UNT has planned a phased approach to returning to campus operations, beginning with some essential functions, which reopened in June. These areas will be tasked with preparing the campus for limited face-to-face classes during Summer II, which begins July 6. In August, UNT’s plan calls for the most robust campus opening possible under the federal and state guidelines. Classes will be online, hybrid, and face-to-face, while services and events will be both virtual and face-to-face.
While the university plans to allow faculty and staff back on campus for increased productivity, networking and servicing reasons, UNT leadership is remaining flexible and prepared to return to remote work, if necessary. UNT will assess expanded staffing based on mission-critical operations, ability to control and manage specific work environments, and necessity to access on-site resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated through your dean, vice president, or vice provost.
The need to reduce the number of people on campus in various areas (density) to meet social distancing requirements will continue well into the Fall semester. Support units that can continue to effectively work remotely may continue to do so with their supervisor and vice president approval until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings. While telecommuting is encouraged where possible, adequate coverage to manage operations on campus must be maintained. Beginning Sept. 1, the process for telecommuting will adhere to the UNT policy for telecommuting (Policy 05.022 Working Hours and Flexible Work Arrangements), which requires all staff to have a documented Flexible Work Arrangement Form on file with Human Resources that has been thoroughly completed and approved.
The level of staffing will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve. No unit or department should increase staffing levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations without approval from your respective dean, vice president, or vice provost.
Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made, staff should follow the policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus. As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, officials will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it.
UNT entered this phase in May and it will be effective through June 30. This phase allows staff to return to campus to prepare for students and in-person instruction during the Summer II session.
- Essential face-to-face functions first
- Facilities, safety, cleaning, risk management, etc.
- Limited research
- Fall sport coaches
- Mail Services staff
- Residence hall staff
- Select Dining Services staff
- Student Health and Wellness Center staff
- University Union facilities staff
- Rec sports – facility to open July 1
- Essential IT staff
- Classroom support services staff
- Laboratory and instructional support staff
- Clinical staff to prepare facilities
- Staff needed to prepare for customer services opening of face-to-face service offerings that will begin July 1
- Retention and recruitment virtualization and preparation
- Orientation teams
This phase involves a limited opening of campus (July 1) for student engagement, offering Summer II in-person classes and preparing for Fall 2020. UNT will continue to minimize large public gatherings.
- Face coverings required inside buildings (except when alone in an office) and when within 6 feet of others outdoors -- Exceptions to this policy must be approved by the Safety and Incident Management Committee
- Staggered work schedules and hybrid delivery options
- Staff sufficient to serve students in person
- Limit number of people in office
- Vice president-approved safety guidelines for each respective area (Review and complete the Fall Reopening Plan Form with your Vice President’s approval)
- Limited number of non-students on campus
- Faculty can access offices and other instructional spaces on campus to plan fall instruction, but should not stay on campus to work
- Balance business needs with health and safety of students, faculty, staff, and visitors
- High-risk individuals who need some type of modification to return to work should contact Human Resources
- Athletes, bands and spirit squads can return as per NCAA and conference rules
- Clinics begin staged opening with approved reopening plan
- Strong safety communication to parents about safety requirements
During Fall 2020, UNT will continue to promote strong social distancing and enhanced safety. UNT’s semester is expected to begin on time Monday, Aug. 24. The last day of in-person classes will be Nov. 25. Following the Thanksgiving break, all classes and final exams will move to remote delivery.
- Housing and Dining Services open with all customer service available
- Isolation rooms available for students in residence halls
- Dining service will stagger when needed; grab-and-go meals available
- Testing and tracing options in place; protocols in place and closely followed for student-athletes and residential students and faculty/staff with COVID-19 symptoms or exposure
- Visitors allowed on campus, but maintaining safety requirements at all times
- Delivering blended class modalities – prioritizing in-person classes for freshmen, international students, seniors, and experiential learning
- Scale services to match demand
- Strong crowd and appointment management – promotion of virtual services whenever possible
- Increased presence of faculty and staff on campus
- No nonessential university business travel, essential travel approved by area Vice Presidents and Risk Management
- Events on a limited basis may be held in person in large spaces or outside with approval of the Student Life Committee and the Safety and Incident management Committee (The university will seek creative ways to offer social activities and engagement in larger spaces while maintaining safety guidelines.)
- Providing virtual and in-person retention support
- Most meetings continue as virtual
Once staff members have been instructed to return to work on-site, there are several options divisions and departments will use, with appropriate approvals, to maintain required social distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and work spaces. The university will follow CDC guidelines for identifying high-risk employees and work closely with their supervisors and Human Resources for appropriate modifications.
Please keep in mind that while these options are available where possible, adequate coverage to manage operations on campus must be maintained.
The following are some options that divisions and departments might employ, as needed:
- Remote Work: Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities may continue to do so with supervisor and vice president approval to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19. These arrangements may be done on a full or partial day/week schedule, as appropriate and depending on the needs of the division in achieving its assigned work.
- Alternating Days: In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments may schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspaces.
- Staggered Reporting/Department: The beginning and end of the workday typically brings many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure times will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing requirements. Departments and building coordinators should identify usable building access points and coordinate arrival and departure times of staff to reduce congestion during typical “rush hours” of the business day. Staff arrival and departures should be scheduled in 30-minute increments to reduce personal interactions at building access points, hallways, stairs, elevators, etc. Once you have been instructed to return to the workplace, you should report to work or depart work through the designated building access and at the designated time to limit the number of people entering and exiting buildings at any one time.
See more health and safety campaign materials.