Faculty Toolkit

Faculty FAQ

Trending Topics - Updated 4/7/20

Frequently Asked Questions - UPDATED 4/3/20

This is a rapidly evolving situation; we ask that you, please check the USF coronavirus (COVID-19) site frequently for updates. 

Because of COVID-19, I'm using new software, receiving an influx of emails, and accessing the internet frequently to conduct my remote work. Should I be cautious of cyber threats? How do I protect myself?

According to Cyber Florida, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to significantly increased online activity with the bulk of business, government, and academic activities having to be conducted online. The resulting increase in online activity presents a significantly larger “attack surface” for cybercriminals and nation-states to exploit. Cyber Florida recommends taking these actions:

  • Update your computer operating system (such as Windows) and anti-virus regularly. Microsoft and anti-virus vendors are monitoring for COVID-19 malware and threats to release patches and updates to keep your computer safe. you should also set software applications, such as Microsoft Office (that’s different than your operating system), to auto-update whenever possible. Windows users can learn how to turn on auto-updates here: https://support.microsoft.com/enus/help/12373/windowsupdatefaq and Mac users can find out here: https://support.apple.com/guide/machelp/getmacosupdates-mchlpx1065/mac.
  • Be cautious of phishing emails, text messages, and phone calls asking for personal information, payment or some type of time-sensitive action. Cyber criminals are using fake emails, phone calls and even fake COVID-19 maps to infect your computer and take advantage of the situation. Do NOT click on links or open attachments in unsolicited emails or emails from unknown senders, especially those related to COVID-19 that promise ‘new’ information on symptoms, testing and testing appointments, treatments, etc. Beware of innocent-looking coronavirus-related apps and social media posts, as well. Stick with your trusted sources of information. Consider using a Password Manager, an application that generates and remembers unique, strong passwords. A review of popular password manager applications is available here: https://www.cnet.com/how-to/best-passwordmanager-for-2020.
  • Use unique and strong passwords with multi-factor authentication. Strong, unique passwords help secure your account. Using unique passwords for each of your accounts helps protect your accounts if one of your passwords becomes compromised. A ‘strong’ password is one that contains at least 12 characters, does not use common words, is not easy to guess (no pets’ names, kids’ names or birthdays) and contains a mix of letters, numbers, and symbols. Do not use the same password for multiple accounts.
  • If you access the internet via your home WIFI, make sure it, too, is password protected and if possible, encrypted. 
  • Use your company’s virtual private network (VPN), if provided. Virtual private networks provide a secure connection between your computer and your company to keep your information more secure. The University of South Florida provides virtual private network (VPN) software to all those with an active NetID. A VPN encrypts data traveling from your computer to the campus network. To learn more, visit https://www.usf.edu/it/documentation/virtual-privatenetwork.aspx.

For more insight on COVID-19-related cyber threats and recommended mitigation steps, please visit Cyber Florida’s online COVID-19 Cybersecurity Advisory Center at https://cyberflorida.org.

I have many questions about my research and what I must report to the USF IRB. Where can I find more information about how my research may be affected?

The USF IRB SARS-CoV-2 Guidance for the Research Community document may be viewed here. If you need to contact the USF IRB, please be advised that the staff members, Chairs and Vice Chairs are working remotely. If you have an urgent issue on which you need guidance, please send an e-mail to RSCH-IRB@usf.edu and an IRB Manager will respond as quickly as possible. Applications, including initial applications and modifications, are being processed in the order in which they are received.  

If you need to make emergency revisions to your currently-approved protocol as a result of COVID-19, please send an e-mail to RSCH-IRB@usf.edu and provide the name of the Principal Investigator, study title and protocol number (Pro XXX or Study XXX) and the reason you are requesting an expedited review and we will do our best to accommodate your request.  
Other USF HRPP program staff members and ARC team members are also working remotely and can be reached via the following e-mail addresses: 

Please visit USF's Research and Innovation webpage for Sponsored Research at https://www.usf.edu/research-innovation/sr/covid-19-notice.aspx#continuity for more information. 

Who do I contact with questions about research operations at the University of South Florida?

The Office of Research & Innovation staff are working remotely, please visit https://www.usf.edu/research-innovation/about-usfri/covid-19-notice.aspx for further guidance, and for additional research frequently asked questions.

Will remote instruction continue into summer sessions?

USF will deliver a full schedule of online courses throughout Summer sessions A, B, and C, so that continuing students can maintain their academic progress and new students can begin their journey at the university. To the extent that conditions permit, we may add complementary on-campus delivery of instruction and support services in Summer session B.

I have a student I’m concerned about in one of my classes. What can I do to help in a remote learning environment?

With USF transitioned to remote instruction in response to COVID-19, faculty teaching in this new environment may have questions about how to recognize students of concern.  Depending on the nature of the course, the number of students enrolled, and the extent of contact faculty had with students in their physical classroom, recognizing students of concern may not be markedly different.  Here are some FAQs to help guide faculty in determining when students may need extra attention or referral to campus resources.

Additional questions and answers:

How should I expect my students to adjust to remote instruction when coming from the classroom environment?

This will depend on many factors. Many students have had online classes before, so the adjustment to remote learning may not be significant.  Still, this environment is different than before, so we can expect students to be initially overwhelmed with moving all of their instruction online and having to adjust to different instructional styles.  Expect students to struggle initially with logging into class on time, working the technology, and learning how to meet your expectations now that instruction has moved entirely online.

How should I address students’ concerns with assignments, exams, papers, and the challenges of working in an all-online environment?

Be patient with your students, and with yourself.  Expect technology glitches and problems so you aren’t surprised by them.  Empathize with students’ frustrations while also providing reassurance that we are all learning together and will get better as time goes on.  Be reasonable with your expectations.

What if a student demonstrates more adjustment problems than I might expect? 

This is a crucial concern.  If, particularly after an initial period of adjustment, a student seems overly frustrated, overwhelmed, or distressed, take note.  Encourage the student to speak with you during online office hours, or seek assistance from other campus resources (see Student Toolkit) to resolve technology concerns or frustrations with the online environment.  If concerns appear to be more personal (i.e., difficulty setting up an appropriate learning environment from home, personal and financial struggles), suggest the student check in with Student Outreach and Support, or the Counseling Center on their campus (see Student Toolkit).

What support services are available to students in the remote learning environment?

All student support services are providing services to students remotely.  The most up-to-date information for essential student support services can be found on the Student Toolkit.

How is recognizing a student of concern different in an online environment?

In many respects, the same behaviors that concern you in a classroom environment continue to be concerning when learning remotely.  Be particularly attuned to changes in behavior during this transition.  Is a typically highly engaged student now seemingly disengaged?  Are assignments late? Maybe the student has stopped showing up for instruction and is not attempting to engage you during office hours.  Do they seem overly tired and now not interested in the course material?  All of these changes may suggest that concerns are present or may be looming.

If a student demonstrates inappropriate classroom behavior during an online learning session, what are my options?

Reach out to the student first and invite them to meet with you during online office hours.  Talk with them to try to uncover the issues possibly behind the behaviors so you can have a better idea of an appropriate referral.  Refer classroom disruptions to the office of Student Rights and Responsibilities, emotional or mental health concerns to the Counseling Center, and need for other services (on or off-campus) to Student Outreach and Support for their coordination.  A referral to SOCAT (Students of Concern and Assistance Team) is always a good idea if there is a general concern about student well-being or if you are uncertain about where the student may be best served.

What student behaviors are most concerning and may warrant an immediate SOCAT referral?

Increasingly withdrawn behaviors, expressions of hopelessness or worthlessness, loss of interest in previously important activities, drop in academic performance, abrupt changes in mood, indications of increased aggressiveness, and talk (even in a seemingly joking manner) of harming oneself could all be indicators of deeper, more serious concerns.  The more behaviors present, the greater the risk to the student.  If you have concerns, particularly if the student is unresponsive to outreach attempts from you, complete a SOCAT referral.

What is the easiest way to make a SOCAT referral?

You can make a referral right from the left panel in a Canvas course. Click on “Refer Student,” drop down the class list and choose the student you want to refer. Indicate that it is a wellness/distress (SOCAT) referral. For further instruction see the video and PDF listed below:

Canvas Referral Button Video
Referrals in Canvas PDF

I heard that students can take my course for an “S/U” grade this spring. Is that true?

Yes. Due to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, all restrictions on the use of “S/U” grading options are lifted for all courses. A few restrictions to this grading option apply which will be listed in the “Additional questions and answers about temporary ‘S/U’ grading” section below.

Additional questions and answers about temporary “S/U” grading:

Can all students request the “S/U” grading option?

All students can request the “S/U” grading option except students in the Doctor of Pharmacy program in the Taneja College of Pharmacy.

Is the “S/U” grading policy the same for students in all degree programs?

The policy is the same for almost all degree programs. There are some small differences in the policy for students in four graduate professional programs in the Morsani College of Medicine: Undergraduate Medical Education, Physical Therapy, Athletic Training, and Physician Assistant. Students in these programs should consult with their respective program directors for information on the specifics of the “S/U” policy adopted.

Please note that students enrolled in the Athletic Training and Physician Assistant programs must submit their applications no later than April 10, 2020 due to scheduled final exams on an alternate calendar.​

Do students have to request the “S/U” grading option?

Yes. Students will be required to submit an online application that will be submitted through Archivum directly to the Office of the Registrar. Requests will be made on a course-by-course basis.

Why are students being allowed to request the “S/U” grading option?

We are making the “S/U” grading option broadly available to students as a result of the unprecedented disruptions arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal of removing all restrictions of the use of the “S/U” grading option is to reduce students’ uncertainty and stress while encouraging a focus on the successful achievement of student learning outcomes.

Will I have to approve a student’s request for the “S/U” grading option?

No. All restrictions on the “S/U” grading option, including the current requirement of Instructor approval, are lifted for the Spring 2020 term.

How will I know which students are taking my course for an “S/U” grade?

Unless a student self-discloses, you will not know.  You should continue with your grading policy, as stated in your syllabus.  You will submit each student’s letter grade as you would normally through CANVAS.

How will letter grades be converted to “S/U” grades?

Based on current catalog language, the following equivalencies will be used (with the exception of some courses delivered by the Morsani College of Medicine).

  • Undergraduate courses: The letter grades of A, B, C  (+/­-) are equivalent to a grade of “S” and letter grades of D (+/­-) or F are equivalent to a grade of “U.” 
  • Graduate courses: An “S” grade is equivalent to letter grades of a C or better,and a “U” grade is equivalent to a grade of C- or less.

My department requires higher letter grades for successful course completion than used in the catalog for “S/U” equivalency. Will the higher letter grades be used by the Office of the Registrar?

No. We are facing extraordinary circumstances, and the transition to remote learning coupled with daily stressors prompted us to extend the published catalog criteria for “S/U” letter grade equivalencies to all eligible courses through Spring 2020. The primary focus for many students will be on the achievement of student learning outcomes rather than a specific letter grade. All “S” grades will allow students to progress in their programs of study.

How was the decision made to allow students to utilize the “S/U” grading option?

Guidance from USF’s regional accrediting agency (SACSCOC) and consultation with key stakeholder groups led to this temporary action. The “S/U” grading option was thoroughly discussed and endorsed unanimously by the Faculty Senate Presidents on all campuses, the President of the USF System Faculty Council, College Deans across all campuses, members of the USF Academic and Student Success leadership team, the Senior Vice President for USF Health, the Provost and President. It is the right thing to do and the right time to do it.

Will students be able to select an “S/U” grading option beyond Spring 2020?

No. At this time, there is a limited window of opportunity to select the “S/U” grading option for courses being completed in the Spring 2020 semester ONLY. The application window will be from March 30 to April 24, 2020.

Can students change back to a letter grade after they request an “S/U” grading option?

No. One goal of expanding the temporary use of the “S/U” grading option is to decrease students’ uncertainty in the short term and not to prolong their anxiety. We believe requiring a well-informed decision that cannot change back and forth is a way to accomplish this goal for USF’s high achieving students.

Can students still ask for an incomplete (I) grade?

Yes. The current plan is to manage incomplete (I) grades the way you would normally. We strongly encourage you to carefully consider the extraordinary circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic and make every effort possible to support students requesting (I) grades. 

Will there be any special notations on transcripts for Spring 2020?

All students’ academic records for Spring 2020 will denote “Extraordinary circumstances encountered (COVID-19)” after the end of term processing is completed.

What if a student wants to withdraw from my course?

Course withdrawals are discouraged as they will impact a student’s progression and may have negative financial implications, including repayment of federal financial aid, continuing eligibility for Bright Futures’ scholarships, and may result in ineligibility for certain scholarships in the future.  However, sometimes they are the only option for a student. USF is extending the current deadline for withdrawal through Banner from March 28 to April 3, 2020. All course withdrawals between March 24, 2020, and the end of the Spring 2020 term will be automatically coded as Withdrawal in Exceptional Circumstances (WE) in the student’s academic record. All students’ records for Spring 2020 will denote “Extraordinary circumstances encountered (COVID-19)” after the end of term processing is completed.

Additional questions and answers about withdrawals:

If withdrawals between March 24, 2020, and May 7, 2020, are automatically coded as Withdrawal in Exceptional Circumstances (WE), does that mean students will get their tuition and fees reimbursed?  

WE grades do not automatically result in approval for refunds of tuition and fees. Requests for refunds are subject to current policy requirements, including course withdrawal and followed by submission of a Fee Adjustment petition with the Office of the Registrar Fee Adjustment Request, accompanied with objective, verifiable documentation.

Are there any restrictions about how many withdrawals a student can take?

Between March 24, 2020, through the end of the Spring 2020 term, May 7, 2020:

  • The limitation on the number of courses from which a student can withdraw from all courses in Banner without submission and approval of a petition will be lifted.
  • The limit on withdrawal from all courses in Banner without submission and approval of a petition will be lifted.

How can I request custodial services?

USF uses the FAMIS system for these work requests. Please visit https://www.usf.edu/administrative-services/facilities/requests/famis.aspx for more information pertaining to all three campuses. The FAMIS system is accessed through the Business Systems tab on MyUSF.  

A student in my course does not have access to a computer. What can I do to help?

The university has a limited number of laptops available to students and will be accepting referrals from faculty via Canvas by clicking Academic Progress on the Refer Student dropdown. Eligible students will be contacted this week to arrange pick up. Students can also self-refer; please direct them to the Office of Academic Advocacy at academicadvocacy@usf.edu.

Do I have a choice to either continue my class in the form of remote synchronous session (at the same time as the class is usually scheduled) or deliver it asynchronously (meaning you will provide content they can access at any time)?

Instructors may choose to engage their students synchronously or asynchronously. However, for instructors who choose to offer their classes synchronously, please ensure that all registered students can participate. Many of our students may have returned to locations across the country and internationally and may be participating from different time zones. 

I am on a tenure-track faculty position. Will this disruption of my research activities extend my tenure clock?

The University of South Florida recognizes that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has brought about major disruptions in the lives of our faculty that may temporarily prevent or interrupt their scholarly productivity and achievements. This problem is especially acute for those faculty members in their probationary period who are working towards tenure. Therefore, the university is making available an extension to the tenure-clock by one academic year, for eligible tenure-earning faculty members.

This action has been carefully considered, and endorsed by, the Faculty Senate presidents on all USF campuses, the president of the USF System Faculty Council, all College Deans (across all campuses), leadership of the USF chapter of the United Faculty of Florida, the Senior Vice President for USF Health, the Provost and University President.   

Additional questions and answers about the opportunity to extend one’s tenure clock:

Who is eligible for an extension of their tenure-earning probationary period?

All presently employed tenure-earning faculty who will be considered for tenure during or after the 2020-2021 academic year are eligible. Those excluded from this opportunity are faculty who have already been considered for tenure this academic year and those tenure-track faculty who will begin their employment with USF subsequent to March 21, 2020.

If I am eligible, how do I request an extension of my probationary period?

The leadership of the United Faculty of Florida was consulted and has agreed that requests for an extension due to current circumstances associated with the COVID-19 pandemic can be requested under a provision found in Article 15.2.A of the current USF-UFF Collective Bargaining Agreement. The procedure specified there is to submit the request to your Chair/Director (or Dean if there are no Departments/Schools in the College). A recommendation is made to the Dean (of the USF college contemplated with USF consolidation), who forwards a recommendation to the Office of the Provost or, if a faculty member is appointed in USF Health, to the Senior Vice President of USF Health. A letter granting the extension is issued from the latter office(s). It is understood that such requests will be presumptively approved. This process will also apply to out-of-unit faculty.

After consolidation, I am a faculty member who has been approved to be considered for tenure under the former guidelines of my regional institution. Will this change if I request an extension?

No. All current arrangements remain intact regardless of whether one chooses to request an extension or not.

My College already has a probationary period greater than six years. Will this affect my eligibility?

No. The year will be added to whatever probationary time period was specified upon your hire.

I had a year’s extension due to my taking parental leave. Will I still be eligible?

Yes. A year will be added to the adjusted time period following the previous extension.

Will the standards for tenure be set higher for me because I’ve had an extra year toward tenure?

No. The standards specified in your Department/School and College governance documents, as well as the University of South Florida Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion, remain in effect when your tenure review occurs.    

What if I don’t want an extension to my probationary period? Do I have to do anything?

No. As per the University of South Florida Guidelines for Tenure and Promotion, faculty may choose to be considered for tenure when they believe their scholarly record is sufficient for that purpose. This may be on or before the mandatory date specified upon hire. As is the case today, you are advised to consult with your Chair/Director and/or College Dean if you are planning to request early consideration.

Will my mid-tenure review period change?

No. Faculty will be considered for mid-tenure review at their regularly scheduled time. Any subsequent actions in regards to that review are not impacted by an extension that has been requested or granted. Also, any action that has already been taken as a result of a mid-tenure review remains in force.

Is there a time limit when I have to apply for an extension?

No. You may apply any time prior to when your tenure materials are due as per your regular probationary period.  

When can I formally apply?

Beginning May 4, 2020.

Can I come to campus to pick up class or research materials from my office? 

Yes. You are strongly encouraged to work remotely. However, the campus remains open and operational at this point in time. Please consult with your department chair or supervisor for further direction. 

Will I be able to access my office and lab freely in the coming days and weeks?

You should have the usual access to your office and lab while the campus remains open and operational. Should you need to design and deliver instructional content from your office, please consult with your department chair. When on campus, to safeguard your health and that of the campus community, please exercise appropriate social distancing (at least 6 feet apart) and wipe down equipment after each use. 

I have ongoing research experiments and need to get into my lab; what do I do?

You should be able to get into your lab to complete ongoing experiments. Please consult with your chair/director to develop a plan to accomplish your research objectives with the aim of maximizing remote time to the extent possible, while minimizing risk to our community.

I don’t have a suitable computer or high-speed internet access to support the design and delivery of instruction remotely. What do I do?

If a suitable computer and high-speed internet access are not available, you should consult with your chair/director to develop a plan to use the computer in your office, consistent with appropriate social distancing as needed to safeguard your health and that of the campus community. Should you need special accommodations, please consult with your supervisor. 

Please note: Given the reduced access to USF facilities when coming on to campus to conduct work or retrieve items, USF PD asks that you please be mindful of facility security and personal safety. If you see something, say something. 

A student in my class has indicated they do not have access to internet connections, how can I assist them?

We acknowledge that technology gaps exist in our student population. For those students who lack access to technology that is necessary for remote learning, we are identifying computer labs that can be accessible for academic assignments. Students who do not have reliable Internet access are asked to contact their professors, directly and immediately, to find alternate opportunities for learning and completion of assignments.

I missed the CANVAS training sessions. What do I do now?

Visit the Faculty Toolkit and go to the Training Tab. There are still live-streaming sessions available, as well as recordings from past sessions. There are also one-on-one virtual meetings available all week

How are we maintaining continuity of library services?

For more information on Library services, please visit the Faculty Toolkit on the Academic Continuity website.

Is there anyone in my department or college who can help me get started on remote instructional delivery?

At this time, we recommend that you visit the Faculty Toolkit for the appropriate tools, technology, and guidance. We are developing a list of in-college experts to assist you and will provide as soon as possible.  

I serve as the chair of a department committee. Am I responsible for maintaining the operations of this committee remotely?

Yes, the Chair is responsible. Committee Chairs will need to re-prioritize committee work as appropriate in consultation with Department/School Chairs/Directors and Deans.

I serve on several department committees. Will committee work be suspended during this period? Or, will these be conducted remotely as well?

Committee work will continue remotely, although Chairs/Directors will reprioritize work as appropriate in consultation, if necessary, with their deans. For remote meetings, please utilize Microsoft Teams.

If I download the Microsoft Teams app for my smartphone, will I incur data charges/minutes for using it for work meetings?

Yes, unless your phone is connected to home/other wireless connection.

Can I come to campus for brief periods to conduct face-to-face research group meetings with my students? Or should I do this remotely, off-campus?

To the extent possible, meetings should be conducted remotely. There may be exceptional circumstances where this is not feasible, but the intent of the current directive is to reduce face-to-face contact as per CDC guidelines. Please receive approval from your Department/School Chairs/Directors and Deans prior to scheduling such face-to-face meetings. Students should never be put in the position of feeling that they must attend a face-to-face meeting during the period of the university’s change in operations.     

I am expecting a research collaborator from another university to visit and run some experiments in my lab. Will I need to cancel this collaborative work?

Yes, for the time being. You are encouraged to collaborate remotely, when possible.

Will the Office Manager be physically present on campus, or will we need to communicate remotely?

To the extent possible, all employees should work remotely. Departments/schools will need to work with their support staff to facilitate this. 

Will office staff be available for consultation only on email, or can I call them when I need assistance? If so, can I contact office staff who are working remotely only from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., or at any time?

Departments/schools will determine an appropriate distribution of individuals’ telephone numbers so that contact can be maintained. Office staff will be expected to maintain regular business hours even if working remotely. Please respect your colleagues' personal time and contact them only during regular business hours.

Since I am working remotely, and I can do that anywhere, am I required to stay in town?

Please follow all current university policies and CDC travel recommendations. Be advised that all business travel has been prohibited until further notice, and personal travel is strongly discouraged. In any remote work scenario, you should remain readily available to come into the office, and in contact with your departmental office and supervisor. 

How should faculty communicate with students about academic continuity?

Faculty should establish a communication plan with their students and provide detailed instructions on how to access the Canvas platform both in class and in the course syllabus.

Can I make changes to the syllabus?

Yes, within reason. Any change to the syllabus should be communicated to students with specific attention to the changed elements. Please remember to update and post your revised syllabus to your Canvas course.

Do I still need to hold office hours?

Yes, students need a way to ask questions and receive instant answers. The recommended tool for virtual office hours within Canvas is Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Instructions on Blackboard Collaborate Ultra are provided within the Faculty Toolkit.

How can I promote academic integrity within my course?

For plagiarism detection, faculty may set up assignments with TurnItIn, which scans papers and provides faculty with an originality report directly within the Canvas speed grader. For online exams, USF offers Proctorio as an online assessment security tool enabling faculty to lockdown the test browser, confirm student identity, or record the test taker’s screen. Please note that Proctorio is a sophisticated solution and we therefore recommend that prior to deploying it faculty:

What are the most common Canvas pitfalls?

Because items are “unpublished” when first created, do not forget to “publish” them when ready so that students can see the material. Another important suggestion is to hide the tools/buttons on the left side navigation that you do not need.

Are there any student-facing resources I should give them so that they know how best to use Canvas?

The following tutorial will provide students with an overview of Canvas.

How should we manage students in “hands-on” academic activities such as teaching labs, studios, and field trips?

Adopt virtual substitutes for these activities. Consider the use of videos, virtual simulations, or other equitable learning opportunities. Work with your Department Chair or Supervisor. Please visit the Faculty Toolkit for Instructional Continuity or reach out to facultysupport@usf.edu.

What about students who are placed in internships, clinical courses, practica and/or student teaching experiences on- or off-campus?

The answer may differ based on the student’s program of study. It is important to work with the Department Chair or Supervisor to determine the best approach for students in various programs of study.

If the internship, clinical course, practicum and/or student teaching experience is a required part of a student’s program of study, and the placement does not expose a student to large groups of people, the student can continue in the placement, as long as the training site permits.

If a student has already met minimum requirements for successful completion of the internship, clinical, and/or practicum course the instructor may consider suspension of continued face-to-face experiences. 

Where possible use technology to deliver equivalent internship/clinical/practicum and/or student teaching experiences, such as the use of videos and/or videoconferencing to support student learning and mastery of skills. Please visit the Faculty Toolkit for Instructional Continuity or reach out to facultysupport@usf.edu.

What about students in USF health related majors?

Specific guidance will be provided by college/department/programmatic leaders. 

Can I continue to operate my research laboratory and go to field sites?

First and foremost, each Principal Investigator should establish protocols to ensure the health and safety of students and laboratory personnel. Principal Investigators of larger laboratories are encouraged to rotate members through in small groups (<5) to complete essential research activities. Researchers requesting travel related exemptions to field sites must secure approval from the appropriate senior vice president.

Can students continue to work in laboratories, studios, and field sites?

Student assignment in research activity may continue with approval of Chair or Supervisor if the space is not overly crowded (<5) and social distancing guidelines (maintaining a distance between individuals of 6 – 10 feet) can be achieved.

In addition to classes being delivered remotely, are there other facilities and services that may be impacted during this time?

Student success offices on all three campuses are ready to assist you. Please refer to the Student Success Toolkit for directions on how to contact the offices for service and assistance. If you need service from an office not included in the toolkit, visit their website for instructions on how to contact them.

Tampa Campus

  • Campus Recreation facilities are closed.
  • Libraries are closed.
  • Bookstores are closed.
  • Select dining locations are open. Visit www.usf.campusdish.com for locations and hours.
  • Marshall Student Center is closed; however, some resources in the retail hallway are available (enter from the east side of the building) as follows: 
    • Bulls Country Pharmacy is open M-F, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 
    • The Print Center is open M-F, 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Orders are being taken via email at printcenter@usf.edu. 
    • USF Federal Credit Union branch is closed but the main campus location on USF Palm Avenue is open (www.usffcu.com).
  • Feed-a-Bull food pantry (www.usf.edu/feedabull) is open in the Student Services Building (SVC 0002 is in the basement next to The Oracle office) as follows:
    • Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
    • Wednesday: 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
    • Thursday: 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.

St. Petersburg Campus

  • The University Student Center (USC) in St. Petersburg will be open on a normal schedule with limited access for dining and residential purpose. 
  • Critical resources will remain available and the Dean of Students staff will continue to offer support services to students 
  • The Reef in the USC will provide carryout meals with hours from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m.
  • The Nelson Poytner Memorial Library is closed
  • Campus Recreation facilities are closed
  • The Student Life Center (SLC) will have limited access for Wellness Center services as most services are offered via tele-health and must be scheduled in advance. 
  • All Student Life & Engagement services will be offered remotely.
  • Support-A-Bull Market food pantry in (SLC) 1072 is available by contacting 727-873-4278 
  • St. Petersburg campus bookstore is open normal business hours

For location and parking information on the St. Petersburg Campus, visit USFSP.

Sarasota-Manatee Campus

  • Building will remain open to faculty and staff during regular business hours (8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.)
  • The on-campus Café will be open daily 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
  • Critical resources will remain available and the staff will continue to offer support services to students.
  • Admissions and financial aid specialists are available remotely.
  • Centralized academic advising has moved to a remote model, but will continue to have at least one on-site advisor available during normal business hours.
  • The Office of Records and Registration will be staffed for in-person needs as necessary and in line with the Office of the Registrar across the system.
  • Information Commons is closed in line with the USF library closure.
  • Recreation facilities are closed.
  • Bookstore is open regular hours.

For location and parking information on the Sarasota-Manatee Campus, please visit Parking Services.  


Will searches for faculty, or other employees continue during this period?

This should be handled on a case by case basis. Postpone a search that has not yet brought in finalists for campus interviews. If the search is far enough along that it can be completed without compromising fairness and equity for all candidates and the health and safety of both the participants and visitors, a plan for proceeding should be approved by the Chair/Dean (i.e., the hiring authority) prior to continuation. Search work such as narrowing candidates by interviewing all remotely can continue.

Are there cybersecurity precautions to be considered with remote delivery?

Please ensure that computers are equipped with the latest Antivirus software. For more detail on addressing security concerns with remote delivery, please visit https://www.usf.edu/it/remote/it-requirements.aspx.

Is my online material HIPPA and FERPA compliant?

When creating online content, please do not include personally identifiable information.  As a general rule, under the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), personally identifiable information may not be released from a student’s education records without his or her prior written consent. Faculty should be mindful that recordings that include a student’s voice and any reference to student records is subject to FERPA and is considered a student record and protected under FERPA.

HIPAA Compliance. When creating online content – please do not include Protected Health Information. In general, the Privacy Rule prohibits health care providers and health plans from using or disclosing an individual’s protected health information (PHI) without written authorization from the individual except for treatment, payment and health care operations. This is especially important for recordings, as they are viewable by anyone with a link.

What if a student needs accommodation?

Transitioning to online instruction may introduce unique questions about course accommodations and accessibility. Students with Disabilities Services is available to discuss accommodations for individual students. Please contact Deborah McCarthy at dmccarthy@usf.edu. For general questions concerning on-line accessibility tools, see the Students with Disabilities Services Accessibility Guide visit https://www.usf.edu/student-affairs/student-disabilities-services/resources/web-accessibility.aspx.