3) Residential Life. These teams will establish clear policies and protocols based on the guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control, the Illinois Department of Health and local officials.
The college will have clear plans for handling situations when someone has had possible exposure. We have developed contingencies to provide living spaces, meals and related services for self-isolation on campus, should it be necessary.
• Online learning readiness. Augustana has continually been exploring online learning, especially in recent years during summer school sessions. Our faculty understand courses should be designed to capture the fundamental elements and high impact practices that are hallmarks of an Augie education, even when they are conducted in a virtual modality.
• Adaptable residential facilities. We are working to expand both our capacity for and enforcement of physical distancing in residence halls through various measures.
• Flexible dining services. Our Campus Dining Services team is making plans to provide flexibility in meal service in a manner that allows for social distancing.
• Athletic program planning. In collaboration with the College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin and other member schools, we are continuing to monitor NCAA communications and will rely on NCAA and CCIW guidance to deliver a rewarding student-athlete experience and resume activities as soon as possible, while adhering to full compliance of public-health directives.
• Emergency funding for the college. Vice President for External Relations W. Kent Barnds is leading an effort to raise $2 million to offset the college’s financial challenges created by COVID-19. Plus, the college received CARES Act funding last week and wants to ensure it uses the funds in the best possible way. Guidance from the U.S. Department of Education is being reviewed, along with information of the greatest area of student need. Augustana will finalize distribution plans this month.
• Mental health resources. Augustana has added virtual mental health resources in recent weeks. TAO Connect provides an array of different mental health resources and education. After adding the option of remote individual sessions during this spring semester, Student Counseling Services will be able to continue providing that service through telebehavioral health services in the future if needed.
• Summer classes at Augie. Summer can be a good time to make progress with completing general education requirements or courses required for your major. The majority of summer courses are being offered in an online format and space is still available in several courses.
Because this is an evolving situation, our tentative plans will get more clear in the weeks and months ahead. Please anticipate another message, with similar updates, from me in early June. It is my intention to provide additional in-depth updates throughout the summer.
While these are highlights of the work taking place on campus, I hope these examples clearly demonstrate how much faculty and other employees want to welcome you to campus while caring for your safety.
Take care, Vikings,
Vice President and Dean of Students
Mark your calendar for May 12 - Carnegie Dartlet presentation
May 12, 2:30 p.m.
Carnegie Dartlet’s consensus-building method is entirely built around the input of the people who know Augustana the best—you. Many of you participated during the on-campus workshops or the online workshop that reached many of our alumni, community members and campus stakeholders in March. To each person who participated: Thank you.
To share the results with you, Augustana and Carnegie Dartlet are hosting a 60-minute virtual presentation.
The presentation will be hosted via Zoom in a webinar format, allowing participants to view the presentation as Carnegie Dartlet walks through the research conclusions, with time for questions at the end.
Mark your calendar, and watch for the webinar login info. We will send details in a reminder next week.
QCPF 2020 virtual edition
Each year, the Quad City Playwrights Festival seeks submissions form high school, college, and community members of 10 minute plays. These plays are adjudicated by theatre department staff and members of Alpha Psi Omega and the selected scripts are given staged readings.
With the onset of COVID-19, our plans needed to change but we still wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate art and creativity in our community. This year, we have moved to a virtual format. We had a large numbers of entries and are pleased to provide readings of five scripts. Our featured playwrights this year are Dan Haughey, Don Faust, Matt Berry, Jacob French, and Jimmy Sederquist.
We hope you will join us this Saturday, May 9th at 7pm CST for the virtual event (details below). We will do a reading of each play and have an open Q and A session after all five scripts are read.
Meeting ID: 864 5265 2201
For more information, email Christina Myatt at email@example.com.
Fitness Friday - BTOUCH
Back by popular demand...BTOUCH!
We have our very own Bettinna Bolger here tomorrow at noon to teach her high intensity BTOUCH class to our Augustana community again.
The 30-minute class is designed for body weight motions. If you want to amp up the intensity bring a 5-lb weight to the class.
Join the Zoom class and let's get fit together!
Meeting ID: 942 7982 2621
Dining reciepe - Peanut Butter Cookies
Our Dining department has continued to share their recipe secrets to us during this time of distance.
Up next, Augie's peanut butter cookies! Let the baking marathon commence.
Forgot to add one of our previous recipes to your favorites list? Not a problem! We have the Augustana Dining recipes all saved for you.