COVID Challenge Response Team
In response to the challenges faced by all during the on-going pandemic, Dr. Les Guice formed the COVID Challenge Response Team (CCRT) to create positive change on campus for faculty and staff.
This has been a year of unprecedented challenges: caring for family members, emotionally supporting colleagues and students, trying to balance elements of our career, adjusting our daily lives. For so many, these struggles have taken their toll, both professionally and personally. Though we look forward to a vaccine, we know that many of the challenges and issues raised by this pandemic will continue to affect each of us in different ways.
We want to help you and your colleagues by offering assistance and guidance in navigating the days, weeks, and months ahead. This page will provide information and resources to continue aiding the faculty and staff at the university as we continue to navigate this challenging time.
In the past year, many of us have learned more about technology and how to use it in our jobs than we ever had before. As we prepare for the coming year it is important to discuss what we have, what has worked, and what we need going forward. This forum is open to all employees of the university to share their experiences and ask questions about technology and related resources on campus.
Technology Forum – 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 13 – Register for the forum here.
Coping and Connection Sessions
The COVID-19 Coping and Connection sessions will offer a venue where faculty and staff can access educational information and participate in interactive dialogue to address the challenges, stresses, and issues they are facing. These were offered in the Winter quarter and may return if there is an interest from faculty and staff in continuing these sessions.
COVID Conversations – 4 p.m. every other Tuesday
Register for events here
Each of these sessions is meant to be a conversation with all of those in attendance. CCRT members and special guests will lead the conversation offering their own tips, moderate questions, and audience discussion.
March 30 – Engaging with Gen Z with Kristi Stake
How do we, as faculty, speak to our students to encourage them to engage with class material and foster curiosity? Does the research show there are issues with this generation that need to be considered or more effective ways to communicate with them? What pedagogy practices have been successful that we can share with each other?
April 20 – Physical and Mental Health
The goal of this COVID Conversation is to talk about and practice a technique that teaches you how to release tension from your muscles, while helping you recognize what that tension feels like. When practiced regularly, this technique may help you manage the physical effects of stress. Research has also found that it has therapeutic benefits for conditions like high blood pressure, migraines, sleep issues. We hope you will take a break and join us in finding ways to de-stress and care for ourselves.
April 27 – Finances During a Crisis: Special Guest from Origin Bank
May 11 – Engaging Students Online with Tara Raue and Christopher Deal
What tips can faculty use to to keep students engaged and discussions lively while teaching online? How do we resist Zoom fatigue and make Zoom fun for all involved? What pedagogy practices have been successful that we can share with each other?
May 25 – Physical and Mental Health
We have all learned a lot about how to teach online, connect with students, engage with colleagues from a distance, and manage family and work during the on-going pandemic. These conversations will feature a panel and open discussion on specific topics so that we may learn from each other, and build relationships that strengthen us as individuals and as a university.
The Campus Appreciation & Recognition of Employees (CARE) Team was established to enhance appreciation and recognition of those who serve the University. Members of the CARE Team: Keri King, Dr. Paul Jackson, Anna Kelley, Katie McGowan, Martha Stevens, Ryan Richard, Shonda Parker and Annie Jantz. Check back for updates on events, resources, and special recognition.
Frequently asked questions
As questions are received or information is acquired that is relevant to the CCRT we will update this area with questions, answers, and resources.
May I apply for a tenure and promotion extension because of COVID-19?
You may apply for a discretionary extension following Policy 2114, which states “tenure-track faculty member may request a one-year extension of the probationary period for extraordinary circumstances beyond his or her control that would not fall under the Routine Extension category and that could significantly impede progress toward tenure.”
The Request for Extension of Probationary Period form currently states requests must be submitted within 90 days of the relevant event and prior to the deadline for submission of a tenure dossier. If applying for an extension due to COVID-19, you may disregard the 90 days and just ensure that you are submitting in advance of the deadline for submission of your dossier, leaving appropriate time for review of the request. Make sure you consult with your program director and your Dean prior to filing the extension.
Will employees of the university be notified of an opportunity to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?
The University is following CDC and LDH guidelines on vaccine distribution.
As the university is granted access to vaccines, individuals who work for the university and are in designated tiers will be notified. You do not need to go through the university to receive your vaccine.
As always consult with your physician prior to receiving a vaccine. For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit our Vaccination webpage.
Child vaccination schedule: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/child-adolescent.html
Adult vaccination schedule: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/schedules/hcp/imz/adult.html#table-age
Do student workers on quarantine or in isolation still get paid and how is that managed with Workday?
Employers are encouraged to provide remote work when a student is quarantining or isolating. If this can be arranged, then the student may still input their work hours on Workday. If this cannot be arranged the student should inform their Student Resource Team member so they can assist and hopefully find a solution.
Do I need to report to HR if I have been vaccinated?
You do not have to report vaccination to Human Resources.
Given the challenges faced this year and specifically the inability to travel, several faculty were unable to use their professorship funds to support their professional development. Will there be any consideration given to faculty whose professorships are in their third year and will expire at the end of this academic year as they are assigned to another faculty member for a three-year period?
In the case that a faculty member has unspent professorship funds, they may submit a request to Dr. McConathy through your department/unit head and College Dean to encumber funds for a specific purpose. The request should include a justification for the delayed spending, specific amount requested, dates, and/or items for which the funds are being encumbered. The request will be reviewed and recommendations will be made as is appropriate in each case.
Suggestions and concerns
If you have suggestions for the CCRT or concerns you would like to share, you may use the box below to submit an anonymous email to the CCRT. The email will be reviewed by members of the CCRT who will work to address situations and provide information as they are able. If you wish to be contacted by the Team, please indicate that in your comments and include contact information. Someone from the Team will follow up with you in a few days. You may also reach out to any of the Team members directly at any time.
Dr. Terry McConathy (Provost), Dr. Jamie Newman (Chair), Dr. Jordan Blazo, Dr. Katie Evans, Courtney Jarrell, Dr. Paul Jackson, Dr. Donna Johnson, Keri King, Sam Speed, Kristi Stake, and Jessica Szymanski