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The Teaching in the Fall Taskforce has required and recommended language you can use. Find syllabus language here.

Remote work is a work arrangement in which some, or all, of the work is performed from home or another off-site location. In general, regular office hours are worked and deviations from that schedule require supervisor approval.

All employees returning to any UCF campus are expected to self-check by filling out a symptom and exposure screening form in the UCF Mobile app. The COVID-19 Self-Checker is required to be completed each time an employee returns to on-site work, and supervisors will receive notifications about employees not cleared to return to the office.

Paper versions of the questionnaire are available in English and Spanish on Human Resources’ website.

All employees returning to the workplace also are required to complete the training “Returning to Campus Operations” in Webcourses that outlines health and safety protocols each of us is expected to follow.

Employees who have tested positive for COVID-19 or have been in proximity to someone who has must stay home and not come to UCF.

All presently employed tenure-earning faculty who will apply for tenure during or after the 2020-2021 academic year are eligible. If you are currently scheduled to submit your tenure dossier in August 2020, you are eligible.

Those excluded from this opportunity are faculty members who have already been considered for tenure this academic year (that is, those who submitted their dossier in fall 2019, and those tenure-track faculty who will begin their employment with UCF on or after April 1, 2020).

Students who come to class without a mask should be asked to leave. The UCF COVID-19 Return to Campus policy says:
A student may be asked to leave a facility or a classroom if they are not abiding by the university’s health and hygiene rules as outlined in this policy. A student who refuses to leave a facility or classroom may be referred for student disciplinary action for causing a disruption.

A student who refuses to comply with this should be referred to Student Conduct (see, e.g., https://scai.sdes.ucf.edu/report-an-incident/). They have no choice in this matter, just as they have no choice in other matters of conduct (e.g., they can’t disrupt a class). Students who intentionally refuse to wear a facial covering will face increasing penalties, up to dismissal.

Submit the request to your chair/director (or dean if there are no departments/schools in the college) using the tenure clock extension COVID-19 form. A recommendation is made to the dean, who forwards a recommendation to Faculty Excellence. The extension is issued by Faculty Excellence. It is understood that such requests will be presumptively approved.

Employees who can continue to work remotely should, especially those at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Continued physical distancing and proper safety precautions remain critical, and this may mean a blend of remote and in-person work for some employees.

Supervisors should consider the individual needs and circumstances of their employees and are advised to remain flexible and understanding, knowing that some employees do not need to work from campus, may not feel comfortable doing so at this time, or have special circumstances that would hinder them from working on campus. Employees should work with their supervisors on their work schedule and arrangements.

Special circumstances include having a higher health risk according to CDC guidelines, being restricted by a medical isolation order or having dependent-care responsibilities.

Remote work is easiest to implement for jobs or tasks that require reading, writing, research, working with data and talking on the phone. In general, and at leadership’s discretion, a job is suited to remote working if the job or some components of it can be done off-site without disruption to the flow of work and communication.

Yes. A year will be added to the adjusted time period following the previous extension.

All faculty should plan for the potential for students to need additional flexibility with courses, particularly courses with an in-person component.

  • Attendance requirements should be relaxed as much as possible without compromising the learning objectives of the course.
  • Faculty should use the videoconferencing capabilities of the classroom to livestream and record lectures.
  • Faculty should have clear instructions and adequate resources online for students to make up work or complete work asynchronously when necessary.

It is not uncommon to require employees in positions needing in-person contact/customer service or that rely upon specific equipment or supplies to work on site. Management and/or supervisory roles may be excluded from consideration for remote working arrangements unless a department finds such an arrangement practical in meeting job responsibilities. Some jobs that may not seem appropriate at first may be modified, with your college or division HR lead’s approval so that employees can work remotely.

Yes, your supervisor has the authority to cancel any pre-approved leave request, especially in circumstances where there are serious staffing shortages as a result of illness.

Yes. A year will be added to your original dossier submission date. You will still be able to request a withdrawal of some or all of your tenure credit per regulation 3.015 if you would like to do so at a later date.

We are asking each faculty member to be proactive and have a plan. The Teaching in the Fall Taskforce has put together these recommendations:

  • Identify at least one faculty member who can serve as an instructional backup for each course section, taking into consideration course modality, faculty expertise, and availability.
  • Develop a transition plan for shifting to backup instructors. The plan should include details on how the change will be communicated to students, how access to the syllabus and other instructional materials needed to continue course instruction will be provided, and a plan for regular communication among primary and backup faculty to facilitate a smooth transition.
  • Create plans for two scenarios: a short-term (2-3 weeks) and a long-term (3 weeks or longer) need.
  • Place as much course information (e.g. assignments, exams, etc.) as possible for the entire semester in Webcourses at the beginning of the term.
  • Make similar contingencies for thesis, dissertation, and independent study supervision backups.

Remote work works best when employees and supervisors communicate clearly about expectations. The following checklist will help you establish a foundation for effective remote working, continued productivity, and service to the University community.

1. Review technology needs and resources.

Identify technology tools employees use in their daily work and determine whether the resources will be accessible when working from home. Also, ensure employees know how to access the appropriate technical support, should they need assistance.

    • Confirm that employees know how to set up call forwarding and how to access their voicemail from home, if available. The UCF Cell Phone Policy may apply.
    • Determine which platform(s) you will use to communicate as a team, clarify expectations for online availability and confirm everyone has access to the technology tool(s). UCF employees have free access to Skype for Business, Zoom, Microsoft Teams and your department may have additional tools or resources.
    • Ensure alternative worksite safety.
2. Review work schedules.

Remote working can be confused with flex work. Be clear about your expectations with employees for maintaining their current work schedule or if you are open to flexible scheduling based on employee needs.

    • For employees who are eligible for overtime, certain activities — such as travel to and from required meetings that occur during scheduled work time — are included as hours worked.
    • OPS employees should continue to work, as long as there is work available, as agreed to by department/college head and HR lead. Timesheets or LAPERS will be managed through email as attachments to ensure employees will be paid for their remote work leave and hours worked. Submit LAPERs and timesheets to your supervisor and payroll processor.
3. Draft a work plan.

Review the questions below with employees and work through answers together.

    • What routine responsibilities/tasks cannot be fulfilled while working remotely and how will it impact operations or other people? What are ways to reduce any identified impacts?
    • Are there cross-training opportunities to identify backup employees who can do critical work within or between departments? Plan for employee absences.
    • What key processes have been identified for each area/or department? Will there be specific platform access necessary to fulfill these processes?
    • What routine responsibilities/tasks require regular communication and collaboration with others? Proactively contact each other to confirm how you will communicate while everyone is working remotely.
    • Are there critical work activities that are vulnerable to the absence of a small number of key employees?
    • Identify which teams or individuals have limited or no experience with remote work.
    • What training will be necessary for remote work tools and technology?
    • Identify and agree on strategic priorities during this time.
    • Implement a test exercise to test your plan.
    • Oftentimes employees experience fewer interruptions while working remotely. Are there any special projects, tasks, or online training that you can advance while working remotely?
    • What events or meetings are scheduled during the time in which the temporary remote working arrangement is in place? Will they be postponed or canceled, or will they take place using technology?
    • What follow-up should occur due to postponements or cancellations? What circumstances require on-site attendance?
    • Identify employees who may need special requirements or currently have work accommodations, and plan accordingly.
    • Identify employees who will have access to the building, labs, or facilities.
    • Provide resources or the process for technical support.
4. Make a communication and accountability plan.

Supervisors should tell employees how often they should send updates on work plan progress and what those updates should include. Supervisors should also communicate how quickly they expect the employee to respond and the best ways for the employee to contact the supervisor while working remotely. Current performance standards are expected to be maintained by employees.

    • If you normally make daily rounds to visit employees at their desks, you can give them a call during this period. Maintain team meetings and one-to-one check-ins, altering the schedule if needed to accommodate any alternative schedules that have been approved.
    • Conduct regular check-ins. Consider starting each workday with a phone, video, or instant message chat. Your employees will be eager for connection and information during the disruption, and the structure will help everyone create a positive routine. Every other day or weekly check-ins may be fine, so long as you are in contact frequently enough that your employees are in sync with you and/or with one another.
    • Prepare an emergency communication plan. Identify key contacts (with backups), chains of communications for tracking business and employee statuses.
5. Be positive.

A positive attitude and a willingness to trust employees to effectively work remotely is key to making such arrangements successful and productive. Working remotely presents an opportunity for supervisors to become better managers. Instead of focusing on how many hours your employees are working, re-emphasize a focus on measuring results and reaching objectives—regardless of work arrangement. The employee’s completed work product is the indicator of success, rather than direct observation. By focusing on the employee’s work product, supervisors will improve their organizational abilities and their own skill in managing by objectives.

6. Debrief after normal operations resume.

Employees and supervisors should review work plans when work returns to normal, assess progress on the employee’s work plan and prioritize any unresolved or new work that resulted from temporary operational disruption.

No. The standards specified in your department/school and college governance documents, as well as Regulation 3.015, remain in effect when your tenure review occurs. The department/school and college standards will be applied without prejudice.

Meetings, training sessions and other group discussions should continue to occur in virtual platforms, rather than traditional face-to-face meetings, as much as possible. Some of the available tools are Skype, Teams and Zoom. Continued physical distancing remains critical to prevent further spread of COVID-19.

Define your workspace

Establishing a workspace, even if it is your kitchen table, gives your brain a cue that it is time for work. Wearing the same attire you do to the office even if it is your “casual Friday,” may be a helpful cue. You should remain capable of reporting to work if your presence is requested by your supervisor.

Master the basics
  • Set up call forwarding, and be sure you know how to access your voicemail from home, if available. The university’s cell phone policy may be applicable.
  • Know how to remote into the UCF network and other online tools you use regularly.
  • Use Skype for Business, Zoom or another instant messaging client to stay connected to colleagues. Additional support for campus employees can be found at it.ucf.edu/faculty-and-staff-support
  • Plan for video calls/meetings by making sure you know how to turn on your computer’s camera (if available) and microphone and being aware your colleagues may be able to see the background behind you.
Set daily goals, track them and share your progress

Consider starting each day of remote work by writing down what you need to accomplish and then tracking your progress. Pay attention to how long tasks take you and start adjusting your daily goals to match your current rhythm. Communicate with your supervisor and/or colleagues if you think your telecommuting plan needs to be adjusted.

Eliminate distractions

Home can mean pets, children or a favorite hobby are only a few feet away. Depending on your living arrangement, you may need to hang a “do not disturb” sign so your family members don’t interrupt you. Pets often need a closed door to keep them away, and you might need headphones to block the noise.

Prioritize privacy

Whether you are in your home or a common area, take five minutes to assess the privacy of your workspace. Can someone standing behind you read your computer screen? Are your windows open so your neighbor can hear your phone call? What information do you need to secure before grabbing a cup of coffee or heading to the restroom?

Your personal privacy matters too, so see if there is anything around you that you would not want visible during a video conference with your boss or colleague. Keep in mind the work employees do while working remotely, even on their personal devices for University work conducted, remains subject to University and other applicable regulations including Public Records law, FS 119.

Continue to employ best security practices

Situations like these are prime phishing opportunities. Remain vigilant for security concerns and be sure to report suspicious emails as recommended by the UCF Security Incident Response Team (SIRT).

  • Caution needs to be taken when dealing with personal health information (“PHI”) and HIPAA matters while working from home or another off-site location. If you have questions, contact your department/division HIPAA officer or HR Lead.
  • VPNs can also allow you to safely connect to a remote network of computers as if you are there. If you are dealing with sensitive information and want to explore VPN, you can learn more on the UCF IT UCF Virtual Private Network (VPN) Access page.
  • Additional information can be found within the UCF Faculty and Staff Guide for Working Remotely.
  • You are expected to follow the telecommuting equipment safeguards outlined in the university’s Telecommuting Manual.
Stay connected

Many people say they do not call or instant message colleagues who are working remotely because they don’t want to bother them. Remember, they are working, not vacationing at home. You should feel confident about calling or messaging an employee who is working remotely anytime you would walk to their office or call them if you were working on-site.

If a faculty member has a majority of their tenure earning credit by the time new tenure criteria are adopted, they shall be evaluated for tenure under the criteria as they existed prior to modification unless the employee notified the university in writing at least 30 days prior to commencement of the tenure consideration that they choose to be evaluated under the newly adopted criteria.

If a student in an on-campus class falls ill, tests positive, etc., they report it via the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509. This triggers a public health response. If everyone in a class has been wearing face coverings and staying physically distanced there will be minimal risk of COVID transmission. The health officials will determine whether there is a reason to test others in the class, isolate anyone, or contact anyone.

All classes will be remote after Thanksgiving. The Center for Distributed Learning has put together this guide to online final exams.

No. As per regulation 3.015, faculty may choose to be considered for tenure on the regularly scheduled time period (in the sixth year for faculty not in the College of Medicine and the eighth year in the College of Medicine).

  • Operational requirements
  • Security of work data
  • Technological capabilities and equipment necessary to perform job duties
  • Productivity
  • Accuracy of records reflecting time worked by non-exempt employees

If you have chosen the Blendflex model, you will use the technology in the classroom. If you haven’t chosen Blendflex, there is a chance you may still use the technology for a student who becomes ill. Explore the video guide to the technology, and more information on the Blendflex model.

Yes. If you are scheduled to submit your tenure dossier after August 2020, then you must file your tenure clock extension request by September 1, 2020.

We understand that your students respect you and trust you as their faculty member. You can show them the ucf.edu/coronavirus website for the latest information and resources, and if appropriate, point them to UCF Counseling and Psychological Services.

Beginning April 1, 2020, you can formally apply for the extension.

Departments should proceed as they normally would with regular orders for office items such as soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels and other cleaning supplies. These items are especially important as employees begin returning to work and have the need to clean their personal workspaces, and departments should continue with their normal processes for procuring these supplies at their own cost.

Departments with additional needs for cleaning and disinfecting supplies beyond their regular orders should seek authorization prior to purchasing by directing their requests to eoc@ucf.edu. It is important that any new requests for items intended to prevent further spread of COVID-19 funnel through this centralized request system in case there is a possibility for future reimbursement.

Consistent with the university’s telecommuting manual, we will reimburse for high-speed internet when employees incur additional costs to their personal home internet access. For example, if an employee does not have high-speed internet access, the university will reimburse for the installation and monthly service for a dedicated business-related access line for the pro-rata time period in which the employee works from home. If the employee has personal internet access and incurs additional costs associated with working remotely such as increased data needs or bandwidth, the university will reimburse for the pro-rata time period in which the employee is working from home. If employees already have access to high-speed internet and will use the same access for university business and incurs no additional costs, no reimbursements will be paid. Departments may temporarily assign Wi-Fi hotspots to employees while they are working remotely, if available.

Cell phone reimbursements will be paid according to the UCF Policy 4-009. We encourage departments to limit reimbursements to only additional costs employees may incur while working remotely.

UCF Facilities is providing sanitizing wipes in each classroom. Faculty and students are responsible for wiping down personal workspaces with provided sanitizing wipes. Classrooms will be cleaned daily.

Ask your student to call the UCF COVID Line at 407-823-2509. Be sure the student knows your academic expectations so they can continue to learn remotely until they are cleared to come back to campus.

No. But if you would like to hold in-person office hours, you can as long as you follow the physical distancing and face covering guidelines.

The Faculty Center for Teaching and Learning has gathered resources to promote academic honesty in the classroom.

Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) is UCF’s mental health resource for students. You can visit CAPS’ website for information about and resources for coping during this time. Students can also schedule phone or virtual consultation with CAPS by calling 407-823-2811 or visiting their website.

Student Care Services continues to work remotely with anyone who needs additional academic or personal support during this time.

UCF offers our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) to all non-student employees. This program provides resources to help employees and their dependents cope with these types of life events. The EAP, administered by Health Advocate, provides confidential, short-term counseling at no cost to the employee.

Health Advocate Toll-Free Number: 877-240-6863

Health Advocate Website: HealthAdvocate.com/members

Yes. Speak with you supervisor, fill out the COVID-19 self checker and be sure to wear your face covering.

Communication with your supervisor is more important than ever when you are working remotely. You should keep your supervisor informed about your health status and decide together whether you are well enough to work remotely or need to use accrued leave to cover any hours not worked.

Clearly outlined and executed remote work arrangements can prove beneficial to employees and supervisors alike. Supervisors should articulate clear procedures regarding check-in times and hours of availability. With proper planning, communication problems can be minimized.

The COVID-19 emergency is an unprecedented situation that is developing rapidly. Employees and supervisors alike have a lot of questions, so it is critical to keep lines of communication open and be patient with each other as we move forward together into uncharted territory.

Employees are encouraged to reach out to UCF Human Resources with questions about working remotely, benefits, and leave. HR is continuously updating its COVID-19 Information page with answers to new questions and available resources as we respond to the COVID-19 situation.

Critical updates and information are available on the UCF Coronavirus website.

Employees who can continue to work remotely should, especially those at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Continued physical distancing and proper safety precautions remain critical, and this may mean a blend of remote and in-person work for some employees.

Supervisors should consider the individual needs and circumstances of their employees and are advised to remain flexible and understanding, knowing that some employees do not need to work from campus, may not feel comfortable doing so at this time, or have special circumstances that would hinder them from working on campus. Employees should work with their supervisors on their work schedule and arrangements.

Special circumstances include having a higher health risk according to CDC guidelines, being restricted by a medical isolation order or having dependent-care responsibilities.

You may use your p-card as usual. Follow the routine guidelines and procedures. All F&A procedures remain status quo until further notice.

Employees covered by a UCF Short Term Disability (STD) plan may be eligible for benefits if they are diagnosed with the illness and are sick and unable to perform the major duties of their job due to the sickness. Contact information for the STD carriers are listed below:

Colonial Life: 888-756-6701 or www.visityouville.com/stateoffl

The Gabor Agency: 800-330-6115 or http://www.gaboragency.com/your-benefits/university-central-florida/group-disability/disability-insurance

The Florida Board of Governors, which oversees state universities, has directed UCF, along with the state’s other public universities, to extend our period of remote learning through the end of the spring semester. This important and necessary action will protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.

Faculty and staff who are working remotely should expect to continue to do so for the immediate weeks ahead. We will continue to keep you informed about remote working guidelines as decisions are made about campus operations for the remainder of the spring semester.

Some employees will be required to be on campus because they support remote learning, campus operations and other areas. It is supervisors’ responsibility to appropriately determine which employees have duties that don’t allow them to work remotely.

Detailed instructions on how to access and utilize the COVID Self-Checker are available online for employees and supervisors.

Working remotely during this pandemic brings significant challenges. Finding a correct ergonomic set-up at home to do computer work for 8 hours (or more) per day is a challenge, but critically important. Although taking the laptop to your bed or couch may be tempting, you should avoid it as it will likely result in awkward postures that will affect your body and productivity.

Here’s some tips from UCF Environmental Health and Safety about tips for setting up your space for remote work.

To minimize the potential exposure to others, it is very important that you stay home while you have any contagious illness. If your illness qualifies under the federal Families First Act, you may be eligible for emergency leave pay. Alternatively, the following options may be available to you, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of the job responsibilities and the extent of the illness.

  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for non-exempt (hourly paid) employees with supervisory approval. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Thursday.
  • Exempt employees may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with supervisory approval.
  • Request a Leave Without Pay for up to ten days with supervisory approval. If an employee is out more than 10 days, the employee will need to request a Medical Leave of Absence. The Medical Request Leave Form is located at https://hr.ucf.edu/files/MedicalLeaveRequestForm.pdf
  • Use a combination of the options above.

Per the Department of Economic Opportunity, if your employer reduces your hours, you may be eligible for partial benefits. If you are earning less than $275 in gross earnings per week, you can file a claim to determine if you would be eligible to receive partial payments. More information is available at: connect.myflorida.com/Claimant/Core/Login.ASPX

Yes, PageUp can be accessed via mobile, tablet, laptop or desktop utilizing single sign-on credentials.

No. Bringing a child to work is not permitted under a stay-at-home order. The only persons allowed on campus are employees who have been approved by their dean or vice president as being critical to the university’s continued operation. These employees include: first responders, healthcare professionals, supply chain personnel, critical infrastructure support personnel, approved researchers and instructors, and certain contractors. If you are not able to work remotely, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued sick or annual leave, due to the threat of exposure to illness.
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for non-exempt (hourly paid)
    employees with supervisory approval. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on
    the following Thursday.
  • Exempt employees may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with
    supervisory approval, or if absent for a full workday, may use accrued leave.
  • Request a Leave of Absence (annual leave usage for pay) or Leave of Absence (without pay) if you will be out
    more than 10 days.
  • Use a combination of the options above.

Please note that on March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law and became effective on April 1, 2020. University leadership is now working to understand how this new law may apply to UCF employees. More information will be provided when it becomes available, so please check back for details in the coming days.

Bringing a child to work is not recommended or advisable whether you are working remotely or on site. However, we recognize the unprecedented nature of the COVID-19 emergency and understand that working remotely with your child may be possible, and in some cases, necessary. Decisions can be made on a case-by-case basis by your department head or designee. If you are not able to work remotely with your child, the following options are available, although not all options will be available in all situations depending upon the nature of your job responsibilities:

  • Use accrued sick or annual leave, due to the threat of exposure to illness.
  • Make up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same workweek for non-exempt (hourly paid) employees with supervisory approval. UCF’s workweek begins at 12:00 a.m. on Friday and ends at 11:59 p.m. on the following Thursday.
  • Exempt employees may make-up the work on an hour-for-hour basis during the same pay period with supervisory approval, or if absent for a full workday, may use accrued leave.
  • Request a Leave of Absence (annual leave usage for pay) or Leave of Absence (without pay) if you will be out more than 10 days.
  • Use a combination of the options above.

Please note that on March 18, 2020, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act was signed into law and became effective on April 1, 2020. University leadership is now working to understand how this new law may apply to UCF employees. More information will be provided when it becomes available, so please check back for details in the coming days.

The following are COVID-19 qualifying reasons for emergency paid sick leave:

  1. The employee is subject to a federal, state or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19;
  3. The employee is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and is seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. The employee is caring for an individual who is subject to a quarantine or isolation order or has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine;
  5. The employee is caring for a son or daughter because the child’s school or place of care has been closed or the child’s childcare is unavailable due to COVID-19 precautions;
  6. The employee is experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the Secretary of the HHS in consultation with the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor.

For more information, visit https://hr.ucf.edu/families-first-coronavirus-response-act/.

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