May 8: Update on Preparation Task Force and Working Groups

TO: All Faculty and Staff
FROM: Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., Provost
            Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Associate Provost and VP, Student Life
RE: Update on Preparation Task Force and Working Groups
DATE: May 8, 2020 at 3:05 PM

As communicated in Dr. Reed’s recent virtual community forum and corresponding email message, he has formed a Preparation Task Force to coordinate comprehensive planning and action plans for the fall semester based on the four most likely scenarios. We have received many notes and calls to check in on the University’s planning process and therefore wanted to provide everyone with an overview. In addition to the task force, 10 working groups will be responsible for creating action plans within specific domains. On a weekly basis, the working group chairs will report back to the task force for coordination, alignment and action.
The membership of the task force and working groups is listed below, as well as the domain of each group.
If you have a question or idea relating to one of the working groups’ domains, fill out this form and your comment will be routed appropriately.
Thank you to all of the task force and working group members, faculty and staff who have or will participate in this crucial work.
Cheryl and Cary
Preparation Task Force Membership

  • Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., Co-Chair, Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs
  • Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Co-Chair, Associate Provost and Vice President, Student Life
  • Aisha Lockridge, Ph.D., President, Faculty Senate
  • Susan Clampet-Lundquist, Ph.D., Vice President, Faculty Senate
  • Audre Brokes, Ph.D., Chair, Academic Policies and Procedures, Faculty Senate
  • Clint Springer, Ph.D., Chair, Faculty Policy and Procedures, Faculty Senate
  • David Beaupré, MBA, Vice President for Finance and Administration, Treasurer
  • Gail Benner, M.A., Director of PR and Media
  • Jill Bodensteiner, J.D., MBA, Director of Athletics
  • Jill Cleary, Director of Project Management
  • Fran DiSanti, M.S., Chief Information Officer
  • Zenobia Hargust, M.S., SPHR, Chief Human Resources Officer
  • Tim McGuriman, M.Ed., Associate Vice President, Administrative Services
  • Karen Pellegrino, M.A., Vice President, Enrollment Management
  • Chairs of Working Groups (Listed Below)

Working Groups, Chairs, and Membership

1. Non-Classroom and Dining Space – It is likely that the University will be subject to various government restrictions that impact our operations including physical distancing, enhanced cleaning requirements, and service delivery protocols that will impact activities, athletics, recreation and meetings. This group is responsible for creating an action plan to identify additional classroom space and determine necessary adjustments to programming, meetings and other non-classroom events. It will also strategize space and operational changes to dining services. This working group is chaired by John Jeffery, Ed.D., Student Life, and will include representatives from Student Life, Athletics, Campus Ministry, Aramark, Events and Conference Services, Enrollment Management and the Library.
2. Health, Safety and Housing – It is likely that the University will be subject to various government restrictions and public health guidance that impact our students. This group will determine the best possible ways to explore configuration of residence hall space, medical support and testing, procedures and supplies for PPE, student transportation and communication around health and safety topics. This group is chaired by Cary Anderson, Ed.D., Student Life, and will include representatives from the Student Health Center, Public Safety and Security, Residence Life, Student Support, Athletics and Administrative Services.
3. Student Support and First Year Experience – This group will examine and create an action plan for our educational, wellness and accommodation support systems for both on and off-campus students, as well as reimagining the first-year experience within the four most likely scenarios. We know that a student’s first year is integral to their long-term academic success. This group will be co-chaired by Kim Allen-Stuck, Ph.D., the Success Center, and Karen Pellegrino, M.A., Enrollment Management, and include representatives from Student Success, Student Support, Faith-Justice Institute, IT, Campus Ministry, Counseling and Psychological Services, Office of the Provost, members of the faculty and advising centers.
4. Student Activities and Connection – Student activities provide vital leadership opportunities and build connection in our community. Physical distancing and participant limitations may require us to reimage how clubs, organizations, programs and activities occur on campus. This group will create an action plan addressing potential requirements in each of our four scenarios, as well as any changes to promotion of events and programming. This group will be chaired by Kiersten White, Ed.D., Student Life, with representatives from DEI, Student Activities, Athletics, Campus Ministry, Career Development Center, and Marketing and Communications.
5. Culture of Care – Caring for one another as a community has never been more important. This group will explore and create an action plan for how we will embrace the Ignatian notion of “with and for others,” to create a safer environment by complying with the need for physical distancing, wearing face covering, and additional public health guidance. It will also proactively plan for counteracting and addressing bias that could arise from current challenges. Nicole Stokes, Ph.D., DEI, will chair this group with representatives from Campus Ministry, Student Life and the Office of the Provost.
6. Classroom Space – Given the potential need for physical distancing, classroom cleaning, and various degrees of in-person and remote learning may be required throughout the semester and based upon the four most likely scenarios. This group will create an action plan to modify existing classrooms, identify additional space and make recommendations on academic scheduling. This group is co-chaired by Peter Norberg, Ph.D., Office of the Provost, and Chris Saxby, M.S., Registrar, and will include associate deans, faculty, as well as representatives from administrative services and IT.
Note that the next three working groups, the Technology of Teaching, Pedagogy and Standards, and Faculty Development, will work closely together.
7. The Technology of Teaching – Technology can help support our agile response to a changing environment and to support students who cannot participate in in-person classes due to health concerns. This group will create an action plan to ensure students and faculty are well-prepared for needs that arise within the four most likely scenarios. The group will explore the needs for business continuity, academic integrity, lecture capture, high-flex classrooms, virtual desktop infrastructure and student technology readiness. This group is co-chaired by Janeé Burkhalter, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Marketing, and Fran DiSanti, M.S., Chief Information Officer, with representatives from faculty senate, faculty, associate deans, IT and the Office of the Provost.  
8. Pedagogy and Standards – As evidenced by the spring semester, Saint Joseph’s faculty are able to deliver high-quality and engaging instruction via virtual methods. But how do we raise the bar even further, in the event that fall semester courses must be partially or fully online? This group will create an action plan to implement expectations for virtual teaching, standards and norms to evaluate online and hybrid courses, and guidelines for short periods of online instructional continuity. This group is co-chaired by Raj Sharma, Ph.D., Office of the Provost, and Jim Boettcher, Ph.D., Chair, College Council, College of Arts and Sciences, and will include representatives from faculty senate and the faculty.
9. Faculty Development – Saint Joseph’s has long been a leader in excellence in online instruction, however, the summer provides us with an opportunity to push faculty skills even further and address specific faculty concerns. This group will create an action plan to best support faculty so they are ready to transition seamlessly between in-person and virtual instruction through the Teaching and Learning Forum, online course development modules, and with collaboration with IT and Office of Teaching and Learning. This group will be co-chaired by Usha Rao, Ph.D., Office of Teaching and Learning, and Peter Norberg, Ph.D., Office of the Provost, and include additional representation from the faculty.
10. Employee Wellbeing and High-Risk Accommodations – Our faculty and staff are Saint Joseph’s greatest resource. We cannot fulfill our mission without a healthy and engaged workforce. In addition, some faculty and staff may have underlying health issues that put them at higher risk for contracting COVID-19 and other illnesses. This group will create an action plan to establish processes and procedures for high-risk individuals, reasonable accommodations, burnout prevention and upskilling for potential virtual work. This group will be co-chaired by Zenobia Hargust, M.S., Human Resources, and Cheryl McConnell, Ph.D., Provost, and include representatives from Counseling and Psychological Services, Student Support, Graduate Programs, General Council, associate deans and members of the faculty.