FAQ for Faculty

Last Updated: May 20, 2020

General | Remote Teaching | Faculty Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure | Other


1. What requirements/advice does Bowdoin have for students, faculty, and staff who have traveled outside of Maine?
Bowdoin is following the Maine CDC mandate that all out-of-state travelers coming into Maine, as well as Maine residents returning to Maine, complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival.

2. Maine Governor Janet Mills recently extended the “stay at home” rules. How do these rules affect Bowdoin employees?
Bowdoin employees are exempt from Maine’s “stay-at-home” rules. Governor Mills previously announced that the state would be guided by the US Department of Homeland Security’s definition of essential workers and businesses. These definitions, which, for Bowdoin, fall under the category of “Other Community- or Government-Based Operations and Essential Functions,” provide an exemption for employees who support colleges “for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing other essential functions.”

Remote Teaching

1. Who is my liaison at Academic Technology and Consulting?
There is a list of academic technology and consulting liaisons available on Microsoft Teams. You can also reach out to your assigned research librarian for assistance. The list of librarians and information about how to contact them, including making an appointment, is available on the library's virtual assistance page.

2. Is the library open for faculty use?
Hawthorne-Longfellow Library, including Special Collections & Archives, and the branch libraries—Art, Music, and the Hatch Science Library—remain closed until further notice. Staff will continue to provide services remotely and can also provide access to physical collections through the library's take-out service. Information about all of the library’s current services is available here.

3. Where do I find the College’s FERPA policy?
The College's FERPA policy can be found in the Student Handbook.

4. Who can I contact if I still have questions about FERPA?
Please email Megan Hart.

5. What should I be aware of with regard to intellectual property (IP) rights and digital platforms?
According to Bowdoin’s existing IP policy, faculty members retain much of the rights to their intellectual contributions, and this continues to be true on digital platforms. None of the platforms which support remote teaching and learning may claim IP rights over content created by faculty or by students. Property rights, however, are not binary (own/not own) but include many dimensions and overlapping claims and considerations. Whether or not faculty rights to digital output, in terms of access and use, are exclusive or are shared with the College is the subject of ongoing investigation and discussion.

6. Where can I share with colleagues my experience with remote teaching?
We have set up a Microsoft Teams site to support a community of remote teaching and learning. Please join the Team, post your ideas, and encourage colleagues to join the Team!

Faculty Appointment, Promotion, and Tenure

1. How will the transition to remote learning affect the tenure and promotion process? Will BCQs still be administered?
We recognize that it is going to take time and effort to transition to remote teaching. We are painfully aware of the challenges it presents for faculty professionally and personally. The Committee on Appointments, Promotion, and Tenure (CAPT) sought the counsel of 30 tenured and tenure-track Bowdoin faculty and arrived at recommendations relating to the tenure clock, BCQs, and retrospective letters. These recommendations, approved by Dean McCormack and President Rose, are detailed in the Faculty Policy Update for Spring 2020 Memo that is available on the Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs website.


1. Will faculty meetings and working groups (i.e., committees) continue or be canceled?
Faculty meetings and working groups will continue to meet and conduct business as usual, but those meetings will be held remotely when possible.

2. Should I cancel travel to conferences and/or talks and seminars, even if some other institution pays for my travel?
Yes. In order to maintain the continuity of teaching and the health and safety of our community, we are asking that everyone curtail travel.

3. Do you have recommendations for how to conduct what would have been the campus-visit phase of a job search currently in progress?
We will not be holding any on-campus interviews until further notice. We will be working to offer virtual interviews as needed. Please contact Elizabeth Pritchard, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs, for guidelines for conducting remote searches.

4. What is the role of department chairs who are responsible for overseeing consistency and continuity of curricula vis-a-vis faculty autonomy?
The role of department chairs is to facilitate communication with all of their faculty members about how to best move to remote teaching, determine what support is needed, and engage with their assigned liaison to connect faculty with the available resources and support.

5. What is the plan for fall semester registration (e.g., the timing of advising, etc.)?
The process of registering for courses has been delayed until mid-June. An early summer registration process will benefit faculty members by providing time to adjust course offerings if need be, and will benefit students by allowing for timely information to be available about study away and course options. Details about a revised registration process and schedule will be available soon.

8. For departments/faculty who have had to cancel events this spring, will the funds currently allocated to those events be extended to next year in order to reschedule them?

9. Will there be any summer symposia?
There are no symposia planned for summer 2020.

10. Can faculty invite people to campus?
Yes, if absolutely necessary, but we strongly encourage you to hold all meetings and conversations remotely.

11. To whom should we direct additional questions?
Please reach out to Dean McCormack with additional questions.