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December 4, 2020

TO:       Deans, Department Heads/Chairs, and School/Program Directors

FR:        Jim Coleman, Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

RE:        Faculty Evaluation during the Pandemic & Second Extension of Probationary Terms

The purpose of this memo is to provide additional guidance to the campus community on how I hope that the campus values of compassion, empathy, and flexibility are built into the performance review process for UNCG faculty members.

On August 7, 2020, I wrote to the Deans to share with them the responses to the Faculty Senate COVID-19 survey questionnaire and to ask them to facilitate conversations within their College/School about the challenges that many faculty members have faced as a result of COVID-19 and its impact on nearly every aspect of faculty work.  I also emphasized that women and underrepresented minority faculty members are more likely to have shouldered the burden for many of the challenges such as those around child care or the care of other family members.

In that memo I specifically requested that deans, heads/chairs, program directors, and other supervisors draw on our values of compassion, empathy, and flexibility to ensure that appropriate consideration of Coronavirus-related impacts on teaching, research/scholarship/ creative works, and service is included in all personnel evaluations.

Below I summarize additional guidance:

Class Climate Surveys/Teaching Evaluations:

  • We know that this has been an extremely difficult semester for faculty and students. It is likely that Class Climate Surveys (student teaching evaluations) will be affected by the stresses that students are feeling and may be even less useful in the evaluation of teaching this year than in a normal year (though, they may still be very useful for developmental purposes).  Class climate surveys are still required, but faculty members should be given the choice whether to include them as part of any formative or summative reviews[1].  Formative reviews, when permitted by the faculty member, can be especially helpful to us in understanding instructional methods that worked well and those which did not, given that COVID-19 will continue to impact instruction for some time.

Given these circumstances, I offer the following guidance related to teaching evaluations:

  • For Annual Review purposes, departments are restricted from uploading teaching evaluations into Activity Insight without permission from the faculty member.
  • As part of the normal P&T process, tenure-track faculty still in the probationary period who have elected not to extend their tenure clock must have their teaching evaluations uploaded, in keeping with established P&T procedure.
  • Heads, chairs, and directors are encouraged to rely more heavily on other ways to evaluate teaching as part of annual reviews and promotion and/or tenure reviews, including consideration of the efforts that faculty have put in to redesigning courses in the face of the pandemic.

COVID Impact Statements:

  • Annual Review and Post-Tenure Review will proceed as scheduled.
  • Faculty members should be given the option to develop a COVID Impact Statement (see below for the items that can be addressed in such a statement), which can be added to the materials uploaded to Activity Insight as part of annual review and post-tenure review.
  • The COVID Impact Statement is an opportunity for faculty to describe both positive and detrimental effects of the pandemic on the mix or balance of their work activities and the types of work outcomes that they were able to achieve. Evaluators are asked to consider these impacts as they apply departmental and unit standards in faculty evaluation processes. Evaluators are also asked to recognize the individualized impacts of COVID and avoid taking a “universal” approach; for example, the same factor that presented an opportunity for one candidate may have presented a hardship for another. Please note that the inclusion of an impact statement is an option available to faculty members undergoing annual or post-tenure review, but it is not required.
  • All candidates for promotion and tenure may supply a COVID Impact Statement to the department head in order to help frame the required Statement of Context.
  • The department head/chair or school/program director should refer to information in the COVID Impact Statement in preparing the candidate’s required Statement of Context so that reviewers, including those external to the department and UNCG, will have a better understanding of a dossier that differs slightly from the expected norms of the discipline.
  • Current University policy is silent on whether the Statement of Context is sent to external reviewers. Given the potential impact of COVID, I strongly recommend including the Statement of Context with the material sent out for external review.

Please encourage faculty members to submit a COVID Impact Statement in their annual review or promotion and tenure documentation to the head/chair/director if their work has been affected by the pandemic. Also, please make sure that such statements are used thoughtfully and productively with the compassion, empathy, and flexibility the Chancellor and I expect.  I have heard concerns expressed by some faculty members that they are reluctant to share challenges they have faced during the pandemic because they fear their colleagues might consider them professionally weak or undeserving, with negative repercussions on their careers.  Behavior of this type in the annual review process cannot be tolerated—the impacts of the pandemic on people’s lives and work are real and must be considered carefully and thoughtfully.

A COVID-impact statement should be no more than three pages and should include items that have affected teaching, research/scholarship/creative activities, and service.  Below are some ways that COVID-19 may have impacted the work of faculty members that might be addressed in an impact statement:

  • Provided opportunities to demonstrate innovation and creativity;
  • Required modifications or increases to workload, activities or approaches;
  • Canceled or delayed events, activities or work products;
  • Reduced access to facilities, libraries, archives, performance venues, galleries or other locations, as well as reduction in personnel, access to human subjects, or access to community or other partners;
  • Changes in the availability of external funds to support research or teaching, or changes in the timing of access to those funds; required off-contract work in the summer to redesign courses or provide COVID-related service work to the unit, school, college or university.
  • Provided opportunities to address emergent issues related to the pandemic.
  • Required additional service to sustain departmental or other operations or to support students that felt “invisible”; and/or
  • Caused personal challenges that affected overall productivity (i.e., increased caregiving demands)

Such Impacts should be discussed explicitly in the faculty member’s statement as well as in the departmental, department head, college and/or dean’s assessments.

Extension of Probationary Terms:

Additional Extension Option for All Probationary Faculty.  The purpose of extending the tenure clock is to compensate for COVID-related impacts, giving the affected faculty member additional time to achieve scholarly or creative goals and to develop an effective dossier for reappointment or promotion and tenure. This is particularly important given that research, scholarly and creative activities have been disrupted because of impacts on so many things, including travel; lab closure or social distancing in labs; closure of archives, libraries, galleries and performance venues; constraints on research with human subjects; and others.  On April 16, 2020, former Provost Dunn granted an automatic one-year extension of the probationary period for all faculty members currently holding a tenure-track appointment. Disruptions to the normal patterns of academic life and the subsequent barriers to scholarly achievement have continued into the Fall 2020 semester and show signs of continuing through Spring 2021. Therefore, all tenure-track faculty are granted an additional one-year extension of the probationary period. This includes faculty who joined UNCG prior to Fall 2020 (and who have already received a one-year extension) and those faculty who joined UNCG in Fall 2020 (this would be their first extension).

Timing for Opt-Out Notification:

Should a faculty member decide to forego either the first or second tenure-clock delay, individuals may opt-out of this extension by submitting a written notification to their department head/chair/director, who in turn should notify their dean. Deans shall confirm receipt of actions from all departments/programs/schools in their unit, and then notify the Provost of the opt-out actions in the departments/programs/schools in one comprehensive document. Nothing changes the existing process that allows faculty to be reviewed early.

  • For faculty members choosing to opt out of the first extension (granted April 2020), final notifications from the deans must be forwarded to the Provost by March 1, 2021.
  • For faculty members scheduled to undergo review in the 2021-22 academic year, choosing to opt out of this second extension (granted December 2020), final notifications from the deans must be forwarded to the Provost by March 1, 2021.
  • For faculty members with reviews scheduled in subsequent years, choosing to opt out of this second extension (granted December 2020), final notifications from the deans must be forwarded to the Provost by March 1, 2022.

Given the extraordinary circumstances, this additional one-year extension prompted by the impacts of COVID-19 will not count toward the two-year limit on extensions of the probationary terms, as stipulated by Section 3.C of the Regulations.  Any previous or future requests for extensions of the probationary term will be considered in accordance with the procedures outlined in Section 3C.

Please let me know if you have questions about these matters.

And, let me conclude by thanking all of you and your faculty and staff for the tremendous efforts that have been made to get through this semester.  I am so humbled and feel so lucky to be part of a community that drew so creatively on everyone’s passion and strengths to deliver a transformative educational experience to our students in the face of an ugly pandemic. While, at the same time continued rapid expansion in our volume of research and remaining devoted to your commitment to the community.  I know that I am exhausted just trying to break out of the impenetrable walls of my two dimensional zoom rectangle. I am sure you are even more exhausted with that as well as waging constant battle with the effects of the pandemic on your lives and your work. Should I not see you in the virtual or real world before the holidays, let me wish you the  most relaxing, refreshing, spiritually uplifting and reflective holiday season possible as we come to the end of a torturous year and nurture our hope for 2021.

1Formative reviews are developmental in nature; summative reviews are evaluative.

UNC Greensboro will honor nearly 5,000 graduates – from the May, August, and December 2020 classes – at its Virtual Commencement ceremony on Friday, Dec. 11, at 10 a.m.

The Virtual Doctoral Recognition ceremony will take place Friday, Jan. 15, at 3 p.m.

While the pandemic and associated public health directives currently restrict the ability to gather in person, UNCG is committed to honoring its graduates with a unique, virtual experience – one that has pomp and circumstance, some personalized touches, a welcome from Saturday Night Live cast member Lauren Holt ’13, and a few more celebrity appearances.  UNCG awarded 2,809 degrees, as well as 15 Beyond Academics certificates, in May. An additional 678 degrees were awarded in August. UNCG expects to award approximately 1,451 degrees in December, including 1,111 bachelor’s degrees, 286 master’s degrees, 49 doctoral degrees, and five specialist in education degrees. Of the degrees awarded in December, 86 will be conferred to international students.

“The Class of 2020 has demonstrated a kind of determination and persistence that will get them through life’s biggest challenges,” said Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “They have shown tremendous resilience and the kind of compassion and sense of community that speaks well to our collective character – the character of the UNC Greensboro family. We are proud to celebrate them.”

The celebration began Nov. 23, with the launch of UNCG’s commencement website – The website has since expanded to include more student profiles, the addition of commencement programs, as well as colleges’ and schools’ celebration messages from deans, faculty, and alumni. Additionally, graduates and graduation candidates have received, by email, their very own individual web pages so that they can celebrate and share their pages with family and friends. Nearly 4,900 individual student web pages were created as part of the celebration.

The Dec. 11 online ceremony will kick off with a special message from UNCG alumna and Saturday Night Live cast member Lauren Holt ’13. There will be a welcome from Chancellor Gilliam, a presentation of honorary degrees to recipients Rhiannon Giddens and Emmy Lou Harris, and remarks from student speakers Jurne Smith and Casey W. Johnson. Students can also expect several celebrity shout-outs near the end of the ceremony.

The ceremony includes the traditional conferring of degrees, as well as a virtual tassel turn. Chancellor Gilliam will offer final remarks and Alison Csaji will ring the University Bell to conclude the ceremony.

In addition to the virtual experience, the greater Greensboro community will celebrate 2020 graduates as part of the winter holiday celebrations downtown. There will be special congratulations messages during the Light the Night event on Dec. 4 and 5 and the Balloon Regatta on Dec. 12 and 13.

UNCG will amplify graduates’ social media posts and add them to a curated display on the Virtual Commencement web pages. Graduates are encouraged to:

  • Use the hashtags #UNCGGrad and #UNCGWay on photo and video posts.
  • Tag @uncg and your school/college/department in graduation-related stories on Instagram, so UNCG can re-post on its accounts.
  • Use Class of 2020-themed animated stickers, augmented reality filters, and other digital swag at
  • Participate in the UNCG Alumni Association’s #UNCGNewAlum contest.

Graduates are also encouraged to add their own photos to the Commencement photo album on the UNCG Mobile app:

  • Open the app and go to the user menu by tapping the head icon in the top right corner.
  • Select the Celebrate the Class of 2020 persona.
  • Scroll down and find the photo album.
  • Tap the top of the album “Sign in and share your celebration.”
  • Tap the head icon in the top right hand corner again and sign in with your UNCG credentials.
  • Click “Upload an Image” in the yellow bar.
  • Upload an image and add a title and description if you would like.
  • Submit your image.
  • Your submission will be reviewed, and once your image has been accepted it will be added to the photo album.

When we are once again able to gather in person, UNCG is committed to hosting special in-person events to celebrate the 2020 graduates. Until then, the University will do everything it can on campus, in the community, and through the power of technology to give Spartans the special day and cherished moments they deserve.




Updated 12/9/2020

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December 1, 2020

TO:    UNCG Faculty

RE:  Final Grades and Attendance Verification  

As the Fall 2020 semester is coming to a close, this is a reminder that all fall grades must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020. The timely submission of grades ensures the accurate updating of academic records.  Failure to submit grades by the deadline impacts important processes such as degree clearance, academic standing calculation, and satisfactory academic progress for Financial Aid.

Final Grade entry will be closed in Genie at 5:00pm, on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.  After this, grading for the semester will be closed and grades that have not been entered will be automatically marked as NR (Not Reported).  To update the NR placeholder with the final grade, instructors will need to issue a grade change beginning Wednesday, December 9, 2020 at 12 p.m. in Genie for each student where the grade was not reported by the deadline.

Please note that instructors are required to enter the last date of attendance and/or last date of academic activity when assigning F (failing) or I (incomplete) grades. In order to be in compliance with Federal Regulations, UNCG is required to document the last date of attendance or academic activity for students who received Federal Financial Aid Funds. Verification of the last date of attendance or academic activity must be available for review by the U.S. Department of Education.

Step-by-step instructions for inputting the last date of attendance can be found at

Thank you for your cooperation and assistance in submitting all Fall 2020 grades by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, December 8, 2020.

Date: November 24, 2020

Subject: Message from James Garner Ptaszynski, UNC System VP of Digital Learning RE: Registration Opens NOVEMBER 30th, 2020- Designing Effective Online Courses

Registration is open for the final session of Designing Effective Online Courses which will begin on

Monday, November 30, 2020.

While over 2,200 faculty and staff have attended this course, over 200 are already signed up to take the November offering.

Please forward this announcement to your colleagues that might benefit, and be interested in, this online workshop.

We look forward to collaborating with you in the workshop and we hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

November 22, 2020


Dear Faculty Colleagues,

This note has two purposes. Most importantly, if you are planning to teach or give exams in-person on Monday and/or Tuesday, please read the following few paragraphs as I have an important request.  Secondly, in the later paragraphs, I wanted to express my profound appreciation to all of the UNCG faculty and provide a bit more background information.

Here is the main point of the communication for those with in-person classes, or in-person exams scheduled, on Monday and Tuesday:

Because of the: 1) spike in cases in Guilford County and beyond; 2) the need to quarantine anyone who is in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 (contact, from a public health perspective, means within 6 feet of an infected individual for more than 15 minutes);  and 3) our desire to protect our community and not to place students or faculty in a situation of being quarantined over Thanksgiving,  we want to make sure that you know you have the flexibility to teach your last class(es) on Monday and Tuesday virtually, should you want to (we know that many of you have already planned to do so)

If you choose or need (e.g. labs) to teach in-person, or plan to give in-person exams, please do what you can to try and ensure that students remain at least six feet apart. If you need a larger classroom to provide six foot distances between students in class or exams, please contact  Andrew Hamilton ( or Julia Jackson-Newsom (, as we believe we may be able to accommodate your request.

Now for some additional information:

First, I want to thank all of you for your flexibility, determination, and hard work to simply make it to this point in the semester, and for your dedication to our students. I can’t tell you how honored and happy I am to be a part of the UNCG community. This is truly an inspiring place to work because of the people and the mission.

I have met with many of you in the surreal confines of my Zoom 2-D rectangle over the last several weeks in virtual venues such as Faculty Senate, department meetings, and various other individual or group discussions in the internet’s ether.  One thing I know from those meetings is that we are all pretty exhausted. So, please know that the last thing I want to do is cause you to do more work. This request is truly optional and is aimed at making you and your students’ lives easier, not harder.

Here is a little more information on the COVID situation and why I am encouraging virtual instruction for the last two class days of the term:

We have seen an uptick of positive cases in the campus community, though the positivity rate of asymptomatic individuals remains very low. We also have no evidence of the virus spreading in classrooms. But, per public health regulations, and out of an abundance of caution, anyone who we determine has been in close contact (within 6 ft for more than 15 minutes) with someone who tests positive is required to quarantine.

With students heading home, and the holiday this week, we very much want to avoid putting any additional students or faculty into quarantine as a result of in-person instruction. We will also be working over the break to further ensure appropriate social distancing in all classrooms, so this issue will be managed as effectively as possible for the spring semester.

As a reminder, COVID testing will be available again on Monday, from 9 am-3 pm in the Dail Room in EUC for students and employees.

If you have questions about COVID and the classroom, please contact Julia Jackson-Newsom (

Please have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!  I will be reflecting on so many things for which I am thankful – such reflection helps to recharge my soul. So, if your life allows it, please try and recharge what needs to be recharged for you and your families, and try and find moments for reflection, rest and relaxation.

With the warmth of ours and all other suns,


Jim Coleman

Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor
Professor of Biology
University of North Carolina Greensboro
Twitter:@ j_s_coleman

October 22, 2020

TO: UNCG Faculty and Staff

RE: O. Max Gardner Award Nominations

I am writing on behalf of the O Max Gardner Award committee to ask that you assist us with the nomination process for the 2021 award. The Gardner Award is awarded by the UNC Board of Governors and has been given annually since 1949. The award was established to recognize faculty who have “made the greatest contributions to the welfare of the human race.” The Board of Governors solicits nominations from UNC campuses in the fall semester each year, and a BOG committee decides on the system-wide winner during the spring semester. The winner receives a cash prize and recognition at the May BOG meeting. Those chosen in the past have been persons who have made notable contributions of national or international scale. Information about last year’s winner may be found at 2020 O. Max Gardner Award Winner.

The role of our UNCG Faculty Senate-based committee is to solicit nominations, recommend the campus nominee to the Provost and Chancellor, and assist with preparation of the nomination materials that are put forward to the Board of Governors.

One thing to note about the award criteria: the award is based on the significance of accomplishments made during the past year. Of course, big accomplishments almost always arise after an extensive history of work. So, don’t discount putting forth a nominee whose long-standing work has culminated in an interesting way over the past 12 months (we can put forth nominees multiple times).

For more information on our past nominees, our committee, and the nomination process, please visit the Provost’s O. Max Gardner Award information page.  The deadline to submit nominations is Monday, November 23, 2020.

Feel free to forward this to others; nominations are encouraged from all on campus. If you have any questions, committee member contact information may be found here.

UNCG Banner University Message

Nominations of Candidates for Honorary Degrees

September 14, 2020


The Committee on Honorary Degrees invites you to identify people who would be good candidates for honorary degrees to be granted at the 2022 commencement or subsequent commencements. The purpose for awarding honorary degrees includes the following:

  • To recognize individuals who demonstrate extraordinary achievement over their entire scholarly or artistic careers or who have performed distinguished public service in their lifetime;
  • To recognize excellence in the scholarly fields of degrees awarded by the University as well as those that exemplify the history and mission of the University;
  • To honor those individuals whose lives and achievements are consistent with the qualities and values espoused by the University in order to provide examples of the University’s aspirations for its graduates;
  • To elevate the visibility and reputation of the University by honoring those individuals who are widely known and regarded in their field or in society as a whole.

The person selected may be distinguished in any number of areas:  humanities, sciences, arts, public service, and education, to name a few. Those currently holding public office in the state and the permanent staff of our state universities are not eligible. The achievements may vary in scope from prominence on the international or professional scene to vital contributions to the University, North Carolina, and beyond. A previous connection to the University or state is not mandatory but is considered a strength.

In order for you to have an idea of the persons who have received Honorary Degrees, we invite you to examine the names of awardees from past years: Emmylou Harris (2019); Mansukh C. Wani, William Mangum (2017); William Black, Harold Schiffman (2016); Timothy Rice (2015); Norman Anderson (2013); Bonnie McElveen-Hunter (2012); Thomas Haggai (2011); Margaret Maron (2010); Rebecca Lloyd, Nido Qubein (2009); Fred Chappell, Tom Ross, Kay Yow (2008); Irvin Belk, Betty Ray McCain, Edwin S. Melvin (2007); Molly Broad, Henry Frye, Shirley Frye (2006); Muriel Siebert (2005); Jim Hunt (2004); Jaylee Mead (2003); Michael B. Fleming, Stanley Frank (2002); Kenneth L. Adelman, Bonnie Angelo, Jean Brooks (2001); Erskine Bowles (2000); Maud Gatewood, Eloise R. Lewis (1999); Carolyn R. Ferree, Calvin Trillin (1998); Mary Ellen Rudin, LeRoy T.  Walker (1995); T. James Crawford (1994); Maya Angelou (1993).

The committee asks that you submit candidates on the Honorary Degree Candidate Nomination Form, along with biographical information. Please keep in mind the need for confidentiality, as candidates should not be aware that they are being considered.

The deadline for nominations is Friday, October 30, 2020.  Please send the completed nomination form to Jennifer Johnson, Assistant to the Provost, at or the University Committee on Honorary Degrees, Office of the Provost, 201 Mossman Building.

This email is an official communication from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro. You may verify official university emails by checking the Verified Campus Communications Repository. If you have questions about the VCCR or the authenticity of an email message you have received, please contact the sender of the message or search the UNCG website for “VCCR.”


This message was sent to all Adjunct, Full and Part Time, and Temporary Faculty and Staff


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September 4, 2020


TO:    Deans & Dept. Heads/Chairs

RE:  Policy on Suspended Use of Passenger Vans

Due to concerns stemming from COVID-19, the Chancellor’s Office has issued the following policy statement on the suspended use of passenger vans for transporting students.  Please note the impacts this policy may have on faculty plans for student field trips and ensure that alternative arrangements are made as necessary.  The policy is effective immediately.  Thank you.

Any contact that lasts more than 15 minutes and is within 6 ft of another individual constitutes a ‘close contact’ – if one of those individuals is determined to have the virus and have been in the infectious period during the time of contact, the other(s) must quarantine for 14 days.  It is extremely difficult to maintain a 6 ft radius for multiple individuals in a multiple-passenger vehicle.  Vehicles can also be challenging due to limited airflow.   Because of this, the University will not permit the use of multiple-passenger vans for the transportation of students this semester.



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August 20, 2020


TO: UNCG Faculty and Staff

RE: School of Nursing Change in Leadership

I’m writing to inform you that Dr. Robin Remsburg will step down as Dean of the School of Nursing on July 31, 2021. After a Fall 2021 research leave, she will return to the faculty and teach for a year, retiring in December 2022.

Dr. Robin Remsburg arrived at UNCG in 2013 to become Dean of the School of Nursing after serving as Professor of Nursing, Director of Nursing and Associate Dean in the College of Health and Human Services at George Mason University. She served as the Deputy Director of the Division of Health Statistics in the National Center for Health Statistics in the CDC. She was also the Director of Research at the Johns Hopkins Geriatrics Center in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology and the School of Nursing. For many years, Robin was an active certified clinical nurse specialist in Gerontological and Geriatric Nursing.

During her time at UNCG, student enrollments increased due to the implementation of new programs such as the Post BSN and Post MSN Doctor of Nursing Practice program and expansion of the RN/BSN program. Robin facilitated a major revision of the pre-license undergraduate curriculum and brought in new technology to support simulation and improve student learning experiences. She helped to plan the Union Square Campus – a state of the art building designed by nurses for nursing education. Robin led the restructuring of the school and worked tirelessly in support of the Nursing faculty. She helped to plan the new nursing and instructional building, the new home of the school, which will open in Spring 2021. A new strategic plan was developed last year laying the foundation for new initiatives and programs.

While Robin’s career in higher education, nursing practice and research extends over decades, she strongly feels that her 7-year tenure at UNCG has been her best and most impactful job assignment. She says that the quality of the UNCG faculty and staff are unparalleled. They are student-centered, inspiring and innovative in their instruction of students. Achieving the best student outcomes and facilitating student success is their priority.

She looks forward to getting back in the classroom. On a personal level, she is eager to re-engage in treasure hunting (antiquing), gardening and spending quality time with her family, especially her nieces and nephews.

Please join me in thanking Robin for her important contributions to UNCG. A national search for the next dean will be conducted in the Fall. Details will be announced soon.