Faculty Affairs Update – August 18

Dear faculty colleagues,

As we rapidly approach the first day of classes, I know you are receiving several updates and communications about the fall that you are being asked to digest and quickly implement. I hope we can help by continuing to keep our FAQs updated so that you can easily access the latest information and guidance.

Please make sure to reach out to your department chairs and deans to learn about their processes for the limited set of temporary modality changes for in-person courses as shared earlier this week by the Provost.

In this message, you will find the following information.

  • Additional FAQs for Faculty
  • Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL)
  • How to obtain masks and other PPE
  • New Zoom recording retention policy
  • Academic Integrity Committee report

Updates to the instructional FAQs

The university continues to respond to concerns and questions around instruction and protocols for the semester. We recently added a number of new FAQs for faculty to this page. Please review and share the relevant FAQs with your colleagues, AIs and TAs.


Emergency Paid Sick Leave

If you are unable to work (remotely or on campus) because you are caring for a dependent who has to quarantine or self-isolate, please contact your departmental supervisor and HR specialist to discuss the following options. All UT employees, including non-benefits eligible and student employees, are eligible for up to two weeks (80 hours for full-time; prorated for part-time) of Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) through September 30, 2021. EPSL is appropriate to use if you are unable to work either on campus or remotely because you:

  1. Are subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
  2. Have been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19;
  3. Are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and are seeking a medical diagnosis;
  4. Are caring for an individual subject to a quarantine or isolation order as described in (1), or has been advised to self-isolate as described in (2);
  5. Are caring for your child(ren) whose school or place of care is closed, or whose childcare provider is unavailable due to COVID-19 related reasons; or
  6. Are experiencing any other substantially similar condition specified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Other paid leave types such as paid sick time off and floating holidays are also available.

Masks

The university has ample supply of ASTM level 2 and 3 masks and will provide them at no cost to all faculty members, assistant instructors, and teaching assistants who are teaching this semester. They are also available to all staff members who will be working on campus. Please work with your CSU business office to request masks and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Note also that we have added some FAQs focusing on some of the questions we have been hearing from faculty about mask-wearing.

New Zoom recording retention policy

Starting September 30, 2021, any meeting or webinar recordings saved to Zoom Cloud storage will be retained in the Zoom Cloud for 365 days, after which the recordings will be deleted from the Zoom Cloud.

What should I do?

  • Review existing recordings and decide what should be moved to a long-term storage solution, either for your own personal use or for purposes of record retention in accordance with UT’s records management policies. More information can be found at UT Records and Information Management Services.
  • Download your Zoom Cloud recordings that will require long-term storage.
  • Review links to Zoom Cloud video content and update those links to the new long-term locations of the recordings.
  • If you miss the September 30 deadline, you have 30 days to recover your deleted recordings from your Zoom web portal.
  • Update your Zoom client

Details on NEW Zoom Retention Policy

Academic Integrity Committee Report

In the Spring of 2021, a joint resolution of the student councils requested UT Austin to stop the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI)-based online exam proctoring software packages like Proctorio, which was in wide use in the 2020-21 academic year. An academic integrity committee was formed to address several issues including this one. The committee heard from student leaders, faculty leaders, and examined responses from campus units. This report shares their findings.

Read the full report →

Again, as you prepare for the fall semester and navigate the many updates being shared, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the Faculty Affairs team. We are very aware of how stressful these last few weeks have been for many. We have added some additional mental health resources available for faculty in our FAQs. Do please share those resources. We will continue to support you in any way we can.

Stay well,

TASHA BERETVAS, Senior Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs 
The University of Texas at Austin | Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost 

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Faculty Affairs
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Faculty Updates