March 11 Message to Faculty

Dear Colleagues,

We want to provide you with an update on the steps that Academic Affairs is taking to ensure instructional continuity in the event of a full or partial campus closure.

As Richard noted in previous communication, Academic Affairs is asking all faculty to prepare for the possibility of moving courses fully online. Between now and the end of next week, we are asking all faculty teaching this semester to host one session of each one of your courses online as a preparedness exercise. We realize this will require some of you to make adjustments in your course schedules as you accommodate this exercise, but it will serve as an important trial run for faculty, staff, and students and help to identify issues that need troubleshooting.

We recognize that this is a huge shift in our instructional mode, and we want to ensure you have the proper support needed to make such a change. IT Services has added training sessions tomorrow and Friday this week on using Canvas and Zoom together to make your courses accessible online. If you are already ready to conduct this trial run, you may do so immediately and are not required to attend the training sessions. Given rapidly changing events, we encourage you to participate in the preparedness exercise as soon as possible, but no later than the end of next week. As a reminder, faculty should not move their classes online on a regular basis until Academic Affairs instructs you to do so.


  • Please review the Course Continuity website for details about how you can continue to conduct your course remotely. 
  • IT Services is currently offering in-person trainings on Canvas, Zoom, and Teams. Please encourage your students to attend if they need assistance. 


  • Please encourage your students to familiarize themselves with the instructional technology you plan to utilize for delivering your classes online.
  • IT Services is currently offering in-person trainings on Canvas, Zoom, and Teams for students. 

ONLINE COURSE TRIAL RUN (Now through March 20)

  • By the end of next week, plan to host one class session of each one of your courses online in order to ensure that you are ready to teach online. Students should be instructed to log in remotely from their dorms or somewhere private on campus, and faculty should log in from their office space. 
    • During this test, consider the tools you would need at home to conduct this course from there, and reach out to IT Services if you need equipment or assistance.
  • IT Services will be on alert and ready to assist with any issues you encounter during this test run. Please call (320-363-2228) or email ([email protected]) the Help Desk for assistance.

More information about COVID-19 can be found at:

Thank you for taking these steps on behalf of our students.

Richard Ice, Terry Check, Barb May and Casey Gordon