FAQs for Instructional Faculty-Fall 2020

(click on the link above for a pdf version of this information)
  • Helpful Links
  • Classroom and Building Preparations
  • Screening, Testing, Tracing
  • Instruction and Instructor Pre-term Activities
  • Classroom Management
  • Other Questions


Helpful Links:

UK’s Playbook for Reinvented Operations

Senate Academic Policies: https://www.uky.edu/universitysenate/fall-2020-academic-policies-respons...

Resumption of Research Plan: https://www.research.uky.edu/resources/uk-resumption-research-plan

Fall 2020 Academic Calendar: https://www.uky.edu/registrar/fall-2020-semester

Screening, Testing, and Tracing: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/do-your-part

Supervisor Resources: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/employees

Course Delivery Modality FAQs: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/academics/course-delivery-modality-faqs

Counseling: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/counseling

Campus Operations FAQs: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/campus/campus-faqs

International Center FAQ: https://international.uky.edu/isss/campus-restart-international-faq

Technology Support for Faculty: https://teachanywhere.uky.edu/

Employee FAQs: https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/employees/employee-faqs


Classroom and Building Preparations:

1. Q. What provisions have been made to prepare classrooms and buildings for a safe return to campus?
A. Many provisions for a safe return to campus have been made, such as classroom re-configuration, hand-sanitizer stations, and new signage. For a complete list of preparations that are being made, go to the Playbook (link above), pages 109-116.
2. Q. Maintaining 6 ft physical distance cannot be maintained in elevators, hallways, stairways, or near classroom doorways during class change times. How is this to be managed?
A. Maintenance of 6 ft physical distance is the goal. Always try to keep 6 ft of space between yourself and others, but in circumstances in which this is not possible, it is even more important that everyone utilizes a properly fitted, clean facial covering.  For more information on face coverings, go to https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/do-your-part/mask. 
3. Q. Who is responsible for cleaning classrooms and other instructional areas (laboratories, studios) between classes?
A. Although Facilities will do a thorough cleaning of all classrooms and other common areas daily, cleaning of classroom spaces will be a shared responsibility by all members of the University community. Over 1000 cleaning kits have been distributed throughout campus, including for use in classrooms.
4. Q. Are hand sanitizing stations now installed throughout campus?
A. Yes, you will now find hand sanitizers at the main entrances of all campus buildings and in/around all elevators.
5. Q. Have facilities been set aside if students must be quarantined?
A. Yes, beds are available for quarantining at the University Inn and 441 Rose. Additional outlets are also being identified.

Screening, Testing, Tracing:

6. Q. Will all returning students be tested either prior to, or near the beginning of, the fall semester?
A. Yes, all returning students, undergraduate, graduate, and professional, will be viral tested. For details regarding student testing, test sites, and other requirements, please contact the UK Health Corps at 218-SAFE or healthcorps@uky.edu.
7. Q. Will viral testing be required for faculty and staff returning to an on-site work location?
A. No, UK faculty and staff are not required to take a test prior to returning to their on-site work location. However, daily symptom checks and self-attestation will be performed with a screening tool. Employee testing for those who plan to work on campus will be made available. For additional questions regarding testing, contact the UK Health Corps at 218-SAFE or healthcorps@uky.edu.
8. Q. I tested positive for COVID but am feeling fine after a week following diagnosis. May I return to the classroom?
A. No, it's important to follow the guidelines implemented by the Health Corps for reintroduction into the workplace. Contact UK Health Corps at 218-SAFE or healthcorps@uky.edu.
9. Q. How will faculty or students be notified when a student in our class tests positive or must self-isolate?
A. When a student tests positive, they will work with contact tracers (either from UK Health Corps or the health department) to identify others who may have potentially been exposed. Students will be encouraged to inform their instructors of their required absence but contact tracers will only contact faculty if they have potentially been exposed.
10. Q. In the event of virus exposure or COVID-positive diagnosis, how will contacts be traced?
A. The University has built out a case management team as part of the UK Health Corps, who will handle all COVID-related tracing and help at health-related events throughout campus, in collaboration with the health department. https://www.uky.edu/coronavirus/health-and-safety/testing-tracing-and-qu...
11. Q. Is daily screening (symptom check) via mobile app a requirement for faculty members, TAs, and PTIs?
A. The daily screening is required of all employees who work on campus. It's important to complete this daily report, even on days you don't anticipate being on campus. If you have recorded your work location as remote in SAP and comply with that work location, then you need not complete the daily screening. For additional information on the screening app, contact UK Health Corps at 218-SAFE or healthcorps@uky.edu.
12. Q. What if I forget to do my daily symptom check via my mobile app?
A. We very much hope that this becomes just a normal, less than a one-minute daily habit, but it's inevitable that faculty and others will sometimes forget. You will be sent reminders via text and email. Consider these reminders as “compliance nudging.” No non-compliance report will be issued until the third successive workday, so an occasional missed self-report is inconsequential. But please remember that this is mainly about modeling good behavior that we expect from others.
13. Q. To whom does the daily report go when an instructor-of-record completes the daily attestation screening?
A. To the chair/director of the unit in which the person holds their primary assignment.
14. Q. Will the daily online wellness screening (attestation) approach be used in any way as a "Campus Pass"?
A. No. The daily symptom check is to serve as a daily reminder to be vigilant for COVID symptoms.
15. Q. If I am still planning to work mainly from home due to my courses being online or hybrid, how do I record my workstation?
A. Each faculty member needs to enter his/her work location (even if home address) in the Employee Self-Service tab of myUK (Personal Information>Personal Profile>Addresses>Add+>Remote Work Address).
16. Q. Will faculty absences brought about by COVID infection or quarantine be covered under UK's Temporary Disability Leave policy?
A. Yes. For full-time, benefit-bearing faculty, the TDL policy may be found here:  
Note that the first 10 days of approved leave is at the discretion of the chair/director, the next 10 days' leave is at the discretion of the dean. TDL over 20 days, up to a maximum of 6 months, is at the Provost's discretion. This TDL covers personal illness of the faculty employee but note that up to 30 days' leave may be granted for care of a qualified family member. In this unprecedented time in UK's history, TDL has been extended beyond actual illness of the faculty employee to any circumstance requiring quarantining in situations in which the faculty member cannot work remotely while in quarantine due to the nature of his/her work assignment (e.g., patient care; laboratory-based research; field extension work).  
There is not a temporary disability leave policy for part-time instructors and teaching assistants. Part-time instructors and teaching assistants should consult with their departments and colleges for any questions on COVID-related leave.
17. Q Will faculty who become ill with COVID-19 be covered by workers' compensation, regardless if they are working regularly on campus or not?
A. All UK employees are already covered by the KY Workers' Compensation Act because UK is a "qualified employer" under Kentucky Law. In addition, Governing Regulation (GR) X.A.8 states: "A University employee sustaining an on-the-job injury to developing a job-related illness is covered by provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. For more information about worker’s compensation go to: https://www.uky.edu/hr/policies/workers-compensation.
Instruction and Instructor Pre-term Activities:
18. Q. Are instructional faculty being required to teach in multiple modalities at the same time to accommodate both in-person and virtual learners in the same class?
A. No, but we need to be able to accommodate instances in which a student becomes quarantined but can still participate in the course. It's not required that they do the same work as the in-class students, but we need to ensure that the same learning outcomes are achieved, regardless of instructional modality. For FAQ on course delivery modalities, see the link above.
19. Q. If a student contacts a faculty member and expresses concern about health & safety in the classroom environment and asks to take an in-person class from a remote location, what should the faculty member tell the student?
A. Students should be referred to their academic advisor to consider other courses that are available online that fulfill the student’s needs and requirements for that semester.
20. Q. What if a student has no alternate online options for the course in question (whether it is a required course or an elective)?
A. If the faculty member determines that the student learning outcomes for the course can be accomplished by a student from a remote location, via teleconference (Zoom on a laptop, Echo in a Smart classroom, etc.), the faculty member can make attendance exceptions for individual students to join the in-class lecture/discussions/work in that manner. Faculty members will set their own attendance policy to determine if a student is “present” via teleconference. And faculty members will make efforts, to the extent possible, to include students that are learning remotely,
in the lectures/discussions/work that occur in the classroom. It is understood, though, that some experiential, creative, or lab work cannot be accomplished successfully from a remote location. Quizzes/Exams/Group Projects/Student-Instructor Conferences/Papers can be accommodated online via Canvas, Zoom, and other internet/communication platforms. Adherence to university academic regulations on cheating, plagiarism, and academic honesty will be strictly enforced.
21. Q. What back-up provisions are being made for faculty who become ill with the virus or must quarantine due to virus exposure?
A. Each chair/director, in consultation with the course instructor, should develop a contingency plan for continuation of the course should the instructor become ill or need to quarantine. If quarantining without illness, a shift to virtual delivery is a preferred approach.
22. Q. Does the administration have any guidance for small departments that may hit instructional capacity constraints should faculty members become ill?
A. It is good practice for all academic units to have a plan for continuity of business and instructional operations in the event of faculty illness or quarantine. These plans may involve, for example, team teaching or back-up instruction for courses, including PTIs- or TAs-on-call.
23. Q. Are class meeting times going to be altered to give students more time between classes?
A. No, our standard meeting times will be maintained. Instructional faculty are asked to give some leeway to students who must arrive a little late or leave a little early due to travel time between classes.
24. Q. Is there any COVID-related language recommended for our fall syllabi?
A. The Senate Council has endorsed the following syllabus statement for faculty teaching face-to-face courses:
  • In accordance with University guidelines, students must wear UK-approved face coverings in the classroom and academic buildings (e.g., faculty offices, laboratories, libraries, performance/design studios, and common study areas where students might congregate). If UK-approved face coverings are not worn over the nose and mouth, students will be asked to leave the classroom.
  • Students should complete their daily online wellness screening before accessing university facilities and arriving to class.
  • Students should not move chairs or barriers in classrooms and should socially distance at all times, leaving a six (6) foot radius from other people. Masks and hand sanitizer can be found {specific location in building} if needed.
  • Students should leave enough space when entering and exiting a room. Students should not crowd doorways at the beginning or end of class.
  • The instructor may choose to remove a mask when pedagogically necessary at the front of the classroom and behind a clear barrier. The instructor's mask will be replaced when it is no longer necessary to have it removed, or when the class meeting is complete.
The Class Recording Notification endorsed by the Senate Council can be found here: https://www.uky.edu/universitysenate/fall-2020-academic-policies-respons....
25. Q. Can the instructor make attendance and wearing a face covering in class part of the overall participation grade in the class?
A. Wearing a face covering is an expectation for anyone on campus and in classrooms. Attendance, including wearing a face covering, can be part of the class participation portion of the course grade.
26. Q. In light of the potential for further COVID-19 disruptions in the fall, will instructional faculty be expected to update their FERPA training?
A. No, but additional training is always a good idea. For more information about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), including frequently asked questions and Do's and Don't's of FERPA, see https://www.uky.edu/registrar/content/facultystaff-ferpa-privacy.
27. Q. Are there any updates on how electronically recorded lecture material developed by UK instructional faculty can be used later by the University?
A. See AR 7:6, which covers Intellectual Property Disposition https://www.uky.edu/regs/sites/www.uky.edu.regs/files/files/ar/ar7-6.pdf.
28. Q. Is there a plan for administering Teacher Course Evaluations (TCEs) for Fall 2020?
A. TCEs will be administered in customary fashion, but guidance will be given to academic administrators about caution in interpretation of results given the unusual circumstances since the beginning of the pandemic. In the meantime, a mid-semester evaluation in all courses is recommended, especially in this time when so many courses are being offered in non-traditional modalities.
29. Q. Most of my work is not in the classroom, but done in other areas around campus (e.g., studios, laboratories, clinics, extension offices, own office). Are students and others expected to comply with public health directives in those spaces too?
A. Yes, everyone (students, faculty, staff, visitors) must comply with the University's guidelines and directives on public health precautions while on campus and in University facilities and workspaces. You have the right and responsibility to request that everyone comply with the guidelines.
30. Q. What do I do if I notice that other instructional faculty colleagues are not complying with public health guidelines recommended and endorsed by the University?
A. Of course, a friendly reminder to our colleagues is never a bad idea, but if that doesn't work, you should report repeated instances of non-compliance to the next level of supervision. This is very much about behavioral awareness and individual responsibility. The goal of the Healthy Behavior campaign is to create a safe, healthful, and productive place to work, learn, and serve.
Classroom Management:
31. Q. Are there procedures in place for student enforcement of public health directives?
A. Yes, in accordance with University guidelines, students must wear UK-approved face coverings in the classroom and academic buildings (e.g., faculty offices, laboratories, libraries, performance/design studios, and common study areas where students might congregate). If UK-approved face coverings are not worn over the nose and mouth, students will be asked to leave the classroom. The Dean of Students will be releasing forthcoming guidance on this.
UK has adopted a public health directive to address the spread of COVID. If not followed, the Code of Student Conduct can be enacted to educate on the need to follow the guidelines and enforce the policy directive; however, an "influence strategy," focusing on "documented coaching," will be uniformly applied across the campus. In other words, the overriding approach will be consistent with the philosophy that health communication, education, and bystander intervention are the best means to positively influence behaviors related to the observation of public health directives and guidance. Educational and restorative actions will be favored over any warnings, sanctions, or disciplinary actions, for all University stakeholders during this pandemic.
32. Q What can an instructor do if a student shows up for class without a face mask or refuses to wear one?
A. A student may be turned away or asked to leave the classroom until such time he/she is wearing a face covering.
33. Q. Is there any difference in interpretation of UK's excused absence policies due to the COVID situation?
A. Yes, the Senate Council has interpreted excused absences for the Fall 2020 semester to include an excuse from required in-person interactions if the student has been directed to self-quarantine by the University (including its app), a medical professional, public health professional, or government official. https://www.uky.edu/universitysenate/fall-2020-academic-policies-respons...
34. Q. Is there any way for an instructor to really know that a student in my class is cleared to return to class following self-isolation or confirmed infection? Will instructors be notified when students are cleared to return to class?
A. Any student that is cleared to return will receive a release from quarantine notification from either the UK Health Corps or the health department. It will not be the responsibility of the instructor to monitor the time that a student is not in class because of self-isolation.
Other Questions and Issues:
35. Q. Will the University reimburse me for the costs incurred from remote working (e.g., increased data usage, office equipment, printer cartridges, scanner)?
A. All standard business procedures apply, consistent with the UK Business Procedures Manual. Instructors should consult with their college or department business officer regarding reimbursable expenses.
36. Q. My work is either as a Research Title Series faculty member or as a faculty member in another title series but with substantial research engagement as part of my workload. Are there additional resources I should be made aware of?
A. Yes, please refer here for updates about research reopening from the VPR’s office: https://www.research.uky.edu/resources/vpr-covid-19-messages.
37. Q. It is recognized that the COVID disruption has had an impact on the mental and physical well-being of many members of our University community and continues to do so. What resources are available?
A. Resources for employees include Work-Life Connections (https://www.uky.edu/hr/work-life/counseling), and UK Health & Wellness (https://www.uky.edu/hr/wellness) For employees on UK Health Plans, Live Health Online (https://livehealthonline.com/) and UK Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic (https://psychiatry.med.uky.edu/psychiatry-clinical-services).
38. Q. Can you clarify expectations and possible relief for help for faculty with child or family care obligations if those services are not available?
A. Resources and information for parents are available through Work-Life Connections: https://www.uky.edu/hr/work-life/resources-for-parents.
Faculty may also be eligible for Emergency Family Medical Leave, which provides paid leave for employees unable to work onsite or remotely due to school or child care closures. https://www.uky.edu/hr/policies/family-and-medical-leave.
39. Q. How is the University working to ensure that faculty can continue to deliver the high quality course experience expected at the Commonwealth’s flagship institution?
A. Faculty at UK take their teaching mission seriously, and most have been working overtime since March and “off contract” since May to find the right balance of online, hybrid, and in-person courses, and to refocus their instructional strategies. The University has supported the transition in numerous ways, such as through the expert advice of the Center for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (see for example their Teach Anywhere initiative https://teachanywhere.uky.edu/ ). Individual Colleges, such as Arts and Sciences which teaches most of the core curriculum courses, have been offering instructional technology advice for faculty all summer.
Courses that are scheduled as entirely online (i.e., no in-person elements) may use a mix of live (synchronous) and recorded (asynchronous) elements: in other words, live interaction and self-paced activities. In some cases, lectures will be “recorded” so that students can review them outside of class meetings and take advantage of “live” interaction to work through questions, problems, case studies, and other applications. In other cases, online courses may conduct most class meetings live (in real time). Or, they could involve recorded (asynchronous, self-paced) activities with peer and instructor feedback. Faculty will choose a blend of these strategies that best align with their experience and expertise and the course content and goals, and that supports students’ learning. In addition, all first-year students have been provided an Apple iPad, which includes a specially designed app that provides direct links to additional resources and support. The University also has hired extra academic coaches and support to foster student success.