Roles and Responsibilities of Deans, Chairs, and Directors
Deans, Chairs, and Directors have essential roles to fill with regard to academic continuity. Fundamentally, those roles are most significant at two point: planning and preparation and during an emergency. As is true with regard to the relationship between an instructor and h/her students during an emergency, it is likewise true that communication is of utmost importance. Development of procedures and protocols for communicating information is essential to effectively sustaining instruction and ensuring that students maintain progress toward the completion of their academic goals.

6.1. Planning and Preparation

  • Deans, Chairs, and Directors should be familiar with this guide in order to understand what is expected of their faculty members.
  • Chairs and Directors should encourage all faculty members to develop academic continuity plans for all classes, and they should be aware of any classes that may be at risk if the university must suddenly close for an extended period of time.
  • Chairs and Directors need to be aware that faculty are expected to provide complete copies of their academic continuity plans to them, in both paper and electronic form.
  • Deans, Chairs and Directors should encourage faculty to receive training relative to the delivery of instruction using distributed learning technologies. (See Section 3.7. Faculty Development and Training and the Appendices)

6.1. During an Emergency

In your role as a Dean, Chair, or Director, you need to support and encourage faculty in the development of plans for continuing instruction in the event of an emergency. You also need to provide alternatives in any situation in which an instructor has been affected by the emergency and cannot continue to teach.
  • Deans should call all Chairs and Directors to ensure that they are able to reach their instructors.
  • Chairs and Directors should call all instructors and ensure that they can continue to teach.
  • If an instructor is unavailable or known to be affected by the emergency, the Chair or Director should first determine if another instructor can be enlisted to teach the class from a distance. Chairs and Directors should have enough information about the class continuation plan for a replacement instructor to be able to run the class for at least two weeks, and ideally for the remainder of the semester.
  • If a replacement instructor is available, that instructor should be provided with all available course materials and student contact lists.
  • The replacement instructor should follow all steps required of instructors, as if the class was his or her own.
  • If no suitable replacement instructor is available, the students must be contacted to inform them that their class instruction will cease for the duration of the emergency. They should also be told about any provisions that will be made for completing the class, or for tuition reimbursement.
  • Tuition reimbursements will be a substantial hardship for the University and all possible steps should be taken to avoid their necessity