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The Faculty Senate is a volunteer operation made up of faculty leaders who try to advocate for the faculty. We are temporarily repurposing our website as a peer-to-peer site to take questions, seek answers, and relay those answers. This page was updated on 4/30/2020.

In these times, shared governance and academic freedom are more important than ever for all faculty members, tenure-track and non-tenure track. If you are not already a member of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) consider joining and selecting our local chapter at UTK. The United Campus Workers (UCW) focuses on the rights and best interests of all campus workers and has a robust local chapter.

Current Shared Governance Opportunities

The Chancellor has created a “Re-Imagining Fall” task force to make recommendations, due May 18, about the Fall semester. You can add your ideas to the Task Force ideas and concerns.

Please also help us advocate for faculty by sharing your experience of the move to online through this Faculty Senate survey about that transition. Our survey is focused on your teaching experience and will inform the Task Force. Please respond by May 6.

If you have a question that you want to send to the AOGs or want to see the status of other current questions, you can do so in this Google doc.

Teaching Online Resources Expertise

Answers to Previously Asked Questions

  • The Chancellor held a Town Hall with the Faculty Senate on April 21; some of the answered questions are available on our Google doc.
  • The Senate’s last regular meeting is May 4 will feature a report of the Task Force co-chairs about the results of their survey, a report from our Budget Committee on the salary survey for TT and NTT faculty, election results, and final committee reports.
  • Over the summer, the Faculty Senate Executive Council is authorized to act on any emergency votes necessary to ensure shared governance continues.
  • The Provost’s page archives some of the recent temporary policy adjustments under Faculty Affairs. Scroll down to the bottom of the nested menu, click Instructor Resources and Responsibilities, then un-nest the bottom tab about Spring 2020 Temporary Changes.
  • The faculty member owns materials put on Canvas, unless a prior contract is in force.
  • Here are more accessibility tips from Student Disability Services and OIT.
  • Our Financial Exigency policy conforms to AAUP recommendations.
  • The University has set up Academic Operations Groups to suggest policy and monitor the situation during this crisis.
  • Undergraduate students will have the ability to opt for S/CR/NC credit (instead of regular grades) or to withdraw from a course up until April 22, 2020. Academic dismissals will be temporarily suspended and the maximum number of Ws for undergraduates has been raised to 6. Concerns about international students are being fielded on the UT COVID19 page, Center for Global Engagement section.
  • Graduate students in approved programs can elect S/NC credit. Instructors will not see the student’s choice until the end of Banner grade entry. The Graduate School is maintaining a COVID-19 Q&A page for graduate students.
  • Faculty, Staff, or students who are seniors or in a high-risk category can take advantage of these shopping times at local businesses.
  • Faculty advisors can find their advisees at myutk/Academic Support (top menu)/Advisor Links and Resources. Please reach out to your departmental advisees about fall classes as soon as you are able.
  • Tenure clocks for those coming up can be adjusted by a year.
  • The University’s COVID-19 page now includes a page for Instructors.
  • At present, PPPRs (Periodic Post-Promotion Reviews) are still going forward, but APRs (Academic Program Reviews) are postponsed to AY 2020-21.
  • If you have to come to campus, and you see a facilities worker, please thank them. They’re doing an amazing job.



There are resource pages available from the Office of Information Technology and the Teaching and Learning Innovation office with suggestions for moving your classes online.

Have an idea to share? Post it here.

Online Course Syllabi Redesign & Pedagogical Resources

Vols Quick Start To Teaching Online

Best Practices for Communication with Students [with Sample Message]

Rethinking Assessment

Orienting Yourself with ZOOM

Empathetic Statement of Principles

Mental Health Break Ideas


Pedagogical Readings for Online Course Design

“Teaching Effectively During Times of Disruption,” by Jenae Cohn and Beth Seltzer, Stanford University

“Quick Start Guide to Remote Teaching,” by the University of Missouri System

“Asynchronous and Synchronous E-Learning,” by EDUCAUSE

ALISE Webinars, complimentary access to recordings for ALISE members:

“Moving from Online Teaching to Connected Learning: Strategies for Enhancing Community and Building Community In and Outside the LMS,” presented by Brenda Boyer and Joyce Valenza

“Creating Community: Constructing the Online Classroom to Inspire Rich Learning,” presented by Renee F. Hill

“Foundations of Instructional Design for Online Courses,” presented by Jenna Kammer and Grace Zhou

Online Resources

Faculty, staff and students who are seniors or high-risk can take advantage of these shopping times at local establishment.

List of Free/Open Access Online Resources being made available to students.

Connectivity for students who need it:

    • FCC agreement stating that providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and open hot-spots.
    • Comcast COVID-19 response: offers free WiFi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots are free to the public during this time
    • Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months
    • AT&T COVID-19 response: offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month plans to low income families
    • Verizon COVID-19 response: no special offers, but following the FCC agreement.
    • Sprint COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, provides unlimited data to existing customers, and, starting Tuesday, 3/17/2020, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).
    • T-Mobile COVID-19 response: follows FCC agreement, plus unlimited data to existing customers, and, coming soon, will allow all handsets to enable hot-spots for 60 days at no extra charge (I expect others will follow).




Add your name to the ideas document if you have research or teaching expertise related to this pandemic.


The University has started a page for COVID-19-related expertise. The steering committee for the group consists of Dr. Kathleen Brown (Public Health), Dr. Katie Cahill (Baker Center), Dr. Kristina Kintziger (Public Health), Dr. Matthew Murray (Baker Center/Boyd Center), Dr. Agricola Odoi (Veterinary Medicine), Dr. Mary Souza (Veterinary Public Health). You can read their policy briefs and see the members of the full team at:

The Boyd Center for Economic and Business Research has put together an interactive information page on the Tennessee outbreak.

3/26/20: Nina Fefferman spoke with a group of administrators about the pandemic, viral transmission, and community risk a few weeks ago. Moreover, she’s giving the following webinar, The Role of Applied Math in Real-time Pandemic Response: How Basic Disease Models Work with Nina Fefferman, on March 31 at 3:30 p.m. EDT [].

3/18/20: Marcy J. Souza, Director of Veterinary Public Health at the College of Veterinary Medicine, published an Op-Ed, entitled “Coronavirus is not the first disease that spills over from animals to humans and it will not be the last” in the Knoxville News Sentinel.