FAQ: Faculty & Staff

Visit the Fall 2020 FAQs page for more information regarding plans for Fall 2020.
Visit the Human Resources COVID FAQs page for more information regarding health benefits, paid sick leave, insurance and more.

Campus Operations

At this time, the university is focusing on the health and safety of the campus community. Decisions about future policies or processes will be made at a later date.

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The Families First Coronavirus Response Act is now providing eligible employees with paid leave—either for an employee’s own health needs or to care for family members. The act is part of the federal government’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Permalink

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.

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Members who pay on a monthly basis will have their membership extended for the period of time the university is closed. Locker rentals will be extended in the same way.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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In response to many inquiries about how to offer support to current students, UTSA has created a Coronavirus Relief site with ways people can offer assistance to students who may be struggling.

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Supervising Student Workers

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: 

Please communicate regularly with your student employee(s) regarding their work assignment.

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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.

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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 techcafe@utsa.edu or 210-458-5555.

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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.

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Instruction

University Technology Solutions has compiled a list of Internet Service Providers on its Tech Resources page. We encourage you to review this list and choose the service that is right for you.

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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 disability.services@utsa.edu 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.

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The Office of Academic Innovation is offering guidance, resources and support for faculty and academic units on how to quickly utilize our digital tools to enable remote, virtual instruction.

  • Visit the Rapid Remote Teaching Resources site to learn how to quickly shift your courses online and for support staff contact info.

  • Email Academic Innovation to schedule a virtual 1-on-1 consultation on using the digital learning tools available to you (including Blackboard), or on online teaching strategies.

 

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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

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 >> 

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Yes! All UTSA faculty, staff and students have access to the collaborative video conferencing solution Zoom to 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)

Visit Academic Innovation's Zoom Resources to get started! 

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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@utsa.edu to log in. Additionally, Microsoft Teams, an application used for collaboration in Office 365, integrates people, content and tools to promote engagement.

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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

Research

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 michelle.stevenson@utsa.edu.

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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.

 

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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 irb@utsa.edu 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.
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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.

Questions? Email irb@utsa.edu.
Contacts: Marcia Isaacs 210-458-6179 or Tammy Lopez 210-458-6473

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Please follow the guidance provided in the Phased Recovery Plan, including:
  • Completing the required compliance training
  • Conducting daily health checks
  • Staying home if you experience symptoms or if someone in your household experiences symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19
  • Maintaining social distancing of 6’ minimum at all times while on campus, including in assigned research spaces
  • Wearing a face covering on campus unless you are alone in a closed space (e.g., lab or office)
  • Following the "Laboratory Disinfection Guidance" in the Phased-Recovery plan and adhering to all the required protocols
  • Practicing exceptional hygiene, washing hands often and disinfecting spaces
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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
  • Pregnant
  • 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?

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sore throat

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:

  • China
  • Iran
  • Europe
  • Japan
  • South Korea
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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.

Contacts: Laboratory Safety: Amanda Haley 210-458-8515 or Dianna Olukotun 210-458-5807

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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.

Contacts: Marcel Perret-Gentil 210-458-6321 or Luis Zorrilla 210-458-6692 | LARC@utsa.edu

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Wear a face covering on campus unless you are alone in a closed space (e.g., lab or office). Masks are very important to prevent person-to-person spread through respiratory droplets.

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The three Research Service Centers and Sponsored Project Administration remain open and fully staffed.

Please reach out to your Research Service Centers with any questions during this time.

Research Service Center for Sciences and Engineering
Amy Ossola-Phillips 210-458-6472 or Mary Riedel 210-458-8791

Research Service Center for Arts-Business-Education
Jennifer Silver 210-458-4234 or Jesse Hernandez 210-458-6852

Research Service Center for Downtown
Theresa Bailey 210-458-4226 or Angelika Rocha 210-458-4118

Sponsored Project Administration Contact: Sandra Garcia 210-458-8250

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Contracts and Industry Agreements remain open and fully staffed.

Contacts: Jessica C. Fernandez 210-458-8575 or Joshua Trigo 210-458-6587

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Services offered by the Office of Commercialization and Innovation will continue to be available for those working on campus or remotely as follows:

Using your myUTSA ID and Password:

Contacts: Christine Burke 210-458-8140 or Neal Guenzel 210-458-4458 | oci@utsa.edu

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Grants and Contracts Financial Services will remain in full operation to ensure project set ups, sponsor billing, and financial reporting are completed on schedule.

Contacts: Daniel Anzak 210-458-5905 or Lisa Pettit 210-458-5337

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Research Core Facilities will continue to be operational. Any changes will be posted to the individual core and/or iLab website.

Contact: Desiree Porter 210-458-5164

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Yes, full maintenance services are available for research labs through UTSA's custodial services. Permalink

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.

Contact: VPR Help Desk 210-458-7805

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All forms of support from the Research Computing Support Group (RCSG), part of University Technology Solutions, are still available with the exception of the VizLab.

The VizLab remains closed until April 13 (to change) or until further guidance is released, with scheduled tours being cancelled for the time being.

Contact: RCSG@utsa.edu

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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). 

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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.

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Yes. Also keep track of your teaching and research tasks and accomplishments you were engaged in for you annual and personnel reviews.

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Have a question that's not answered here? Email coronavirus@utsa.edu

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