FAQs for Faculty and Staff

Return to Work

When will CSB/SJU faculty and staff return to work on campus?

The health and well-being of our community members remains our top priority which is why CSB/SJU have developed a COVID-19 Preparedness Plan, now in effect for all employees. The Plan addresses important safety protocols, reporting requirements and related policies. We are all collectively responsible for complying with this Plan to mitigate risk to members of our community.

The Plan paves the way for CSB and SJU employees to begin to return to work. At this time, employees who can work from home are expected to continue doing so until they receive additional guidance from their supervisors.

  • The target return-to-work on campus date for CSB/SJU administrative and service operations is August 3, 2020.
  • Supervisors needing staff to return-to-work on campus prior to August 3rd should seek approval from their VP.
  • Supervisors are encouraged to consider staggered schedules and phased returns to promote social distancing while meeting operational needs. Such scheduling may result in a combination of staff working both on-campus and remotely. Supervisors should review their department scheduling plan with their VP.

A Job Safety Analysis & Risk Exposure Assessment tool is available for department supervisors to use in return-to-work planning, with guidance available from Ganard Orionzi, Director of Environmental Health and Safety (DEHS), on department-specific safety plans, especially in higher-risk areas.

Divisional vice presidents and department supervisors are to monitor the effectiveness of the COVID-19 Preparedness Plan in their respective areas and to update protocols and safety practices, as required and per guidance from local and state health authorities.

Will everyone be allowed to return to work on campus?

Employees returning to work on campus will be asked to sign an affirmation form to be returned to Human Resources which includes the following, and to self-monitor for signs and symptoms of COVID-19:

  • The employee has not, within the past two weeks, been diagnosed with COVID-19 and is not currently experiencing any of the COVID-19 symptoms as outlined by MDH.
  • The employee is not a person under investigation for COVID-19 exposure, under quarantine or in isolation as ordered by a health authority.
  • No member(s) of the employee’s household has within the past two weeks been diagnosed with COVID-19.
Will employees be required to conduct daily health screening?

Prior to coming to work for each shift, employees are expected to self-check their temperature at home, if possible. In addition, employees should self-monitor daily for COVID symptoms.

The CSB/SJU Director of Environmental Health & Safety (DEHS), Ganard Orionzi, will provide guidance to supervisors where additional screenings are advised based upon an employee’s job responsibilities. Please refer to the following link for screening information from MDH: https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/facilityhlthscreen.pdf

How will social distancing be implemented on campus?

Social distancing will be implemented through numerous controls. Supervisors are asked to consider the following in department planning for return-to-work. This list is not all-inclusive, and each supervisor and work team is encouraged to examine all departmental practices in implementing social distancing, including:

  • Establish flexible work shifts and staggered schedules to reduce the number of people in the work area at the same time and entering/leaving work together.
  • Allow employees, especially those in high-risk categories, who can perform their work remote to continue to do so. Consider alternating remote days with days in the office.
  • Conduct meetings with colleagues and students electronically, whenever possible, including faculty office hours.
  • Keep group gatherings to recommended limits with appropriate physical distancing and use of masks/face coverings. Also avoid small group gatherings in confined spaces and when using elevators.
  • Avoid group gatherings in break/lunchrooms and replace re-useable kitchen items with single-use options.
  • Limit visitors coming to campus for required business reasons and maintain social distance when visiting.
  • Adjust workstations and traffic patterns in work/public areas to provide for physical distancing to be greater than 6 ft apart.
  • Remove high-touch items such as publications, shared pens, etc.
  • Work with Facilities to obtain disinfecting supplies for cleaning personal workspaces (keyboards, phones, countertops, etc.). Avoid sharing workspaces and equipment between colleagues.

Further information on social distancing may be found here:



Employees who have concerns about their ability to social distance effectively while completing job responsibilities are asked to consult with their supervisor or Human Resources.

Will I be required to wear a mask while working on campus?

Yes, a mask or face covering is required, other than when working alone in a private office, including when:

  • entering/exiting and moving around campus buildings
  • in classrooms and labs
  • in public and communal spaces
  • standing in line for and riding the Link bus
  • in any social interaction where physical distancing of at least 6 ft. cannot be consistently maintained

The mask should cover your nose and mouth. All employees will be provided with a CSB/SJU mask, and CSB and SJU Facilities will provide departments will a small back-up supply of disposable masks.

All employees are required to maintain and clean their mask per CDC recommendations. For information on design, use, removal, and cleaning of face coverings, visit:

An employee who is unable to wear a face-covering or must wear a mask with exhalation valves for health reasons should make an accommodation request to Human Resources via the Employee Accommodation Request Form.

What other safety precautions should be considered when working on campus?

Employees are instructed to wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water frequently throughout the day, but especially at the beginning and end of work shifts, prior to meals and after using the restroom. Hand sanitizers are supplied in the entrances of most buildings and in high traffic areas. Additional guidance may be found at the following links:




Employees are expected to cover their mouth and nose with their sleeve or a tissue when coughing or sneezing and to avoid touching their face, particularly mouth, nose and eyes, with their hands. Dispose of tissues in the trash, and wash or sanitize hands immediately afterward. Respiratory etiquette will be demonstrated on posters throughout campus. Additional guidance may be found at the following links:



Employees working with vendors, guest speakers and inviting visitors to campus are to advise the parties of campus safety expectations when dropping off/picking up materials, completing repairs, doing presentations, visiting, etc. which minimally include wearing a mask/face covering, respecting social distancing, handwashing and respiratory etiquette.

What should I do if I experience COVID-19 symptoms after returning to work on campus?

If you experience symptoms prior to reporting to work, you should:

  • Stay home
  • Notify your supervisor* of the type and onset of symptoms.
  • Contact your medical provider for guidance and follow-up with the supervisor regarding workability status. An employee without a medical provider is encouraged to seek guidance through phone triage with a registered nurse. A local resource is CentraCare Connect at 320-200-3200.

If you experience symptoms while at CSB/SJU, you should:

  • Notify your supervisor* of the type and onset of symptoms.
  • Go home as soon as possible, wear a mask/face covering, and self-isolate from others until leaving campus.
  • Contact your medical provider for guidance and follow-up with the supervisor regarding workability status. An employee without a medical provider is encouraged to seek guidance through phone triage with a registered nurse. A local resource is CentraCare Connect at 320-200-3200.
What should I do if I’ve been exposed to someone with COVID symptoms?

If you a or member of your household has been notified of potential exposure, you must notify your supervisor, self-monitor and follow the instructions provided upon notification.

If a member of your household has COVID symptoms, you must stay home and self-monitor until the family member has been evaluated by a medical provider and given further guidance regarding the symptoms. You should keep your supervisor informed of the status.

What are the leave policies if I’m unable to work due to having COVID-19 symptoms or having been exposed to COVID-19?

CSB and SJU Faculty and Staff handbook policies on sick leave and the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will be followed for an employee’s illness, for an employee providing care for an ill family member as defined by these policies, and when an employee is required by a healthcare provider to isolate or quarantine.

Leave options when unable to work due to experiencing COVID symptoms: An employee in a benefit eligible appointment status may utilize accrued sick leave, vacation (if sick leave is not available) or unpaid leave if unable to work.

Leave option when unable to work due to exposure: An employee in a benefit eligible appointment status may utilize Special COVID Leave, available through January 2021 (date subject to change).

CSB/SJU is offering additional Special COVID leave at this time for benefit-eligible employees required to stay home from work to self-isolate or quarantine due to exposure when an employee is not ill or experiencing symptoms and is unable to do his/her job remotely. Documentation of the status is required (e.g. notice of potential exposure and/or guidance from a health authority).

An employee may request up to 80 hours of paid COVID leave via the Employee COVID Leave Request form. COVID leave will not be deducted from an employee’s sick or vacation leave accrual or affect eligible leave hours for a qualified Family Medical Leave.

Should a second occurrence of isolation/quarantine be necessary and 80 hours COVID leave has been taken, an employee may use accrued sick or vacation leave or take unpaid leave.

Where can I find information and guidelines on quarantine and isolation?

Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for detailed scenarios and suggested action steps related to quarantine and isolation.

What should I do if I test positive for COVID-19?

Stay home per guidance from your medical provider and until meeting the following CDC clearance criteria:

  • no fever for 72 hours off medication
  • a minimum of 10 days since symptoms first appeared or tested positive
  • improvement in overall symptoms

See: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html

Notify your supervisor and complete the following Employee COVID-19 Positive Test Report submitted to Human Resources.

Supervisors may inform co-workers, as needed, that a colleague is out ill or out-of-the office. No other details or personal health information should be shared without the employee’s permission.

If there is a confirmed positive COVID case reported, the DEHS will coordinate with Facilities personnel for the cleaning and disinfecting of the individual’s work/residential space.

What should I do if a student employee in my area tests positive for COVID-19?

Direct the student to self-isolate and contact campus Health Services for guidance.

See: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/end-home-isolation.html

Notify Angie Mareck, Director of Student Employment. Supervisors may inform co-workers, as needed, that a student employee is out ill or out-of-the office. No other details or personal health information should be shared without the employee’s permission.

If there is a confirmed positive COVID case reported, the DEHS will coordinate with Facilities personnel for the cleaning and disinfecting of the individual’s work/residential space.

What should I do if I need an accommodation to perform my job because I am at higher risk for severe illness due to COVID?

Per CDC information (as of 6.25.20), the risk for severe illness from COVID-19 increases with age. The greatest risk for severe illness from COVID-19 is among those aged 85 or older. Individuals of any age with certain underlying medical conditions are at increased risk, including:

  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Serious heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 or higher)
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • Chronic kidney disease

In addition, CDC information notes individuals with the following conditions might be at increased risk:

  • Asthma (moderate to severe)
  • Cerebrovasular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
  • Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
  • Liver disease
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
  • Smoking
  • Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
  • Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Employees may request an accommodation via this form Employee Accommodation Request Form submitted to Human Resources. Medical certification may be required regarding the condition and workability status. Human Resources, in consultation with the employee’s supervisor and/or divisional leader, will review an employee’s request, discuss needs with the employee, and determine if a reasonable accommodation can be made.

Is an accommodation available for caregiving responsibilities?

Employees with caregiver responsibilities for an ill family member incapable of self-care or for a household member required to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 may request an accommodation using the form noted above. Absences from work for care responsibilities for an ill family member will be managed in accordance with our sick leave and family medical leave policies.

Additional needs of employees with a household member in a high-risk category or other circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. If an employee is unable to perform position responsibilities with a reasonable accommodation, the employee’s position, FTE, and/or employment status may be affected.

Will there be travel restrictions during the academic year?

Non-essential business travel is not advised through at least fall semester, December 2020.

For required college/university travel:

  • Domestic - Employees are required to submit a travel itinerary form Employee Travel Form prior to travel and to follow recommendations regarding a domestic travel alert. Increased daily symptom monitoring may be necessary following travel.
  • International – Employees will be required to submit a travel itinerary form Employee Travel Form prior to travel. Per current CDC guidelines, anyone traveling internationally will be required to quarantine for 14 days prior to returning to campus.

Employees who travel internationally for personal reasons will need supervisor approval to work from home during the required quarantine period following travel. If unable or not approved to work from home, the employee will be required to use accrued vacation or unpaid leave.

What is the plan for cleaning and disinfecting classrooms, offices and other shared spaces or high traffic areas on campus?

Summer 2020

  • Facilities staff will be focused on cleaning of residential spaces during the summer months.
  • One bathroom per building will be open and regularly cleaned at this time. Check with Facilities staff for details in your building.
  • High traffic, high-touch areas in buildings will be disinfected regularly.
  • For use of shared departmental equipment, such as phones, keyboards, and copiers, individual users will be responsible to clean these surfaces before/after use. Employees will be given access to supplies to clean their own offices and conference rooms, if needed. Additional cleaning supplies may be requested from Facilities.

Fall 2020

Information will be provided prior to the start of fall semester regarding cleaning and disinfecting of classrooms, offices, and communal spaces.


Block Schedule with Hybrid Learning

The academic plan for fall 2020 is a block schedule with hybrid learning. What is a block schedule with hybrid learning and how will it be implemented?

A block schedule allows students to complete four, four-credit classes in a semester. However, unlike a typical system in which students take the four classes simultaneously, in a block schedule, students take one course at a time. Each block is approximately four weeks long.

Four-credit classes will be offered three hours each day, four days per week (Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday). There will be no regular classes on Wednesdays, which ensures classes are a reasonable length, to minimize exposure and travel on campuses and allow for deep cleaning of classrooms. Individual classes will be scheduled on campus in the morning or afternoon. Thus, there will be a maximum of two classes in a classroom during each block.

As an example, a first-year student might take the following schedule in fall 2020:

  • Block 1: Learning Foundations (4 credits)
  • Block 2: Spanish (4 credits)
  • Block 3: Biology plus lab (4 credits)
  • Block 4: History (4 credits)

The student might also enroll in a music ensemble for .25 credits a block and INTG 105 for .25 credits a block, both of which would continue throughout the semester.

The block schedule allows time for co-curricular activities and athletics throughout the semester.

*Note: There will be some 1- and 2-credit courses, some labs, and potentially some music ensembles on Wednesdays. More information will be coming.

If you have questions or comments regarding the block schedule with hybrid learning, please submit this form.

Why did we decide to move to a block schedule?

Based on the uncertainty, and safety requirements, that COVID-19 demands, we could not maintain our current academic schedule in the safest way possible. We needed a more flexible schedule that allows for safety protocols and flexibility. This resulted in the development of the block schedule, where students take one course at a time for 3.5 weeks. Students complete four blocks in a semester and will therefore complete a similar number of courses as they would in a typical semester. However, if COVID-19 disrupts or impacts our campuses, hybrid learning allows for us to move to all online learning swiftly and with minimal disruption.

How will the block schedule accommodate hands-on classroom experiences such as fine arts performances and labs?

Colleges using the block system offer vital elements of a liberal arts education, such as music ensembles, music lessons, studio classes, and laboratories. For example, laboratory courses typically have classes in the morning and labs a few afternoons per week. Music ensemble schedules will not conflict with course schedules.

Is the block schedule common at other colleges and universities?

Colorado College and Cornell College, both liberal arts colleges, offer a block system. The CSB/SJU planning team connected with Colorado College and Cornell College to understand challenges and to request advice and support on the best way to run language courses, laboratory courses, art courses, and first-year courses on a block schedule.

Other institutions have announced they are starting fall semester early and plan to finish before Thanksgiving. Will CSB/SJU do the same?

CSB/SJU considered an early start, but an early start alone will not address primary scheduling concerns should we need to move to online-only instruction: students will still have four courses to navigate simultaneously, and faculty will have to teach three courses simultaneously. Further, making the decision for the block schedule now and keeping the original starting date for the fall semester allows faculty to redesign courses and train for the new hybrid learning pedagogy and gives us time to install the necessary technology upgrades in the classrooms. Starting the academic year as planned allows for building renovations in process to be completed over the summer. If it becomes necessary to move to online courses at any time in the semester, the block schedule can accommodate that transition.


Registration and Scheduling

Why can’t we stick with the schedule that is already in place or add more time within our existing schedule?

The CSB and SJU facilities staff have determined that it would not be possible to disinfect classrooms between classes under the current schedule. Likewise, The Link would not be able to handle the normal schedule while adhering to guidelines for disinfecting. The facilities directors said the block schedule is the best way to ensure proper disinfection of classrooms, bathrooms, and other spaces.

Do we have enough classrooms to make this work for our four-credit classes?

Yes, we have enough classrooms available. The current schedule offers 540 four-credit classes for fall 2020. This means we will schedule approximately 135 classes per block. We have 110 classes across the two campuses. Currently, we are planning to offer courses in the morning and in the afternoon. This would provide 220 classrooms per block for 135 classes. We are exploring the possibility of using large meeting spaces (e.g., Alumnae Hall, Quad 264, Gorecki) for larger classes or for classes for majors in which most students live on the opposite campus (e.g., holding some Communication classes in big spaces on the CSB campus). We will work with department chairs to schedule these courses. This may mean that faculty will not teach in the same building as their office. We are exploring the option to hold evening courses.

We currently plan to offer 82 2-credit courses. We will work with department chairs to identify the most appropriate schedule for these courses within the blocks. We anticipate some students could enroll in two two-credit courses within one block.

We will work with departments to assign appropriate spaces, particularly for labs and non-traditional classes.

How will the block schedule affect course offerings in the academic year, 2020-2021?

We are planning to offer the same, or similar, number of courses and have been able to transition the previous fall schedule into a block schedule. With your school login, you should be able to see the course listings on Banner. Academic Advising is now working with current student schedules to resolve any conflicts that occurred as we moved classes into the block. In addition, current students should expect to be notified and provided a pin to adjust their schedule. This is happening over the month of July, beginning with seniors, then juniors and sophomores. Academic Advising will register incoming first-year students beginning at the end of July and into early August. All students will have the ability to adjust their schedule in August before the start of the semester. We ask students to check their CSB/SJU email accounts to be notified of schedule updates.

How will we register and advise students through this schedule change?

Because the academic schedule must change, we will need to re-register students. We are working with the Registrar and Academic Advising on the most efficient and effective way to re-register students. The goal is to re-enroll students in the courses they are already registered for. Inevitably, there will be conflicts, and we are prepared to adjust. We are doing what we can to avoid students having to re-register themselves and to reduce the number of potential conflicts.

How will we register students in the Integrations Curriculum?

Per the usual practice, Academic Advising will register first-year students. Shane Miller (Director of the Integrations Curriculum), Academic Advising, the Registrar, and Academic Affairs will work with department chairs to schedule Integrations courses appropriately across the blocks to ensure enrollment of first-year students. We will attempt to keep those students already enrolled in Integrations courses (CSD-I courses) in their courses.

How will we schedule faculty to teach in the block schedule?

Courses will be put into the block schedule to best meet students' needs. We will work with department chairs to assign faculty to the courses. We will aim to achieve similar course loads.

How will we schedule adjunct faculty to teach in the block schedule?

We will work with individual adjunct faculty to teach within the block schedule. For example, we may have evening options available for faculty who work off campus.

How will the plan accommodate one-credit and two-credit courses? How will the plan accommodate a student planning to enroll in 18 credits (five courses)?

Students will be able to take 18 credits in a semester. Most students will be in four four-credit classes and will take one or two additional credits at times that do not conflict with their four-credit classes. While we continue to work on this, we are developing a plan to offer one or two credit courses on Wednesdays or at night, so they do not conflict with four-credit classes. If students enrolled in a specific four-credit course need to simultaneously take a one- or two-credit lab, it might make sense to build the labs in a way that works with the class schedule. There are some classes (i.e. music ensemble classes) that would be allowed to meet in late afternoons or evenings over the whole semester.

We will need to have some “half-block” classes (two-credit classes) available to students who drop a four-credit block class. These half-block classes would be offered during the day as they would be geared toward students who weren’t enrolled in four-credit classes during the day. We are going to develop a plan to ensure that students can take more than four four-credit classes in a semester.

Can students opt to skip the first block and still be a full-time student earning 12 credits?

Our goal is to maintain flexibility for students. Some may not be able to be on campus due to visa issues or illness. Having some students live off campus will help decrease the density in the dorms.


Impact of the Block Schedule with Hybrid Learning for Staff

How will staff be affected by the move to the block schedule?

The transition from our normal semester system to the block schedule has already required much work in the planning phase, and it will require more in the implementation phase over the summer.

Together with the Academic Dean, the Registrar and Academic Advising will develop a new semester calendar and a new daily schedule of class periods. They will work with academic departments to create a new schedule of class offerings, and then they will re-register all continuing students and register all new students.

IT Services will install new classroom technology to facilitate the hybrid learning that relies on simultaneous in-person and virtual participation in class. IT Services will also monitor and upgrade the stock of classroom and loanable laptops. Finally, it will work closely with Academic Affairs to navigate the many changes to Banner and to facilitate summer training for faculty regarding the new hybrid technology in classrooms.

Department coordinators will work with chairs to construct the department-level course schedules and to assist Academic Advising and the registrar to re-register students if there are conflicts in schedules.

Facilities Management will work to develop new work plans for custodial staff, transportation, and other employees.

Many of these and other details will be determined not by the block schedule as such but rather by the health and safety protocols required by the COVID-19 pandemic.


Teaching Within the Block Schedule with Hybrid Learning

How can we practice social distancing in classrooms that are typically close to full, if not overfilled?

The block schedule with hybrid learning will provide us with the ability to accommodate virtual and in-person attendance, and it will allow for safe class sizes.

Temporarily moving to the block schedule will require a lot of effort and money. Would Luther College’s model of starting with one course (on campus for first years and online for everyone else), followed by three classes on campus for the remainder of the semester be better?

The goal is to create a system that works well online and provides increased safety and the best chance of being on campus. We assume this will be needed for at least one year, and the technology that will be added to the classrooms will stay with us in the future, allowing for greater accessibility and exciting options to invite guest speakers and to have two classes meet without having to physically be in a room together. The Luther model allows only first-year students to be on campus in the first block. Some students may opt to take a year off rather than give up their campus to first years for a block. Additionally, the Luther model includes students taking three classes at one time. Doing this means that students would be taking three classes online if the campus were closed. This would cause a major disruption to our schedule.

How will The Link transport students to classes?

We are working through the guidelines and recommendations of the Minnesota Department of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to understand how we will routinely disinfect the buses and other areas of campus. We will follow these guidelines to ensure the safety of our community. The block schedule limits the need for transportation because students will have only one class per day, and some students will not need to travel to the other campus. We plan to stagger courses to minimize the number of students who must take the Link at a given time, and this will also reduce congestion in buildings and classrooms. The Link schedule will be altered to support the block schedule. A new schedule will be released in mid-summer.

How will a block schedule work with exams and testing?

The final exam time will be included in the course at the end of the block. With a few exceptions, (such as the first year INTG 105 course) students must complete all coursework within the assigned block. Grades will be reported to students at the end of the block on Canvas and will be finalized, via the registrar, at the end of the semester.

What we will do for courses that are not suited for a 3.5-week, three-hour class? Could we possibly treat language classes more like music ensembles than, say, a philosophy class?

The block schedule might not seem ideal for all types of class, but other colleges have used the block schedule effectively to teach across the curriculum. The planning team will connect with colleagues from Colorado College and Cornell College and request their availability to support departments in their planning.

Completing a capstone in four weeks could present challenges. Could students take .25 credit each block or .5 credit in block 1 and .5 credit in block 4?

The block schedule is clearly better suited for certain types of classes, so we will do our best to work through scheduling challenges for one year. It is possible to spread out some courses, although we want to be selective in doing this, as we do not want to lose the benefits of the block schedule and increase the demand for transportation and classroom usage (and disinfection).

How will the block schedule impact studio art classes?

Given that many studio classes are currently conducted at night to provide extended class periods, they are ideal for the Block schedule. If more studio time is needed, there could be more studio time available when the class isn’t offered, as well as at night and on Wednesdays.

Will the block schedule offer the flexibility to reset a course within a block if it becomes a stay-home block?

Yes, the block schedule offers this flexibility. If a course changes from on campus to online, and adjustments are necessary for only a single class (rather than three).

What does the worst-case scenario teaching/pedagogy look like for the "block" versus the "quickly disrupted” semester?

While we are committed to continuing research on this topic, we have received feedback from students that states it was extremely challenging for students to stay on top of assignments, policies, etc., for four classes simultaneously. Students reported losing motivation. For some students, this lack of structure and increased freedom made it hard for them to work steadily on their assignments, leading to procrastination and rushed effort before deadlines. The block schedule provides structure (because students will likely have things to do for their class at least four days a week) and allows the students to focus on one set of policies and one set of due dates.

What happens if faculty are unable to be on campus due to health issues, and have inadequate internet to support Zoom?

IT Services will continue to work with faculty to provide options and explore best practices.

If we go fully online, would we have the flexibility to teach courses asynchronously?

Yes. We will offer faculty development opportunities on best practices in online teaching. While asynchronous will be an option, based on survey data and the needs of our students, we will ask that faculty regularly reach out to students in a synchronous way.


Residential Life

How will we ensure social distancing outside of the classroom?

We are actively working with the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and other institutions of higher education throughout the state to prepare guidelines and policies for safety practices across campus. CSB/SJU has representatives on the MDH planning groups, and Student Affairs is working to ensure that we can return to campus safely.

It is important to remember that, even if we cannot go back on campus, the block schedule facilitates online teaching and learning for instructors and students.


Faculty Considerations

How can we ensure equity for term and adjunct hires, who would need to work for free this summer to prepare for fall but have no guarantee of employment beyond next year?

Many term and adjunct faculty often develop their courses before their contracts begin. This equity issue is unaffected by the block schedule and contingency plans for online teaching. The Academic Affairs administration is developing plans for online workshops and seminars to assist faculty as they shift their classes to online formats.

Block teaching will make it difficult for adjuncts to teach at other institutions. Is there anything we can do for these faculty?

The block schedule allows for some evening courses that may allow adjunct instructors to continue to teach at other institutions.

How will we provide extra flexibility for untenured colleagues who were planning to use the summer to write their files or to engage in their scholarship before review?

The Stop the Clock policy allows any untenured faculty who was impacted by the pandemic to delay their tenure application for a year. During that year, there are no service or scholarship requirements, which may help faculty during this difficult time. The Handbook has been revised to address the issue of collecting student course surveys during a shift to emergency remote teaching. Please consult with the Dean of Faculty if you have questions about the Stop the Clock policy.

How do we make our classes equitable for students who cannot attend in-person because they are immuno-compromised or because of travel or visa issues?

Hybrid learning is built on the foundation of equity among students who are taking the class in person and online; the experience and learning of each group should be the same. In most classes, at least some portion of the students will be learning in an online environment at any one time, so that the instructor must always pay attention to the needs of students learning in the online environment as well as those currently in the classroom. Academic Affairs will be providing training in hybrid pedagogy and technology to ensure a high-quality learning experience regardless of delivery method.


Health, Safety and Family Considerations

If campus reopens as planned for fall semester, will exceptions be made to allow faculty and staff to continue to work remotely? Who makes the decision?

Part of our plan for a safe return to campus includes the protection of individuals who are in high risk categories. These categories are clearly articulated by the CDC on its website. Employees in these high-risk categories can formally request an accommodation related to their work assignment. Such requests may require medical certification from an employee’s healthcare provider regarding the condition and workability status. Human Resources, in consultation with supervisors or divisional leaders, will review an employee’s request, discuss needs with the employee, and determine if continuing to work remotely or another type of adjustment to the position can be reasonably accommodated. Because we will use hybrid learning, an instructor who could not teach in person would utilize Zoom. Vulnerable or contagious students will also be able to use this technology to take classes from home or from self-isolation or quarantine.

In addition, we believe the block schedule will help protect vulnerable faculty and students. Technology will allow some faculty to do online teaching of on-campus students.

What happens if an employee tests positive for COVID?

The employee must stay home until he/she meets the clearance criteria in accordance with CDC guidelines.

What if an employee has caregiver responsibilities or a family member in a high-risk category?

Employees with caregiver responsibilities for an ill family member incapable of self-care or for a family member required to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19 may request an accommodation. Absences from work for care responsibilities for an ill family member will be managed in accordance with our sick leave and family medical leave policies. Additional needs of employees with family members in a high-risk category will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

What scheduling options or flexibilities will be available for faculty and staff who have family care responsibilities? If we go online, how will we address the possibility of teaching without childcare?

The administration recognizes that both faculty and staff have concerns about family needs, including childcare considerations. Our return-to-work plan presumes K-12 and childcare providers are open in the fall. If K-12 schools cannot open, it is likely that higher education institutions will also be affected, and decisions will be made as necessary to adjust our plan.

While COVID-19 changes our approach to instruction and campus operations, class scheduling will remain primarily in the 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. timeframe. The need for faculty and staff to make personal decisions for family needs in relation to their work schedules and job requirements does not change.

If we are required to leave campus and return to teaching fully online next semester, the block schedule will enable instructors who have special considerations (such as children at home) to move their synchronous classes to more convenient time, and to include asynchronous components if they judge this to be pedagogically appropriate. In addition, faculty members teaching three courses per semester would have one block during which they would have no teaching obligations. Finally, faculty would have only ca. 30 students at one time rather than potentially ca. 90 students. We believe managing three classes at one time is more challenging for parents. Academic Affairs will offer extensive training this summer, which may allow people with small children to work ahead.

Care responsibilities for an ill family member will be managed in accordance with our sick leave and family medical leave policies.

Some faculty and students might have to work online because of health or visa issues. How do we avoid putting them in a position of disclosing these private issues?

Students may have a variety of reasons for choosing or requesting an online format. Given the small classrooms and the need to meet social distancing requirements, it is likely that most classes will need to have some students who live on campus participate in classes online. This should reduce concerns about assumptions toward students who participate virtually. Instructors should not ask why students choose online classes, and sensitivity to the issue will be part of our training over the summer.

Health Information is confidential, and details regarding accommodations for faculty or staff will be handled with discretion, limited to supervisory staff who have a need to know for departmental scheduling.

Will medical costs be covered by worker’s compensation if an employee becomes ill with COVID?

A determination of whether an employee’s illness is compensable under workers compensation is made by the workers compensation provider through investigation of the individual claim.

How will staff be affected by the implementation of the block schedule under the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic?

Perhaps the greatest changes to staff work plans will result from the need to implement health and safety protocols. These protocols are still under development by the Minnesota Department of Health, so we do not yet know the details, and those details might change over the summer.

Under the block schedule, the daily schedule of class periods will be entirely new, with staggered classes in the mornings and afternoons on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. There will be no more than two classes in any one room on any day, and there will be enough time between periods for disinfection. There will be some evening classes. Wednesdays are presently reserved for classes and activities that are not four-credit courses.

Custodial staff will have new work plans to disinfect the classrooms after each class meeting. The block schedule means that there are only two class periods per day so that each classroom can be thoroughly disinfected between each class. The staggered schedule will also allow the disinfection of the bathrooms.

Transportation staff will have new schedules for busing students between campuses. In the block schedule, students will typically have only one class per day, so the actual number of students traveling on the Link between campuses will be limited. (Some students will not need to travel to the other campus for their classes.) In addition, the staggered class schedule will reduce the number of students on the Link at any one time.

Dining/Culinary Services staff will have new work plans that are under development. The staggered class schedule is intended to spread out the dining times to reduce the number of students coming to the dining facilities at any one time.

Many other departments will have operations affected by health and safety protocols and circumstances in ways that we cannot fully determine at this time. There will be extensive use of technologies such as Zoom to facilitate many formerly in-person interactions between staff and students.

All employees will receive further information about the return-to-work policies and procedures. Our Office of Human Resources is developing these policies and procedures now in consultation with the larger Scenario Planning Team.


Other Frequently Asked Questions

What is the latest status on the Fall 2020 study abroad program?
As a result of these growing global travel restrictions, we have made the very difficult decision to suspend all Fall 2020 study abroad programs. This decision was made after careful evaluation of advisories from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. State Department, Overseas Security Advisory Council, World Health Organization, and local public health authorities. ( See official announcement here). Most importantly, this decision was made in the best interest of the health and safety of our students and faculty.

We know this decision will undoubtedly come as a disappointment to our students who were planning to study abroad this Fall. In addition to health and safety, we proactively made this decision so that students can fully participate in registration for Fall 2020 on-campus classes as well the CSB and SJU Residential Life and Housing room selection process.

The Center for Global Education (CGE) team is working diligently to provide students with options to move their study abroad experience to another semester:

Students who were scheduled to be on a Fall 2020 study abroad program can elect to automatically transfer their spot to a place on the Fall 2021 program.

For some Fall 2020 study abroad programs, CGE is working to identify the possibility of moving the Fall 2020 program to Spring 2021. Please note, this option will not be available for all programs given Spring capacity issues at some of our international program sites.

If a student elects not to move their Fall 2020 study abroad program to another semester, they will be refunded the full application fee.

Students scheduled for Fall 2020 study abroad programs have until June 1, 2020 to choose an application refund or to apply their application money to a future study abroad program.

For more information on COVID-19 and Study Abroad, visit the Center for Global Education.
Are campus events cancelled due to COVID-19?
With our continued focus on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of all community members, we have determined that no events will be held on campus through July 2020. This includes fine arts programming, athletic camps at CSB and SJU, student events, weddings, etc. In addition, there will be no student and overnight event housing on campus through August 2020. As mentioned in previous communications, summer internships, undergraduate research and fellowships that were scheduled this summer must be completed remotely and be approved by supervisors and/or faculty.
I am impacted by the evolving local and global COVID-19 situation and I’m anxious and worried. Where can I turn for help?
Resources for CSB and SJU employees can be found at the following website: https://www.csbsju.edu/about/at-a-glance/family-friendly-resources/eap.