Guidance for faculty

Reporting and contact tracing

Faculty have a responsibility to report to their department chair/program director and Human Resources if they test positive for Covid-19 or have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19. Even faculty members working remotely must report this information.

If a student informs you that he or she has tested positive or need to quarantine because of close contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19, you must ask the student to complete the COVID Report Form, and the you should also report this information on the Faculty Report Form. Even if the student is taking online classes, this information must be reported.

With local health departments, the University is developing teams of contact tracers to support county operations. This will allow us to respond quickly and appropriately, inform potential contacts and guide them on the next steps to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Attendance guidelines

Because of the pandemic, there will be more student absences than in a typical semester. Students may be isolating, quarantining, or caring for sick family members. Faculty should make plans to help these students keep up with their classwork. OAA strongly recommends that online-live and dual delivery classes be recorded and made available to students. Faculty should use Brightspace to communicate with students and provide instructional materials and activities. Please consider making your attendance policies flexible.

Most often, test results and contact tracing are done by phone, so those required to isolate or quarantine will not have written documentation. Please keep this in mind when students have COVID-19 related absences.

Face covering policy

Faculty should include the following statement on their syllabus:

To protect the health and safety of our community, students, faculty, staff and visitors must wear face coverings that cover their mouth, nose, and chin while on campus. This includes all hallways, public spaces, classrooms and other common areas of campus buildings, as well as offices, labs, work spaces, and outdoor settings when 6-feet social distancing cannot be maintained. Students needing accommodations may contact the Office of Accessibility.

Students not wearing a face covering in class will be reminded to do so. Faculty should direct students who need a mask to the Student Union, the Student Recreation Center, or Simmons Hall to pick up their free masks. If a student refuses to wear a face covering (or to wear one properly), the faculty member will ask the student to leave the classroom.  As a last resort, campus police may be called. The faculty member may submit a student conduct referral form to the Office of Student Conduct. Students who fail to follow this policy will be subject to progressive discipline that may result in the student’s removal from the in-person course.

Face shields may be used in addition to face coverings, but not in-lieu-of them.

Cleaning policy

  • Classrooms and labs/studios will be provided a bottle of VIREX for disinfecting.
  • Upon entering the room, faculty will check to see if there is a working bottle of VIREX with sufficient fluid. For immediate replacement, call 330-972-7415. Large classrooms will be equipped with multiple bottles.
  • At the end of class, desktops and used surfaces must be sprayed with VIREX. Faculty may ask for a student volunteer to spray surfaces but should supervise this activity. The spray needs to sit undisturbed for ten minutes. Do not wipe surfaces.
  • Faculty should allow sufficient time to spray surfaces. It may be necessary to dismiss class a few minutes early to allow for this process.
  • Computer keyboards, peripherals and other instruments may be lightly sprayed with Virex or disinfected with an alcohol wipe unless such action violates manufacturer guidelines.
  • Units are responsible for ensuring and enforcing cleaning policies in departmental common areas (e.g. open computer labs, conference rooms, tutoring spaces).

Social distancing

  • Faculty should encourage students to keep 6’ of spacing as they enter and exit instructional areas.
  • Faculty may want to dismiss class by sections or rows to allow for better social distancing.
  • Students are permitted to breach the 6’ spacing for very brief periods as they take measurements or adjust equipment in lab/studio settings. Faculty should minimize the necessity for such interactions. 

Assigned seating

  • All faculty must establish a record of assigned seats. Students must sit in the same seat throughout the semester.
    • Classroom seating on main campus will be numbered. In most classrooms, seats will have a sticker with a number on it; larger lecture classrooms are numbered by row/seat.
    • To create a record of assigned seating, take attendance and ask student to respond with their seat number or row/seat number. Record this information on your class roster. You can print off a copy of your roster in MyAkron, or, if you prefer an electronic copy, you download your gradebook as a spreadsheet with student names in Brightspace.

For more information and updates, see the Return to Campus page.