Spring semester updates & COVID info Roadrunner Roadmap

Working, Teaching, & Research

Roadrunner staff and faculty should expect to begin the spring 2022 semester with modified campus operations. Normal campus operations will resume February 7.


Teaching

Teaching Online

Visit Academic Innovation’s teaching resources for a comprehensive guide to teaching online.

Blackboard course shells are already built for all courses and available for instructors. Students get access to their Blackboard courses on January 14. Academic Innovation will be available to assist instructors who are scheduled to teach face-to-face or hybrid courses with Teaching Support Hours and consultations. They are also offering several online training sessions to help faculty prepare to begin the spring semester online focused on instructor-presence and instructor-student interaction. More detailed information is forthcoming. Additionally, faculty may also reach out to their department online teaching faculty champions for guidance and support.

Instructors should continue to use the syllabus template for the course modality in which they are teaching as listed in ASAP. Instructors may hold student hours either in person, online or both.

Temporary Spring 2022 Course Modality Adjustments

Informed by COVID-19 surge modeling and to accommodate the potential impact of the winter holidays, we will begin the semester with most scheduled classes meeting online for three weeks. This temporary change directly impacts the face-to-face instruction portion of those classes scheduled for traditional in-person or hybrid modality. Courses originally scheduled to be delivered fully online will continue as scheduled.

Classes scheduled as traditional in-person or hybrid will be held online at their regularly scheduled times listed in ASAP. The faculty may, for example, record lecture material and make PowerPoint notes, and then post these in Blackboard for use by all students, and then use the scheduled class time—conducted virtually—to review materials, answer questions or simply engage with students in other interactive activities that deepen learning.

This approach will allow us to pivot back to the original modality once our operational modifications conclude.

Instructors will not be allowed to move their class period to another time or another date, or to change the course modality.

Most instructional laboratories, studios (such as art, music and other performance-based classes), ROTC, English Language Center, internships and other classes that require hands-on instruction will remain in person, with some exceptions.

  • For these exceptions where a temporary modification is needed to the meeting pattern/structure for any labs, studios, recitals or in-person (non-lecture) class meetings (e.g., space limitations in the lab require reducing occupancy), this process must be followed. (NOTE: Modifying the time or days is not permitted)
    • The Registrar's Office will send each college a spreadsheet (with tabs for each department) of their courses that have face-to-face component.
    • The faculty member consults with the chair to determine the proposed temporary modification.
    • The college dean reviews the modification and, upon approval, sends a request for the approved modification to classroomscheduling@utsa.edu no later than Wednesday, Jan. 12. Please send your spreadsheet as a whole rather than in pieces in order to ensure 100% review.
    • The Registrar places a comment in the notes on the section in Banner that will be reflected on the main schedule on ASAP (Banner). All students in the section are sent an email notifying them to check the temporary modification on ASAP and in Blackboard. A listing of all changes also will be made available on the web for students to quickly review.
    • Faculty must display the temporary meeting pattern in the Blackboard (BB) course. Separately, faculty may message students via BB regarding the temporary modification.
    • Once temporary operations are over, messages will be removed from the ASAP schedule. Students will receive notice of reverting back to original scheduled meeting pattern.

Faculty Flexible Teaching (FFT) Modality Arrangement Available for 2021-2022

UTSA recognizes that some faculty scheduled to teach in-person will need to move their assigned traditional in-person or hybrid courses online for the entire 2022 spring semester for the safety of an immunocompromised household member who lives with the faculty member. An approved flexible teaching modality arrangement will allow the faculty member to conduct all traditional in-person or hybrid course(s) and all meetings online for the 2022 spring semester. Faculty members with an approved flexible teaching modality arrangement are expected not to engage in university related travel during the 2022 spring semester.

Based on currently available data on serology post-vaccination and expert opinion, a faculty member will automatically qualify for a flexible teaching modality arrangement if their household member has one of the preapproved conditions listed below:

  • Household member with solid organ transplants or stem cell transplants
  • Household member who is currently in cycle for chemotherapy or cancers associated with immune deficiency (leukemias and lymphomas)
  • Household member with chronic inflammatory diseases treated with systemic corticosteroid therapy greater than 20 mg prednisone daily, immunomodulatory medications, and/or biologic agents
  • Household member with primary immune deficiency disorder Household member with immune deficiencies due to HIV infection and having CD4 T lymphocyte counts less than 200.

At this time, faculty who have household members living with them with conditions other than the ones listed above do not qualify for a FFT modality arrangement. Likewise, at this time, faculty who have children under 12 (and who do not have one of the conditions listed above) do not qualify for a FFT modality arrangement.

If conditions around the pandemic worsen, we will further modify the criteria for this modality arrangement guided by advice from our health expert colleagues.The deadline to submit requests for Fall 2021 was August 20, 2021.

To request a flexible teaching modality arrangement for Spring 2022, please complete this form by January 16, 2022.


Working and Research

On-Campus Operations

Operations should be conducted remotely whenever possible. Only essential services should take place on campus. If you have questions on how your department or unit will operate, please check with your supervisor, department chair or unit lead.

Meetings

Meetings should be conducted virtually whenever possible. You are encouraged to use Teams, Zoom, WebEx or other available technology to conduct business.

Travel

Carefully evaluate your need to travel. If possible, attend events or conferences virtually. Before planning any necessary business travel, carefully review the university’s current travel policies. As a reminder, all foreign travel must be approved by the International Oversight Committee (IOC).

Research

Researchers are encouraged to follow public health best practices to maintain health and safety including daily health checks and disinfecting practices. Researchers and their teams should adhere to all lab safety protocols. The UTSA Knowledge Enterprise office is always a resource for the campus research community.


Frequently Asked Questions - Teaching, Working and Research

Teaching

No. On May 18, 2021, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-36, which prohibits government entities from mandating face coverings. UTSA will continue to comply with the governor’s executive order. At the same time, UTSA strongly recommends that all Roadrunners wear masks in all public and common spaces on UTSA's campuses. You may not in any way single out students based on your perceptions about their health or vaccination status. You may encourage your students to wear masks and model that behavior by wearing one yourself.

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An individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status is protected, confidential medical information. Faculty should not ask students whether or not they have been vaccinated.

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No, you may not in any way single out students based on your perceptions about their health. You may remind students of their responsibility to self-monitor for symptoms before coming to campus, per the course syllabus, and that masking in indoor spaces on campus is encouraged.

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Working

No. On May 18, 2021, Governor Abbott issued Executive Order GA-36, which prohibits government entities from mandating face coverings. UTSA will continue to comply with the governor’s executive order. At the same time, UTSA strongly recommends that all Roadrunners wear masks in all public and common spaces on UTSA's campuses. You may not prohibit individuals from entering an office space based on whether they are wearing a mask. You may encourage your coworkers to wear masks and model that behavior by wearing one yourself.

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If you need to discuss your modality, contact your supervisor to discuss the options available to you. Previously, area managers and vice presidents carefully considered staff work modalities based on the requirements of individual positions. Your assigned work modality is essential to supporting the university, our students and your teams.

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Research

The use of face masks is strongly encouraged among all UTSA community members but are not required except during specific research protocols (e.g., BSL2 level work). This includes any research conducted on behalf of UTSA, regardless of the research site.

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Continue with disinfection practices, diligent hygiene, and closely monitor symptoms of illness. No one should be on campus if they feel ill, so be sure to have back up methods of continuing experiments or research protocols if one research team member is unable to finish due to illness.

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The Institutional Review Board/Human Subjects Research (IRB) continues to review research protocols regarding the safety of research personnel and human subjects. Face-to-face research with human research is continuing with reasonable modifications. Contact irb@utsa.edu.

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