Academic Continuity for Faculty

This website addresses some frequently asked questions from Hunter faculty regarding Hunter and CUNY’s latest guidance regarding Academic Continuity during the COVID-19 crisis. The information herein complements and supersedes information currently presented in CUNY’s COVID-19 Portal. For convenience, this information is formatted as frequently asked questions. It will be updated regularly as more information becomes available.

See President Raab’s most recent updates on Hunter’s response to the coronavirus.

Faculty Affairs

Will classroom teaching observations be conducted?

Classroom teaching observations that have not yet been conducted in Spring 2020 will only be conducted at the request of the instructor.

How will annual evaluations for full time faculty be conducted?

Full-time faculty will receive their annual evaluations this spring. Faculty and faculty evaluators may conduct evaluations via distance technology. Please find new protocols, including appropriate teleconference methods, for online observations on the CUNY Coronavirus Portal.

I’m on the tenure track and concerned about the impact of COVID 19 on my scholarly productivity. Are there any accommodations?

Because the current COVID-19 crisis presents a major interruption to research and scholarship, tenure track faculty may request a one-year extension in their tenure clock. Please note: faculty who are currently scheduled to be considered for tenure in Fall 2020 and would like an extension on their tenure clock must request that extension in writing to the Provost by May 1st, 2020. Faculty coming up for tenure in future years who would like to request a one-year extension must request that extension by February 1st of the academic year immediately preceding the year in which they will be coming up for tenure review.

How should faculty handle office hours?

All faculty office hours will continue to be held utilizing distance technology. Faculty must notify their students and department chair or program director of how they plan on retaining their office hours as soon as possible. Please contact your chair, program director, or dean with any questions.

Do I need to make up classes that were missed during the Academic Recess or the CUNY Instructional Recalibration Period?

To date, when we consider the losses and gains in instructional days due to CUNY’s Instructional Recess and Recalibration Period, the number of instructional days we need to make are as follows: Mondays (1), Tuesdays (1), Wednesdays (1), Thursdays (0), Friday’s (2), Saturdays (1), and Sundays (1). These days, in the absence of regulatory relief, can ultimately be made up using additional assignments to assist students in making up missed work. Such assignments might include interactive projects, supplemental instructional material, preparation of reports, or other assignments at the discretion of the department and the instructor. As to the University’s previously scheduled Spring Recess, per the Chancellor’s previous communications, it will now run from Wednesday April 8 through Friday April 10, encompassing the beginning of Passover and Good Friday. Please note: some courses and programs received an exemption from CUNY’s Instructional Recalibration Period and will follow the prior Spring Recess schedule. For faculty, staff and students whose religious observation extends into the week of April 13, as always you have the right to request a religious exemption to observe the holiday and we will offer maximum flexibility in addressing the requests. CUNY’s guidance for religious exemptions can be found on their website and we will remind faculty and staff about our guidance, as we get closer to that date.

What is the status of for-credit internships?

Many internships that students are taking for credit have been understandably interrupted or have shifted in format. Where permissible, academic internship responsibilities given to students by outside organizations at the beginning of the semester will continue to be carried out via remote. In cases where internship responsibilities cannot be carried out via remote, campus faculty will develop and assign alternative experiential learning responsibilities and goals to students enrolled in credit-bearing courses. Faculty should continue to work with their students using remote learning tools in seminars and to redesign assigned internship deliverables. Students may also opt to take an incomplete.

I’m scheduled to teach a summer course. Will summer courses be taught through distance learning?

CUNY — along with several other state colleges — continues to consult stakeholders and monitor the current situation as it moves to complete its course offering for Summer 2020 sessions — especially as it pertains to whether or not distance learning should be primarily or completely privileged.

Technology

I would like to learn more about instructional tools and resources available for online teaching. Where can I find out more?

We will continue to support you as you fine-tune your courses.  Hunter has hosted dozens of trainings, mentoring sessions, and Q&As about instructional support for remote instruction.  New programs are being created, and more information about upcoming webinars, office hours, and training and support are available on our website.

Now that I have begun teaching remotely I have found that the technology I have is inadequate or additional technology would enable me to better teach my classes. Are there any resources available?

We understand that you may find the technology you have inadequate for what you now need to do. We have raised private funds to support long-term technology loans for students, and are delighted to be able to extend that support to faculty. Please contact your chair, program director, or dean to request additional technology such as laptops, monitors, headsets, or specialized software. Associate Provost Jenny Tuten is overseeing this program and we will do our best to accommodate your requests.

How will I give my finals? What is the plan for remote testing?

We know many of you have requested guidance on remote testing; we are working with CUNY to explore Respondus, an online assessment and learning tool, to support the immediate needs for an exam proctoring solution. Respondus is partnering with educational institutions throughout the world to transition to fully remote administration of classes. Two products they offer, LockDown Browser and Respondus Monitor enable students to take online exams from home, while deterring cheating and protecting the exam content itself. Both applications integrate seamlessly with Blackboard and are used with over 80 million assessments annually.  As we work to determine if this is the right fit for Hunter, we are also continuing the review of other solutions we could consider. Recommendations for alternatives should be shared with your chair, program director, or dean. Additional information will be forthcoming.

Grading Policies

What are the new grading policies?

CUNY has adopted several new policies in response to the current COVID-19 crisis and transition to remote instruction.  They are summarized below.

Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy for the Spring 2020 Semester

As part of The City University of New York’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, during the Spring 2020 semester, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading.

  1. During the Spring 2020 semester, all students shall have the option to convert any or all of the (A-F) letter grades they earn in their classes, to Credit/No Credit grading.
  2. Students shall be able to make this decision up to 20 business days after the University’s final grade submission deadline. Once selected, the CR/NC option cannot be cannot be reversed.
  3. If a student chooses to exercise this option, a passing letter grade (A, B, C, or D) will convert to ‘CR’ with credit for the class being awarded, while a failing grade (F) will convert to ‘NC’, with no credit awarded.  Credit/No Credit grades will not impact the student’s GPA.
  4. Courses taken for a letter grade will continue to be included in the semester and general GPA, while courses taken for a Credit/Non-credit grade will be excluded, just as is the case with such courses taken at a student’s home institution.
  5. If a student exercises the option of Credit/No Credit, the Credit (CR) grade will not negatively impact the student’s satisfactory progress toward degree completion.
  6. Students with Credit/No Credit grades will be able to transfer those courses across colleges within CUNY, per current CUNY policy.
  7. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall apply to coursework completed on Permit and will not affect Board of Trustees Policy 1.14 – Policy on Coursework Completed on Permit.
  8. Students placed on academic probation by their institution at the start of the Spring 2020 semester shall not be penalized with academic dismissal based upon their grades earned this semester.
  9. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall not affect the University standards of student retention and progress in accordance with Board of Trustees Policy 1.26.
  10. Before choosing this grading option for one or more of their classes, students shall consult with their academic and financial aid advisors regarding potential impact to their financial aid, licensure requirements, and graduate school admissions.
  11. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall supersede and override all undergraduate and graduate program-level grading policies currently in effect at CUNY colleges and schools, including those related to required and elective courses within the major, minor, general education (Pathways), pre-requisite courses, honors courses, courses taken on permit and maximum number of credits that a student can earn with Credit/No Credit grades.
  12. The grade glossary, attached to each transcript, will be updated to include a notation denoting that all Spring 2020 grades, including CR or NC, were earned during a major disruption to instruction as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
  13. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall apply to all CUNY colleges and schoolsexcept the School of Law and the School of Medicine, which may develop their own Pass/Fail policies, subject to approval of the Board of Trustees, to conform to norms in legal and medical education.
  14. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy, which shall be effective April 1, 2020, applies to the Spring 2020 semester only and that the Chancellor, may, in his discretion, to meet public health emergency policies and practices, extend this policy to future semesters, if necessary and report such extension to the Board of Trustees immediately.
  15. The Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy shall be codified in the Manual of General Policy as Policy 1.4. and cannot be overwritten by any individual units of the University, including presidents, provosts, or college councils.

The policy will remain in effect for the Spring 2020 semester and will be reviewed by the Chancellor and extended as necessary to meet public health emergency policies and practices.

Mail Pickup

The Mail Room in the main campus is open Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9 AM – 4 PM
Faculty and Staff may pick up their mail during these times.

The mail room is located in the North Building, room 207 (near Onestop).
Faculty and Staff picking up their mail will first need to check-in at the Visitors Center in the West Lobby.