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First, thank you for all you are doing for your students during this crisis. Please be kind to yourself, scale back expectations, and give yourself permission to screw up. We’re all under a lot of pressure.

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. We hope a consolidated university page for faculty information will be forthcoming.


If you have a question and want to see the status of other current questions, post it in this Google doc.

Teaching Online Resources Expertise

Answers to Previously Asked Questions


    • Graduate and undergraduate students will have the ability to opt for S/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.



    • If a student elects S/NC and the program requires a C or better, S covers it. If the program requires a C+ or better, it doesn’t, but departments could manually override that at discretion. A GenEd course, with a D or higher, still allows a student to apply the course for GenEd, but if the student opts for S/NC, it would be an NC and thus not count. Faculty will probably not see the students’ choice until the last stage of Banner grade entry.


    • 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.





    • The Provost, Chancellor, and faculty leaders are in conversations about financial recognition for those who are teaching 4 or more courses that had to go online.


    • At present, PPPRs (Periodic Post-Promotion Reviews) are still going forward, but APRs (Academic Program Reviews) are postponsed to AY 2020-21.


    • Facilities workers have been training in CDC protocols for 2 year, use Clorox 360, are observing social distancing under OSHA guidance, are increasing cleaning, have PPE, and are staggering shifts. If you see a facilities worker, please thank them.


    • Supplied, technical equipment, and other necessary items to complete/support a project can be shipped to the faculty member’s home, but be sure to keep and report up the bill of lading or shipping receipt.


    • If you have PPE supplies or equipment that you can donate, contact


    • The Board of Trustees will meet March 27 to vote on provisions that would allow for tenure clock adjustments (which will be optional) and other provisions that will let the Campus modify reviews.


    • The faculty member owns materials put on Canvas, unless a prior contract is in force.


    • The Provost is working on licensure issues for programs with field experience.


    • OIT support is now extended 8 AM to 8 PM.


    • Student Disability Services should have emailed you on March 18 to let you know if you have a student with an approved accommodation. Here are more accessibility tips



    • We recommend you download your student email list from Canvas and ask them to download the Zoom client before March 23.



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.