Changes to the Fall Semester

Dear College of Arts & Letters faculty and staff,

From the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the safety of our community and the success of our students have been our top priorities. Yesterday’s communication from MSU President Stanley asking undergraduate students to continue their MSU education remotely has re-emphasized our commitment to these priorities. The recent spread of the virus over the last few days at other universities, coupled with our own outbreak in East Lansing this past June, make it clear we need to minimize the number of people on campus to protect the health of our community.

As we continue to work directly with unit leaders to address the implications of this decision for specific academic activities, it will be important to establish protocols that will enable us to deepen our connections with one another as we support the success of everyone who encounters the College of Arts & Letters (CAL). To this end, let me share the following expectations and support initiatives:

Remote Teaching & Working

To the extent possible, staff, students, and faculty, should work, learn, and teach remotely. In unique circumstances where this may be challenging, I have asked that the unit leader and the staff/faculty member work together with the Dean’s Office on contingency plans that will prioritize safety and maximize our capacity to establish responsive human connections. We must provide as many services as we can through virtual interaction. This means responding in real-time to messages and inquiries with empathy and understanding. If you have questions about how best to engage and communicate with students, staff, and faculty, please contact your unit leader.

CAL Academic Technology Team Assistance

The College of Arts & Letters Academic Technology team is available to assist faculty with conversion of face-to-face and hybrid courses to remote teaching. They will be offering two workshops available this week as options: The Asynchronous Program for Instructional Readiness (ASPIRE) program and the synchronous Spartan Online Instructional Readiness Educational Experience (SOIREE) program starting Monday, August 24. If interested, please fill out the contact form as they can support you in your remote teaching.

Studio and Performance Spaces & Labs

We in the College of Arts & Letters will have some lab, studio, and performance spaces open for undergraduate students needing courses in these spaces to graduate in December 2020 and for our graduate students. Please work through your unit leaders on these contingency plans if there is a need to use a studio, performance, or lab space.

Graduate Education

Please note that graduate education is not subject to the new directives regarding teaching modalities. This was for undergraduate courses only.

From the beginning, we understood that this virus would present daunting challenges that would test our capacities to adapt, learn, and grow in an environment of intense uncertainty. The culture of care we have established in the College continues to guide and sustain us. I am grateful for your conscientious leadership and ethical imagination as we navigate together a fall semester unlike any we have ever known.


Black signature of Dean Christopher P. Long

Christopher Long
Dean, College of Arts & Letters