Faculty COVID-19 Resources
What changes are been made to the spring academic calendar?
The revised Spring 2021 academic calendar is located on the Academic Calendar webpage: https://www.apsu.edu/registrar/acadcal and reflects the following changes:
- In-person and online classes start Jan. 19
- The original spring break has changed. It is now spread out, to include Monday, Feb. 15; Thursday, March 11; and Friday, March 12. In the Academic Calendar, these are referred to as Spring Break I (Feb. 13-15) and Spring Break II (March 11-14). The other two “spring break” days have not yet been identified.
- The University will be closed, as originally planned, on Friday, April 2 (Spring Holiday).
- Study Day (April 29) has not changed
- Final Exam period (April 30 – May 6) has not changed
These changes do not apply to the Spring I or Spring II terms at Austin Peay’s Fort Campbell Center.
Will there be a spring final exam schedule, so that faculty know when to schedule their final exams?
Yes, the normal final exam schedule has been posted on the website of the Office of the Registrar.
Do faculty need to prepare courses ready to deliver online delivery, even if the course
is scheduled to be delivered face to face?
Due to COVID-19, all courses must be ready to be delivered remotely at any time for instances such as a quarantined student or instructor, or if the University pivots to fully remote.
What are the state guidelines for how higher education is responding to COVID-19?
The state has put together the TN Pledge for guidance for all institutions of higher education and can be used as a reference for recommendations and requirements for guiding APSU’s response to COVID-19.
What are the triggers that will cause APSU to pivot to fully remote?
There are many cues from campus, regional, state and federal agencies that will be
crucial for APSU’s consideration to go fully remote or other modification of the current
plan to return and continue on campus in a face to face format. Considerations include
but are not limited to state and county COVID-19 statistics, hospital capacities,
positive cases reported on campus, super spreader events and other data. Additional
Public Health metrics that are used by the regional and state health officials will
also be considered.
If there is an occurrence on campus that requires an increased level of sanitization and a temporary closure for sanitization or other precautionary measures, there will be a campus wide announcement via GovSays email. The message will specify if any buildings need to be temporarily closed for extended cleaning and a timeline of when the building or area will reopen.
How do students know what to do for their class in the spring?
Details of the specific classroom schedule and meeting times and modalities should be detailed in the syllabus that students will have access to two (2) full business days before the semester begins. The D2L course shells will open for students at 8:30am on Thursday, Jan. 14. It is highly recommended faculty email their students to communicate this information on a regular basis before the start of the semester.
What statements about COVID -19 are required to be placed in the syllabus?
A syllabus statement detailing the mask requirement and other classroom protocols has been provided by the Provost’s Office and was developed in collaboration with Faculty Senate. Faculty should include this statement in their syllabi. A PowerPoint presentation has been updated by the Provost’s Office that can be used to inform students about masks and classroom protocols at the beginning of class.
What is the minimum expectation for course materials in each D2L shell?
This will be dependent on each instructor and student learning outcomes, however, the following is a minimum list of information that should be included in every course shell: a welcome message, syllabus, materials for course content and an up-to-date grade book. Due to COVID-19, all courses must be ready to be delivered remotely at any time for instances such as a quarantined student or instructor, or if the University pivots to fully remote.
Is using the gradebook in D2L required?
Yes, a grade book is required for every course. Distance Education provides video tutorials on creating and use the D2L gradebook on page 3 of the DL2 Basics sheet: https://www.apsu.edu/online/technology/files/d2lbasictasksinstructortable.pdf
Are faculty required to include a syllabus in their D2L course shell?
Yes, all faculty are required to upload a syllabus into their D2L course shells. Faculty will be required to upload their syllabus to their D2L course shell at least two (2) full business days before the start of classes in Spring 2021 (Spring I, Spring A, and Full Spring semester). Every instructor must make the syllabus available to students by 8:30 am on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. The Office of Distance Education will unlock the D2L course shells for student access at this time and date. For Spring B and Spring II, faculty must upload their syllabus and make it accessible Monday, March 15 (2 business days prior to the start of Spring II and Spring B).
Details of the specific classroom schedule and meeting times and modalities should
be detailed in the syllabus in order for students to see this information when course
shells are opened to students one week before the semester begins. It is highly recommended
faculty email their students and communicate this information on a regular basis before
the start of the semester.
As a reminder your syllabus is also required to be accessible, click here to be taken to the page for instructions and a template for your syllabus to be accessible.
Are there alternatives to testing/proctored testing?
During the pre-semester calendar, Amanda Wornhoff, Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Assessment (IEA), and Amor Moran, Director of Distance Education, facilitated a workshop and explore options with faculty. The workshop has been posted on the IEA and Distance Education web pages at this link: https://www.apsu.edu/online/faculty/training/alternative-assessments.php
Should faculty have a course buddy who can access your D2L if you yourself could not?
Yes, all faculty are recommended to identify a course buddy who can assist in teaching your course if you are unavailable or need any assistance. We operate in this modality when we are face to face but this will need to be more intentional with different course delivery options.
Who is required to wear a mask or face covering?
All individuals, faculty and students, participating in a face-to-face class are required to wear a mask or face covering in the classroom.
Are faculty required to wear a mask or face covering?
Faculty must always wear a mask or face covering in the classroom and when entering or exiting the classroom. If a faculty member forgets to bring a mask or face covering, the faculty member can use one of the disposable masks provided in the classroom or academic building.
Are faculty allowed to wear face shields?
Faculty are allowed to wear face shields under the following strict guidelines:
- If a social distance of ten feet is not able to be maintained (such as when they are at the front of a classroom), then the faculty member must wear a mask instead of a face shield. An example might include a faculty member instructing students in a clinical environment where a fully socially distant classroom is not possible.
- Only faculty addressing a classroom of individuals may wear a face shield.
How will face shields be distributed?
Academic Affairs has issued each academic department a supply of face shields with five reusable shields for use by faculty. These shields can be cleaned and disinfected and only replaced when torn or not usable. Each department office is responsible for distributing the face shields to their faculty members.
Are faculty required to make seating charts and take attendance in face-to-face classes?
The University notifies individuals who have been exposed. Notifications can be accomplished more easily if the faculty member can confirm whether a student attended class and can identify who they were in close contact with. Although a normal classroom environment adhering to CDC guidelines (required masks and required social distancing), should not lead to exposure, it may be helpful to be able to identify when a student was in class. In addition, there are some classroom environments that may be operating under non-socially distant conditions with prior special approval (requiring a legally approved waiver), and individuals may be considered exposed if someone tests positive for COVID-19. For these reasons, faculty need to implement a system to be able to assist with notifications if the need arises. Making a seating chart or taking attendance is an effective tool to accomplish that.
Should faculty have an attendance policy?
APSU does not require faculty to establish an attendance policy in class unless it is required for specific settings (clinicals, labs, etc.). The University’s contractual agreements with governmental funding sources require accurate reports of a student’s last date of attendance. Because of this obligation, all faculty members are required to take daily attendance through a reliable method of their choice.
If a student stops reporting to class (virtual or face to face), should the faculty member still issue an FA?
Yes, faculty members should report the appropriate FA or FN. The grades of FA and FN are federally required by the Department of Education and Veterans Affairs for the purpose of monitoring attendance and ensuring the accurate payment of federal funds by the Office of Student Financial Aid and Veterans Affairs. In addition, state programs such as the Tennessee Lottery scholarship also require attendance grade reporting. Failure to follow the procedure for FA and FN grades may result in a federal or state audit finding and financial penalties for the University for overpayment of funds. Faculty are encouraged to read the section on Dropping Courses, Grades Awarded, Withdrawals in the current APSU Undergraduate Bulletin for more information. More information related to FA/FN grades can be found at this link: https://www.apsu.edu/financialaid/withdrawing-from-courses/failure-to-attend/attendance-reporting.php
Faculty can access all class rolls via “AP OneStop”. The Office of the Registrar sends reminders of the grade reporting deadlines. The following grades should be reported on the online rosters: "FN"-- Failure, Never Attended and "FA"--Failure, Stopped attending. A Last Recorded Date of Attendance should be indicated with a reported “FN” or "FA." This date can be determined by reviewing records of tests, quizzes, papers, assignments or actual attendance. "FN" and "FA" grades are listed on the student's record at the time reported. More information about attendance reports is located in the Faculty Handbook – Faculty Responsibilities section: https://www.apsu.edu/academic-affairs/faculty/faculty_handbook/responsibilities-procedures.php
How do faculty handle mask/face covering violations?
All students and instructors must arrive to class wearing a mask or face covering over their mouth and nose. This is not a debate – it is a university requirement.
- If a student does not have a mask or face covering, the student must pick up a disposable
mask (available throughout campus – in classrooms and in administrative academic department
offices) before joining the class session.
- If a student enters a class without wearing a mask or face covering, the student will
be told by the faculty member that they must wear one. Boxes of disposable masks will
be available in each academic building for this purpose. If you notice that the supply
is low or out, please submit a work request form with the classroom listed that needs to be filled.
- If a student habitually arrives to class without wearing a mask or face covering, the student may be advised that they can only attend an online section of the course, if such an option is available, for the remainder of the semester. If the course is not available online, the student will be informed that the in-person course is the only option and they will be given one more opportunity to return to class and wear a mask or face covering. The faculty member will file a report, using the Behavioral Intervention Form (CARE/BIT form) found here, with the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs. The student may face sanctions up to and including the student being administratively withdrawn from the course and not receive a refund of tuition or fees.
- If a student refuses to put on a mask or face covering in a class, after being instructed
to do so, the instructor will request that the student leave the class. The faculty member will file a report, using the Behavioral Intervention Form (CARE/BIT
form) found here, with the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs. The student may face
sanctions up to and including the student being administratively withdrawn from the
course and not receive a refund of tuition or fees. If the situation continues to
escalate, and the student refuses to leave the classroom, the faculty member should
call campus police to escort the student from the classroom. In this case, the student
will again be referred to the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs. If
this situation occurs, the faculty member may take a break or dismiss the class for
that day at their discretion.
- Students should check for further syllabus guidelines regarding additional Personal
Protective Equipment for laboratory classes and potential waivers.
- If a student has a medical condition that inhibits the student’s ability to wear a mask or face covering, the student must contact Disability Services to receive an accommodation (931-221-6230). If a student seeks an exception to the mask requirement, the faculty member and advisor should work with the student to seek an online section of the course. If an online section is not available, or the student does not wish to enroll in the online course, the faculty member will provide instruction to the student remotely, using available lecture capture and other appropriate technology.
Can a faculty member rearrange the seating arrangements in the classroom?
No, each classroom has been set and approved to meet CDC guidelines for social distancing. A sign detailing the socially distant capacity of each classroom should be located at each door to the classroom. If the faculty member is uncertain if the room is set correctly, please contact the building coordinator. Please contact your supervisor if the building coordinator is not available.
What if a faculty member needs to teach a class that is not socially distant?
There are some instances in which the student learning outcomes and accreditation requirements cannot be met following APSU’s social distance requirement. In these instances, the faculty member must work with their chair and dean to draft a waiver that must be approved by the Office of Legal Affairs before it may be used for any classroom. Students and faculty cannot participate in the class in a non-socially distant capacity until all forms have been signed by the student and faculty member and kept on file in the department office.
How should a faculty member encourage students to enter and exit class while maintaining social distance?
It will be very difficult to encourage students to be socially distant while entering and exiting the classroom. However, the faculty member can assist with this social distancing by establishing a controlled release of rows of students and by ending class on time. Ending class on time will allow students ample time to exit the classroom and give the next class time to enter in a socially distant manner.
What should the faculty member do if a student has been exposed?
The faculty member should strongly encourage the student to complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting form on this website: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?AustinPeayStateUniv&layout_id=19
How will the faculty member know if a student has been exposed?
The Office of Student Affairs will notify faculty members within 24 hours of the student’s submission of the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form if a student reports that they have been exposed to someone who tests positive.
What should a faculty member do if a student is exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19?
The list of symptoms is located in the APSU COVID-19 Guidelines: https://www.apsu.edu/coronavirus/COVID-19-Guidelines.pdf The faculty member should strongly encourage the student to complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting form on this website: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?AustinPeayStateUniv&layout_id=19
Will a faculty member be notified if a student tested positive for COVID-19?
The Office of Student Affairs will notify faculty members within 24 hours of the student’s submission of the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form if a student tested positive for COVID-19.
What should a faculty member do if a student in class tests positive?
Unless the Office of Student Affairs has already informed the faculty member of the student’s positive test, the faculty member should contact the Dean of Students in the Office of Student Affairs if a student informs the faculty member of the positive test. The faculty member should also strongly encourage the student to complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting form on this website: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?AustinPeayStateUniv&layout_id=19
Are faculty members required to tell the class if a fellow classmate tested positive?
No, it is not the faculty member’s responsibility to notify the class if another student tests positive with COVID-19. The Office of Student Affairs will notify individuals who may have been exposed.
How will a faculty member know if the faculty member has been exposed?
The Office of Student Affairs will notify faculty members within 24 hours of the student’s submission of the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form if a student tested positive for COVID-19. The Office of Human Resources will notify faculty members within 24 hours of another employee’s submission of the COVID-19 Self-Reporting Form if it is determined that the faculty member may have been exposed to the employee who tested positive for COVID-19.
When does the faculty member begin isolation/quarantine?
A faculty member should leave campus, seek medical care, and self-quarantine, and complete the COVID-19 Self Reporting form on this website: https://cm.maxient.com/reportingform.php?AustinPeayStateUniv&layout_id=19
- if the faculty member is displaying any COVID-19 symptoms
- if the faculty member has been within six (6) feet or less for ten (10) minutes or more of an individual who tests positive for COVID-19 or has been in direct contact with infectious secretions of a positive COVID-19 case
More information is located in the APSU COVID-19 Guidelines: https://www.apsu.edu/coronavirus/COVID-19-Guidelines.pdf
The Office of Human Resources will contact the faculty member to discuss any potential exposures, testing timeline and return to work dates within 24 hours of receiving the COVID Self Report form.
Are students and faculty allowed to eat or drink in the classroom?
This continues to be at the discretion of each individual faculty member. Existing protocols and restrictions should stay in place. It is highly recommended faculty discourage students from eating in the classroom. Faculty should also give clear instructions that as soon as the student takes a drink, then their mask must be immediately placed correctly over their mouth and nose again.
How is shared governance still being practiced with the guidance we are receiving?
Faculty Senate Executive Committee has worked with the Office of Academic Affairs throughout the summer to help develop these FAQ’s and guidelines and the Provost’s Office will continue to collaborate with Faculty Senate to address the needs of students, staff and faculty during these challenging times. The Provost regularly meets with the Faculty Senate President and the Faculty Senate Executive Committee. Once the semester resumes, the Provost will meet regularly with the full senate. We hope Faculty Senate can continue to be a conduit for communication.
What is the University doing to help students who need laptops or internet access?
In Spring 2020, the university initiated a laptop loan program and the university will continue that program in the Spring 2021 Semester. Faculty can direct students to request a laptop loan, visit https://govstech.apsu.edu/TDClient/2071/Portal/Requests/ServiceDet?ID=14868 or contact the Woodward library.
How will masks for faculty and staff be distributed?
For staff and faculty, masks were delivered to each department via the campus mail. Each APSU employee and student are issued two APSU masks.
Will masks be made available to students?
Boxes of disposable masks will be available in each academic building (in classrooms and in academic department administrative offices) for this purpose.
What do I do if I see someone on campus not wearing a mask or face covering?
If you see someone without a mask or face covering, you may politely remind the individual of APSU’s mask policy, remind them that APSU is committed to protecting all members of our campus community by reducing the spread of the coronavirus, and direct them to the nearest supply of disposable masks on campus. However, please do not confront anyone aggressively or do anything to put yourself or anyone else in a dangerous situation. APSU expects all persons on campus to comply with the mask policy, and the person you encounter may be a visitor or someone who is unfamiliar with the mask policy. Please be aware that some people have disabilities and medical conditions that make wearing a mask dangerous or inadvisable, and some members of our campus community may have received specific accommodations regarding the mask policy or letters exempting them from the mask policy.
How do faculty safely participate in research during COVID-19?
Every area will have different risks associated with their research and considerations. In general, research must also be conducted with the APSU guidelines in place. Social distancing, masks and appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) must still be used and followed. If social distancing or other guidelines cannot be followed or would be potentially dangerous for students or faculty while participating in their research they must consult their chair and dean and have a legal affairs waiver on file before proceeding.
Will faculty continue to receive funds for Professional Development?
All new faculty that have received or have not yet spent their start-up funds will still have access to those funds through at least Summer 2021. All other non-tenured tenure track faculty will continue to receive $1,000 per year for professional development. Tenured faculty will receive $500 to use toward professional development. Other common travel or professional development funds will be considered on an individual basis. Please ask your supervisor about funds available in each unit.
What is the cleaning schedule for the campus buildings, restrooms and public areas?
The university is managing the density of people on campus and increasing cleaning protocols of spaces that are in frequent use. The regular cleaning schedule will be supplemented on a daily basis with more frequent cleaning of high-touch, high-traffic areas. In addition, we have also taken measures to provide individuals and departments with access to masks and cleaning materials for self-service use in the classroom and offices. For example, we have installed hand sanitizer stations at building entrances, and placed hand sanitizer, disinfecting spray, and paper towels in all instructional and administrative spaces. These resources are available to employees and students as needed. To make a request or report a shortage, please send a request through the Physical Plant Work Order system, described here: https://www.apsu.edu/physical-plant/work-request-page.php
As long as face coverings remain required, we will have ample access to face coverings for campus. All employees and students will be given a reusable face covering at the start of the year and there will be designated places across campus where anyone can obtain a disposable face mask. At this point, we have thousands of face masks in reserve to be deployed as needed during the year. To request additional disposable masks or refills on sanitizers and disinfecting spray, submit a Physical Plant request through the online system: .https://www.apsu.edu/physical-plant/work-request-page.php
Administrative spaces and private offices will also have access to cleaning supplies. Administrative/Classroom/departmental spaces will have bottles of disinfecting spray and wipes. Spaces used regularly by multiple people will receive enhanced deep cleaning taking place - similar to that of the classrooms described earlier.
If a faculty member sees an area that needs to be cleaned immediately or needs immediate refills, who should the faculty member contact?
To request additional disposable masks or refills on sanitizers and disinfecting spray, submit a Physical Plant request through the online system: .https://www.apsu.edu/physical-plant/work-request-page.php
What are the restrictions on faculty travel?
Each risk level has instructions specifying permissible travel. At a moderate risk level, only essential university-funded travel will be authorized by the appropriate Senior Administrator. For the purposes of this FAQ, authorized travel is only regarding risk and has no association with funding. In other words, the source of funding is not taken into consideration when determining if an employee can travel on behalf of the university.
Are students permitted to travel for field experience, internships, and other university-related activities?
If the University’s risk category is moderate risk level or less, students can travel and participate in field experiences, internships, and other university-related activities. However the student is expected to follow CDC guidelines in addition to the APSU moderate risk guidelines. Depending upon the research experience, a waiver may need to be filled out. Faculty should work with their department chair to determine if this is necessary.
RTP Guidance - (FAQ information about the “Extend the Clock” option was removed since the opportunity to request “Extend the Clock” has expired.)
Are departmental RTP criteria scheduled for review this year (2020-2021)?
In May 2020, a decision was made to postpone the review of departmental RTP criteria during the 2020-21 academic year. Academic Affairs will make a decision in Spring of 2021 if we will proceed with the departmental RTP criteria review in the 2021-22 academic year.
How will student evaluations be considered in the RTP process during the COVID-19 pandemic?
Student evaluations are useful for faculty to obtain direct student feedback about the course and are important to give students an opportunity to have their feedback considered. However, a low response rate and bias associated with student evaluations indicates they may not be useful for a fair evaluation of effectiveness of teaching, specifically addressing Area I-Teaching Effectiveness.
During the RTP cycle of 2020-21, department and college RTP committees are strongly encouraged to use other measures besides student evaluations for determining a faculty member’s effectiveness in teaching. These measures can include but are not limited to peer evaluations, syllabi, sample assignments and additional samples submitted by faculty to be considered. During the 2020-21 academic year, the Faculty RTP Policy Committee and other stakeholders will consider a permanent vision for the use and weight of student course evaluations in future cycles of the RTP process.