Faculty Affairs Update – 9.16

Dear faculty colleagues,

It’s hard to believe that we are already finishing up the third week of the fall semester. I hope that semester is going better than you expected and that each of you is continuing to manage the juggling of all of the new challenges each day offers.

Below are a series of important pieces of information and updates.

COVID-19 Exposure Guide

The linked chart provides guidance on what to do if exposed to someone with COVID-19 during an in-person course or lab.

Everyone should always wear a mask and social distance.
If you’re directly exposed, please self-quarantine for 14 days after exposure.
If you have COVID-19 symptoms, please self-isolate for at least 10 days after the onset of symptoms. For more detailed information on this process and class communications regarding a positive COVID-19 case, closely read this chart.

New Faculty Ombuds

It’s with tremendous excitement that we welcome Caroline Bartel and Chris McCarthy as our two new Faculty Ombuds! The Faculty Ombuds provide faculty with a neutral peer who can share advice and information about University-focused concerns and questions.

  • Caroline Bartel is a professor in the McCombs School of Business. Her research and teaching focus on sustaining employee engagement in the workplace, particularly in organizations and professions undergoing change. Dr. Bartel has studied how organizations in various industries can maintain the motivation, performance and commitment of employees during times of organizational growth as well as decline. She has examined an array of change initiatives, such as corporate citizenship and community outreach, virtual work and telecommuting, and organizational restructuring. A main theme in her work is how organizational cultures and systems affect the degree to which employees feel respected and valued at work.
  • Chris McCarthy is a professor and interim chair in the Department of Educational Psychology. Dr. McCarthy’s specialization is in Counselor Education and Counseling Psychology and he teaches courses in career development, counseling skills, and group counseling. His research interests include stress and coping in educational contexts, career development, and group counseling. Dr. McCarthy’s current scholarly focus is on researching factors that cause stress for K – 12 teachers and developing interventions to help teachers thrive. Dr. McCarthy is a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Specialists in Group Work, and the American Educational Research Association.

Dependent Care Resources

Elementary School Children’s Care Availability
As mentioned in an earlier email, to support the members of our community still seeking childcare options, the university has partnered with two childcare centers near campus that are now offering additional options for UT employees. Enrollment is on a first-come, first-served basis and includes part-time childcare options for school-aged children attending kindergarten through 5th grade in 2020-21. There are still a few openings so if you are interested in using this resource to help with your elementary-school-aged childcare needs, do reach out. Read the full message from the Child Development Center for more information.

Locating Child and Dependent Care Resources

LifeCare – As an additional care resource for both children and other dependents, faculty could look into Lifecare. Lifecare is a free service available to all UT benefits-eligible employees and, among other services, can provide information about and personalized referrals for care (both child and elder-care) providers. Faculty and their eligible dependents can use the services as often as needed. The only required costs are the fees associated with the providers or resources selected. Find more information here.

Bright Horizons back-up child- and elder-care
If your regular childcare is not available, please remember faculty parents have access to the Bright Horizons Back-Up Care. This program supports faculty when situations significantly impact the availability of their network providers. Please follow these instructions to ensure you have access to the care you need for your family. Faculty members should notify Faculty Affairs if they experience difficulties with Bright Horizons. It is also important to note that due to the current crisis first priority is given to health care providers.

Faculty Self-Care

Our Employee Assistant Program (EAP) team are offering a number of critical trainings (look to the righthand side of the trainings page) including how to handle difficult colleagues and conversations, ways to reduce compassion fatigue at work, managing stress, etc. EAP is also hosting tailored online support groups  including a support group for those living solo, for those handling eldercare, one for parenting (with groups for different ages of dependent), etc. These are stressful times, do please find ways and time to care of yourselves. 

Q&A: Faculty Leaves Zoom Discussion – Friday, October 2

The Faculty Affairs team will host a discussion about Faculty Leaves about the different leave options available to faculty.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 934 2170 3047

Add to Calendar

Webinars from Faculty Innovation Center (FIC)

The FIC offers several different virtual trainings throughout the week. There are webinar options -ranging from 30 minutes to an hour – scheduled almost daily that provide tips on enhancing student engagement in the online environment and sessions focused on various online teaching technologies like Panopto, Canvas, Proctorio, SpeedGrader, Zoom and other teaching resources. You can view the full calendar of events here. The FIC is also hosting a series focused on the needs of our newest faculty.

If you have any faculty-related questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Faculty Affairs team. We’re here to support you in any way we can.

Stay well,

Tasha Beretvas

Sept. 21 — This message was updated to remove information about Zoom updates that no longer apply.