Updated information for faculty and staff on Covid-19 and flooding concerns

You may have been hearing a lot about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and spring flooding concerns. Currently, courses and business will be conducted as usual.

We are prepared to help you finish your academic semester, and we also want you to be informed and prepared. Should circumstances change, UND will communicate this to you by phone, text and email communications.

Download the Safe Campus app to view updated information and notices regarding the flood and coronavirus.  Simply go to the Safe Campus app, select the 2019 Novel Coronavirus at the top and then choose “UND Blog.” You can also view the blog.

As you prepare for possible travel during Spring Break, please stay up to date on the most recent recommendations from the CDC regarding travel. As of today, the only current restrictions related to COVID-19 are for Level 3 countries (China, South Korea, Iran, and Italy). However, several states in our country have declared states of emergency as they experience more cases of confirmed patients exposed to COVID-19. It may be in your best interest not to travel to these states.  If you do decide to travel to a highly affected region, please take precautions to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus as you travel and eventually return to campus.

Regarding Student and Faculty Absences

If you are not feeling well, stay home. If students are impacted by Covid-19 and are unable to attend classes, they may request an absence notification from the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities at 701.777.2664 or UND.osrr@UND.edu. Faculty are asked to be understanding when students are unable to attend class due to illness, and students are encouraged to communicate with their faculty on how faculty will manage such requests for accommodations.

Faculty should continue to teach on campus and online classes as scheduled.  However, should you experience your own flood-related or health obstacles to holding class, faculty should follow their college/school policy regarding any class cancellations and inform their chair and dean.  Should such delays or cancellations occur, please be sure to post delays or class cancellations for students on Blackboard.  Faculty who need support on uploading syllabi and course material to Blackboard or how to use Zoom and/or YuJa for capturing and delivering course content should reach out to the Teaching Transformation and Development Academy (TTaDA) instructional designers or academic technologists at 701.777.3325 or 701.777.2129 or email at TTaDA@UND.edu .

Regarding Staff Sick Time:

  • Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of illnesses. To that end, supervisors should encourage employees who call in sick to stay home. They should follow proper protocols if they believe they may be at risk.  During this time, we also urge supervisor to be sensitive to attendance for those who are calling in sick.   The same is true if the employee needs to take dependent sick leave to care for a child, elderly parent, partner or spouse who is ill.
    • Consider allowing the employee to work from home if possible.
    • Remember that a serious health issue may be covered by Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), so please contact your supervisor and Human Resources Manager with questions regarding long-term sick leave.
    • Employees at Higher Risk: Employees who are at increased risk for complications from COVID-19 due to underlying health conditions are urged to consult their physician about steps they can take to protect their health. These may include requesting a temporary change in job location, hours, assignment or duties, or implementation of additional protective measures to reduce their exposure to others or chances of being infected.
      • If an employee at risk for complications from COVID-19 and their physician agree that increased social distancing in the workplace is prudent, the employee should contact UND Human Resources to formally request a temporary change. Human Resources will confidentially evaluate the request, explore alternatives, and attempt to appropriately address the employee’s health concerns while maintaining UND’s operations. A doctor’s note may be required.
      • Except for employees who formally request a change in job circumstances due to underlying health conditions, employees will generally not be reassigned to new duties, locations, or roles or be provided with paid sick/release time solely to address concerns about the potential for COVID-19 infection.
    • Working Remotely:
  • Supervisors and employees should increase their preparedness to work remotely either more than they already do, entirely, and for a prolonged period. All are encouraged to review what technology is needed to do so.  This includes ensuring staff and faculty have VPN on their computers and shared drives re set up in their departments if needed.
    • This will help the University be prepared to “scale up” workplace social distancing should it become necessary. UND leadership will inform the community immediately if the decision is made to move to large-scale remote work (in jobs where remote work is possible.)

Staff Travel:

  • Those who may travel during spring break, please be aware of any restrictions in place to and from your destination. Consider ability to travel home if situations change.
  • Regarding UND business travel, all international travel has been canceled, effective immediately, per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Those employees who may need to travel for conferences, professional development or other business related needs, should review and receive the authorization of their direct supervisor and the appropriate Area Vice President. This will remain in place until further notice.

UND cares about our community’s health and wellness.  As we continue to plan for potential disruption, you should too.