Letter from the Vice Rector regarding teaching April 30, 2020
Dear Academic and Administrative Staff,
About a month and a half ago, by order of the Health Ministry, frontal teaching ceased and all of us made the transition to online teaching and learning. Of course, this was only one aspect or detail of the upheaval in our lives brought about by the Corona virus pandemic.
Since then, we celebrated or commemorated Passover, Holocaust Remembrance Day, Memorial Day, and just yesterday, Independence Day, sequestered in our homes in the shadow of the Corona crisis.
I am writing this letter not only to inquire about your wellbeing in these difficult times for all of us, but also to inform you of several important and immediate updates affecting each and every one.
As you are well aware, we are in the midst of a dynamic situation that changes daily according to Health Ministry directives, but for now, it would appear that at the beginning of next week, we will commence the long and gradual transition back to normal activity (or, to be exact, a return to the new routine under Corona). I would like to let you know that we have informed students that we will be able to give exams on campus, albeit under strict guidelines and severe restrictions.
We have also informed students that -
1. Instruction will continue online, as has been the case for the past several weeks.
With regard to exams:
2. Make-up exams for first semester courses (2019-2020), for which an alternative task could not be offered, will take place in the very near future. The faculties will determine new exam dates for these courses (for which, as mentioned, no alternative task could be given instead of an in-class exam). The new exam dates will be announced as soon as possible, well enough in advance to allow students to prepare for them.
3. Second semester exams: Guidelines for carrying out exams for second semester and for yearly courses will be announced in the coming weeks, and dates will be set for those courses requiring in-class exams.
I would like to stress that the guidelines that we determined for first semester make-up exams will also apply to second semester exams – in other words, we request that, wherever possible, take-home exams or alternative home assignments be given instead of in-class exams, in view of the complexity involved in organizing in-class exams in compliance with Health Ministry regulations.
4. New dates for the submission of seminar papers will also be announced in the course of next week.
In addition, we also informed students that all Faculty, School and Departmental Secretariats, as well as advisors and instructors, are at their service.
Since preparations for giving exams on campus in accordance with strict regulations and restrictions are very complicated, these arrangements require special coordination and organization. For this reason, Faculty Secretariats will determine the dates of exams, in consultation with you, and they will then announce them to students. No individual dates for exams should be set, or arranged with students; only Faculty Secretariats can make these arrangements.
These are very difficult times for all of us, and most certainly for our students, young people who are starting out and have been adversely affected by the crisis brought about by the confinement imposed on the country. We trust and hope that the return to normal, however partial, will dispel the uncertainty among our students and encourage them to rally and apply themselves wholeheartedly to their studies.
For our part, we are committed to doing everything in our power to assist them, while maintaining academic excellence, which remains the mainstay of our University.
I would like to wish you a belated happy Independence Day, and especially to wish the entire University community a quick and smooth return to a normal routine of studies and research –albeit the Corona normal.
Prof. Eyal Zisser