HAMPTON, Va. - (August 7, 2020) – As the Hampton University fall 2020 semester is set to begin – virtually - faculty and staff gathered on Zoom for the three-day Fall Educational Staff Institute. This year’s theme: “The New Transformational, Educational Paradigm.”
The opening plenary session included warm and welcoming remarks from Hampton University President, Dr. William R. Harvey, and updates about various things happening at Hampton.
“I would like to welcome you to the beginning of this academic year 2020-2021. I understand people will call this the new normal. I, for one, will be glad when we can get back to the ‘old normal.’ I miss interacting with those of you on the faculty. I miss interacting with the students as I walk across campus. I know we all will be happy when a vaccine for this pandemic is found that can help us get back to the old normal,” Dr. Harvey said.
During his welcome, Dr. Harvey spoke about the COVID-19 pandemic and what Hampton is doing to make sure faculty, staff, and students are safe. “Let me just say that we have taken this very seriously. When we first started talking about whether we were going to have in person instruction, we talked to a lot of people: faculty, staff, alumni, the Board, and administration. We wanted to do what was right and best for Hampton University. We know that there are some people that will applaud our decision, and some that will criticize our decision. We need to do what is best and right and let the chips land where they may,” Dr. Harvey said.
Dr. Harvey also spoke on the generous gift to Hampton from author and philanthropist Ms. MacKenzie Scott. “This gift is a godsend and the $30 million will be transformational for Hampton University. We want to try and use it in ways that are consistent with Hampton University being THE Standard of Excellence,” Dr. Harvey said.
The Keynote Address for this year’s Fall Educational Staff Institute was given by Dr. Pamela Moolenaar-Wirsiy, Hampton University alumna (C/O 1991), who is the Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs at Georgia State University Perimeter College. She served as an ACE Fellow at Hampton University this past year. “What a year it was!” she said.
Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy presented on the new transformational, educational paradigm and where we go from here. “Many institutions across the nation and the world had to shift to remote or online learning this past year. This was a big deal because we didn’t sign up for this. I want to give kudos to the HU faculty and staff. You arose to the occasion and did what you needed to do,” she said.
She defined remote teaching versus online teaching, which faculty will need to decide what to do for their classrooms due to the virtual education for the fall semester. “Remote is synchronous, where instruction and learning happens at the same time. Online teaching and learning is generally asynchronous. The instructor and student do not have to be online at the same time. This involves detailed instruction, interactive modules, application scenarios and more.”
Dr. Moolenaar-Wirsiy left the HU faculty with some thoughts and ideas she learned during her time as an ACE Fellow. “Be present. Everyone isn’t you. Technology differs. Let pedagogy lead. Focus on the outcomes you want and embrace it,” she said.
Hampton University Chancellor and Provost, Dr. JoAnn W. Haysbert, also reflected on this year’s theme, as she presented to the faculty through Zoom. “This is a transformational educational paradigm. We have upgraded technology in all our instruction spaces. The technology will support faculty and students in accessing students wherever you are located. I challenge each of us to embrace this new reality and we must embrace it for an opportunity to change, where we can develop new approaches. It is mandatory that we work together. It is mandatory that we understand that each day is fluid. There are changes that will be made, sometimes on a daily basis. We ask you to work with us as we work with you. Colleagues, remember, this is a great place and it is indeed a great day to be at Hampton University,” Dr. Haysbert said.
The 2020 Fall Educational Staff Institute concluded on Friday, August 7, 2020.