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Staff

We understand the stress and disappointment in having changes made to when and how classes are held and the cancellation of university events and gatherings. Please know that we are making decisions based on our desire to protect the health and safety of our community from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Following is important information to assist you as we seek to respond to this unprecedented public health issue.


We are incredibly confident that your efforts and your critical work will keep our campus and our university operating and moving forward. We are committed to ensuring you are supported. We are working with staff leadership across the university to ensure you receive clear information related to both your work and your safety, and to ensure you have the resources you need during this unprecedented time.

We encourage all staff to speak directly with their managers regarding any questions; managers should elevate any questions needing additional information to their departmental or divisional leadership.

Frequently Asked Questions

Academics

We made the decision to cancel classes on Monday, March 9, because several students returned to campus who have since reported being exposed to an individual who tested positive for COVID-19. The individual who tested positive is being treated at home and did not return to campus. Based on our desire to protect the health and safety of our community from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), all university classes are canceled March 10-13. Out of an abundance of caution and based on public health recommendations and best practices, we will move fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester. Online and alternative learning will launch Monday, March 16, for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Campus and General Questions

Administrative meetings should take place remotely through online options such as Zoom or Skype, by phone (Vanderbilt Conference Call services) or by email.

Dining will operate in Rand Hall only for current Vanderbilt students, on-campus staff, residential faculty and the immediate family of residential faculty. Due to enhanced safety precautions, Campus Dining will be open for grab & go everyday during the following hours:
  • Breakfast 8am-9:30am
  • Lunch 11:30am-1:30pm
  • Dinner 4:30pm-6:30pm
For up-to-the-minute changes in Campus Dining service offerings, please follow Dining on Instagram (@VandyCampusDining) or visit the Campus Dining website. 

Note: If you are a current undergraduate student residing in the Commons or Highland areas, and are concerned about traveling across campus, Campus Dining has implemented a meal delivery program. Students can text “VUdining” to 55744, and select the next day’s meals. Orders must be placed by midnight for delivery the following day. Drop off times and locations will be listed in the ordering platform. Vegetarian and allergy-friendly options are available

Camus Dining has implemented new safety protocols to promote social distancing for dining and food delivery on campus.

Read more about the safety protocols Campus Dining has implemented.
  • The Southeastern Conference has announced that all athletics activities, including competitions, team and individual practices, meetings and other organized gatherings, will be suspended through at least April 15, due to continuing developments related to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
  • SEC athletics programs will cease practices, individual and team workouts effective the end of the day Friday, March 13. Team meetings shall conclude no later than 5 pm local time on Monday, March 16.
  • SEC member institutions will continue to provide their student-athletes with care and support to meet needs in areas including academics, medical care, mental health and wellness, nutrition and housing as needed.
  • The program schedules impacted by this announcement are those of baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and track and field. Events involving two Vanderbilt programs affiliated with other conferences—bowling (Southern Bowling League) and lacrosse (American Athletic Conference)—are suspended.
  • Vanderbilt Athletics has suspended numerous activities. View an ongoing list of what actions have been taken.
Yes. Campus remains open. The changes to campus operations announced March 9 are in relation to in-person classes. We are continuing our cleaning, sanitizing, social distancing and other best practices to keep our campus safe.

Other changes include:

  • All classes moved fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • All undergraduate residential students were required to move out by Sunday, March 15.
  • Any remaining students who were granted an extension due to extenuating circumstances must stay in their residences as much as possible, avoid congregating in common spaces, and practice social distancing.
  • The university restricted access to dining facilities and implemented new safety protocols to promote social distancing for all remaining dining and food delivery on campus.
  • Vanderbilt instituted an initial remote work period for staff and faculty and recommended they work remotely following their manager’s and/or department chair/dean’s instructions.
  • On-campus university research laboratories are transitioning to only essential activities by Wednesday, March 18, at the latest.
  • VandyRide service has been suspended. Vanderbilt University Public Safety will continue to provide an on-call medical transportation service.
  • The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center is closed until further notice.

COVID-19 Exposure, Health and Wellness

  • Those who believe they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should self-isolate per doctor's guidelines.If someone has come in contact with individuals who are known positives and the individual displays symptoms of COVID-19, they should immediately seek medical testing.
  • Students on campus should contact the Student Health Center, while faculty, staff and postdocs on campus should contact the Occupational Health Clinic for further evaluation.
  • The CDC has issued information regarding symptomsprevention and treatment, as well as a number of other frequently asked questions and answers.

Vanderbilt Occupational Health has health care monitoring in place for those who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Learn more about the process and self-monitoring REDCap survey here

If you must self-isolate:

  • Staff should contact their Human Resources consultant to discuss how to find the appropriate solution so that they can self-isolate. Staff can find their HR consultant at hr.vanderbilt.edu/hrconsulting.
  • Faculty should contact their dean to seek assistance while they must remain away from work.
  • Postdocs should be in touch with their faculty advisers.
If the person is a student, encourage them to consult with the Student Health Center. If they are a faculty or staff member, or a postdoc, they should consult with Occupational Health. The CDC also advises that many of the same precautions recommended when protecting oneself against the flu, can help prevent COVID-19 infection.

Students

  • Vanderbilt Student Health Center has monitoring in place for students who have traveled internationally within the past 14 days or otherwise come in contact with a case of COVID-19. Student Health will extend its hours on an as-needed basis and notify the student body through email communications.
  • Students should complete the self-report/self-monitoring survey at https://redcap.link/vustudentcovid if they have been exposed to COVID or have travelled internationally

  • Students who have left the Nashville metro area should contact their local health care provider.

Campus Residents

  • Campus residents who have traveled to or through any country outside of the United States within the past 14 days should self-isolate with their families in the USA.

  • Campus residents who do not have a family home in the USA or who have otherwise come in contact with a case of COVID-19 should contact the Office of Housing and Residential Experience (615/322-2591, ohare@vanderbilt.edu) at least 72 hours prior to their arrival on campus.

  • Any student not complying with Vanderbilt’s notification and self-isolation practices would be subject to immediate disciplinary procedures through Student Accountability.

  • Any student with symptoms consistent with COVID-19 infection (cough, fever or shortness of breath) should be tested.  Any student who has traveled to a CDC Level-3 country within the past 14 days or has had contact with someone who has been infected with COVID-19 is expected to self-report by completing the self-report/self-monitoring survey at https://redcap.link/vustudentcovid and abide by self-isolation practices.
  • Students who believe other students have failed to comply with self-notification and self-isolation practices should report their concerns to the Office of Student Accountability or the Office of the Dean of Students.
The Office of the Provost is working with students to minimize disruptions to their academic progress during the isolation period. Staff should contact their HR consultant to discuss how to find the appropriate solution so that they can self-isolate. Staff can find their HR consultant here: https://hr.vanderbilt.edu/hrconsulting. Faculty should contact their dean to seek assistance while they must remain away from work. Postdocs should be in touch with their faculty advisor for assistance.
A team of university officials, including Vanderbilt’s Global Safety and Security Manager and Vanderbilt Incident Response for Travel (VIRT) team, is monitoring the outbreak of the respiratory illness COVID-19 worldwide. Since this crisis first began, the university has been working closely with infection control experts at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and local and state public health officials, and has been reviewing all guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it does with all public health concerns. We are in regular communication with the Vanderbilt community regarding travel restrictions, policies and recommendations. Information has been shared with students, faculty, staff, postdocs and parents, including specific considerations and guidance for international students and scholars. We have developed protocols to limit potential exposure, working with officials in Student and Occupational Health to provide information to returning travelers regarding self-isolation and health care monitoring procedures. The university is also working continues to prevent the spread of illness through enhanced cleaning and disinfection. Staff are cleaning these areas following the normal cleaning protocols for each type of space, followed by application of the disinfectant cleaning products Oxivir Five 16, Oxivir 1 Wipes and PURELL Professional Surface Disinfectant Spray. All disinfectants meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s criteria for use against COVID-19. Facilities has designated additional personnel resources to help assist with this enhanced cleaning and disinfecting process. The university has identified the following priority spaces that are being cleaned and disinfected more frequently due to being located in high-traffic areas:
  • Restrooms, locker rooms and showers
  • Lobbies, lounges, break rooms and hallways
  • Classrooms, conference rooms, lecture halls, dining sitting areas and libraries sitting areas (spaces where large groups of people congregate)
  • Private offices
Certain areas in these locations are receiving increased attention twice a day, including high-touch points such as door handles, light switches, handrails, interior doors, door push plates and the flat surfaces in common spaces. Staff also have begun to power wash restrooms in common areas, locker room showers and multiple-use shower rooms throughout campus. Campus early childhood care and education facilities and athletic facilities locker rooms and showers are being deep cleaned and then electrostatic fogged using a disinfectant product. The university is working with vendors and contractors to maintain these products and services to continue this cleaning schedule moving forward. Free-standing hand sanitizing stations have also been installed across campus. In addition, campus-wide changes include:
  • All classes moved fully to online and alternative learning for the remainder of the semester.
  • All undergraduate residential students were required to move out by Sunday, March 15.
  • Any remaining students who were granted an extension due to extenuating circumstances must stay in their residences as much as possible, avoid congregating in common spaces, and practice social distancing.
  • The university restricted access to dining facilities and implemented new safety protocols to promote social distancing for all remaining dining and food delivery on campus.
  • Vanderbilt instituted an initial remote work period for staff and faculty and recommended they work remotely following their manager’s and/or department chair/dean’s instructions.
  • On-campus university research laboratories are transitioning to only essential activities by Wednesday, March 18, at the latest.
  • VandyRide service has been suspended. Vanderbilt University Public Safety will continue to provide an on-call medical transportation service.
  • The David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center is closed until further notice.
Insurance provider Aetna is taking significant steps in response to COVID-19. Effective immediately, Aetna will waive co-pays and member cost share for all diagnostic testing related to COVID-19. This will cover the test kit for patients who meet CDC guidelines for testing, which can be performed in any approved laboratory location. Learn more on the Aetna website, or contact HR at human.resources@vanderbilt.edu. 
Vanderbilt is committed to creating and sustaining a safe and inclusive campus community. Students should not hesitate to contact the Title IX & Student Discrimination Office. Faculty, staff and students should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity office to file a report about such conduct.

General Information about COVID-19

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, the CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, including:
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
These are everyday habits that can help prevent the spread of several viruses. CDC does have specific guidance for travelers.

Research

Staff and Managers

Work/Life Connections-EAP ConnectCARE now offers teleconsulting sessions via phone or ZOOM Telehealth videoconferencing, which is an encrypted platform that is completely confidential.
  • Make an appointment for our WLC ConnectCARE options by calling 615-936-1327 M-F 8-5 and schedule a time to talk with your Work/Life Connections-EAP Counselor.
  • Your counselor will contact you at the designated time for your confidential session.
  • If you need a private space to speak with the counselor through phone or ZOOM, please let our office know.
  • Vanderbilt instituted an initial remote work period from Monday, March 16, through Friday, March 27. This was been followed by an additional Phase II remote period, which extended remote work to Saturday, April 11. Aligning with local, state and federal directives, Vanderbilt is issuing a Phase III of remote work, which will remain in place through April 30.
  • Your manager will communicate with you regarding work location. If your manager approves you to work remotely, you can and should do so. Your manager will establish expectations regarding availability during work hours, communication methods, work deliverables and outcomes. Explore VUIT resources and support for telecommuting.
  • It is the case that some positions are needed to report to campus to complete essential campus work assignments.It is understood that for some positions, staff are not being asked to report to campus and that the volume of work is reduced.For information on how to record such time in Oracle for both exempt and non-exempt staff this category, please see the question: How do I record time during the remote work period?"
Vanderbilt’s priorities in setting these workplace policies are to:
  • Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease;
  • Sustain academic programs and operational continuity;
  • Encourage an ethos of fairness, open communications and concern for the wellbeing of our faculty and staff.
Your manager will be in direct contact with you about how your area will manage your specific responsibilities during this period. Individuals working in research laboratories will receive specific direction from their deans and department chairs.
Staff pay and benefits during Phases I, II and III (until April 30) remote work periods will be preserved. Please see “How do I record time during the remote work period?
If you take PTO, record it as such. If you choose to work instead, simply withdraw your PTO request and record time worked as you normally would.
Employees may not bring children or elders to work with them, even if they are well.
The university is further reinforcing its remote work policy in light of the new Safer at Home Order issued by the Nashville Metro Public Health Department and the Tennesseeans Remain at Home Order . If it is necessary to retrieve items from campus, staff should consult their manager first and faculty should consult with their dean. (Managers, please route staff requests for building access through your AVC, AVP, Vice Chancellor or Vice Provost’s office, as applicable.)
Those who will continue to work on campus are advised to maintain physical distance from others of at least 6 feet. Employees who have an underlying health condition or concern may request a change in job duties, location, hours, etc. by contacting their local human resources point person.  
Yes. A guide on how to create an absence for Paid Administrative Leave can be found here.  
Your check will be mailed to your mailing address listed in Oracle. You can verify or update your mailing address in Oracle here.

Due to the current work from home order, we are allowing employees to submit the direct deposit form through OneDrive if you currently are not set up on direct deposit, or you need to reallocate funds to the banks already set up on your record.

Please fill out the direct deposit form on the HR Website found here and send it via OneDrive for Business to katelyn.e.pezzati@vanderbilt.edu from your Vanderbilt email address. We cannot accept forms from another type of email address. Also, for security purposes, you can please only include the last 4 digits of your SSN on the form where it asks for this information.

This link will give you more in-depth instructions on how to use One Drive: https://it.vanderbilt.edu/services/catalog/collaboration_and_communication/collaboration/Secure_File_Transfer_User_Guide_for_Microsoft_Office_365_OneDrive_V3.pdf

If you have any questions about the form, please reach out to payroll@vanderbilt.edu.

 
Yes. Your manager may assign other work, projects or professional development that can be performed remotely. Your manager may indicate that you should be available during operating hours to answer questions. Regardless, log your standard working hours in Oracle and you can select the Paid Administrative Leave time type. Instructions on how to use the time type Paid Administrative Leave are here.
No, all payroll and timecard deadlines will continue as normal. You can view the deadlines on the Payroll Calendar here.
  • Check with your manager to see if you have the ability to perform your job remotely.
  • What if the nature of my work for VTS or personal circumstances makes it impossible for me to work remotely? Due to the temporary nature of VTS assignments, PTO or Paid Administrative Leave do not apply.
Report your hours as you normally would in Oracle.

Unable to remote work?

It is understandable that during this period of remote work, there are staff members who are unable to work remotely or for whom the volume of their work is reduced, or both.
Yes. Many members of the HR team are working remotely. The main line will be answered and HR staff will be available via email, Skype or phone. You may contact us through the following shared mailboxes:
 Section Email
General Inquires Human.resources@vanderbilt.edu
Benefits openenrollment@vanderbilt.edu
tuitionbenefits@vanderbilt.edu
benefits.appeal@vanderbilt.edu
Talent talent@vanderbilt.edu
Payroll & Processing payroll@vanderbilt.edu
Human.resources@vanderbilt.edu (for Background checks & fingerprinting, Form I-9, W-4’s)
ois@vanderbilt.edu (Immigration Services and Visas)
ITO@vanderbilt.edu (International Tax)
HR Security & Systems hrsystems@vanderbilt.edu
Leaves fmlaprocessing@vanderbilt.edu (FMLA and other leaves)
Employment Visas ois@vanderbilt.edu
 
Yes. Your manager will communicate your work schedule. There is no change to the way you record time worked. Standard leave policies apply. Link to VU Policies, including leave.
If you are deemed to be on-campus staff, you may complete part two in coordination with another member of on-campus staff management at their work location as part of their immediate onboarding. Otherwise, you should complete your I-9 documentation within the timeline guidance provided by the USCIS.
If you can work remotely in addition to your work on campus, you should do so and log your hours as you normally would. If you are unable to work remotely due to the nature of your work or personal circumstances, you may use the time type Paid Administrative Leave to make up the difference between your standard working hours and the schedule set by your manager. Instructions on how to enter Paid Administrative Leave time are here.

Travel

No new visitors should be hosted on campus during the remote work period that lasts until April 11, 2020.  Once visitors are allowed back on campus, any visitor who has traveled abroad within the past 14 days must self-isolate for a total of 14 days before coming to campus.

According to the VU Travel & Expense Policy (pg. 3), situations like this that result in airline, hotel & car rental imposed penalties for changes to an airline ticket for business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control are reimbursable.
No. However, the university strongly recommends that everyone reconsider even personal travel abroad at this time.  Anyone returning from international travel will be required to self-isolate for 14 days before returning campus.
Before booking new travel, please reach out to the meeting planner and/or conference organization to see if the meeting is still scheduled to occur or being postponed to a later date. Travelers should not book reservations too far in advance.
Hotels will typically allow for cancellation with no charge from 24-72 hours prior to the date/time of check-in. Please check the policy as each hotel has different cancelation policies.
Many airlines have altered flight schedules and capacity to highly affected areas for both domestic and international destinations. All cancelled reservations are being reviewed and compared to the airline’s current rules and will be refunded if applicable. If the airline has issued a waiver of the exchange fee, this will be noted in the traveler’s profile long with the unused ticket. Any unused ticket will be listed in your profile as unused and applied on a future ticket for that airline.
Standard travel insurance policies will not cover flight cancelations and delays due to coronavirus unless it is specifically written into the policy. Travel insurance is not reimbursable for university business travel.
If you have registered for a conference and the conference organization announces that it has been cancelled, the conference may be reimbursing registration, and conference hotel bookings/deposits.  Review information posted on their website for direction. (Airfare is typically not reimbursed by the conference and is the responsibility of the traveler to cancel.)

All university-sponsored international travel, including travel to Canada and Mexico, is restricted (effective March 10).

  • Travel to State Department Level 4 countries was restricted on February 14.
  • Travel to CDC Level-3 countries was restricted on February 25.

All university-sponsored domestic travel is restricted (effective March 12).

We strongly encourage everyone to postpone all non-essential personal travel.

These restrictions are in place through at least April 30.

Exceptions to these university policies may be requested by contacting your dean or vice chancellor. Granting of exceptions to the travel restrictions require a reasoned consideration of all factors.

University-sponsored travel includes any travel covered by or reimbursable from university funds or extramural grant funds. This includes travel by faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, students or visitors.

Vanderbilt Occupational Health has monitoring in place for those who have traveled internationally or otherwise come in contact with a case of COVID-19 (including a patient). Learn more about the process and self-monitoring REDCap survey here.
If cancelations are made by the airline, the airline will typically reimburse the airfare cost or allow the full value of the ticket to be used for future travel within one year of the booking date.
Consistent with CDC guidance, Vanderbilt is instructing those community members to self-isolate for 14 days. Those who need to self-isolate are being instructed to notify the university in order to receive healthcare monitoring and support and to protect the health and safety of our community.

Any individual returning from international travel (either university-sponsored or personal) must self-isolate for 14 days before returning to campus and gain approval from your supervisor for working remotely.

University-sponsored travel includes any travel covered by or reimbursable from university funds or extramural grant funds.  This includes travel by faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, students or visitors.

For travel cancelations, please contact travel@vanderbilt.edu For expense reimbursement questions, please contact paymentcardsexp@vanderbilt.edu
According to the VU Travel & Expense Policy (pg. 3), situations like this that result in airline, hotel & car rental imposed penalties for changes to an airline ticket for business reasons or circumstances beyond the traveler’s control are reimbursable.

 

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