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September 2020

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Roadmap to Fall


A Note from the Provost

Provost Stacia HaynieColleagues,
This year has been unprecedented, and I am so grateful for your incredible persistence during these challenging times. The innovative scholarly and creative works achieved during the last six months have been transformative in many ways, and you also have worked diligently to ensure that our students are receiving the exceptional academic experience they expect.   
This semester, we proudly welcomed our largest, most academically accomplished and diverse freshman class in the history of LSU with 6,690 new students. Equally impressive, we have achieved the highest retention rate of the freshman class in LSU history. We have been sharing with high school students and their families the quality of the academic experience students receive at LSU, and they are clearly responding to that message. Moreover, we have leveraged research and data to help us support students better. Collectively we have achieved record overall enrollment at LSU, and while that would be a remarkable achievement in any environment, to do it in the middle of a pandemic is phenomenal.
Even as we welcome this record-setting class, we are already hard at work to ensure the same success for the class joining us in 2021. I am appreciative yet again of the creative and innovative ways that our campus is managing our work during this pandemic.
Our commitment to build a more inclusive campus culture becomes even more critical as we welcome more diverse students. As many of you know, faculty, staff, students and alumni developed our Roadmap to Diversity over the past year under the leadership of Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris. We kicked off the implementation of the Roadmap following a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion retreat on July 1. Working groups were created to forge paths focused on communications, community, policies, academics, human resources and many others. Committees have standing meetings with Interim President Galligan, myself, Vice Provost Dereck Rovaris and Executive Vice President and CFO Dan Layzell to provide updates on the work accomplished. Thus far, committees have identified critical areas of concern on campus and are driving substantial change.
As we celebrate our achievements, we remain focused on ensuring the health and safety of our campus community. We are fortunate to have COVID-19 testing available for students, faculty and staff. The LA Army National Guard is operating free testing in white tents located near the LSU Student Union. We also have several additional testing sites across campus in the form of "purple pods." An important part of mitigating the spread of the virus on our campus is participation every day in the daily symptom checker, which you receive via text or email each day, even on weekends. The symptom checker provides guidance to those who are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19 and also allows us to engage in contact tracing so that individuals who might have been exposed to the virus can isolate. Please continue to participate in the symptom tracker.
I remain inspired and energized by the dedication of our faculty and staff to continue our scholarship and educate the students who call LSU home. Thank you is insufficient, but sincere nonetheless.

Stacia Haynie 
Executive Vice President & Provost
J.W. Annison, Jr. Alumni Professor

Our People

COVID-19 Testing Pod

COVID-19 Testing

To keep the LSU community as safe and healthy as possible, we continue to urge everyone on campus to get tested for COVID-19. Even if you do not have symptoms, please get tested as you could be asymptomatic and unknowingly spreading the virus to others. If you don’t have symptoms, you do not have to quarantine while you await your test results.

2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award

LSU has received the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity, or HEED, Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity-focused publication in higher education. As a recipient of the annual HEED Award — a national honor recognizing U.S. colleges and universities that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to diversity and inclusion — LSU will be featured, along with 89 other recipients, in the November 2020 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. This is the eighth year LSU has been named as a HEED Award recipient. To read the full press release on the 2020 Higher Education Excellence in Diversity Award, click here

Online Mental Health Screening Platform

In support of the university’s commitment to the mental health and wellbeing of the LSU community, Human Resource Management and the University Council on Gender Equity are proud to announce the upcoming launch of an online mental health screening platform powered by MindWise Innovations.

MindWise provides 13 clinically validated, anonymous self-assessments which direct individuals to local resources and educational information based on their selected responses. More information about MindWise and the online mental health screening can be found on the HRM Wellness webpage.

MindWise will be available on Oct. 1 to all faculty and staff at no cost. Enrollment in LSU insurance is not required to utilize this free screening platform.

LSU Pregnancy & Parenting Program Fall Webinar Series 'Parenting Through the Ages'

 Save the Date - Fall Webinar Series: Parenting Through the AgesThe program will be hosting a three-part series for students, faculty and staff focused on developmental stages from pregnancy through the teen years. The first webinar is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 30, from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. To find out more about the Pregnancy and Parenting Program series, panelists and registration, click here.

Open Forums for Candidates for the Dean of the E. J. Ourso College of Business

The E. J. Ourso College of Business Dean Search Committee is pleased to announce that four candidates will visit LSU over the next two weeks to participate in on-campus interviews. As part of their interviews, candidates will speak at open forums, which all members of the LSU campus community are invited to attend. The open forums will be held via Zoom, and will be recorded for those that cannot attend at the designated time.

Candidate biographies and CVs for the first two candidates are now available on the search website at lsu.edu/dean-business-search/candidates/index.php. Biographies and CVs for the second two candidates will be released on the search website on Oct. 2.



Faculty Support

LTC Faculty Fellows Program Launched

The Office of Academic Affairs in conjunction with the Learning and Teaching Collaborative (LTC) is pleased to announce the launch of the LTC Faculty Fellows program along with the list of fellows for 2020-2021. Sponsored by LSU Online, the Faculty Fellows program was created to provide increased support for faculty aiming to enhance student learning and performance. With one fellow housed in each college, the fellow will assist other faculty members with course design, revamping an existing course, implementing a new instructional strategy, and/or resolving an on-going classroom/course issue. Fellows can assist faculty through one-on-one consultations, classroom observations, and/or other support depending on the specific circumstances. Click here to view a listing of the Faculty Fellows for each college and contact information.

Faculty Engagement Strategies in Blended and Online Courses

Being present in your online class is more important now than ever in supporting your students' learning and engagement. This new normal may be stressful for students, so the more they can hear from you, the more reassured and motivated they will be. Aim to maintain an active presence, especially at the start of the course and create a pattern of interaction. For example, responding to posts within the "Student Q&A" forum and emails within one business day, posting weekly check-ins via the "News & Announcements" forum, and providing timely feedback on assignments are some of the ways you can interact regularly with your students. To learn more about these strategies, view the Tips for Effective Online Teaching document and the Being There: Creating Online Instructor Presence Learn & Geaux video. Additionally, we encourage all faculty to register for the Facilitating an Online Course: Effective Instructional Practices workshop on 10/6 hosted by LSU Online.

Faculty Support and Moodle

LSU Online & Continuing Education’s Faculty Technology Center (FTC) and Design & Development team know that there's so much going on this fall term. We want to make sure you know we're here to help! Please visit us at online.lsu.edu/faculty in order to see our hours of support, along with live and on-demand training for both design and development and for technology tools.

Thank you for your patience as we wrap up the final minor bugs with Moodle 3.7. It is never easy to upgrade across seven versions of a software (from Moodle 3.1 to Moodle 3.7), but doing so in our current state is just that much more difficult for everyone, but was necessary due to the fragility of the system. To alleviate some of the stress, we have created a Known Issues website to communicate known bugs and quirks with Moodle 3.7 and the workarounds we suggest.

Questionmark: Test Creation/Delivery Solution

The LSU Office of Testing and Evaluation Services is proud to share that the OTES-sponsored test creation/delivery software, Questionmark, was updated this summer to a new edition called Questionmark OnPremise. The software update enabled additional features, such as allowing faculty to create exams directly within the system.

Questionmark is a robust test creation/delivery solution that allows faculty to create course assessments and view comprehensive reporting and analytics. Questionmark is supported by OTES and is available for free to all LSU faculty to use.

Please refer to the OTES Questionmark page for more details such as:

  • General information about Questionmark capabilities
  • How faculty can create a Questionmark user account under LSU single sign-on
  • Questionmark training videos

LSU Questionmark website: https://lsu.edu/testing/questionmark.php

Programs, Policies & Planning

Libraries Provides Support for the Adoption of Low Cost Course Materials

A new state law requires universities to include in course descriptions a designation as to whether they use either free or low cost course materials. The LSU Libraries provides consultation services to help faculty identify such material and make them available. Click here to find more information on Open Educational Resources.

BRAC, LSU, Southern Announce Collaboration to Retain Graduates

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber, or BRAC, LSU and Southern University today announced a collaboration to leverage Handshake — an early talent recruitment platform connecting employers, talent and colleges — to retain graduates in the region by connecting students to career opportunities through professional internships. Read full BRAC, LSU, Southern Collaboration Announcement here.

Licensure Disclosure

Regarding student disclosures for programs that lead to certification/licensure, please review the institutional procedure on the Licensing Disclosure website.

This institutional procedure details how both senior colleges and direct admit colleges should disclose this information to students and also provides a timeline of when this disclosure should go out to students, dependent on type of program admission.

Each applicable program will send a generalized document stating the positive, negative, or non-determinations to each prospective and current student interested or currently enrolled in the respective program. This generalized document includes the Licensure Disclosure page that directs students to the respective program with disclosure statements along with contact information for further questions.

If your program is listed on the Licensure Disclosure website, you should be sending out these disclosures now to students via email if you haven’t done so already. This process was determined and approved after the academic term began. Beginning next term or module, you should be following the institutional procedural timeline.

If you have any question or would like to review a template for the disclosure statements to students, please email Anna Bartel at acastr1@lsu.edu.