NOTICE: The following message was crafted in response to the March 12th order from the Governor to move all instruction online. As of March 16th, FIU is further transitioning to remote work including the closing of libraries and other campus services. Please visit the FIU Coronavirus Reponse page for up-to-date information. UFF-FIU will continue to provide faculty with union updates as needed.
Given the Governor’s decision to immediately transition to remote instruction until at least April 4th and possibly continuing based on the conditions concerning COVID-19, union leadership and university administration understand that students and faculty are going to face disruptions to their normal university activities. We are all committed to supporting each other and our students through this difficult situation, and we believe it is important to communicate shared work expectations during the temporary period of remote teaching. To that end, please know that:
- Faculty must continue to actively work to meet their teaching obligation, specifically concerning active instruction aimed at achieving course objectives. The instructor of record continues to have the autonomy and academic freedom to determine how best to achieve course goals within remote settings.
- Moving to temporary remote instruction does not set precedents for or inherently consent to future remote instructional work. The Governor’s extraordinary decision responds to extraordinary conditions, not a permanent policy change.
- The university is offering and will continue to offer substantial instruction-based support. Faculty should communicate requests for technology/materials to enable remote instruction to their supervisor.
- Supervisors will be instructed to account for the disruption created by the Governor’s order in teaching, research, and service within faculty annual evaluations.
We strongly suggest that faculty communicate their questions, concerns, and impacts on their teaching, research, and service due to COVID-19 via email with their supervisors. Also, we strongly encourage faculty to take notes about any changes to work expectations or requirements shared in remote or face-to-face meetings and bring potential issues to their supervisor so that, if possible, they can be addressed. The Union is here to help all our members if any such issues arise.
Given the fluidity of the situation, our specific expectations and practices may continue to change. However, throughout these unusual times, we expect that everyone (faculty and the administration) will work together in supportive and flexible ways.