Faculty FAQ

Updated March 23, 2020, 9:44 a.m.

Where can I find employee policies and procedures related to coronavirus (COVID-19)?
Bucknell University Employee Policy and Procedures on COVID-19 are posted in myBucknell under Forms and Policies (login required). The most recent update outlines a waiver to the documentation and approval process for remote work arrangements.

Faculty should consult with their deans' offices and department chairs about whether remote work can be used effectively in their particular situation, including while caring for others who are ill; working during periods of quarantine; or caring for dependent children when schools or childcare providers are closed.

Why did the University make the decision to hold remote classes?
The University's Emergency Response Team made this decision out of an abundance of caution and to do all that we can to slow the spread of COVID-19. 
How can we provide the same educational experiences to our students while teaching remotely?
Teaching remotely constitutes a significant disruption to and departure from the educational experiences to which we aspire. The expectation is not to replicate residential learning experiences, but to work collectively to accommodate students' needs and learning styles — understanding that these solutions will vary from discipline to discipline. 

What do we mean when we talk about “remote teaching?”
Faculty may choose to use a variety of technology tools to facilitate remote teaching, including Moodle, Zoom, Google Meet and Kaltura Capture. You may also want to consider other forms of delivering instruction and accomplishing your learning outcomes, such as developing alternative assignments, assigning additional readings, asking students to write response papers, etc. 
What support does Bucknell offer faculty related to remote teaching?
The Teaching & Learning Center will hold additional office hours to assist faculty. 

Library & Information Technology (L&IT) developed the Bucknell Teaching Continuity Guide and offers educational sessions in person and online on accessing the tools Bucknell has available for remote teaching. Support from L&IT is also available via regular communication channels, including calling x77777, emailing techdesk@bucknell.edu or using the online tech ticket form.

  • Remote Teaching Technology Trainings were held March 12 and 13.
    View recorded training sessions   
  • Best Practices: Remote Teaching daily walk-in sessions were offered the week of March 16.
    Topics included synchronous and asynchronous instructional options, communicating with students, virtual instruction, engaging students, assessment and labs.

Note: The Bucknell University Remote Lab is a virtual computer lab that allows you to use specialized software from anywhere at any time without installing it on your computer. You can connect to the Remote Lab from your personally owned Linux, Mac or Windows computer. Please read this Remote Lab Environment FAQ for more information.

Is there faculty support available related to accessibility and remote teaching?
Yes. Please see the Critical Accessibility Supports for Remote Teaching document created by the Office of Accessibility Resources.

Should faculty continue to report to campus to work and teach our remote classes?
Faculty may choose to conduct remote instruction from campus, home or another location.

Are academic buildings still open to the public?
No. Access to all academic buildings will be by card swipe or key only as of March 18, 2020. Graduate students should communicate with their department chair to request access to an academic building. Chairs will determine whether the request is appropriate and, upon granting permission, will (on behalf of the student) contact Card Services at cardservices@bucknell.edu. For keys, chairs should complete a key request form.

Is Bertrand Library still open?
No. Bertrand Library is closed until further notice as of March 18, 2020. L&IT will continue to offer remote technology and library support, including on weekends.

Where should I direct COVID-19 questions?
General questions about the University's COVID-19 response: coronavirus@bucknell.edu

General academic questions: provostsoffice@bucknell.edu  

Questions specific to your departments and disciplines: deans' offices

Student Support

Will grading policies change while are teaching remotely?
Yes. The University has approved a new policy for grading this semester. Details and procedures for these changes are still being finalized, and we will send additional information as soon as it is ready. Please encourage students to check their email regularly.

Note: Students should consult with their academic advisor and/or the associate dean for students about the implications of taking either option listed below. They should also consult with the Office of Financial Aid to ensure that their decision has no adverse impact on their current or future financial aid package. 

Pass/fail policy: For each class, students will have the option of keeping the assigned grade or converting it to pass/fail after final grades are submitted. Student transcripts will be modified to provide an adequate context about the disruption caused by COVID-19 during the spring 2020 semester and the resulting change in grading. We will send students additional information as it becomes available. 

Early withdrawal policy: In addition to the pass/fail option, Bucknell is extending the course withdrawal deadline for this semester to April 27, 2020, the last day of classes.

Under existing policy, twice during their careers at Bucknell, students may withdraw from a course with a grade of W through the 10th week of class (this semester, that date would have been March 27). This policy change means that any course withdrawal taken after the date Bucknell announced its move to remote education — March 10, 2020 — will not count as one of the two withdrawals under the existing policy. We will send students additional information as it becomes available.  

If a student is continuing coursework in an approved study-abroad program this semester, does the new pass/fail and early withdrawal policy apply to them? 
No. Courses taken through approved partner programs are treated as transfer courses, which require a grade of C or above for Bucknell credit and cannot be taken pass/fail.

How will virtual advising work?
The deans’ offices will communicate with you regarding virtual advising. The Registrar’s Office has extended the registration period through April 15, 2020, and is ready to work with students remotely. Staff in that office will provide assistance to faculty and students.

How can we help students with course registration?
Course registration for the fall 2020 semester will proceed online as expected. Faculty should make arrangements with advisees to discuss academic progress reports and course selections remotely. All undergraduate students must have their registration pin in order to complete the course registration process.

How should faculty deal with courses that require permission or waive course restrictions? What is the Registration Override process?
Students will not be able to secure faculty signatures to enter permission courses or to waive other course restrictions. Therefore, faculty should use the Registration Override process available on the Faculty/Adviser tab in Banner Web to provide the electronic overrides for these issues.

Students must provide their BUID number in order for an override to be entered.

There are a variety of override types available, so be sure to select the override that corresponds to the student's registration issue (class year override, prerequisite, etc.). 

Find more information from the Registrar about course registration 

See the Course Information page for the most up-to-date information 

Note: The Course Tally is a point-in-time snapshot of course offerings and may not reflect recent changes.

How else are we supporting students?
Student support services offered through the Teaching & Learning Center, the Writing Center and the Office of Accessibility Resources will continue, as will online study groups.

Some students may be stressed, confused and anxious during this time of uncertainty and change. Please welcome them to this new learning environment, connect with them and make yourself available for virtual office hours via phone, Skype, email, FaceTime, etc. Please keep track of students who are not checking in with you, and take into account their different levels of access to technology. Additionally, some students will not be able to leave campus; they, too, will be instructed to work remotely.   

What if any of my students do not have access to a computer?
Please contact Stephen O'Hara at stephen.ohara@bucknell.edu or 570-577-2944 regarding the possibility of students acquiring loaner equipment.

May I provide group or individual instruction for students who remain on campus for any part of the rest of the semester?
The central reason for moving to remote learning is to protect the health of our entire community. As such, all instruction should be remote, even for students who remain on campus.

My students rented textbooks from Barnes & Noble. How do they return them if they're not in Lewisburg?
Rented textbooks may be returned to Barnes & Noble at no cost after the semester concludes. Students can print return labels to ship their rented textbooks back to our store, at no cost, from Barnes & Noble's website. Questions about rental textbooks may be directed to the store's textbook department at 570-577-3198.

Is the bookstore open?
No. Beginning March 17, 2020, the Barnes & Noble at Bucknell University bookstore will be closed for two weeks. Web orders may still be placed and phone calls will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 570-577-1128. 

What academic resources are available to students learning remotely?
Many Bertrand Library resources are available to students learning remotely, including:

See all of Bertrand Library's remote learning resources   

Bucknell students may also access an expansive catalog of etexts through May 25, 2020, at no charge. Students should:

  • Download the VitalSource Bookshelf app.
  • Open the app and log in using their Bucknell email address.
  • Find and view course materials from participating publishers via VitalSource’s Explore capabilities within the Bookshelf app.


Will summer research be conducted?
We are continuing to evaluate the feasibility of conducting summer research, but for the time being we will issue calls for summer research proposals.

Will undergraduate research continue?
Unless they can be completed remotely, students will not be able to continue their undergraduate research projects.

Will graduate research continue?
Yes. Since it is necessary for graduate students to complete their projects so they can be granted degrees, this work will continue.

Office of the Provost


209 Marts Hall


How long do we have to prepare to teach remotely?
The University has cancelled classes March 16–18, 2020, during which time faculty should prepare to teach courses remotely and resume teaching, remotely, on Thursday, March 19.