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Coronavirus: Get complete details about the university's response to COVID-19.

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CAS COVID-19 Policies and Procedures

The College of Arts and Sciences is closely monitoring the university response to the novel coronavirus outbreak and will provide clear and consistent information and guidance to our faculty, staff and students as it becomes available.

 CAS Return to Work Plan

College guidance regarding the phased return to campus of faculty, staff and students.

In accordance with the university's Return to Work plan, the UofSC workforce will return to campus in four phases:

  • Phase 1 (initial return): June 1 to June 21
  • Phase 2 (second group): June 22 through July 13
  • Phase 3 (final group): July 14 through August 3
  • Phase 4 (academic year): August 3 to end of Academic Year

The CAS Return to Work Planning and Management Team (RTWP) was convened by Dean Ford to coordinate the phased re-opening across the college:

In addition to college-level coordination, the university’s plan requires each department/unit to create and train a “Unit Deployment Team." This unit-level team will be responsible for implementing the Return to Work Plan in your unit, which will include posting signage and coordinating, in a safe manner, the phased return of the workforce in the unit.

All CAS departments have identified Unit Deployment Teams which will serve as the main points of contact for the Dean's Office in the Return to Work process. In CAS academic programs, centers and institutes, the directors will serve in this role.

The Unit Deployment Teams and Directors are responsible for implementing the Return to Work Plan in each unit. Responsibilities include serving as the communications point of contact for the Office of the Dean, coordinating the phased return of the workforce through a unit Return to Work Plan, posting signage and responding to questions about the process.

The college and unit teams will serve as the primary contacts with the university’s Future Planning Group as they implement the Return to Work process and communicate any potential changes to the plan, should that happen.

Even though many employees were cleared to work on campus previously this spring, under the university's phased Return to Work plan, all employees must be re‑certified.

All employees returning to work on campus will need to receive an individual notification letter. If the employee was designated essential this spring and has already been working on campus, the CAS Return to Work Notification Letter Template (for employees identified as essential and already working on campus during March, April and May 2020) [docx] should be used.

All other employees should receive a letter using the CAS Return to Work Notification Letter Template (for employees recently approved to return in the phased Return to Work Plan) [docx].

Each employee should sign the notification letter to confirm that they understand the required procedures and have completed the required online training, and then return it to the Unit HR Contact. Signed copies of the notification letters should not be sent to CAS HR; they should be retained at the unit level.

Each day, employees working on campus should complete the CAS online Daily Health Screening Form.

  • The employee and the Unit HR contact will both receive an email confirmation each time a Daily Health Screening Form is submitted.  The employee's confirmation will include a link to a partially pre-populated form for use the next time the form is submitted.
  • Unit HR contacts have also been sent a web link to use each day to review and/or download a summary of all of the submitted form data by your unit employees.  (If you did not receive the link, please contact your CAS HR contact.)
  • Unit HR contacts should continue to submit the Daily COVID-19 Census Report to CAS HR Office by 10:00 a.m. each day.  Please note that all unit employees must be included in the daily census reports, regardless of whether they have been approved to be on campus by the CAS Office of the Dean or the Office of Research.

Effective communication can help us ensure that all employees returning to work are prepared to follow guidelines that can limit the risk of infection.

Communications and Messaging

Please use the following vocabulary:

  • Physical distancing (not social distancing)
  • Face coverings (not masks)

If your department has a social media presence, consider posting positive messages as people return to work.

Workplace Signage

The CAS Communications team has developed several new posters to use in your buildings and facilities to encourage the use of face coverings, to help direct the traffic flow within buildings and to encourage social distancing on stairwells and in elevators. These are available in the CAS online document library and are also linked below.

*NEW*

Please note: The One Way/Wrong Way signs could cause problems such as traffic jams as people get turned around. Check with John Moring, CAS Director of Facilities and Space Planning if you think you might use those signs to enforce traffic flow.

In addition to the CDC posters that have been distributed by University HR, the following UofSC posters were distributed for use in college facilities:

You may print these posters yourself or request that they be printed by staff in the CAS Computing and Information Technology area in Gambrell Hall.

 To order printed posters:
  • Using the links above, select which posters you want printed for your unit.
  • Send an email to David Mullaney (dmullane@mailbox.sc.edu) and provide the title of each poster and requested number of copies for each.
  • You will receive an email when the posters are ready to be picked up.
  • Posters may be picked up from Gambrell Hall – Lower Level, Computing Center.

Feedback Requested:  Please tell us whether these signs work or whether you need additional signage. As we prepare for the return of students, we may update or replace these signs based on your feedback.

On May 27th, President Caslen announced the following face covering policy (effective June 1) for the Columbia campus. This policy provides:

  • All individuals on campus are expected to wear a face covering whenever physical distancing (six feet or more) is difficult or the risk of infection is high.
  • The university will provide a washable, reusable face covering for every student, faculty and staff member.
  • The university will require face coverings in the following areas: Student Health Services, Thomas Cooper Library, the Russell House and all classrooms.
  • Employees and students should carry a face covering of their choice on campus at all times so as to be prepared for other environments where a face covering is required (as designated by the university) or highly recommended.
  • University employees who cannot wear face coverings due to health conditions should contact their supervisors.
  • Students with health conditions that make wearing a face covering risky should register with the Student Disabilities Resource Center and accommodations will be made.

Put simply, we wear face coverings in order to protect others, and as Gamecocks we pledge to demonstrate concern for others.

Reference: Messages to our Campus Community

The Purchasing Department COVID-19 Supplies website outlines the products available to the campus and the process for ordering and delivery. Please check this website regularly for updated information

PPE Supplies online order form: A new web-based form has been added to the Purchasing Department website's COVID-19 Supplies section to facilitate ordering additional PPE supplies. This form sends an email directly from the website to Purchasing's COVID-19 Supplies inbox with the included responses. A confirmation message appears when the form is successfully submitted.

( As of June 8, 2020, please discontinue the use of the downloadable PDF documents that were being utilized previously. )

PPE Supply List: The Purchasing Department PPE supply list [xlsx] indicates supplies that units can order with the price and count per item. The Facilities Department is dynamically ordering PPE supplies from approved vendors through Purchasing Department. These supplies are delivered to Consolidated Inventory. When your unit orders the PPE supplies, Facilities Department fills your order, and you will be contacted to pick up the order from Consolidated Inventory’s loading dock. Facilities Department will charge your funding code/chart field. Note: The University has delivered or is in the process of delivering your initial or starter PPE.

College IT support staff have continued to maintain an on-campus presence to support essential workers on campus. As restrictions are lifted, more technicians are slowly returning to campus as they transition from remote to local support. We expect to have the full crew by summer’s end. We will minimize in-person support calls by utilizing remote access tools where possible.

 Q: How do I get technical assistance when I return to work?

A: Continue to email service requests to cassuppt@mailbox.sc.edu for support (your department may have a unique address). The College has several IT techs on campus, plus others working from home monitoring this account. You may also contact the DoIT Service Desk at 803-777-1800 or enter a service ticket at ServiceNow for issues with account expiration and password lockout.

 Q:  Will the computing labs be open?

A: There are no plans to open the instructional computing labs during the summer. We will open all labs for the fall semester in coordination with university guidelines for social distancing. Remote control software is being added to assist students in accessing specialty software remotely.

 Q:  How do I reserve instructional computing classroom space?

A: Continue to use the campus 25 Live system to request reservations for classrooms and conference rooms managed by CAS Computing Center.

 Q: Can I access the wide format and specialty printers in CAS Computing Center in Gambrell Hall?

A: Please contact David Mullaney at mullaney@sc.edu to make arrangements for printing or other specialty services.

 Q: Will lecture capture be available in the classrooms this fall?

A: The UofSC Division of IT is upgrading 450 classrooms with webcams for live-streaming and lecture capture. Blackboard Collaborate is a real-time video conferencing tool that lets you add files, share applications, and use a virtual whiteboard to interact with students. Collaborate opens in your browser, so you don't have to launch other software. Contact DoIT Service Desk to access the Blackboard Support Center at 803-777-1800. They can assistance with setting up and using Blackboard and Bb Collaborate.

Employee Relations Guidance for Return to Work Planning

Whether an employee returns to work during the summer phased plan process, or continues to work remotely, managers and supervisors are challenged with ensuring the safety and productivity of their employees. Managers must also show flexibility, empathy, and compassion regarding an employee’s needs, feelings, and responsibilities surrounding the pandemic.

The Office of Employee Relations has provided a few resources for managers to include videos and tip sheets to assist them with issues they may encounter with employees during the RTW process.

Deployment Teams and Directors are encouraged to share these resources with managers and supervisors within their units.

Manager Informational RTW Videos

** These videos were recorded May 27, 2020. Information is subject to change.

Helpful Resource Guides

The Training and Professional Development staff has worked to move several training courses to an online format. Managers may want to take advantage of these trainings by assigning them to employees as appropriate.

For additional assistance with Employee Relations [pdf] matters, unit managers can contact Deputy Chief of Staff Pam Hayes (phayes@mailbox.sc.edu) directly.


CAS Academic Resources

Resources for college academic units and faculty, staff and students related to the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak.

College departments and programs are working hard to prepare for the Fall 2020 semester. Guidance to assist with some aspects of fall course planning is below. Please know that planning at the university level is still evolving. The Dean's Office will continue to provide additional guidance and planning information as we receive it.

Fall course delivery formats (face-to-face vs. online or blended)
  • Please confirm fall semester instructor availability to teach face to face.  If the instructor can only teach online, then those courses must be moved online for the fall semester. 
  • All courses with more than 100 students enrolled must be modified.  This can include online delivery, blended delivery (some lectures face to face), splitting the course into smaller sections, etc.  If the decision is to split courses into smaller sections, please discuss with the Dean’s Office if additional instructors are needed.
Schedule and Room Changes
  • Classrooms controlled by the registrar will be reassigning classrooms based on course needs and room capacity.
  • Course schedules will NOT change.  In other words, do not change the days and times of course offerings unless you move the course to asynchronous online delivery.
  • Room capacity is being determined by the Provost.  Do not assume room capacity as this will differ depending on the room design.  Current estimates suggest that room capacities will be lowered to 30 – 50% of capacity.
  • Many courses have associated lab sections or enclosed spaces (i.e., Art and Dance).  This will require additional discussion with the Dean’s Office depending on the type of instruction and space available.    

FAQs

Q:  Departments are wondering how to plan and implement for the fall semester. Will there be any guidance from the college or assistance with planning, or are departments expected to determine how to make fall semester happen?

A: Departments should review the fall semester course schedule and the unit Return To Work survey results as soon as possible. Fall instructors should be consulted to regarding whether they need or want to teach online. Course delivery method should be changed to online instruction immediately for those courses, and a choice made regarding synchronous or asynchronous instruction.

Unit decisions regarding the format for fall semester classes should be made and submitted to the University Registrar as soon as possible to allow for the changes to be entered into the system in preparation for summer orientation.

Q:  How will large classes (200 or more students) be handled? Is there specific guidance about how a unit should convert or split up these courses?

A. Courses with 100 or more students will not meet face-to-face in the fall. In consultation with the instructor, these courses must be converted to smaller sections and/or to online and hybrid delivery formats.

Unit decisions regarding the format for fall semester classes should be made and submitted to the University Registrar as soon as possible to allow for the changes to be entered into the system in preparation for summer orientation.

Q:  Will all fall courses need to be approved for online delivery before the delivery method is changed by the Registrar?

A: The Faculty Senate Instructional Development (INDEV) Committee will be providing waivers for fall courses that need to be converted to online and hybrid delivery formats. Units should submit the one syllabus per course to Bren Mercer in the Dean's Office by the first day of class.

Q:  What resources are available to support the conversion of face-to-face courses to an online or hybrid format?

A. The CAS Incubator for Teaching Innovation and the university Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) have resources and tools available to support faculty as they convert courses to an online or hybrid format. There are several CTE webinars regarding teaching online, recording lectures, etc. Please see the Online Course Preparation and Support section below for more information.

Q:  Will revised classroom capacities (maximum # of seats available during social distancing) be provided to units to assist with fall course adjustments?

A: The UofSC Facilities team has been reviewing all classrooms on campus to determine revised maximum capacities and that will be shared with units as soon as it is available.

Q:  If we must teach a hybrid course, will classroom technology be updated to allow for effective delivery of hybrid experience?

A: The UofSC Division of IT is upgrading 450 classrooms with webcams for live-streaming and lecture capture.

Q:  What resources will be made available to faculty who choose to teach remotely? 

A. The college is collecting information about what additional resources are needed by faculty to support fall teaching. Faculty should email Associate Dean Claudia Benitez-Nelson indicating what additional materials or equipment are needed (cameras, microphones, white boards, etc).

UofSC Keep Teaching website

The Office of the Provost has created the Keep Teaching website to provide support and assistance to instructors who are converting courses currently taught in-person to online. Information includes:

  • Preparing for course disruptions
  • Communicating with your students
  • Teaching remotely: Tips, tools and resources
  • Blackboard basics
  • Individual and group assistance
Individual and Group Assistance

Faculty who would like assistance with teaching remotely can participate in variety of webinars being offered by the Center for Teaching Excellence and the Office of Distributed Learning. The complete list of webinars offerings can be found on the Assisting with Teaching Remotely section of the Keep Teaching website.

Faculty can also email requests for information and support directly to CTE at cte@sc.edu. Please include your name, department, email address, and phone number. The CTE team will contact you directly, working with you over the phone or with a video link to answer your questions and provide assistance.

  • HIGHLY RECOMMENDED 3-part series forfacultymoving courses online hosted by theCTE:
    • Design: Planning an Online Course - June 9, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    • Develop: Building an Online Course - June 16, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
    • Deliver: Teaching an Online Course - June 23, 10:30 - 11:30 a.m.
 UofSC Office of Distributed Learning (ODL)

The Office of Distributed Learning (ODL) is facilitating a large number of webinars in the coming month(s) on the topics of "Best practices for Recording Lectures at Home & Creating Narrated & Recorded PowerPoint Lectures" and "Creating Transcriptions and Closed Captions." Many of these seminars have been recorded and are available online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jKYuXVfSDPw.

Association of College University Educators (ACUE)

Association of College University Educators (ACUE) also has a number of resources (https://acue.org/webinars/). We recommend six online pre-recorded webinars available on key teaching online topics that re freely available, not only including what-to and how-to, but also the why-to: importance/value of doing such things in online environments (online presence, communication, etc.)


CAS Administrative Resources

  • UofSC Coronavirus website: Employee Policies and Procedures
  • Division of HR Memo: Additional Guidance for Use of Sick Leave (March 16, 2020)
  • Division of HR Memo: COVID-19 Workplace Considerations (March 13, 2020)

  • Student Signatures on Student Employment Forms
    Please remember that HR accepts electronic signatures and legible photographs of the required Student Employment Information form.  An original signature on the Student Employment Information form is not required. For electronic signatures the Adobe Fill and Sign app is easy for students to download to their phone to acknowledge the form and then email back to you.

  • Virtual I-9 Document Verification for Student Employees during COVID-1
    • During this unprecedented time of telecommuting, the Federal Government is allowing I-9 identity and employment verification documentation to be validated via video chat (Skype, Zoom, etc.).  The I-9 initiator will still need to upload the documents to the I-9 Advantage case.  Once all applicable documentation have been visually verified via Skype/Zoo, the student should securely send electronic versions of the documents.  The university recommends using OneDrive to share documents. UofSC students and employees have a free OneDrive account provided through Office 365 which is approved as a way to send confidential documents.  
    • The Division of IT has detailed information on using OneDrive on their website here.
    • If for reasons related to COVID-19 you are unable to complete the I-9 within 3 days of the student’s hire, please be sure to cite the reason as "due to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic."
  • Administrative Planning Calendar:  All dates and deadlines for the programs listed below have been updated through the end of April.  The online Administrative Planning Calendar has a new COVID-19 filter to show the affected dates to easily identify revised dates.
    • Chair/Director Reviews
    • Dean’s Initiatives (see below)
    • Bilinski Nominations
    • NTT Faculty Teaching Award
    • Theme Semester Co-curricular Programming Grants
  • Dean’s Initiatives:  All internal deadlines for college Dean’s Initiatives have been extended with the exception of the Graduate Assistantship Enhancement Program which was not changed due to the national graduate admissions schedule. End dates for all active Dean’s Initiative awards and commitments in all programs have been extended to December 31, 2020.
  • Dean’s Commitments:  End dates for all current active commitments made by the College of Arts and Sciences' Dean's Office will be extended twelve months from current end date in order to provide stability for faculty research and travel plans.


CAS IT & Technology Support

As the campus adapts to changes brought about by COVID-19 policies and transitions to new instructional models, campus-wide technical resources, including IT support groups in CAS are still available and accessible remotely to users with technology needs.

  • Microsoft Campus Agreement allows for 5 downloads of Office 365 on computers and personal devices, including at home. View the tools available and the DoIT Microsoft support pages for Office 365
  • Adobe Creative Cloud is providing free student access for two months (students notified via email)
  • FinalDraft script writing software is being provided for SVAD students, up to 120 licenses
  • Spectrum Broadband is offering free internet for at-home students on a temporary basis

 

Questions?

Email questions to the Office of the Dean staff at casprog@mailbox.sc.edu.

 


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