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COVID-19 FAQs - Faculty Section

Updated on April 3, 2020 | 10:45 a.m.

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

Are there any confirmed cases of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) on the University of Wyoming campus?
Four cases have been reported in Albany County as of April 3, but there are no known connections with UW.

 

What is UW doing to help support students, staff and faculty?
In response to Gov. Mark Gordon’s declaration of a statewide emergency on March 13, and in preparation for the likely arrival of COVID-19 in our community, UW has established an incident command structure. This will allow us to respond to the situation most effectively and efficiently. Our primary objective remains keeping faculty, staff and students as healthy, safe and informed as possible and addressing the public health needs of the broader community. Pertinent communication for UW staff, faculty and students will be sent via the official UW communication email system, and any new information will be updated on  www.uwyo.edu/coronavirus.

 

How are classes being handled after spring break?
Beginning March 30, all classes are being delivered remotely, primarily by using WyoCourses, the university online student management system. Faculty have emailed or are emailing students enrolled in their courses with plans for course continuation.

 

When does the semester end?
The spring semester will end as scheduled. The last day of classes is May 8, 2020. Finals week ends May 15, 2020.

 

Will this impact UW’s spring 2020 graduation?
The May commencement ceremonies will not take place on campus as had been scheduled. Instead, the university is making plans for a virtual ceremony, and other options are being developed for UW’s spring 2020 graduates to celebrate their accomplishments.

 

What does a virtual ceremony entail?
Our virtual ceremony will be in the form of a live video streamed May 16, which graduates and families can watch online. For students that opt in, the university will mail a commencement package so that graduates can have a “tassel-turning” moment during the virtual ceremony and take photographs.

 

Will the option for students to choose the Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grading option affect the way I grade?
No. Faculty will continue to record grades using the traditional grading system (A-F). This information will be retained by the Office of the Registrar as the primary or home record. The conversion from traditional grades to “S/U” grades will be completed by the Office of the Registrar.

 

How will I know if my students have requested to change their grading to Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory?
Students will select “S/U” through a form on the Registrar website. For undergraduates, this form requires the approval of both the instructor and the student’s adviser. For graduate students, this form requires the major professor’s approval. As such, faculty will know each of their students who are requesting/considering “S/U” and will be able to educate them appropriately as to the benefits/drawbacks of that choice.


ONLINE INSTRUCTION

How do I get support for moving my class online? 
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 ( uwyo.edu/workteachremote/). 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 regular, up-to-date information on webinars and blog posts that support remote teaching, such as  "Best Practices for Remote Teaching".
  3. 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 ( uwyo.edu/ctl/), see screenshot below.

 

Do I have to use WyoCourses for electronic delivery?
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.

 

What about the impact of COVID-19 on student internships, rotations, practicums and externships?
The university expects that departments are following CDC and institutional guidelines to protect faculty, staff and students from the COVID-19 pandemic. Depending on the nature of your internship requirement, its impact on students’ progress to graduation and preparation for students in their field, departments and colleges/schools may develop policies that are most workable for them. Departments should develop these policies and transparently share them with their students so that they know what is expected of them.

In some cases, additional work online to complete the learning objectives of the internship may be the best solution. For others, a paper on their experience will be the best solution. There will also be cases when a department or college/school should follow the guidance and instructions given by accrediting and licensing bodies that are issued in light of the current COVID-19 situation.

UW strongly discourages changing the number of credit hours earned from an internship, however; this solution would have negative implications for students’ progress to graduation.    

 

Can I require a doctor’s note when a student isn’t participating?
Students should not be expected to provide an official excuse, and instructors should not try to judge the medical merits of students’ explanations. Instructors should work in good faith with the students to find other ways to complete required activity missed due to illness.

  

How do I ensure my materials are accessible to all students?
Academic Affairs has worked with IT and UDSS to develop a student survey that assesses limitations and accessibility of technology (e.g., computer adequacy; network/cellular connections at home; available devices that enable web-based audio and video connections; accessibility tools, technology and services students use during classes; essential software needed for remote access to complete coursework). It can be accessed here:  https://bitly.com/UWyoTechAccess. The survey also asks students if they would like for someone to contact them about their needs for accessibility tools. You should work with Disability Support Services to make sure students’ learning needs are met.

 

How can I ensure students adhere to academic integrity standards in an online environment?
You can explore the use of HonorLock for exams, as well as Respondus to lock down browsers.  Continue to monitor student assignment submissions for integrity, as you normally would.

 

Can I deploy online proctoring software to ensure students don’t cheat during exams?
ECTL has access to HonorLock for online exam proctoring.  Contact ECTL for information.

 

What can I do for students who don’t have laptops or good internet access?
In the event that students do not have internet access, instructors need to work with them to develop alternative approaches for submitting course assignments. This might include submitting work through the physical mail, taking mobile photos of work to be submitted through email, or other alternative methods. Faculty may also work with severely restricted students on receiving an incomplete in the course and finishing work when they are back in a more connected environment. 

Charter’s COVID-19 response includes  free Spectrum Broadband WiFi access to students’ homes for 60 days in homes that do not have existing Spectrum service level up to 100 Mbps. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.

 

Can I hold in-person office hours after spring break? Am I expected to hold office hours?
Office hours should be held virtually. There are tools in WyoCourses that you can use for this purpose, including  ZOOM. Feel free to explore other methods, including Google Hangouts Meet, white board apps, WhatsApp, or other group meeting tools. You can also simply tell students that on your office hour days, you will answer all incoming emails and calls from them during your office hours immediately.

 

My student is requesting an 'Incomplete' because they don't think they can be successful online. Is this an appropriate circumstance?
Yes. A student should then make an explicit agreement with you on what still needs to be completed and by when. You will enter the grade of incomplete at final grade submission time, and you and the student will have 120 days from the date of assignment to complete the work and evaluate it. If this deadline needs to be extended by mutual agreement between you and the student, it can be done so easily. The incomplete grade will not impact their full-time status.

If a student seeks to drop your course, please work with Scholarships and Financial Aid to help the student understand the financial aid implications if it impacts their full-time status.


WORK ARRANGEMENTS

How can I arrange to work from home?
Please speak to your supervisor. Remote work can be helpful in urgent situations, allowing for continuity of operations. For the duration of the COVID-19 issue, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location, faculty and staff are encouraged to explore this option. Work with your supervisor to determine and obtain your technology needs. Because of the anticipated wide use of remote work, employees and managers are not required to complete the university’s Request for Telework approval form. However, managers and employees are encouraged to put the agreement in writing (e.g., email) outlining duration and expectations. And it’s important to note that your arrangement requires vice president approval before it is implemented.

 

I’m a salaried employee who is periodically working remotely. Will my pay be any different?
No, you will receive your normal pay. Please keep in mind that regular paid time off practices continue to apply -- for example, if you take a day off, you should use your vacation time.

 

I’m a temporary lecturer who will be transitioning to an online classroom. How will my pay change?
Your pay will not change after moving to an online classroom environment.

 

What are some resources I can use as a supervisor and/or as an employee to help be successful in a new working-from-home situation?
Supervisors and employees will need to communicate well and be more involved in the daily duties and projects. Conversations will need to include creating a plan for remote work and take into account child care, elder care and possible illness. Please also consider flexibility with regard to work hours. Human Resources has put together a set of resources on LinkedIn Learning -- Remote Working: Setting Yourself and Your Teams Up for Success -- to help you manage during this unique time.

Note: The federal government has passed new legislation regarding leave and the coronavirus. These frequently asked questions are being updated to reflect the new law. Please continue to check back for updates.


HEALTH AND TRAVEL

If I am not feeling well, what should I do?
If you are sick with COVID-19, waiting for a test result on COVID-19 or showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), please stay away from campus, self-isolate and contact your health care provider for care. If you are a full-time benefited employee, you will use the Emergency Leave with Pay time reporting code (a new time code created specifically for this issue) for up to 80 hours consecutively. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter, you should use your paid time off (i.e., sick or vacation), if necessary. Written medical clearance will be required for return to work. You should also go to this site -- https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?UnivofWyoming&layout_id=2 -- and fill out the form so that the university can get in touch with you. You could also email covid19@uwyo.edu to report your status.

 

What if I am not feeling well (e.g., stomach bug) but don’t demonstrate any symptoms of COVID?
Please stay home and seek medical attention, if necessary. In this instance, regular sick time rules apply. 

 

A member of my household has been diagnosed with COVID-19. What should I do? 
If a member of your household is sick with COVID-19, waiting for a test result on COVID-19 or showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath), please stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate until your household member receives medical clearance that the virus is no longer contagious. While you are out of work, and you are a full-time benefited employee, please use the Emergency Leave with Pay time reporting code (a new time code created specifically for this issue) for up to 80 hours consecutively for your self-isolation period. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter, you should use your paid time off (i.e., sick or vacation), if necessary. If your position lends itself to working from an alternative location, please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work.

 

What if I have come in contact with someone who was diagnosed with COVID-19? What should I do?
We ask that you stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days following your last exposure. Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If this is not an option and you are a full-time benefited employee, then use the Emergency Leave With Pay time reporting code for up to 80 hours consecutively (a new time code created specifically for this issue) to cover your time during the self-isolation period. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter, you should use your paid time off (I.e., sick or vacation), if necessary.

 

Per CDC guidelines, I am considered “high risk.” What options are available to me?
Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If remote work is not a possibility, please contact Human Resources to understand what additional options may be available to you. 

 

Per CDC guidelines, a member of my immediate household is considered “high risk.” What options are available to me?
Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If remote work is not a possibility, please contact Human Resources to understand what additional options may be available to you. 

 

I recently returned from a Level 3 country, as designated by the CDC. What should I do?
We ask that you stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days following your return. Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If this is not an option and you are a full-time benefited employee, then use the Emergency Leave With Pay time reporting code for up to 80 hours consecutively (a new time code created specifically for this issue) to cover your time during the self-isolation period. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter, you should use your paid time off (I.e., sick or vacation), if necessary.

 

A member of my household recently returned from a Level 3 country, as designated by the CDC. What should I do?
We ask that you stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days following your return. Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If this is not an option and you are a full-time benefited employee, then use the Emergency Leave With Pay time reporting code for up to 80 hours consecutively (a new time code created specifically for this issue) to cover your time during the self-isolation period. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter, you should use your paid time off (I.e., sick or vacation), if necessary.

 

I recently attended a large event and subsequently learned that one of the attendees tested positive for COVID-19. What should I do?
We ask that you stay away from campus, self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days following the date of the event. Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If this is not an option and you are full-time benefited employee, then use the Emergency Leave With Pay time reporting code for up to 80 hours consecutively (a new time code created specifically for this issue) to cover your time during the self-isolation period. See the Emergency Leave with Pay QRG for entry details. Thereafter you should use your paid time off (I.e., sick or vacation), if necessary.

 

I am uncomfortable going into work, but I’m not currently ill, I haven’t been directly exposed to COVID-19, I have not recently returned from a Level 3 country, I am not considered to be a member of a high-risk group, and I do not have any household members who are high risk. What are my options?
Please speak with your supervisor to explore remote work, if your position lends itself to working from an alternative location. If your position does not lend itself to remote work, you should use your sick leave accruals. UW provides significant paid sick leave accruals for all benefits-eligible faculty and staff. In this situation, current leave policies remain in effect.

 

What travel restrictions are in place at UW?

  1. The university is immediately suspending all institutionally sponsored travel through May 15, unless mission critical and approved by the division vice president.
  2. The university is discouraging booking of travel between May 16 and June 30; if you do have travel planned for this time, you do not have to cancel. The university will reassess in early May whether travel will be allowed or need to be canceled.
  3. Individuals returning from a country currently at a CDC Warning Level 3 status should stay away from campus and self-monitor and self-isolate for 14 days following their return. Employees should coordinate with their vice president to facilitate working remotely if appropriate.

 

Should I consider travel domestically or internationally?
See answer above.


BUSINESS AND OTHER OPERATIONS

I am a hiring manager in the middle of filling an open position. How does the COVID-19 issue affect my ability to fill my opening?
The university has suspended all institutionally sponsored travel; this includes candidate travel. Out of an abundance of caution, the university is also prohibiting on-campus interviews until further notice.  Therefore, you should utilize teleconferencing and other technology tools (e.g., Zoom meetings) to evaluate candidates to fill your open roles so that the search can proceed. Your Human Resources recruiting partner can assist you.

 

How to I pick up my paper check (for a reimbursement and paycheck)?
In-person pickup of paper checks is not available. If you have not set up direct deposit, a paper check will be mailed to you. You can also set up direct deposit in the Financial Management and HCM system, using the quick reference guides below:

 

I am a work-study employee, and I’m worried about supporting myself during COVID-19. How will the university help me? 
Per guidance issued by the federal government, UW can pay students Federal Work Study (FWS) wages for hours that students were scheduled to work but were unable to complete as a result of the coronavirus threat. The Student Financial Aid Office will be communicating to FWS supervisors and students.

 

Are there any areas of FERPA that we need to be aware of as we work remotely?
As the University of Wyoming engages in proactive measures to safeguard all campus community stakeholders, faculty and staff working from home should continue to exercise caution when accessing educational records from a remote location.

Please do not generate documents that include personally identifiable information (PII).

Install Pulse Secure on your computer for VPN access:  www.uwyo.edu/workteachremote/. Call UWIT Help Desk at 307-766-HELP (4357) if assistance is required.

Additionally, remember to preserve the integrity of educational records by minimizing screens and locking your computer when away from your work station.

Additional resources and information from the Department of Education regarding FERPA can be found online at www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html.

Specific Department of Education responses regarding FERPA and PII protections related to actions impacted by COVID-19 are also  available on this web page.

 

Are all campus resources using the same standard hours, or are some allowed to make that call on their own?
The university continues to operate with its regular business hours. Coe Library and the Wyoming Union will be open Monday-Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. These hours are subject to change. Half Acre Recreation and Wellness Center will be closed until further notice. Campus units will seek guidance from their division vice presidents before modifying operations and hours.

 

Will the Lab School be subjected to the same hours/closures as UW?
The UW Lab School is part of  Albany County School District 1 and will follow the schedule directed by the school district.

 

Are mental health resources still available for students or employees who are experiencing a crisis?
Yes. The University Counseling Center offers student counseling services including crisis intervention free of charge to currently enrolled University of Wyoming students. Clinic hours: Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. After-hours crisis hotline: (307) 766-8989. The University will also offer remote counseling support.  For questions, call (307) 766-2187.

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 partners with MINES and Associates of Littleton, Colo., to provide services at no cost to UW employees. Access any of the services by visiting  www.MINESandAssociates.com, or by calling 1-800-873-7138. 

 

I have additional questions about the university’s actions regarding COVID-19, who can I contact?
Please see the university’s COVID-19 web page, which includes several contact numbers. 

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.

 

>> 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:

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