Faculty, Staff & Coronavirus
Last Updated: Aug. 28, 2020
Our ability to slow the spread of COVID-19 on campus this fall and continue to offer in-person classes and the experiences you expect and deserve is up to you. It is up to each of you to take personal responsibility and place the health and safety of everyone above your own preference or comfort.
Yes. We plan to deliver in-person learning in the fall for most classes.
Classes will begin Monday, Aug. 24.
To continue to work remotely, you must have an HR-approved accommodation or flexplace agreement on file.
You are expected to return to your regular work location on the start date of your contract, unless you have an approved flexplace plan.
Months of planning have gone into delivering in-person classes as safely as possible. COVID-19 testing will be available for faculty and staff but is not mandatory. Students will be tested for COVID-19 upon return to the Moscow campus. protocols are in place to isolate any student testing positive until they are healthy to return to the classroom . Masks are required in all university buildings with few exceptions. All faculty, staff and students will be given one cloth mask. Instructors can also request a face shield to be used when teaching. Thermal scanners will take external temperatures of people as they enter some public areas.
Like other university rules, such as no tobacco on campus, instructors can and should educate students about the requirement and then can ask the student not complying with the face mask requirement to leave the classroom. Everyone is required to acknowledge the Healthy Vandal Pledge in VandalWeb which outlines the expectations and requirements of the university.
There may be times that you need to confront members of our community who are not adhering to the Healthy Vandal Pledge. Here is a simple rubric to follow on confronting this behavior.
Step 1. Ask the person to follow the expectations outlined the Healthy Vandals Pledge and request the person correct their behavior in a polite and respectful manner.
Here are some examples of ways to address the behavior:
- The university requires that all individuals on campus maintain appropriate social distancing, especially in classroom settings or in the presence of members of our community who are more susceptible to COVID-19. I need you to please practice proper social distancing to keep our community safe.
- There is a requirement that all community members wear a face covering appropriately to keep us all safe and healthy. I need you to please wear your wear a face covering before continuing to be in this space.
- I am asking you to do this to keep you and our community safe. Will you please wear you face covering?
- I understand that you do not want to miss this class/event/meeting, but for the safety of our community, I cannot let you continue attending this class/event/meeting until you follow the appropriate expectations. How can I help you attend this class/event/meeting safely?
- Can you please wear your face covering and/or maintain appropriate social distancing? All of us need to follow the expectations so we can remain on campus and not have to move to remote instruction. Will you please help keep our community safe and contribute to us being able to stay on campus?
Step 2. Inform the person of the importance of following the expectations in the Healthy Vandals Pledge.
Share resources regarding the safe practices.
- Where can they get face coverings? All students should have received a face covering. If you need a single use face covering, contact email@example.com.
- Where can I pursue accommodations if I have a medical reason to not wear a face covering? CDAR for student accommodations or HR for employee accommodations.
Step 3. When to report.
The health of our community includes healthy confrontation. Issues of non-compliance don’t always have to be reported. Accountability and corrective action are everyone’s responsibility and most of the situations will be resolved amicably. But sometimes we reach a point when reporting the behavior is the best action.
Here are some situations where reporting is appropriate:
- The person has been reminded several times either within a class period or over many days.
- The person has actively refused to comply with the request and responds disrespectfully.
- The person has caused disruption in the educational or work environment.
When you get to this point of reporting, here are somethings to include and keep in mind:
- If possible, follow up with the person privately (either in person or via email) to further determine if there is an issue with using face coverings and first try to to resolve it through conversation.
- It is important to let the person you are addressing know that the behavior in question will be reported either at the point of the conversation or as a follow up email.
- It will be most helpful to have the name of the person you are reporting.
- You are able to report anonymously, but it is better to include your information in case there are follow up questions.
- To report the incident, please file a VandalCARE report. You can report both students and employees here. Employee reports will be sent to Human Resources. Student reports will be sent to the Dean of Students.
Syllabi language has been prepared to help instructors guide classroom behavior. A faculty toolkit will be available soon which will include step-by-step “how to” guidance to confront COVID-19 protocol complaints and troubling behaviors.
This is an agreement delivered electronically through VandalWeb in which all faculty, staff and students are asked to acknowledge you have read and understand the Healthy Vandal protocols and will do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Read the Healthy Vandal Pledge outside of VandalWeb.
The Vandal Pledge is an acknowledgement by employee that you received and are familiar with the university’s protocols set forth in the pledge. The university has an expectation that you will follow these protocols, including the mandatory wearing of face coverings in U of I buildings.
The pledge is not intended to be a waiver of liability.
While instructors are not required to use BbLearn, we do encourage all instructors to establish ways to engage students if there is a need to stay home for a period of time.
All instructors are encouraged to work with students and be as flexible as possible. Everyone is encouraged to stay home if you are sick. Communicate with your supervisor and your students if you need to miss class because you aren’t feeling well, have been potentially exposed or have tested positive for COVID-19. If you are concerned for your health or need assistance from the Provost Office or Human Resources, file a VandalCARE report.
We strongly encourage faculty to follow the CDC recommendation to “stay home when you are sick” but avoid canceling classes when possible. Online teaching resources can be used in such cases. Faculty members must notify their supervisor and use sick leave if they are not able to work.
Your teaching methods should be delivered in collaboration with your dean. While there are some classes that can be taught online, the expectation of our students is that most classes will be delivered in-person or in hyflex.
As many classes as possible will be recorded. Information Technology Services is actively upgrading equipment in classrooms to incorporate recording in as many spaces as possible.
Because we are encouraging everyone to stay home if they are sick, you should work with your students to ensure they are not punished academically for following safety protocols.
Because we cannot feasibly test all students returning after Fall Break and many people travel over the holiday, we will move to online/remote delivery after the break. Classes will resume Monday, Nov. 30, using remote delivery systems. Campus will remain open and students wishing to return to campus may do so.
Final exams will be delivered through online/remote systems.
Yes. Face coverings are required inside all university buildings statewide. Face coverings include cloth masks, bandanas, scarves or any other material that covers the nose and mouth. Face coverings must also be worn outside when social distancing of at least 6 feet is not sustainable.
Face shields are an option for instructors. Face shields should be put on after reaching the front of the classroom and establishing a 6-foot distance from any student. Instructors should switch to a face covering before leaving the front of the room.
If you are not feeling well, you should stay home. Contact a medical professional if necessary, or file a VandalCARE report for additional assistance.
Testing is available to faculty and staff but is not required. You can sign up online for a test time.
You will be contacted by Idaho Public Health to begin the contact tracing process. You should isolate at home and follow the instructions of your physician and Idaho Public Health. File a VandalCARE Report to notify HR, should you need access to resources.
Testing of faculty and staff is voluntary and is provided by U of I’s COVID testing program on the Moscow campus. Also, testing is covered by your University of Idaho insurance through Blue Cross of Idaho for all participating U of I employees.
U of I is installing thermal scanners at the entrance of some public areas. Protocols for use of these machines is being developed. More information will be available in the coming weeks.
U of I has a contact tracing team working in conjunction with Idaho Public Health. At this time no app has been identified to help in this effort. If this changes, you will be notified.
The university has the legal right to relieve an employee from duty for a variety of reasons, including illness. In some situations, this can present unintended consequences for the employee’s pay, so requiring employee to go home is not encouraged. Supervisors should encourage employees to voluntarily stay home if they are sick. We all have a role to play in keeping our university community healthy.
A COVID-19 Telework form is available in VandalWeb Web Time Entry to allow users to enter telework hours caused by the disruption of COVID-19. You should report all telework for tracking purposes — up to eight hours per day. This is necessary in the event that federal or state funding becomes available that could help ease the financial burden of COVID-19. This code has no effect on pay for faculty and exempt staff.
Events will be allowed, although they may look different. Each event application must be accompanied by a plan for proper social distancing, face coverings, if necessary, and any other safety protocols. All requests will be reviewed and allowed if they fit the guidelines of the state and the university.
The Big Sky has postponed all fall sports.
Yes. Thermal scanners have been installed at the entrance to the food court. If your temperature is too high to enter, Grab-and-go options are available. Seating is limited and face coverings should be worn except when actively eating.
Regular cleaning of all public areas, including classrooms, will be a priority. But staffing and supply constraints won’t allow cleaning between every class. Cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer will be available in all classrooms and many other areas and you are encouraged to use them.
Yes. Cleaning schedules have been increased for public areas. You should practice regular handwashing, using hand sanitizer and cleaning your workspace to help prolong the effects of professional cleaning.
Yes. Hand sanitizer will be available in many locations. The sanitizer being used is more liquid than you may be accustomed to. This sanitizer is safe for its intended purpose. If at any time you have questions or concerns about the university’s response to COVID-19, your safety or the safety of others, please file a VandalCARE Report.
After significant consideration and research of best practices ITS requests that foam covers not be cleaned. Instructors are encouraged to not touch the foam cover.
- The flat, plastic surfaces of the microphone apparatus can be cleaned including the transmitter/battery box and the microphone clip just by wiping them down with disinfectant.
- Cleaning or touching the foam cover is not necessary to attach or use the microphone. Instead, grasp the microphone clip to attach it to your shirt.
- Use the clip to attach the main ‘box’ to your belt or other convenient location.
Microphones in ITS-managed rooms (about 30 of the 84 rooms have wireless microphones) have been upgraded and have excellent sound capture. They do not need to be clipped anywhere near the instructor’s mouth — middle of the shirt, sternum level, works well. Other microphones should be located in a location that sufficiently amplifies the voice.
There are many touch points in the classroom for the instructor. Alcohol wipes or spraying disinfectant onto a paper towel is a good way to wipe down the lavalier, the keyboard, mouse, lectern surface, touch panel, monitor (if they need to adjust its position) and other surfaces.
- How do I use a wireless microphone in an equipped multimedia classroom?
- What technology is in classroom spaces on the Moscow campus?
Please contact ITS Classroom Technology Services for additional information.