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FAQ: Faculty & Staff
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.Permalink
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.Permalink
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.Permalink
Is UTSA considering the caretaking responsibilities of faculty and staff who have school-aged children?
May I choose to only allow persons in my office who are wearing a face covering?
Yes. University guidelines require that masks must be worn at all times in all campus buildings. Face coverings are optional if alone in an enclosed space such as a private office, or practice room. If working in an enclosed space, masks may be removed until another individual enters the workspace where social distancing cannot be maintained. More information is available on our Face Coverings at UTSA page.Permalink
Will faculty and staff offices be sanitized daily?
Common areas will be sanitized each weekday evening and periodically throughout each weekday. Personal offices will be cleaned on a periodic basis but not sanitized on a daily basis. Faculty and staff will be responsible for sanitizing their personal workspace including phone, keyboard and mouse.Permalink
Will staff involved in recruitment and support programs be required to travel outside the university as they normally would to attend and staff events?
Possibly. UTSA’s goal is to enable the health, safety and well-being of its students, faculty and staff. Meetings and events that can be conducted virtually should continue to be conducted virtually. Those that cannot will need to be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by employees and their supervisors.Permalink
Will the university provide extra safety measures to departments/areas as we reopen (i.e. PPE, hand sanitizer, etc.)?
The university will provide a face covering to students, faculty and staff prior to the fall semester. Hand sanitizer will be available in dispensing machines distributed throughout the university and in most departmental offices. Restrooms will always be supplied with soap and paper towels. The university will also supply initial sanitizing materials to departments free of charge.Permalink
What parking options are available for employees?
Employees must purchase parking permits when working on campus. During the purchasing process, you will be able to print a temporary permit to use while you wait for the official permit to arrive in the mail. With a large telecommuting workforce and fewer employees on campus this fall, we encourage faculty and staff to consider available lower-cost parking options, including the Employee B permit, daily-use scratch-off permits, or the telecommuter pass. Learn more.Permalink
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.Permalink
What university resources exist to help me with virtual instruction?
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.
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 >>
Does UTSA have an enterprise Zoom subscription?
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!Permalink
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 email@example.com to log in. Additionally, Microsoft Teams, an application used for collaboration in Office 365, integrates people, content and tools to promote engagement.Permalink
How can I help my students access their textbooks electronically if they relied on library reserves?
Are faculty members required to wear a face covering while they teach?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com 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.
What changes need to be approved by the IRB?
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 can I minimize exposure among my research team?
- 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
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
- 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:
- South Korea
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.
- Download CONTINUITY GUIDANCE FOR RESEARCH FACILITIES
- Download EFFECTIVE HANDWASHING
- Download DOOR SIGNAGE
- Download UTSA Human Subject Research Guidance During COVID-19 (3-17-20)
- Download Coronavirus Emergency Shutdown Checklist (3-12-20)
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.Permalink
Do I need to wear a mask when working in the lab?
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.Permalink
I want to submit a grant proposal during this time. Is there staff support? I’ve just received a notice of award. How do I proceed?
Please reach out to your Research Service Centers with any questions during this time.
Sponsored Project Administration Contact: Sandra Garcia 210-458-8250Permalink
I have a research agreement with an industry partner that needs to be vetted and reviewed. I have a Non-Disclosure Agreement to be reviewed and approved. Who do I contact?
I have an idea that needs to be disclosed or a patent that needs to proceed. What should I do?
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:
- Technology Disclosure: Electronic disclosure is available via utsa.edu/invent
- Review status of current disclosures via wellspringsoftware.net
My research project is ending and needs to be closed-out. / I have received a notification regarding billing or invoicing. Who do I work with to complete?
Are custodial and maintenance services available?
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.
Contact: VPR Help Desk 210-458-7805Permalink
Are research-related workshops still available?
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.Permalink
Can I still access High Performance Computing for my research?
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.
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).
Can I still travel locally to do my research?
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.Permalink
I had planned to attend professional conferences, but they were canceled because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Can I still add these to my CV?
Yes. Also keep track of your teaching and research tasks and accomplishments you were engaged in for you annual and personnel reviews.Permalink
Have a question that's not answered here? Email firstname.lastname@example.org