COVID-19 Interim Policies

Updated Jan. 14, 2021

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

  • Employees are asked to work remotely, to the fullest extent possible. University departments may implement modified work schedules for those employees who have responsibilities that cannot be accomplished on a remote basis, especially in student facing roles. Individual division and department leaders will determine how offices will be staffed and responsibilities fulfilled.
  • All faculty, staff, and students, to include vendors and contractors, are required to comply with the University health and safety policies and the  guidelines of its Physical Distancing Framework.
  • Meetings should be held via conference call or Zoom, where possible. Physical distancing practices 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. This includes any regular full- and part-time positions that become vacant during the year and requests for temporary or limited term 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.

 

Temporary COVID Work Arrangements for Spring 2021

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. No forms need to be completed until your return to work date on campus has been established by your supervisor.

Learn more here.

Request for Disability Accommodations

Employees who have health conditions that may require accommodation should contact Human Resources following the procedure set forth here.

COVID Leave (Paid)

Full and part-time benefit eligible employees may receive up to 15 days of COVID 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. Please use these Decision Trees to determine when it is safe to return to campus after potential exposure to COVID-19. Employees required by the University to self-quarantine or self-isolate, will be paid for that time. 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.

8/13/20 update: Staff COVID leave balances were refreshed on August 1st for a new balance of 15 days.


Access to Campus

  • University facilities are accessible only to faculty, staff, and students. No visitors or guests are currently allowed in academic, administrative, or residential buildings.
  • Students, faculty and staff who have symptoms are not be permitted to come to campus until they meet the following criteria:
    • No fever, defined as less than 100 degrees F, for at least 3 days (that is 72 hours of no fever without the use of medicine that reduces fevers, such as Tylenol, Motrin, ibuprofen, etc.); and
    • Other respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath); and
    • At least 10 days have passed since the symptoms first appeared or they have two negative COVID-19 PCR viral tests done at least 24 hours apart.
  • Staff can also use these Decision Trees to determine when it is safe to return to campus after potential exposure to COVID-19.


Spring Study Abroad

UR will offer limited study abroad programming in Spring 2021. The Office of International Education is working with students accepted for study abroad and will also continue to offer opportunities for international students who may not be able to travel to the United States.


University-Sponsored Travel 

  • All non-essential domestic and international University-sponsored travel is prohibited. Limited exceptions considered.
  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, and students.
  • The University strongly discourages personal travel by air.
  • 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

Priorities for Use of University Meeting and Event Space
As the University continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and to plan for the 2020-2021 academic year, it must limit the use of its event and meeting space as set forth in this interim policy. The following uses shall be given priority, per the order set forth below, in the reservation and assignment of meeting and event space:

  • Classroom use, including those spaces not traditionally used as classrooms;
  • Other academic uses;
  • University administrative and operational uses, excluding routine meetings; and
  • Student support uses.

Camps and Conferences Summer 2021
The University has not yet determined whether it will host camps and conferences during the summer of 2021, including athletic overnight and day camps and Little Scholars camps for children of faculty and staff. The University will notify the campus community if it determines that it can safely host camps and conferences this summer.

Third-Party Events
Except as noted below, until further notice the University will not host any third-party events on campus. For purposes of this interim policy, a third-party event is an event organized and/or sponsored by any organization other than the University of Richmond or any individual who is not a current student, faculty, or staff member of the University of Richmond.

After review by the Director of the Events Office and consultation with the Director of Emergency Management and other campus officials, the University may approve the following third-party events, provided they can be conducted in a manner consistent with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols:

  • Use of the Jepson Alumni Center as a polling location for local, state, and national elections;
  • Inurnments in the University Columbarium;
  • Memorial/Funeral Services in the University Chapel;
  • Weddings in the University Chapel (but not receptions); and
  • Other events that that are held outdoors and/or require minimal use of University resources.

Internal Meetings and Events
For purposes of this interim policy, an internal event is an event or meeting organized and conducted by a current Richmond student, faculty member, staff member, department, division, or student organization. 

All requests to reserve meeting or event space must be made through the EMS system, regardless of the location of the space.  All requests for meeting and event space will be evaluated by the Events Office in light of the priority uses set forth in this interim policy and the consistency of the planned meeting or event with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols.

All requests to reserve meeting or event space will be given a new event status in EMS. This status will be called “Pending COVID19 Policies.”  All new requests will be submitted as an online request, and then shifted to the new status Pending COVID19 Policies as event schedulers review the requests. Schedulers will work to align the event with the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols.  Requests for meetings and events will be approved only if they can be arranged in a manner that meets the University’s physical distancing and other health protocols. 

Unless an exception is granted by the Events Office, all food service or catering for approved meetings and events must be provided by the University of Richmond Dining Services.

Modlin Center Events Spring 2021
While the Modlin Center will not have live performances with visiting artists this spring, there will be digital events with artists across the world and it will support curriculum and classroom learning. The academic arts programs are developing innovative plans to engage and connect students in safe and meaningful ways. All events in spring of 2021 will be announced at modlin.richmond.edu

Athletic Events Spring 2021
The University of Richmond is in consultation with the NCAA and its athletic conferences regarding the status of intercollegiate athletic events during the spring of 2021. This policy will be updated once decisions have been made regarding the status of those events.


University Events Held Off-Campus

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


Summer Study Abroad

There may be limited study abroad courses offered by the University for the summer of 2021. More information will be provided by Jan. 15. Weinstein grants for individual travel that already has other funding may be possible. Please contact the Office of International Education for more information.


Summer Classes

  • Summer school coursework will be available to students in summer 2021. The schedule can be found here.
  • Courses will be offered in a mostly remote format, with a few potential in-person offerings. There will be no hybrid courses, so students who are studying remotely may not enroll for in-person courses.
  • General education credit will be available for remote courses that meet the University’s general education curricular requirements.


Summer Research with Students

  • There will be opportunities for in-person faculty-mentored research on campus. Interested students should consult with their faculty research advisor.
  • Remote research opportunities may be available in limited circumstances for students living and working in certain states here in the U.S. Remote research opportunities will not be available for students who are living and working outside the U.S. Further information will be available in January.
  • The deadline to apply for a UR Summer Research Fellowship is  23 at 12 p.m. Research Fellowship applications will be available at the start of the spring semester.


University-Sponsored Summer Internships

Students who are interested in pursuing University-sponsored internships with external employers and organizations may apply for a UR Summer Fellowship by an initial deadline of April 9 at 5 p.m. In order to provide students with more time to find an internship, students may also submit an application by a second, rolling deadline of June 4 at 5 p.m.

Students are encouraged to pursue remote internships where possible. Where it is appropriate based on local conditions, in-person internships will also be permissible, contingent on compliance with local public health guidance and the availability of opportunities with external employers and organizations. Applications will be available at the start of the spring semester. Please direct questions to ursf@richmond.edu.


Faculty Tenure Clock

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.

All faculty with a Tenure-Track/Probationary appointment scheduled for a midcourse (third-year) review or to stand for tenure in the 2021-2022 academic year or later and who were employed at the University as of August 24, 2020, shall have until January 15 of the academic year before they would normally be considered to decide if they wish to extend the time for consideration for the mid-course (third year) review or tenure 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 Article IV, Section A(1), above, 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.


Face Coverings on Campus 

  • Effective June 3, 2020 and until further notice, individuals inside of University buildings, classrooms, or in common areas of University residence halls are required to wear a face covering that covers both the nose and mouth at all times.
  • In classrooms, students and the faculty teaching the class will be required to wear a face covering.
  • Face coverings are required on campus even in outdoor settings where you are not or cannot maintain six feet of distance between you and others, especially when traversing busy walkways and corridors.
  • This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, contractors, and visitors on University property.
  • Employees working alone in their individual enclosed offices, with the door closed, do not need to wear a face covering. Employees working in offices with open floor plans will need to wear a cloth face covering.
  • Unless instructed otherwise, residents of campus housing are not required to wear a face covering while in their own room or apartment, but face coverings should be worn in all common areas of University residence halls, such as hallways, laundry rooms, and lounges.
  • A face covering should:
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
    • completely cover the nose and mouth
    • have two or more layers of washable, breathable fabric
  • According to the CDC, do not chose a face covering:
    • made of fabric that makes it hard to breathe (for example, vinyl)
    • with exhalation valves or vents, which allow virus particles to escape
  • Face coverings, physical distancing, hand-washing and good personal hygiene are all critical to helping prevent the spread of the coronavirus. This face covering policy is meant to supplement hand-washing and the physical distancing protocol, which requires maintaining a six-foot distance from others whenever possible. Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing or hand-washing.
  • For more information on how to properly use face coverings, see our tips on how to wear a face covering.
  • The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to the following:
    • While eating or drinking
    • Individuals exercising outdoors with appropriate physical distance
    • Any person seeking to communicate with the hearing impaired and for which the mouth needs to be visible
    • When temporary removal of the face covering is necessary to secure medical services
    • Persons with health conditions that prohibit wearing a face covering

 

Interim Health and Temperature Screening Policy

Effective immediately, all employees that work on-campus are responsible for following this policy. Employees required to obtain a temperature screening prior to reporting for work, will not be authorized to work until a temperature screening is completed.

 

Health Screenings

All employees, will complete a health screening. Employees will complete the web-based screening using a provided link. Employees should not report to work if they: 

  • are awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test taken because they have symptoms or exposure to someone with COVID-19;
  • have experienced any of the symptoms listed on the screening form, that cannot be attributed to another health condition;
  • have a fever of 100 or higher; or
  • have been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19, the employee should not report to work and contact their supervisor or department chair.

A representative from Human Resources will contact the employee and supervisor with information about returning to work on campus. The employee should continue to complete the health screening daily while in quarantine or isolation.

Temperature Screenings

Temperature screenings, in addition to health screenings, will be required for employees that work in Campus Business Services, Dining, Retail, Facilities, Student Health Center, the University of Richmond Police Department, and Athletic Coaches, Trainers, and Equipment Managers. The list of employee’s subject to temperature screening may be changed from time to time.

Compliance

Employees who do not follow the Interim Health and Temperature Screening Policy or misrepresent their health condition will be handled on a case-by-case basis and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.