TO: Mechanical Engineering and PRE-ME majors
FROM: John Gardner, Dept. Chair
RE: Fall Semester
Greetings ME students! My name is John Gardner, and on July 1st, I took over the reins of the department from Don Plumlee, who served ably in the role as department chair for 6 years. After a phenomenal run as chair, Don is taking some time to re-energize and tackle some projects he’s been wanting to do for a long time. I can’t wait to see what he does next!
I hope you’ve all had a restful and restorative summer so far. And I’m also hoping that by now you’re starting to be anxious to get back to school. That’s what I wanted to talk to you about today. As you might imagine, fall semester will bring some unprecedented challenges for the university. The entire Boise State community is dedicated to providing quality education in an environment that provides for the safety of all involved. To that end, a dedicated group of people have been working diligently to modify all classroom spaces on campus to accommodate the CDC recommendations of 6 ft distancing. In addition, everyone inside buildings on campus (and outside if in close groups) will be required to wear some kind of face coverings at all times. This includes the faculty and we are committed to seeing this through. Our instructions from the provost’s office is to end class if anyone does not comply with these requirements.
But I have every confidence in the ME ‘family’ that we will find a way to respect the concerns and wishes of each other as we navigate these waters.
So I want to hear from you — what are your wishes and concerns for the coming semester? Most of the MBE faculty have opted for some kind of hybrid presentation with a combination of in-person and online components, but those decisions occurred in a vacuum to some extent. I want to know what you prefer. If we find that the vast majority of our students strongly desire face-to-face classes, we’ll do our best to honor that. If, on the other hand, most of you would prefer to remain remote, we can probably do that as well.
Finally, I want to talk about the expectations for technology access. Due to these unforeseen circumstances, our faculty expect students to have access to the following technology:
- A functioning and reliable windows or mac computer (laptop or desktop)
- A reliable high-speed internet connection
- A webcam, with the expectation that you will be visible to the instructor unless otherwise instructed.
- Preferred: If you’re planning on using the campus computer labs to sit in on Zoom classes, a USB headset would useful
This is important: If you don’t think you’ll be able to meet these requirements, I need to know ASAP. There may be some resources available to help you out.
Thank you for reading through this (too long) email. I plan to follow up every Wednesday between now and the beginning of the semester with shorter updates.