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COVID-19 Updates Specific to the Sanford School of Public Policy

March 12, 2020

Judith kelleyTo solve the world’s challenges, we must understand and create good policies. COVID-19 reminds us of the need for public policy to be evidence-based and adaptable as circumstances change. This is how our students learn as they prepare for lives of leadership, civic engagement and public service.  The times ahead will require the best of all of us. Yet I have great confidence in our school to face our challenges with our characteristic zeal. - Dean Judith Kelley

This webpage provides information and guidance specific to the Sanford School of Public Policy community.  Please also refer to the following Duke University resource pages:

For other questions, please contact your academic dean, program director or supervisor. We will do our best to respond as soon as possible, and appreciate your patience given the rapidly changing situation. We will update this page regularly. (last updated 03/24/2020)

Faculty Questions

Q: What is the rest of the spring schedule?

A: Sanford is resuming classes online on March 23. Sanford’s graduate classes will be extended to April 22. Undergraduate classes will not be extended and will conclude on April 22 as planned.

Q: How is grading happening?

A: On March 18, the Provost announced that undergraduate classes would transition to a satisfactory / unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option, with students able to elect to receive a letter grade up to 5pm, April 22.  See https://coronavirus.duke.edu/2020/03/announcement-about-grading/.  Effective March 19, Spring 2020 graduate courses will also transition to a default S/U grading option. If students choose to receive a letter grade for any course, they can do so by submitting a form to the registrar, no later than 5pm EST on the last day of classes or as prescribed by the school where the course is offered. For Sanford-based courses, this date will be April 22.

Q: How can faculty prepare for online teaching? What resources are available?

A: There are many tools to assist faculty. Duke’s main resource for online teaching is: https://keepteaching.duke.edu/

Other useful sources of information (to which we will continue to add and welcome suggestions):

Duke OIT info:

Learning Innovations links:

Linked in Learning training videos (This replaced Lynda.com)

 

A: Duke has a Keep Teaching newsletter, https://t.e2ma.net/message/4a87we/s57i9se.  If you did no receive it and want to, email keepteaching@duke.edu. Duke webinars https://keepworking.duke.edu/webinars/ including: Getting Started with Zoom, Microsoft Office tools (Teams, One Drive, etc.), Box Basics, and How to work remotely with your Voice over IP devices.  

The Duke Library has been working to support ongoing research and provide digital resources for teaching.  Additional information is available here https://keepteaching.duke.edu/.  Faculty with additional needs are encouraged to contact Deborah Jakubs, Vice Provost for Library Affairs.

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Contact Sanford IT for information about Sanford training sessions or opportunities.

Q: Can faculty members access their Sanford School office?

A: As of March 18, there currently are no limits for faculty access to their offices. Duke asks that everyone works remotely as much as possible. If working in the office, use ID to access the building, use proper social distancing and follow recommended CDC guidelines.  

Q: Can I meet in person on campus if needed?

A: Faculty should have virtual meetings for all interactions. Faculty should plan to work from home as much as possible in response to COVID-19 to reduce spread of the virus. Our foremost priority is ensuring the health and safety of all members of our community.

Q: Can my TA meet me or come to campus?

A: Students should not come to campus for their assistantship work.

Q: How can I help students with concerns or hardships?

A: If you learn of a student who has concerns, please immediately contact the DGS/DUS of the student’s program. As you reach to students in your classes, please let Sanford leaders know if there are students that you are concerned about or that you cannot reach. If you hear of students with financial hardships, they should be directed to keeplearning@duke.edu.

Q: How do I continue my funded research remotely?

A: Please visit https://coronavirus.research.duke.edu, or feel free to contact Billy Pizer with questions or concerns.

Q: How can I find Sanford-specific resources for faculty?

A: Sanford has a Sakai site for faculty to exchange ideas about online teaching, with faculty information, resources and a forum to share ideas/best practices. Contact Billy Pizer if you do not have access.

Q: What other online teaching resources are available?

Student Questions (applicable to all students)

Q: What is the latest information for students?

A: The latest information for students is available at the University website: https://keeplearning.duke.edu/

Q: Are curricular activities still on? What is the rest of the spring schedule?

A: Sanford is resuming classes online on March 23. Sanford’s graduate classes will be extended to April 22. Undergraduate classes will not be extended and will conclude on April 22 as planned. We are absolutely committed to ensuring that all students can fulfill their academic requirements as planned. However, all students should use remote communication wherever possible for their work.Instructors will contact students to begin setting up their courses, likely through Zoom. If you have not installed Zoom on your computer/laptop/tablet/phone, please use this link to get started: https://oit.duke.edu/help/articles/zoom-meetings-getting-started. If you have problems, please contact ppshelp@duke.edu.

Q: Should students return to campus or meet with faculty on campus?

A: You can protect yourself and others by following university guidance and not returning to campus. Returning home, or staying away from campus, represents a vital gesture of care for those who can’t leave campus. 

Q: Are there students on campus?

A: We know there are undergraduate students who are on campus at the moment or who will need access to campus housing this semester because of a variety of circumstances. Students who need to stay to campus, for any duration, must be approved by Student Affairs and we can support a very limited on-campus population. If you have questions about this, email keeplearning@duke.edu.

Q: Are extracurricular activities canceled?

A: Yes, extracurricular activities are canceled at this time.

Q: Is Duke in DC also affected?

A: Yes. The DC area is experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. On March 10, Duke University announced that courses are moving online to help limit the spread of the virus. Given these developments and other considerations, Duke has decided to suspend on-site instruction in DC and have students return home as soon as possible to complete remaining coursework online. The Duke in DC office is only open for staff and essential business purposes and we regret that students cannot return to the 1201 Pennsylvania Avenue space for any reason.

Q: Are there special provisions for international students?

A: For students who have remained on campus, the university is open, but services might be more limited. More information for international students is available in the International Students section of the FAQ at keeplearning.duke.edu.

Q: What about summer activities?

A: All discussion is limited to end date of May 7. No decision has been made yet regarding activities after that date. We are still considering our summer programs, including internship programs. Duke will be making decisions about summer programs by early April. In the meantime, students should continue internship searches and plan to complete your internship this summer, with the understanding that circumstances may change. If you’ve accepted an internship, reach out to your supervisor or HR representative to confirm your commitment to them and create a contingency plan in the event that conditions change for either you or the employer.

Q: How can I connect with Sanford Career Services?

A: Career Services already offers Skype and phone advising when students are abroad or have other limitations. Please find Career Services contacts here: https://sanford.duke.edu/people-and-research/staff-directory-list (Filter by department: Career Services). You can sign up for an appointment on SanfordCareerLink as usual, and your confirmation email will include Skype and phone instructions.

Q: How will I register for fall classes?

A: As of March 11, fall registration will continue as usual. Academic advising be available virtually and by phone during the book-bagging period. Look for an email with further instructions.

Q: What should I do if I need technical assistance for Zoom or Sakai?

A:  For technical help with Sakai or Zoom, contact the Duke OIT Service Desk at https://oit.duke.edu/help
You can also access the self-service help documentation for Zoom: https://oit.duke.edu/help/articles/zoom-meetings-getting-started  
You can access self-service help for Sakai at https://sakai-duke.screenstepslive.com/s/sakai support
Students need to use the Duke SSO login and their net ID to login to access the meeting host features, they should not use a personal Zoom account as it creates IT challenges.  

Q: How is grading happening?

A: On March 18, the Provost announced that undergraduate classes would transition to a satisfactory / unsatisfactory (S/U) grading option, with students able to elect to receive a letter grade up to 5pm, April 22.  See https://coronavirus.duke.edu/2020/03/announcement-about-grading/.  Effective March 19, Spring 2020 graduate courses will also transition to a default S/U grading option. If students choose to receive a letter grade for any course, they can do so by submitting a form to the registrar, no later than 5pm EST on the last day of classes or as prescribed by the school where the course is offered. For Sanford-based courses, this date will be April 22.

Q: Will the GPSC Student Community pantry (food bank) remain open for students in need?

A:  Yes, the Community Pantry is now open to ALL Duke students (undergraduate and graduate). The community pantry has posted additional information and precautions on their website: https://dukegpsc.org/resources-for-students/community-pantry/

Q: How can graduate students retrieve valuable/necessary items from our lockers? 

A: MPP and MIDP students will be sent a survey about which method they plan to use to retrieve their belongings from their locker: 
1.    Set up an appointment with Khalil Nasir (khalil.nasir@duke.edu), Sanford’s Building Manager, to come to Sanford to retrieve their belongings between 9am-11am on the following dates: Friday, 3/20, Monday, 3/23- Thursday, 3/26. 
2.    If students are unable to come in, they will indicate in the survey that they give Sanford permission to retrieve their belongings and ship them to them at the address they provide. 

Q: Will Duke hold graduation this year? 

A: In light of the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the latest public health advisories on travel and large gatherings, Duke made the very difficult but necessary decision to postpone commencement for the Class of 2020, including departmental ceremonies and other associated events. Please see the message from President Price about Duke’s Commencement on Duke’s Coronavirus site.  

Q: Will Fall course registration for fall 2020 be impacted? 

A: There is no change to Fall registration. Bookbagging will still open on March 23. Students will have their normal enrollment window starting April 1 for graduate and professional students. 

Q: Will summer courses still be available? 

A: A decision has not yet been made about summer courses although discussion has begun about online classes. 

Q: Do we still need to complete a summer internship? 

A: Internships will be optional this year.  See your specific program for more details.

MPP Student Questions 

Q: If the MPP teams wanted to hold client briefings in person (6-8 people max) is that permitted? Most of the clients are local so no one is coming from outside the Triangle.

A: Students should use remote communication whenever possible and are discouraged from coming to campus to reduce spread of the virus. Our foremost priority is ensuring the health and safety of all members of our community. 

Q: What about international student visa questions?

A: Information for international students is available in the International Students section of the FAQ at keeplearning.duke.edu.

Q: How will admitted students day be held this year?

A: Admitted students days will not be held in person through May 7. Plans are being made to reschedule or move events online and more info will be shared. Duke is not encouraging students or visitors to come to campus to mitigate the public health risks to our community. 

Q: What about students working on MPs? What are the expectations?

A: For curricular research activities, students should continue to work on projects remotely. The MP due date has been extended to April 22 at 5 p.m. Students should contact their MP advisors to discuss how to continue to make progress on their MPs, with all communication conducted via email, skype, Zoom, or by phone.  No face-to-face meetings should take place.

Q: What is the final MP submission deadline? 

A: The MP is now due Wednesday, April 22 unless given an extension by your advisor. MP Submission instructions are posted in the Class of 2020 Sakai site under Resources and will also be e-mailed to the ppsgrad2 listserv in early April. 

Q: How can I schedule an academic advising appointment for fall 2020 course registration? 

A: MPP program staff members are available for virtual office hours and chat sessions on Microsoft Teams. Information has been/will be communicated to the MPP class via e-mail and posted on the class Sakai site. Please contact Genille Anderson with any registration-related questions. 

Q: Do we still need to complete a summer internship? 

A: Summer internships will be optional this year. Our Career Services Office is working tirelessly to make more options available to you (e.g., virtual internships, shared internships, internships of shorter duration, local options), and we are encouraging our first years to contact Donna and Marion for assistance and to let her know your situation.  However, we recognize that not all of you will be able to find an internship that matches your particular situation. Therefore, we are making the completion of a summer internship optional as an exception only for this year because of the challenging circumstances.

MIDP Student Questions

Q: Where can I find information for international students?

A: Information for international students is available in the International Students section of the FAQ at keeplearning.duke.edu.

Q: What if I have visa questions?

A: Email visahelp@mc.duke.edu and an advisor will assist you or call Duke Visa Services at 919-681-8472.

Q: Will the Master’s Project Deadline be extended?

A: The Master’s Project deadline for May 2020 graduates is:
Monday, April 20: Final MP draft to advisor due
Monday, April 27: Final MP due to MP Adviser     
Wednesday, April 29: Final approved MP due to Akmarzhan Kasmaganbetova for filing
 
The Master’s Project deadline for September 2020 graduates is: 
Monday, July 27: Final MP draft to advisor due
Monday, August 3: Final MP due to MP Adviser
Wednesday August 5: Final approved MP Due to Akmarzhan Kasmaganbetova for filing

Q: Do we still need to complete a summer internship?

A: Summer internships will be optional this year.  Our Careers Office is working tirelessly to make more options available to you (e.g., virtual internships, shared internships, internships of shorter duration, local options), and we are encouraging our first years to contact Marion for assistance and to let her know your situation.  However, we recognize that not all of you will be able to find an internship that matches your particular situation.  Therefore, we are making the completion of a summer internship optional as an exception only for this year because of the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in.  Please reach out to Marion Pratt, Stephanie Alt Lamm, or Phyllis Pomerantz if you have questions. 

Q: Will course registration for fall 2020 be impacted? 

A: There is no change to Fall registration. Bookbagging will still open on the March 23. Students will have their normal enrollment windows starting April 1 for graduate and professional students.  If you have a question about your student account, please contact Dayne Hamrick. All other registration questions should be addressed to Akmarzhan Kasmaganbetova. 

PhD Student Questions 

Q: How are we handling Ph.D. defenses through April 20?

A: Refer to the Graduate School guidance: https://gradschool.duke.edu/student-life/coronavirus-information

Undergrad Student Questions

Q: What about internship requirements for Spring 2020?

A: the University has advised us that we will have a decision about Summer 2020 programming by early April and we will share details more details after that date.

Q: How can I connect with Sanford Career Services?

A: Career Services already offers Skype and phone advising when students are abroad or have other limitations. Please find Career Services contacts here: https://sanford.duke.edu/people-and-research/staff-directory-list (Filter by department: Career Services).

Staff Questions 

Q: When should staff work from the office and work from home? What are the recommendations?

A: Staff are encouraged to take steps to mitigate the public health risks to our community. Staff who can work from home should do so, with accountability to teams and managers. Staff who are working on campus should take steps to create as much social distancing measures as possible to mitigate risks. Managers should give consideration now to the following: which operations require on-site support, and which operations could be done remotely. 

Q:  Do we have a way to support parents who work at Sanford? 

A: Yes, there is a “Parents of Sanford” Microsoft Team. Contact Tatiana Sherman for details: tania.sherman@duke.edu  

Q. Any tips for keeping kids occupied at home?

A.  Sanford Professor Jennifer Lansford, who studies parenting across cultures, had these suggestions in Duke Today.            

Q. Where can I find training on the new platforms, such as Zoom, for working at home?

A. The Duke Keep Working webpage has links to guides for working at home and for setting up remote access.  There are pages with tools, FAQs and other resources.

Q: Is there a way to develop new skills during this period of working from home?

A: One way is through LinkedIn Learning, formerly Lynda.com, free for Duke employees: https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/applications/linkedin-learning  Additional online trainings are available at https://oit.duke.edu/what-we-do/services/online-training. Biweekly staff should access these resources during their regularly scheduled work hours.

Q. What mental health resources are available to staff?

A.  The Duke Keep Working webpage has tips and resources, including links to Duke Personal Assistance Service for short-term counseling, available to Duke faculty and employees at no charge.

Q. Where can I find photos of the Sanford buildings to use as backgrounds for virtual meetings?

A. Photos of the Sanford and Rubenstein buildings are on the Sanford Intranet. https://inside.sanford.duke.edu/ Log in with you Net ID and password.

Q. Are there HR resources for supervisors managing staff remotely?

Managers and supervisors can find resources via on the Duke Keep Working webpage

Event Questions 

Q: If we are planning an event, should we proceed? Move the event online?

A: In response to COVID-19, Duke University is postponing, canceling or moving online all events and gatherings planned through May 7 (updated 3/18/20).

Q: How can we continue to engage alumni and the community during the coronavirus? 

A: Duke is moving some events online at this time. Please check the Duke events calendar for updates.

Q: What is happening with upcoming executive education?

A: In response to COVID-19, Duke University is postponing, canceling or moving online all events and gatherings planned through May 7 (updated 3/18/20). We hope to have new confirmed dates for programs soon. 

Q: Should individual visitors cancel travel to campus?

A: Duke is open, but some facilities and buildings are not open, and services are limited. Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to work remotely/online. Please contact the Sanford School before visiting or meet with our representatives online to help set up details for your visit based on the latest information.


Contacts for members of the Sanford community:

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