Changes to Fall 2020 Academic Calendar

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2 July 2020

This message was originally distributed to VSU students and employees on July 2, 2020.

Colleagues,

I am writing to alert you to some important changes in the Fall 2020 calendar as part of our response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As plans for our fall semester continue to evolve, VSU has been carefully following the guidelines from the University System of Georgia (USG), as well as trends throughout the state and nation.  Many campuses have sought to limit student travel during the semester by eliminating planned fall breaks as well as concluding face-to-face instruction before Thanksgiving.  After discussing a variety of options, the Deans’ Council has recommended a change to VSU’s face-to-face class schedule.  That recommendation has been discussed with the Faculty Senate Leadership Team and approved by the President’s Cabinet. 

The changes are as follows:

  • Fall 2020 classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, August 17
  • Regular instruction in face-to-face classes will conclude on Tuesday, November 24
  • There will be no fall break this year, in order to make up for two of the six instructional days lost due to this change, (originally scheduled for October 12th-13th). 
  • Final exams are slated for December 8 – 11 and will remain as originally scheduled but will be administered online.

This change only affects face-to-face classes; all classes scheduled for fully-online instruction, along with clinical rotations, student teaching placements, and off-campus or online activities will follow their original schedule.

Faculty may choose to make up the remaining instructional time in a variety of ways, as articulated below.

Campus Operations

While face-to-face instruction will end before the Thanksgiving holiday, the campus will remain open as planned after the holiday. The Library and other services, such as Housing, Dining, Student Health, Counseling, Advising, and other programs will continue to be available.

CLASS SCHEDULE ADJUSTMENTS

(August 17-November 24)

As a result of this abbreviated face-to-face class schedule, depending on the regularly scheduled class day(s) (MWF/TR/MW or one day per week), classes will lose a certain amount of direct instructional time. See the adjustment schedule below.  

Per our accreditation from SACSCOC, we must demonstrate that we will make up that time.  Because there are many different instructional formats and needs, we are asking faculty members to work with their department heads to designate how they are going to address this missed time. 

As we have done in the past with days lost to hurricane closures, several options are available: 

  • Added virtual instructional sessions
  • One or more added assignments or activities  
  • If an additional face-to-face class meeting is needed (e.g., for a laboratory exercise, studio assignment, etc.), we will designate two specific Saturdays for those activities: October 24th and November 7th
    • For those faculty members choosing this option, please use the designated date for the classes missed.
    • In that way, the same classroom space should be available.
    • Further, please be flexible with students who may have difficulty attending on these dates. 

FLEX WEEK

(November 30-December 7)

The week after Thanksgiving will be a flex week. The university will be open, but we will not conduct any face-to-face classes during this time. This week may be used for preparation for final examinations and other activities.  Faculty should be available to consult with students, holding virtual office hours as usual.  These days may also be used for virtual review sessions for final exams, but this time is not to be used for regular classroom instruction. Leaving this week open should also provide us with some flexibility to make up any time we might lose to a hurricane or tropical storm.

FINAL EXAMINATIONS, COMMENCEMENT, FINAL GRADES

(December 8-14)

Remotely-delivered final exams will proceed as originally scheduled, starting on Tuesday, December 8th and continuing through Friday, December 11th

Fall commencement remains scheduled for Saturday, December 12th, and final grades will be due by 8 am on Monday, December 14th.

We hope this schedule will allow for the flexibility that both faculty and students will need during these challenging times. 

UPDATED FALL 2020 CALENDAR 

First Class Day

Monday, August 17, 2020

Labor Day Holiday

Monday, September 7, 2020

Midterm

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Last day to withdraw

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Saturday Make-Up Day 1
(Monday, Wednesday, or Friday classes)

October 24, 2020

Saturday Make-Up Day 2
(Tuesday or Thursday Classes)

November 7, 2020

Last On-Campus Class Day

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Thanksgiving Break

Wednesday, November 25 - Friday, November 27, 2020

Final Exam/Project Preparation
and Virtual Review

Monday, November 30 - Monday, December 7, 2020

Final Exams

Tuesday, December 8 - Friday, December 11, 2020

Fall Commencement

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Final Grades Due

Monday, December 14, 2020

 

CLASS MINUTES ADJUSTMENT SCHEDULE

(Missed minutes are indicated in the last three columns.)

Class
Days

Regular Number
of Days

Number
of days
Fall 2020

Number
of days
to adjust

3 hour
(2250 mins)

4 hour
(3000 mins)

2 hour
(1500 mins)

MWF

45

42

3

150

 

 

MW

30

28

2

150

200

100

TR

30

29

1

75

100

50

M

15

14

1

150

 

 

T

15

15

0

0

 

 

W

15

14

1

150

 

 

R

15

14

1

150

 

 

 

Robert T. Smith, Ph.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Mathematics
Valdosta State University


Report Health Concerns

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 229-333-5941. If after office hours then the student should call campus police at 229-333-7816 to be transferred to the on-call Dean. For more information, read the FAQ section of the coronavirus website.

All VSU Employees: If you are feeling sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, do not report to work; contact Human Resources immediately. For more employee resources on safety and prevention, please visit our Return to Campus plan. Please contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for your medical needs.