Academic Affairs Task Force

Strategic Objective

The Fall 2020 Academic Affairs Task Force exists to operationalize the university's Fall 2020 "Six-Point Plan," and collaboratively prepare for a variety of fall semester teaching possibilities. The task force has been divided into teams and includes members from various offices and units across the university, with faculty representation on each team.

The task force will also work closely with two other key groups: the Return to Work and Return to Living and Learning Task Forces. Together, these teams will draw from the depth of knowledge and experiences of colleagues and the USD community to advise on priorities, strategies, and logistics and ensure synergy and unified communication of academic planning throughout the university. Our overriding goal is to prioritize the safety and health of our community. As such, we will consider recommendations that maximize opportunities to hold classes in person, hybrid formats, or remote teaching.

Guiding Principles

  • Flatten USD's decision making processes by empowering USD's highly qualified team members to apply their expertise in solving the operational challenges to delivering the Six Point Plan.
  • Apply iterative design techniques (e.g., "lean principles") that rely on real time, data gathering on actions taken, then integrating that data to continuously improve the effectiveness of our subsequent actions.
  • Unify communications between disparate functional expertise. 
  • Enable a temporary hybrid organizational structure focused on efficient project delivery, i.e., operationalizing the Six Point Plan for the Fall (vs. silo-driven, functional hierarchy).


  • Facilitate communication and collaboration among functional teams working across units to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester.
    • Teams are organized around functional objectives and include members from various offices and units across the university.
  • Support preparations for Fall 2020, including both academic and co-curricular programming.
    • Ensure that all groups preparing for Fall 2020 work synergistically and efficiently toward common objectives. Members of the Return to Living/Learning Committee and Return to Work Protocols Committee are included on the functional teams.
A faculty member teaching

Fall 2020 Academic Affairs Implementation Task Force Organizational Planning Teams

  • Communication
  • Curriculum 1: Technology/Scheduling
  • Curriculum 2: Support
  • Health/Safety
  • Return to Living/Learning
  • Student Support 1: Logistics
  • Student Support 2: Academic Advising, Student Success
  • Other Administrative
  • Graduate Assistant, Associate and Vice Deans
  • UG Associate Deans (Teams)
  • Ad Hoc Committees

bold: Team point of contact
# Dual membership
% Return to Work Protocols Committee
* Senator