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Staff

Vanderbilt’s staff are vital to the university’s function and elevate its research and educational mission. Since the university transitioned to online and alternative learning in March, work has looked different for many staff members, including those who have transitioned to remote work and those who have been critical to supporting students who have had to remain on campus.

Three things you need to know
  • The undergraduate and graduate academic calendar has been adjusted to a start date of August 24, with in-person classes ending by Thanksgiving and exams conducted remotelyView graduate and professional student calendars.
  • The university is taking actions—such as enhanced cleaning protocols, changes to foot-traffic flow through buildings and on campus pathways, and much more—to ensure all campus spaces and buildings support the health and safety of the entire Vanderbilt community.
  • Staff will be recalled to campus in an orderly fashion in support of core mission activities (on-campus research, on-campus instruction, undergraduate residential living and learning). Staff will be informed by their supervisors when and under what circumstances they are to return to work on campus and should not return until authorized.

The fall plan is continually evolving, and some of our planning may change as new information becomes available. We recommend that you return to this website often, in the event that pertinent updates have been communicated.


Find answers to the most asked questions about Return to Campus

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Fall 2020

Consistent with CDC guidance, Vanderbilt is instructing those community members who are returning to campus after international travel to self-quarantine for 14 days before arriving back on campus.

Those who need to self-isolate due to being sick or testing positive for COVID-19 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 as much as possible.

International Students Returning to Campus

Per CDC guidance and Vanderbilt policy, international students returning to campus who plan to live off campus must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

Residential undergraduates returning from abroad will need to self-quarantine off campus before arriving back on campus for the start of the fall semester.

Fall 2020 - Campus Life and Housing

Specific guidelines for all campus visitors, including parents, are being developed to ensure the safety of our campus community. The situation with COVID-19 is changing rapidly and we want those guidelines to reflect the best practices in place once students have returned to campus.

Suppliers must submit the Supplier Return to Campus Acknowledgement prior to being granted permission to be on campus.

On July 9, officials from Metro Nashville Public Schools announced their academic year will begin remotely for all MNPS students on Aug. 4, and Williamson County Schools shared their plans to allow families to choose on-campus or remote instruction for their students for the start of the school year. We will continue to closely monitor for announcements from other area school districts and K-12 schools.

We want you to know that we fully recognize the challenges that this news poses for members of the Vanderbilt community with school-aged children, many of whom already have been balancing work and class schedules with homeschooling and/or child care since early March. These families are a significant part of our community: Our data indicates that more than 1,000 Vanderbilt community members have children under the age of 14, and there are more than 1,800 children in total amongst these families.

We also understand that children thrive when the adults in their lives are able to model calm, compassion and resilience, and we realize achieving this balance can be extraordinarily challenging in the present moment. Your well-being is a top priority, and we are committed to continuing to help you navigate the ever-changing impacts of the pandemic on your daily life.

We further appreciate that each caregiver’s and each child’s personal considerations vary widely. We also each have different requirements with regard to whether our work or classes need to be conducted in person or remotely.

In response to these diverse circumstances and challenges, we have launched several initiatives that provide additional support to the Vanderbilt community during this challenging time.

  • Last month we launched a University Working Group on Schools and Childcare, which is charged with assessing our community’s needs in response to any significant changes in K-12 schools and child care facilities due to COVID-19. The group, which includes faculty, staff, students and postdocs, is examining the child care structures already in place at Vanderbilt while also exploring community resources and additional ways to expand upon these services.
  • We are creating a message board where members of our community can connect and exchange ideas and resources regarding child care solutions and arrangements beyond Vanderbilt’s campus. We will share more information about how to access the message board when it launches.
  • We are conducting a survey regarding current child care needs, which will help us identify additional resources that might be helpful. Take the survey now. >>

In addition, please be sure to consider our many existing resources, including family life resources available through the Child and Family Center and the support for remote work and employee engagement recently announced by Human Resources, along with the HR Guide to Supporting Leaders and Staff, which encourages flexibility with staff work schedules. For staff, as always, we encourage you to talk to your supervisor or your HR consultant if you have any questions about your particular situation. For faculty, we encourage you to reach out to your department chair or dean. For students and postdocs, we encourage you to talk with your mentor and dean’s office.

Vanderbilt University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact. The health and well-being of our community are critical.

VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY PUBLIC SAFETY

Vanderbilt University Public Safety (VUPS) is committed to the safety of students, faculty and staff. The people within VUPS work diligently to maintain a safe and secure campus, and they are committed to doing so with the utmost care and compassion and under the highest standards of conduct.

More than 300 staff serve in the department, which includes 100 police officers, 135 community service officers and 80 security personnel. The department also continues to protect members of our campus community during the pandemic.

CORE Committee

The Community Oriented Result and Expectation (CORE) Committee continues to meet to make recommendations to the Vanderbilt University Police Department (VUPD) regarding safety and security on campus. The committee discusses issues including suspected bias, VUPD’s ongoing community relations efforts, police accountability and transparency, pedestrian and bicycle safety and other traffic concerns, and the handling of significant events and incidents on campus while addressing concerns and planning solutions for those issues. 

Representation on this committee includes the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, the Multicultural Leadership Council, the Graduate Student Council, Vanderbilt Student Government, the National Pan-Hellenic Council, the Interfraternity Council, the Panhellenic Council, the Office of Residential Education, the Faculty Senate, the Project Safe Center for Sexual Misconduct Prevention and Response, the Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center, the Office of LGBTQI Life, Athletics, International Student and Scholar Services, a community/neighborhood representative, the University Staff Advisory Council (USAC), the Division of Communications, the Office of Risk and Insurance Management, and the Office of the General Counsel.

Vanderbilt Athletics’ plan for returning to campus is guided by the university’s Return to Campus and Return to Classes Plans. The health and safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff are paramount. Athletics will follow a staged approach that relies on a diversity of expertise and broad collaboration with the NCAA, SEC, university leadership, health experts and others, and will adhere to local public health guidelines and protocols, as well as university specific mandates.

Student-athletes will return to campus in stages to allow for a transition period for medical clearance, accommodation of new protocols, and adequate time for education and reinforcement of new norms. We will use data to inform next steps. The plan is flexible and allows for sport-specific adaptation.

The Return to Campus Plan for Vanderbilt Athletics includes:

  • COVID-19 testing and pre-participation physicals
  • Daily screening and symptom monitoring
  • Enhanced disinfecting protocols
  • Locker rooms closed
  • Virtual team meetings
  • Face mask/covering and physical distancing protocols

Athletics Return to Campus Stage A:

  • Football will be the first sport to return to campus.
  • Football players will begin voluntary workouts in June with limited Athletics staff on site (SEC regulations permit voluntary workouts starting June 8), in alignment with Vanderbilt’s Phase 2 launch.
  • Activities will ramp up throughout the summer, and on-site coaching and staffing will expand as allowed by the university guidelines.
  • Preseason practice is expected to begin in early August.

This plan is flexible, and adjustments will be made as necessary, based on data.

Every patron visiting the Barnes & Noble at Vanderbilt bookstore located at 2525 West End Avenue is required to wear a face mask/covering. Follow directional signage and stand on decals signifying 6 feet of distance from the person in front and behind while in line.

PHASE 2 (CURRENT) DINING OPERATIONS

During Phase 2, Rand walk-in dining has ended and has switched to online ordering/meal delivery only. Meals must be ordered the day before via the GET app. Residential student pick-up location is at Highland Quad. Faculty and staff pick-up location is at Rand. Follow directional and physical distancing signage during pick-up to ensure paths do not cross and physical distancing is always maintained.

Students

  • Pre-ordered breakfast pick-up times: Monday–Friday from 9 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
  • Pre-ordered lunch pick-up times: Monday–Friday from noon to 12:15 p.m.
  • Pre-ordered dinner pick-up times: Monday–Sunday from 4:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
  • Pre-ordered brunch pick up times: Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m.

Faculty and Staff

  • Pre-ordered lunch pick-up times: Monday–Friday from 12:30 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.

FALL SEMESTER DINING

Campus Dining is adapting its operations to the new reality of physical distancing, enhanced sanitization protocols, and modified service style. While our dining facilities may look different, know that our focus on the safety and well-being of the Vanderbilt community has never been stronger.

Despite the myriad challenges posed by this public health event, Campus Dining is fully committed to providing a wide variety of healthy and nutritious meal options to the Vanderbilt community. In addition to a network of residential dining halls, retail markets, and cafes, we are proud to announce the following enhancements to our dining program for the 2020-2021 academic year:

  • The Nicholas S. Zeppos College dining hall will be opening in August 2020 and adds another option to the Vanderbilt West End neighborhood.
  • Broad expansion of mobile ordering options, including all Munchie Mart convenience stores and Suzie’s Cafes. Students will have the option to use meals or meal money in these locations. Options include a rotating menu of chef-inspired sandwiches, wraps, and healthy bowls, in addition to market and convenience items.
  • To further support physical distancing efforts, and to reduce congestion in high-traffic dining halls, Campus Dining Pick-up Spots will be located in key places across campus; students can order meals online, then pick up at a convenient location.
  • Students can use their Meal Money or Commodore Cash to purchase food at any one of the Taste of Nashville partner restaurants, all located near campus. In addition, Campus Dining will host a rotation of food trucks on a daily basis, further adding value and variety to a student’s Meal Money or Commodore Cash.

Ranked #7 Best Campus Food, 2020 by the Princeton Review, Vanderbilt Campus Dining serves up a globally-inspired menu, with exciting new cuisines and healthy options that support a diverse array of dietary preferences and restrictions. Our award-winning chefs are proud to offer a comprehensive meal plan that supports community, sustainability and healthy living.

Meal plans are available to all undergraduate and graduate students, as well as faculty and staff. All Vanderbilt students living on campus are required to participate in a meal plan based on their cohort year. See below for meal plan components and rates for the 13-week semester between August 24 and November 20.

FIRST-YEARSSOPHOMORESJUNIORSSENIORS
The 21 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 19 PlanThe 14 Plan
21 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week19 on-campus meals per week14 on-campus meals per week
$ 225 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 275 Meal Money per semester$ 325 Meal Money per semester
$ 2,686 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,666 per semester$ 2,385 per semester

Nonresidential students, including undergraduates opting out of on-campus housing, will have the ability to purchase any of the above meal plans, but will not be required to do so. In addition, nonresidential students, faculty, and staff have the option to purchase flex meals which are prepaid blocks of meals, redeemable at any Campus Dining location.

These are unprecedented times, and terms such as “physical distancing” and “the new normal” have become part of our everyday lexicon. Vanderbilt, like most institutions, has adapted in significant and profound ways. What won’t change, however, is our commitment to clean, safe dining facilities, convenient dining options, and excellent-quality food. As an integral component of campus life, Campus Dining takes pride in fueling our students’ academic pursuits, and we look forward to serving you soon.

Campus Dining is committed to meeting the dining needs of all residential students, regardless of disability or dietary restrictions/allergies. With limited exceptions due to physical distancing requirements and modified circulation plans, our dining halls will remain accessible for the 2020-2021 academic year. 

To maintain maximum physical distancing, the initial phase of Campus Dining’s reopening plan does not include seating in dining halls. Meals will be served to-go style, to be eaten in academic or residential areas. In close collaboration with campus partners, Campus Dining is currently exploring alternate seating models utilizing flexible outdoor spaces.

FOOD PICKUP TIMES

Students will preorder and specify a 15 minute pickup window, convenient to their unique class schedule. This is similar to how mobile ordering functions at The Pub and Local Java under normal circumstances. Campus Dining is currently working through details on timing for ordering food. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

Every patron visiting Station B to collect or send package(s)/mail will be required to wear a face mask/covering. The entrance to the operation is through the Rand door, while exit will be accommodated via the fire lane side facing Bishop Joseph Johnson Black Cultural Center. While standing in line, stand on decals signifying six feet of distance from the person in front and behind.

Campus buildings and exterior spaces will include signage that should be followed by community members at all times. This includes directional and physical distancing signage signifying flow and where people should stand, as well as informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan.

Examples of the signage community members will see on campus are outlined below.

Accessible Route Signage

 

Accessible route signage

Accessible Route: Sidewalk stickers that signify accessible routes around campus

 

GENERAL ROUTE SIGNAGE

 

Left turn arrow

Left turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn left.

 

 

Right turn arrow

Right turn:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should turn right.

 


 

Roundabout

 

Roundabout:
Sidewalk stickers showing when you should walk counterclockwise to maintain physical distancing.

 

Exterior Signage

 

Dismount and walk your bike signage

Dismount & Walk:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing when you should dismount and walk your bike or scooter

 

General etiquette and protocols

 

General Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing general etiquette and safety protocols

 


 

Lawn etiquette and protocols

Lawn Etiquette:
Sandwich boards and yard signs showing lawn etiquette and safety protocols

 

6 foot distance signage

6” Distance:
Sidewalk stickers marking 6” distance between two points

 


 

One way signage

One Way Only:
Sidewalk stickers and sandwich boards showing one way routes

 

Entry/Exit Building Signage

 

Entrance only signage

Entrance Only:
Building signs showing entrances to buildings

 

Exit only signage

Exit Only:
Building signs showing exits to buildings

 


 

 No entry sign

No Entry:
Building signs showing areas where you should NOT enter

 

Yield to others sign

Yield:
Sandwich boards and building signs reminding individuals to yield and maintain 6’ distance from others

 

General Signage

 

General break space protocols

Break Space Guidelines:
Posters outlining main break space protocols

 

Disinfection Guidelines:
Posters outlining disinfection protocols for both public and private spaces

 


 

Elevator Guidelines:
Posters outlining elevator protocols that will be placed outside and inside elevators

 

Face mask/covering protocols

Face Mask/Covering Guidelines:
Posters outlining protocols for face masks/coverings

 


 

Meeting and conference room protocols

Meeting/Conference Room Guidelines:
Posters outlining meeting and conference room protocols

 

General guidelines to slow COVID-19 spread

Help Slow the Spread:
Posters reminding the general public how to slow the spread

 


 

Restroom guidelines

Restroom Guidelines:
Posters outlining restroom protocols that will be placed near restrooms.

 

RESEARCH Signage

Signage specific for research spaces on campus can be found on the Research at VU website.

Entry to buildings will be regulated and monitored in alignment with ACHA guidance. Where applicable, your Vanderbilt card/badge is required for entry to all buildings, and you may not hold or prop open exterior doors for any other person. After entering a building, sanitize your hands at the nearest sanitizer station and follow signage and all physical distancing guidelines outlined herein.

The university will identify suitable building access points. In alignment with CDC employer guidance, where appropriate, departments and building coordinators should attempt to coordinate arrival and departure times of faculty, staff, postdocs and students to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of a day’s schedule. For example, staff arrival and departures should be scheduled in 15-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs/elevators, etc. Staggered schedules should be considered for lunch and break times.

Once you have been authorized to return to campus, you should arrive and depart campus through the designated building access points. Staff should also report at the designated time, where applicable, to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.

Building entrance and exit points are being mapped for every building on campus, including ADA accessible circulation. In alignment with CDC and ACHA guidance, buildings will include signage and visual markers, including directional signage signifying flow, physical distancing signage showing where people should stand (in certain buildings), and informational signage regarding protocols in the Return to Campus Plan. Be mindful of following the directional signage, and be prepared to change your daily routine to adhere to the new circulation patterns. As building maps are finalized, they will be added to the list below.

Buildings in which signage and visual markers have been installed will also be noted in the list below with this symbol .

Please contact your building manager or facility officer with any questions or feedback on these plans.


BuildingSignage?
1025 16th Ave S (ISIS Labs)
1202 18th Ave S
1207 17th Ave S
17th Ave MUMS Lab
Admissions & Financial Aid
Baker Building
Benson Old Central
Biomolecular NMR
Branscomb Market - Dining
Buttrick Hall
Calhoun Hall
Center Building
Central & Divinity Libraries
Commons Dining
Cohen Memorial
Crawford
Divinity School
Drug Discovery - Cool Springs
East
E. Bronson Ingram 1st Fl Dining
E. Bronson Ingram Studio Arts
Engineering Science Building (ESB)
Eskind Medical Library
Featheringill-Jacobs Hall
Furman Hall
Garland Hall
Gillette
Godchaux Hall
Godchaux Nursing Annex
Hank Ingram
Hobbs HDL
Jesup Psychology
Keck FEL
Kirkland Hall
Kissam Market - Dining
Kissam Center
LASIR at MetroCenter
Law Cafe - Dining
Law School
Memorial
Moore College
MRB III and Learned Lab
Murray
Old Gym
Olin Hall
One Magnolia Circle
Owen Graduate School of Management
Payne Hall
Peabody Administration
Peabody Library
Sony BMG
Stevenson Center Complex
The Commons Center
The Hill Center
Warren College
Wilson Hall
Wyatt Center
Vaughn Home

Maintaining space between you and others is a best practice according to the CDC and is required on the Vanderbilt campus to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing and face mask/covering wearing is especially important for people who are at higher risk.

Everyone on campus should follow these physical distancing practices:

Physical distancing practices and face mask/covering wearing should be followed in all outdoor spaces. Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risk to the wearer and those around them. A face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing.

In the interest of creating a culture where health and safety are promoted and realized, face masks/coverings must be worn by all individuals on campus in public indoor settings (e.g., common workspaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, restrooms, etc.).

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times when outdoors. Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times when outdoors, with the following limited exceptions:

  1. While engaged in vigorous outdoor recreation, such as biking or running, so long as physical distancing is maintained at all times including with those walking on campus paved paths, sidewalks, plazas
  2. While actively engaged in eating/drinking outdoors, so long as physical distancing is maintained
  3. While outdoors and sitting in one spot, so long as physical distancing is maintained

Goals for outdoor spaces on campus include:

  • Creating an environment that maximizes safety and legibility while moving through campus
  • Making it possible on major routes to maintain a 6-foot distance while moving through campus
  • Using minimally invasive, maximally effective techniques
  • Designing all indoor and outdoor circulation plans with accessibility and mobility needs in mind

Wayfinding will be phased in aligned with the Vanderbilt Return to Campus phases. This allows for the university to observe and adjust. The university is aiming to give people room and give people time to react.

The “Gold Path” network is a planning concept Vanderbilt is using to focus its wayfinding and signage efforts and coordinate with similar efforts within buildings. Paths designated as part of the “Gold Path” represent commonly used pedestrian paths. As the community continues to return to campus, the university will place its signage and monitoring efforts on these corridors.

Signage has been prepared aligned with CDC and ACHA guidance and will be placed along the “Gold Path” network. Be mindful to follow the directional signage and be prepared to change your daily routine to adhere to the new circulation patterns.

The following map shows the “Gold Path” network for the current university Phase 2.  Parking locations are noted with non-colored circles and popular destinations with colored circles. Major circulation routes are noted in gold.

 

We are following developments in decision making regarding local public schools and childcare facilities closely and will develop contingency plans around different potential outcomes. On Monday, June 8, the State of Tennessee Department of Education issued guidance on reopening schools. On Tuesday, June 9, Metro Nashville Public Schools issued its plan for the upcoming academic year.

In response, we plan to convene a group of faculty and staff to determine how we need to inform our approaches as local school leaders formulate plans for the upcoming school year. This is now one of our top priorities. Vanderbilt Child and Family Center Executive Director Kathleen Seabolt and incoming Faculty Senate vice chair Ben Harris will lead a working group on this topic.

If you have been impacted by the closing of schools and childcare facilities, please share with us your feedback or concerns by completing this form. We welcome engagement from faculty, staff, postdocs and graduate/professional students.

If obtaining food from dining sites on campus, you should wear your face mask/covering when picking it up. In alignment with ACHA guidance, if you are eating in your work environment (break room, office, etc.), maintain six feet of distance between yourself and others. Individuals should not sit facing one another. Eating alone is encouraged. Observe occupancy limits, and avoid crowding of break rooms. Remove your face mask/covering only in order to eat, then put it back on. Wipe down the table and chair you used once you are done. Common break room food and beverage items should not be used (e.g., shared coffee pots, shared water pitchers, etc.). Reusable kitchenware (e.g., forks, plates) should not be used and should be replaced with disposable options.

MEETINGS

Based on CDC college and university and ACHA guidance, convening in groups carries a high risk of viral transmission. Gathering sizes are governed by university restrictions determined at each phase. Where feasible, meetings should be held in whole or in part using online collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom). When allowed, in-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of gathering sizes, assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for physical distancing requirements. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables (e.g., consider staggering seats) or add visual cue marks in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees. During your time on site, you are encouraged to communicate with your colleagues and supervisors as needed by email, Skype messenger, telephone or other technology. You can also use a range of available collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom).

GATHERINGS

Vanderbilt is currently in phase 2 of its ramp-up, and gatherings up to 10 people are allowed as long as CDC-recommended physical distancing can be maintained, and safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings) are followed. Changes to gathering size restrictions will be communicated as the university continues to ramp up operations and prior to the start of the fall semester. Changes will be evaluated based on state, city and health guidance.

A definition of gatherings will be available in July.

If you drive to and park on campus, you will be required to have a parking permit; violations are subject to fines and towing. If you need to purchase a campus parking permit, please contact Parking Services. Learn about additional transportation options available to you on the MoveVU website. Once you exit your car, please follow physical distancing and face mask/covering guidelines.

Based on CDC transportation guidance, if you must take public transportation, wear a face mask/covering before entering the bus or train, space out as much as possible, and avoid touching surfaces with your hands. Upon disembarking, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol as soon as possible. Through Vanderbilt’s recently expanded EasyRide program, full-time and part-time faculty, staff and students are eligible for free rides on all WeGo Public Transit local and regional buses and the WeGo Star train. Swipe your ID card to ride on buses and show your ID card on train. View WeGo’s enhanced modified service plan at WeGoTransit.com.

Based on CDC employer guidance, elevator usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. Using stairs whenever possible will assist vertical circulation given that elevator capacities may be challenged. If you are using the elevator, wear your face mask/covering and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol upon departing the elevator. Custodial crews will be wiping down elevator buttons more frequently during the day.

Restroom usage should ensure physical distancing is achieved. This may require the use of signage to indicate when a restroom is occupied.

  • Wear a face mask/covering.
  • Wait outside the restroom in a physically distanced line until physical distancing inside the restroom can be achieved.
  • Avoid touching your face after touching door handles.
  • Wash with soap or sanitize your hands after using the restroom.

If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at least 6 feet of distance from any others. Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, consider staggering chairs or desks to achieve 6 feet of distance. You should wear a face mask/covering at all times while in a shared workspace/room. You should use your own computer, phone, headset and equipment, and not use colleagues’ equipment.

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, departments should assess open work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase distance between employees and other co-workers such as:

  • Placing visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting
  • Placing one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between employees moving through the space
  • Removing shared resources (e.g., community pen holders and pens, magazines in main office areas, etc.)

If you work in a personal office, no more than one person should be in the office unless the required six feet of distance can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, face masks/coverings should be worn at all times.

Face masks/coverings must be worn by every person in a reception/receiving area. Face masks/coverings protocols should be followed at all times.

Fall 2020 - Health and Safety

Campuswide approaches to safety and the practice of physical distancing are important as individuals can be without symptoms and still be COVID-19 positive. Individuals who have been authorized to return to campus must conduct symptom monitoring every day before coming to campus or leaving their residence hall room. It is the individual’s responsibility to comply. It is our shared duty as a community to act responsibly. Individuals who do not live in Vanderbilt housing must be free of ANY symptoms related to COVID-19 to be on campus or participate in activities on campus.

According to the CDC, symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. These symptoms or combinations of symptoms include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

If faculty, staff or postdocs develop any symptoms, they should call the Vanderbilt Occupational Health Clinic and notify their supervisor/department chair that they are reviewing their health status prior to the start of any scheduled work period or time on campus; Occupational Health will instruct the individual on appropriate next steps (medical appointment, self-isolation, clearance to report, etc.). For staff, time spent in dialogue with Occupational Health is not considered working time.

While a symptom-monitoring app is not mandatory at this time, a symptom-monitoring tool has been created within the existing VandySafe app for daily self-monitoring.

New features of the VandySafe app include:

  • Self-Assessment Tool: users are provided recommended actions based on answers to a series of guided questions
  • Return to Campus Plan
  • Vanderbilt University COVID-19 Updates
  • Report a Concern
  • Support Services

Faculty, staff, or postdocs who have any symptoms must present to a VUMC COVID-19 assessment site.

For those who work in a higher-risk environment for infection with COVID-19 (e.g., some research facilities, VUPS, dining, child care, etc.), your department may require temperature  and symptom screening upon arrival to work. Your supervisor will advise you on this requirement prior to your return to campus and on where to report when you arrive for screening. Temperature screening on campus allows the university to know immediately if someone is symptomatic so that they can be directed to the VUMC COVID Hotline at 888-312-0847 for coordination of testing. As with all other absences, the faculty/staff/postdoc is responsible for informing their supervisor/mentor/dean. All persons conducting temperature screening will be trained in advance and will be required to wear personal protective equipment as appropriate.

In order to ensure compliance with privacy laws, records of temperature screenings or symptom assessments should not be maintained by departments. Departments may note that a staff member was not able to work on a given day(s) because they could not be cleared to work. Anyone with symptoms must self-isolate until testing results are back. If the results are negative, the person may return to campus without any formal clearance.

Any questions regarding the assessment process can be directed to Occupational Health (615-936-0955).

COVID-19 TESTING

Faculty, staff and postdocs who have symptoms related to COVID-19 or determine that they need to be tested based on potential exposure are encouraged to call Occupational Health at 615-936-0955. Individuals who need emergency care should contact 911 for ambulance transport to the nearest Emergency Department.

Individuals who have symptoms or may have been exposed and are off campus may contact Occupational Health or may also contact their primary care provider for COVID-19 testing locations in their area.

If a faculty member, staff member, or postdoc believes they have contracted COVID-19 after exposure to a known COVID-positive person on campus and/or while performing job duties, health care professionals may direct the individual to complete a First Report of Work Injury or Illness. The individual who has been exposed must stop work immediately and leave campus, even if the individual is not showing symptoms. The individual is required to notify their supervisor that they are leaving and notify Occupational Health that they have been exposed and/or developed symptoms. An individual awaiting test results must remain at home in self-isolation and keep their supervisor/mentor/dean informed of their return-to-campus status.

At the current time, asymptomatic testing is not routinely recommended by either CDC and the ACHA for faculty, staff, or post-docs who live in apartment-style housing or single-family homes instead of residence halls.  The Metro Nashville Public Health Department is offering free asymptomatic testing to anyone who wants it at their testing sites available at asafenashville.org.

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. 

Positive Case and Contact Tracing

Faculty, staff, postdocs who test positive for COVID-19 must self-isolate at home and follow current CDC guidance. To help determine the risk of potential exposure to co-workers and others on campus, Occupational Health will conduct contact tracing with the individual who has tested positive. Exposed individuals will be given the name of the individual who tested positive so that their risk can be assessed. Occupational Health may contact the supervisor if further contact tracing of the COVID-19 positive individual is needed; however, the actual test result (and any other protected health information) will not be disclosed.

Individuals who have been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person are entered into Occupational Health’s symptom monitoring survey that is completed daily. The objective is to inform individuals of known exposures and to closely monitor each individual to ensure that any signs of infection are addressed early.

Vanderbilt is following CDC’s recommended recovery strategy. If an individual had symptoms, recovery status (and clearance to return to campus/work) is assigned when: 1) the individual remains fever-free without the use of fever reducers for 72 hours, 2) respiratory symptoms have improved, and 3) it has been at least 10 days since their symptoms first appeared. If the individual tested positive for COVID-19 but had no symptoms, the individual can be cleared to return 10 days after the test as long as the individual does not develop symptoms. If the individual develops symptoms, then the individual must follow the recovery strategy for those with symptoms. Notification for return to on-campus activities is directed through Occupational Health.

The university is using a streamlined process to evaluate an individual’s concerns about how their personal circumstances surrounding COVID-19 may place them at greater risk. That risk may be the result of their own underlying health condition or age, or it may be due to the health condition of a family member for whom the individual provides care. Vanderbilt is taking every appropriate precaution to protect our entire community as we return to campus and classrooms.

Individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for COVID-19 infection. According to the CDC, people at increased risk include:

Students coming to campus

For on-campus students requesting accommodations for the first time, or for those students requesting a change to an accommodation, please log into the Commodore Access Portal and make the request.

Each student will make the decision, based on their personal circumstances, to either return to campus or study remotely. Students should keep in mind that there will be students on campus this fall who may have underlying conditions rendering them more vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. It is the responsibility of each community member to fully commit to protecting the Vanderbilt community’s collective health and well-being.

students opting for remote-only instruction

See: Undergraduate Students Not Returning/Opting for Remote-Only

STAFF AND POSTDOC accommodations

Staff and postdocs can submit a request for COVID-related accommodations, and the request will be evaluated based on an individualized assessment of the basis for the request and the requirements of the individual’s professional position. 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 image on the right side of the page. Requests should be submitted to EEO as soon as possible to facilitate preparation for fall 2020.

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville acknowledges higher-risk groups as a specific subpopulation, and Vanderbilt acknowledges that we may need to make special contingency plans for the voluntary return to campus by members of those groups, for example, by allowing members of those groups to continue to work remotely when possible. If members of higher-risk groups return to campus voluntarily even when the Roadmap for Reopening suggests they may be safer at home, we will ask them to acknowledge the risk associated with being on campus.

FACULTY ACCOMMODATIONS

We all share the goal of protecting, as much as possible, the health and safety of our faculty, their families and all members of our community as we prepare for the start of the fall semester. If you are affected by a situation that increases your health risk (or that of a family member) by your returning to campus, you should submit a Reasonable Accommodation Request Form to the Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

Although medical information is routinely and normally required for the accommodations process, for many of us this is a new experience. It might feel uncomfortable to disclose to the EEO Office personal information about our vulnerabilities or those of our family members. Using the EEO accommodations process is the very best way to ensure your medical information stays separate from those that make decisions about your faculty appointment. The EEO policies and process protect your rights.

The medical details of your request for an accommodation are not a part of your employment history, nor will this medical information ever be shared with your dean. The EEO team, and HR as needed, will keep your personal medical information confidential. The information is only used by the EEO team to evaluate your request for an accommodation and to determine the most appropriate and reasonable accommodation to ensure you are as safe as possible. Your rights, both to privacy and to safety in the workplace, are paramount in this process. If you have any questions at all about how to submit a request, how requests are processed or what resources are available to you, you should reach out to EEO Director Anita Jenious or her staff.

To be clear: The provost and the deans will not have access to your confidential personal medical information.

Facilities staff will follow these protocols when disinfecting a space after a known COVID-19 positive case:

  1. If possible wait 24 to 72 hours before cleaning while increasing ventilation in the space (office, suite, floor[s] or building).
  2. Plant Operations personnel entering the space will use the appropriate protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.).
  3. All personal items (dishes, toothbrush, etc.) will be relocated and contained for later disinfection.
  4. The entire space will be cleaned using EPA-standard approved cleaning products.
  5. High-touch areas will be wiped or sprayed with additional disinfecting products.
  6. The entire space will be fogged using EPA disinfecting products.
  7. Reoccupancy may occur 12 hours after the space has been fogged.
  8. Before occupants are allowed to return, the space will receive a thorough inspection to include (as applicable):
  • Operation of all plumbing fixtures
  • Flushing of the HVAC system
  • Lighting
  • Elevator operation
  • Identification of any nonperforming building systems

Plant Operations, a unit within the Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, will operate in accordance with the increased cleaning and disinfection protocols recommended by the Centers for Disease Control, using Environmental Protection Agency-approved products that are effective against the COVID-19 virus. Throughout the pandemic, Plant Operations has monitored and adopted CDC recommendations.

The CDC’s “Considerations for Institutes of Higher Education,” May 30 updated guidance specifically recommends routine disinfecting and cleaning of surfaces and objects that are frequently touched using the cleaners typically used, according to the directions on the label. The CDC says that most common EPA-registered household disinfectants should be effective.

At a minimum, there will be twice daily disinfecting of high-touch areas throughout campus. Classrooms will be disinfected daily during routine cleaning. Disinfecting wipes will be provided in classrooms and other spaces for use by the occupants. Facilities is also implementing zone-based disinfectant teams who will be easily identifiable.

Facilities will follow CDC guidelines for cleaning of outdoor areas, which calls for routine cleaning.

Plant Operations staff received cleaning and disinfection protocols training at the onset of the pandemic and will attend future training sessions on the latest protocols. In accordance with CDC and university guidelines, all staff members will wear the required personal protective equipment including face masks/coverings while on campus.

In addition to normal cleaning routines, custodial staff will also disinfect frequently touched surfaces or high-touch points and objects using EPA approved products. Examples of frequently touched surfaces and objects that will receive the minimal twice-daily disinfection are:

  • Tables in common spaces
  • Doorknobs
  • Light switches
  • Door handles
  • Hand railings
  • Bathroom stalls
  • Sink handles
  • Grab bars
  • Water fountains

Cleaning services for public/common spaces such as restrooms, lounges, lobbies, and hallways will be increased. Other duties such as emptying trash, vacuuming/cleaning of floors of private offices once per week will continue. Otherwise, cleaning/disinfecting of private offices and work areas will be the responsibility of occupants.

The following will NOT be cleaned by custodial staff.

  • Desks
  • Keyboards
  • Touch screens
  • Remote controls

Disposable wipes will be made available through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer so that commonly used surfaces and objects can be wiped down before use. For soft surfaces such as carpeted floors or fabric in seating areas, guidance indicates to continue cleaning with cleaners appropriate for use on these surfaces and disinfecting with appropriate product for the specific surfaces; vacuum carpets as usual.

Hand Sanitizing Products and Touchless Features

  • Hand sanitizing stations will be located at key areas within all campus buildings.
  • Sanitizing products such as hand pumps and wipes will be available at key locations (ingress/egress, elevator lobbies, etc.) and can be obtained through each school/college’s and department’s building or facilities officer.
  • Foot pulls will be installed on doors of high-use areas such as restrooms.
  • Plant Operations will gradually replace hand-operated paper towels and soap dispensers with touchless products in restrooms.

These practices will continue to evolve as the CDC releases new recommendations.

The Vanderbilt University Facilities Department, in alignment with the guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control concerning building system operations to stop the spread of COVID-19, as well as guidance from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers, is committed to providing the safest environment for students, faculty, staff and the entire Vanderbilt community.

The guidance from these sources is very similar and falls into three basic categories:

  • Increasing the amount of outside air being delivered to spaces
  • Using high-efficiency filtration in systems that circulate air around large numbers of spaces
  • Maintaining temperature and humidity levels within spaces

The university is implementing strategies to comply with these guidelines. The Facilities Department is also working to implement an overnight cycle during which buildings are flushed with an increased volume of outside air without exceeding the heating and cooling system capacities.

The Facilities Department will continue to adhere to ASHRAE published guidance for safe and healthy buildings, which emphasizes increased fresh-air ventilation and close management of indoor air quality, temperature and humidity.

To keep the Vanderbilt community as healthy as possible, indoor conditions will be maintained at temperatures ranging from 68 to 76 degrees and relative humidity of 45 to 50 percent.

Although the university is implementing these extra safety measures, it is up to each member of the Vanderbilt community to practice physical distancing, washing or sanitizing hands, and using face masks/coverings in all public spaces on campus to limit the spread of COVID-19, as recommended by the CDC.

For individuals in a private setting and not wearing a face mask/covering, the CDC recommends to always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing or using the inside of their elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Immediately wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

FACE MASKS/COVERINGS

Face masks/coverings (e.g., disposable masks or cloth face coverings) must be worn by all individuals on campus at all times in public indoor settings (e.g., common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, break-rooms, restrooms, etc.). If physical distancing is possible, individuals working in private offices or laboratory environments that do not otherwise require face masks/coverings may remove their face masks/coverings while in such spaces.

Physical distancing must be maintained at all times when outdoors. Face masks/coverings must be worn at all times when outdoors, with the following limited exceptions:

    1. While engaged in vigorous outdoor recreation, such as biking or running, so long as physical distancing is maintained at all times including with those walking on campus paved paths, sidewalks, plazas
    2. While actively engaged in eating/drinking outdoors, so long as physical distancing is maintained
    3. While outdoors and sitting in one spot, so long as physical distancing is maintained

Appropriate use of face masks/coverings is important in minimizing risks to the wearers and those around them according to both CDC and ACHA guidance. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The face mask/covering is not a substitute for physical distancing. This applies to off-site and leased building space, as well as on the main Vanderbilt campus, both indoors and outdoors.

Each faculty member, staff member, postdoc and student will be provided with one cloth face covering. Disposable masks will be provided, if needed. Individuals and departments can contact their assigned building manager or liaison in their college, school or department to acquire cloth face coverings or disposable masks. You also may wear homemade cloth face coverings that adhere to CDC and other public health recommendations. This will help Vanderbilt reduce the need to purchase additional masks, which are in short supply. A disposable mask must not be used for more than one day. See details regarding face mask/covering use and care below.

An individual who is having difficulty wearing a face mask/covering should contact Occupational Health (faculty, staff, postdoc) or Student Health (student) for direction. A faculty member, staff member, or postdoc who cannot wear a face mask/covering because of medical or other reasons should contact the Equal Employment Opportunity office for possible accommodation measures.  Students should contact Student Access Services for possible accommodation measures.

Type and Intended Use of Face Masks/Coverings

TypeCloth Face CoveringDisposable MaskMedical-Grade Surgical MaskN95 Respirator
DescriptionHome-made or commercially manufactured face coverings that are washable and help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsCommercially manufactured masks help contain wearer’s respiratory emissionsFDA-approved masks to protect the wearer from large droplets and splashes; helps contains wearer’s respiratory emissionsProvide effective respiratory protection from airborne particles and aerosols; helps contain wearer’s respiratory emissions
Intended useRequired for campus community use in all settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, campus outdoor spaces, in restrooms, etc.) Not required when working alone and physical distancing is possible.These masks are reserved for healthcare workers and other approved areas with task-specific hazards determined by OESO.

Use and Care of Face Masks/Coverings

Putting on the face mask/covering

  • Wash hands or use hand sanitizer prior to handling the face mask/covering.
  • Ensure the face mask/covering fits over the nose and under the chin.
  • Situate the face mask/covering properly with nose wire snug against the nose (where applicable).
  • Tie straps behind the head and neck or loop around the ears.
  • Throughout the process: Avoid touching the front of the face mask/covering.

Taking off the face mask/covering

  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth when removing the face mask/covering.
  • When taking off the face mask/covering, loop your finger into the strap and pull the strap away from the ear, or untie the straps.
  • Wash hands immediately after removing.

Disposal of face masks

  • Keep face mask stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Disposable face masks must not be used for more than one day and should be placed in a trash receptacle.
  • Dispose of a face mask if it is visibly damaged (e.g., stretched ear loops, torn or punctured materials), dirty or visibly contaminated.

Care, storage and laundering of cloth face coverings

  • Keep face covering stored in a paper bag when not in use.
  • Cloth face coverings may not be used longer than one day at a time and must be washed after use.
  • Disinfecting method: Launder cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before first use and after each shift. (Disposable masks are not washable.)
Gloves

Gloves are not necessary for general use and should not replace good hand hygiene. Washing your hands often with soap and water is considered the best practice for common everyday tasks. Please speak with your supervisor to determine if gloves are necessary.

Goggles/Face Shields

Individuals are not required to wear goggles or face shields as part of general activity on campus. Good hand hygiene and avoiding touching your face are generally sufficient for non-health care environments.

The CDC recommends that community members should wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after they have been in a public place or used the restroom; after blowing their nose, coughing or sneezing; and before and after eating. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Individuals using hand sanitizer should cover all surfaces of their hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Custodial crews will continue to clean offices and workspaces, classrooms and public spaces based on protocols developed with CDC guidance in mind, and individuals should take additional care to wipe down commonly used surfaces after use. It may not be possible for the university to provide product for personal use, but before you leave any room in which you have been working or eating, it is recommended that you swab down all work or eating areas with EPA-registered disinfectant. This includes a private workspace or any shared-space location or equipment (e.g., computers, A/V and other electrical equipment, copiers, desks and tables, chair arms, light switches, doorknobs, handles, etc.). To the best of your ability, you should clear desk and table surfaces in personal offices and workstations to aid in thorough cleaning. Using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol is also effective after contacting commonly used surfaces.

Maintaining space between you and others is a best practice according to the CDC and is required on the Vanderbilt campus to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and slow its spread. Because people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk. Individuals on campus should follow these physical distancing practices:

  • Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
  • Do not gather in groups.
  • Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.

In an effort to guide the university community in practicing healthy behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, Vanderbilt has launched the Public Health Ambassa’Dores program to address questions regarding campus health and safety measures.

The program has been established as an additional resource for the Vanderbilt community to navigate changes on campus. As identified representatives of the university, the Public Health Ambassa’Dores will help promote social norms to create a safe working and learning environment for all within the Vanderbilt University community. Ambassa’Dores will model exemplary adherence to all university protocols, serve as peer models and sources of information for individuals on campus, assist with knowledge dissemination and help communicate across specific sub-communities, and more.

The first ambassadors selected for the program are VUPS community service officers, and the program will expand prior to the fall semester to include other individuals (e.g., facility/building managers, volunteers among staff, faculty, students). The Public Health Ambassa’Dores will receive training, resources and support to prepare them for the role.

Vanderbilt is committed to supporting your overall health and well-being. Faculty, staff and postdocs should visit the Vanderbilt health and wellness website for more information and resources that offer support, help manage stress and enhance your resilience.

Fall 2020 - Policies and Compliance

Before returning to campus, faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students will be asked to sign the COVID-19 Return to Campus Acknowledgment. The Acknowledgment explains risks and responsibilities associated with the return to campus.

Vanderbilt’s Return to Campus Plan follows a phased and data-driven approach and considers the city of Nashville’s phases, adapting them to be applicable to a college campus.

Compliance serves as an important aspect of the Return to Campus Plan, reminding campus community members of their responsibilities in helping to reduce the spread of COVID-19. With the understanding that campus life will look very different with compliance in place, guidelines have been developed to promote the health and safety of the campus community as much as possible.

ADDRESSING NONCOMPLIANCE

Students, faculty, staff and postdocs will be expected to comply with all university policies and protocols designed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection and promote the health and safety of the Vanderbilt and Nashville communities.

Intentional or reckless disregard for these policies and protocols by students will be addressed through the Office of Student Accountability, Community Standards, and Academic Integrity, using the existing sanctioning considerations found in the Student Handbook, including by reviewing the potential impact on the community in the evaluation of the nature and severity of the incident, which may support an enhanced sanction.

The Vanderbilt Faculty Manual provides that faculty may be disciplined for violations of the university’s standards of conduct. The process for reaching a decision to discipline a faculty member is overseen by the dean in consultation with the provost.

The university’s progressive discipline policy states that a staff member can be disciplined for violations of protocols and procedures governing safety. The policy outlines a process for correcting single and repeat episodes of employee failure to comply with rules. Safety violations will be handled under this process.

Return to Campus Plan

Vanderbilt University’s policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic are rooted in safety for staff, faculty, students, invited guests (e.g., contractors), and the public with whom we interact. The health and well-being of our community are critical. Protecting the health of the Vanderbilt community will require long-term effort and commitment, cooperation, teamwork and understanding — all values that our community has shown in a multitude of ways in recent months.

As we confront this health crisis, Vanderbilt University will remain steadfast in the constant pursuit of our mission and ideals outlined in the Academic Strategic Plan. Therefore, the university will ramp up in phases with primary mission activities at the heart of all decision making. Mission-centric activities are any required on-campus activities that fulfill Vanderbilt’s core mission of teaching and research.

Radically different ways of deploying VU campus resources, including physical spaces, will be necessary as part of establishing a new normal. As we move forward, flexibility will be critical. Vanderbilt University’s return to learning and discovering on campus will occur in phases of increased activity and will involve the careful evaluation of data, models and public health recommendations. Protocols will be pragmatic and will evolve over time.

Vanderbilt University’s plans for expanding operations and increasing the presence of faculty, staff and students will be guided by the following criteria:

  • The intentional effort by all faculty, staff and students to exercise both personal and community responsibility. The combined efforts by all members of the Vanderbilt community will create a culture that sustains a healthy and safe on-campus environment.
  • Existing and projected government restrictions (e.g., safer-at-home orders, masking requirements, physical distancing, gatherings, etc.).
  • Public health status: recommendations from the federal government (recently released Opening Guidelines), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • Resource availability, including personal protective equipment for students, faculty and staff.
  • Contact tracing and case management protocols.
  • Physical distancing strategies.
  • Financial feasibility.
  • Alignment with Vanderbilt’s strategic framework that the ramp-up of on-campus activities will support primary mission objectives of the institution (on-campus research, on-campus teaching and instruction, on-campus residential living and learning).

Vanderbilt University’s plans will also take into account local orders and ordinances of the City of Nashville, Davidson County and the Nashville Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), as well as the State of Tennessee’s “Tennessee Pledge: Reopening Tennessee Responsibly.”

The Roadmap for Reopening Nashville follows a four-phase approach. The Vanderbilt University Return to Campus Plan acknowledges the triggers and phases of ramp-up for the city in which Vanderbilt is located and identifies which activities ramp up on campus and when. The Vanderbilt University activities that will ramp up are identified below in each corresponding phase. Vanderbilt’s ramp-up may lag the Nashville ramp-up and will be tailored to our own unique density, operations, and other considerations as a residential education institution. The university will communicate with the VU community in advance of each phase. If metrics of COVID-19 transmission and health system capacity change significantly, and Metro Nashville returns to a prior phase, Vanderbilt may also return to a prior phase and re-impose restrictions on activities.

  • On-campus research ramp-up to no more than 33% capacity, subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • Undergraduate instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • On-campus residential education preparing for on-campus activity continues.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will continue working remotely.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • No gatherings allowed
  • On-campus research ramp-up to no more than 50% capacity, subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • Undergraduate instruction online and preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • On-campus residential education preparation for on-campus activity continues.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will continue working remotely.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • Gatherings up to 10 as long as physical distancing can be maintained and safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings) are followed.
  • On-campus research ramp-up to no more than 70% capacity, subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Undergraduate instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • On-campus residential education ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others will continue working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will remain remote.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • May change gathering guidelines. Gathering size restrictions will be communicated as we ramp up.
  • On-campus research nearing maximum capacity subject to minimum 6 feet of physical distancing and other safety protocols (e.g., face masks/coverings)
  • Graduate and professional student field-based training/learning allowed as informed by on-campus research activities phased opening and/or clinic/occupational site authorization.
  • Graduate and professional instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Undergraduate instruction ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • On-campus residential education ready for on-campus activity and/or enhanced virtual/alternative platforms.
  • Staff recalled to campus when needed on campus to directly support research, instruction and residential living. Others will continue working remotely.
  • Staff who are to be recalled to campus will be notified by their supervisors, and only those who need to be on campus to directly support activity ramp-up will be requested to return to campus. Others will remain remote.
  • All those on campus must abide by the protocols outlined on this site
    (e.g., symptom monitoring, face masks/coverings, physical distancing, etc.).
  • May change gathering guidelines. Gathering size restrictions will be communicated as we ramp up.

Vanderbilt will phase in a return of faculty, staff and postdocs in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate physical distancing, availability of protective gear and testing capabilities for COVID-19. Individuals will return to campus based on the core activities they support and their demonstrated need to be on campus. No one should return to campus without authorization.

These efforts will be tightly coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of our campus community and the other communities we serve. No unit or department should increase authorized levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations and activities without approval from the appropriate dean or vice chancellor. Once decisions to expand on-site levels of return in certain areas are made, individuals should follow the campuswide policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus.

Compliance with the policies and protocols outlined on this website, as well as those from your supervisor/mentor/dean, is required for continued access; violation (e.g., blatant disregard for infection prevention measures) may result in the immediate revocation of building access privileges, disciplinary action, and/or other interventions.

Staff will be recalled to campus in an orderly fashion in support of core mission activities (on-campus research; on-campus instruction; undergraduate residential living and learning). Staff will be informed by their supervisors when and under what circumstances they are to return to work on campus and should not return until authorized.

REMOTE WORK

Those who can work remotely to fulfill their work responsibilities should continue to do so to limit the number of individuals on campus and the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Remote work arrangements must be approved by the immediate supervisor and can be accomplished on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.

ALTERNATING DAYS OR ALTERNATING WEEKS

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, to limit the number of individuals and interactions on campus, departments should consider scheduling partial staffing on alternating days or weeks with staff who are required on campus (e.g., two weeks remote, two weeks on campus OR one week on campus, three weeks remote). Such scheduling will enable physical distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces. To contain “germ circles,” it is best to schedule the same people on the same days to limit any one individual’s exposure to other individuals when possible.

STAGGERED REPORTING/DEPARTING

Based on CDC employer and ACHA guidance, the beginning and end of the workday typically bring many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times by at least 15 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet physical distancing requirements. (See Indoor and Outdoor Spaces: Entry/exit controls for further details.)

Travel

All university-sponsored domestic and international travel is restricted until further notice.

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

Exceptions to these university policies may be requested by contacting your dean or vice chancellor. Granting of exceptions to the travel restrictions requires 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.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

LEADERS RESOURCES