Additionally, we have formed a Student Resource Team comprised of members in the Dean’s Office, Institute for Student Success, and Library and IT to share concerns we are hearing from faculty, staff, and students about teaching, learning, and working remotely. This team will continue to develop resources with your concerns in mind. If you would like to send a message to the group, please feel free to do so by emailing us. Email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org (Please note: you may need to copy and paste the above email address directly into the To: field)
Library and Information Technology (LIT) has created a page titled Teaching, Learning and Working Remotely that clearly outlines the broad range or tools and services Ursinus offers. This includes directions on how to connect remotely, as well as other offerings related to
collaboration and work productivity
It also provides important links to other webpages for teaching and learning and instructional technology.
Those faculty needing to visit campus are being instructed to make their visits as brief and efficient as possible. Faculty may contact Campus Safety at (610) 409-3333 to let them know ahead of time, but this is only a courtesy. Any faculty member who needs to be on campus for an extended period of time should consult with department chairs to identify ways to minimize those needs. If here are no ways to limit those visits to a brief time that does not involve being in contact with others, that faculty member should consult with the Dean’s Office through either Mark Schneider or Nicole Smith prior to returning for approval of timing and limits of the visit.
Check your email and the Faculty and Staff webpage for the times and links of remote trainings we have scheduled. We continue to schedule and offer new training sessions, so check back often!
Ergonomics is the study of work or the science of fitting workplace conditions and job demands to the capabilities of the working population (CDC/NIOSH). It’s important to maintain good posture and alignment throughout the work day for your comfort and to avoid potential musculoskeletal injuries in the future. Review the links and information provided below to learn more about setting up your work space ergonomically.
Contact Carol McMilllin to set up a virtual office ergonomic evaluation or to answer your questions.
Even though the Library is closed, we understand that there may be items in Myrin Library that you will need from us. This is a journey for us all, and we are working through the various support issues as quickly as we can. As you work with tech support (email@example.com or 610-409-3789) to acquire technology items you need and with the library (firstname.lastname@example.org or 610-409-3607) for library resources or course reserve items, you may pick them up at a mutually arranged time at the front entrance of the library (facing Main St.).
Please keep in mind that the regional InterLibrary Loan system is processing very few requests, as many regional libraries are also closed. In addition, we are deferring fines on borrowed materials during this difficult time.
Yes, as reported in Dean of the College Mark Schneider’s message on Friday, March 13, staff should anticipate working remotely until further notice. Exceptions will be granted for employees engaged in essential operations, such as those working in facilities and campus safety, whose responsibilities require their regular presence on campus, or if employees are not able to complete essential functions remotely.
Yes. All employees will continue to be paid their regular salary or hourly rate through June 30 and will continue to receive benefits. We’re proud of the commitment our employees have made during this time and expect that all employees will continue to work at an acceptable level to support the work of their jobs and departments.
Once the governor transitions Montgomery County to yellow, we’ll evaluate the situation and make choices that are in the best interest of the college and the wellbeing of our faculty, staff and students. We are meeting with Dr. Val Arkoosh, the chair of the county board of commissioners, to help us assess the situation as thoughtfully as possible. Those employees responsible for essential operations, which includes preparing the campus for the possibility of a safe and healthy return of students in the fall, will likely be permitted to continue their work. There may be individual circumstances in which other faculty and staff may be able to return under strict social distancing measures. At this time, it’s too early to say, but we are monitoring the situation and will provide regular updates to faculty and staff through the next 2-3 months.
Ursinus will make PPE equipment such as masks and gloves available to the very best of our ability. The first order of masks was placed in May. Further information will be provided throughout the summer as we prepare for our employees’ return to campus and for the fall semester.
Staff are encouraged to take their vacation time during the remote working period as best they can. Work with your supervisor to schedule time off during this period. To review the college’s paid time off and benefits policies, visit the Human Resources page.
Any unused vacation time cannot be carried over to the next fiscal year, per our policy, though you may carry over up to five unused sick days.
In accordance to our policies, all paid time off will renew on July 1 based on your years of service.
We will continue to evaluate our long-term plans regarding the new fiscal year as more information is known about the impact of COVID-19 on our community.
This legislation was passed in response to the public health crisis and provides provisions for family and sick leave benefits. Review the Department of Labor information on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act here.
The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions were effective on April 1, 2020 and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
You may telework when your employer permits or allows you to perform work while you are at home or at a location other than your normal workplace. Telework is work for which normal wages must be paid and is not compensated under the paid leave provisions of the FFCRA.
You are unable to work if your employer has work for you and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons set forth in the FFCRA prevents you from being able to perform that work, either under normal circumstances at your normal worksite or by means of telework.
No. The only type of paid family and medical leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leave exceeds ten days. This includes only leave taken because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or childcare provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.
If you and your employer agree that you will work your normal number of hours, but outside of your normally scheduled hours (for instance early in the morning or late at night), then you are able to work and leave is not necessary unless a COVID-19 qualifying reason prevents you from working that schedule.
All Ursinus faculty and staff will be paid through June 30, at their normal rates and regular schedules whether they can work remotely, on campus or not at all. There will be more information available regarding anything beyond July 1, as that date approaches. Kitchen and cleaning staff are not college employees and are managed by their respective employers (Sodexo and Olympus.)
The cleaning staff (Olympus) have been working overtime to make sure our campus is sterilized. We have worked hard with Sodexo to try to transition their employees in the least disruptive way. Many Sodexo employees have been redeployed to other accounts, those who were not, are eligible for unemployment compensation, which was increased by the federal government to provide approximately full wages (and for some, even more) under the CARES Act.
We are very careful to provide market rate quality salaries and good benefits, equal to 30% of employee salaries. We believe working conditions are extraordinarily positive and we continue to be committed to our employees as our most important asset. Employees of the college are encouraged to speak with our Human Resources team if they have questions or concerns regarding benefits or working conditions.
Due to increased expenses overall and decreased revenues, the COVID-19 shut down is costing the college approximately $5 - $6 million. We are working hard to save in any way possible to cover these losses, while balancing the needs of our employees and students. Keeping the college on sound financial footing for the long term remains an important focus.
EveryUrsinus studentwho wasenrolledduringthe spring 2020 semester received funding.The CARES Actincluded specificeligibilityguidelinesto follow whenawarding that funding, but anystudent who was deemed ineligible by those requirements received funding directly from the college.
The CARES Act funding requirements determined eligibility based upon a student’s ability to receive Title IV funding. With that condition, a total of 1,187 Ursinus students were eligible for the CARES funds. Ursinus students who did not meet this requirement were funded separately. See Student FAQ’s for more CARES funding information
One of several options we are considering for the upcoming academic year is the possibility of “short” courses, either as regular in-person options or as a form of academic engagement online should our start be delayed. However, it’s important to note that a conversion to a block calendar would be an enormous adjustment for our college, and adapting every course in the time frame of just a couple of months this summer would be a challenge for our faculty and those supporting our academic departments.
We certainly will need to balance our commitment to a residential experience with the well-being and health of everyone on campus. We are currently working on developing some basic, but firm, guidelines that we may want to put in place—guidelines that will be guided by CDC recommendations. Our goal is to share those guidelines this summer.
The college is working with individual students who remain on campus to determine housing options. The Foreign Language Teaching Assistants (FLTAs) who need to remain on campus are supported by Fulbright and will relocate to a college-owned rental property.
Currently, in order to qualify for the Gateway Scholarship, students are required to have a combined SAT score of 1220 or ACT score of 27. We know that many students are concerned about the possibility of not being able to take or re-take the test. Additional standardized test dates have been added in fall 2020, including a September administration. Prospective students are encouraged to take advantage of the additional testing opportunities in fall 2020. While we don’t know what the future looks like just yet and much remains out of our control, as of now, we are planning on using the same criteria mentioned above. Once we have more information about test dates, and how this impacts our application deadlines, we will reevaluate with the potential to utilize other equivalent benchmarks of student success.
Yes, Ursinus has donated protective masks and gloves to community organizations and health providers. Locally, that includes the Trappe Fire Company Ambulance and, regionally, the Temple University Hospital and its overflow space in the Liacouras Center.