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COVID-19 info for faculty & staff

Updates

What to expect this Fall

For those of us returning to campus, and even for those of us who are continuing to work on campus, things will certainly feel different this fall. Here are a few things you can expect.

Academic programming for the spring term (January-April 2021)

UVic will continue to offer a blend of face-to-face and online instruction for the spring term. We are looking at ways to safely open up the campus more while keeping aligned with public health guidelines.

Non-Medical masks recommended on campus

Effective Sept. 8, the university is recommending that everyone wear a mask in public indoor spaces where physical distancing can’t be maintained for longer than brief periods.

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Health & safety

Our safety programing is informed by guidance and direction from the provincial health officer, COVID-19 Go-Forward Guidelines for B.C.’s Post-Secondary Sector and WorkSafeBC.

Learn about:

Coming to campus

We all know things are going to be different this Fall at UVic. Learn what you can expect if you come to the UVic campus.

Support for online course delivery

The Teach Anywhere website is being updated regularly to provide additional resources for faculty and instructors for online teaching. You can also email ltsi2020@uvic.ca if you have any questions related to developing your courses.

The Learn Anywhere website has the latest information and resources for students.

In instances where online application is not viable, courses may have to be postponed or redesigned. Please talk to your chair or director for guidance on these courses and the potential impact on a program, including a student’s ability to complete necessary pre-requisites.

Classes

Course delivery

Most programming will be offered online this fall. Where health and safety permits, some limited in-person instruction to support essential experiential learning, graduate education and work-integrated learning will be offered. The fall timetable is now available.

Fall deadlines

We have extended the 100% drop deadline for Fall courses and full year (September-April) courses to September 30 and the tuition fee deadline to October 9. This gives students time to plan for Spring before making final decisions about the current term.

Last day to add a course that begins in fall term September 25, 2020
100% drop deadline for fall & full year courses September 30, 2020
Tuition fees deadline October 9, 2020
50% drop deadline October 13, 2020

Class size

You are best suited to determine the optimum enrolment size of your courses while still effectively delivering your course materials and assessments. Please talk to your chair or director as soon as possible if you require additional resources (such as teaching assistants). The university encourages all units to help meet the demand for their online courses and will work with academic leaders to ensure sufficient resources are in place to meet those higher enrolments, if applicable.

Medical documentation for absences

Faculty and instructors are asked to waive the medical documentation requirement (i.e. a physical or mental health care practitioner’s note) for students—regardless of how long they are ill—for the summer and fall 2020 terms.

Students with disabilities

All accommodation information can be found in a student’s Letter of Accommodation, accessible on the Centre for Accessible Learning website. Questions about how specific accommodations can translate to an online academic environment should be directed to the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) Advisor appearing on the Letter of Accommodation.

Letters of recommendation for graduate students

In-person signatures will not be required in letters of recommendation for graduating graduate students at this time. Graduate Admissions and Records will accept an email confirmation of your approval. Please be specific in your email that you are recommending the graduate student for graduation. We will also accept digital signatures on the Letter of Recommendation document. Consult with your graduate secretary if you have questions about submitting this information.

New learning management system

Brightspace by D2L will replace CourseSpaces this fall. With the majority of our courses online this September, this robust learning management system will be an important factor in students’ success and will enable faculty and instructors to better and more easily deliver core learning materials.

To support the transition, the university is investing in additional staff in LTSI who will work with instructors to design course materials and move them to an online environment.

Counselling & mental health

All UVic staff, faculty and librarians can access support through our employee and family assistance program (EFAP).

Students can contact Counselling Services (250-721-8341) to find support options. 

Download our handouts for:

 Other resources:

Here2Talk is a confidential, free, single-session BC government service that offers appointments for students by app, phone or online chat, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Students can speak to a trained counsellor by phone, toll-free at 1-877-857-3397 or direct at 604-642-5212. Students calling from outside Canada can call 1-604-642-5212.

Working from home

The criteria for determining whether employees can work from home include whether:

  • direct service is required
  • the service can be delivered remotely
  • face-to-face interactions with students are necessary
  • the necessary equipment is available to enable working from home
  • privacy issues can be addressed
  • health and safety issues can be properly addressed
  • the home space is suitable for working

We acknowledge that this does not mean everyone can work remotely. We continue to work on supporting those who must come to campus by ensuring the safety of our work environment.

Returning to on-campus work

The university’s highest priority is your health and safety.

The provincial government has announced that with enhanced safety protocols, a phased-in return to some work on campus may resume over the coming months. To guide a safe return to work on campus, universities will first need to have safety plans in place. These plans will assess the risk of COVID-19 transmission in the workplace and develop measures to reduce these risks.

The province and WorkSafeBC have published a series of core measures across three areas (personal, social, organizational) that will form the basis for these safety plans. New measures will be developed and introduced for the broader post-secondary sector in BC. In addition, with oversight from WorkSafe BC, we will review and adapt specific practice standards and requirements for a number of other settings, including office-based work, child care, recreation/sports/camps, restaurants and retail.

Any return to work on campus will be guided by a combination of these core and setting-specific enhanced safety measures. Unit leaders will be advised about when and how to coordinate a safe and phased-in approach to resuming on-campus work, once safety protocols have been established. If you have additional questions, please speak to your supervisor.

Access to UVic buildings

Physical distancing guidelines are now a legal requirement in BC. While UVic remains open, most teaching and services are now delivered remotely. 

While you are expected to work remotely at this time, we acknowledge that you may need access to your offices or labs for short intervals. You may access such spaces for brief periods provided physical distancing protocols are observed.

For security reasons, all campus buildings can only be accessed with a key. If you do not have a key to your building, contact Campus Security for assistance. You will require your office key and alarm code (if applicable), as well as your UVic ONECard (staff or faculty ID) or another form of photo ID. If you do not have a key or the security code for your office, contact your supervisor to arrange access.

UVic equipment

Certain computer and related equipment can be taken home with the permission of your supervisor. 

In some circumstances, you may be allowed to bring other furniture home.  Review the Working remotely; furniture and equipment protocol on the HR website.

Faculty & instructors
Reasonable requests for equipment needed to teach or conduct research from home should be funded through each Faculty’s equipment reserves. This covers necessary computer hardware, software, or discipline-specific equipment. If the purchase is significant, access to matching funding for faculty members is available through the central Computer Acquisition Fund. You may choose to use your Pro-D funds for these purposes instead, but those funds are intended for professional development.

Faculty workload

Speak with your Chair/Director or Dean if you are a faculty member who is experiencing workload challenges due to COVID-19. If your ability to complete all of your academic responsibilities is impacted, it may be possible to alter your employment obligations or extend deadlines. 

Childcare

Many kids programs have changed or been cancelled due to the pandemic. Some members of the university community may have limited child care options.  We encourage supervisors, managers, chairs/directors and deans to exercise flexibility when responding to requests related to child care responsibilities.  Your manager might choose one of the following flexible options:

  • flexible remote or other work arrangements
  • the use of vacation time or banked overtime/compensatory time off to continue normal pay
  • a personal leave of absence without pay

Vacations

While COVID-19 has unfortunately disrupted vacation plans for all of us, time off work to recharge is as important today as it has ever been.  Further, with our emerging budget challenges, supervisors and employees are expected to ensure that all staff take their full annual vacation during this calendar year. This is subject only to any normal vacation carry forward limits in the applicable collective agreement or terms and conditions handbook.

Sick leaves

Please contact your supervisor to report your absence if you would normally attend campus, but are self-isolating. You can also discuss temporary remote work arrangements, if practical. If you are not able to work remotely, you will be placed on a leave of absence without loss of pay for scheduled shifts during the self-isolation period in accordance with the applicable collective agreement or any COVID-19 sick day agreement between the unions and the university.

Study leaves

The University and the Faculty Association have agreed to a process for faculty members with current or upcoming Study Leaves to request a deferral or cancellation on the grounds that they are unable to meet the commitments in their Study Leave plan due to COVID-19 related restrictions.

Study Leaves commencing May 1, July 1 or September 1, 2020: Request no later than April 30, 2020. The full period of the leave will be deferred.

Please work with your unit leader on any requested adjustment.

Hiring

New hires can begin to work remotely either here in Canada or elsewhere. Please ensure you are working with the Faculty Relations or Human Relations Consultant for your area.

If your new hire is non-Canadian please ensure you, and the new hire are working with Lori Shaw on addressing any immigration matters. Given current travel restrictions they may not be able to enter Canada even with a positive Provincial Nominee decision.

Your new hire will still receive an employee number and NetLink ID.

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