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Spring Semester - Faculty FAQs

Updated on December 16, 2020 | 1:15 p.m.

Faculty FAQ Table of Contents


All students and employees are required to be tested upon returning to campus or work. Individuals will receive a notification prior to their return to campus or work to schedule on-campus testing via the university’s in-house Surveillance Testing Program.

Once on campus, all students, faculty, and staff will be required to abide by the COVID-19 Policy, including but not limited to the following:

  • Wear a mask or face covering (e.g., cloth that covers both nose and mouth) while on university-owned property or when conducting university business or activities, including instruction and research. The university will follow its normal processes and procedures for any exceptions to this requirement.
  • Conduct a daily temperature and symptom check and self-report the results to the COVID Pass prior to entering university-owned property or conducting university business or activities, including instruction and research. As with the wearing of masks or face coverings, the university will follow its normal processes and procedures for any exceptions to this requirement. Additionally, the university will provide ADA-compliant masks/face shields upon request.
  • Immediately report symptoms that might indicate COVID-19 to Student Health Service, Employee Health or a health care provider, self-quarantine, and submit to a COVID-19 test.
  • Comply with social distancing guidelines.
  • Comply with all posted social distancing markers and navigational signs.
  • Limit gatherings based on CDC, federal, state and county guidelines with the goal of reducing risk. UW guidelines will change as CDC, federal, state and county guidelines develop.
  • Carefully consider the consequences of nonessential personal travel on the UW community. Nonessential personal travel is highly discouraged.
  • Seek approval from a vice president before embarking on institutionally sponsored travel outside of Wyoming (must be deemed mission critical). The travel policy will be updated regularly.

Compliance with these requirements is critical to the university community and will help to support UW’s goal to restart the campus for teaching, learning and working. Noncompliance with these requirements compromises that goal and increases chance of disease transmission. Incidents of noncompliance for employees will be managed through the employee handbook and “corrective action” policies and procedures.

On-campus students: For students planning to move into UW residence halls, testing will be required the morning of their move-in date. Students will be allowed to move into their residence hall but must comply with a “limited contact period” from Jan. 14 through Jan. 31.

Off-campus students: For students living off campus who plan to participate in on-campus activities, testing will be required the first week of classes, beginning Jan. 25. It is strongly recommended that students complete their first of two required tests early in the week. Students will receive a notification prior to the start of classes to schedule a testing appointment on campus.

Early-returning students: Students who return early to campus for university-sanctioned activities are required to test upon arrival. An online form to opt in to early testing is available on the Testing Resources webpage.

Returning employees: For employees who are returning to work after being away from campus, testing will be required the week prior to their return to on-campus work. Employees must ensure that their status is updated in HCM and will receive a notification prior to their return to schedule a testing appointment on campus. Individuals returning directly after Winter Closure Jan. 4 will test during that week and should self-isolate as much as possible until a negative test result has been received.

Distance learners: Students who will not be returning to campus at any time during the semester will not be required to participate in the UW testing program. However, these students will need to receive a testing exemption via Student Affairs.

Remote employees: Employees who plan to work from home and will not return to campus at any time during the semester will not be required to participate in the UW testing program. However, these employees will need to receive a testing exemption via Human Resources.

Self-isolated employees: Self-isolated employees who plan to work on campus but are able to fully self-isolate will not be required to participate in the UW testing program. Employees should contact their supervisor to determine whether they meet UW’s definition of self-isolated, which is determined in consultation with Human Resources.

Here is the schedule approved Dec. 16 by the UW Board of Trustees:

Jan. 14, 2021 -- “Limited contact period” for students begins

Jan. 21, 2021 -- First day of classes -- all classes delivered online.

Jan. 25, 2021 -- Face-to-face classes begin.

Jan. 31, 2021 -- “Limited contact period” for students ends.

Feb. 15, 2021 -- Presidents Day -- university holiday, no classes.

March 22, 2021 -- Face-to-face classes continue, but online delivery option available for all.

March 31-April 4, 2021 -- Spring Break, no classes.

April 5, 2021 -- All classes convert to online delivery.

May 7, 2021 -- Study day.

May 10-14, 2021 -- Final exams (online)

All students (including recognized student organizations) who intend to participate in on-campus activities and who cannot socially distance must comply with a “limited contact period” Jan. 14-31, regardless of when they return. “Limited contact period” involves the following:

Students may participate in class, work and worship engagements and are permitted to be outside to exercise and get fresh air.

Student-athletes may participate in practices and competitions if they meet Athletic Department requirements.

Students must limit contact to people on the same floor in residence halls, living in   the same residence/apartment, or living in the same fraternity or sorority. When contact is necessary, practice social distancing by maintaining 6 feet of separation from other people.

Limited access to the Wyoming Union, Half Acre Gym, Libraries or other on-campus resources (resources may be accessed virtually).

Students must limit contact with others in Washakie Dining Center and eat meals in their room.

Students must always wear a face covering, except in spaces where self-isolation is possible (e.g., Residence Hall room, office, etc.).

Students must participate in testing when required.

Additionally, students and employees are expected to follow CDC guidance after returning from winter break: “You may have been exposed to COVID-19 on your travels. You may feel well and not have any symptoms, but you can still spread the virus to others. You and your travel companions (including children) may pose a risk to your family, friends and community after your travel. Consider getting tested with a viral test 3–5 days after your trip, and reduce non-essential activities for a full 7 days after travel, even if your test is negative. If you don’t get tested, consider reducing nonessential activities for 10 days.”

The intent is to reduce the risk inherent with students leaving campus during the semester, then returning from other locations where the coronavirus may be prevalent.

For the first 10 weeks of the semester, a combination of online and face-to-face learning with online components will be offered to allow for greatest flexibility and to provide students with the in-person experience where feasible.

Face-to-face: We anticipate a significant portion of the classes this spring will have a face-to-face component. These in-person classes will continue to be held in classrooms that are arranged to meet social distancing requirements, which means there could be alternating days when students attend face-to-face and when they complete assignments virtually.

Hybrid/HyFlex: A portion of courses will include a mix of face-to-face synchronous, remote synchronous, and remote asynchronous online instruction.

Fully online: The remaining courses will be fully online classes that are either synchronous where students are required to be online, often via Zoom, on a specific day or time; or asynchronous, where students are given deadlines for assignments and they complete them at their own pace.

Yes. Daily COVID Pass health screening will help the UW community identify signs of COVID and support students, staff and faculty in taking timely action. This daily self-reporting tool is a responsive website accessible by smartphones or computers. COVID Pass uses the current CDC symptom list to ask members of the UW community if they are experiencing symptoms and then generates a pass or fail regarding for coming onto campus that day. There is no cost to students, faculty or staff. Detailed instructions for using COVID Pass can be found on WyoWeb under the COVID Information tab.

Each day, each student, staff and faculty member will be expected to take their own temperature and, using the health monitoring tools (such as COVID Pass), and complete a brief health screening that checks for COVID-19 symptoms. Detailed instructions for using COVIDPass can be found on WyoWeb under the COVID Information tab.

Faculty and advisers will work with students for online learning opportunities. Every student will be offered a combination of online and face-to-face learning to allow the greatest flexibility.


The university will provide central resources and support for its faculty and researchers while also allowing for decentralized and flexible decision making at the college and unit level. Flexibility and efficiency are critical to teaching and student success. Decisions in appropriate areas must remain fluid and based on the dynamics of the virus, new information, and other important factors.

With guidance from the Office of Academic Affairs and College Deans, begin departmental planning now. Unit heads may use the decision tree and planning tools developed to support their decision-making for course assignment and delivery.

Units will classify their fall 2020 offerings as those that:

  • Must be taught entirely face-to-face.
  • Can be taught entirely online in either a synchronous or an asynchronous manner.
  • Have some components that can be taught online and some that must be taught face-to-face (mixed).
  • Can be broken into one small face-to-face class and one (typically large) online class with students in the online class participating through synchronous simulcasting.
  • Can be taught on a rotating face-to-face basis, where a portion of the class meets face-to-face, with different students participating face-to-face on different days of the week, and the other students learning synchronously online.

Regarding course delivery mode, faculty members are encouraged to talk with colleagues, department heads and the ECTL to determine the most appropriate delivery mode for each faculty member and each class. While every effort is being made to determine a reliable list of delivery modes for each class at this time, if the environment around the pandemic changes, deans and department heads will engage faculty in further conversation about whether any designated delivery modes should change.

Academic Affairs is shooting for maximum flexibility. If conditions emerge that make it more amenable to teach online, then the faculty may do so (but should probably consult their students and department head and dean, too.)

Besides working with colleagues in your academic unit, your unit head and support groups from your college, the Ellbogen Center for Teaching and Learning has begun to mobilize its staff and resources to support all faculty teaching online. Resources from the ECTL include:

  1. In partnership with Information Technology (IT), ECTL has created a website for teaching and working remotely. There, links to general tips for moving online are provided, as well as specific information about using many of the tools available to instructional faculty and teaching assistants. 
  2. ECTL will provide multiple intensive boot-camps to instructional faculty and teaching assistants to guide them through redesigning their courses.
  3. ECTL will provide regular, up-to-date information on webinars and blog posts that support remote teaching, such as  "Best Practices for Remote Teaching".
  4. The faculty and staff at the ECTL, who are well versed in online teaching, are available for individual consultations. Please fill out this form to  request a consultation. This form is also on the ECTL website.

Yes, all key course documents must be posted in your WyoCourses course shell. If you use additional online resources, such as those from book publishers, you should provide the link to those resources in your WyoCourses course shell.


These will be placed strategically around campus and maintained by UW Operations so that each building will have at least one station. Each department will be given a welcome-back–to-campus package of hand sanitizer, cleaning supplies and disposable face coverings. Each student and employee will be sent a welcome package with two cloth face coverings, hand sanitizer, a thermometer and a safety guide. Areas of specific concern for a department will need to be handled by the department.

Hand sanitizer and face covering stations will be placed around campus and refilled centrally. Individual units will receive a hand sanitizer bottle to place within their work area. Each unit will also receive a spray bottle with Operations-approved cleaning spray and paper towels to do additional cleaning as needed within a unit. The welcome-back unit packages and individual student/employee packages are being provided centrally.

Operations staff will disinfect and clean all classrooms. Additionally, each classroom with an occupancy of over 10 students will have a sanitization station for additional as-needed surface sanitizing.

Operations staff will clean all offices, including the daily wiping down of high-touch surfaces such as phones, keyboards and doorknobs. Additionally, each building and department will have a sanitization station with sanitizer and paper towels.

A bulk sneeze guard order has been placed. Sneeze guards will be distributed based on responses from a campuswide survey. Departments will be responsible for assembling their guards after they are delivered. Assembly should be easy; however, if you need assistance, please contact Operations.

Operations is asking each department to do their best with their communal spaces. These include lobby areas, break rooms, lounge spaces, study rooms, meeting rooms, etc. Off-site furniture storage is not an option in anything other than extreme circumstances. Configure furniture to provide 6-foot physical distancing. Departments needing assistance with moving larger items can put in a work order with Operations

Some suggestions for dealing with extra furniture are:

  • Push it to the side and place it in a way that it can’t be used.
  • Leave it in place and label it as not for use.
  • Move it to smaller conference rooms that are no longer useful given the 6-foot guidelines.

Operations will determine where and when one-way traffic flow, "stay right" signs, and single entry/exit points are appropriate. Please do not change traffic flow or put up signs without talking to Operations first.

Operations staff will install COVID-related signage in each building.

Operations follows CDC guidelines for increasing outside air ventilation where forced-air equipment exists. MERV13a filtration is installed on most UW outside air systems.

Operations staff is signing each classroom and setting up seating configurations to maximize occupancy per the reopening plan.

UW will implement adaptable and responsive work schedules and plans. Each vice president and dean, in consultation with Human Resources, will create adaptable staffing plans (remote work and flexible work schedules) that are guided by university policy and state and federal employment law. Plans must be submitted to HR no later than July 15 for implementation in August. These plans will be temporary and will not constitute permanent working schedules and conditions. Plans should reduce density in the workplace, minimize exposure, and meet the needs of faculty and staff who have, or live with someone who has, a condition that places them in a high-risk category.

Additional requirements for teaching and learning environments include:

  • Ensuring ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air to classrooms.
  • Ensuring that student and employee groupings are as static as possible and limit mixing between groups.

HR will:

  • Support UW leadership to develop and implement work schedules and methods that promote low-density environments.
  • Examine and revise policies for leave, remote work and flexible work schedules while ensuring compliance with state and federal laws, including EEOC and the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Ensure compliance with evolving COVID-19 federal regulations.
  • Provide guidance for new employees with no sick leave.
  • Assist managers and supervisors with adherence to the COVID-19 Policy and advise when corrective action may be required for their employees.
  • Ensure employees who return to work after COVID-19 infection or exposure are cleared to do so by a health care provider and the Wyoming Department of Health.
  • Provide managers and supervisors with the tools required to track attendance and expenses associated with COVID-19 related absenteeism.
  • Provide guidelines to allow remote work for individuals who are in high risk categories or who reside with, or care for, others in high-risk categories.


Travel will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and any approval or denial for travel will be based on current guidance from the CDC and the Wyoming Department of Health. Currently, essential in-state travel is not restricted. However, UW employees are expected to follow UW protocols when conducting university business, research, teaching and extension activities. For institutionally sponsored travel outside of Wyoming, staff and faulty must seek approval from their respective Vice President before embarking on the travel. In addition, the travel must be deemed mission critical. It is most important for employees to carefully consider the consequences of non-essential personal travel on the UW and greater Laramie community. If you can refrain from traveling, you should.


Yes, The University of Wyoming offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides benefited employees and their household members with professional counseling, as well as legal and financial assistance. UW now partners with Deer Oaks, a nationally recognized EAP agency, to provide services at no cost to UW employees. Participation in the EAP is voluntary and strictly confidential. Employees can choose to meet face to face or access professional assistance online or by telephone, 24/7. Deer Oaks provides a network of licensed psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed professional counselors, certified alcohol counselors, master's level therapists and certified employee assistance professionals. For additional information or a referral to a provider located nearest you please call EAP toll-free at 1-888-993-7650. 

Your medical insurance provider Cigna also has many resources for emotional and physical health you can use. Go to the MyCigna website for details. There are wellness topics on sleep, stress, heart health, diabetes, emotional health, smoking cessation, and respiratory health.  Your Cigna insurance also has a basic level of additional EAP resources for you to use. Emotional Health and Family Support. Learn how to manage stress, address depression and anxiety, cope with illness, and adjust to life challenges. Also, get help with marriage and relationship issues.

The Wyoming on Wellness website (part of CIGNA) has a variety of behavioral and physical wellness resources and incentives you can utilize.  Prevail is an on-demand coaching and mental health coaching program, Happify is a set of activities and games that can help with emotional, well-being and how you see the world.

Wyoming Health Fairs has a variety of services such as Health Coaching, Wellness Challenges, Biometric Screenings, and low cost screenings. Some of their services are free and others do have a fee.

LinkedIn learning has trainings that can help managers with a wide variety of supervisory techniques.

Other FAQs

In this time of uncertainty, we’re dedicated to helping answer your questions based on the latest information regarding the COVID-19 (novel coronavrius) pandemic.


>> COVID-19 Vaccine FAQs

>> Surveillance Testing Program FAQs

>> Quarantine and Isolation Housing FAQs

>> Student FAQs

>> Staff FAQs

>> Faculty FAQs

Additional Health Information

UW’s interdepartmental task force is diligently monitoring events worldwide to try and anticipate and prepare for potential changes. Here are some essential resources for global travel alerts and warnings to visit before you travel abroad:



Contact Info

Contact UW’s COVID-19 Response Team by calling  (307) 766-COVD (2683) or emailing

1000 E. University Ave. Laramie, WY 82071
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