Good thing I’ll be on sabbatical this semester: the HIN1 thing could get serious. In my inbox today was the following e-mail from the deputy provost:
Since the April and May 2009 H1N1 outbreak on the University of Delaware campus, teams of administrators, faculty, staff, and students have been working to prepare for the expected resurgence of the virus this fall. Many programs have been implemented such as a healthy hygiene program, which includes the installation of 37 hand sanitizer stations across all four campuses; educational programs which include speakers, posters, websites and pamphlets; and campus preparations for a seasonal flu and H1N1 vaccination program.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the US Department of Health and Human Services, there is a possibility that the severity of the H1N1 virus outbreak could be more significant than what we experienced last spring. If this happens, they are recommending that institutions of higher education may have to implement “social distancing” initiatives, such as canceling classes and large events. They are also encouraging that we examine the possibilities of using alternate methods of course instruction this fall, if canceling classes becomes a necessity.
Consequently, the University of Delaware is attempting to determine the capacity of our faculty to continue course instruction outside of the classroom if a severe crisis event were to occur, such as the outbreak of H1N1 or any other type of hazard or disaster event. With this purpose in mind, we have developed a short, seven-question, survey for UD faculty to complete which will help us consolidate this information. The University recognizes the importance of providing faculty with all the tools necessary to aid their students in completing their coursework.
Please forward this e-mail to all the faculty members in your department or academic programs and ask them to take a few minutes to complete this survey; please click here [URL redacted] for the survey. You should rest assured that your responses to this survey are confidential….
We thank you in advance for helping the University be as prepared as possible for the fall flu season.
All the best for a very productive and successful academic year.
I have a feeling this won’t be the last we’ll hear about “social distancing.”