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COVID-19 Interim Policies 

Updated April 15, 2020

The following policies have been modified effective as of March 26, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice. These policies are subject to change at any time as conditions warrant and will be communicated to the University community.

University Modified Operating Status

  • This is an extraordinary time and the University is grateful to the members of the University community for their dedication and flexibility as we move to remote instruction while supporting students who remain on campus and our academic and operational needs.
  • The University remains in a modified operational status in which employees are asked to work remotely, to the fullest extent possible, until further notice. Divisions and department leaders should plan for a move to remote work for as many employees as possible. All plans must ensure robust support for the continued operation of the University with particular emphasis on the students who remain on campus, faculty engaged in remote instruction, and staff whose job responsibilities require them to be physically present on campus.
  • Individual division and department leaders will determine how offices will be staffed and responsibilities fulfilled. University departments may implement modified work schedules for those employees who have responsibilities that cannot be accomplished on a remote basis.
  • All departments should review and prepare for implementation of their continuity of operations plans. Meetings should be held via conference call or Zoom, where possible. Social distancing techniques should be used if in-person meetings are held.
  • The University has implemented interim Human Resources policies to assist employees during this period of time.
  • The University is following applicable health guidelines to ensure the safety and cleanliness of all buildings on campus.
  • The health and safety of University students, faculty, and staff remain our priority. The University will continue to closely monitor the status of COVID-19 in Virginia and will make adjustments in operating status as necessary. 

Interim Human Resources Policies

  • Hiring Freeze. Effective immediately and as announced to the University of Richmond employee community on April 9, 2020, the University has implemented a hiring freeze for currently unfilled faculty and staff positions. If a job offer has been extended and/or accepted prior to April 9, 2020, the University will honor those job offers.  


    Recognizing that it may be important for the University to fill certain open positions during the hiring freeze, the respective Vice President or Academic Dean may petition for an exemption to the hiring freeze by completing the Staff Hiring Freeze Exemption Request or the Faculty Hiring Freeze Exemption Request.

    Positions that directly impact the University’s educational commitment to students or directly augment campus community health and safety will be given priority.

    In consultation with respective Vice Presidents, Academic Deans and the Senior Associate Vice President for Human Resources, the Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer and the Executive Vice President & Provost will review all petitions and make recommendations to the President.

  • Salary Freeze. There will not be a merit salary pool increase for employees in FY21 as the University will implement a salary freeze for all faculty and staff for next year. We fully recognize the impact of this measure on our faculty and staff and their families, and we regret that it is necessary. It is especially painful as so many members of our community have worked so tirelessly and effectively this spring in response to the extraordinary challenges COVID-19 presented to our academic mission.

  • Pay for Non-Exempt Employees. Many of our non-exempt, hourly employees have experienced a reduction in the number of hours worked. As a result, the University will continue to pay regular full, part-time, and limited term non-exempt, hourly employees through the end of the fiscal year (June 30) based on their regularly scheduled hours, even if their work hours are reduced as a result of the move to a modified work schedule.

  • Remote Work / Flexible Work Place Arrangements. While the health, safety, and contributions of all staff members are equally valued, the reality is that not all work can be performed remotely. Certain jobs or aspects of a job must be performed on campus. Other jobs or aspects of jobs can be performed remotely with a laptop and the necessary access. Individual supervisors and departments will work with employees to determine who will perform their jobs remotely and who will be required to be on campus.
  • Request for Disability Accommodations. Employees who have health conditions that may require accommodation should contact Human Resources following the procedure set forth here.

  • Paid Leave. Full and part-time benefits eligible employees may receive up to 15 days of additional paid leave to be used for COVID-19 related situations like illness, quarantine, isolation or family care need. This is a one-time allowance of additional paid leave in response to the COVID-19 crisis.
    • Employees who experience other circumstances that prevent them from maintaining a normal work schedule should contact their supervisor. The University will be as flexible as possible in addressing these situations consistent with our academic and operational needs.

Access to Campus/Self-Isolation and Self-Quarantine

  • Students, faculty and staff who have symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home and not come to campus until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • The University requires anyone coming from CDC Warning Level 3 countries or those who know that they potentially have been exposed to someone with a confirmed case of COVID-19 to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Any faculty, staff, or student who has been to a location with a COVID-19 outbreak who experiences fever, cough, or difficulty breathing within 14 days after leaving such location should do the following:
    • The Student Health Center is open to patient care on a reduced schedule. Please call 804-289-8064 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment as we are not accepting walk-ins and self-scheduling through the patient portal is suspended. For medical emergencies on campus, please call the University of Richmond Police Department at 804-289-8911.
    • Faculty and staff should call their physician’s office for advice and tell them about recent travel and symptoms.
    • Faculty, staff, and students should self-quarantine if their health care provider suspects or tests for COVID-19. The period of self-quarantine or isolation should be determined by the treating health care provider in consultation with the local health department.
    • Faculty, staff, and students who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate for the period of time determined by their health care provider in consultation with the local department of health.
  • Any student, faculty, or staff member required to self-quarantine or self-isolate should follow the directions of their health care provider and the CDC’s self-isolation recommendations.
  • Students residing on campus who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should call the Student Health Center at 804-289-8700 regarding on-campus housing options for self-isolation.
  • Students who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their dean of students and faculty by email for other support and resources.
  • Faculty who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their dean or department chair to discuss how to handle teaching responsibilities.
  • Staff who are required to self-isolate or self-quarantine should contact their supervisor.

Student Employees

  • All student employment for the remainder of the spring semester must be approved and must be deemed necessary for the critical needs of the University during this period of remote instruction. Anyone wishing to employ a student who works remotely must submit the remote job request form.
  • Students should not be working in person, even if they live in the Richmond area, as we continue to de-densify the campus.
  • In no case should a student be asked to volunteer to work without pay, or to work now for payment at a future date.
  • To help offset potential lost income, Federal Work Study (FWS) and University Work Program (UWP) students who earned hours in the spring and who were in an active position in March will receive a one-time payment.
    • The amount of the payment is based on the student’s work history – the number of hours worked and pay rates for their various FWS and UWP positions on campus during the first part of the spring term.
    • The payment will go out no later than April 6, 2020 and will be mailed to the student’s permanent address if they do not have direct deposit set up.
    • Students who receive the one-time payment are not required to work for UR after March 21, and they do not have to return funds if they work other jobs wherever they are living.

University Students Abroad Spring 2020

  • All University of Richmond students currently studying abroad have been advised of the latest travel warnings from the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • All students currently abroad who wish to remain in their study abroad programs, regardless of location, are required to petition to remain in such countries by following the process set forth in University’s Policy on International Travel to Countries Presenting Increased Risk.
  • Students who are in countries designated by the U.S. State Department as having a Level 4 Travel Advisory will not be permitted to petition to remain for study abroad in such countries.
  • Student petitions to remain in countries designated by the U.S. State Department as having a Level 3 advisory or designated Level 3 Health Alert by the CDC will be granted only in very limited circumstances, as determined by the Office of International Education.
  • Students who have symptoms of respiratory illness should stay home until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 72 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants).
  • The Office of International Education will remain in close contact with all University students currently abroad to provide any needed support and guidance. 

University-Sponsored Travel – Spring Semester

  • The University of Richmond is cancelling all non-essential, University-sponsored international and domestic travel, regardless of location, until further notice.
  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, and students.
  • The University strongly discourages personal international travel and domestic travel at this time. All faculty, staff, and students residing on campus who are planning personal travel to any destination, foreign or domestic, must register that travel using the University’s travel reporting form.

Student Housing

  • All students, including those who were on campus for spring break, must return to, or remain at home, unless granted permission to remain on campus.
  • Any student who has previously been granted permission to stay on campus must make a second request. The only circumstances under which a student may request permission to remain on campus are:
    • International students whose home country has closed its borders, and who do not have an alternate place to stay – please contact OIE at international@richmond.edu.
    • Any students who experience food insecurity or other similarly serious circumstances, and who do not have an alternate place to stay – please email CollegeDeans@richmond.edu.
  • Students who need financial assistance to travel home, should complete this form.
  • Students who need academic materials or medication may request to have those items sent home by completing this form.  
  • Students should not return to campus to retrieve their belongings at this time. The University will provide information in the coming weeks about collecting or storing student belongings.

Events on Campus

  • Events, camps, and conferences scheduled on or before June 29 have been cancelled or postponed.
  • The University plans to celebrate the Commencement of its graduating students later in the year.
  • Modlin Center events scheduled prior to June 29 are cancelled or will be rescheduled for a later date.

University Events Held Off-Campus

  • All off-campus events have been postponed or cancelled until further notice.

Summer Study Abroad

  • The University has cancelled all summer study abroad.

Summer Classes

  • Due to the uncertainty of the Covid-19 virus, all classes for Summer Session I and most classes for Summer Session II will be taught online. University of Richmond courses for Summer 2020 that are approved for general education credit will count toward general education requirements regardless of the format of delivery (i.e., in-person or online).
  • The campus will not open for face-to-face instruction for Summer Session I. This means that there will be no students in residence on campus before June 15. For the period after June 15 and Summer Session II, we continue to plan for the possibility for on-campus residency depending on conditions.This has implications for the following:
    • Summer Session I Classes
      • Most classes in summer school that had been scheduled to begin in May are now scheduled for online delivery. Those that are not offered online will either switch to that format or be cancelled. Instructors should contact their summer program directors for further information. 
    • Summer Session II Planning: Two Paths
      • Many faculty and students are making decisions now regarding Summer Session II. To facilitate their planning, most Summer Session II classes are already listed as being offered online. This provides certainty that courses that may be needed for academic progress or graduation will be available, even as we continue to evaluate the right time to return to on-campus residence for students.
      • We have a number of programs and research opportunities for students that would benefit from being on campus even as most classes are remote. We are intent on resuming normal operations as soon as is safely possible and are hoping to return to campus by the start of Summer Session II. A decision for residential opportunities during Summer Session II could be made as late as early June. We are delaying decision-making on residency in the hopes that students and programs that need to be on campus will be able to return to campus for Summer Session II after June 15.
      • Those classes or programs that cannot be held remotely, or cannot await a later decision on residency, will either be cancelled, postponed, and/or instructors will be in touch with students with additional information. 
      • This two-path plan allows for the possibility of residency while providing certainty around the courses and credit opportunities that will be available this summer. Information on summer housing, should it be available after June 15, will be sent later this spring.

Summer Research with Students

  • The current situation raises a number of challenges for faculty-mentored summer research for undergraduate students planned for this summer. Summer research is an important opportunity in a University of Richmond education, but we must prioritize the health and care of our community. Therefore:
    • Given that we are in the midst of a pandemic, some faculty may no longer be able to mentor students either in person or remotely, and some students may no longer be able to participate in the experience.
    • The decision to continue to offer the student research experience depends on both faculty and students. In the first instance, the faculty member must decide if it is feasible. If the faculty member is able to proceed, then the option to continue with the research experience this summer lies with the student.
    • Research projects can be pursued using online mentoring as early as May 11.
    • Research projects may be able to commence in person June 15 and run for 7 weeks, pending the decision on Summer Session II residency.
  • For more information on summer research, including details regarding these options for faculty and students, please carefully review the Guidance on Summer 2020 Student Research.

University-Sponsored Summer Internships

  • The UR Summer Fellowship deadline for internships, which had been suspended, will be moved to April 17, 2020. In order to provide students with more time to find an internship, students may also submit URSF applications by a second deadline of June 1, 2020.
  • Given the current circumstances, in-person internships for which undergraduate students are receiving University funding or course credit (University-sponsored internships) will not be permitted to begin before June 15, and all planned in-person internships will need to occur in the student’s home community or in Richmond, Virginia, to ensure maximum flexibility given the current uncertainties about mobility and safety. Students planning in-person internships should be prepared for the possibility that in-person work will not be able to commence as planned in June, as that decision will be made based on then-current public health guidance.
  • If an internship can be pursued remotely, remote internships will be eligible for URSF funding; URSF guidelines, including the requirements for remote internships, can be found here.
  • Required information sessions will be available online. Other University-sponsored internship and clinical placement programs for undergraduates will follow the same guidelines, with in-person placements prohibited until at least June 15.
  • Students should contact their dean or program director for more information about their specific program. Career Services is also available to assist students as they continue to pursue internship and job opportunities; please find more information and schedule an appointment here.

Faculty Tenure Clock

  • From April 3, 2020 University Faculty Senate meeting: Tenure-track faculty members [at the University of Richmond] have the opportunity to extend the tenure-clock and the associated third-year review by one year due to the disruption from COVID-19. The timetable for requesting this extension will be set by the Deans. Faculty who are scheduled to stand for tenure in AY 2020-2021 and those whose third-year review is scheduled for AY 2020-2021 should be given at least until April 15, 2020 to decide if they wish to extend their clock by one year. All other tenure-track faculty whose third-year review is scheduled for AY 2021-2022 or after, or who are scheduled to stand for tenure in AY 2021-2022 or after (and were employed at the university as of April 3rd, 2020), should be given at least until January 15, 2021, to decide if they wish to extend their clock by one year. Faculty opting for an extension in their tenure-clock under this policy will still remain eligible for “stop-the-clock” requests as outlined in the Faculty Handbook and may extend the tenure-clock by one-year due to COVID19 so that the maximum pre-tenure period will be a total of eight (8) years. The University Faculty Senate shall revisit this extension at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year to discuss further extensions should the current pandemic continue to affect the ability of faculty to complete the academic work expected for review and tenure.