Category: Faculty Staff Messages

COVID Vaccine Distribution Update – Jan. 29

The University of Alabama has received guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health to proceed with the priority distribution plan for the campus community. Faculty, staff and front-line contract workers should be notified in coming weeks as additional vaccines are received. The University will also continue following the ADPH allocation plan, including community outreach to current risk groups.
UA’s Office of Emergency Management is managing a prioritized COVID-19 vaccine distribution list aligned with ADPH’s guidance and Vaccine Allocation Plan for community outreach. Employees who have requested and received an approved 2021 COVID-19 accommodation are already included for priority access.
Employees who may require medical-related priority access but do not have an approved 2021 COVID-19 accommodation may submit this online form for priority access vaccine distribution. This form is the only way to apply for priority access to the vaccine provided through University Medical Center based on status as a member of a CDC-defined vulnerable population. Those who have previously provided information to the COVID Support Team must complete the form to be considered for medically related priority access.
Please do not call the COVID hotline, Office of Emergency Management or UMC to request priority access.
Vaccine Eligibility Notifications – Action Required in 24 Hours 
Employees will receive an email, text message and phone call when they are eligible for vaccination. Ensure your contact information, including mobile phone number, is up to date in myBama so you do not miss these messages.
To support efficient and more rapid vaccine distribution, individuals must now respond within 24 hours of the time indicated on the invitation email to schedule an appointment or decline the offer. Those declining the offer are strongly encouraged to respond as quickly as possible and avoid letting the invitation expire. The vaccine is not required for employees or students.
Information is available at healthinfo.ua.edu/vaccine.

Classes return to planned mode of delivery – Jan. 22

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Classes Return to Planned Mode of Delivery 

After two weeks of flexible class delivery options, all classes should return to their planned mode of instruction Monday, Jan. 25. All health and safety rules remain in effect, including mandatory distancing, masks and other protocols. The Code of Student Conduct will continue to be enforced as it relates to COVID-19 and full compliance is expected this semester. Visit UA’s Healthinfo website for more information.

Be Wise, Sanitize

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, be wise and sanitize! It’s essential to frequently sanitize items you use often, such as phones, water bottles, keys, etc.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Higher Education Professor Named Top 15 Emerging Scholar Under 40 

Building Bama: 2nd Avenue Overpass

Best-selling Author Headlines University MLK Celebration

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Sentinel testing, extended drop/add date, MLK celebration, more – Jan. 15

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Update to Vaccine Eligibility
Based on updated guidance from the Alabama Department of Public Health, individuals age 75 years and older who are University Medical Center patients, UA retirees or UA emeritus faculty are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at UMC. Applicable current faculty, OLLI participants, Capstone Village residents and others who fit into this age group are also being notified. Newly eligible campus community members will receive an email with details and a text message with instructions to schedule an appointment. If you meet these criteria and don’t receive a message to schedule your appointment, you may call (205) 348-1471. Because the vaccine’s shelf life is limited, individuals will have 48 hours to schedule an appointment or decline the offer. See UA’s healthinfo site for more information and FAQs about vaccine distribution and eligibility.

Sentinel Testing Resumes Jan. 19, No Registration Required

Spring 2021 sentinel testing will resume and be conducted weekly for three consecutive weeks beginning Jan. 19 and every other week thereafter. Participation is voluntary for most, but required for certain student populations. Participants will receive incentives like Starbucks or Bama Cash gift cards, or other items. And beginning this semester, all sentinel testing will be managed through UA medical facilities, so registration is no longer required.

If randomly selected, individuals will receive an email from the COVID-19 Support Program with instructions. Read more about spring 2021 sentinel testing on the UA News Center.

MLK Celebrations Kick Off Monday
Join the campus community in celebrating the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at a series of virtual, in-person and passive events, which kick off Monday and take place throughout January and February.

Drop/Add Deadline Extended to Jan. 29
The deadline to add a course or drop a course without a grade of “W” for the full spring term has been extended from Jan. 20 to Jan. 29.

Capstone Parking Deck Closed Next Week for Supplemental Testing
The Capstone Deck is closed to vehicle parking Tuesday, Jan. 19, through Friday, Jan. 22, for drive-thru supplemental COVID-19 symptomatic and exposure testing for students. The adjacent surface lot is open.

UA Prepared for Inauguration, Peaceful Transition

Our campus looks forward to a peaceful transition to a new federal administration with a hopeful and optimistic view. It’s more important than ever to remember the Capstone Creed and continue to be respectful to those around us. While there is no information suggesting concerning behavior on or near our campus, our many campus resources are available to help if you have any concerns.

Do Your Part to  STOMP COVID-19
S – Sanitize your hands frequently.
T – Track your symptoms daily.
O – Observe social distancing.
M – Mask up when indoors or near others.
P – Plan to stay home when sick.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

University Libraries Reopen Rooms for Student-Centered Events

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Sentinel Testing Continues in Spring 2021 with Improvements

To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, COVID-19 sentinel testing of campus community members will continue in Spring 2021, with more frequent testing scheduled the first three weeks of the semester.

Participants will receive incentives like Starbucks or Bama Cash gift cards, or other items.

Beginning this semester, all sentinel testing will be managed through UA medical facilities, so registration is no longer required.

Sentinel testing captures a random sampling of students, faculty and staff to help monitor the prevalence of COVID-19 so UA can respond promptly to outbreaks or increases in infection rates.

Spring 2021 sentinel testing will include a sample of the UA population and is planned to be conducted weekly for three consecutive weeks beginning Jan. 19 and every other week thereafter.

Participation in sentinel testing is voluntary for most, but required for:

  • Students living on campus;
  • Students participating in clinical activities, who will have a presence on campus at any time during the semester; and
  • Other individuals participating in University-sponsored programs, at the discretion of UA.

Because sentinel testing is one of several important measures for preventing the spread of the coronavirus and keeping campus safe, voluntary participation is strongly encouraged.

If randomly selected, individuals will receive an email from the COVID-19 Support Program with instructions. Participants will choose a time and location to take the test conveniently, confidentially, and at no cost. A PCR test with a short nasal swab will be self-administered under observation, and results returned within 72 hours.

Additional Changes to Sentinel Testing for Spring 2021

  • Once an individual participates in sentinel testing, they will not be included in the selection pool again for 30 days.
  • All persons who are randomly selected and agree to participate will be tested regardless of previous COVID-19 test results.
  • Those who have isolated because of a positive test in the last 12 weeks will not be required to isolate again if the sentinel test is positive.

Sentinel testing is one of many measures, such as physical distancing and face coverings, that UA is taking to protect the campus community as outlined in its Spring 2021 Return Plan in accordance with The University of Alabama System’s COVID-19 updated guidelines.

More information on sentinel testing, return testing, for-cause testing and more can be found at the UA Healthinfo website or by contacting the COVID-19 Support Program.

Message from Provost Dalton to Faculty: Instruction during UA’s First Two Weeks of Spring 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that you are healthy and had the opportunity to relax over the holidays. Our first day of Spring 2021 classes will begin Jan. 13. The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students remain our top priority as we continue our teaching, research and service missions at UA.

This week, we cheered the Crimson Tide to another national championship, but also witnessed the gathering of a large crowd in downtown Tuscaloosa. Recognizing the concerns raised by the pandemic and this event, we intend to conduct our first two weeks of classes (Jan. 13 to Jan. 22) using a flexible approach to allow faculty/instructors and students to voluntarily choose remote instruction if needed. Key elements include the following:

  • This is a temporary approach as we monitor ongoing conditions. For classes offered between Jan. 13 and 22, faculty/instructors may change the mode of instruction for the courses that they are offering.
  • This is intended as a flexible approach. Faculty/instructors who are scheduled to teach face-to-face are permitted to change to interactive audio/visual (e.g., Zoom) if they choose. Those who do so should provide additional opportunities for students who may need assistance during this time.
  • This is voluntary. Some faculty/instructors may choose to continue to teach face-to-face during these two weeks.  It is however important for faculty/instructors to note that students should also be granted the flexibility to participate in class via interactive A/V during these two weeks if at all possible, and we encourage faculty to offer that option (e.g., simultaneous interactive A/V session or recorded A/V).
  • Provide immediate notice if you choose this option.  Faculty/instructors who choose to temporarily change the mode of instruction must reach out to all students registered for their course via e-mail, Blackboard, etc. as soon as possible to inform them about your plans for the first two weeks of classes.

On Monday, Jan. 25, all courses will return to the mode of instruction as originally described during registration, unless changes in the mode of instruction are approved by the dean and Office of Academic Affairs.

  • Staff in all divisions will continue with the flexible, staggered approach as currently allowed by their supervisors. Deans may wish to expand those opportunities for academic staff as may be necessary during these two weeks.

Thank you for all you do to support our students and University, and thank you for your continued flexibility during this time.  Roll Tide!

Jim

First Group of COVID-19 Vaccines Being Scheduled for UA Priority Groups

UA’s College of Community Health Sciences has received its first group of about 3,500  COVID-19 vaccine doses authorized for emergency use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to be administered beginning later this week.

Campus Emergency Management officials are working daily with the Alabama Department of Public Health to plan for distributing the vaccines with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine priority access.

Healthcare providers, first responders, Capstone Village residents and employees, and vulnerable populations in the UA community will be among the first groups offered access. Other priority groups will be updated with guidance from ADPH.

The vaccine will require two doses administered 21 to 28 days apart.

Campus community members will receive an email with details and a text message when they are eligible for vaccination. Because the vaccine’s shelf life is limited, individuals will have 48 hours to schedule an appointment or decline the offer.

Those who accept the voluntary vaccination will authorize consent when the first dose is administered and must remain at the vaccination site for 15-30 minutes to be monitored for any reaction and to schedule the second dose appointment.

Vaccination is not required for employment at this time. If the vaccine offer is declined or an appointment is not scheduled within 48 hours, the vaccine dose will be made available to the next group of eligible recipients. Once declined or missed, vaccination requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis depending on vaccine and resource availability.

Information on available vaccines to aid in the decision making process can be found on the FDA’s website, CDC’s website and ADPH’s website.

UA will provide regular updates via campus email, Inside UA messages and at Healthinfo.ua.edu/vaccine.

Return to operations update posted – Dec. 10

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Spring 2021 Return to Operations Update Posted

The latest guidance for the Spring 2021 Semester is now posted on the healthinfo website. The Spring 2021 plan serves as the University’s interim policy in keeping with the comprehensive UA System plan. It remains subject to change as circumstances related to the pandemic necessitate the University’s responsiveness to health and safety directives, including possible distribution of vaccines. Addressed in the plan are current expectations related to testing, UA Healthcheck use, event limitations, accommodations, enforcement guidelines and other topics. Updates will continue to be shared with the campus community via email and posted on the healthinfo website.

Reentry Testing Required for On-Campus Residents 

According to the UA Spring 2021 Return Plan and the UA System Spring 2021 Comprehensive Health & Safety Plan, students who live on campus, including Greek houses, must test for coronavirus (SARS-COV-2) prior to resuming classes or other on-campus activities for the Spring 2021 Semester. Free PCR testing for students will be conducted at Coleman Coliseum daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Jan. 7, 2021. Students must make an appointment and get a test within seven days of arrival on campus, but no later than Jan. 19. The appointment schedule will be available before Jan. 2, and an announcement will be made when appointments can be reserved. If students choose to be tested off-campus by a personal health care provider, a PCR test is required. It must be conducted no more than seven days before returning to on-campus housing and be uploaded and accepted by the UA COVID-19 Test Result Repository between Jan. 2 and Jan. 12. Read more on the UA News Center. 

Remain Vigilant to Follow All Health and Safety Protocols

It is imperative that UA students, faculty and staff continue to practice stringent adherence to our health and safety protocols, both on and off campus, and throughout winter break. The UA Situational Response Team is continuously monitoring local and national COVID transmission trends and consulting with local health officials and the UA System Health and Safety Task Force.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Sounds of ‘Hilaritas’ Can Still Be Heard This Year

A Life of Adventure and a Heart for Service

Drive to Succeed at Home and Abroad

A Dream That Keeps Growing

Combat Zones and COVID: Family Man and Veteran Earns Doctorate

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Staggered Work Schedules Continue in January – Dec. 4, 2020

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

Current Staggered Work Schedules to Continue in January

As UA offices and workplaces reopen after the winter break, staff will continue with their current adjusted or staggered work schedules as designated by their supervisors according to the Oct. 27 message to campus. Those who require an accommodation may submit a request using the Spring 2021 form. For more information, contact the HR Service Center at 205-348-7732 or hrsvctr@ua.edu.

Do Your Part to  STOMP COVID-19
S – Sanitize your hands frequently.
T – Track your symptoms daily.
O – Observe social distancing.
M – Mask up when indoors or near others.
P – Plan to stay home when sick.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Campus Mail Winter Break Update 

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

COVID-19 employee accommodation form, dean finalists – Nov. 10

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

2021 COVID-19 Employee Accommodation Form Now Available

Faculty, staff and student workers/graduate assistants who are members of a ‘vulnerable population’ that are or might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 may be concerned about returning to work on campus. Vulnerable employees and/or employees who share a household with or have primary care responsibility for someone who is in the vulnerable population may complete the online form to request temporary, COVID-19 accommodations for Spring 2021.With the exception of age-related accommodations (age 65 or older), employees will be required to complete a medical inquiry form to be reviewed by Human Resources. Additional information is available on the HR website.

Return to Campus – Tech Needs

As remote faculty and staff begin returning to campus, OIT encourages employees to review technology needs. Remember to bring back any equipment you may have taken home that you will need in the office. Contact your departmental IT Support for assistance.

United Way Campaign Needs Your Help

Due to the pandemic, United Way of West Alabama has seen a spike in needs. Giving to the University’s United Way campaign is simple with the new online giving platform, but paper pledge cards are also available. For a paper pledge card, contact your department or division’s United Way coordinator.

Use UA Healthcheck Daily 

Share your current health status – even if you are symptom free – to ensure a safe return to campus. UA Healthcheck, a daily, 30-second assessment tool for students and employees, allows you to report any current COVID-19-related symptoms, exposure history and testing history.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Finalists for Dean of Social Work Meet Campus Nov. 9-12 

Tuscaloosa Veterans Day Program

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).

Campus operations after Nov. 20, Veterans Day – Nov. 6

ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REMINDERS 

UA Operations and On-Campus Services Continue After Nov. 20

As in-person classes transition to remote learning beginning Nov. 20, the University will remain open and continue with normal operations. Campus administrative offices will remain open through Dec. 18, and faculty and staff will continue to have access to classrooms, academic facilities and support services, including resources to record or teach course material. Additional services that will continue include the Supe Store, Student Recreation Center and University Medical Center, among others.

Mask Up! It’s Required.

Cloth face coverings are required on campus and are proven to limit coronavirus spread. One of the best ways to demonstrate your care for others during this time — both on campus and off — is by wearing a mask. Face coverings help protect other people in case you are infected, and help limit you from inhaling the virus. Wear them over the mouth and nose when within 6 feet of others. Throughout the state of Alabama, masks are currently required in public spaces. This statewide mask requirement supports the UA System Health and Safety Task Force’s requirement that face coverings must be worn in all University buildings with limited exceptions.

Veterans Day Program 2020
The annual Tuscaloosa Veterans Day program will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 11, at 10 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park as a drive-through-only event. Audio will be broadcast on 87.9 FM radio for participants parked in the immediate area. The event is hosted by the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority’s Veterans Memorial Park Association, in conjunction with the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center and UA’s Office of Veteran and Military Affairs.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT 

Let Your Fingers do to the Talking in an Emergency

Finalists for Dean of Social Work to Meet Campus Nov. 9-12

Upcoming Events

More Faculty and Staff News

Information on COVID-19 and campus operations is updated frequently. For more FAQs, go to UA’s healthinfo website. If you have questions not answered on the website, please call UA’s COVID-19 hotline at 205-348-CV19 (2819).