February 2020

Communications sent to the
UW Bothell community in February


Feb. 28, 2020 | Letter to faculty

Dear UW Bothell faculty,

A number of you have been sharing questions and concerns with your deans and chairs about the University’s Coronavirus preparation and, more specifically, how you might prepare for a possible disruption of your classes.

As noted in the email sent to all three UW campuses yesterday, the University is regularly updating information regarding the University’s planning in one central location online: the UW’s Environmental Health & Safety website. That website also has a Frequently Asked Questions page that is continually updated.

One of the frequently asked questions — among the many you may find of interest — is one that addresses how faculty can prepare for class disruptions should they occur. It refers faculty to the UW Center for Teaching and Learning which offers resources for technology and pedagogical best practices. It also includes a link where UW Bothell faculty can find additional information about instructional continuity from our Office of IT Digital Learning.

You may also find the following links helpful:

As a reminder, no one in the UW community has been diagnosed with the novel coronavirus. While we remain hopeful that our risk will remain low, the time to prepare is now.

If you have ongoing concerns about your classes or about personal well being, I encourage you to follow-up directly with your department head or dean.

I also will be communicating with you more as we get additional information regarding Coronavirus preparations.

Sharon A. Jones, Ph.D., P.E.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
Professor – Division of Engineering and Mathematics

Feb. 27, 2020 | UW Bothell Advisory email

Coronavirus Update

There is much about the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in the news this week. We are aware that Bothell High School closed today due to a relative of a staff member becoming ill after international travel. They did so out of an abundance of caution; they do not have a confirmed case of coronavirus. UW Bothell leadership is monitoring that situation. The UW Bothell/Cascadia College campus has no reports of cases or exposure to COVID-19 and no plans to suspend operations at this time.

The University of Washington is a large-scale enterprise with broad and deep expertise. Teams of people from all three UW campuses are in close contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and with the U.S. State Department. Across all three campuses, plans are being reviewed to prepare for a variety of scenarios. Dean of Student Affairs Tim Wilson, for example, is part of a command team that meets with UW President Ana Mari Cauce several times a week to discuss coronavirus preparations.

The best source for continuing coronavirus information is on the University of Washington’s Environmental Health & Safety website. That website also has a comprehensive Frequently Asked Questions page that is continually updated.

As always, you are urged to be proactive about your own hygiene to prevent the spread of any illness.

More information at King County Department of Public Health

Darren Branum
Emergency Preparedness Manager

Feb. 12, 2020 | Combatting Xenophobic reactions

Dear UW Bothell Campus Community,

The appearance of the novel coronavirus — now called COVID-19 — and its spread from Wuhan, China, has triggered significant fears around the world. Unfortunately, here in the United States these fears have manifested in the racist and xenophobic treatment of Chinese nationals and Chinese Americans, as well as peoples of Asian heritage more generally.

As reported in the Seattle Times, this mistreatment has meant a rise in racist name-calling, race-based harassment, racist tropes about Chinese food and an overall stigmatizing of Chinese nationals and Chinese Americans that irrationally equates people of Chinese heritage with the novel coronavirus itself.

Sadly, we are beginning to hear reports from UW Bothell faculty, staff and students that racist comments — either in classes or in social media — are being made towards the Chinese national and Chinese American students in our community as well.

Racism and xenophobia towards UW Bothell’s Chinese national and Chinese American students (or anyone at UW Bothell, for that matter) is absolutely unacceptable. We are a diverse community, and as a community, we can and should resist these racist stereotypes and our country’s legacy of “yellow peril” anti-Asian racism.

In difficult times like these, it is important that we at UW Bothell work as a community to care for each other. As UW President Ana Mari Cauce recently remarked regarding this issue, “We honor our commitment to inclusion by supporting our friends, colleagues and classmates who may be worried for friends and family in China. Our common humanity calls on us now to offer support, empathy and understanding to those most affected by this virus.”

In the spirit of President Cauce’s statement, please remember that we have students, staff and faculty whose family and friends may be dealing with difficulties stemming directly from the impact of COVID-19. Also, please understand that travel bans may be causing distress among international students who could be required to travel to Asia to renew their visas. Given the racist nature of the public response, some Asian students, staff and faculty also may feel cautious about being in public spaces on campus.

Students who feel like they need more personal support during this time can contact the UW Bothell Counseling Center. UW employees seeking support can make use of UW CareLink.

Finally, if you experience or witness negative or hurtful behavior, or feel you or someone else is being treated with bias or subjected to discrimination based on national origin, race, ethnicity or other identities, please submit a Bias Report in the UW Bothell CARE system. All reports are confidential, but you can also report anonymously.

In Solidarity,

Wayne Au
Acting Dean of Diversity & Equity
Campus Diversity Officer
Professor, School of Educational Studies

  1. OE/HR checks campus mail one time per week. If we receive a WA State Employment Security office unemployment claim, we will reach out to the designated individual and confirm that they have filed this claim. This will be done prior to forwarding the unemployment claim to Central HR or Academic HR for processing.
  2. When we receive notification from a UW Bothell staff, faculty or student employee that a fraudulent unemployment claim has been submitted on their behalf, OE/HR will notify Central HR. Central HR will then contact the ISC on the individual’s behalf to limit multiple email notifications on the part of the impacted individual.
    • Bothell Q&A session 1: June 1, 3 – 4 p.m.
    • Bothell Q&A session 2: June 5, 3 – 4 p.m.
    1. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sharon Jones will lead discussions on Academic Services Development.
    2. Dean of Student Affairs, Tim Wilson will coordinate the Student Services.
    3. Last but certainly not least, Acting Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration Gowri Shankar will chair the Campus Operations and Personnel Support group.
    • Do what you can to simplify your life and theirs. The number one comment (over 100 students) is that remote learning feels like a lot more work than face-face instruction. Many students are essential workers during the pandemic and have increased hours, many also have childcare and increased household responsibilities, and many are struggling with mental and physical health issues --- all of these are impacting their learning environment. It’s okay to simplify an assignment or to suggest ways that students can structure their time for their courses. Simplifying things may be good for us as well.
    • Find ways to make connections with your students. Students are also saying that they miss seeing you, asking clarifying questions during breaks, and dropping by to tell you about their lives. For many of our students, you are the primary way they connect with our campus. Students miss connecting with peers and not having a way to get to know other students in their classes. One idea to help students connect is to create time as part of your course to break into groups and talk about the impact of the pandemic in our lives.
    • “Back to Work” — President Ana Mari Cauce is leading an effort to develop scenarios that guide decision-making as we phase-in or ramp-up general operations. The scope of discussions include research, facilities, recreation, information technology and human resources. Acting Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration Gowri Shankar is the UW Bothell representative on this working group.
    • “Back to School” — Provost Mark Richards is leading the work to develop scenarios for facilitating academic decision-making for the summer B term and autumn quarter. Here, conversations include both academic and classroom activity (including graduate and undergraduate programs) and student support services. Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Sharon Jones is representing UW Bothell on this working group.
    • In addition, and since the onset of this outbreak, Dean of Student Affairs Tim Wilson has represented UW Bothell actively on the UW Advisory Committee on Communicable Diseases.
    • Check in with students often (even daily)
      • Why? In times of disruption, relationships matter and if they weaken or lapse during this crisis, students may not be retained; often faculty are the consistent (and possibly only) point of contact with the “campus” for students; regular, compassionate communication can help in these situations 1 2 3
    • Share your story with students
      • Why? Showing vulnerability will likely be comforting for students who have never been through a crisis such as this; it is good to demonstrate that we are all in this situation together and we will help each other get past it 1 2
    • Model self-care for your students
      • Why? Because that’s what we all need during this crisis and by you modeling such care (and perhaps assigning it as part of your course), you’ll better prepare your students to be resilient 1
    • Survey students about their access to technology and their comfort level
      • Why? Student feedback may affect what you choose in terms of technology and how you design your course including such things as creating project groups and other peer interactions 1
    • Design and deliver your courses asynchronously as much as possible while providing some synchronous times to build community (that can be recorded)
      • Why? Many of our students are taking care of family needs due to this crisis that limits their ability to attend classes at set times; in addition, many students will have intermittent access to technology; that said, students came to UWB for the faculty/student relationship and some face to face time will bring a degree of “normalcy” 1
    • Consider low-tech and mobile friendly course design
      • Why? Some students only have access to their cell phones for assignments and often they have limited data plans; although there are free and low-cost options, some of these come with privacy issues 1 3
    • Co-construct your class with your students
      • Why? Collective choices will help student have some control over their learning which can help with their stress while also providing you with valuable feedback about how to help your students learn better 1
    • Prioritize what’s critical and expect a bit less than “normal” in terms of deadlines etc.
      • Why? This is a stressful time with additional responsibilities for many of you and many of your students; neither you nor they signed up for this situation and being flexible is probably good for everyone 2 3
    • Don’t try to exactly replicate your in-classroom course remotely
      • Why? It isn’t possible in most cases because it is a different platform; what’s often needed is a revision of assignments, assessment, etc. 2
    • When possible, connect the course in ways that allow students to make meaning of what is happening to them and the broader community
      • Why? We are preparing our students for life and what better way to do that than connecting the classroom to the broader context of this crisis via reflection pieces, adapted examples, diaries, discussion blogs, minute theses, etc. 1 4
    • Some of our students need accommodations (perhaps new or modified ones because of remote instruction) and consider how to adjust
      • Why? It’s possible that the accommodation may be different for remote learning versus classroom instruction so consider captioning videos etc. up front and providing reminders so students receive the services they need to learn 1
    • Focus on the human part of this crisis rather than student accountability and evaluation/assessment
      • Why? While we need to continue to meet learning objectives, students are faced with challenges they have never experienced and this is accompanied by a sense of insecurity that will affect their ability to learn; recognizing and affirming this situation with students is important to help them to take the next steps forward 2
    • Accessing technology and software you might need to complete coursework, including access to lending computers and hotspots
    • Strategies and low-cost options to maximize your home Internet connection
    • Strategies for succeeding in online learning environments, including how to use Canvas and Zoom
    • Links to Student Services and Technology Support
    • UW1:    Rooms UW1-031, UW1-102, UW1-120, UW1-121
    • UW2:    Room UW2-205
    • UWBB:  Room UWBB-240, UWBB-260
    • Notify your school administrator or budget manager that you intend to take office technology home (does not apply to laptops). Please include the following information:
      • List each piece of equipment you are taking home (e.g. monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc.)
      • Asset tag number, as relevant; not all equipment has an asset tag (The asset tag is a sticker placed on the equipment by UWB IT.)
    • Transport all equipment with care. 
    • UWB IT will have limited ability to support off-site hardware setup, but will provide as much support as we can. Contact uwbit@uw.edu for support.
    • Familiarize yourself with the information below:
    • Notification of webinar: Coping with uncertainty about the coronavirus/COVID- 19 on March 17 from 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. Register here.
    • A document re: strategies for working remotely for staff, (see attached).
    • Beginning next week OE/HR will be hosting 30- min weekly zoom meeting – “Zoom Zoom to Connect.” Please follow the link below to complete a 2-question survey so that we can plan the “Zoom Zoom to Connect” sessions based on your responses: 
    • UWB/CC Library building hours as of Monday March 9 are Monday-Friday 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, closed on weekends.
    • All UW Libraries hours are linked here under Changes to Operations
    • In accordance with Public Health-Seattle & King County guidance, we encourage supervisors to provide telework options to employees or students whose job duties can be performed remotely without hampering operations. Supervisors have maximum flexibility to implement this. More information can be found online about UW Bothell’s plans for instructional continuity and operational continuity
    • We have acquired an enterprise license for Zoom videoconferencing that all UW faculty, staff and students can use to carry out their instructional, academic and administrative work. More details are available on the IT website
    • As a precautionary measure, we are currently in the process of deep cleaning our campus buildings. This work will continue until all spaces have been completed. In addition to this deep cleaning, our facilities staff are also performing high-touch, touch-point cleaning and monitoring and refilling our wall-mounted hand sanitizer dispensers on campus throughout the day. Our custodial crew has been extra responsive to all our calls and needs, and for that we are extremely grateful. We have asked the contractors who maintain our leased spaces (Husky Hall, Beardslee Building and Beardslee Crossing) to follow the same cleaning procedures. 
    • We will be replenishing the food pantries in Husky Hall and in the Student Diversity Center (UW1-173) to meet our community’s needs during this time of uncertainty. 
    • To learn more about anti-stigma resources that may be particularly useful at this time, please see the information developed and curated by Public Health–Seattle & King County
    • FREE Zoom Enterprise: Per UW-IT, the Zoom Enterprise site license will be in effect as of 10am Wednesday morning. More information about Zoom, including how-to guides, can be found on our Instructional Continuity webpage.
    • FREE Webinar: Using Live, Online Sessions to Support Continuity of Instruction on March 9, 2020 (11am – 12pm). While the presentation is aimed at directors, deans, and faculty who are planning for the possibility of transitioning land-based courses, teachers, and students into an online learning environment, this may also be good for folks who may need to think about delivering other services online. The webinar is free, but registration is required.
    • Human health, welfare and/or safety.
    • Information technology services or security.
    • Building or property security, safety, and integrity.
    • Research animals, specimens, or equipment.
    • Critical infrastructure (power, water, heat, roads, etc.).
    • Critical business, contractual, or legal obligations including employee payroll.
    • Identify emergency personnel and ensure they know what to do in the event of suspended operations
    • Remind lab personnel of your communication plan or create one if not in place
    • Identify priorities in case of restricted access
    • Ensure remote access to files, data, servers, etc.
    • Prioritize experiments
    • Plan for remote proposal submission
    • Check travel restrictions before making travel plans.
    • Internet access at the site from which they will be working
    • Husky One – to access UW drive remotely
    • Vacation time off
    • Sick time off (see below)
    • Unpaid time off
    • Personal holiday (one full day only)
    • Wash hands often with soap and water. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home while you are sick and avoid close contact with others.
    • Cover your mouth/nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.