Old Well, University of North Carolina

A list of “Principles” written by Professor Brandon Bayne of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has begun circulating online over the last few weeks. The In Trust Center reached out directly to Professor Bayne for permission to share his principles more broadly. His “Principles,” though written for university students, can apply equally well to staff, faculty, and even boards of theological institutions.

Particularly helpful are his reminders that “nobody signed up for this” and “the humane option is the best option.”

BRANDON BAYNE
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Spring 2020

Adjusted Syllabus

Principles

1.    Nobody signed up for this

  • Not for the sickness, not for the social distancing, not for the sudden end of our collective lives together on campus.
  • Not for an online class, not for teaching remotely, not for learning from home, not for mastering new technologies, not for varied access to learning materials.

2.    The humane option is the best option

  • We are going to prioritize supporting each other as humans.
  • We are going to prioritize simple solutions that make sense for the most.
  • We are going to prioritize sharing resources and communicating clearly.

3.    We cannot just do the same thing online

  • Some assignments are no longer possible.
  • Some expectations are no longer reasonable.
  • Some objectives are no longer valuable.

4.    We will foster intellectual nourishment, social connection, and personal accommodation

  • Accessible asynchronous content for diverse access, time zones, and contexts.
  • Optional synchronous discussion to learn together and combat isolation.

5.    We will remain flexible and adjust to the situation

  • Nobody knows where this is going and what we’ll need to adapt.
  • Everybody needs support and understanding in this unprecedented moment.