Information for Faculty

Providing a healthy and safe workplace and learning environment is important at any time for UNT, and is of paramount concern during the COVID-19 outbreak. We are committed to providing updates on the latest developments and how they impact our community.

UNT faculty and academic staff are working together to ensure the safe and effective continuation of instruction and support services for all UNT students. Faculty are encouraged to visit TeachAnywhere.unt.edu for training and resources for delivering classes online.

If you test POSITIVE for COVID-19: Follow your healthcare provider and county health department guidance and self-isolate at home.

  • Notify your immediate supervisor of your absence through normal department reporting channels.
  • Contact HR to discuss your medical situation, sick leave, and the return-to-work process. HR may be reached at 940-565-2281 and via email at  AskHR@untsystem.edu.
  • Once you have been approved to return to work by your healthcare provider, contact HR by phone or email before going back to work. You will need to provide a copy of your return-to-work release to HR prior to returning to work.

Directions for Time Reporting

Faculty members engaged in research need to track their time, but other non-tenure track and tenured/tenure-track faculty do not need to keep an hourly record of their time but are expected to complete all work responsibilities.If you have questions related to the timekeeping guidelines, please contact your unit administrator or Human Resources.

Guidelines for Sharing Information While Staying HIPAA Compliant

  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)is a series of national standards that organizations must have in place to safeguard the privacy and security of protected health information (PHI).
  • PHI is any individually identifiable information that could reveal the identity of an individual or their medical history. Some examples include name, address, email address, photographic images, health history, etc.
  • Make a reasonable effort to ensure that the sharing of PHI is limited to the minimum information necessary. 
  • Limit the number of people you share PHI with and only include those that need to know about a possible concern.
  • Take care to consider how you would want your personal health information handled or shared.
  • If you are sending PHI through email, utilize the secure email function in Outlook. To compose a secure email type #secure in the subject line, then press space before typing your subject.

Workplace FAQ

Should faculty who show any sign of illness (e.g., fever, cough, shortness of breath) self-isolate?

If you are feeling unwell and/or showing signs of illness, you may utilize accrued sick leave.

What should I do if I have been notified that I have been exposed to COVID-19?

Faculty who have been notified by a health authority that they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 and are told that you need to be in self-isolation will be asked to remain away from the campus for 14 days A faculty member who has been approved to temporarily telecommute will continue to do so through the self-isolation period. Faculty whose roles are not conducive to telecommuting will be placed on health pandemic emergency leave for 14 days, at which time the faculty member must be fever- and symptom-free in order to return to work.

What should I do if I believe a coworker may have symptoms or exposure to COVID-19?

Notify Emergency Management and Safety Services at 940-369-6153 or emergency.management@unt.edu. In order to protect the privacy of employee and student personal health information, you should not share details regarding an individual’s medical condition with others. Emergency Management and Safety Services will follow protocol to ensure that appropriate individuals are notified of the situation.

What should I do if I believe that I am in a higher risk category, or a family member is at higher risk?

In order to determine whether you are considered to be at higher risk, please consider the CDC’s criteria for the high-risk groups as identified by the CDC and/or consult your healthcare provider. If you are advised by your health authority not to come to work, please provide notification to Human Resources at 940-565-2281 or AskHR@untsystem.edu. In addition, you should contact your manager directly to inquire about telecommuting opportunities.

In situations where the nature of the work can temporarily be performed from home or at an alternate location, managers are encouraged to work with employees to identify these instances and consider telecommuting during this time of uncertainty. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels. In the event that your job responsibilities are not conducive to telecommuting, you may utilize appropriate accrued leave and take time off from work.

Will employees who have traveled internationally be allowed to return to work?

All travel must be reported to Emergency Management and Safety Services using the Travel Form or by calling 940-369-6153. Faculty returning from international travel or travel from domestic areas affected by the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 will be asked to telecommute for 14 days, if the faculty member has been approved for telecommuting. Faculty should contact their unit administrator directly to inquire about telecommuting opportunities. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels. Faculty whose roles are not conducive to telecommuting will be placed on health pandemic emergency leave for 14 days, at which time the faculty member must be fever- and symptom-free in order to return to work.

If it is determined that the nature of an employee’s job is not conducive to telecommuting, the employee will be placed on emergency leave for 14 days, at which time the employee must be fever- and symptom-free in order to return to work. Employees who are advised by their manager that they are unable to telecommute must contact Human Resources regarding emergency leave procedures.

I’m worried about exposure to COVID-19 at work. Will employees in my department be notified if a colleague is in self-quarantine?

Due to privacy considerations, this information will not be shared other than in a situation where it is believed that other employees may also need to self-quarantine.

If my child’s daycare or school is closed, may I work from home?

Yes, if your job responsibilities are compatible with working from home, you may request to work from home by contacting your department/division chair. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels. Working remotely is not intended to serve as a substitute for child or adult care. However, working remotely could be a valuable tool to individuals with caregiving responsibilities, provided that their productivity or quality of work is not compromised. Depending on the age of your child or specific situation, you may not be able to effectively work from home due to caregiving responsibilities. In this case, you may request a faculty leave of absence.

Do I need to wear a mask at work or other personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Please note that the CDC specifically recommends healthy individuals do NOT wear breathing masks. Medical professionals have made it clear that the masks are not effective against respiratory illnesses like the flu or COVID-19. According to the CDC, these masks do not stop the wearer from inhaling small airborne particles. The best way to protect yourself from illness like COVID-19 and flu is to practice basic preventative measures like hand-washing and sanitizing surfaces, and social distancing. Below are standard everyday actions to help prevent the spread of any respiratory virus:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • 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.

How are you keeping employees who cannot telecommute safe?

Given the wide variety of services that faculty and staff provide to the UNT community, we recognize many functions do not lend themselves to being performed from home. In those situations, we encourage employees to adhere to previously issued preventative hygiene and social distancing guidance. When these measures are practiced with diligence, they are an effective means for minimizing the spread of the disease. In addition, employees should consult with their manager for specific protocols that may be in place for certain jobs.

I use public transportation to get to work, but with COVID-19, I don’t feel comfortable. Can I work from home to avoid commuting on public transit?

In situations where work can temporarily be performed from home or an alternate location, we encourage managers to work with employees to identify those instances, and consider telecommuting during this time of uncertainty. Employees should contact their manager directly regarding telecommuting opportunities. All telecommuting requests require approval by the Provost through normal reporting channels.

A key consideration for managers is whether or not telecommuting is compatible with the employee’s job responsibilities.

Managers should provide a list of employee names to HR who are engaging in a temporary telecommuting arrangement in response to the current health situation. The list should be submitted to HRAdministration@untsystem.edu. HR will email telecommuting information to each employee. Please note:

  • Employees who currently telecommute and wish to increase their number of telecommute days in light of the current health situation should contact their manager regarding a temporary telecommuting arrangement which supersedes the current telecommuting agreement.
  • Employees who do not currently telecommute and wish to engage in a temporary telecommuting agreement should discuss telecommuting opportunities with their manager.
  • Managers retain the ability to terminate a temporary telecommuting arrangement.
  • Managers must ensure that employees work their scheduled hours, report hours worked, and that departmental operating and service needs are met.
  • Before requesting to engage in a temporary telecommuting arrangement, employees and managers should be familiar with remote working expectations and resources.  Specific information regarding temporary telecommuting arrangements is located on WorkAnywhere.unt.edu.

Can sick leave be used if an employee is asked to be quarantined?

Yes, an employee can utilize accrued sick leave, where applicable.

How do I report my time if I'm asked to work on tasks related to the COVID-19 response?

Faculty members engaged in research need to track their time, but other non-tenure track and tenured/tenure-track faculty do not need to keep an hourly record of their time but are expected to complete all work responsibilities.If you have questions related to the timekeeping guidelines, please contact your unit administrator or Human Resources.

For more teaching-related FAQs related to COVID-19, see the UNT Teach Anywhere website.

Summary of Resources

COVID-19 Updates

Emergency Notification Information:

  • Learn more about Eagle Alert emergency notifications.
  • Maintain your phone number to receive Eagle Alert notifications through the employee portal in my.unt.edu.

Employee Assistance Program:
We recognize that the COVID-19 situation can be stressful. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is a free, confidential service available to help employees with family, legal or financial issues, substance abuse, or other stressful events. EAP programs are available to retirement-eligible employees, retirees, household members, and dependents. In addition, the EAP has developed resources specific to COVID-19.

Faculty/Staff CARE Team