Planning

Our Commitments

SAIC remains committed to its core mission of “excellence in the delivery of a global education in visual, design, media, and related arts, with attendant studies in the history and theory of those disciplines set within a broad-based, humanistic curriculum in the liberal arts and sciences.” As we planned for our return to campus, decisions that have an immediate or long-term impact on our community were considered through the lens of these commitments:

  • We will plan for a return to campus that pays careful attention to the health and safety of all members of our community;
  • We will engage public health expert Dr. Terri Rebmann to guide our planning as we adhere to guidance from national and local public health agencies;
  • We will work to minimize the disruption to our academic mission;
  • We will honor student financial aid commitments; and
  • We will ensure that the School will weather the long-term financial impact of the pandemic and will continue to provide a world-class art and design education in the years to come.

School Working Groups and Support Teams 

During emergency situations, SAIC utilizes a Campus Emergency Operations Plan (CEOP), which is a crisis management strategy that Illinois colleges and universities are state-mandated to follow. The CEOP outlines actions and response procedures required for situations in which normal operations are impacted. Initially tasked with closing the campus and moving classes online, the working groups of the CEOP pivoted to preparing the campus to reopen. For many weeks, 128 faculty and staff members from across the School have been working in CEOP groups to develop an approach to returning to on-campus facilities. This framework is the result of their efforts, touching on the operations of every area of the School.
 
This framework is the culmination of external research and internal planning. In finalizing the framework, we solicited the perspectives and feedback of faculty and staff. Final decisions are made by the Policy Group leading the CEOP in consultation with several shared governance groups: President’s Cabinet, Faculty Senate, CEOP Safety Committee, CEOP Remote Learning Committee, CEOP Employee Considerations Committee, the Make Ready Advisory Group, and five support teams. 
 
In order to maintain a shared institutional perspective, the Make Ready Advisory Group was formed with faculty and staff members and student leaders. This group is meeting with leadership members of the CEOP to discuss reopening plans as they continue to be implemented.

In addition to the Make Ready Advisory Group, five support teams were created to lead the development of return-to-campus plans specific to each area of the School:

Below is an overview of each group. Additional details are shared farther down the page.

CEOP Chart

CEOP Chart

CEOP chart 3 v2

Questions? Contact saicinfo@saic.edu.

Make Ready Advisory Group

The Make Ready Advisory Group serves as a sounding board for the plans and ideas suggested by the five support teams. Additionally, this group is reaching out to those who may be disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including students, faculty, and staff of color, and those needing assistance from the Disability and Learning Resource Center or the Workplace Accommodations Committee, to help ensure their needs are known and addressed. This group is meeting frequently to discuss the progress of the School in implementing​ our ​return-to-campus plans​. Its membership is meant to represent constituent groups on the campus of staff, full- and part-time faculty, and students.

The Make Ready Advisory Group meets with members of the CEOP leadership. Comments and concerns will be passed to the CEOP policy group and the respective support teams charged with developing plans for the return to campus.​ 

The Make Ready Advisory Group consists of:

  • Jada Jeni Bennett, Undergraduate Student, Student Government Representative
  • Anita Bhardwaj, Assistant Director, International Admissions
  • Anavi Bhushan Nugyal, Undergraduate Student, Student Government Representative
  • Celeste Collins, Senior Administrative Director, Academic Operations
  • Robin Deacon, Professor, Faculty Senate Chair
  • Richard Deutsch, Associate Professor, Adj.
  • Eric Fuertes, Instructional Facility Manager
  • Eala O'Sé, Material Source Assistant Manager
  • Seth Sexton, Graduate Student, Graduate Senate Representative
  • Lawrence Rodriguez, Director of International Affairs
  • Amy Vogel, Associate Professor and Director of Contemporary Practices
  • Lisa Wainwright, Professor

 

Return-to-Campus Support Teams

Five support teams have been created to lead the development of the return-to-campus plans for each department on campus. The members of these support teams, in collaboration with the relevant working groups, are working with the leadership and personnel in each department as necessary to develop plans, helping each area address their unique personnel and facility needs while meeting our shared responsibilities and abiding by our return-to-work principles.
 
The support teams, their membership, and their goals and objectives are listed below.

Instructional and Academic Resources Support Team

The Instructional and Academic Resources Support Team is acting as a steering, advisory, and resource group for academic department faculty and staff in support of teaching and learning, modes of instruction, and instructional support facilities. This team, working closely with the operational working groups supporting this area, is meeting with all academic departments to develop a plan, provide support, and address concerns.

Working with academic departments, this support team is defining guidelines for classroom and studio capacity and layout, cleaning and sanitizing classrooms and studios, the capacity and format for public programming and events, managing non-compliance with health and safety guidelines, reporting sick students, accommodation requests, mental health and wellness resources, and more. 

Members

  • Vice President for Campus Operations Thomas Buechele
  • Interim Dean of Graduate Studies Delinda Collier
  • Dean of Undergraduate Studies Dawn Gavin (chair)
  • Executive Director of Facilities Services Sarah Hicks
  • Vice President for Educational Technologies and Chief Information Officer Dev Ravichandran
  • Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs Shawn Michelle Smith
  • Dean of Administration, Budget, and Planning Gretchen Talbot

 

Schedule and Curriculum Support Team

The Schedule and Curriculum Support Team is facilitating the next phase of planning SAIC’s curriculum and schedule this year, a process which will largely happen through the work of departments coordinating with their faculty, similar to the processes that SAIC followed in assessing and realigning the summer session over the past few months. The process requires input from departments at multiple points, as there are several variables to consider in determining how each course will run. 

Working with academic departments, this support team is defining guidelines for classroom caps, staggered start times, faculty requests for teaching online, schedule changes, and more.

Members

  • Interim Dean of Graduate Studies Delinda Collier 
  • Professor and Chair of Faculty Senate Robin Deacon
  • Dean of Undergraduate Studies Dawn Gavin
  • Professor and Faculty Liaison Raja El Halwani
  • Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Paul Jackson
  • Associate Dean of Graduate Studies Dwayne Moser
  • Interim Dean of Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs Shawn Michelle Smith (chair)
  • Dean of Administration, Budget, and Planning Gretchen Talbot
  • Chair of Faculty Beth Wright

 

 

Administrative and Office Support Team

The Administrative and Office Support Team, in collaboration with the operational working groups supporting this area, is acting as an advisory and resource group to staff in support of creating their return-to-work plans. This team is meeting with all administrative departments to provide support and address concerns.
 
Working with the dean’s office and faculty, this support team is defining guidelines for office layouts, meeting capacity and format, cleaning and sanitizing the workplace, staggering of schedules and de-densification of common areas, reporting procedures for sick employees, employee accommodations, employee health and safety training, and more. 

Members

  • Vice President for Campus Operations Thomas Buechele
  • Executive Director of Facilities Services Sarah Hicks
  • Chief Human Resources Officer Michael Nicolai
  • Vice President for Educational Technologies and Chief Information Officer Dev Ravichandran
  • Dean of Administration, Budget, and Planning Gretchen Talbot (chair)

 

Housing, Food Service, and Student Life Support Team

The Housing, Food Service, and Student Life Support Team is working toward providing an environment for living and learning at SAIC that reduces the risk of spread of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This team is working in partnership with the other support teams, working groups, and departments across SAIC to support the health and welfare of our students.
 
Working with student affairs departments, this support team is ensuring food service meets guidelines through providing single-service, no-contact food options and eliminating self-service options, modify furniture plans, and intensify housekeeping protocols; determine residence hall room occupancy and modified move-in plan, provide individual spaces for potential quarantine, and establish quarantine care protocols; engage student government to establish health ambassador program; advise faculty on framework compliance; and more.

Members

  • Vice President for Campus Operations Thomas Buechele
  • Vice President for Finance Brian Esker
  • Executive Director of Facilities Services Sarah Hicks
  • Assistant Dean of Student Affairs for Residence Life Abigail Holcomb
  • Dean of Student Life Debbie Martin (chair)
  • Associate Dean of Student Affairs for Campus Life Patrick Spence

 

Campus Facilities Operations and Security Support Team

The Campus Facilities Operations and Security Support Team is advising and supporting the SAIC community on health and safety practices, cleaning protocols, modified facilities use, and access across campus.
 
Working with departments throughout all campus spaces, this support team is developing cleaning and sanitation protocols, set room occupancy limits, provide guidance on visitors to campus, support office units in developing physical distancing plans, post signage throughout campus with framework compliance information, and more.

Members

  • Vice President of Campus Operations Thomas Buechele
  • Executive Director of Media and Instructional Resources Craig Downs
  • Executive Director of Facilities Services Sarah Hicks (chair)
  • Executive Director of Fabrication and Instructional Resources Brad Johns
  • Executive Director of Campus Security John Pack
  • Executive Director of Facilities Engineering Quang Tran