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May 28, 2020 – Streamlined process for faculty accommodation requests due to COVID-19

Posted by on Thursday, May 28, 2020 in Community Messages.

Dear faculty colleagues,

Informed and creative teaching is central to the mission of Vanderbilt University, and faculty and staff across campus are working hard to ensure that we continue to fulfill our mission during these challenging times. We all are eager to return to the classroom, but we must do so in a thoughtful and measured way.

Vanderbilt is taking every appropriate precaution to protect you and our entire community as we return to campus and to the classroom. One of those precautions is a streamlined process to evaluate an individual’s concerns about how their personal circumstances may place them at greater risk. Those risks may be the result of their own underlying health condition or age or may be due to the health condition of a family member. If you believe that you will need an accommodation, I encourage you to submit a request as soon as feasible in order to provide the necessary time for consideration of the request and, as appropriate, implementation of an accommodation.

To initiate a request for a COVID-related accommodation, go to the Equal Employment Opportunity homepage on the Vanderbilt University website and select the COVID-19 Accommodation Request tile on the right-hand side of the page. This link will take you the COVID-19 Reasonable Accommodation Request Form. The Reasonable Accommodation Request Form will be sent directly to EEO when you select “Submit” at the bottom of the page after completing the form. If you are requesting an accommodation based on a personal health condition, you will also need to complete the COVID-19 Medical Information Request Form. You may access this form through a link in the Reasonable Accommodation Request Form or through a link at the top of the EEO homepage. When you open the Medical Information Request Form, you will see a link to a form for use with your health care provider. Once that form is completed by you and your health care provider, you may submit the form by attaching it to the digital Medical Information Request Form on the EEO site, via fax (615-343-4709), or by email (eeooinfo@vanderbilt.edu). You will receive confirmation of your submission(s) within one business day.

The EEO team will review the submitted document(s) and will discuss the requested accommodation(s) with the appropriate dean to determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be made that would not create an undue hardship. Requests for accommodations will be evaluated based on an individualized assessment of the basis for the request and the requirements of the faculty position. If your request is missing any necessary documentation or if the EEO team has questions about the requested accommodation(s), a member of the team will contact you. Temporary approval pending submission of a completed Medical Information Request Form may be available if you require additional time to obtain necessary documentation from your health care provider. The EEO team will contact you with a written determination at the conclusion of the review process to inform you whether your request has been approved. If you have questions about your request while it is under review, you may contact EEO at eeooinfo@vanderbilt.edu. Please note that the EEO team will keep your personal medical information confidential; it will be used by that team to evaluate the request for an accommodation and will only be shared as necessary for that purpose.  

Again, if you plan to request an accommodation related to higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19, I encourage you to submit your request to EEO as soon as possible and, if practicable, no later than June 15 to facilitate preparation for Fall 2020.

Thank you,

Tracey George
Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs

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