Academic Affairs Covid-19 Information
This page contains information for faculty, staff, and students concerning New Mexico Tech's academic response to the Covid-19 pandemic. For information on the campus-wide impact and response see the New Mexico Tech Covid-19 Information Page.
Fundraising efforts are underway to provide financial assistance to Tech students adversely impacted by the pandemic. The goal of the initiative is to rapidly get support to students in need. See the COVID-19 Emergency Student Relief Fund page for details. Dr. Peter Phaiah emailed all full-time students a Google Form invitation on April 6 to apply for funds.
When classes resumed on April 6 New Mexico Tech transitioned to 100% distance delivery. The transition went relatively smoothly and technical information for faculty and students has now been moved to ACT's student and faculty resource pages.
Key Information for Faculty and Students
- New academic policies: The Faculty Senate has approved a relaxation of the S/U grading policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is summarized in an April 9 email to students from VPAA Doug Wells.
- Working on campus: Only those faculty, staff and students approved as “essential on-site” workers by the VPAA are allowed to be in buildings on campus, and only then to complete those tasks that cannot be done from home (i.e., work from home whenever possible). When on campus, those “essential on-site” workers must practice social distancing (minimize time spent with others and maximize distance from others) and good hygiene.
- Faculty (full-time and part-time) are “essential on-site” workers.
- Departmental administrative assistants are “essential on-site” workers.
- Other members of the staff generally are not “essential on-site” workers. Only other members of the staff recommended by the department chair and approved by the VPAA may be deemed as “essential on-site” workers.
- Students (graduate or undergraduate) generally are not “essential on-site” workers. The process of requesting exemptions (i.e., approval for a student worker to be deemed "essential on-site") is for the supervisor to submit a request via a Google Form (https://forms.gle/gYRWS5DqfE37EXSLA). If approved by the VPAA, the limit in time for a student to be considered as an “essential on-site” worker is two weeks. The limited time is to enable more students to fulfill these essential duties and limit the number of workers on campus at any given time.
- Work performed on campus will only be done by “essential on-site” workers because it cannot be completed at home and will require social distancing in time and space.
- Transition to distance delivery of courses:
- If you have questions related to distance delivery and associated technology, please use ACT’s Help Desk: https://nmt.edu/act/help.php
- All courses and laboratories will be delivered via distance for the remainder of the semester after the semester resumes on April 6, 2020. The dates for the end of the semester and final exams (now to be done remotely) remain the same.
- It is up to the instructor to determine what topics should be covered in the time that remains as well as how instructional material is conveyed and students’ knowledge assessed.
- For instructors who choose synchronous delivery, they should adhere to the same times and duration as the course schedule in Banweb. All lectures done synchronously need to recorded such that students with insufficient internet connectivity can view them asynchronously.
- Needs of instructors and TAs related to connectivity and hardware (pens/tablets, cameras, microphones, …) have been solicited, and received, from department chairs. Should an instructor or TA need hardware, contact ACT.
- There have been many more requests for “hotspots” to access the internet via cellular networks than can be supplied by NMT. Faculty and TAs with insufficient broadband at home are encouraged to use similar “hotspot” functionality on their smartphones as most major vendors have temporarily lifted or increased limits on data. Faculty are considered “essential on-site” workers, so they may come onto campus and access connectivity as needed. Should you truly be in a situation where you need a “hotspot” or have related questions, please email email@example.com with the subject “hotspot”.
- ACT has contacted all students (undergraduate and graduate) to get feedback on the students’ ability to access NMT’s online information and receive distance education. Students are encouraged to complete this survey.
- Students have been notified on multiple occasions and by varied means to inform them classes start April 6 and will be delivered by distance only.
- At this point instructors need to have reached out to students enrolled in their classes to inform them of logistics adopted for distance delivery of lectures, laboratories, office hours, help sessions, etc., and updates to the syllabus and approach to grading.
- More information is coming on guidance for final exams, changes to grade options and deadlines (to be considered at faculty senate on April 7), and for those whose progress towards promotion and tenure has been impacted.
- Websites with information on the transition to DE have been created for:
Note that new information, additional training and updates related to security and distance delivery are coming fast, so please check these pages regularly and note they now include responses to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
This is a rapidly evolving situation. The most recent emails/updates reflect current policy and guidance.
A new faculty website has been created to provide resources and answer questions related to the transition to distance learning.