Lidio Lima de Albuquerque teaches an anatomy class with virtual cadavers at Veterans Hall.

Spring 2021 Faculty and Staff Updates

It may look a little different, but as faculty and staff we are committed to continuing to deliver the CHHS experience, while helping each other and our community.

Please use this webpage and UNCW's Best for the Nest site as your guide for how you can do your part to keep each other safe and well. 

Details and announcements will be added as decisions are made. Check back frequently and stay informed about the role you will play in creating a successful semester.

  • Well-Being

    The Office of Human Resources is joining with the System Office, as well as our sister institutions, for the “If It Matters to You, It Matters” well-being campaign. 

    UNCW is continuing its focus on ensuring that all staff and faculty are aware of various system-wide and campus resources to assist with mental health support, work/life balance and stress management.
     
    Please take a moment to watch a video message from UNC System President Peter Hans addressing the importance of self-care, which is even more critical during these times, and explore System Office’s resilience and stress management resources for faculty and staff page.  

    UNCW already has some excellent infrastructure through its Dare to Learn Academy.

  • Health & Wellness

    Faculty and staff who plan to be on campus are expected to complete a personal daily health assessment. Please check your temperature and perform the health assessment below on a daily basis prior to coming to campus.

    Daily Healthy Assessment:

    • Temperature above 100 degrees
    • Cough and/or shortness of breath (or difficulty breathing)
    • Chills, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, or recent history of fever
    • Contact with a person with confirmed or suspected COVID-19

    Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to coronavirus. People with the above symptoms may have COVID-19. Do not participate in campus jobs, classes or activities until cleared by your medical provider.

    If You Are Ill

    Employees who are exhibiting any of the aforementioned symptoms should contact their health care provider (let them know you have symptoms when making an appointment), notify your supervisor and then notify the UNCW Student Health Center at 910.962.0587 or coronavirus@uncw.edu.

    Face Coverings: Faculty & Staff

    All faculty and staff are expected to wear face coverings while inside buildings and outside where social distancing isn’t possible. It is not necessary to wear a face covering when alone in your own office or when alone in an uncrowded outdoor location.

    We serve as positive role models in establishing this culture on campus. It is important that students receive clear and consistent messaging that the health and safety everyone is our first priority.

    Faculty and staff who have a medical concern about wearing a face covering should contact Human Resources at (910) 962-3160.


    Face Coverings: Students

    Students who are unprepared or unwilling to wear protective face coverings will not be permitted to participate in face-to-face interactions. If a student refuses to comply, faculty can follow existing procedures for disruptive students and there may also be academic consequences as indicated in course syllabi.

    Academic Affairs provided the following suggested language for your course syllabus (for courses requiring face-to-face sessions):

    • Following CDC Guidelines, UNC System directives, and out of mutual respect as outlined in the UNCW Seahawk Respect Compact, all faculty, staff, and students will wear face coverings while inside buildings. Students who are unprepared or unwilling to wear protective face coverings will not be permitted to participate in face-to-face sessions and will need to leave the building. Noncompliant students will be referred to the Dean of Students for an Honor Code Violation. Any student who has a medical concern with wearing a face covering should contact the Disability Resource Center at (910) 962-7555.

    Cleaning and Disinfecting

    • Housekeeping will clean common areas in academic buildings.
    • Hand sanitizer dispensers will be deployed across campus — mainly at building entrances and exits.
    • Disinfecting wipes will be available throughout campus to be used to clean high touch surfaces.

    Handwashing

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing or touching your face.
    • If soap and water are not readily available, use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

    Physical Distancing

    • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people who are not from your household in both indoor and outdoor spaces.
  • Testing

    On February 8, UNCW launched a COVID-19 surveillance-testing program to supplement the robust health and safety measures already in place on campus to reduce the spread of the virus.

    Faculty and staff, especially those that are working on campus, are highly encouraged to be tested. We ask that you sign up for a testing appointment by using this link. Currently, the link has dates through February, and it will extend that into March later this month. You are welcome to sign up based on when you will be on campus, as often as weekly.

    Testing will occur in the Mac Gym at the Student Rec Center – enter from Walton Drive. Appointments are available Monday through Friday. You will need to bring your UNCW ID with you. 

    If you have tested positive in the last 90 days, you will not need to test again until 90 days has passed from your original test. If you were tested off campus and have not already informed the Student Health Center of your positive result, please email us at coronavirus@uncw.edu.

    If you have any questions, please email coronavirus@uncw.edu. Please include “Surveillance Testing” in the subject line and a phone number in the body of the email. 

    Please see Best for the Nest for more details about the university’s surveillance testing.

    Community testing sites can be found here.

  • COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank
    UNCW has established a COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank to help leave-earning employees who cannot work for certain COVID-19-related reasons.

    • What reasons are covered by the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank?
      The leave bank is for employees who cannot report to work for certain COVID-19-related reasons, including childcare, elder care, close contact in the last 14 days with a person who has tested positive, has symptoms, under quarantine, or who cannot telework.
    • Who is eligible to receive leave from the COVID-19 Leave Bank?
      Employees must have exhausted all of their own leave in order to be eligible to receive leave from the leave bank. A maximum of 160 hours may be used by an employee.
    • Who can donate to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank?
      All leave-earning employees may voluntarily elect to donate leave to the leave bank. Donated leave is not returned to the donor if it is not used and the recipient cannot retain any of the donated leave not used. Leave is donated to a bank and cannot be donated to a specific individual. A maximum of 200 hours may be donated by an employee.
    • How do I request or donate leave from/to the COVID-19 Shared Leave Bank?
      Below are the links to the donation form and the request form. Additional details will be posted to the HR website in the next few days.

    REQUEST Leave from the COVID-19 Leave Bank

    DONATE Leave from the COVID-19 Leave Bank

  • Vaccines (updated 4/6/21)
    • All students, faculty, staff, and retirees are now eligible to receive their COVID-19 Vaccine starting Wednesday, April 7 as North Carolina opens Group 5.  
    • Appointments are now open for UNCW’s COVID-19 Campus Vaccination Clinic and are available Wednesday, April 7 and Thursday, April 8 for those over 18. To register, please visit this link. Registering affirms that you are age 18 or older. 
    • After registering, you will receive a follow-up email from NC Department of Health and Human Services entitled “Welcome to the North Carolina COVID-19 Vaccine Portal.” If possible, we would appreciate if you would complete the registration process before you arrive at the Burney Center for your appointment. This will help us create an official record for you to access in the future.     
    • This week UNCW will be administering the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is approved for those at least 18 years of age or older. This vaccine requires only a single dose, which means recipients are considered “fully vaccinated” two weeks after receiving it. As you make plans for the summer, please consider that the CDC recently revised its travel guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. 
    • You will need to provide your name, email address, date of birth, employee or student ID number and mobile phone number to register. Please be punctual the day of your appointment and remember to bring your UNCW ID card. After receiving the vaccine, you will need to remain in the Burney Center for 15 minutes.  
    • Any updates to the vaccine signup, including changes in who is eligible to be vaccinated, will be communicated by OUR.  
    • Questions?   Contact coronavirus@uncw.edu     
       
  • Be a Safer Seahawk

    Explore what it means to be a safer Seahawk, both on and off campus. 

    Enroll in Course

  • Student Recreation Center

    The Student Recreation Center is open with reduced capacities and offerings. Reservations are required. Learn more about reserving time slots here


Course Prep

  • Online Delivery

    Faculty need to be prepared to deliver course content online if needed, for at least two reasons:

    • Individual student quarantine: If students need to self-quarantine, we should ensure students can access course materials online. Synchronous online meetings (and face-to-face meetings when possible) should be recorded for viewing at a later time.

    • Online class pivot: If we need to pivot entirely to online, we should ensure all students have access to course materials.

    Trainings for Canvas and other online tools are ongoing and can found on the UNCW Keep Teaching website. Specific questions regarding online instruction can be directed to Amy Ostrom (ostroma@uncw.edu), Director of e-Learning. Questions regarding Canvas or online course design and delivery can be directed to the DEeL Instructional Design team at elearning@uncw.edu.

    Academic Affairs will communicate information regarding potential eligibility for faculty stipends for time spent converting courses.

  • Instructional Minutes

    Faculty must meet federal instructional minutes requirement as defined by UNCW policy and as required by SACSCOC, using either face-to-face, hybrid, or online delivery. For example, a 3-credit hour course requires 2250 instructional minutes, which includes the final exam period. Faculty will be updated of any changes. 

  • Syllabi

    Syllabi should be released to students at least one week in advance of the spring semester. Syllabi should contain enough detail for students to determine if they are capable of taking the course, given their individual circumstances. Syllabi should minimally include:

    • course delivery modes and expectations for face-to-face meetings;
    • technical requirements for successful online engagement;
    • specification of virtual and/or face-to-face office hours;
    • attendance policy and notification of illness (see details below); and,
    • requirement of face coverings in face-to-face meetings (see details below).

    Syllabi should be posted in Canvas and retained at the school level. Throughout the semester, any syllabus changes should be clearly communicated and disseminated to students and updated at the school level.

  • Courses Requiring Off-Campus Interactions

    Students completing internships, clinical, field work, community engaged research, service learning or any off campus activity for course credit must complete a liability waiver form that will be maintained on file by CHHS Applied Learning Operations. 

    In addition, the site must have a signed university risk management form on file with CHHS Applied Learning Operations. Students must follow health and safety guidelines while performing the work.

    For further guidance, contact Christie Hernandez (hernandezc@uncw.edu). 

  • Attendance Policies

    Faculty continue to exert individual attendance policies and publish these expectations in the course syllabus. We encourage a high level of flexibility with students while continuing to maintain high academic standards. Please take into consideration that some students may fall into high-risk groups, serve as caretakers, or will contract the virus and may require alternative course delivery. Students may not always disclose individual circumstances, thus flexibility should be widely applied. 

    In order to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on campus, students need to report illness to the Student Health Center. Please include this statement in your syllabus: Students who experience COVID-19 symptoms should immediately contact the Abrons Student Health Center at (910) 962-3280.

  • Course Evaluations

    Student evaluation of teaching performance (IDEA) will be conducted in Spring 2021 and will be included in annual performance evaluations and reappointment, tenure and promotion portfolios. Any changes authorized by the Faculty Senate will be communicated. 


Faculty Research

  • Research Access

    Spring research operations and activities are expected to be similar to the Fall 2020 semester. Campus will be open for research by faculty and students using the campus safety guidance and adaptations for operating during the pandemic (see the summary of guidance for research and the Best for the Nest guidance). 

  • Research Operation Guidance

    Focuses on conducting research as safely as possible while the COVID-19 pandemic continues. A number of tools have been created to accomplish this goal including the following:

    • Best for the Nest: The Best for the Nest information, including the Community Standards Quick Reference Guide, provides the overall guidance for campus, including community standards and operational changes that apply to all campus activities including research.   
    • Research Space COVID Capacities: Physical distancing remains an important mechanism to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The Office of Research and Innovation and the Institutional Research and Planning Space Planning & Management Office is working with campus leaders to determine a COVID Capacity for spaces primarily dedicated to research. Given the diversity of research spaces, a guiding principle for this process is that the faculty Principal Investigator or the research space steward(the person responsible for managing the space) is the most knowledgeable about the space and activities that occur in it. Thus, your input to this process may be requested as unit leaders seek to better understand how space can be used safely and efficiently. As with the changes to the instructional spaces, reduced density in research spaces may require researchers to adapt activities and operations so that research can continue as safely as possible. This process is underway.
    • Human Subjects Guidelines: The Research Integrity Office worked with faculty on the Institutional Review Board (IRB), non-IRB faculty, and the Office of General Counsel to develop additional safety guidelines to enable face-to-face human subjects research to continue. These guidelines will be available soon and will be posted on the IRB website.
    • Research Continuity Planning: Researchers need to be prepared for emergencies and disasters that may affect research activities. This includes both the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic that may again necessitate changes to campus operations and hurricanes. To help researchers prepare, UNCW hasworked with Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) to create a Research Continuity Planning template and process that will help Principle Investigators be better prepared when these emergencies occur. This will be available from the EH&S websiteAll researchers are encouraged to complete this planning process as soon as possible so that they are prepared should a restriction to campus access be necessary again.
  • Human Subjects Research Guidance

    To best protect the safety of staff and human subjects who are participating in UNCW research, please review the methods used in any ongoing study you oversee and determine whether any of the in-person activities can be modified to online/remote activities to reduce risk of COVID-19 exposure to UNCW staff and human subjects. 

    Review Research Guidance (SPARC)

    Directions and Guidance for Restarting Human Subjects Research Paused Due to COVID-19

  • Other Operational Changes

    It is important to recall that campus operations are not fully normalized, and this will continue to impact research activities. For example, the UNC System has implemented a system-wide suspension of non-essential HR actions such that hiring research personnel including students, even for externally funded research projects, requires an approval from the Chancellor. This process will take additional time.

    Similarly, purchasing is restricted to essential items. This may include items for research, but researchers need to plan for the extra review process to extend the timeline for purchasing. Relatedly, university employee and student travel also requires additional approvals that are extending the necessary lead time. Researchers will need to plan accordingly. For specific guidance on spending limitations, travel restrictions, and hiring processes, please contact the Assistant Dean for Administration and Resource Management.

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

    The research community is asked to distinguish between PPE required for research purposes and that needed for COVID-19 safety. PPE that would be typically purchased for research purposes, including gloves, face coverings, goggles/safety glasses, etc., should be purchased through standard operating procedures. Any PPE that is needed specifically for COVID-19 safety, including face coverings, wipes, work station partitions, and hand sanitizer, should be coordinated through the Business Core Services Team. These items are being ordered centrally and distributed as needed to campus units.

  • Research Administration

    Following the Best for the Nest guidance, much of the Research and Innovation Services Team will continue to work remotely this fall including the Office of Sponsored Programs and Research Compliance (SPARC; sparc@uncw.edu) and the Research Integrity Office (RIO; rio@uncw.edu). These departments will continue to provide services for proposal development and submission, research integrity, and award management. For any questions about this process or safety concerns, please contact the Office of Research and Innovation at covid19research@uncw.edu.