Resources for Faculty and Instructors

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The following FAQs and guidance is available for faculty and instructors to help answer questions about COVID and academic or classroom impacts.

These FAQs were prepared by CSU’s Teaching Continuity and Recovery Team on behalf of the Office of the Provost and Executive Vice President.

Spring 2022 FAQs for general public health questions

Public health requirements for spring 2022

 More information about public health requirements.

Sanitation stations with hand disinfection and wipes will be available in buildings near classrooms.

Positive cases and academics

I believe I have been exposed to COVID. What should I do?

Please see this guidance for advice as it applies to all students, faculty and staff.

A student who I teach has volunteered to me that they are not attending classes because they are in quarantine or isolation, and they are requesting a temporary remote option. Can I verify that they are in isolation or quarantine?

If the student volunteers to you that they are out for quarantine or isolation, you can ask them to provide you with the official documentation of isolation or quarantine dates they received from public health officials.

If the student does not volunteer that they are missing classes due to being in isolation or quarantine, they can be asked to provide generic documentation from Student Case Management to verify that they need to miss class.

Will I be notified if someone in my building tests positive for COVID?

Please see this knowledge base article.

Academics and workspace public health

May I set my own rules for food and drink in the classroom?
Yes. Instructors may establish rules for eating or drinking in academic spaces based on the presence of sensitive equipment or materials and the potential for disruption of the classroom environment. Instructors are encouraged to accommodate students who must eat at certain times to manage health issues, such as diabetes.

Please discuss this with your unit chair or department head to ensure you are following departmental and University expectations.

How will I know if students in my classes, labs or studios are vaccinated?
Faculty are not permitted to ask students about their vaccine status. Vaccine information is an individual’s private medical information.

The University is asking students, faculty and staff to either provide documentation of their vaccine status or declare an exemption and screen. This information will be kept private and shared only with very few individuals on only a need-to-know basis, generally only related to contact tracing if there is an exposure.

Can I do group work in class?
Yes.

Can employees meet over a meal in smaller meeting rooms?
Anyone in a meeting room, classrooms or dining center should wear a mask unless actively eating or drinking. If feasible, it is preferred that additional physical distancing be put in place in smaller rooms while individuals are eating.

Faculty Remote Teaching and Teleworking Requests

Temporary vs. Semester-Long

Some instructors might request either temporary or semester-long teleworking or remote teaching assignments for various reasons including:

  • medical need
  • temporary illness or exposure
  • personal preferences.

These are scenarios and the options for department chairs of department heads in responding to faculty requests.

Please keep in mind faculty and staff do not have to disclose to their supervisors or show proof that they tested COVID positive. Instructors simply may inform their supervisors of a need to miss work or class for a few days due to personal or health reasons.

What if an instructor requests a temporary remote teaching option because they have tested positive for COVID-19 (but feel their symptoms are mild enough they can continue to work remotely) or are caring for a child or other family member who is in isolation or quarantine at home?

  • Some faculty who are positive but present with mild or no symptoms might ask to record lectures or temporarily move their class to remote instruction.
  • Shifts in teaching modality should first be discussed and coordinated with the department chair or head, including strategies for multiple communications with students (e.g., CSU email, Canvas, etc.).
  • Faculty should tell students to check communications regularly in case there is a sudden need to shift teaching modality so they do not show up to an empty classroom. They should inform students of how they will communicate (e.g., CSU email, Canvas, other).
  • We recommend instructors take their “class lists” (via ARIESweb or ARIESwebLite) and email their students the plan (including details of how to access any synchronous remote lectures or engagements) in case the class temporarily shifts teaching modality.

What if the instructor does not feel well enough to teach remotely and needs other options for having their classes covered temporarily as they recover?

  • Department chairs and heads will assist instructors who are too ill to teach in-person or remotely in finding solutions such as a temporary substitute, out-of-class assignments or additional options to minimize disruption of instruction, or other backup strategies.
  • We encourage flexibility and fairness in providing support and options for COVID-impacted faculty in their efforts to isolate and get well or comply with isolation requirements for themselves or family members for whom they provide direct care.
  • Faculty should remind students to check communications regularly in case there is a sudden need to shift teaching modality so they do not show up to an empty classroom. They should inform students of how they will communicate (e.g., CSU email, Canvas, other).
  • We recommend instructors take their “class lists” (via ARIESweb or ARIESwebLite) and email their students the plan (including details of how to access any synchronous remote lectures or engagements) in case the class temporarily shifts teaching modality.

What are the options for instructors who request teleworking or a remote teaching assignment for the entire semester based on a medical need (e.g., immunocompromised)?

  • If an employee has a qualifying medical exception (their own – not related to a family member), they should apply for an accommodation through Office of Equal Opportunity process under Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Public Health Emergency Leave is a possibility for a COVID-related need for an employee or an immediate family member, if the employee qualifies for this leave. This leave is provided under a governmental executive order declaring the pandemic; therefore it will not be available indefinitely and  it will run out. However, it can be used as intermittent leave or a block of leave to address COVID-related needs. This one-time allotment of leave allows up to 80 hours and is prorated. (Note: The current federal emergency leave declaration expires on Jan, 16, and leave can be used through Feb. 22 following the expiration. The emergency declaration may be extended, so please check with CSU Human Resources, if you would like to inquire.)
  • The Family and Medical Leave Act may be an option for those who qualify (e.g., an employee’s own health or a family member’s). This federal leave also has a limit for a year, up to 12 weeks, and is not paid. An employee’s accrued sick or annual leave may be applied, however.

How has CSU typically approached faculty requests for teleworking or remote teaching assignment for the entire semester based on personal reasons not covered by illness or medical accommodations?

CSU offers a world-class residential experience through in-person instruction in classrooms, labs and studios. Options to teach remotely for faculty during a full semester are very limited and tied to institutional mission, the needs of students and programs. Additionally, any instructor who was approved for resident instruction remote teaching for spring, should keep in mind that such an approval is for the current semester only and not a guarantee for future semester assignments.

  • Department chairs or heads have prioritized assignments and requests based on availability of remote sections, program type, and student need.
  • Chairs or heads should consult with their deans to ensure an equitable process for consideration of applications is in place, and that all faculty requests are responded to with an email or letter to explain why the request was granted or not granted. 

 

Student Remote Learning Requests, Course Absenteeism

Please keep in mind students do not have to disclose to their instructors or show proof that they tested COVID positive.

Students simply may inform their instructors of a need to miss class for a few days due to personal or health reasons.

Faculty will need to rely upon an honors system and communicate that to students and encourage them to stay home if they test positive or are caring for a child or family member with COVID, especially for the first few weeks of the semester until Omicron peaks and then during the post-peak period when the rate of positive cases will decline but some viral detection continues.

What if a student requests a temporary remote learning option for a fully in-person class because they have tested positive for COVID-19 or are symptomatic?

  • Faculty are not expected to extend teaching of their class to multiple modalities due to a low absenteeism (i.e., one or small number of students) in a course, but please extend flexibility and compassion in supporting students’ learning when feasible.
  • Some faculty will find it easy to record their lectures for students or invite them to join the class remotely, and we encourage you to extend such flexibility, if possible.
  • Please make allowances for students to turn in assignments late, make up missed work and exams to support their efforts to isolate, recover from illness or quarantine.

What if a student requests remote learning for an in-person course for either a disability or personal preference?

  • If a student has a documented disability (as federally recognized and mandated) and wants to inquire about online accommodations, please refer the student to the guidance offered at the Student Disability Center website.
  • Although we continue to encourage faculty compassion and flexibility with students who are working with Student Disability Center.
  • Faculty are not required to accommodate individual student requests outside of a documented disability managed through the Student Disability Center, but we encourage great compassion and flexibility to support students who face adversity. For example, especially during the first few weeks of the semester, some students might have loved ones at home for whom they are caring who are in isolation or quarantine.
  • If a student expresses a general preference for remote coursework, please instruct them to consult with their academic advisor or departmental representative who can assist them with possible alternatives. Options might include an online version of the course or an alternate online course offered through CSU, should these options exist within their major.

Additional Faculty Resources

COVID resources

 

Teaching and Professional Development