March 30, 2020 Weekly Update

Information/Updates for Students, Faculty and Staff

An update from the president 

President Ronald Rochon plans to meet virtually with presidents from other higher education institutions and leaders around the state to discuss future response to COVID-19. These conversations, along with CDC guidance and executive directives from the Governor, will help guide the University’s response and actions beyond the current April 7 date for employees working remotely. More information will be shared as it becomes available.   

Study Abroad canceled for summer 2020 

In response to the continuing COVID-19 situation, and with the safety of students top of mind, the University has made the decision to cancel all Study Abroad programs for summer 2020. Fall 2020 Study Abroad opportunities will continue to be evaluated.  

Counseling Center updates 

The Counseling Center continues to work toward offering telecounseling sessions and hopes to have those services online soon. Check their website for updates. In the meantime, the Counseling Center continues to offer online screenings and other self-help resources online.  

University considers moving to a Pass/No Pass model for some classes 

Discussions are currently underway regarding the possibility of moving to a Pass/No Pass grading structure for some classes. Once a decision has been made, students and faculty will be updated.  

Housing and Residence Life update 

USI Housing and Residence Life has completed the move out of students for the remainder of the spring semester. Of the more than 2,200 students utilizing University housing, just over 80 individuals remain on campus. These students are primarily international students, along with several students who did not have other options for off-campus living arrangements. These students continue to receive support services, including arrangements for food and supplies, with added precautions for health and social distancing.  

Q&A sessions with faculty and staff 

On Tuesday, March 31, Dr. Ronald Rochon, USI president, along with Dr. Mohammed Khayum, provost, and members of the administrative staff, will offer three live Q&A sessions for USI employees via Zoom video conferencing.  

These will be 45-minute moderated sessions. You can submit questions through the Zoom chat function and moderator, Kindra Strupp, vice president for Marketing and Communications, will deliver those questions to the panel. 

In order to accommodate the number of call ins and to allow for questions and answers related to specific working groups, three separate sessions will be hosted. The sessions will be broken down as follows. Click the link for your session at the allotted time to join. 

Support Staff                  9 - 9:45 a.m. 

Faculty                        10 - 10:45 a.m. 

Administrators           11 - 11:45 a.m. 

All sessions will be recorded and made available for later viewing on the USI COVID-19 website

Q&A sessions with students 

On Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26, Dr. Ronald Rochon, USI president; Dr. Mohammed Khayum, provost; Dr. Khalilah Doss, vice president for Student Affairs; and Dr. Michael Dixon, interim director of Graduate Studies, hosted live Zoom Q&A sessions with students. Links to recordings of these Q&A sessions can be found on the University’s COVID-19 website

Online learning/working remotely for faculty, staff and students 

Faculty and staff continue to work hard to make the online transition as smooth as possible for students. Faculty peers with previous online teaching experience as well as the University’s Online Learning, Blackboard and Information Technology, Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, and the David L. Rice Library teams have been vital in ensuring all online instruction is accessible and meaningful. Workshops using Teams, Office 365, Qualtrics, etc. are available this week for staff and faculty beginning on Tuesday, March 31.  

The workshop schedule and other resources for students, faculty and staff continue to be updated and are available on the Instructional Continuity Plan webpage. 

Connecting to on-campus software for students 
Online Learning has added instructions for students to access on-campus software like SSPS and AutoCad on its Student Services webpage.   

Zoom Backgrounds offered

A variety of USI backgrounds are now available for Zoom video conferencing. These images and a tutorial on how to upload them can be found on the Online Learning Resources for Working Remotely page

Online workshops 

Planning, Research and Assessment is offering a series of upcoming workshops for faculty and staff. 

Qualtrics 101 Slow Jam  

Monday, March 30  - 10:30 a.m. to noon   

Repeated – Wednesday, April 1  1 to 2:30 p.m.  

This session is designed for those who have never used Qualtrics before or who have very limited experience and need a basics refresher. The first portion of the session will be a demonstration by Kat Draughon, and the second portion will be a hands-on follow along where participants will create a basic survey. Participants will be encouraged to ask questions during the demonstration and hands-on portion to ensure that everyone is able to follow along. Please contact Kat Draughon prior to the session if you do not already have access to Qualtrics via myUSI. (All faculty should have access, but administrators and support staff may not). Look for the Red Q icon on your myUSI. 

Qualtrics 201 Happy Hour - Using Blocks and Survey Flow (NEW) 

Wednesday April 1 10 to 11 a.m.  

The 201 Happy Hour sessions are designed for those with some Qualtrics experience who are comfortable creating a basic survey.   

Learn the basics of creating a survey using survey blocks and using the Survey Flow feature to organize the survey to allow for only certain survey respondents to receive sets of questions on topics specific to them (i.e., a set of questions for student respondents versus faculty respondents within the same survey project).  Ideally, participants will follow along by listening to Kat and will not need to rely on watching the Zoom presentation, but participants are free to just observe as well.  

Qualtrics 201 Happy Hour – Distributing a Survey Using a Contact List (REPEAT) 

Thursday, April 2 1:30 to 2:30 p.m.  

Learn how to create a contact list and email distribution that will allow you to send your survey/form out via email and allow for reminder emails only to those who have not responded.  Ideally, participants will follow along by listening to Kat and will not need to rely on watching the Zoom presentation, but participants are free to just observe as well.  

Financial Care Team update 

Do you know students who are experiencing financial problems due to the coronavirus? Are students concerned about paying an outstanding student account balance and registering for the fall semester during this time of uncertainty? Are you aware of students who do not have a plan in place to get through the next few months? Help is available!  

The Financial Care Team at USI strives to assist students who find themselves in unexpected financial distress. If you know of a student who is struggling financially, the Financial Care Team may be able to help. 

To request assistance on behalf of a student, complete the referral form on the Financial Care Team page. A representative from the Student Financial Success Center (SFSC) will contact the student to schedule a virtual meeting. During this meeting, the SFSC representative will gather more information to better understand the situation and to determine which offices on campus can assist the student based on the unique circumstances of each case. The information shared will remain confidential. 

If you are not comfortable making a direct referral, please share the resource with students in need and make them aware of the support available to them.  

The Financial Care Team wants students and their families to know that they do not have to tackle these challenges alone. 

Good Friday holiday 

The Provost's Office has announced that the 2020 spring semester will end as scheduled on May 6.  April 10 (Good Friday) is a holiday as scheduled and the University will be closed. This will not be an instructional day and no classes will be in session.  

University Health Center updates 

The University Health Center is now open for the USI community via video visits or telephone calls. All USI students, facility or staff can still utilize services from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

If you are not feeling well, need a refill on medication or just need to talk to someone, Health Center staff can respond. 

Schedule appointments online and put in the notes section if you would like a telephone or a video visit. Or feel free to call 812-465-1250 to schedule an appointment. 

If you are on the Office Visit Plan all visits will be free of charge. If not, insurance will be billed. 

If you have any questions, please contact the Health Center at 812-465-1250 or via email.  

Priority Registration schedule 

Fall 2020 registration for eligible students begins at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 6. Full information, including schedule, is available on the Registrar’s website. Students register according to the total of their earned plus currently enrolled hours. Students register online through myUSI, but are urged to first review their degree audit (through myUSI). Students are strongly encouraged to schedule a virtual meeting with their academic advisor or contact their college’s advising center via AdvisorTrac or email to review their course selection prior to registering. Contact information for each of the advising centers may be found below.  

Please note, when scheduling advising appointments with the advising centers, students are strongly encouraged to make appointments through either AdvisorTrac or email.  

College of Nursing and Health Professions Advising Center 

Liberal Arts Advising Center 

Pott College Advising and Resource Center 

Romain College of Business Advising Center  

Center for Exploring Majors 

USI Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center offering free online workouts and wellness programs 

The RFWC is offering links to a number of free virtual workout, yoga and other classes and resources. You can find these on the RFWC website.  

Town Halls and an update from governance bodies 

USI’s employee governance groups—Staff Council, Administrative Senate and Faculty Senate —invite the USI community to utilize the USI Employee Governance website to view videos from town hall meetings, including the most recent with David Bower, vice president for development.  

Due to COVID-19, governance groups are suspending all in-person town halls until further notice. There may be other opportunities to connect and/or collaborate virtually in the future. Otherwise, governance groups will send out information during the late summer or early fall 2020 for future virtual or in-person opportunities.  

President Rochon to be featured on the Indiana Chamber Podcast 

As part of an ongoing series with leaders of higher education institutions across the state, the Indiana Chamber Podcast will feature President Ronald Rochon. Dr. Rochon’s segment, the final in the series, is scheduled to air Tuesday, March 31. Listen to the podcast.  

Culvert replacement scheduled for Lloyd Expressway near University Boulevard 

The Indiana Department of Transportation announces a lane closure on State Road 62 (Lloyd Expressway) near University Boulevard for a pipe replacement. 

Beginning on or around Wednesday, April 1, INDOT maintenance crews will close the right lane of westbound S.R. 62 from Schutte Road to the westbound ramp at University Boulevard to excavate and replace a drainage culvert. 

The operation is expected to take about two days depending upon weather conditions. Inclement weather could delay the beginning of this project. INDOT urges drivers to slow down and stay alert near crews. 

Foundation accepting donations to assist with COVID-19 response 

The University of Southern Indiana Foundation continues to accept gifts from alumni and friends to provide essential needs to students who are impacted by COVID-19. If you are able, and would like to provide your support to the USI community during this unprecedented time, please make a gift to the Here & Now Fund

IT Advisory: phishing attacks 

We are hearing from other universities that phishing attacks are now taking advantage of remote workers and the current news stream. We would like to warn everyone to remain vigilant for scams related to coronavirus (COVID-19). Cyber criminals may send phishing emails with malicious attachments or links to fraudulent websites to trick victims into revealing sensitive information or donating to fraudulent charities or causes. Exercise caution in handling any email with a COVID-19-related subject line, attachment or hyperlink, and be wary of social media pleas, texts or calls related to COVID-19. 

We encourage individuals to remain vigilant and take the following precautions: 

  • Avoid clicking on links in unsolicited emails and be wary of email attachments 
  • Use trusted sources—such as legitimate, government websites—for up-to-date, fact-based information about COVID-19 
  • Go directly to the trusted source’s website and don’t follow links provided in an email 
  • Do not reveal personal or financial information in email, and do not respond to email solicitations for this information 
  • Verify a charity’s authenticity before making donations; review the Federal Trade Commission’s page on Charity Scams for more information 
  • Be aware of emails that contain threatening language or communicate a sense of urgency  
  • Be suspicious and verify identity when receiving “unusual” requests from co-workers (gift cards, money, cell phone number or employee/student data)  

If you feel you have received a phishing email, please report it to

USI Calendar and virtual activities 

If you plan to host a University event that will now be virtual, please remember to add it to the USI Calendar through myUSI. When submitting the event, add VIRTUAL before the event title. 

Student Development has added a number of virtual activities on their website.  

Virtual learning opportunities through Outreach and Engagement 

In the interest of the health and safety of the community, all in-person Lifelong Learning courses have been canceled through the end of the semester, May 6. The Lifelong Learning team will   
process refunds or assist with rescheduling for a future course as quickly as possible.   

 Lifelong Learning continues to offer many online opportunities to meet professional and personal learning needs with instructor-led and self-paced options.  

Contact Lifelong Learning via email or leave a message at 812-464-1989 with questions.  

Procurement assistance 

Procurement remains available to support University purchasing needs. 

For questions about contracts, contact Dan Martens 

For questions about credit cards, contact Jeff Sponn 

For questions about standing orders, contact Julie Weinzapfel 

For questions about catalog orders, contact Becky Weinzapfel 

Screagles Fly Together 

Sharing the Nice Stuff

During these unprecedented times, it's easy to feel overwhelmed with the ongoing Coronavirus updates. We thought we'd create space for some good news, creative distractions and feel good stories that show Screagles Fly Together.

All small things
USI role model Evan Stieler '17 and his classmates at Harvard Medical School made a music video to remind everyone that their COVID-19 prevention should cover "all the small things."  

Answering the call 
When Deaconess Health System asked the community to sew masks for its healthcare workers facing the possibility of a limited supply, a USI employee and an alumna stepped up to the challenge. Find out how they’re helping.