Dear Students,

I know President McRobbie’s message yesterday about the undergraduate academic calendar has raised questions about what this means for the Law School. We have a Town Hall scheduled tomorrow (Friday) at 2:00 p.m., where I’ll provide an overview of our preliminary plans based on the university guidance we received this and last week. The Zoom Meeting ID is 965 9892 9943 and the Password is 726935.
 
While the university academic calendar that was circulated yesterday doesn’t apply to us, the Law School will comply with all the health-and-safety requirements set out by the university last week in its Restart Report (e.g., social distancing, face masks, cleaning protocols, self monitoring, testing, contact tracing, etc.). We also know that students, faculty, and staff are in different positions, with different comfort levels about returning to campus. I will explain more on Friday, but a few things are clear:
  • We will have both remote (online) courses and in-person courses this fall. We know some students may not be comfortable coming to campus, and some faculty are unable to teach in person. Remote courses may be delivered synchronously and in some cases asynchronously.
  • We are planning to simultaneously record and live-stream the in-person courses to accommodate students who for illness or other reasons are unable to attend. All in-person courses will meet all social distancing and other health-and-safety requirements prescribed by the university and campus.
  • Because of the need to change the current course schedule (timing of courses, classrooms being used, spacing between classes to meet health-and-safety requirements), we will be circulating a new course schedule. Students will have the option to adjust their schedules without cost once they have information about how each course will be taught. 
We are in the process of speaking with faculty to work out details with each course. We hope to complete the process by mid-June, with the goal of having a new schedule out to all students by mid-July and a drop/add registration period to commence at the end of July. While there will be other necessary changes to the Law School’s previously announced academic calendar (including the elimination of fall break), we expect that classes will start on Monday, August 17. The Law School needs to address many other issues related to reopening consistent with all the health-and-safety protocols, which could change depending on what occurs with the virus over the coming weeks.
 
We know the uncertainty is frustrating, but please bear with us as we work through these issues, with the goal of getting as much information to you as soon as we can. The campus task force reports on a wide range of issues related to restarting are just being finalized. We have been working hard over the last month, but the Law School is only now able to start making concrete plans because they depend on the directives of the campus plans. We also will be sending out a survey to students next week seeking feedback on remote teaching, with an eye towards identifying suggestions for next fall.
 
I hope everyone is well, and I look forward to speaking with you on Friday for our bi-weekly Town Hall. Thank you.
 
Best wishes,
Austen Parrish

cc: Law School Faculty and Staff
Maurer School of Law
Baier Hall, 211 South Indiana Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47405-7001