On May 1, 2020 in an email to all employees, Acting President Theobald announced the creation of five working groups that would prepare recommendations for transitioning back to on-site work and residential teaching and learning in Academic Year (AY) 20-21. The groups include: University Operations, University Structure, Social Structure, Personnel Policies, and Community and State Interaction. (See for a list of the working groups and participants.)

The University Structure Working Group is comprised of three sub-groups consisting of 45 faculty, staff, students, department heads, associate deans and deans. These subgroups are examining approaches other universities are considering for Fall 2020. They are considering best practices and they are actively engaged in planning for a number of contingencies. The sub-groups include:

  1. Scheduling and Instructional Delivery. This group has been charged with providing recommendations for the AY20-21 schedule and instructional delivery to best ensure everyone’s health and safety, as well as the academic success of our students. The group will think through a range of options for the calendar, fall schedule (as well as implications for J-term and spring semester), class structures, and instructional delivery.

  2. Research. This group is examining issues around research, including graduate student research, and will be making recommendations on ways we can support faculty and student researchers.

  3. Reflection, Assessment and Lessons Learned. This group is reflecting on lessons learned from spring semester, assessment of student academic success, and implications going forward. The group is specifically focusing on student support, issues for international students, online learning, and continuous improvement.

The Office of Academic Affairs set up a web portal for the university community to provide thoughts and feedback to the working groups.  That feedback was used to inform the committees as they developed recommendations for the return to fall plan.

You can read the committees’ final reports here:




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We appreciate your feedback to the University Structure Working Group