Classroom Management and New Bobcat Trace Notification Emails

Dr. Gene Bourgeois, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs | August 31, 2021

Dear colleagues,  

This message provides guidance on classroom management following Dr. Emilio Carranco’s attached email regarding new notification emails from Bobcat Trace.  The new emails are for notification purposes only and do not require recipients to isolate or quarantine at this time.  Individuals who receive the email are asked to 1) self-monitor for symptoms, 2) wear a face mask for 14 days, 3) stay home and get tested upon the development of any symptoms of COVID-19, and 4) report to Bobcat Trace if a positive test is received.  

Below are responses to three common questions.  We will continue to update frequently asked questions in the Teaching and Research section of the university’s Roadmap.  

I invite all of you to join us for a virtual town hall for the Texas State community tomorrow, Wednesday, September 1, 2021, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. 


Gene Bourgeois 
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs 

Do faculty have flexibility in delivering fall 2021 classes? How does the instruction mode assigned to my class affect flexibility?  

Classes must be implemented in the instruction mode that appears on the Schedule of Classes in Catsweb. The University Registrardefines the most common instruction modes as follows: 

  • FTF- At least 85% of the section is taught face-to-face (in-person) 
  • INT- At least 85% of the section is taught via the internet 
  • HYB- 50-85% of the section is taught via the internet, the other portion is taught face-to-face (in-person) 
  • ITV- Section is taught via two-interactive video 

Faculty have discretion and flexibility to implement classes according to the definition and parameters of instruction modes.  For example, the face-to-face course instruction mode means 85 percent or more of the faculty-student interaction occurs in-person. The remaining 15 percent may occur in other formats, including Zoom. 

The A/B classroom model for a face-to-face class could work as long as the 85 percent in-person threshold is met across the semester.  As another example, an instructor could deliver a face-to-face class via Zoom for two weeks and then transition to in-person instruction to meet the 85% in-person threshold.   

AA/PPS 02.03.10, Instructional Contact Time and Academic Credit defines required contact hours and is useful for calculating class time that should be delivered in-person, online, and/or through alternative means in alignment with the class section’s instruction mode.  

How do faculty handle student absences from class or campus work, including those due to COVID-19?  

As in the past, faculty have discretion in managing student absences, including those due to illness.  Faculty members determine appropriate arrangements for students who miss class, which may be similar to or the same arrangements offered in the past for students absent due to illness or other reasons. 

Students who test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who had a positive viral test should report to Bobcat Trace and follow the instructions provided by email.  Students should forward this email to their professors and make appropriate arrangements for completing assignments.  The email notification to students from Bobcat Trace is an official university communication that serves as documentation for student absences.    

To bolster reporting, faculty members are encouraged to require students who test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact to 1) report to Bobcat Trace and 2) forward the notification email from Bobcat Trace to receive an excused absence.   

Student employees who test positive or are a close contact should report to Bobcat Trace and visit with their supervisor. 

What if a faculty member is absent from class?  

As in the past, faculty who are absent from class coordinate with their chairs/directors to ensure continuity of instruction.  In some cases, a faculty member teaching face-to-face may briefly transition to remote learning by using Zoom, Teams, Canvas, or other tools.  For extended absences, another faculty member may be asked to assume responsibility for the class.  Deans and chairs/directors may contact the Office of the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs for support or recommendations in these cases.  Faculty with extended absences are advised to contact Human Resources for guidance. 

Faculty members who test positive for COVID-19 or are a close contact to someone who had a positive viral test for COVID-19 should report to Bobcat Trace and visit with their supervisor about leave options, including plans for instructional continuity.  Faculty are required to report sick leave taken.  Questions about faculty sick leave and reporting procedures should be directed to the appropriate chair/director or departmental time administrator.