Ohio University

Reducing Campus Density during the COVID-19 Global Pandemic

One of the top recommendations by the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control and the Ohio Department of Health is self-isolation. Since the coronavirus disease may be present without symptoms for up to two weeks, in addition to transitioning students to remote and online instruction, the university has taken the following actions to reduce the number of people on our campuses.

Ohio University Faculty and Staff

As of March 14, the university will immediately begin to reduce the density of personnel on all of our campuses. Employees should be contacted by their supervisors no later than noon on Monday, March 16 to discuss options for remote work. All employees who can complete all or a portion of their work remotely should transition to a remote work environment beginning Monday, March 16.

Ohio University Student Workers

As of March 14, the university will immediately begin to reduce the density of personnel on all of our campuses. Employees should be contacted by their supervisors no later than noon on Monday, March 16 to discuss options for remote work. All employees who can complete all or a portion of their work remotely should transition to a remote work environment beginning Monday, March 16.

Graduate Students with Outside Appointments

Teaching Assistants

Graduate students holding appointments as Teaching Assistants should work with their faculty supervisors to support migration and delivery of courses on-line for the remainder of the semester.  This work by its nature will involve remote work, and students and their faculty supervisors should minimize face-to-face interactions and adopt best practices for minimizing disease transmission in carrying out organizational functions for their classes.  No advance authorization is needed for TAs to continue working under these appointments.

Research Assistants

Graduate students holding appointments as Research Assistants and their faculty supervisors should maximize opportunities for remote work for continuation of research activities.  No advance authorization is required for remote work.  If students require access to laboratories or other facilities to conduct research activities, they can only do so after:

  1. consulting with their faculty advisor regarding options for minimizing on-site work and for otherwise minimizing potential COVID-19 exposure via best practices (e.g. social distancing) and
     
  2. obtaining written approval (e-mail) from the faculty advisor’s department chair documenting that the chair and faculty advisor have reviewed and agreed with the necessity of the student’s on-site activities, and reviewed practices to be adopted to minimize the student’s potential exposure to COVID-19.  Expected practices to minimize exposure can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html.

    Students holding RAs who are unable to continue on-site activities due to safety considerations should consult with their advisors to determine alternative activities that will advance their research agenda.

Graduate Assistants

Graduate students holding appointments as Graduate Assistants (GAs), including GRS appointments, should continue working in accord with direction of their supervisor if their work can be conducted remotely. GAs are NOT authorized to carry out work activities on campus without prior authorization.  Requests for on-site work by GAs should be initiated by the GA’s supervisor and sent from the dean to Laura Myers for approval (copy to Elizabeth Sayrs, Malissa Gilkey, and Cary Frith); requests will need to document that the work is critical to university operations, and can be conducted in a manner to minimize potential disease exposure through adoption of best practices.

It is anticipated that meaningful work will be available for all students with Teaching, Research, and Graduate Assistantships and that these students will continue to receive their current stipend for the remainder of the semester regardless of whether the modality of work changes.

Undergraduate and Graduate Students participating in research for academic credit

Undergraduate students and graduate students engaged in research or creative activity for academic credit or to complete degree requirements should follow the guidance outlined above for Research Assistants.

Undergraduates employed as Research Assistants or Teaching Assistants should follow the same guidance as outlined above for graduate students.