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Coronavirus Updates



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April 3

UNF Campus Operations Restricted to Essential Functions

As a result of Governor Desantis’ “safer at home” order, the University of North Florida is restricting all on-campus operations to essential functions only, effective April 3, 2020 until further notice. The restriction of on-campus operations means that only essential personnel are permitted on campus. However, University business operations will continue and faculty and staff who are working remotely should continue to work their normal hours. If an employee working remotely needs to return to campus prior to the Governor’s executive order going into effect to gather work items, they must continue to practice appropriate social distancing.

On-Campus Essential Employees

At this time, on-campus essential employees are defined as employees designated to report to the workplace while on-campus operations are restricted. Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads must designate which on-campus functions are essential and require an employee to be on-campus to perform critical on-campus University functions. Those designated as on-campus essential personnel should carry their UNF ID and a copy of the UNF authorization letter at all times when traveling to/from campus. On-campus essential personnel who may be required to work on campus include, but are not limited to:

  • those ensuring the safety and security of campus facilities and information technology; protection of University assets (e.g., healthcare services, police);
  • those operating and providing maintenance of research labs and utilities that cannot suspend operations;
  • those providing limited services to students who remain on-campus (e.g. housing, designated food services);
  • those required for continuity of services including maintenance/grounds/janitorial;
  • those providing medical services;
  • those who are needed to process financial transactions and services;
  • those who provide support for information technology; and
  • those facilitating distance learning.

If you are designated as an on-campus essential employee and feel that you are unable to report to work, please refer to the Human Resources Infectious Disease webpage for additional information on options that may be available to you.

Remote Work Employees

All employees who are not designated as on-campus essential employees will be required to work remotely, as long as their duties and responsibilities are conducive to such work. Although on-campus operations are restricted, remote work will continue. If there are additional measures you need in order accomplish remote work, please advise your department head or chair.


The University’s restriction of on-campus operations may result in a reduction of the amount of facilities staff available to provide the usual cleaning and sanitation services in campus department suites and buildings. For these reasons, and for your own continued health and safety, the University must insist that all employees not designated as on-campus essential work remotely at all possible times.

Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA)

Employees whose job responsibilities do not support remote work and who are not considered to be on-campus essential employees or are unable to work remotely due to childcare or other COVID-19 related reasons, may be eligible for leaves or compensation. Please refer to the Human Resources Infectious Disease webpage for additional information.

How Should Departments Prepare?

Departments should prepare immediately for a restriction of nonessential campus operations. Supervisors should work with employees who are able to work remotely to ensure they have access to all the equipment, files, resources, etc. that they need to perform their work from home. For example, desktop computers and peripheral items including monitors and desktop printers can be checked out via the myWings property check process or via written/email record for those items without property decals. It is the department head’s responsibility to ensure that any University property is accounted for. Most of this planning has already occurred, but access to buildings will be limited to those that are designated as essential. Supervisors must keep in mind social distancing when coordinating the pick-up of items that employees may need.

Departmental Mail and Packages

Departments should continue to process their mail to ensure the timely deposit of checks and processing of vendor invoices/payments. Campus mail and packages will continue to be received, but normal University mail and package delivery has been suspended until further notice. Department representatives can drop off outgoing mail and pick up incoming mail from 8:00-11:00am Mondays through Fridays at the UNF Annex, Building 6, by using the rear door next to Central Receiving. Persons picking up mail must present their faculty/staff Osprey 1Card for identification. For questions or special needs, contact Steve Reed at 904-620-1195.


If you are working remotely from home, you may ship ordered items to your home address with appropriate departmental approval and documentation.

Resources

There is simply not enough that can be said to commend the campus community for the exceptional resiliency shown during these uncertain times. Faculty, staff, and students continue to overcome and adapt to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The dedication and commitment of our community is unrivaled. Thank you for your continued patience and perseverance.


Additional information and resources can be found on the UNF Emergency Management Coronavirus webpage.

 



April 1

UNF Remote Learning Extended to Summer B Session

All courses for UNF Summer Session B, which begins June 22, will be conducted remotely in adherence to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s social distancing protocols and guidance from the State University System of Florida. This decision, coupled with our announcement from March 24, means that ALL UNF Summer Sessions (A, B, and C), will be transitioned to remote instruction. Students should contact their academic advisors with questions about building their summer schedules. The University appreciates all your cooperation and assistance in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. We will continue to update you as future decisions are made.




March 29

Letter from President Szymanski

Dear Students, Parents, Faculty, Staff, and Greater Osprey Community:


We are experiencing extraordinary circumstances that have impacted all of our daily lives in many ways. The impact on the University of North Florida has also been unprecedented. UNF has been and will continue to be highly responsive to the needs of our Osprey family. The University has rapidly implemented a multitude of changes to ensure the health and safety of our community and the continued success of our students. Our commitment to student success is unwavering, and we continue to do everything in our power to support students regardless of the unique challenges we and our students are facing.


As we enter our second week of remote instruction, I want to update you on some of the new and enhanced measures we have taken in critical areas, including academic continuity, student well-being, housing, and financial assistance.

Academic Continuity

Thanks to the strong passion, commitment, and support of our faculty, administration, and our great students, we have successfully transitioned to remote learning for the spring semester. We are preparing to do the same for the upcoming summer A and C semesters.


Continuity of instruction and academic support during this challenging time provides stability for our students and ensures they remain on track to complete their coursework and successfully progress toward degree completion. UNF’s key academic continuity efforts have included:


  • Full transition of remote instruction, including live sessions, to Zoom and Canvas.
  • Outstanding commitment by faculty to effectively communicate with students, leverage technology, deliver course content, and assess student learning.
  • Continued academic support through remote tutoring, peer-assisted success programs, supplemental instruction, and academic advising.
  • Development of an optional grading system for the spring semester to give students final grade choices during this challenging and stressful time.
  • Virtual academic coaching, workshops, and persistence advocacy teams to support continued student success.
  • Successful remote transition of critical resources, including the writing center, library, and career services.
  • Continued technology (ITS Help Desk) support to ensure successful remote connection and collaboration, including assistance with internet access, hardware, and software issues.

Student Well-Being

At UNF, we view the health and safety of our Osprey family as our top priority. In addition to the physical health risks associated with COVID-19, we also recognize the emotional toll this pandemic may have on students. Therefore, partners across the university are providing essential services to ensure student well-being:


  • Student Health Services continues to serve the health needs of our student community by offering telehealth consultations, office appointments, and COVID-19 resources and education.
  • The Counseling Center has transitioned to remote phone and/or video call appointments and is available to provide phone support 24-hours a day / 7-days a week.
  • The Disability Resource Center continues to assist students remotely with accommodation concerns, testing barriers, and assistive technology.
  • Osprey Life and Productions is holding virtual events online and through social media including virtual trivia, virtual Twisted Tuesday craft nights, movie watch parties, and more.
  • Recreation and Wellness is offering podcasts, virtual classes, and at-home workout routines.
  • The Dean of Students Office is providing ongoing services and support for students experiencing unstable housing situations.

Housing

To protect the health and well-being of our students, UNF has significantly reduced the resident population on campus, worked to accommodate those with extenuating circumstances, and developed refunding plans to all those affected. Our key measures have included:


  • Strongly encouraging students who were away for spring break and/or residing off campus to not return to campus.
  • Strongly encouraging students who were still living in university housing to return to their permanent home residences or a non-campus alternative housing arrangement, for the remainder of the semester as safety conditions permit.
  • Accommodating those with extenuating circumstances and working with students who are unable to safely return home during this time period.
  • Ensuring that all personal belongings left behind by students are secured until such time it is deemed appropriate to return to campus.
  • Providing to-go dining services (breakfast, lunch and dinner) at the Osprey Café for those remaining on campus.
  • Implementing a Student Refund Plan for all students who have paid or have been assessed housing charges for the spring semester and have vacated campus housing.
  • Actively working with our dining services vendor to determine the details and process of refunding unused dining plan credits.

Financial Relief

UNF recognizes the unique financial burdens that may have been created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the University has taken the following actions to help address several challenges faced by students:



  • The UNF Foundation and Student Government have partnered to create the UNF Student Emergency Relief Fund, which will provide immediate financial assistance to currently enrolled students most in need.
  • Student Government’s Lend-A-Wing pantry is providing “to go” meals for students experiencing food insecurity.
  • Student Government and administration are actively partnering to identify other forms of immediate and future financial assistance.
  • Development teams in academic and student affairs are exploring a variety of grants that could provide additional financial assistance.
  • Human Resources and departments across the University are identifying opportunities for OPS/Student (including Federal Work Study) employees to work remotely if appropriate given their job functions and with supervisory approval.
  • Human Resources is also providing guidance to OPS and student employees unable to work from home regarding new federal legislation, including unemployment benefits and alternative income options.

As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses and we collectively learn more, UNF will continue to develop new and innovative initiatives to help our students succeed in the classroom and progress toward their degree. We are blessed with highly dedicated faculty and staff who are working tirelessly to ensure that all the needs of our students are being met. Some of the initiatives will take time to implement, some will need to be adapted even more as situations change, and some will be implemented immediately. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the many issues arising daily as we navigate a very unprecedented and uncertain situation. Rest assured, we have the health and well-being of each student at the center of our decision making. We are one Osprey family, and together, we will get through these challenging times!


With all my best wishes for your continued safety and health,

Szymanski Signature

David M. Szymanski

President




Past Updates