COSAM News Articles 2020 March Message from Dean Giordano – March 20, 2020

Message from Dean Giordano – March 20, 2020

Published: 03/20/2020

By: Dean Giordano

To all COSAM faculty, staff, and students,

I want to personally share with you the latest information I have regarding updates for our campus.

First, I want to make sure you know about a new web page that COSAM has set up with the latest information on campus plans. This web page contains links to the latest news from the President and Provost, updates from HR concerning all manner of issues such as how to report hours when working remotely, the latest on what is open and what is not. This web page is at:

We are doing all we can to make sure that this web page reflects the latest information from across the university.

It was announced that Auburn will continue with online instruction through the end of the spring semester and that the spring 2020 commencement ceremony will be postponed. Possible online options for that ceremony are being discussed. Other restrictions on visitors on campus and campus events, etc., that were initially in place through April 10, will now continue through the end of the spring semester.

Many of you have asked about the status of summer programs such as study abroad programs and COSAM summer camps for K-12 students, and how summer school will be handled (i.e., online or in-person). I expect that those decisions will be announced around April 1.

Some Assistant Professors have asked about the possibility of an extension of their tenure clock due to disruptions of their research as a result of closures or travel restrictions. This is now the subject of conversations of the upper administration with Senate leaders and others (including Deans). No decisions have been made yet, but it will certainly be seriously considered.

Please keep in mind that students are extremely stressed out about their current classes, classes for the fall, and much more. Reassurance from their faculty, advisors, and anyone else who works with students would be sincerely appreciated. You might reach out to students through Canvas or email to help reduce their anxiety.

I encourage all supervisors to directly reach out to all of the employees they supervise or work with to provide updates and a chance for employees to ask questions. Email or video options such as Zoom might be a good way to do this.

For courses this semester, there will now be an option to have the grading be pass/not pass (i.e., Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). The Provost will provide instructions on how this will work. As I understand it, faculty will give a letter grade as usual. Students will then have the option to convert that letter grade to S/U (F -> U, D, C, B, A -> S). This conversion will have implications for the GPA, scholarship criteria, and more, and students will be required to work through their advisor to make this change. Advisors should be prepared to fully discuss these implications with students.

Most importantly, I want to sincerely thank EVERYONE in COSAM for all of their work this week. The transition to online courses and working remotely came much quicker than most of us had imagined. While there have been some glitches, things have gone quite smoothly due to your patience and dedication. I hope that my messages have been helpful in keeping you all informed. Contact me directly by email if you have any particular questions or issues that you would like me to address in future messages.

My plan is to continue to give you updates twice a week via email, probably on Tuesdays and Fridays.



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