Staff will be provided with guidance around social distancing specific to their immediate and broader workspaces. Guidance will also be provided relative to the use of kitchenettes, coffee machines, restrooms, schedules, and parking.
Center Court in the MTCC will be open during the summer. It is anticipated that the Commons Dining Hall, 10 West, and Center Court will be open beginning August 17, 2020. Hours will be posted at each venue as appropriate and also be listed online at https://www.dineoncampus.com/iit.
Yes. In March 2020 the university adopted a temporary COVID-19 policy that grants faculty and staff two weeks of paid leave in the event they contract COVID-19. This is in addition to any other paid leave that they may have accrued.
Like any employee, faculty members will, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, be provided a reasonable accommodation, should they require one due to a personal health condition. They need to request an accommodation through the Department of Human Resources. Other administrative considerations may be made by the faculty member’s chairperson or dean. We are also taking measures to ensure that the classroom environment is such so as to minimize the risks associated with COVID-19, including upgrading classrooms to MERV-13 filtration to remove human-generated aerosols from the air, as well as installing portable HEPA filtration units in some classrooms. We have also been inspecting and servicing our HVAC systems over the summer to make necessary repairs/adjustments and achieve a good supply of outdoor air in keeping with ASHRAE guidelines. This, coupled with masks required in every classroom, social distancing, good hygiene, and self-monitoring of symptoms, will serve to minimize the risk of viral transmission.
The University will consider, to the extent that it can, accommodations for personnel who are members of a vulnerable population and will engage in an interactive process with such personnel in an effort to develop such accommodations. Otherwise, vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with vulnerable residents should be aware that, no matter how cautiously protocols are followed, by returning to work there is some increased risk that they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from vulnerable individuals.
Answered by President Alan W. Cramb during August 19 Town Hall:
At this time, the current expense-saving measures that we have put into action are expected to accommodate fully the revenue losses that we have projected. If the losses end up being greater than predicted, we have additional budget measures identified that we can put into place before we would look at cutting people’s pay. Once we’ve exhausted all other alternatives, we would make sure that any approach that would impact an employee’s pay would be fair and equitable across the entire faculty, staff, and administrative population. Our strategy has been to maintain all full-time personnel’s normal bi-weekly or monthly salary. Thus, the 4 percent reduction in the pension plan that occurred this summer was applied to everyone—faculty, staff, and administrators—but did not affect one’s bi-weekly or monthly salary.
If salary decreases become necessary, and we will not know this until early September, the strategy for salary decreases would be that those who earn more would lose more than those who earn less. Salary cuts would be applied to everyone: faculty, staff, and administrators. As I noted in the previous town hall, I and other people eligible for a bonus due to their employment agreements will not receive any bonuses in this calendar year or until salary cuts, if any, are restored.
I have not implemented salary cuts for our senior administrators and faculty as this is not necessary at this time. Faculty and staff are working diligently to allow our university to be successful, and I do not think it appropriate at this time to reduce anyone’s salary, beyond the steps I outlined in the last town hall.
The student who tests positive will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and will be monitored by our Student Health and Wellness Center staff. The remainder of the class will be asked to self-quarantine for five days and will then be tested. This exceeds the guidelines set by the city, which only require that persons in “close contact” self-quarantine, but we are adopting a more cautious approach. If after five days all students are negative, then all but the positive student can return to class.
As with students, if a faculty or staff member develops COVID-19, they will be asked to self-isolate for 14 days and will be monitored by their primary caregiver.
If a family member becomes ill with COVID-19 and you are the caregiver, you will be expected to self-quarantine. As with other cases of illness of our faculty, it will be the responsibility of your department chairperson to identify a substitute instructor for your classes.
Yes, faculty can be tested in one of two ways: periodically, we will have a Matrix Medical mobile unit on campus and you can register to have a test completed with Matrix. If you have symptoms, we also have a BioFire point-of-care system, and you can register for a test through SHWC staff.
As you know, in recognition of this being an extraordinary year, we have automatically extended the tenure clock for everyone who wanted that extension. With regard to promotion to full professor, we have always weighed quality more than sheer quantity. So, yes, we believe we are taking the extraordinary circumstances of this year adequately into account.
Since the pandemic started, we have used student course evaluations only for formative feedback, not summative. That will be the case again this year.
We are actively working on voice amplification options. Our delay of in-person classes for two weeks will help us ensure we adequately resolve this issue.