How do we track departmental expenses related to the coronavirus?
Department admins should track any expenditures incurred as a result of UTSA’s effort to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. Download the weekly report form and instructions. See your financial area lead for more information.
When can payments be expected to be processed by Disbursements and Travel Services (DTS)?
Direct deposit (ACH) payments are processed Monday through Friday with a two-business day turnaround for transactions. Check runs now occur on Tuesdays and Fridays. Student and vendor checks will be mailed through the U.S. Postal Service. Ensure you have a current address on file. No check pick-ups are available.
Can I still make purchases for my department while we are telecommuting?
Staff and faculty are asked to thoughtfully consider purchases and reduce spending on materials and supplies wherever possible. Numerous technology resources are available to support paperless processes. The university will carefully monitor purchase order requests and Procard reports during this time. When purchases are necessary, please note that the university does not allow home delivery of items. Deliveries will continue to route through Central Receiving to facilitate required inventory, asset and purchasing policies. Learn more about current Central Receiving operations.
Will I be reimbursed if I used personal funds to book university travel?
Faculty who used personal funds to book travel for research, academic or professional activities that have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 can still be reimbursed from their UTSA funds. They must complete an Expense Report with only the amounts that were paid, documenting cancellation for COVID19 reasons, and including any relevant receipts. If the travel was booked using sponsored project funds, they should check with their Research Service Center or visit REDKE’s COVID-19 Federal Guidance to ensure that reimbursement is allowable on these funds.
What type of remote work can I give my student employee(s), so they can continue to fulfill their hours and get paid?
The health and well-being of our Roadrunner community and the academic progress of our students are our top concerns, and we recognize that financial stability is an important element of student success.
With UTSA’s transition to a temporary remote workforce, we want to provide our student workers as much flexibility as possible to continue working. To that end, both student employees and supervisors should follow these guidelines:
Supervisors should enable student workers to work remotely, exercising their full ability to flexibly identify activities, tasks and mechanisms that allow student workers to work remotely.
Check out these resources to consider and develop various alternatives that are suitable for work assignments during the remote working period:
Do student employees need to have a signed telecommuting agreement?
Yes. When working remotely, the student must have a signed telecommuting agreement on file with their supervisor. The signed agreement must be on file before submitting timesheets for the week of March 16-22 and all following weeks.
What happens if my student employee has chosen not to work remotely?
If a student chooses not to work remotely, the student cannot be paid.
If a student is unable to work remotely because they don’t have access to a device or internet, please work with them to find a solution since this problem will also affect their ability to complete their courses. Free internet access is being offered by several companies. Visit the Tech Resources page to learn more or contact UTS at firstname.lastname@example.org or 210-458-5555.
Am I allowed to hire additional student workers during the telecommuting period?
No. All additional student worker hiring has been suspended during the temporary telecommuting period. If you have unmet needs, please let your supervisor know as some areas with a large student workforce (e.g. Campus Rec, Student Union, etc.) may be looking for meaningful work to give their student employees.
How can I help my students who have accommodations due to a disability?
UTSA Student Disability Services has proactively reached out to students who are blind or have low vision and those who are deaf or hard of hearing as well as to their instructors to assist with the transition to online learning. A disability-related FAQ is also posted online to help students and faculty respond to the COVID-19 situation. Instructors who need to discuss other scenarios should contact email@example.com or call 210-458-4157 and the student’s assigned Disability Specialist will help provide recommendations and/or appropriate referrals.
Additionally, faculty and staff are encouraged to review Academic Innovation’s Digital Accommodation Resources page. It provides answers to many common questions, including instructions for extending time on tests, assignments and assessments, and how to close caption videos using Medial. If more assistance is needed to make your course accessible (e.g.: Blackboard accessibility, adding captioning, etc.), please consult with the Academic Innovation Accessibility Team.
Instructors are responsible for extending test times for student who qualify on Blackboard for quizzes/exams. If your exams are moving online or already are online and you need information on how to provide exam extension accommodations, please consult with Blackboard Learn Video Resources or consult with Academic Innovations on how to extend time on an exam.Permalink
Has UTSA changed its faculty evaluation processes?
UTSA has updated the timelines for 2019 Annual Evaluations and 2020 Promotion and Tenure Review and guidance for other faculty evaluation processes. All faculty are advised to keep track of their teaching, research and service activities, tasks and accomplishments in which they are engaged to support their departments, colleges, the University, as well as professional associations during this time. Additionally, they should include in their CV any professional activities, presentations, workshops, invited lectures, etc., that had been scheduled but canceled due to COVID-19. Learn more >>
Yes! All UTSA faculty, staff and students have access to the collaborative video conferencing solutionZoomto support remote learning and communication. By signing in with your UTSA email and passphrase, you will have access to a Higher ED Pro Zoom account which includes:
Up to 300 participants per meeting session with unlimited time
Enhanced collaboration with Polling, Breakout Group rooms and Q&A
Session recording and automatic transcription of meeting option for students to learn at their own pace
FERPA compliance and 256-bit AES encryption
Single sign-on integration (UTSA ID username & passphrase)
Is there a way to create an online equivalent of the UTSA Faculty Center?
Several tools are available to create virtual meeting spaces and collaborative environments.
WebEx Meetings, a video conferencing and screensharing solution, is available to all UTSA employees. Visit utsa.webex.com and sign in with your UTSA credentials in the upper-right corner. Employees will use firstname.lastname@example.org to log in. Additionally, Microsoft Teams, an application used for collaboration in Office 365, integrates people, content and tools to promote engagement.
How can I help my students access their textbooks electronically if they relied on library reserves?
UTSA's librarians can assist faculty in locating comparable Open Educational Resources. They can also identify potential e-book matches for current courses in the library's e-book collections. Faculty are encouraged to work with their subject librarian to provide necessary reading materials to their students.Permalink
Are research operations continuing? Are research facilities open?
Effective June 1st, on-campus research activities and doctoral training opportunities will increase for the summer session. Please refer to the Phased Recovery Plan for details.
Should you have any follow-up questions, please contact the associate dean for research in your college. Additional questions may be directed to Associate Vice President for Research Integrity Dr. Michelle (Mickey) Stevenson at 210-668-3313 or email@example.com.
What type of research with human subjects can continue?
Public health and safety is UTSA's highest priority, and research involving human subjects must be conducted within certain safety parameters. Human subjects research that can be conducted remotely should continue to be conducted remotely. UTSA researchers’ and community members’ exposure to one another should be limited to the extent possible. When research with human subjects cannot be conducted remotely, please follow the guidance in the Phased Recovery Plan ("Human Subjects").
New human subjects’ studies must include a plan for minimizing COVID-19 risk in their protocols.
How can I transfer my study to be conducted remotely?
Specific options for conducting your study remotely include:
Study interactions such as interviews or simple study follow-up visits may be completed by phone or video.
If your study requires signed informed consent, consider whether you can modify study procedures by requesting a waiver of documentation of consent so that consent may be obtained without requiring a signature. To be approved to waive documentation of consent, the study must present no more than minimal risk of harm to participants and involve no procedures for which written consent is normally required outside the research context. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about this potential modification.
If you have a multi-site study, contact study sponsors to ask about procedures for modifying protocol schedules. Be sure all changes are implemented consistently across all sites.
Any planned modifications to study procedures, such as a shift from in-person to remote interactions, should be submitted to the IRB using the Modification Application (HRP-203), unless the study is approved as exempt. Indicate on the modification form that the change is being implemented as a COVID-19 safety precaution to help the IRB prioritize the submission.
Any changes to study procedures made to eliminate apparent immediate hazards to research participants, including those to reduce potential exposure to SARS-CoV-2, or to continue to provide medically necessary study care to participants who have been placed in isolation do not need prior approval by the IRB. All such changes should be reported to the IRB using the Promptly Reportable Information (HRP-204) within 5 days as an unanticipated event involving risk to subjects or others.
If you need to change your consent procedures to waive the requirement for a signature so that consent can be done remotely, submit a study Modification Application (HRP-203) requesting to waive documentation of consent if your study is: (1) no greater than minimal risk and (2) meets the criteria for qualifying for a waiver of documentation of consent. Guidance can be found here.
How might I conduct a pre-screen of my research team as it relates to COVID-19?
All team members should be vigilant in self-monitoring of potential exposure and symptoms. Implement extra precautions or only meet remotely especially if any team members fall into a high-risk category:
Underlying health conditions including heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes
Weakened immune system
Over 60 years of age
Team member screening questions might include the following:
1. Have you had any of the following symptoms in the past 2 weeks, even if they were mild?
Shortness of breath
2.Have you had close contact with a person who is under investigation for possible COVID-19?
Close contact is defined by the CDC as:
(a) being within approximately 6 feet of a COVID-19 case for a prolonged period of time. Close contact can occur while caring for, living with, visiting, or sharing a health care waiting area or room or being close in an enclosed area with a COVID-10 case or
(b) having direct contact with infectious secretions of a COVID-19 case (e.g., being coughed or sneezed on).
3. In the past 3 weeks, have you visited a country with sustained (ongoing) occurrence of COVID-19, such as:
What resources are available to me during the current Stay Home, Work safe orders?
Our Lab Safety team has prepared a set of resource documents to provide general guidance on running and preparing a lab should there be any future interruption based on illness or overall university closure.
In the event of a closure, the door signage template should be used to indicate to Public Safety how the lab has been left, who the lab point of contact is, and which ongoing checks will be done to maintain research activities, if any.
I’m concerned about the welfare of my animals, particularly if the university closes in the future. What is being done?
Laboratory Animal Resources Center (LARC) has been preparing to minimize impacts to ongoing research activities if the situation escalates, including closure. LARC has stored additional feed, water, bedding, PPE, disinfectant, chemicals, wipes, spray bottles, and more. LARC staff will stay in communication with researchers throughout this process and, where possible, partner with teams to maintain continuity. Please let us know if you have specific needs and suggestions.
In the event of a closure, LARC will continue to support the health and well-being of the animals.
Yes, full maintenance services are available for research labs through UTSA's custodial services.Permalink
Where can I check the status of my proposals and awards in real-time?
Research Computing and Business Intelligence (REDKE) will remain available to help with all REDKE applications located on the Research Portal, which includes links to the Research Dashboard, CayUse, Academic Analytics, Payroll Certification Reporting and more.
Research Support is transferring faculty development trainings and workshops to virtual platforms wherever feasible. Access details will be sent to all registered participants and will be updated on the REDKE events page and other applicable calendars.
Following UTSA guidelines, meetings and external partnership engagements will move to virtual platforms wherever possible or have been cancelled or postponed.
What can I do if I need to access restricted data on my office computer for my research, or I need to access a server on campus?
Contact the Facilities Service Center at extension x4262 so they are aware additional disinfection will be needed in your office or server area. If you need assistance accessing your office or server area (if your UTSA ID swipe is not working), contact the UTSA Police Department non-emergency line at extension x4242.
Be sure to post a sign-in sheet (occupancy log) on your office/server room door to log each time you visit. Everyone entering the office should also sign in, including housekeeping and facilities staff. The sign-in sheet is available at the end of the Phased Recovery Plan (see page 33).
First, follow and adhere to all current UTSA travel guidelines. Second, any face-to-face research with human subjects must be temporarily suspended, effective immediately. Where possible, transition in-person meetings for all studies to remote interactions to limit potential exposure. Studies that cannot transition to remote methods must cease, with notification to the IRB. Follow the IRB Guidance outlined here.
The University of Texas at San Antonio is dedicated to the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery, teaching and learning, community engagement and public service. As an institution of access and excellence, UTSA embraces multicultural traditions and serves as a center for intellectual and creative resources as well as a catalyst for socioeconomic development and the commercialization of intellectual property – for Texas, the nation and the world.