Faculty, Staff & Coronavirus
Last Updated: June 12, 2020
Our dedicated faculty and staff continue to provide instruction, research, support and service to the state. The safety of our Vandal Family is the top priority as we return to in-class instruction and working in our regular work locations.
Beginning Monday, June 15, U of I employees will begin a phased approach to returning to the workplace. If you can continue to work effectively from home, you may consider doing so, with the approval of your supervisor. If you feel you should remain working from home after Friday, July 3, you should talk to your supervisor and fill out the Work Flexibility Arrangements application to begin the accommodation or flexplace process.
We will use a phased approach as we return to our regular work locations. You should work with your supervisor to determine the best time for you to return to your regular work location. No paperwork is needed for workplace adjustment until Monday, July 6. Human Resources will help route any requests for accommodations or flexplace work. Fill out the form to begin the process. Beginning July 6 approved documentation of a change in work location must be on file.
All faculty, staff and students are required to wear a face covering inside U of I buildings any time another person is present. This includes hallways, public areas, classrooms and other locations. It may exclude private offices or rooms in which you are alone or in work spaces where at least six feet distance can be maintained. Face coverings are not required outside, if social distancing can be maintained.
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 guidelines and will do your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This will be available by Monday, July 6.
Any faculty, staff or student can be asked to leave the room if not wearing a face covering. Student non-compliance should be reported to the Dean of Students Office, and faculty or staff non-compliance should be reported to their supervisor.
While disciplinary action is not the goal of the requirement to wear face coverings, repeated non-compliance could result in disciplinary action including termination.
The university is implementing many practices and procedures to keep our entire Vandal Family as safe as possible. Plexiglass has been installed in some customer service areas. Each unit will receive a cleaning kit including:
- Box of disposable masks
- Box of disposable gloves
- Bottle of hand sanitizer
- Spray bottle with disinfectant concentrate (department will have to add water)
- Roll of paper towels
If your class is scheduled to have an in-person component, you are expected to deliver your class in this way. If you believe you should have an accommodation or flexplace work plan, you should talk to your supervisor and fill out the
We strongly encourage faculty to follow the CDC recommendation to “stay home when you are sick” but avoid canceling classes when possible. Faculty members must notify their supervisor and use sick leave if they are not able to work.
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.
To assist faculty and staff in setting up technology to have the most success in working from home, Information Technology Services has created a set of recommendations and associated instructions for existing technology and new options specifically intended to address unique challenges of remote work. Accessing the recommendations and instructions will require you to log in with your U of I credentials.
Please carefully read and follow the instructions, including additional information in linked documents. It is possible that there will be issues with technology as we all work through this new paradigm. If you have issues during setup and use, submit a ticket at support.uidaho.edu or contact your TSP or Local Support personnel as you normally would.
Yes. Buildings are closed but can be accessed with key or keycard for the purpose of delivering instruction. Social distancing must be used.
ITS has laptops, iPads, webcams and headsets available for check-out to help you deliver classes remotely. Please consider your proximity to internet access when determining your plans for classes.
It is acceptable for faculty to change syllabi to accommodate online delivery. Everyone is asked to be flexible and communicate changes clearly to students.
Research activities at a university facility may continue if they are related to:
- Animal care (for both teaching and research animals);
- Maintaining the integrity of research facilities, specimens and data;
- Actions necessary to maintain ongoing research, but only to the extent that the action can’t be delayed and failure to take the action will result in material loss of research already performed or undue harm to human subjects;
- Research related to COVID-19.
All continued access to labs and research sites must be approved by your dean or the vice president of research and economic development.
Additional technology resources are available for families without internet services. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released an agreement stating providers will waive late fees, will not cut off service for lack of payment and will open hot spots.
- Comcast: Comcast is offering an internet essentials package for free. Sign up for a free internet essentials package for 60 days.
- Spectrum: Spectrum is offering free internet access for students as well as free internet for 60 days to households with K-12 or college students who don’t already have a Spectrum subscription. Call 1-844-488-8395 to enroll.
- Charter: Charter is offering free internet for two months.
- AT&T: AT&T will offer open hot spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10 per month plans to low-income families.
- Verizon: Verizon does have special offers but is following the FCC agreement.
- Sprint: Sprint is following the FCC agreement, and is providing unlimited data to existing customers. They have also allowed all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
- T-Mobile: T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement, as well as offering unlimited data to existing customers. Soon, they will allow all handsets to enable hot spots for 60 days at no extra charge.
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 this is not encouraged at this time. The real underlying question is:
Should a supervisor send an employee who appears to be sick home against their will?
At our current risk level for COVID-19, the university is encouraging employees to voluntarily “stay home when you are sick.” If a supervisor believes an employee is sick, and believes the employee should be relieved from duty, that supervisor needs to contact their HR business partner to discuss the specifics of the case before making a final determination. As our risk level escalates, this answer may change.
A COVID-19 Telework is available in VandalWeb Web Time Entry to enter telework cause by the disruption of COVID-19. You should report all telework for tracking purposes -- up to eight hours per hour 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.
No, RAs or TAs do not need to report telework.
No, ST, SF, SI do not report telework.
Go to VandalWeb, then Employees, then Payroll, then Webtime Entry/Supervisor Approval.
Click on “time sheet” and pick “COVID-19 Telework EX FAC” and enter the hours worked, up to eight hours, to account for a full day.
No, The state is requiring the university to report the amount of work done from home as the result of the COVID-19 stay-at-home order issued by the governor. This is part of the state’s attempt to track the costs of the Covid-19 pandemic. The state wants to calculate the amount of each employee’s bi-weekly salary is allocated to working from home because of COVID-19. The university’s means for reporting to the state lie in our Timeslips reporting and Banner accounting systems. These systems are based on eight-hour days and 40-hour weeks for exempt employees and will not support entry of more than 80 units per payroll period for any exempt employee. A timesheet with more than 80 hours reported for the pay period will be rejected by the system, resulting in no check being issued by the system. It is not practical for the state or the university to create a new or separate reporting system solely for this reporting which we anticipate will be for a finite period of time.
Please use eight hours in a day and 40 hours in a week as representative units of measure of the percentage of your working time done from home, with eight hours for a day equaling a full day of work (however long it may have been) and 40 hours in each week as the equivalent of the full week.
Pass/Fail and Withdrawals
After May 1, faculty will have access to the Final Grade Worksheet in VandalWeb. For students who have opted in to pass/fail grading, faculty will only have options to record a P or F for that student. Please note there is no option for a D under the emergency grade policy when students opt into the P/F grading for a class. For students who have not opted in to pass/fail grading, faculty will only have the option to record a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F).
No, the course instructor will record the grade. For students who have opted in to pass/fail grading, faculty will only have options to record a P or F for that student. For students who have not opted in to pass/fail grading, faculty will only have the option to record a letter grade (A, B, C, D or F).
The standard practice is to record Ds and Fs for students taking a class P/F. The emergency grading policy allows for a P/F option without the inclusion of D in the grading results. This may cause confusion for faculty and students. It is important for each instructor to clearly define what constitutes a passing grade and what constitutes a failing grade. Discuss with your department chair if you have specific questions about program- or major-specific course requirements.
Yes, a passing grade will fulfill this requirement.
Yes. The limit for the number of courses a student can take as pass/fail is 12 credits. However, courses taken as pass/fail for Spring 2020 will NOT count toward those limits.
Also, under normal circumstances, a student cannot opt in to pass/fail grading for general education courses, major courses, and distribution requirements. However, those restrictions are lifted for Spring 2020, and any course taken as pass/fail will count toward general education, major courses, and distribution requirements.
The limits in the current policy (see sections B-11-a and B-11-b of the 2019-2020 Catalog) will be in full force for all semesters outside those affected by the COVID-19.
Yes, the limit is 21 credits for undergraduates. However for the Spring 2020 semester, withdrawals for students will not count toward these limits.
Each course instructor will determine what constitutes a passing grade and what constitutes a failing grade and will communicate this information to students.
The International Programs Office is sending out information to all students who were in a study abroad program for Spring 2020. Have your student reach out to IPO for additional information
Transcripts will be notated to indicate the courses/semester that were affected by COVID-19. Therefore, whether a student opts in to pass/fail grading or not, their transcript will show that these courses and grades occurred during the COVID-19-affected semester.
First, be sure to remind the student that it is up to their instructor as to what constitutes a P versus F grade.
- Advise them to get clarity on a class-by-class basis before making a decision.
- Let them know they need to be mindful of how their GPA could be affected. If they are attempting to increase their GPA, switching to pass/fail will not help them do that.
- If they think they might transfer to another institution, their pass/fail courses may not transfer.
- Some professional certifications may require a certain grade in particular courses, so the student should review any policies before opting in to pass/fail grading.
- Be sure to check with your department chair for any other program- or major-specific issues that students may need to know.
If a student drops below 12 credits (undergraduates) or 9 credits (graduate students), this may have current and future financial aid consequences, impact current and future NCAA eligibility for student athletes, have implications for VA students and impact degree progress. It’s important for students contact financial aid before making this choice. Students will not get a refund if they withdraw from the course or from the semester. Students may appeal through the Administrative Hearing Board. Read more about refund and fees.
A pass grade will not affect a student’s GPA, but a fail grade will count as an F and will thus affect the student’s GPA in a significant way. Therefore, it will be important to have student grades as complete as you can by May 1 so students can make an informed choice among the three options they have.
Students in ROTC programs should reach out to their ROTC advisor prior to opting in to pass/fail grading or withdrawing. Student-athletes should check with Student Athlete Support Services prior to making any changes.