FAQs for Faculty and Staff

This FAQ is updated as information becomes available. If your question is not listed here, please contact the Office of the Provost.

Teaching & Learning

A. An Academic Continuity web page developed by the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center includes information about the FTLC’s and Information Technology’s workshops, as well as open hours, to assist you in managing your teaching online.

A. As many people across the university now have the need to contact students remotely (via phone or video-conferencing software), please verify that the person you are talking to is actually the student before discussing grades or any other personally identifiable information. The following are methods that are routinely used by staff in the Record’s Office to verify identities:

  • If you are using a video-enabled software and you don’t know what the student looks like, you could ask the individual to hold up their GVSU ID card or a government issued ID card.
  • If you are using audio, you can ask the individual several questions to verify their identity. Ask questions that you can verify by looking in Banner SSB, such as:
  1. What is your G#?
  2. What is one class you are taking this semester and what is the name of your professor for that class?
  3. What is one class you took last semester (fall 2019)?
  4. What is the name of your academic advisor?

In general, avoid questions that a parent or someone closely related to the student would know (major, for example).

A. If students request additional participants (such as parents or partners) to advising appointments or any conversation regarding course performance, it is required that the student fill out the FERPA Permission to Release Non-Public InformationThis form is available electronically on the Registrar’s Office website. Students should fill it out, save it and send it as an email attachment prior to the advising appointment.

A. The expectation is that everyone sitting in on a class is formally enrolled as a student. To eliminate unauthorized remote visitors to online/hybrid classes, faculty may include a syllabus statement reminding students that participation in the class is limited to students who are officially registered for the course. In addition, making a statement at the outset of classes is also recommended. Visitors to classes are allowed only with specific faculty permission. If students persist in this behavior, faculty should address this with the student. If it continues, faculty should submit an Academic Integrity Violation report via the Dean of Students Office.

A. Please make such requests to your dean's office; that office will coordinate with Information Technology and vendors, as appropriate.

A. Yes! The IT Help Desk is providing additional support to faculty, staff, and students. They can provide general technology assistance and student support in the use of Blackboard, Collaborate, Ally, Panopto, and Respondus LockDown Browser/Monitor.

Web: http://www.gvsu.edu/it 
Email: helpdesk@gvsu.edu
Phone: (616) 331-2101 and (855) 435-7488 (Toll-free) 

Phone/Email Support:
Monday: 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Tuesday-Friday: 8 a.m. - 10 p.m.
Saturdays & Sundays: 12 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Additionally, IT is providing faculty support in the use of Blackboard, Collaborate, Ally, Panopto, and Respondus LockDown Browser/Monitor:

Web: http://www.gvsu.edu/elearn
Email: bbadmin@gvsu.edu
Phone: (616) 331-8526 

Phone/Email Support:
Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Blackboard support is provided 24x7 for faculty and students. For after hour assistance, please call: (616) 331-2101 and push "1" to transfer when prompted

A. Grand Valley has a subscription to Respondus Lockdown Browser and Monitor, which allows you to proctor tests through Blackboard and from a distance. Information Technology has more information about Respondus on their website.

Disability Support Resources (DSR) can, on a case-by-case basis, consult with faculty on other test proctoring needs, including for non-DSR students. Please note that to accommodate a student with a documented disability requiring more time on tests, faculty can adjust the time allotted for a Blackboard exam for one (or more) students separate from the rest of the class. DSR can be reached at dsrgvsu@gvsu.edu or 616-331-2490. 

You might also consider open book exams or other assessment activities that do not require proctoring. Contact the Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center to consult with someone on alternative assessment activities.

A. Faculty and staff should reach out to Heather Hardy in IT Technology Supply Office (techsupply@gvsu.edu) for all equipment purchases. 

A. If you do not have a laptop, contact Bob Holcomb in IT. We have ordered several laptops for loan, There are a few in stock and more will be delivered (ETA 2-3 weeks).  Bob can be reached via email at holcombb@gvsu.edu.

A. Both GVSU Laker Store locations are open with limited hours. 

The Text Collect site, https://gvsu.verbacollect.com/, will also remain open to receive book orders from faculty & departments for the Fall 2020 semester. GVSU Laker Store staff will continue to maintain and monitor the site to make sure it is as up to date as possible. If you know of any changes such as course/section adds or cancellations, faculty updates, etc., or if you would like to make changes to your current book order, please send those to Tom Bevington, Course Materials Manager, at bevingtt@gvsu.edu.

GVSU Laker Store has partnered with one of our used book wholesalers to provide book sell back virtually. The information is posted on the Laker Store website; students can sell back books here: https://onlinebuyback.mbsbooks.com/index.php?jde=9192.

As we navigate new ways to offer support for our students, the Student Academic Success Center and Division of Student Affairs has created a resource for faculty and staff. The "TIPS" sheet provides links to students for the resources that best meet their needs.

A. The GVSU Career Center is available to provide support with job searches, and has a remote services page for students.

A. Universities across the state are creating wifi access points in parking lots. GVSU has two “drive up wifi” sites: Lot B in Allendale, and the in the Eberhard Center parking lot in Grand Rapids. Grand Valley Students can access the campus network from their cars, and visitors from other institutions can use The Eduroam network at either site. (The Eduroam network is available at most universities and can be accessed using GV sign-in credentials.) In addition, the Michigan Public Service Commission is compiling public drive-up wifi location information. The interactive map is located here: https://connectednation.org/michigan/hotspotmap

Final Exam/Culminating Experience

A. Yes. There is an expectation that all courses will include a final exam or culminating experience.

A. Yes. If you are having a final exam, it must be conducted during the final exam week. Likewise, any culminating experience apart from a final exam should also either be completed, or have some student activity related to it performed, during the final exam week. While the culminating experience itself may be completed prior to the final exam week, there should be some student activity related to the project that is expected during the final exam week (e.g. presentation, group discussion, etc.).

A. No. If you are holding a scheduled exam or meeting, it must take place at the scheduled time for your course section. To do otherwise would complicate the exam schedule for students who have multiple exams/meetings during that week. That being said, there may be students who are unable to make the scheduled time due to complications in their personal schedule related to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g. child care, sickness, caring for others, limited/no access to internet at the given time, etc.). In such cases, faculty should be as generous as possible in allowing flexibility to individual students to make alternative schedule arrangements.

It is also acceptable to conduct your final exam/culminating experience asynchronously during the final exam week (i.e. the exam/experience can be completed at any time during the week). If using this approach, the due date of the final exam/culminating experience cannot be earlier than the date and time assigned for the course in the final exam schedule.

A. Yes. There are several resources provided by the eLearning and Emerging Technologies team including information about building online assessments and proctoring an exam online. When thinking about using Respondus LockDown Browser/Monitor for proctoring an exam, you should consider that students need to download and install the software, and the software requires specific levels of technology on the student’s computer such as a webcam.

In addition, the eLearning staff and Disability Support Resources staff are available to help problem solve individual concerns, and provide recommendations for alternative assessments such as: papers, projects, quizzes, and student presentations as video assignments through Panopto, or shared live through Blackboard Collaborate. 

Meetings & Events

A. As we work to mitigate risk, faculty are strongly encouraged to hold meetings virtually. 

A. The University has several web conferencing options for faculty and staff that you can use for meetings and your teaching.


A. Travel for business purposes:

  • Only travel deemed essential should be considered for approval.
  • Travel to High-Risk Locations should be avoided if possible.
  • Non-essential travel to domestic and international locations is prohibited.

For additional information, please visit the University Business Travel Guidance 2020 website.

A. All Fall 2020 and Winter 2021 study aboard programming has been suspended. For the most current information, please visit the Padnos International Center website.