Working, Teaching, & Research
Faculty Flexible Teaching (FFT) Modality Arrangement Available for Fall 2021
Due to the nature of the Delta variant and in consultation with our national expert colleagues at UT Health San Antonio, 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 2021 fall 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 2021 fall semester. Faculty members with an approved flexible teaching modality arrangement are expected not to engage in university related travel during the 2021 fall 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. Note: Deadline to submit requests was August 20, 2021.
Working and Research
Telecommuting Agreements for Staff
Work Modality Conditions & Agreement forms that were recently executed became effective on September 13. Please contact your supervisior for additional details.
Meetings should be conducted virtually whenever possible. You are encouraged to use Teams, Zoom, WebEx or other available technology to conduct business.
Carefully evaluate your need to travel at this time. 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).
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
I am a faculty member teaching a face-to-face course this fall. Can I require my students to wear masks in class or during office hour meetings? Do I have to wear a mask while 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.Permalink
As an instructor, can we ask the students if they have been vaccinated or not?
An individual’s COVID-19 vaccination status is protected, confidential medical information. Faculty should not ask students whether or not they have been vaccinated.Permalink
Is there a university standard procedure for faculty to manage ill students in class? For example, can faculty ask a student to leave class or cancel class that day if she shows up sneezing, coughing or showing signs of being sick?
May I choose to only allow persons in my office or work area who are wearing a mask?
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.Permalink
My telecommuting arrangement has come to an end, and I am supposed to return to my campus office for work. What if I’m not comfortable returning to campus?
Work Modality Conditions & Agreement forms that were executed in July/August became effective September 13. If you need to discuss your modality for the fall semester, 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.Permalink
Do I need to wear a mask while conducting on-campus or during community-based 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.Permalink
I am a Principal Investigator (PI) and want to know how best to support the health and safety of my research team.
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.Permalink
Is face-to-face human research allowed?
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.Permalink