CBE Intranet

Faculty Back to School FAQs

Faculty Back to School FAQs

As an instructor, how can I bring a visitor to class (e.g. guest critic or lecturer)?

In accordance with Governor Inslee’s vaccination proclamation 21-14, all classroom visitors must be vaccinated and follow all safety policies issued by the university. The university requires proof of vaccination for all on-site volunteers and offers no medical or religious exceptions.

If you plan on having a visitor attend your in-person classroom sessions, you will need to ensure that the individual is fully vaccinated (2 weeks after final vaccination shot) before they are allowed to attend your class.

To facilitate this process, please do the following:

  1. Meet with your prospective visitor at least one week prior to their classroom visit to verify vaccination. This may be done remotely, with the visitor showing proof of vaccination via Zoom.
  2. Let your departmental administrator know that you’ll be having a classroom visitor and that they’ve been verified
  3. Provide your visitor with UW’s safety protocols and the contact for EH&S in the event they experience COVID symptoms or test positive for COVID within 48 hours of their classroom visit (covidehc@uw.edu or 206.616.3344)

The following are included as acceptable proof of vaccination:

  • CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card or photo of the card (front and back);
  • Documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record;
  • State immunization information system record; or
  • For an individual who was vaccinated outside of the United States, a reasonable equivalent of any of the above.

The vaccination record must show the name of the person vaccinated, the type of vaccine provided, and the date the last dose.

Since this is medical information, we ask that you do not maintain a copy of this information. Please perform only a visual verification (in person or via videoconference).

Please note that it is unlawful to submit fraudulent proof of full COVID-19 vaccination. Any employee found to have submitted false or inaccurate information will be subject to corrective or disciplinary action including, but not limited to, termination from University employment.

Visitors to CBE who provide fraudulent information may be subject to temporary or permanent bans from classroom participation and/or event invitations.

What is the most up to date UW face covering policy?

All University units must follow the current UW COVID-19 Face Covering Policy.

In order to ensure the health and safety of the University campus community and the public, face coverings are required to be worn at the University of Washington, regardless of vaccination status:

  • Indoors when other people are present, and in all public and common areas, such as lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators, and in shared vehicles;
  • At any outdoor in-person event hosted or sponsored by the University or conducted on University of Washington premises with 500 or more people in attendance.

For other outdoor settings, face coverings are strongly recommended to be worn outdoors by all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, when in crowded settings and in settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others.

Is it possible that the whole University will pivot back to 100% remote instruction and that working in person will not be applicable?

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected and be prepared to pivot. However, we still need to plan for the most likely scenario, and right now, that most likely scenario is that we will be “primarily in-person” with high vaccination rates and a commitment to masking. We will let you know if the situation changes.

Suppose I do not qualify for an accommodation or special arrangement. Can I elect to teach my class remotely or poll my class to see if they would all be OK with either 100% remote instruction or having remote instruction part of the time?

Courses are to be taught in person unless you qualify for an accommodation or special arrangement. It is not appropriate to poll your students to determine if they would prefer remote instruction. Given the power differential between faculty and students, your “asking” them if they would be willing to have the class be held online could easily be interpreted as coercive. You are encouraged to leverage what you have learned during the last year of teaching remotely to improve your in-person class. However, this does not mean that in-person instruction can be replaced by remote instruction in the autumn quarter.

I am concerned that being around people who are not vaccinated is potentially unsafe; can I request to telework 100%?

The UW’s back to the school guidance is based on the best available data and current public health guidance regarding COVID-19. The safety of yourself and others was centered in designing this guidance. We (CBE, UW leadership, PHSKC, WA DOH) are all monitoring the situation carefully. We will adjust if local public health conditions change and/or there is some significant change in our understanding of COVID-19 transmission and prevention (which would be reflected in changes in federal, state, and/or local public health guidance) just as we have done throughout the pandemic. Based on the data we have so far, we expect that a high percentage of UW and CBE faculty, staff, and students will be fully vaccinated by the time they return to campus. We will release comprehensive vaccine completion data (personal health data and privacy will, of course, be protected) for CBE in advance of September 10. You can help alleviate your co-workers’ anxiety by completing your vaccine attestation online via WorkDay as soon as possible (ideally no later than August 20, 2021).

We understand that this is a stressful and challenging time for everyone and that some community members are disproportionately affected. UW HR has excellent resources to help you care for yourself and your family as you manage the back-to workplace transition.

I live with an immunocompromised individual; am I eligible for a workplace accommodation to teach remotely?

Employees living full time with an individual who is immunocompromised are not eligible for a workplace accommodation through UW Human Resources Disability Services Office (DSO) since it does not relate to their own medical condition. However, the College of Built Environments is willing to consider requests for special arrangements for exceptional circumstances. Please submit a special arrangement request explaining your circumstances to your department’s Chair. All CBE requests will be reviewed by college leadership and UWHR  – keeping in mind confidentiality, equity, and CBE capacity to support. More information coming soon on criteria and process for review.

I have unvaccinated children and am worried that I will infect them; can I request to teach remotely?

Current CDC and state guidance state that children should attend K-12 school in person, reflecting our understanding that children are generally at lower risk for severe disease caused by COVID-19. Requiring masking in school settings is an effective mechanism for protecting unvaccinated children. Having children who cannot be vaccinated currently does not qualify for an individual to telework 100%. However, the College of Built Environments is willing to consider requests for special arrangements for exceptional circumstances. In that case, you are welcome to submit a special arrangement request to your department’s Chair. All CBE requests will be reviewed by college leadership and UWHR – keeping in mind confidentiality, equity, and CBE capacity to support. More information coming soon on the criteria and process for review. 

Will there be a mask mandate on campus?

  • Indoors, all individuals are required to wear a face covering indoors, regardless of vaccination status, when on site at a University of Washington location. This requirement is applicable indoors when other people are present and in all public and common areas, including, but not limited to lobbies, hallways, stairways, restrooms, elevators, and in shared vehicles.
  • Outdoors, face coverings are strongly recommended, regardless of vaccination status, when in crowded settings and in settings where there is a decreased ability to consistently maintain a physical distance between others.

Read the University’s COVID-19 Face Covering Policy and the frequently asked questions for more information.

I must take public transportation to work and do not feel safe; can I request to teach remotely?

Relying on public transit does not qualify an individual for teaching remotely. 

I have some students in my class who are not eligible for UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS). Are they eligible for "special arrangements"?

No. However, you are encouraged to be flexible with individual students as you consider appropriate, as always.

I use active learning methodologies, and hence in-class participation is an essential component of the class. Can I still include a participation or hands-on exercise component for grading?

Yes. However, you will need to make available some alternative way that students who have approved accommodations or are required to quarantine or isolate during the quarter can earn these points. Since CBE is committed to in-person active learning, we expect the number of accommodations to be similar to historical averages. Most instructors are likely to be in the situation where students in their classes are contact-traced and asked to quarantine for 2 weeks at some point during the quarter.

Will CBE provide language that I can use to address the expectations that instructors include a statement in their syllabus and on their Canvas site about responsibilities and expectations of students/instructors and what to do if either an instructor or student is unwell?

We are drafting a statement to include in the syllabus and on the Canvas site that reflects our commitment to 1) protect the health and safety of the community, 2) center our students by doing our best to provide quality education and learning, and 3) promote equity in our practices and policies. An example of such a statement follows:

DRAFT Sample Syllabus Language:

“This class is conducted in person. Therefore, unless you meet the criteria for accommodation from UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS) or a special arrangement approved by the CBE Office of the Dean that allows you to take the course remotely [see student communications here] you should only register for this class if you can attend in-person. Note that even if you do meet the criteria, remote offerings may not be possible to accommodate.

Please contact UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS) directly if you feel you may be eligible for an accommodation based on your status as an immune-compromised individual or based on other health conditions that might prevent you from being able to take classes in person.

All UW students are expected to complete their vaccine attestation before arriving on campus and to follow the campus-wide face-covering policy at all times. You are expected to follow state, local, and UW COVID-19 policies and recommendations. If you feel ill, have been exposed to COVID-19, or exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms, you should not come to class. If you need to temporarily quarantine or isolate per CDC guidance and/or campus policy, you are responsible for notifying your instructors as soon as possible by email. Online class materials will be made available to you, and it is your responsibility to stay up with class instruction. If you have a known exposure to COVID-19 or receive a positive COVID-19 test result, you must report to campus Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S).

If the instructor falls ill or is forced to quarantine alternate arrangements will be made to continue instruction in this course. (This could include instruction via remote teaching and/or via a stand-in instructor and should be outlined here)

Make up work for missed deadlines will/will not be accommodated (for “will not” include: “unless required via UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS) accommodations”; for “will be” include your criteria, like “must notify the instructor in advance/timely manner”.)

Has autumn quarter 2021 been designated an Extraordinary Circumstances quarter in the same way as other quarters (e.g., spring, summer, autumn 2020; winter, spring, summer 2021)?

As of now, Autumn quarter 2021 has not been designated an Extraordinary Circumstances quarter by the UW. That decision is made by the University and not by CBE. We will alert you if this occurs.

If students are not vaccinated before they return to campus, will they still be allowed to attend class?

The vaccine attestation is required for attending classes. Additionally, individuals who are not vaccinated and who have recently traveled to Seattle from out of state or out of the country need to quarantine or isolate before attending orientation or classes if they develop symptoms. These individuals should notify their instructors directly, and instructors are expected to provide them with access to remote instruction while quarantining or isolating. Please check the CDC’s Domestic and International travel pages for the latest recommendations for vaccinated and unvaccinated travelers. Please also check the UW’s Autumn 2021 website or the UW Coronavirus website for more information.

If I need to quarantine, what’s the protocol?

If you need to quarantine, you should be prepared to teach the course via alternate arrangements, either remotely or via a stand-in instructor. Please contact your department chair as soon as you become aware of such a situation. 

I have some students in my class who are not matriculated in CBE programs. Are they eligible for "special arrangements"?

While we are not handling requests for special accommodations for students who are not enrolled in degree programs in CBE at a school-wide level, you are welcome (and encouraged) to provide other students in your class with the same considerations that you would provide to students in CBE programs. Please note, however, that these students would be contacting you directly regarding special arrangements for remote learning.