Resources for students, faculty, and staff in the College of Liberal Arts

In response to the local and global efforts around the COVID-19 outbreak, CSU has moved all operations to online and virtual services effective Monday, March 23.

The College of Liberal Arts has collected a list of resources from around campus to help students, faculty, and staff continue their studies, research, and work.

For the latest information from CSU, visit covidrecovery.colostate.edu.

Last updated: May 14, 2020

Student Resources

Support for Learning & Working Remotely 


Physical Access to Campus

  • Morgan Library is physically closed, except for two hours/day for pickup and drop off. They are  available virtually to help with research needs. If you need a laptop, you may check one out. 
  • Campus buildings are closed. If you need access, please contact your supervisor or department chair who will assess special circumstances. 
  • Because campus is running on essential personnel only, labs run by the College of Liberal Arts are closed. 
  • The CSU Health Network is open for limited services.  


Advising Appointments 

  • Please call (970) 491-3117 to schedule your advising appointment. All appointments will be held virtually. 
  • The last day to withdraw from a course is May 8. Please talk with your ASC if this is something you are considering. 


Career Center 



  • All events this spring have been cancelled or postponed. 
  • Spring Commencement 2020 will be celebrated at December Commencement 2020. 

For additional student specific resources and services, visit keepengaging.colostate.edu.


The College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office is working remotely. To contact us, please call (970) 491-5421 or email cladean@colostate.edu
between 8 am and 4:45 pm.

For the latest information about CSU’s response to COVID19, visit the COVID-19 recovery website.

For students who become ill

Faculty & Staff Resources

Support for Teaching & Working Remotely 


Physical Access 

  • Morgan Library is physically closed, except for two hours/day for pickup and drop off. They are available virtually to help with research needs. 
  • Campus buildings are closed, and most everyone is required to work remotely. If you need to access materials or equipment, please contact your supervisor or department chair. Anyone who needs access to a building on campus will need a key or keycard to do so.   
  • Labs run by the College of Liberal Arts are closed.  


For Technical Assistance

Trouble with your computer? Submit a help ticket to HelpLibArts@colostate.edu 

Trouble with Canvas? Contact our college Canvas coordinator, Hannah. Cla_canvashelp@colostate.edu  



  • All spring events have been cancelled or postponed. 
  • Spring Commencement 2020 will be celebrated at December Commencement 2020. 

For additional faculty/staff resources and services, visit keepengaging.colostate.edu.


The College of Liberal Arts Dean’s Office is working remotely. To contact us, please call (970) 491-5421 or email cladean@colostate.edu
between 8 am and 4:45 pm.

For the latest information about CSU’s response to COVID-19, visit the recovery website.  

For students who become ill

Campus Communications: Administration, Canvas, CSU units

Emails from CSU Administration

All university communications are being published at the safety.colostate.edu site. Please refer to this page for the latest from President McConnell, Provost Miranda, and others across the university.

MAY 13 - President McConnell, Re: What's Next

Happy Wednesday, everyone,

As you know, I recently outlined a comprehensive planning process for the university’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. I am energized to lead this process, working in collaboration with CSU’s public health experts, researchers, administrative leadership, and our faculty, staff, and students. 

After I announced our planning process, I asked what questions were uppermost in your minds.  Many of you responded – thank you! Some of you will receive a response directly from an appropriate unit at the university. Those questions that we heard most frequently and urgently are answered in this video.

I’ll caution you that this would not fly on TikTok. It’s long and substantive. I hope many of you will choose to watch the whole video, but I know you are all busy, especially during Finals Week.  Further down in this message, I’ve included the time stamps for the various questions we address, so you can just go to one in particular.

Please also note that when we recorded this video footage, the state of Colorado was predicting $2 billion in budget cuts for fiscal year 2021, which we knew would profoundly impact higher education.  That is the number I cite in the video. Yesterday morning, however, the General Assembly released a new forecast that puts the estimated cuts for the coming year at more than $3 billion. While this a daunting number, it is in line with what the CSU System has already been planning for and modeling around.  Our discussions are moving forward as I’ve outlined in previous communications.

I am grateful to be joined in answering these questions by the co-chairs of CSU’s Pandemic Preparedness Team, Marc Barker and Lori Lynn. Together, we address the following questions:

  • When will we know whether the Fall semester will be virtual or in-person? 2:18
  • How will CSU keep everyone healthy when we are back together on campus? 3:31
  • What can you tell us about budget projections, and about any possible budget reductions that may directly impact employee salaries and employment statuses? 6:47
  • What can you tell us about returning to work and reopening the campus for meetings and events? 8:28
  • Who is serving on the various groups that are managing our recovery process and how can our diverse campus community provide input during this process? 12:47

Some of the information we provide, and more, can be found in materials online:

Thank you all for your continued engagement in and commitment to our recovery process.



MAY 1 - Public Safety Team, Re: Remote status, state orders, and public health

Dear University community,

In light of the most recent orders from the state, we want to clarify that our university status essentially remains unchanged: Units, divisions and colleges should continue to focus on remote and virtual operations.

State orders continue to recommend working remotely. We expect all individuals who can work remotely to continue to do so at least through the month of May. At this time, neither the governor via Executive Orders nor the university’s Pandemic Preparedness Team have authorized individuals to return to work on our campuses, other than those individuals previously identified as performing essential, in-person tasks.

The university will take a measured, scaled and gradual approach to return to work plans, and will prioritize units and functions based on a number of factors including, but not limited to, the nature of the work to be performed, the university’s supply of personal protective equipment, implementation of symptom and temperature monitoring, and our ability to clean and disinfect work areas.

The Pandemic Preparedness Team is developing a plan that includes a checklist that any unit working toward mobilizing additional staff on campus must work through with the Pandemic Preparedness Team. This checklist will be made available to units through Vice Presidents and Deans and is expected to be ready next week.

Employees who are working in-person performing essential tasks are reminded that they must:

  • Wash their hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds or more, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available. (https://safety.colostate.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Soapfor20.pdf)
  • Wear a bandana or other cloth face covering at all times while on a university campus. This is a directive from both the governor and the university. Employees who do not have a cloth face covering may contact the Pandemic Preparedness Team through their supervisor or by emailing Environmental Health Service's public health office  public_health_office@Mail.Colostate.edu. Medical-grade masks are not required in most situations and should be reserved for medical personnel, certain research, and for performing specific tasks as identified by public health officials. CSU Public and Occupational Health will provide guidance on when higher level personal protective equipment is required, including medical grade surgical masks, N95 masks or gloves.
  • Practice social distancing while working and anytime on university grounds, including maintaining at least six feet distancing in all work areas.
  • Wipe down work areas and surfaces that are touched often, such as doorknobs, breakrooms, and keyboards, with disinfectant that has been provided by Public and Occupational Health to most units. If employees need disinfectant, and they work Housing and Dining or Facilities Management, they should contact their department supervisor. Those who do not work in one of those departments, should contact Environmental Health Services Public Health (public_health_office@Mail.Colostate.edu).
  • Monitor for symptoms and stay home if they do not feel well – regardless of whether or not the individual is experiencing symptoms of COVID, the flu or other ailments and illnesses. Supervisors are expected to accommodate sick leave requests; proof of illness is not required.

Thank you,

The Public Safety Team

APRIL 10 - Provost Miranda, Re: Course Surveys for Spring 2020


We are aware of the enormous and sustained efforts by faculty to deliver on the commitment to excellence in our educational mission under very trying circumstances.  Your efforts are deeply appreciated.  Given the unprecedented changes to our standard educational landscape, we want to provide guidance on our institutional approach to course surveys for this term.

  1. The SmartEvals survey tool WILL be made available in Canvas for students to access as per standard practice.  This includes the early, standard, and late-release dates.
  2. Given the unprecedented changes required by the COVID-19 response in how we approach teaching and learning, the inclusion of student responses to course surveys for the Spring 2020 term in future annual evaluations and promotion dossiers is NOT required.   Constructive feedback that faculty can use for their own professional development can be gathered from the course surveys, and faculty members CAN include such feedback as they deem appropriate in annual reports and dossier, but no negative commentary from student course surveys from the spring 2020 term should be forced to be included in any faculty member’s annual reports or dossier.  This has been a trying time for all, and we simply do not believe that this term is in any way representative.
  3. An option for custom questions (written and included at the discretion of the faculty member of record in all courses) will be included in SmartEvals.  Details and instructions on how to add custom questions will be forthcoming from the Course Survey team.

Rick Miranda

Provost and Executive Vice President

Dan Bush

Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Gwen Gorzelsky

Executive Director, TILT

Matt Hickey

Chair, Committee on Teaching and Learning

APRIL 9 - TILT, Re: Proctoring Accommodations

Proctoring Accommodations: Meeting Equity and Federal Requirements

Dear Colleagues,

As you plan finals and other exams, please take a flexible approach with the use of proctoring platforms. Keep in mind that faculty are required to make accommodations for students with disabilities, both to ensure equitable academic opportunities for students and to comply with federal law.

Proctoring solutions can create potential access barriers for students with disabilities who use assistive technology. Students who have testing accommodations may need to use a different proctoring solution if their accommodation is not compatible with the proctoring platform being used by other students in the course. Be flexible with your testing requirements and provide students with the ability to communicate any barriers they may experience with assistive technology.

While Respondus’ Monitor is the preferred proctoring platform and ProctorU’s Auto-Launch is the second choice, please be aware that ProctorU Live+ allows for assistive technology accommodations. While there is normally a cost to RI students using Live+, ProctorU provides free use for students needing accommodations. The need for accommodations must be stated in advance. The Live+ option should be used only if necessary for accommodations, not for entire sections or courses, due to its cost.

If accommodations cannot be made with proctoring software, please substitute the Honor Pledge for use of the software.

For more information, please visit the Accessibility section of the DIY page on the Keep Teaching site. For questions about testing accommodations with proctoring software, please contact Alisha Zmuda.


Gwen Gorzelsky, Ph.D. (Pronouns: she/her/hers)

Executive Director, The Institute for Learning and Teaching (TILT)

Professor, Department of English


APRIL 7 - Provost Miranda, Re: Keep Teaching, April Seventh

Dear Colleagues,

It’s humbling, and inspiring, as we approach two weeks of teaching remotely, to witness the work we’re doing as a campus community to develop new ways of delivering course materials and, even more importantly, structuring students’ engagement with those materials.

Students’ capacity to engage is shaped by many larger factors, which right now are increasingly challenging and complex. Research suggests that students learn most effectively when instructors convey a belief in their capacity to succeed, even though students are facing different challenges. This approach entails clearly communicating both the expectation that students can meet high academic standards and how we, as their instructors, are supporting them to do so. This support takes many forms, from how we’ve organized course materials and arranged supplemental resources to making ourselves available through multiple channels to listen, address questions, discuss challenges, and offer advice.

This also requires acknowledging the challenges students are encountering during the crisis, from personal or family members’ illness to limited internet access to living situations that make studying difficult. The potential impact of such challenges, as well as strategies instructors can use to address them, are explained in this blog post from the Student Experience Project, a national initiative of the Association of Public & Land-Grant Universities for which CSU is providing leadership. For example, instructors should provide flexibility on assignment, exam, and project completion dates; offer alternate approaches to accessing course materials and instructor feedback for students with limited internet bandwidth or access; and encourage students to use study aids and other resources.

As adversity confronts us all, keep in mind that students from historically under-represented groups, who regularly face systemic inequities, may encounter particularly extreme circumstances. For example, students of Asian descent could be experiencing hostility, and even physical violence, when others scapegoat them as the supposed cause of COVID-19. Similarly, Zoombombing has been used to perpetrate hate speech and harassment targeting people based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and other characteristics. I encourage you to take a proactive approach. Using Microsoft Teams for live lectures and discussions substantially reduces the risk of Zoombombing. If you’re using Zoom, follow these recommendations to diminish risk. Just as importantly, create a mutually respectful online classroom climate by following the Vice President for Diversity’s Inclusive Teaching Tips, which advocate instructional approaches beneficial for all students.

I chose the second word of this message deliberately.  We are all experiencing a large dose of humility now, from different directions.  The virus is giving us a lesson on who is the dominant species on planet earth.  The new lens of teaching remotely is revealing things about how our students learn and how we can reach them effectively that many of us didn’t realize before.  Living under stay-at-home orders is equally instructive for us all, highlighting our foibles and our character in these strange and uncomfortable circumstances.  And in acknowledging the sacrifices we are enduring, we are indeed humbled by the greater sacrifices made by many others.

There is one structural advantage that we have: we are a world-class research university.  One of the fundamental, indispensable characteristics of research *is* humility: we are trained to ask questions, and admitting that we don’t know the answers is one of the cornerstones of research progress.  Staring into the unknown can be a humbling experience, but most of us do that every day of our professional lives.  I’ve been trying to solve a 150-year-old geometry problem for the last twenty years, and although I thought I solved it about four times, it’s never worked out!  I’m still trying…

We can all use this humility, that’s in our DNA as a research university, to good advantage.  We won’t succeed in all our attempts this season, of course not.  But CSU will keep trying.


Stay healthy, stay humble, and stay tuned,

  • Rick
APRIL 1 - Provost Miranda, Re: Keep Teaching, engagingly

Dear Colleagues,

We’ve gone a week now without face-to-face classes, and although there were a variety of transition issues here and there, all in all it’s gone amazingly smoothly.  As I correspond with many of you, it’s clear to me that you’re taking a creative, flexible approach in moving your formerly in-person courses to remote methods. Maintaining an attitude of flexibility with your students as they also struggle through this transition will continue to be important; your positivity, encouragement, and frequent communication will be critical in helping students to be successful this semester.

Because there have been many inquiries about protecting academic honesty in online courses, I’m writing with additional information on academic integrity, proctoring, and related resources. As you continue teaching in the online environment, please see these suggestions on promoting academic integrity in online courses and use the CSU Honor Pledge if appropriate. If possible, I recommend replacing proctored exams with alternate approaches to assessing students’ learning.

If you choose to administer proctored exams, there are two online proctoring platforms available this semester. Both video record students completing exams, are free to students, do not require students to schedule exams in advance, and use artificial intelligence to identify potential incidents of academic dishonesty. Incidents are then flagged for review by the instructor or a designee. The proctoring software provides information to instructors, who decide whether to review potential cheating incidents and determine what action to take based on any incidents deemed potentially problematic – the software takes no action itself! Please communicate with students if you choose to use proctoring software in your course.

For an overview and comparison of the two platforms, please see the proctoring page on the Keep Teaching website. Respondus’ Monitor is the preferred platform, because for the next two months it provides unlimited exam administrations and unlimited attempts by students if the instructor permits. However, for instructors who want students to access multiple browser windows or other tools during exams, ProctorU’s Auto-Launch is available.

Support for these and other Keep Teaching resources is available through open office hours for faculty, staffed by CSU Online and TILT. These group sessions enable you to benefit from hearing your colleagues’ approaches and responses to their questions. (In-depth individual consultations are provided as needed.) To attend a session this week or next, click the Microsoft Teams link during the session you wish to join:

Thursday, April 2nd  1:00 pm - 2:00 pm   Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Tuesday, April 7th 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

Friday April, 10th 9:00 am – 10:00 am  Join Microsoft Teams Meeting

You can also access archived open office hour sessions if desired.


Finally, as you develop approaches to creating an effective online classroom climate, you may find it useful to attend this webinar on Welcoming Students to Your Online Environment (Thursday, April 2nd, at noon MDT).

I like to work in my campus office, and we live close enough that it’s easy for me to pop in either evenings or weekends as needed.  I don’t even have a home computer – when I do need to do things, I use my laptop.  Hence the room in our house that is ‘the office’ had become rather cluttered, dusty, dark, suitable mainly for storing collected books (remember them?) and memorabilia.  In this period where I can’t go in to campus, I’ve had to get reacquainted with the space, and after I managed to clear out a corner to sit and type, it has certainly been interesting finding things I had not seen in decades.

My day is likely similar to many of yours; I mostly am on the laptop in this office, with excursions to the kitchen; and I try in the evenings to watch the news, and occasionally partake of a Guilty Pleasure being streamed.  (I will NOT reveal those, no.)  The news can be consistently disconcerting; but one bright spot for me has been to see Dr. Fauci who has directed the NIH’s efforts on infectious diseases for many years.  It turns out that he went to the College of the Holy Cross in his youth, as I did!  (We didn’t overlap at all; his youth was considerably earlier than my youth…)

I’ve reflected on why seeing Fauci nearly daily is uplifting; it’s certainly the connection to my undergraduate days, reminding me again of how powerful an experience those years were.  It’s that way for all of our students here at Colorado State now, too – this is their time, a time of great change for each of them personally, a time for development, for choices, for friendships, for maturing, and for learning.  Some of that has been denied them this spring; however the COVID19 crisis will offer other opportunities for growth, too.  It’s our job, as their faculty instructors and staff mentors and advisors, to help them maintain the intensity of their college experience, to the greatest extent possible.  Be flexible, communicate often, and reach out proactively whenever you see signs of disengagement.  Decades from now, when our students here this spring see a fellow Ram on whatever will replace tv by then, we want them to swell a little bit and remember how much CSU has meant to them.

Thank you for all you’ve been doing; stay healthy, and stay tuned,


MARCH 27 - VP Ontiveros, Re: Considering equity during COVID-19

To Our University Faculty and Staff Community:

In times of uncertainty and fear it is crucial to continue to take care of ourselves and one another for the good of our community. It is in the midst of crises like these that our most marginalized communities suffer enhanced oppression and inequities, and it is for this reason that we call your attention to continuing CSU’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion and our Principles of Community. To aid you in these important efforts, we are providing guidance and resources to center equity in your new work situation. This is an unprecedented time for all of us and it will take collective action to ensure that our new virtual university environment is equitable for all staff, faculty, and students.

First off, we want you to know that we are here and we care about you. Many of us are struggling. Many of us are deeply worried about what is happening to our world, families, and communities, all while we continue to do what we can to support the university community through our in-person or remote work. We see you. We hear you. We share your feelings of concern, anxiety, and discomfort. Know that you are not alone and we are here to share the burden with you.

The following takeaways and resources have been collected from a variety of sources, including discussions on higher education social media feeds, suggestions from our own university community members, and discussions in the VPD virtual office space. These practices will aid your efforts to move forward in ways that are equitable and intentional. If you have additional suggestions or questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to the VPD. We are here to help you as we can.

  • When checking in with staff or faculty who are working from home, please remember to approach your expectations with compassion and thoughtfulness. Many staff members will be juggling a variety of needs in their home environment, including caring for children, pets, spouses and partners, parents, and more. Keep in mind that this additional burden of care might not be equally distributed in your colleagues’ households.
  • Access to electronic resources is likely unequally available to your colleagues. Co-workers who live in rural or remote locations may not have the level of internet access necessary to support all of their efforts to work remotely, especially if there are multiple family members stretching the internet capacity. Several adults may be working from home while children are engaging in remote learning at the same time. This can be difficult both in terms of technology and physical space.
  • Remind yourselves and your colleagues that you are more than what you accomplish. In order to take care of ourselves during this anxiety-producing time, it is important to give yourself grace as to what tasks you are able to complete in a day or week. For many staff whose work will be severely altered by moving to a virtual environment, there may be a sense of loss or confusion as to what to do next. Allow yourself to work through those emotions and know that they are valid. Consider creating water cooler-style, casual, virtual check-ins for your team to share where they are at and how they are feeling on a regular basis.
  • Supervisors, keep equity in mind when you make decisions about monitoring your remote employees and remember that privilege can show up here in terms of positional power. Ask yourself critical questions such as “who am I asking to report daily work tasks and who am I not?”; “what does professional courtesy and trust look like for our staff in this new environment?”; “who am I leaning on more and what extra burden might that be causing individual employees?”; and “how can I ensure that the work for our office or department is shared equitably?”. Consider also asking your colleagues “how can I support you”.
  • For advisors, support services, faculty, and anyone directly serving students in the virtual university environment, consider the unusual needs that a virtual university environment will create, such as time zone differences. Now that many students have traveled home, they are distributed throughout the country and the world and these student-centric roles may need to work outside of the typical 8:00am to 5:00pm timeframe. Approach your expectations with flexibility for what the workday might look like compared to our traditional approach. Additionally, colleagues may need to alter their work hours to allow for multiple family members to utilize the strained internet capacity in their home.
  • This time is bound to induce stress, anxiety, and mental health strain. Not only are we pulling together as a community to support our students and one another, but we are also being leaned on by family, friends, and our neighbors. Be patient with yourselves and one another and know that your mental health may experience drastic shifts from day-to-day as the situation develops.
  • Be aware that there are reports across the country of internet trolls accessing private video meeting services to share inappropriate imagery or offensive language. This form of online harassment can be deeply upsetting, and if it happens within a video meeting you are in, please alert our office as soon as possible. To protect your meeting spaces, utilize privacy setting such as the “waiting room” feature in Zoom in which the host must approve all guests prior to them joining the virtual space.
  • E-mails, comments in video conferences, and other forms of electronic communication are not immune from incidents of bias. If you receive such a communication, the Bias Reporting System remains a resource for your use. Please be assured that we are still responding to reports.
  • Incidents of bias towards Asian and Asian-American individuals have increased across the country and here in our very own university community. It is imperative that you not engage in racist narratives or promote harmful stereotypes. Do not use phrases linking COVID-19 to one country, race, or ethnic group. Scientists, epidemiologists, and experts around the world, as well as our own lived experience over the past two weeks, show us that this virus is not bound to one group of people. This is a shared crisis that we are all susceptible to and we need to come together now more than ever. Be kind and be advocates for our community.
  • Regardless of your own identities and relative status of health, it is important to prevent the spread of illness, particularly to help protect those who are most vulnerable to risks from infection, including older folks and those with chronic illnesses or weakened immune systems. Following recommendations from the Center for Disease Control is a practical and necessary way to demonstrate care, support, and solidarity for others.

The Office of the Vice President for Diversity will also be releasing a variety of resources and support in the coming weeks through our monthly newsletter and on our website.

Visit diversity.colostate.edu to continue engaging with us or email diversity@colostate.edu if you have any suggestions or needs in relation to equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Be safe, be well, and thank you for all that you are doing to support one another and our community.

-Office of the Vice President for Diversity

MARCH 26 - Provost Miranda, Re: keep teaching - remotely now!

Dear Colleagues,

We’re just one day into the launch of formerly in-person courses to remote learning methods. I’m impressed with, and appreciative of, the substantial effort you’re investing to make it possible for our students to continue learning and to complete the semester successfully.  We’re also under new stay-at-home orders from the County and the Governor, and although they seem to allow us to maintain the level of University operations that we’ve been working with, they will further constrain all of the rest of our lives too.  It’s a dizzying set of changing circumstances, and the overall message to all of us is that a flexible and positive attitude is incredibly important.

As you begin teaching remotely, keep in mind that students who were able to participate in synchronous activities prior to break may not be able to do so now, due to limited internet access or bandwidth, illness, family members' ill health, job loss and resulting food or housing insecurity, or other challenges. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure that students can access all course materials after the fact, including lectures. Many, perhaps most, students will be ill or otherwise unable to participate in course work for a portion of the semester. Recording any synchronous lectures or discussions and making them available after the fact will ensure that make-up work is manageable for students, and for you. Please notify students that you're archiving these materials and where to find them.

An additional note: we’ll be giving all students the opportunity to choose an S/U grade instead of a traditional letter grade at the end of the semester, and we’ve also relaxed some of the withdrawal deadlines etc.  Please see https://www.acns.colostate.edu/keep-learning/ for more details.  This should not affect how you grade though: give traditional grades as is expected and the students and the registrar will handle any switches.

I want to continue to express my deep gratitude to all of you who are doing so much to help our students succeed.  It’s being said that these are days that History will remember, and we’re living it!  History is serious; but it can also be funny, too.

Where was the Declaration of Independence signed?

              (At the bottom.)

Who designed King Arthur’s Round Table?

              (Sir Cumference.)

What do Alexander the Great and Ivan the Terrible have in common?

              (They have the same middle name.)

Now that I’ve softened you all up, it is true that all of us have a role in what our collective memory will reveal about this period, and about us.  What will we think about 2020 in 2040?  Temporal distance is a funny thing – it can provide clarity, and opacity, at the same time.  I know all of us are working incredibly hard, and in innovative ways, to ensure that when we look back on 2020 from some distance, we will remember clearly that we did our best, and we were successful in helping our wonderful students finish the spring semester strong.  History may be written by others, and will judge us in its way; but the most important judgement will be made by us.  I’m sure we won’t let ourselves down!

Oh, and if 2020 is Historic, and History involves hindsight, then I suppose Hindsight is….2020?

Stay healthy, be historic, and stay tuned, - Rick

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University


MARCH 24 - President McConnell, Re: identified essential-in-person employees

Dear Supervisors,

Thank you all for your responsiveness to my request that you submit a list of essential-in-person functions to the Emergency Preparedness team by the end of last week.   And if you have not yet had the opportunity to do so, please submit the names and titles of your essential-in-person employees, their status (State Classified, Admin Pro, faculty, etc.), and the details of their work functions by uploading the list as a Word document here.

While members of my leadership team and the university’s pandemic preparedness team work together to review your employee lists and confirm your unit’s essential-in-person needs, please consider all those employees whom you submitted conditionally approved as essential-in-person through Friday, March 27.  This means they can and should report for work in person this week according to your direction. 

We ask that you communicate this with them directly.  We also expect all employees to follow clear safety protocols while on university property:

  • Do not prop open building outside doors, section or wing doors, or your office door. Because our buildings are mostly vacant at this time, there is justified concern about theft and other crimes of opportunity.
  • Follow public-health-advised social distancing practices. Do not congregate with other faculty and staff who also have been granted access. Stay at least six feet way from each other.
  • Avoid as much as possible touching surfaces in the building. Use cleaning wipes to wipe down equipment before and after use—please note that the university has both ordered these supplies and is now making them on campus and providing directly to units.  Your leadership (VPs, Deans) were made aware of the protocols for requesting and correctly using these supplies on March 23.
  • Wash your hands as soon as possible when you enter a building and again before you leave a building.
  • Minimize as much as possible the time you spend in a building to support the university’s efforts to slow the spread of illness and exposure.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms or you know you have had close contact with (you are sharing a home with, a caretaker for, etc.) someone who has COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Instead, contact your department head for assistance in determining alternatives for accomplishing what you need to accomplish. 

Thank you all so much once again for all that you are doing for CSU during this difficult time.  We will communicate further guidance about employee status after Friday, March 27, as soon as possible.


Joyce McConnell

MARCH 23 - Provost Miranda, Re: yet another Keep Teaching note

Dear Colleagues,

Welcome back from spring break week!  We’re approaching the moment of truth here, with our remote learning protocols starting on Wednesday.  Thank you very much for all of your efforts to prepare for this over the past week; I am well aware of the lift we are all undertaking here.

As you finalize efforts to move your in-person course(s) online, please make a point to revise your syllabus and post the new version by Monday 3/30, or earlier if possible. Doing so will help to alleviate students' understandable anxieties about learning remotely, as many may feel unprepared for this mode of course delivery. It will also guide them regarding your expectations, thus positioning them to succeed academically.

Please be sure to address the following points, as well as any others important for your course, by explaining:

  • Any changes in the type, number, timing, weight, and frequency of your learning assessments (from weekly quizzes or discussion board posts to major exams)
  • Your expectations for the nature, frequency, and quality of students' participation
  • Any revisions to the course grading policy and/or weight of any graded component of the course
  • Any changes in other course policies (e.g., regarding make-up work or submission of late assignments)
  • Your expectations for etiquette in online (and other) interactions, e.g., when and how to email you about concerns; expressing respect for others' views in discussion forums; and grounding rationales in evidence and logic, rather than in personal criticism or dismissal of a group's experiences or perspectives
  • What steps you're taking to create an online classroom climate designed to foster learning and inclusion (see overall list for all courses and online-specific list). 

Defining your policies and expectations for your course in online mode will help clarify in advance what your response will be to various student circumstances that may arise. Doing so now will save you time (and probably stress) when you need to respond quickly to such situations as they emerge. Sharing these policies and expectations with students soon will provide them with guidance and a clear message that you're taking a pro-active approach and care about their success.

We all were attracted to working at a residential land grant university because of our love of learning, and of working with motivated and talented students in a community of scholars engaging through shared physical spaces.  That’s not quite what we have here in the second half of our Spring 2020 semester.  We’ll miss that kind of contact with our students, and we’ll try hard to replicate as much of the intimacy of learning as we can in the coming weeks.  I’ve often closed these Keep Learning messages with something light, but instead I’ll draw on another favorite, a Shakespeare sonnet that expresses both sorrow at separation, but also acknowledging the oneness that the relationship offers.  There’s a parallel in the loss of our normal way of engaging with our students, and with each other.

O, how thy worth with manners may I sing,
When thou art all the better part of me?
What can mine own praise to mine own self bring?
And what is't but mine own when I praise thee?
Even for this let us divided live,
And our dear love lose name of single one,
That by this separation I may give
That due to thee which thou deservest alone.
O absence, what a torment wouldst thou prove,
Were it not thy sour leisure gave sweet leave
To entertain the time with thoughts of love,
Which time and thoughts so sweetly doth deceive,
   And that thou teachest how to make one twain,
   By praising him here who doth hence remain.

I recommend reciting it out loud once or twice (with an audience of course).

Stay healthy, be poetic, and stay tuned,

- Rick

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University

MARCH 19 - Provost Miranda, Re: another Keep Teaching note

Dear Colleagues,

I’ve been deeply moved over the past week, hearing from so many of you about your concern for students and commitment to supporting them as part of our collective effort to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s inspiring to see faculty and staff working creatively and collaboratively to ensure that we’ll be able to provide high-quality courses to students for the rest of the term. Thank you for your initiative, dedication, and focus on prioritizing students’ welfare and success!  I also hope that you are taking some time to care for yourselves.

Because many faculty have written with questions about how to ensure academic integrity during online testing, I want to let you know that proctoring service is now available to all of campus through ProctorU’s auto-launch service. Our subscription covers high-stakes exams only (e.g., mid-terms and finals). You can take advantage of technologies that use low-stakes assessments to enact instructional approaches based in the science of learning.  For instance, this can include using open-book Canvas quizzes to promote spaced practice or alternative assessments (e.g., Canvas discussions, essays, or projects) to encourage elaboration and deeper conceptual understanding. Please note that ProctorU auto-launch serves only in-person courses moving online. Distance courses through CSU Online should continue to use ProctorU’s live-launch service.

As teachers and leaders in and out of the classroom, we ask our students to trust us in so many ways.  I suppose mechanisms that provide oversight of our academic integrity expectations may be seen as us not trusting our students.  We do know that the vast majority of those studying with us are trying their best to be responsible; but our commitment to all of our students’ learning and our need for accountability puts us in the position of Trust But Verify, it seems.  However, let’s try to avoid getting into a mindset of suspicion, and maybe a few silly puns will help:

Don’t trust atoms: they make up everything;

Don’t trust trees: they are kinda shady;

Don’t trust ladders: they are always up to something;

and my favorite:

Don’t trust People with graph paper: they’re plotting something!

(That hit pretty close to home, the mathematician in me loves graph paper.)

Trust can be hard to come by, and it has to be earned.  I hope that we have earned that trust with our students, and with each other.

Stay healthy, be trustworthy, and stay tuned,

- Rick

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University

MARCH 19 - President McConnell, Re: moving all operations online

Dear Supervisors,

In response to the international crisis caused by the new coronavirus, I am mandating that effective Monday, March 23, CSU move all operations to online and virtual services except those that qualify as essential-in-person work duties.

What does this mean?  The university is open–-virtually. We will do our work by phone, email, Microsoft Teams or other online platforms unless the work must be performed in person.  While employees will not be physically present in some buildings and spaces, faculty and staff are expected to continue working remotely.

I am therefore asking all of you to use common sense, flexibility, and compassion in helping your employees transition to remote work over the next few days.  Please also refer to university resources and public health guidelines, and reach out to your own supervisor if you need to brainstorm what duties employees can and should perform while working remotely. 

I am also asking you to identify any essential-in-person functions in your offices. Please note that I am not referring here to essential functions; I am referring to essential in-person functions. This is an important distinction.

We are defining essential in-person functions as those service functions that cannot be performed via email, phone, or other online platforms, including but not limited to: feeding and serving students who remain in the residence halls; caring for animals and plants under the university’s charge; performing physical maintenance and cleaning; using on-campus equipment that is vital to academic, research, or operations continuity; and conducting critical research tasks that cannot be done virtually.  (For a definition of critical research, see here.)

By close of business tomorrow, Friday, March 20, I am asking each of you to submit a list of essential-in-person functions to the Emergency Preparedness team by uploading the list as a Word document here.  Please include names and titles of employees, employees’ status (State Classified, Admin Pro, faculty, etc.) and details of those employees’ essential-in-person functions.

Thank you all so much for helping us take this important public health precaution to keep our entire university community healthy.  I assure you that I recognize just how much weight we are asking all of you to bear, now and likely in the weeks and months to come.  I am so very grateful to you all for your leadership, your expertise, and your compassionate engagement with your staff during this difficult time.  If you or anyone on your team begins to experience any mental health issues as a result of this pandemic situation, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

And please, take care of yourselves. 



Joyce McConnell

MARCH 17 - VP for Research Rudolph, Re: suspending non-critical research


As you are aware, CSU is mobilized to respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The CSU safety team has created an excellent website with important information related to COVID-19.

As concerns about COVID-19 continue to escalate, we have made the difficult decision to suspend all non-essential research activities on campus as soon as practical.

In order to protect our community, all labs and other research facilities will be closing by the end of the day on Monday, March 23, except for critical research and critical research operations. 

Critical research is research that if halted, delayed or interrupted, could result in:

  • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects;
  • Endangerment to animal subjects or pose unreasonable risk to animal subject;
  • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
  • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment or other catastrophic loss.

We will reevaluate this guidance by April 15, but anticipate this guidance could remain in place significantly longer.

We have set up an email inbox (VPR_ResearchContinuity@colostate.edu) for you to submit your questions. We will be using your questions to add an FAQ section to our website. 

Additional Details:

  • Critical research operations and personnel are determined within institutes, schools and colleges, in partnership and coordination with the Research Associate Deans; the final determination rests with the Dean’s Office. All such determinations are then promptly shared with the Office of the Vice President for Research, and any concerns will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.
  • OVPR website. The OVPR has provided guidance and resources on the OVPR website. These pages will be updated as new information becomes available.
  • Grant guidance. For specific impacts on your federally-funded or other grants, please refer to the guidance pages provided by the Office of Sponsored Projects.
  • Safety and social distancing. The health and safety of our people is our highest priority. Please review your lab’s safety protocols, ensure your space and equipment are properly secured, cleaned and sanitized, and adjust as appropriate to account for any impacts to normal safety measures and cleaning procedures. Additionally, please follow social distancing practices during and outside of your time in the lab to keep yourself safe, including throughout your travel to and from research spaces.
  • Graduate and undergraduate student research. Faculty advisors are the best resource for graduate and undergraduate researchers who have questions or may need to adjust research-related protocols or operations.
  • Human research / IRB. Changes to research studies may be necessary to protect participants, staff and yourself. Federal regulatory and OSP policy requirements must still be met. The IRB must approve any changes in the ways in which you interact with study participants before implementation. Please direct any IRB inquiries to RICRO_IRB@colostate.edu.
  • Vivarium and animal research. Basic research animal care (health checks, feeding, watering and husbandry) will continue. New animal orders, imports and transfers are suspended, and no new technical service requests will be accepted without strong justification to the Director of LAR. Requests should be directed to Lon Kendall at lon.kendall@colostate.edu.
  • OVPR. The OVPR main office will remain open.

We are living in unusual times. With the current outbreak of coronavirus added to our already growing concerns about our climate, our lives are more stressful than ever. Please remember to take care of yourselves and look out for those around you.

As always, we are here to help each other in ensuring that CSU Research continues its fantastic impacts from discovery to commercialization. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office or to your neighbor for support and any further information that we can provide. 



Alan S. Rudolph, PhD, MBA
Vice President for Research
Colorado State University

MARCH 17 - Provost Miranda, Re: Keep Teaching (simply)

Dear Colleagues,

We’re into our spring break week now, and the campus is typically quiet.  I know that belies the hard work that many of you are doing in preparing for the rest of the semester, which will be all online now.  There is lots of work being done behind the scenes to assist faculty (and students!) for the new reality.  I would encourage you to not wait until early next week to start your preparations in earnest; we know our resources will become strained as next Wednesday approaches and we don’t want to be overwhelmed.  Today’s message is two-fold: start early, and keep it simple.

As you begin designing online versions of your face-to-face courses, it's important to balance the goal of excellent course design with the goal of supporting students (and yourself) in these challenging circumstances. Over the next several months, some of your students will likely be caring for ill family members as they themselves are ill. Other students will struggle with limited internet access or be experiencing food or housing insecurity due to lost income. A host of different stressors, exacerbated by social distancing, will undoubtedly result in mental health issues. Regardless of how resilient our students are, the next several months will be difficult for them. To help simplify the process of transitioning to online courses, our Keep Teaching team has shared several tips to help you move your face-to-face course content online:

  • Use asynchronous delivery of lectures, discussion boards, and other course content to accommodate students who may not be able to attend a synchronous online lecture.  Recording your lectures so that they can be archived in your online course will also simplify things for you since you won’t have to worry about make-up work for students who can’t attend.
  • Chunk lectures into short components (10 minutes or less--one concept at a time) so that students with limited internet service can more easily access materials. Intersperse lecture components with discussion board questions or noncredit quizzes to improve student engagement.
  • Use consistent weekly due dates/times for the rest of the semester to aid students in keeping track of assignments in the midst of challenging life circumstances. Lean towards more lenient deadlines (e.g., 11:59 pm) to help accommodate students who may be caring for their children during the day.
  • Send regular reminders of due dates, participation requirements, upcoming exams or project deadlines, and the like. Let them know that you’re available to help via email, discussion boards, or virtual office hours. This availability will reinforce your commitment and signals to students that you are eager to support them if they need additional assistance.

Above all, do your best to keep things simple. Although we all wish that we had more time to develop top-notch online courses, the current circumstances require that we do our best to ensure that our expectations for students (and ourselves) are reasonable. We hope that the recommendations listed above are helpful as you spend time over the next several weeks building out your online course.

I stopped at the grocery store on my way home from the office the other day to pick up a few things, and of course noticed many bare shelves.  Several of the other customers in the store seemed dismayed.  I went down one aisle and a couple and two younger children were peering into the freezer section.  One of the kids suddenly exclaimed: “Oh! Mom!  They Have Ice Cream Sandwiches!”

That glass-half-full sentiment brought a smile to my face immediately; and it reminded me of the value of gratitude.  Let’s remember to be thankful for what CSU does have: an incredibly committed faculty and staff who are completely dedicated to making this semester work, for our students.  Thank you all for what you’re doing!

Stay healthy, keep it simple, and stay tuned…

- Rick

PS I couldn’t resist.  I bought some ice cream sandwiches too.

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University

MARCH 16 - Provost Miranda, Re: accessibility for students with disabilities

Dear Colleagues:

These past few days of preparing for and responding to a COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the strength and dedication of our incredible faculty and staff. It has shown how deeply committed you are to our students’ success and although we have asked so much of you, you continue to step up to do what you can. We know this is a heavy lift and that in addition to preparing your classes for online instruction, you also have your own self-care to do and family and friends who need you. Thank you for all you are doing to keep us moving forward with our mission of access and excellence amid this challenging event.

I would like to ask your help once again, this time to make sure everything is in place to support our students with disabilities. The Student Disability Center and the Assistive Technology Resource Center offer the following recommendations as you redesign your face-to-face courses for online delivery.  The focus is on accessibility, as well as accommodation for individual needs.  Building in accessibility at the start will enable all students to participate in your course on an equitable level (inclusive pedagogy), while certain accommodations will mitigate the effects of a student’s particular disability. 

  • Design for asynchronous delivery.  Students may be accessing your course from different time zones, while students with disabilities may need to work around the effects of their disability.
  • Record your lectures and have them available for a longer period of time (more than two weeks).  Increased access to lectures for all students gives them the opportunity to review points they may have missed when first presented.  It also allows students to use other accommodations, such as sign language interpreters, more effectively.
  • Caption and transcribe recorded lectures.  Students have different strengths in how they learn. Captions and transcripts help those who have stronger visual modes of learning.  They are especially helpful for students with hearing disabilities.
  • Be sure that all content is accessible.  Not all PDF, power points, videos, etc. will be accessible, due either to format or to the limits of specific technologies.  Students may have different types of technology, some of which will make some content difficult to access.  Some content (e.g., PDFs) may not be compatible with assistive technology, such as screen readers, unless the content has been reformatted.  A helpful guide: https://accessibility.colostate.edu/
  • Provide access and accommodation for exams. Many of the students with disabilities simply need extra time for exams due to the effects of their disability.  It’s easy to provide extra time for exams in Canvas.
  • Be able to alert Proctor U of any accommodations needs.  If using Proctor U, faculty will need to request the accommodation for any student, such as extra time, word banks, page of notes, etc. Please be sure that you are aware of the needs of your students with disabilities using the information provided to you through Accommodation Letters from SDC.

The SDC and the ARTC recognize that these recommendations may require a bit more thought and work as you move your face-to-face courses online.  TILT, ACNS and CSU Online are working hard to assist you  with these processes.  The steps for building accessibility will be made explicit on the “Keep Teaching” site. Links to more thorough and robust tutorials are available at https://accessibility.colostate.edu/.

You can submit a ticket for assistance with these aspects through the “Keep Teaching” site.

Following these recommendations will enable all students, and especially those with disabilities, to have the opportunity to be as successful as possible in your courses.  Both the SDC and the ATRC are here to help you, and we encourage you to reach out if you have any concerns or questions as to how to provide access and accommodation for your courses. 

Students will also be encouraged to let us know if they encounter any unanticipated barriers to their participation in your courses.  If they do, you will be contacted by us to help find a way to resolve the barrier.   These are challenging times for all of us, but together we can enable successful learning for all students. 

Please feel free visit these websites:

Student Disability Center:  https://disabilitycenter.colostate.edu/

Assistive Technology Resource Center:  https://www.chhs.colostate.edu/atrc

Again, thank you for your dedication. Don’t forget to take care of yourself – stay healthy (and stay tuned…).

- Rick

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University

MARCH 16 - President McConnell, Re: moving to online instruction remainder of Spring 2020 semester

Dear University Community,

Last week, I communicated with you our decision to move courses online through April 10, at which time we would reevaluate. Due to the speed at which the COVID-19 global crisis is evolving we in higher education around the world find ourselves in unprecedented territory, with new information emerging each day.  Please know that all our decisions are driven by our commitment to you, to your health and wellbeing, and to all of those whom we educate, serve, work with, and consider to be valued members of our community and Ram family.  I know that many of you are working incredibly hard right now, driven by this same commitment.  I deeply appreciate all you are doing and know that your care, concern and commitment are what distinguish CSU as a higher education community

All classes continuing online for Spring 2020 semester

With the advice of public health officials and weighing many public health factors, we have made the decision to extend online course delivery through to the end of the Spring 2020 semester.  In keeping with this decision, we are also advising the suspension or online delivery of off-campus educational programming and events (including in CSU Extension and Continuing Education) for the remainder of the semester.

Moreover, this morning, in partnership with CSU International Programs, we advised our international students who want to return home to do so for the remainder of the semester.

I know that every new decision we make raises many questions for all of you.  We will answer them as quickly as we can in the coming days. But I want to emphasize again that public health—your health—is our priority.  While we are unaware of any positive case of COVID-19 in association with our CSU community, the virus continues to spread, and no community is immune. If we were to have a positive case among our staff, faculty, students or guests, we will consider new recommendations, precautions, and constraints on campus-based interactions. 

Spring break gives us the opportunity to plan for the transition to online course delivery beginning March 25, though I know—as a faculty member myself - many of our faculty will essentially give up their break to redesign their courses for online computability and remote teaching and learning.  Thank you.  I know that you do what you do because you care about your students. I also recognize to pivot this way may mean you do not have the time over break to devote to your family, your scholarship, and your community engagement.  Furthermore, we have heard from faculty who are concerned for students with limited or no computer access off-campus, limited or no internet, and other complicating factors.  I assure you that we are working to make accommodations for those students. We have made arrangements for additional student laptops and are looking at creative ways of continuing work with students even if it means through written correspondence delivered by U.S. Postal Service, UPS, FEDEX or other delivery services.

I also assure you that even as many of us work to set up systems to support academic and business operations for the remainder of the semester, our custodial staff will take the opportunity of fewer people on campus during Spring Break to perform extra cleanings. Our amazing custodial team and facilities leaders are committed to the health and safety of these frontline workers and are on top of providing appropriate protective gear and training.

Impacts to students who live in university housing

The decision to move course delivery online has the most obvious implications for our students who live in university housing.

We are asking students who live in university housing who have left for Spring Break NOT TO return to campus immediately. In the interest of public health, Housing & Dining Services needs time to create a plan that implements public health and social distancing best practices while providing an orderly way for students and families to make decisions about campus housing moving forward.

Housing & Dining Services is committed to emailing all campus residents by close of business on Tuesday, March 17 regarding your residence hall and meal plan options. We want to assure apartment residents that the university apartments will remain open year-round as they typically do. Housing & Dining Services is committed to working with students who are experiencing housing insecurity and at least some residence hall housing and dining will remain open for the semester to serve students who need to remain on campus.

Spring Break housing will continue as planned and students who have remained on campus for break are welcome and encouraged to stay as future plans are developed.

Pending decisions about working remotely and maintaining university operations

Again: our greatest responsibility is to the health of our university staff, faculty and students. Our decision to move courses online is one of several decisions and clarifications we will communicate in the coming days. Like you, we are working to define and clarify the outcomes of each decision.

During the coming week, as soon as possible, we will provide clear guidance to our staff and faculty, as well as to student employees who wish to continue working on campus. This guidance will help with decisions about how to balance university operations and the duties of staff and faculty, including information about telecommuting.

In the interim, I want to convey that I am committed to each and every one of our faculty and staff members and I promise you: you will continue to be paid.  We find appropriate telecommuting or in-person assignments that support the university’s mission, while providing you with support and equipment to minimize health risks.

We appreciate your patience

I—along with the university’s Preparedness Planning Team—thank each of you for your patience as we work through these unchartered waters and answer your many valuable, necessary and important questions.


Joyce McConnell

MARCH 14 - Provost Miranda, Re: welcome to spring break

Dear Colleagues,

It’s the first day of our spring break, and I’m sure all of you are combining some needed R&R with planning for the return of our new online world the week after this.

As you move your face-to-face courses online, please reach out to your students as soon as possible to let them know that their face-to-face course will soon be available online. Many of our students are expressing anxiety about their academic futures. By communicating with them now, you can offer guidance and increased stability. Let them know that you're thinking of them, are planning to move your course online, and will be in touch in the next week or so with more details. Express your concern for their welfare, and encourage them to take care of themselves and each other.

If you need support moving your course online, I encourage you to first seek help from your local College Canvas Coordinator or colleagues in your department who are more experienced with Canvas, Teams, and online teaching.   If you need additional support, ACNS, TILT, and CSU Online have set up the Keep Teaching website, where you can find self-help resources and support contact information.  We’ll be staffing that site this weekend for questions 7am to 8pm.

This morning I eschewed the health club (too many people!) to go for a run along the Spring Creek Trail near our house.  Toward the end of the route I passed a sign posted on a wooden fence for trail users to see, saying “Truth Goodness and Beauty Still Exist”.  I smiled and ran a bit faster (well, for a block or two).

We’re all going to be running a bit faster in the coming weeks.  Remembering our core values, and paying attention to supporting each other in big and small ways, will be important.  Let’s use this moment to make CSU better in the long run; to learn (again) how resilient our community is; and to remember that we’re here for our students, first.

Stay healthy, and stay tuned, - Rick

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University


MARCH 13 - VP for Research Rudolph, Re: mitigating impacts to research activities due to COVID-19


As each of you have heard from President Joyce McConnell, we are mobilized to respond to the current COVID-19 outbreak. The CSU safety team has created an excellent website with important information related to COVID-19. The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR), in coordination with the College Research Associate Deans (RADs), has drafted a plan for sustaining research operations reporting to the Vice President for Research. This will be complimented by existing and robust emergency and contingency plans for OVPR research operations that are well-developed and updated annually. We will provide more information regarding preparedness and research continuity shortly and are constructing a website with guidelines and resources for researchers. At this time, research facilities will remain accessible to staff, students and faculty. If you have questions about building access, please contact your Research Associate Dean.

Further progression of the pandemic could result in additional restrictions, with only essential research personnel being allowed on campus to perform “critical research” and/or “critical research operations.” The RADs have identified what constitutes “critical research” and/or “critical research operations” and who is considered essential research personnel for each of their respective Colleges. The research community will need to start planning immediately to ensure that we minimize impact to research progress in the eventuality that further restrictions are put into place. That planning will include ensuring that staff, students and faculty have the resources to work remotely, and that data to be analyzed remotely are both collected now and accessible remotely. We also need to address the security of data, samples, equipment, and facilities, in order to avoid loss of expensive and important experiments and studies.

As we determine critical staff that will continue to have access to campus facilities, we will be prioritizing projects with the RADs. If you have any questions about whether your research project(s) will be designated as “critical” please contact your College RAD.

Criteria for "critical research" and “critical research operations” designation include those that, if interrupted or delayed, could result in:

  • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects;
  • Endangerment to animal subjects or animal suffering;
  • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
  • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment.

The OVPR website is currently being finalized with more information on this topic.

Our primary goal is to mitigate any impacts a pandemic might have to ongoing research. Thank you all for your partnership and support as CSU works to confront these very important issues!



Alan S. Rudolph, PhD, MBA
Vice President for Research
Colorado State University

MARCH 13 - President McConnell, Re: follow-up on COVID communications for CSU campus

Dear Campus Community Members,

This is a stressful time for all. During a time like this it is important to be good to ourselves and to one another. Remember: We are a resilient community at a land-grant institution with the knowledge, people and skills necessary to handle this challenge.

Many of you are closely following the rapidly evolving situation around COVID-19 both locally and globally and are concerned about yourselves, your children, your families and your friends. Please know we share these concerns and our CSU preparedness team continues to engage – sometimes by the minute – with public health experts as to best practices, next steps to take, what to tell our community and how to share information with you. We are doing our best to keep up with this information and to inform you as quickly as possible about any changes caused by evolving events.

As we all prepare for Spring Break next week, several concerns have emerged across campus that I want to address specifically and for all of you right now. More information will be forthcoming, via email and on our website, so please check frequently.

  • Our primary concern is the health and wellbeing of everyone in our campus community: students, faculty and staff. To this end, we have sent out messages to everyone in our community trying to keep information flowing. However, over the last few days we have had a great sense of urgency to focus our communication about the needs of our students because their Spring Break begins at the end of classes, today. Now we are working with the same urgency to provide information to employees to provide guidance about work so that we can return Monday with a greater sense of clarity.
  • Along those same lines, we’ve gotten many questions about remote work options, availability, and advisability. We are updating the HR FAQs on this topic here, so check back soon, and also talk to your supervisor about your specific needs.  I also urge supervisors at all levels to reach out to employees about their needs, to listen, and to be flexible and creative as possible.  (We are aware of numerous extraordinary situations: for example, that the PSD Schools recently extended Spring Break by a week, which will impact many employees’ and students’ ability to return to work in person.)
  • We are also hearing from people concerned about what April 10 means—this was the date referenced in our email Tuesday when current protocols about online instruction and campus operations would be reassessed. Please know that we will communicate with all of you well in advance of April 10 about next steps.
  • To our students in particular, let me address some concerns:
    • Our residence halls, university apartments, and dining halls remain open throughout Spring Break and going forward. You will have a place to stay and a place to eat at CSU in the coming weeks!
    • The CSU Health Network is also open throughout Spring Break and accepting students who need assistance with both physical and mental health concerns.
    • We are aware of the many financial implications of our decisions to go online for classes etc. Our teams are exploring the repercussions of these decisions for all of you.  Please be patient with these terrific professionals.
    • Students who work on campus are worried that they will lose their jobs. Not so!  If you need to come back to campus to work after Spring Break, please do.  Your job will be waiting for you.

The combination of changing scientific guidance and the rapid pace of communication is so challenging for all of us right now.  I appreciate all of you who are doing so much to keep CSU at the forefront of responsiveness to COVID-19 and who are focused on taking care of our community.  Let’s all be kind to one another, patient, and proactive about our own health.  We will get through this.



MARCH 11 - Provost Miranda, Re: resources for moving your classes to online formats

Dear Colleagues,


I trust by now you have seen President McConnell’s note to campus about the COVID-19 situation, and in particular the need to move our curriculum to online formats after spring break.  Many other universities around the country are also proceeding in a parallel track; we are fortunate that we have almost two weeks to get ready.   Our central IT team, in concert with our TILT and CSU-Online colleagues, have been working hard to establish a robust infrastructure to enable this migration to happen here at CSU.  I’m writing to you now to give you some instructions and links to first-level resources that will help you begin to teach online for the next period.


To prepare to move your on-campus face-to-face courses online, beginning on Wednesday, March 25th, I’m writing to ask you to take the steps listed below by 5 PM Friday March 13th.

  1. Log into your Canvas course(s).
  2. Post the syllabus for each course in that course’s Canvas shell.
  3. Review the self-service website with resources for moving your course online. It is strongly preferred that you use the “Do It Yourself” option.
  4. If you need assistance, first contact your College Canvas Coordinator.
  5. Within the next 24 hours, you will also receive an email with instructions for accessing the Canvas Keep Teaching Support Portal. Use the portal as needed to submit requests for additional support that your college canvas coordinator cannot assist you with.
  6. Plan to attend a training in your college on how to move your course online. You will receive information shortly about these training sessions.

I realize that this effort is in addition to your existing responsibilities. I want to thank you for prioritizing our commitment to continue offering classes while minimizing the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in the larger northern Colorado community.

Rick Miranda
Provost and Executive Vice President
Colorado State University


MARCH 11 - President McConnell, Re: important public health message to CSU campus community

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

With the courageous commitment of our Colorado State University community, CSU has faced many challenges. Today, we face a global health crisis in which we can play a critical role by slowing transmission of COVID-19 and freeing our local hospital to treat the critically ill. We can and must do our part to safeguard the health of our entire community. I thank all of you in advance for your compassion for others and patience in navigating a complex situation.

We have no knowledge of any cases of COVID-19 associated either with our residence halls or with the university more broadly. 

Nevertheless, as you know, we are in daily consultation with public health officials at local, state and national levels and following their science-based guidance. As a result, we are taking the following steps immediately to do our part, which includes the following:

Classes Moving Online: Spring Break for students and faculty will be extended through Tuesday, March 24, with classes resuming Wednesday, March 25, as follows:

  • Classes at all levels will be delivered online beginning Wednesday, March 25.
  • Online teaching and course delivery will remain in effect until April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. 
  • Individual academic units will follow up with their students regarding accommodations for accessibility issues—including online and computer access, internships, laboratory classes, and other special circumstances.

Our fundamental mission is to educate our students and we are committed to preserving their educational access, opportunity and success for the remainder of this semester, regardless of circumstances.

Campus Operations: Campus operations will remain at normal levels. University buildings will operate as follows:

  • The CSU Health Network will be open regular hours, including over Spring Break, to see students for medical and counseling concerns.
  • Residence halls, university apartments, and dining halls will remain open as usual, including over Spring Break.
  • The Lory Student Center, Student Rec Center, UCA, and all academic, business, and service buildings will remain open for business as usual.
  • The Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Diagnostic Lab will remain open for business as usual.
  • The Morgan Library will be open for campus community members only.

We will provide guidance for employees who need to work remotely; this will be shared soon.

University Travel: All university international and domestic travel that has not yet commenced is suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on critical need. More information on the exception process will be shared soon.

On-Campus Events: All university events involving 20 or more external visitors or targeted toward an at-risk population are suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on significant need. More information about the exception process will be shared soon.

Off-campus Events: All university-hosted off-campus events involving 20 or more people or targeted toward an at-risk population are suspended effective March 23 through April 10. We will re-evaluate and issue further guidelines in advance of that date. Exceptions may be granted based on significant need. More information about the exception process will be shared soon.

These actions will obviously have a profound effect on our campus. In the coming days, we will be working through the many questions that will emerge from these immediate actions to provide additional guidance and clarity.

I fully understand the burden this puts on many in our community who will have to rearrange plans and rework how they conduct the university’s daily business. I deeply appreciate the hard work so many of you have done and will continue to do throughout this public health crisis.

Confronting the challenges of a public health emergency like this creates discomfort and anxiety. Please know that Colorado State University is no stranger to responding to unexpected events that cause disruption in our lives and require that we dramatically and quickly alter our established paths. We have done so successfully in the past, and we will do so successfully again now.

We will continue to provide updates and guidance as soon and as often as possible via email, social media, and at http://safety.colostate.edu/coronavirus.

I am thankful for each of you. I want you all to stay safe and healthy during this difficult situation.  That is our primary goal, now and always, at CSU.  Please take care of yourselves, of your friends and families, and of those in our community to whom you have the capacity to reach out with compassion.

We are strong.  We are resilient.  We are Rams.  We will get through this—together.

Thank you,

Joyce McConnell

Emails from College of Liberal Arts Administration

MAY 6 - Re: CLA Update

Dear CLA Faculty and Staff,

We continue to receive communications from people across campus and I hope that they provide comfort and communication you need. In these uncertain times, I know you must still have many unanswered questions so I provide college-specific information below. Please know that your department chairs, associate deans, and the entire Dean’s Office are working hard behind the scenes on your behalf. My goal is to keep you and your colleagues informed even as I respect the demands on your time. 

If you haven’t already, please read President McConnell’s update from April 29. The President’s goal is to plan to be back on campus for fall semester, while being able to respond to any contingency. She has detailed her approach and created a series of task forces designed to help us prepare for what’s ahead. These task forces will submit their recommendations on May 13 to the President so that she can prepare a plan for the Board of Governors’ meeting in June, where they will decide on funding and budget plans.  

I don’t want to wait until May 13 to share information with you, so here is where our College stands in terms of the planning efforts for teaching and research. 

Teaching and Learning Continuity – Fall 2020 

This task force plans multiple scenarios for how the campus can achieve our twin goals of academic quality and ensuring health and safety. I represent CLA on this task force.  Our approach will require reducing density in our instructional spaces and offer learning opportunities that include remote and online options. Why? Among other reasons, there will be students who will not be able to come back to campus, e.g. international students, and still others who will not feel comfortable doing so. This may well be the case for some of our faculty and staff as well. Therefore, we will need to identify courses like large lectures, where remote instruction reduces classroom density, and courses like labs and studios, where face-to-face can be a safe and necessary approach. CLA must be able to serve the needs of all our students, and being prepared to offer our courses in both modalities is one way to do so. Your department chairs will receive regular updates about campus strategies and what departments can do. Expect the pace of this work to increase as the current semester ends. 

Research Continuity—Summer and Fall 2020 

Associate Dean Michael Carolan represents CLA on the Research task force. Our research enterprise is central to our mission and presents special opportunities and challenges in reopening. A phased approach beginning this summer will be necessary. Much of our research and creative artistry can be done using resources available remotely, yet we have other endeavors that require special equipment and space. We are fortunate to have knowledgeable partners both within and without the College to help us with these decisions, and we’ll rely on Michael’s leadership to keep us informed. 

Budget Exercise 

Decisions on how to reopen campus for teaching and research will have an impact on the budget and vice-versa. Pressures on the state budget and student enrollment concerns mean the University will have less revenue in the coming year. Fiscal prudence is needed. I have asked department chairs to address the long-term structural challenges and I will be asking them to find ways of reducing discretionary expenditures in the short-term. Learning, scholarship, and engagement form the heart of our College mission and our goal is to protect this work and the people who do it to the greatest extent possible. 

The Take-Aways 

First, we are in good hands. The President’s leadership, the multiple task forces assigned to look at a variety of issues, and the work of your department chairs and program leaders ensures that we have many caring, dedicated individuals working on what’s best for our institution and its people. Second, I’ll be providing more details to department chairs as soon as I am able to keep you all informed. Those details will help you decide how your department will move forward. Since we will be working on all of these plans for fall over the summer, please tune in periodically to check on what’s happening. We’ll be sending emails and updating websites to keep people apprised of next steps. 

If you have any questions about how we are planning our way forward, please contact your department chair, or me at cladean@colostate.edu

Thank you for all you do. And thank you for your patience at this difficult time. Best of luck these last two weeks of the semester.  



APRIL 20 - Dean Withers, Re: College Update

Dear CLA Faculty and Staff, 

Greetings on a sunny, Monday morning. Thank you for the work you have done over the last four weeks, rethinking and reimagining how we work, teach, and learn. I know it requires professional creativity, personal resolve, and emotional fortitude to do what you have done.  

As we head into the last four weeks of the semester, we are starting to look toward the summer and fall. And there are many things we still need to know. Many of these resolve around budget. The state legislature’s support for higher education will be determined later in May. The CSU System, the Board of Governors, and President McConnell will assess that support, as well as federal relief and system reserves, to determine a way forward. We can anticipate reductions in our base budgets, though the size and the campus process for addressing them are not yet clear. 

We will be better prepared for the future if we begin to plan now. So, we have begun a collaborative and proactive approach toward College planning and budgets. Last week, the College embarked on a budget planning exercise for scenarios that would lead to a 1%, 5%, and 10% reduction to our base funds.  

I am working with the associate deans, department chairs, and program directors to determine what these scenarios could look like. All of our scenarios will be built on this fundamental principle: our academic mission is our priority. We will ensure that the learning and scholarship at the heart of that mission is protected, and that we preserve current employment —TT and NTT faculty, and staff — to the greatest extent possible. 

The current fiscal challenges are yet unknown in terms of depth, length, and long-term impact. One thing is clear: What we needed in the past — you and your creativity, resolve, and fortitude — we will need in the future. Our people are our strength, and that strength has yielded in the last several years greater acknowledgement of our important role on campus and growth in our programs. Let’s take that strength as our touchstone and work to frame our CLA discussions around the mission-critical learning and scholarship our people provide. 

Over the past four weeks you have demonstrated that we can do what few deemed possible just a short time ago. The next several months will present new opportunities for us, working together, to meet another daunting but surmountable challenge.  

In the meantime, your continued patience and support mean a great deal to me. And it means a lot to our leaders in each unit where key decisions will be made. Continue to reach out to them and to take care of yourself and each other. 


APRIL 14 - IT Director Bryan Gillispie, Re: issues with MS Teams and MS Stream videos


Some faculty have been reporting difficulty in getting students into MS Teams live meeting or giving the class access to recorded videos. One of the major contributors to these issues is that the student email addresses that faculty have in their class lists are not in a format the O365 system associates with the student's O365 account. This has to do with the way CSU had to migrate from on campus email systems to O365 cloud email systems.  

The best way to associate the student's actual O365 account with their official CSU email is to generate that meeting invitation in Outlook and add the student as an attendee through the address book. The Outlook invitation can be Teams enabled which will automatically generate a link in the invitation to join the meeting and will associate the correct student account with the meeting, allowing them to come into the meeting directly and not end up in the lobby. I'm going to borrow specific instructions on how to enable an Outlook invitation to be Teams enabled from our friends at CHHS, https://csu-chhs.atlassian.net/wiki/spaces/HELPDESK1/pages/564298019/Creating+a+Teams+Meeting+for+a+Class+Lecture+Meeting+or+Presentation.  


When adding attendees faculty can copy and paste the student's eID that is located on their class list or by typing in the the students last name and selecting the student from the list that automatically lists students as you type the name. This also ensures that the student will have a calendar invite on their official CSU email calendar that includes the link. While you can create the invitation directly in Teams I do not recommend you do this for students with @rams email addresses. Students that have an @rams email address do not have an associated Outlook email Inbox nor do they have an Outlook calendar. This is because @rams accounts have Gmail as their email system and that system is not tied into the O365 system. Because of this, anyone that has an @rams account as their official email will not be able to access the calendars tab in MS Teams nor will the invitation show up on their @rams email calendar. 

The next biggest issue I've seen reported is that students can end up in the lobby rather than directly in the meeting when joining the meeting.  This also leads to issues with the students viewing recorded content later. This is due to the student not being logged in at the time of clicking on the link to join a meeting. The student should be logged in to either O365 Portal or the MS Team desktop client before attempting to join a meeting. I have attached directions that can be sent to students having problems logging in to MS Teams or the portal. 

ANCS has created directions on how you can set the permission on  your MS Streams videos that you record in MS Teams to allow anyone in CSU to view them or to restrict the video to just your specific class. https://www.acns.colostate.edu/microsoft-teams/#PostMeeting.

Please share this with your faculty that are using MS Teams to meet with students, to record video lectures, or uploading videos to MS Stream.


MARCH 24 - Associate Dean Carolan, Re: resources for graduate students

Dear Graduate Students,

During this trying time, I wanted to send out a message specifically to you to show our support for you in the days and weeks ahead.

I would like to start by offering a principle I know we can all get behind: Social distancing should not mean social isolation. You remain a part of a larger academic community and we will try to maintain those social networks in whatever creative ways we can, even from a "distance." If you have questions about how to connect to other graduate students, your advisor, or your department, please reach out to your faculty advisor and/or department chair.

There are some specific policy items the College would like to amplify from central administration, adjusted for our local situation. 

  1. Instruction: If you are teaching independently, then access to campus resources is the same as it is for faculty: only if absolutely necessary to have access to teaching technology - never for convenience or preference.
    If you have HR related questions, this FAQ is updated frequently at hrs.colostate.edu.
  2. Research: The Office of the Vice President for Research has determined that only those involved in “critical research” can be on campus. While your research and artistry is certainly important, it does not fall under the “critical” definition.
  3. Academic continuity: If access to campus-based resources is necessary for the academic continuity of your own studies, meaning, it is absolutely impossible for you to graduate in Spring or Summer 2020 without it, then it is possible to gain essential-in-person access. Permission must be granted through the Department Chair and the Dean.

Our intention is to assure your academic progress. We have asked your faculty advisors to review individualized plans and academic progress for each of you. Graduate coordinators, with guidance from the Department Chair, will vet these individualized plans to confirm

  • that your work can happen remotely,
  • if changes needed to be made to your plan or your access,
  • or, if you need in-person use of campus equipment.

Any changes of plans will be documented by Graduate Coordinators and Department Chairs. Chairs will seek approval for those plans that necessitate on-campus work and report to the CLA Associate Dean for Research any requests for essential in-person accommodations.

Please remember that nationwide, and here at CSU, our directive is to stay away from campus, if at all possible. Every possible option for remote work should be explored, and all options exhausted first.

We are deeply grateful for all the hard work, attention, and compassion that has been and continues to be demonstrated by you all.

Should you need support for your teaching, research, or personally, please let someone in your department know so that we can assist you.


Michael Carolan, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies


MARCH 23 - Associate Dean Bernasek, Re: CLA dean's office support for faculty

Dear CLA faculty, we in the Dean’s Office are committed to doing whatever we can to support you as you “remotely return” to campus this week.  A lot has happened in a very short time. 

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions, concerns, or need assistance with anything, especially with regards to transitioning to online teaching.  Email is best but if you want to talk on the phone please include your phone number with your email and I will get back to you as quickly as I can.  We are using Zoom and Microsoft Teams for virtual meetings so we can communicate that way too.

If my colleagues, Roze Hentschell, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies and Michael Carolan, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies are going to be better sources of information for your specific question/concern/need I will include them on my email response to you.

You should have and will continue receiving information from a range of places across campus to make sure you have the resources you will need to continue to be successful in all aspects of your work.  Please look out for those emails.

I hope you and the people you love are all safe and well and that we all stay that way!!  Wishing you all the best as we navigate through the rest of the semester.


Dr. Alexandra Bernasek
Senior Associate Dean
College of Liberal Arts & Professor

MARCH 21 - Dean Withers, Re: access to campus

Dear CLA Faculty and staff,

As you know, President McConnell has instructed the university to move to virtual operations as much as possible beginning Monday, March 23.  As your Dean, I have conveyed to President McConnell that faculty and staff may continue to need limited access to their offices, files, and equipment on campus to facilitate their continued working and teaching. This is understood and supported.

My request is for you to take home files, materials, and even computer equipment such as monitors, desktop and laptop computers, docking stations, keyboards, etc., assigned to you to facilitate your ability to work from home. A form is attached and will soon available through the HR website to help supervisors and IT support track what will be taken home.

You are not prohibited from being on campus after Monday. However, to support President McConnell’s request, we ask you to limit your time on campus as much as possible, making quick stops into your office to pick up books, paperwork, etc.

I also understand that you may need access to classrooms and seminar rooms to use instructional technology to record lectures. My office is working with your department on a schedule to provide you with access into the semester while facilitating social distancing. We also are working to coordinate access with security needs and with cleaning protocols via Facilities Management; look for specific requests for information on which rooms are in use when later this week.”.

When you enter a university building in the next few weeks, please follow clear safety protocols:

  • Do not prop open building outside doors, section or wing doors, or your office door. Because our buildings are mostly vacant at this time, there is justified concern about theft and other crimes of opportunity.
  • Follow public-health-advised social distancing practices. Do not congregate with other faculty and staff who also have been granted access. Stay at least six feet way from each other.
  • Avoid as much as possible touching surfaces in the building. If cleaning wipes are available, wipe down equipment before and after use. We are working with VPR to manufacture and deploy wipes across campus in areas of need; watch for more on that, too.
  • Wash your hands as soon as possible when you enter a building and again before you leave a building.
  • Minimize as much as possible the time you spend in a building to support the university’s efforts to slow the spread of illness and exposure.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms or you know you have had close contact with (you are sharing a home with, a caretaker for, etc.) someone who has COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Instead, contact your department head for assistance in determining alternatives for accomplishing what you need to accomplish.  

I know you all recognize that the situation continues to change rapidly and you may hear from me again with new, more stringent limitations about campus access. The challenge that we face during this public health crisis is staggering and each of us must take steps both personally and professionally to help mitigate the spread of COVID19. My expectation is that you will comply with the President’s directive and with my expectations regarding remote work. I appreciate your efforts to move your classes online and make virtual classroom learning as easy as possible for our students. Please let me know if you have any questions or need my assistance.

Thank you,


MARCH 20 - Dean Withers, Re: you've got this and we're here to help

Dear CLA Faculty and Staff:

I’m sitting here at my computer, a snow-covered campus glimpsed over my shoulder. Stuck between the virtual and real, I feel the need to thank you all for your kindness, patience, and goodwill during these extraordinary times. We’ve asked you to quickly turn nearly all we do to online and remote access. You’ve responded with a grace, dedication, and commitment that astounds.

I realize that a lot is being asked of you and that there is tremendous intellectual and emotional labor in what you are doing. And this ask comes at a time when you are concerned about your own families, friends, as well as students and co-workers.

While these requests come at considerable personal demand, they pay back to us the outcome that we do these things for the benefit of our larger society. At the heart of our efforts resides our fundamental mission of advancing the human experience through the creation and transmission of knowledge for the benefit of future generations. This is what attracted us to our professions, and this is what will maintain us going forward.

Let us continue to focus on our core values. The most important value at this point is “Students first.” We’ll be sending messages to students from CLA to help them understand their role and their responsibilities in the transition to remote learning. You can help if you:

  • Use the first of your online sessions to (re)build relationships with students.
  • Make sure everyone is on board with the new environment.
  • Communicate clearly about expectations.
  • Communicate clearly about your plans to help students succeed.
  • Communicate clearly your care for the students.

I also understand that what we are doing in such a short time presents many particular challenges. For some it's adopting to a new learning environment, for others it's how to transition three or four courses, and for all of us it's working without our colleagues right beside us or down the hall.

We will also need to adapt to a new campus environment, one where access to buildings is restricted. As the President’s message to campus indicated, in order to reduce the risk of exposure, only those with critical needs related to teaching and research (for example, the need to use technology available found only in a certain classroom, lab, or office) will be on campus and then only for the shortest time possible. We will be sending out additional information about campus access through the college and through your departments to help you understand how this works for you.

You’ve got this. You are smart, resilient, innovative people, and you are surrounded by similarly smart, resilient, and innovative colleagues who care for you and will help you. We will bring these strengths with us to the coming weeks.

So during these upcoming times, take time to take care of yourself. We’ll all miss those impromptu conversations with colleagues down the hall. Find a way to keep connected with your campus community for the mutual support we all need.

Speaking of community, we in the Dean’s Office are here to help. In addition to the resources on the CLA website, you’ll be receiving further reach-outs by Associate Deans and other key folks. They mean it when they say that they are concerned for you and that they want to support you as we face this together.

Looking out the window at the snow, I know that new, green growth rests underneath. With hope and patience, renewal will be our reward. I look forward to walking with you in the sunshine the future will inevitably bring.

Be safe and healthy.


MARCH 13 - Dean Withers. Re: encouragement to students

Dear Students of the College of Liberal Arts, 

Let’s acknowledge that things are hard right now in these extraordinary times.  We want to assure you that the faculty and staff in the College of Liberal Arts have been working virtually around the clock over the last week. Our first priority is you: making sure you will be able to complete your semester and have the academic support you need. 

Rams are resilient. The CSU community has a history of pulling together and many, many people are working diligently to continue our academic mission the best that we can. 

To help provide clarity, we want to reiterate a few things to you: 

  • Our focus in the College and across the University is to support students.
  • We will continue to deliver the high-quality academic experience that you've come to experience and expect – it's just that it will be online instead of in-person for the time being. 
  • These efforts to move our classes online and to cancel large events – to practice social distancing – are precautionary and upon the advice of many experts.  

Questions you might have: 

  • Am I supposed to come back to campus after Spring Break?
  • Other than moving classes online, campus is expected to maintain normal operations. That means our buildings will be open, employees will be on campus working, and we      will continue to be committed to you and your academic experience. 
  • If you live in the residence halls, they are open. 
  • If you live off-campus and would like to live there while doing your schoolwork remotely, you may do that. 
  • Will classes be easier or harder because we're going online?
  • We expect that classes will maintain their same rigor, though some assignments and assessments may change due to the nature of being online rather than in person. 
  • Will I be able to contact different offices on campus?
  • Yes, at this point the campus is open. Sowhether your question is for your department   or Financial Aid, you will be able to speak with someone. 


The College of Liberal Arts is known for our creativity, problem solving, communication skills, and emotional intelligence. As students of humanities, arts, and social sciences, you are well poised to handle the challenges that we face. We will face these challenges together as a community. 


Ben Withers, Ph.D. 
Dean, College of Liberal Arts 

Emails from College of Liberal Arts Canvas Coordinator

APRIL 15 - Re: CLA Canvas Tip: April

Hi all,

I hope that you’re settling in to teaching online and that your biggest hurdles are behind you. I wanted to pass along a couple of brief resources/notes that may be helpful.

  • I recently learned of the CLA’s “Getting Started With Canvas Page” – it has some fantastic videos to walk you through using most of Canvas’s main tools. Shout out to Kathy Zeller for putting this together! I wish I’d stumbled upon it sooner. 😊
  • Some of you have expressed concern about your MS Stream videos being available to anyone with a CSU email address and the link. ACNS has now made it so that you can make it available to your specific course only. The updated instructions are on the ACNS website. (Remember that if you grant access to a specific course, and import this course to the next term, you’ll need to update Stream permissions each term to give access to those specific future courses)

Only 4 ½ weeks left of the semester! This is my happy thought right now.

Take care,

Hannah Caballero Bonilla

MARCH 30 - Re: Virtual Canvas Support This Week

Hi all,

If you’re looking for more Canvas support in a synchronous setting, there are several virtual sessions happening this week and next. I hope they’re of use!

Additional open Q&A sessions hosted by Instructional Designers (ID) are scheduled for faculty for the coming 2 weeks!

Faculty can drop-in/join a virtual session to ask questions and connect with an ID for assistance with their courses.


With the additional Canvas support hours, specific ones on assessment were requested. Please see the information below for the dates, times and links for the Assessment Support Hours this week:  

Have a great week,

Hannah Caballero Bonilla

MARCH 27 - Re: CLA Canvas Tips - Greatest Hits

Hello, socially-distanced colleagues,

We’re nearing the end of the first week fully online, and I hope that you have been able to transition online with a minimum of frustration and obstacles. I’ve heard from many of you this week, and so these tips are a “Greatest Hits” of responses to common questions. Please keep reaching out to your Department Experts and me as you have questions.


CLA Canvas Tips

Tip #1: Use Microsoft Stream (part of Office 365) to auto-caption and transcribe videos recorded in Teams (these are automatically uploaded to Stream) or videos recorded in other platforms that don’t auto-transcribe (e.g. recording over a PowerPoint). Some students need a searchable transcript in addition to captions – auto-captions from YouTube, etc. aren’t searchable. Here is the ACNS Guide for Managing Videos in Stream. Note that students need to be logged in with their Office 365 account to view Stream videos.
FYI: Stream videos can only be viewed by people with a colostate.edu email, and they can’t be downloaded.

Below are steps to make sure that you set Permissions for students to view the video and the Language so that the video will auto-caption and transcribe once it’s uploaded.

  1. Log in to portal.office.com with your eID@colostate.edu and eID password. Click on the Stream app (it may be hidden and you’ll need to click on More Apps).
  2. Click on “My Content” à “Videos” from the top menu.
  3. Click on the pencil icon to the right of the video to “Update video details.”
  4. In the middle “Permissions” section, click “Allow everyone in your company to view this video.” (If you skip this step, students won’t have permission to view the video)
  5. Select “English” from the languages drop down so that your video will auto-caption and transcribe.
  6. Click “Apply” at the top of the screen.
  7. Now, you can click on “Share” to get a link to post for students to Canvas.

Tip #2: To use Microsoft Teams with your class, you don’t need an admin to make you a team (the terms are so confusing!). If you want to have a class chat, you can add student emails to a group in the Chat feature. If you want to meet with groups of students for something like office hours or do a live lecture and record it (we strongly recommend you record any live lecture and post it for students to view later for accommodation and flexibility purposes), you can create a meeting and post a link to Canvas so students can join the meeting. (If you’re using Teams for office hours at the same time, you can set up a recurring meeting and students will be able to use the same link each week).

To send a link to a Teams meeting, you can use the part of the guide on the ACNS Teams webpage with instructions for holding office hours. It includes video instructions as well. You’ll choose the option where you want open office hours (or a lecture) instead of inviting individual students in order to see how to get a link to the meeting. To record the lecture, follow the directions above to set up the meeting and get a link to post to Canvas. Then, use the part of the guide to Start & Record a Meeting.

Tip #3: If you’re using Zoom, check that your Zoom settings don’t allow random people to join your meeting – some instructors across the country have been having issues with “Zoombombers” crashing meetings.

FYI: You may have seen the announcement posted to Conferences in Canvas. Only 10 concurrent sessions are allowed as an INSTITUTION – we haven’t heard yet if people have been denied access because 10 sessions are already happening across CSU faculty, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does happen. We aren’t recommending BigBlueButton for this reason, but also because your recording is only stored for 14 days. As we expect students will start to become ill and face various challenges related to COVID-19, we want recordings to be available through the end of the term. Zoom can be a good option, but you do need a paid subscription to record. I’m also not sure that you can record auto-generated captions, and this should be included for accessibility purposes. Therefore, as a university, we’re recommending MS Teams to record lectures, whether they’re synchronous or asynchronous.

Take care, and I hope you have a well-deserved relaxing weekend.


Hannah Caballero Bonilla

MARCH 21 - Re: CLA Canvas Tip: Notes for moving online

Hi all,

I’m sorry to disturb your weekend, but in case you’re working on your courses this weekend, I have four important notes make your transition smoother (if you’re not working, put this email on hold until Monday!). I hope you took some time to relax and recharge over break, despite the large workload coming up to move your courses online.  I’ll re-emphasize the message you’ve seen in emails the last couple of weeks – Keep It Simple. You don’t have to have 8 weeks posted right away. If you can have two weeks of Modules posted ahead at a time, you’re in great shape.

There have been emails coming out from various university offices, and I hope these have been helpful more than overwhelming. I wanted to send out an email, too, as we go into the first week online to bring your attention to a few things that may have gotten lost in the shuffle.

  1. Help available to you
    1. Department experts (find yours in this List of Experts) have volunteered to help you with your course questions – they’re going to focus especially on discipline specific questions, e.g. tips for moving  courses online in your discipline.
    2. Me! I’m here to help with questions that require someone taking a look at your course (e.g. something isn’t working), technical issues, and other Canvas-specific questions.
    3. CSU Online has phone support from 7 AM-8PM MST. You can also connect with an instructional designer on their website if you’re really struggling with the Do-It-Yourself guides (please do try these guides first, though).
  2. Cross-listing your courses – DON’T DO IT
    1. Some of you may be wanting to combine your courses for the rest of the semester. PLEASE DON’T. When you merge courses, you lose ALL CONTENT AND GRADES in the “child” section. If you have questions about this, please email me.
  3. Delivering your Lectures
    1. The Keep Teaching page recommends recording audio over your existing PowerPoints or recording a lecture in MS Teams. There are great guides available now for doing both on the Do-It-Yourself page.
    2. Once you record a video in MS Teams, it will be automatically uploaded to MS Stream (a cloud-based video storage space) where you can auto-caption and get a sharable link to post to Canvas (directions on Microsoft Teams guide). If you record videos in PowerPoint or another program, they also need to be captioned so they’re accessible for students. I STRONGLY recommend uploading your other videos that aren’t already captioned to Microsoft Stream (part of Office 365). Two benefits – Stream will auto-caption your videos AND allow you to post a link to Canvas for students to view the video. Using a link in Canvas instead of uploading a video files means you aren’t using up your Canvas storage space. To see how to upload a video to Stream (including PDF guide & video of how to do so), please scroll down on this Microsoft Teams guide to “Upload other video types to Microsoft Stream.”
  4. Evaluating tools to use in your course
    1. I sent out a document before break to help you assess various tools for migrating your course online. I turned it into a Tools and Best Practices Google Doc because I’m finding already that information and recommendations can shift as we all learn more about what’s working well across campus. So, I’ll be updating it as we learn more. I hope it’s a good resource to refer back to.


Take care, keep some physical distance but find ways to connect virtually, and reach out as you need help.

Hannah Caballero Bonilla

MARCH 12 - Re: CLA Canvas Tip of the Month: March

Hi all,

As we prepare to move classes online, I’ve been thinking of how to provide helpful materials without adding to the noise. I came up with the document linked below to try and help you quickly decide which tools you want and need for an online course. It also includes quick tips and a resource for keeping your content ADA compliant. As the document states at the beginning, I’d suggest starting with the Keep Teaching website and then looking over this material. Keep Teaching has some fantastic resources, and the workshops today and tomorrow should give you a great start on your course migration. As you have questions that aren’t being answered there, though, please feel free to reach out to me. I’ll be doing my best to stay on top of my email over the next few weeks.

CLA Canvas Tip of the Month: March

Tip #1:

Decide which tools you really need – if you’re less familiar with Canvas, you don’t need to overdo it.


We’re moving courses online with a short turnaround.


Use this Tools and Best Practices for Moving Your Course Online document to quickly evaluate your options. Use the guides linked to learn more about each tool.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at cla_canvashelp@colostate.edu.

Hannah Caballero Bonilla

Emails from other Campus Units

MAY 6 - Re: Research Continuity Working Group and Open Forum

Dear CSU research, scholarship, and creative artistry community,

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) and OVPR divisions continue to work with colleges to assess how the pandemic is affecting research projects.  We are actively planning ways to reduce impacts and restart many amazing discoveries.  As I announced last week, CSU has convened a Research Continuity Working Group charged with ensuring the safety of our students, faculty, and staff while increasing research activity on campus.  This will be implemented in a phased approach with public health guidance consistent with our intent prioritize safety of our researchers. 

The Working Group is well underway in developing a framework for a phased re-engagement of on-campus research activities later this month.  They are examining easy standardized practices that can be implemented at the sites of discovery.  Decisions about which efforts are restarted in the first phase will be largely determined at the department and college level.  Through the working groups planning efforts and its implementation we will seek assurances from efforts that are restarted that safety planning and execution remain our priority. The restart process will be scaled gradually and aligned with public health conditions.

College Associate Research Deans have been fully engaged in this process and are members of the Working Group.  They are actively tailoring the guidance for specific research programs in your college or unit and serve as your local resource. Look for information soon about specific laboratory requirements that will be required for a safe return to the lab or field, or other areas of research and scholarly activity. 

The OVPR will be hosting the third virtual Research Continuity Open Forum on Friday, May 8, from 3-4 p.m. on Microsoft Teams. Please join us for updates on the Working Group activities and progress in our planning to return to campus for research activities.  Please join us and ask your questions related to research during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can also submit questions via email to VPR_ResearchContinuity@colostate.edu.

We appreciate all you are doing for the campus community.




Alan S. Rudolph, PhD, MBA

Vice President for Research

Colorado State University

203 Admin, Fort Collins, CO 80523-2001

Phone:  970-491-7194


MARCH 27 - Re: Student Disability Center Resources

The Student Disability Center (SDC) wants faculty to be aware that they can request a list of students with accommodations for their courses.  We are offering this in the interest of providing a smooth transition for faculty and students. The list is available in a spreadsheet format and faculty can request the list by emailing their request to the Student Disability Center. To do this, faculty may email sdc@colostate.edu with the following:

  • Course name and section number, e.g. CO 150 001
  • Their name and contact information
  • They may also request this for their lab courses on behalf of their GTAs

Note: the lists we have are students from the beginning of the semester until March 13. Faculty will receive a separate accommodation letter for any new students who come forth requesting accommodations. 

We understand that this is as much a transition for faculty as it is for students and would like to provide as much support for our faculty as possible.

We are your partners in the accommodations process.

The Student Disability Center




Rose Kreston

Pronouns: she/her/hers

Director, Student Disability Center

MARCH 24 - Office of International Programs, Re: education abroad updates

Dear CSU campus partners,

I wanted to share some Education Abroad updates in case you receive questions from students you advise and support. Please share this with others in your Colleges and units as needed.

Spring 2020 programs and classes:

  • Because of increased health and safety alerts and warnings from the CDC, U.S. Department of State, and other resources, CSU has gradually had to ask all students (over 335) to return from their spring programs abroad. More information and decision making criteria can be found on the CSU International Programs website.
  • Most institutions and programs abroad are offering their courses online/remotely, so that students can stay on track to graduate. If their courses cannot be offered online/remotely, we are working with individual students to find alternative and affordable (potentially free) options. Please direct Education Abroad returnees to our Assistant Director, Sarah O’Donnell, as they have needs or questions regarding classes for spring 2020.
  • Returning students have been asked to self-isolate for 14 days per CDC guidelines and to call their medical provider for advice if they are experiencing symptoms. (They should not go to providers’ office without calling ahead first.) Most students have self-reported that they will be living with their families across the country upon return and not returning to campus.

Summer 2020 programs:

  • We are evaluating the viability of each summer experience on a case-by-case basis. We plan to make most decisions by April 15. In the meantime, we are asking summer applicants to continue with their planning but make an alternate plan with summer school or fall classes if they need courses to graduate. We also asked them to avoid purchasing non-refundable/non-transferable airfare and to wait until April 15 before making any large program payments.

Fall 2020 programs:

  • We are optimistically planning to offer fall programs and have told students that we will follow-up with them between mid-May and early July on the health and safety of their specific programs (depending on departure dates and guidance based on locations). Once again, we advised them to make an alternate plan for the most important fall courses and to not purchase non-refundable/non-transferable airfare at this time.

Education Abroad and Financial Aid advising and transfer credit approvals:

  • Like most CSU offices, we are working remotely now, but students can still email us and schedule virtual appointments. Students can email education abroad financial aid questions directly to specialprograms@colostate.edu. Instructions on how to get Transfer Credit Evaluation Forms processed and approved over email has been shared with current applicants.

Thank you for guiding students and Education Abroad questions to my team, so that we can best support our students through this unprecedented and ever-evolving reality.

We wish all the best to you and yours,



Laura Thornes

Director, Education Abroad

MARCH 17 - Housing & Dining Services, Re: residence hall and dining options this semester

‌Dear Residence Hall Students,

As you know from the message President McConnell sent yesterday, CSU classes are moved online for the remainder of the semester.

This decision was made following the advice of public health officials to slow the spread of COVID-19 illnesses, and, while necessary for the health of our Ram family, the university and President McConnell understand how this decision is difficult for students who live on campus.

We want to assure you that, first, your belongings are secure and there is NO NEED to rush back to campus to pack up your stuff. Some students may wish to move out of the residence halls while other students, for a number of reasons, will need to remain living in university housing. We are committed to meeting both needs.

If you do plan to move out, because of the critical importance of practicing social distancing, we have a developed a phased move out to provide you with time to gather your belongings.

In addition, we are providing information below regarding prorated refunds for those who decide to leave university housing.

The situation is developing rapidly and we are working as quickly as we can to follow guidance from the CDC, state, and county public health experts.

For your health and safety and the health and safety of our staff, as well as for the health of our larger community, we encourage you to follow all of the directions below.

If you need to remain in university housing, please register at myhousing.colostate.edu by March 20.

  • You must register online at myhousing.colostate.edu so that we can be sure we have made arrangements for you to stay in university housing. We want to assure you that any residence hall student who needs housing will be accommodated, regardless of circumstances. We will work with students who are experiencing housing and food insecurity.
  • Some university housing and dining services will remain open and will focus on supporting your housing and meal needs.
  • Students who remain in university housing this semester are guaranteed a space and should be prepared to relocate if and when we need to consolidate housing on campus into one or more residence halls. This will allow us to best serve the students who remain on campus.
  • If we consolidate housing, we are currently planning to assign rooms in suite-style housing after deep cleaning is completed. We are waiving suite-style and single room additional charges over traditional style residence hall rooms.
  • The Foundry dining center will re-open on Sunday, March 22 from 5-7pm. All other dining centers will be closed. Starting Monday, March 23 through the end of spring semester, The Foundry’s hours will be 7-9am, 11am-1:30pm, and 4-7pm seven days a week. All service will be to-go with no dine-in option per guidance from the governor’s office. Disposable containers, cups, and cutlery will be supplied (use of refillable cups has been suspended). We will continue to offer a variety of options to meet a wide variety of dietary needs.
  • Specific details will be shared as we know more.
  • We appreciate your patience and flexibility as we collect numbers and navigate this unprecedented situation.

If you are staying on campus for spring break rest assured that spring break housing is not changing.

If you choose to leave university housing, please let us know at myhousing.colostate.edu by March 20

Once you fill out the form to let us know you are moving out, your room and board will be prorated and refunded to the day you fill out the form; the normal contract cancellation fee of $350 will apply as the residence halls remain open. Your meal plan will also be deactivated on the date you submit the move out form.  Please follow the steps below to check out:

  1. Make an appointment to move out
  • To follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines for social distancing, you will be asked to select a move-out time slot. Move out appointments start Wednesday, March 18 and will continue through May 16.
  • These move out time slots will be offered for the rest of the semester so there will be plenty of time slots available. There is no need to rush back to campus to collect your belongings. Your belongings and room will be secure.
  • Residents of Corbett and Parmelee – if you are not remaining in university housing this semester, we are asking you to make arrangements to move out by March 27, if possible, to free up space for students who may need housing for the remainder of this semester.  
  • To follow CDC guidelines, we are limiting each time slot per building to no more than 49 people (including you and one family member or friend to help you move).  Each time slot will be four hours.
  • We ask students and their parents and families to be mindful of roommates and neighbors moving out at the same time. Please practice social distancing and limit interaction accordingly.
  1. Move Out Process
  • When you arrive on campus, please check in at the front desk to get a temporary key to access the building (for building security, we have turned off regular prox access).
  • When you arrive at your room, you will see an envelope taped to your door that lists your name, CSUID, and assignment info.  Please place your keys in this envelope. Then, return it to the front desk. If staff are unavailable at the desk, please drop the envelope through the mail slot near the mailboxes. If keys are not returned, you will be charged applicable lock change and replacement costs.
  • ALL students who are moving out of the residence halls MUST officially checkout and return prox card and keys to be eligible for housing refunds.
  • Given this unprecedented situation, Housing & Dining will provide carts that will be disinfected between uses, a limited number of boxes, and a limited number of trash bags via the front desk. Please also bring your own boxes, bags and tape, if you have some available, to assist with your move.
  • We cannot provide moving assistance.
  • We will not have our annual donation program we typically operate during move out. We ask students to take ALL of their belongings with them.
  • Should students fail to follow checkout procedures, damage and excessive cleaning fees may apply if there is damage to the room or items left behind that staff have to remove.
  • If you have rented a microfridge, please be sure you clean it out, defrost it, unplug it, and leave it open when you check out of your room. We will coordinate pick-ups in the halls but you need to alert Collegiate Concepts that your rental has ended.
  1. Travel Advisories and What To Do if You Cannot Collect Your Belongings by May 16
  • We recognize that domestic and interstate travel may be restricted in the coming days and weeks. We will follow these developments very closely; we appreciate your patience and flexibility as these decisions are out of our control and we will all need to adjust the move out schedule as we go.
  • If you have recently traveled to a level 3 country (currently China, Iran, South Korea, Europe, UK, and Ireland) or Summit, Eagle, Pitkin, and Gunnison counties in Colorado, we ask that you wait until your self-isolation time is over to return to campus to pack your belongings.
  • ALL rooms on campus must be vacated by 10 a.m. on May 16.
  • If you are not able to return to campus to pack your belongings before the semester ends on May 16, please let us know on the form and stay tuned. We are currently working to develop a storage plan (see below).


  • If you are moving out, please be sure to collect any items you have in hall storage.
  • If you are moving out and cannot take all of your belongings with you due to extenuating circumstances, there will be limited storage available in each building that you can inquire about when you check out of the halls.
  • Don’t forget to take your bikes and longboards home!
  • Some local companies are offering storage solutions for students; none of these are currently endorsed by the university. You are welcome to make storage arrangements once your belongings are out of the hall.
  • At this time, we ask that you do not hire outside vendors or third parties to pack and store or ship your belongings. To keep our halls and living spaces secure, we are not able to provide access to third parties.
  • We will be exploring partnerships with moving, packing and shipping companies that could assist students who are unable to get to campus to retrieve their belongings. We ask that you not hire one on your own until we provide a list of companies that have the proper insurance and liability coverage and will share these details with you if and when they become available.

Mail and Package Delivery and Address Forwarding

  • Go to RamWeb and update your mailing address for all mail and packages. Per protocol, we will forward first class mail for 30 days. All other items will be returned to sender, when possible.
  • If you are expecting packages, please contact the vendors to reroute your package to your forwarding address.
  • We are not able to facilitate any special pick-ups or package holding at this time.

As this situation continually develops, we all know that changes can come at any point and our best laid plans may be interrupted or may need to change.

We recognize that this uncertainly brings questions, stress, and anxiety. Please know that our number one priority is the health and well-being of our students and staff and we will continue to share updates and adapt plans as needed to maintain this priority.

This is not the way any of us imagined the semester would unfold and as we manage multiple demands and pressing needs, we appreciate your patience.

Our phone lines are ringing non-stop and our inboxes are filling up so please know we will get back to you as soon as we can.

Whether you are remaining in campus housing or moving out, we wish you well in the days ahead.  

Housing & Dining Services