Key updates for faculty and staff in Academic Affairs
Posted: July 8, 2020
We hope this latest update finds you healthy and safe. It will not be long now before most of us are back on campus together. Our first students and faculty have already resumed face-to-face instruction at our Ruskin campus, and employees in Erie are beginning to return to campus in a phased approach leading to the start of face-to-face instruction of most programs in Erie and Ruskin unless otherwise communicated or arranged on or before Aug. 10.
Reopening our university with consideration for the safety and well-being of our students, faculty and staff is our top priority. For this reason, we are creating a reopening plan that complies with the guidance of federal, state and local authorities.
We have already begun modifying our classrooms, our common areas, dining facilities and other parts of the university. There are also a number of new policies being created around travel, visitors and social distancing. We are confident this plan will provide our students with the best possible learning environment and academic opportunities to deliver an impactful Gannon experience.
As we wait for the comprehensive plan to be finalized, this document is an update of some key points for faculty and staff in Academic Affairs.
Each part of the university has been provided with a date for their anticipated return to campus. The return is meant to occur in three phases, based on the need to be on campus for preparation and business purposes. Most faculty are scheduled for return on July 26 unless other arrangements have been made.
If you are uncertain of your return to work date, please contact your department chair/dean. Please also continue to work with your supervisor on a case-by-case basis to request permission to be on campus prior to your return date if you have reason to be here.
Here are some other important dates to remember:
- Welcome week: Begins Aug. 4.
- First Day of Classes: Aug. 10, 2020.
- Fall Break: There will NOT be a fall break.
- Last Day of Classes: Nov. 16, 2020.
- Finals Week: Final exams will be administered across five days from Nov. 18 through Nov. 23, 2020 (there will not be testing on Saturday or Sunday).
- Winter Commencement: Winter Commencement will be held in accordance with state requirements and federal guidelines on Nov. 21. Planning for Winter Commencement activities will occur over the coming months and may look different based on various requirements and guidelines from government and health officials.
The LiveSafe App is now live and should be downloaded on to your phone. You have received a separate communication on how to link to this app and how to access the Wellness Survey for all faculty, staff, and students. These instructions can be found at:
Each faculty, staff, and student will be required to complete the Wellness Survey on the app daily 14 days in advance of their anticipated return to campus and prior to coming to campus each day thereafter. Based on your survey answers you will receive one of two possible messages:
- Green Check - It sounds like you’re feeling ok
- Red X - Please inform your manager and do not report to work.
If you receive a Green Check, you are allowed to come to campus if it is your time to return to work. If you received a Red X on the survey, please inform your manager and do not report to work. For faculty, please report to your program director. Students should inform Christine Samuelson at the Student Success Center (firstname.lastname@example.org) so instructors can be made aware of this absence. For others, please report to your immediate supervisor. In addition, you must contact the Health & Wellness Center at the Erie campus as soon as possible.
Upon arrival to campus every employee, faculty and staff member, will be required to have their temperature checked daily by personnel at designated stations or in their department. A list of these locations will be available soon.
If you received a Green Check on the LiveSafe survey, but you record a temperature of 100.4 degrees or higher, you will be asked to return home, inform your program director and/or immediate supervisor, and to contact the Health Center on the Erie campus at (814) 871-7622 as soon as possible.
In addition to wellness screening, we will also be testing some of our returning Gannon community for COVID-19 who:
- Are a student or faculty member in Ruskin, Fla.
- Are returning to Erie by plane less than 14 days in advance of their return to campus
- Are a student-athlete or coach
- Are orientation leaders or work in the residence halls
- Are showing signs and symptoms of COVID-19 five days or less in advance of their return to campus
- Are COVID-19 positive in the 14 days prior to their anticipated return to campus
- Have been exposed to a COVID positive person and are in quarantine
- Are concerned about their health related to other COVID exposure
These are individuals who would have had broader exposure to COVID or will be working with larger numbers of people in closer environments as part of their job. Gannon will cover the expenses associated with this testing. The health center will reach out to you to arrange for testing if we are aware that you fall into one of these categories, but please contact Brenda Boetger at (814) 871-7622 to arrange for a test if you believe we may not be aware that you are in one of these categories.
Campus Operations and Building Modifications
Building space modifications and operational practices in offices have been put into place to adhere to local, state, and federal health agency guidelines. These include but are not limited to:
- Maintaining six feet of physical distance between people
- Minimizing social gatherings
- Providing occupancy limits in various areas - including bathrooms, elevators, and office spaces
- Implementing directional patterns of movement in higher traffic areas
- Increasing availability of hand sanitizer
- Adding physical barriers in areas where there are higher amounts of interactions
- Limiting hours of operation in some cases
You will notice signage throughout the campus making you aware of many of these modifications. Please contact an office directly if you have specific questions on their operational changes.
Classroom Layout and Delivery
Unless otherwise specified, classes will be offered predominantly face-to-face with all members of each class attending. Remote instructional accommodations requests by students can be made to the Student Success Center by reaching Kathleen Ellwood at email@example.com. Faculty will be informed of students approved for remote learning by a representative of the Student Success Center. Given the fluidity of requests as a result to changing circumstances, faculty should be prepared to offer remote learning alternatives as a regular part of all instruction.
All course seat capacities have been modified to meet social distancing guidelines. This information has been shared with all chairs/program directors. All schedules and delivery changes will be completed by July 20. Instructors should work with their program chair/director and college dean to finalize approval for any instructional modification that is anticipated as a result of classroom reconfiguration.
Camera systems have been added to each class to provide the ability for simultaneous in-class and remote delivery options should a person find themselves in a medically relevant circumstance, such as COVID infection or quarantine requirements, that does not allow for their presence on campus. If instructors fall ill, they should follow their normal procedure for assuring classroom continuity as they usually do when unable to be present in class. Contact CETL at firstname.lastname@example.org or (814) 871-7177 to arrange for an appointment to receive training on and to practice use of the classroom camera system.
There are a limited number of mobile microphone and speaker systems available for those who believe they may have difficulty being heard while wearing a mask. Please contact the IT Helpdesk at email@example.com if you would like to be considered for this accommodation. ITS will work with the Deans’ Offices at the start of the semester to determine who will receive speakers.
Faculty should include affirmation of the daily wellness screening by each student attending class in a face-to-face setting. Masks are required in the classroom setting by all individuals at all times. The following language could be considered for incorporation into your syllabus:
“Confirmation of passing the wellness check and temperature screen is required to enter the classroom. Masks are also essential. Students who do not have these essential items will be asked to leave the class. Failure to do so will result in the filing of a BIT form for failing to adhere to guidelines and policies related to student behavior and professionalism.”
Classrooms will be equipped with spray sanitizer. Each person can spray down their seating area prior to leaving class. The solution is quick drying and will provide the sterilization needed for the next group of classroom users.
A request form was provided to faculty for consideration of special accommodations to teach remotely. These were due to HR by July 6. Please contact HR by email at firstname.lastname@example.org for the outcome of those requests or if your circumstance has changed. All staff can do the same to request consideration for remote work.
We will continue to monitor operations in this ever-changing environment and will be providing additional updates as planning continues, in person classes begin, or should circumstances change. In the meantime, should you have specific questions, the following people will be your resources:
- Operational Policy and Procedures – Academic Vice Presidents Walter Iwanenko (email@example.com) and Steve Mauro (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Classroom and Instruction – Academic Deans Sarah Ewing (email@example.com), Lori Lindley (firstname.lastname@example.org), and Karinna Vernaza (email@example.com)
- Student Success – Kathleen Ellwood (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Technology Training and Availability – Tex Brieger (email@example.com) and Mark Jordano (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you for your ongoing flexibility in this ever-evolving situation. We will continue to keep everyone informed as plans develop. Continue to visit https://update.gannon.edu for our latest decisions and for resources to assist you.
If you have a question or a comment, you can submit it at https://www.gannon.edu/Questions-or-Comments/.