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Faculty FAQs - Returning to Campus

Newman University provides educational experiences in a community that respects and cares for one another. This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document has been created to help offer all Newman community members clarity on how they can play a role in the safe return to in-person classes and other aspects of working and connecting on campus. 

Note: The health and safety of students, faculty and staff continues to remain the university's top priority. Best practices and recommendations from agencies, such as, the CDC, Sedgwick County Health Department and state and local officials, have been considered in creating our policies and procedures. If, and when, guidance from health experts evolves, Newman will make appropriate updates to protect the community.

No. All classrooms, with the exceptions set forth above in Eck 120, have been set to meet social distancing guidelines. New furniture has been installed where appropriate; furniture has been removed where appropriate. Mabee Dining Hall (West) and other large areas have been converted to academic space as necessary.

Yes, cloth masks have already been mailed to faculty and staff members’ home addresses on record. Some members received their mask directly from HR on campus. Face shields are also already available on campus from the Deans offices and will be distributed by area Administrative assistants or program directors.

No. There will be a hand sanitization station at the main entry to academic buildings. Disposable masks will be available at the building’s entry at or near the hand sanitization station.

It is permissible to handle office hours via distance technology. It is possible to set up Zoom rooms and advisee queues in Canvas to handle office hours. It is expected that faculty will be engaged in their ordinary work duties during regular business hours, regardless of the modality and location of work.

Faculty members are expected to keep up with their responsibilities for teaching, learning, scholarship, and service. If those responsibilities may be accomplished via distance technology, they are welcome to continue to do so. If essential functions can only be carried out on campus, then they are asked to carry out those essential functions on campus unless they are ill, are especially vulnerable, or have an accommodation. Faculty who may need accommodations should contact the office of human resources.

Hundreds of bottles for disinfectant sprays have been ordered to allow for one bottle per row of tables/desks in each classroom. Supplies are limited, but this is the plan we are working to achieve. Similarly, paper towels will be located in classrooms, as will larger trash receptacles. It is expected students will each clean their own workspace before and after each class period.

The social contract is our primary means of enforcement. We ask all community members to act in to pursue the common good. There may be conduct consequences for students or employees who are willfully non-compliant, but those will be handled as with any other conduct issue.

The self-screening tool is submitted daily online. The link is available on the Together We Soar page. It is a tool that should help all of us decide if it is safe for others to be around us. If you trigger any of the items on the self-screening tool, you should not be physically present on campus.

asking is covered in the social contract. For most faculty, it is appropriate that they wear a mask in class. For some faculty, such as those in theater, languages, voice, or those working with a hearing-impaired student, using a clear face shield may be more appropriate. Clear face shields are available on campus. If you believe you cannot or should not be wearing a mask, please contact the office of human resources for an accommodation.

This should be handled like any other classroom behavioral challenge. The faculty member may excuse the student to go and retrieve a disposable mask from the building’s main lobby or to leave class for the day. If a student is disruptive and refuses to leave or is otherwise a threat to herself or others, faculty have the right to end the class period and confer with the department chair, school dean, dean of students, or academic affairs about how to address the disruptive behavior.

This is a classroom management issue. Faculty may ask students to refrain from bringing food or drink to class in order to stay masked.

Seating charts should be made by faculty members on the first day of class to record students’ selected seats. They will be used to aid in contact tracing, if and as necessary. The administration will not have pre-assigned seating for students. If a student must change seats, the faculty member should record the new “regular” seat. Seating charts may be scanned and sent to Academic Affairs for deposit in a designated SharePoint library.

Contract tracing will be handled by local health officials. In order to assist in that work, faculty are asked to maintain seating charts so all persons who were in contact with a COVID-positive person may be contacted by the health department. Our role is to maintain good records to enable that work.

The local health department will engage in contact tracing and inform all parties indicated. We will follow the subsequent guidance of the health department. Health officials may indicate that everyone in the class should quarantine and move all learning activities online, or they may assess that the student did not pose a risk to others. In all cases, we will follow the guidance of the health department on a case-by-case basis.

Yes. All faculty were asked to communicate their plans for modality by June 18th. Scheduling was done immediately thereafter based on the plans that were shared with deans and chairs. If you wish to change modalities now, please contact your chair or dean ASAP to see how different arrangements can be made.

Each faculty member was asked to work with their department, division, and school to establish the appropriate modality for their classes by June 18th. Based on that information, classroom assignments and other decisions were made. Generally, it is not required that every faculty member live stream every class. However, all faculty members should be ready to accommodate students who may not be able to attend classroom learning experiences due to illness or exposure to persons who are ill. Zoom is one option to accommodate the needs of those students.

Not every classroom may be able to support this option. Please attend the Technology Open House on August 18th to attend sessions on the technology available in each classroom (schedule attached to this meeting invitation). You may need to plan to have the class Zoom from their own equipment instead of attending a classroom with a faculty absent, if the technology is not available in your assigned room.

Guidance provided by Sedgwick County health officials was used to determine public spaces. Public space is anywhere other than your private office. Classrooms are considered public spaces.

The administration is working together to attempt to identify specific milestones or metrics where we can trigger escalations or de-escalations of our response as appropriate. We are working in conjunction with local and county health officials. The rapidly changing data in our local area has made that difficult, but work is ongoing. Right now, for academics, we are relying on units to have contingency plans for course coverage in the event of instructor illness. We expect to be reasonable and flexible with one another during this difficult period.

Anyone who gets sick will not be treated differently. They will have access to the leave policies and procedures implemented in Spring 2019. We ask that faculty have contingency plans in the event they become sick, so we can trigger the plan while they recover.

Students have been communicated with often. You can see most of what they’ve been told by visiting the student side of the Together We Soar page. The deans have also sent video messages to students with additional links to student communications. For SNAH students, they received a video of Dr. Long. There was also a letter from Academic Affairs that went out several weeks ago, preceded by a text to students to check their NU email. The site linked above also has a number of FAQs for students.