COVID-19 banner

Frequently Asked Questions

CATEGORIES


UNIVERSITY HEALTH CENTER

What is a coronavirus?

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses such as the common cold, and more severe illnesses such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). Coronaviruses commonly circulate in animals and sometimes infect humans. A "novel coronavirus" is a strain that has not previously been found in humans. The coronavirus under investigation, COVID-19, is believed to have originated from animals. While the mode of transmission remains unclear, person-to person transmission is occurring.

Who is at risk for COVID-19?

COVID-19 is caused by a novel coronavirus never seen in human populations before, so everyone is susceptible, and nobody is immune. Early in the epidemic, most U.S. cases were associated with exposure that occurred during international travel. As COVID-19 became a pandemic, cases at the local level (community spread) became common. Community spread is defined as the spread when the source is unknown. As the outbreak expands, the risk will increase. Current groups considered to be at an elevated risk of exposure include:

  • People in places where ongoing community spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported, with the level of risk dependent on the location.
  • Health care workers caring for patients with COVID-19.
  • Close contacts of persons with COVID-19.
  • Travelers returning from affected locations where community spread is occurring, with the level of risk dependent on where they traveled.

Risk factors for developing severe illness may include, but are not limited to, older age, people who live in a nursing home or long term care facility, individuals of any age with underlying chronic medical conditions such as lung disease, moderate or severe asthma, cancer, heart failure, cardiovascular disease, renal disease, liver disease, diabetes, immunocompromising conditions, and pregnancy. Individuals with a BMI greater than or equal to 40 also seem to be at increased risk of developing severe illness. While older age is a risk factor, COVID-19 does not discriminate solely on the basis of age.

Symptoms

Symptoms related to COVID-19 include fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia and other complications, especially in infants, older individuals, and in those with underlying health conditions.

What should I do if I get sick?

If you get sick with fever, cough, or have trouble breathing:

  • Seek medical care. Morgan students should call the University Health Center (UHC) at (443) 885-3236. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.
  • If possible, always call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room.
  • Tell your doctor about your recent travel and your symptoms.
  • Avoid contact with others.

If you need to seek medical care for other reasons, call ahead to your healthcare provider and tell them about your recent travel to an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of COVID-19.

I’m sick – how do I know if it’s coronavirus or something else, like the flu?

Coronavirus symptoms and flu symptoms are similar. If you have not been to an area of widespread community transmission, chances are you might have the flu. If you have symptoms of fever, cough and body aches and are feeling concerned, students should call the UHC at (443) 885-3236 and follow the instructions provided. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.

What should I do if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?

Please inform the UHC as soon as possible at (443) 885-3236. If you are a student, the UHC can provide medical help and guidance. If you are faculty/staff, please notify the UHC of your diagnosis and contact your healthcare provider for medical assistance.

What should I do if I get sick?

While there is still much that is unknown about this virus, we know what we can do to reduce our risk for infection:

  • Wash your hands often, especially after you’ve touched someone who is sick, using soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • If you have cold and cough symptoms, make sure to cover your coughs and sneezes by using the crook of your arm or using disposable tissues and dispose of them in the trash.

Should I wear a mask so I don’t catch the virus?

The protective value of wearing a surgical mask is limited, and no health agencies are currently recommending general wearing of a surgical mask to avoid contracting COVID-19. Masks can help in the following way: if you are starting to experience symptoms, wearing a mask can help to prevent you from spreading illness to others. For instance, if you start experiencing symptoms of a respiratory illness (coughing, sneezing, congestion, etc.) and are coming to the University Center to be evaluated, we recommend that you wear a mask.

HEALTH INSURANCE

Will my health insurance still cover me?

If you do not participate in the MSU sponsored student health insurance managed by Gallagher Student Health and Special Risk you “waived” this coverage and are using your own or your parents’ insurance coverage, then you most likely remain covered but should contact your insurance carrier to verify the particular terms of your coverage.

If you participate in the Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) sponsored through the University and administered by Gallagher Student Health & Special Risk please click the link www.morgan.edu/studenthealthbenefits and review your benefits under the heading to the left “My Student Health Plan”:

  • Your current benefits will not change
  • CareFirst has eliminated prior authorization requirements for diagnostic tests and covered services that are medically necessary and consistent with CDC guidance for members diagnosed with COVID-19. Additionally, members can call the customer service phone number on the back of their member ID card for help with questions related to medical services
  • Your coverage will remain in effect for the period you originally purchased it.
  • The CareFirst Plan will continue to offer national coverage for medically necessary healthcare services. Out-of-network providers are also covered but at a lower reimbursement level.

Do I still need a referral from the UHC?

Given the unique situation that continues to evolve around the coronavirus, students with MSU-sponsored Student Health Insurance are no longer required to seek a referral from the University Health Center before accessing care related to the coronavirus. The referral exception will remain in place until further notice.

TRAVEL

U.S. Department of State Global Level 3 Health Advisory – Reconsider Travel (Issued: 3/11/2020)

The Department of State issued a Global Level 3 Health Advisory, which advises U.S. citizens to reconsider travel abroad due to the global impact of COVID-19. Many areas throughout the world are now experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks and taking action that may limit traveler mobility, including quarantines and border restrictions. Even countries, jurisdictions, or areas where cases have not been reported may restrict travel without notice.

Read more from the U.S. Department of State »

Self-Quarantine Requirements for Travelers from Countries with Widespread, Ongoing Transmission Arriving in the U.S. (Issued: 3/12/2020)

If you left an area with widespread, ongoing community spread, the CDC requires you to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left the area. This includes:

Additionally, if you left Japan, which has a Level 2 Travel Health Notice, the Maryland Department of Health requires you to self-quarantine for 14 days from the time you left. During your self-quarantine period, you are required to follow the guidance in the Self-Quarantine Guide. Most importantly:

  • Do not go to social, or religious gatherings — and do not use public transportation — until 14 days after your departure from the country in question. Take your temperature twice daily and monitor yourself for symptoms of COVID-19 — fever (above 100.4F/38.0C), cough, and shortness of breath.
  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, students should call the UHC at (443-) 885-3236. Faculty and staff should contact their healthcare provider.
  • If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 by another healthcare provider, please inform the UHC as soon as possible.

What is the difference between quarantine and isolation?

Quarantine means the separation of a person or group of people reasonably believed to have been exposed to a communicable disease but not yet symptomatic, from others who have not been so exposed, to prevent the possible spread of the communicable disease.

Isolation means the separation of a person or group of people known or reasonably believed to be infected with a communicable disease, and potentially infectious, from those who are not infected, in order to prevent spread of the communicable disease.


STUDENT ACADEMICS (CLASSES, REMOTE LEARNING, GRADES)

Will Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades be optional, or will all classes be graded using Pass/Fail (PS/FL) this semester?

All undergraduate and graduate students have the option to change your grading basis to Pass/Fail (PS/FL). Each student must determine whether they wish to receive Pass/Fail (PS/FL) or the standard letter grades for each class in which they are enrolled. Pass/Fail (PS/FL) grades will not count in your GPA. You will receive course credit for Pass (PS) grades; you will not receive course credit for Fail (FL) grades. We advise that students continue with the current letter grading mode until they have had time to assess their comfort with the new online course delivery. The deadline to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL) is April 26, 2020. For students who request to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL), the final grade roster where the instructor enters grades will reflect PS/FL as the options. For students who do not request to switch to Pass/Fail (PS/FL), the final grade roster will reflect the standard letter grade options.

Read More »

What is the difference between the F and FL grade?

While both are failing grades, the FL does not impact students' grade point average (GPA) either positively or negatively, while F does impact GPA negatively (0 quality points). If a student elects to be graded Pass/Fail (PS/FL) for this semester, and they earn a failing grade, they would receive the FL grade. If a student receives a letter grade, and they earn a failing grade, they would receive the F grade.

I would like to receive an "I" grade for this semester, what do I do?

A student wishing to request an "I" grade should contact the instructor to discuss the matter prior to grades being input. If the instructor agrees, he/she will need to initiate the "I" grade through the Workflow process in Websis. The request is then routed electronically to the Chairperson and the Dean for approval and then to the Registrar's Office for processing. In most instances, the student should request the "I" grade, as it is the student who will be responsible for ensuring that they complete the required work in time for the instructor to submit the grade by the final grade due date for Spring 2021. All incompletes for Spring 2020 must be updated to a letter grade by the final grade due date of the Spring 2021 semester or they will automatically be converted to an F.

The final exam period for graduation candidates is April 27-May 2, and May 8-14 for continuing students. If I wrap my class up early, am I able to enter grades before the final exam period?

Yes. Exams and final grade submission for graduation candidates will take place as originally scheduled. (Senior exams: April 27-May 2 and Senior grades due May 4).

What changes have been made to academic dates and deadlines?

The date to submit midterm grades has been extended to April 3. The last day for students to withdraw from individual classes with a "W" through Websis has been extended until May 6. All other dates remain the same. Please consult the academic calendar online for other academic dates and deadlines.

More FAQs from Enrollment Management and Student Success »


STUDENT LIFE (HOUSING, MEAL PLANS, CAMPUS ACTIVITIES)

NEW!! When can I pick up my possessions from my residence hall?

Thurgood Marshall (May 1st - May 3rd)

Baldwin Hall (May 1st - May 3rd)

Harper- Tubman House (May 1st - May 3rd)

O'Connell Hall (May 1st - May 3rd)

Rawlings Hall (May 5th - May 7th)

Cummings House(May 5th - May 7th)

Blount Towers (May 11th - May 17th)

NEW!! Is there anyway I can store my possessions until I return in the Fall?

Unfortunately, we do not have the ability to store your personal possessions. The Office of Residence Life and Housing can provide information about local storage facilities in the area.

NEW!! What if I can’t pick up my possessions because I am out of state?

We are asking you to notify your Residence Director to reschedule your check out time. The Office of Residence Life and Housing will work with you to make reasonable arrangements to pick up your belongings.

NEW!! Can a friend or family member check out for me?

No! In an effort to protect all students and their possessions we must ensure that only students remove their belongings from the residence halls. If there are extenuating circumstances that prevents you from returning to campus, please notify your Residence Director and/or the Office of Residence Life and Housing to make alternate arrangements with a local storage company.

NEW!! Are students who live in off-campus apartments permitted to stay?

Students in the following apartments Marble Hall Gardens, HH Midtown, aka, The Varsity, Kensington and Wellington Gates, are permitted to remain in their apartments through their designated leasing period. Graduating seniors are permitted to stay through Sunday, May 17th. Morgan View residents must adhere to the terms and conditions of their leases.

We ask that you continue to observe social distancing for your safety and the safety of others and adhere to all University policies including the Code of Student Conduct throughout the final exam period.

NEW!! Will the University offer housing during the summer session periods?

No. Since we are remaining in remote/online learning format during both summer session periods, and the COVID-19 Virus continues to threaten the safety of all, we will not be offering Housing during the summer months. Students with extenuating Circumstances/hardships should contact the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs at studentaffairs@morgan.edu.

When should I expect to receive my pro-rated refund for on-campus housing and meals?

First, it is important to understand that any refunds for on-campus housing and meals will be subject to Federal Aid and Title IV guidelines and may vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, unpaid balances, the specific original room and board charges and other charges applicable to each student, and institutional grants received. The appropriate offices are reviewing each student's specific situation. We appreciate your patience while this review is being completed. We are unable to provide an estimate for completion of this review, but you may be assured that the review will be completed and approved refunds will be issued as soon as practicable. Please continue to monitor Websis and your Morgan email for updates, and allow a minimum of 30 business days before following up.

If I do not live on main campus, but live in University-leased housing (Marble Hall, Kensington Gates, Wellington Gates, and Varsity). Am I eligible for a pro-rated refund?

At this time, if you live in University-leased housing (Marble Hall, Kensington Gates, Wellington Gates, Varsity), you are able to remain in these facilities if you choose. However, if you do choose to move out, you may be eligible for a pro-rated refund. It is important to understand, however, that any refunds for on-campus housing and meals will be subject to Federal Aid and Title IV guidelines and may vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, unpaid balances, the specific original room and board charges and other charges applicable to each student, and institutional grants received. The appropriate offices are reviewing each student's specific situation. We appreciate your patience while this review is being completed. We are unable to provide an estimate for completion of this review, but you may be assured that the review will be completed and approved refunds will be issued as soon as practicable. Please continue to monitor Websis and your Morgan email for updates, and allow a minimum of 30 business days before following up.

My lease is not with Morgan; I lease directly with an apartment complex (Marble Hall, Kensington Gates, Wellington Gates, Varsity). Am I eligible for a pro-rated refund?

Only students living on main campus or who live in university-leased housing are eligible for prorated refunds from the University for room charges. If your lease is directly with an apartment complex and not the University, then you must contact the complex to discuss any possible revisions to the terms of your lease. All students with University meal plans may be eligible for a prorated refund of meal plan charges, depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, unpaid balances, the specific original meal plan charges and other charges applicable to each student, and institutional grants received.

What if I live in Morgan View?

At this time, if you live at Morgan View, you are able to remain in this facility if you choose. However, if you do choose to move out, you must work with Morgan View Leasing office to cancel your lease. Please know you may be eligible for a pro-rated refund. It is important to understand, however, that any refunds for housing with Morgan View will be managed on a case by case basis and will be subject to Federal Aid and Title IV guidelines and may vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, unpaid balances, EZ Pay, the specific original room and board charges and other charges applicable to each student, and institutional grants received. The appropriate offices are reviewing each student's specific situation. We appreciate your patience while this review is being completed. We are unable to provide an estimate for completion of this review, but you may be assured that the review will be completed and approved refunds will be issued as soon as practicable. Please continue to monitor Websis and your Morgan email for updates, and allow a minimum of 30 business days before following up.

I am concerned about taking some of my classes online. Can I get a refund for those classes?

No, you cannot get a refund for tuition of any classes. The University has worked closely with faculty to continue education remotely. You may withdraw from classes according to published deadlines, but you will remain responsible for the bill, as is always the case with withdrawals. Prior to withdrawing from a class, we urge you to contact the instructor, and, as needed, the chairperson, to discuss any concerns you are having about continuing the class remotely. We also encourage you to use our tutoring resources, including online peer tutoring and SmartThinking. Visit https://www.morgan.edu/tutoring for more information. Please also reach out to your School Retention Counselor to discuss your concerns with taking classes online.

I understand that students will not be refunded tuition since classes are continuing remotely. Will we receive prorated refunds of any fees?

Yes, the University will be providing prorated refunds of certain fees. Any refunds will be subject to Federal Aid and Title IV guidelines and may vary depending on a number of factors, including but not limited to, unpaid balances, the specific charges applicable to each student, and institutional grants received. The appropriate offices are reviewing each student's specific situation. We appreciate your patience while this review is being completed. We are unable to provide an estimate for completion of this review, but you may be assured that the review will be completed and approved refunds will be issued as soon as practicable. Please continue to monitor Websis and your Morgan email for updates, and allow a minimum of 30 business days before following up.

I have already paid my graduation fee. Will it be refunded?

No. The graduation fee goes toward a variety of things related to Commencement including the administrative work involved with graduation clearance, diploma costs, etc. As we have postponed and not cancelled our Commencement Ceremony, this one-time fee will not be refunded.

I have already paid for my cap and gown. Will I be refunded?

No. As we have postponed and not cancelled our Commencement Ceremony, this fee will not be refunded.

Will any activities resume on campus in April or May?

No, all campus events, including Intercollegiate Athletics, that involve person to person interactions have been postponed through May in the best interest of safety and well-being of our campus community.

Intercollegiate Athletics - https://morganstatebears.com/

All athletic events and activities, including practice, competitions and voluntary workouts have been suspended indefinitely for this Spring 2020 semester. If student-athletes have questions they should contact their respective coach or sport administrator. All others inquiries should utilize the Morgan State Bears website/staff directory https://morganstatebears.com/staff-directory to locate individual contact information..

Are there any free or discounted WIFI support services for students?

Yes, a list of carriers and resources to enable students to gain Internet access has been compiled and available at the links below. Please review thoroughly because several of these services require you to apply by certain deadlines:

https://www.internetessentials.com/covid19
https://library.educause.edu/topics/teaching-and-learning/online-learning

What other services will continue to be offered to students during the remote learning period?

The following services will be offered on a limited basis:

Bear Transit
www.morgan.edu/beartransit
The Off campus shuttles times have been modified to correspond with Dining Hall hours.

The Office of the Bursar
www.morgan.edu/bursar
The Office of the Bursar will not be offering face-to-face services until further notice; thus, cash transactions and check distribution activities are suspended. Electronic / online payments will continue to be accepted.

Career Services
www.morgan.edu/careerdevelopment
Career Specialist will be available via phone and video appointments to support students. Please call the following number 443 885-3110 or visit the Career Development website for specific details

Counseling Services
www.morgan.edu/counselingcenter
The Counseling Staff will be available via Teleconference Appointments. To schedule an appointment please call 443-885-3130 or visit the Counseling’s Center website for other resources.

Dining Services
Rawlings Dining Hall will be open for “grab and go” take out during the following hours:

Monday–Sunday
Brunch 10:30am–2:30pm
Dinner 4:00pm-7:00pm

Please understand we must observe the social distancing mandate as we provide access to meals during these time.

Health Services
www.morgan.edu/healthservices
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Health Center staff will offer telehealth services to assist and support students during the remote learning period. If you would like to schedule a video telehealth appointment with a Provider between the hours of 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. the, please go to myhealthportal.morgan.edu.

If you would like to speak to a Provider, you can call 443-885-3236, please leave a detailed voice message or send an email to healthcenter@morgan.edu.

For non-medical issues, please leave a detailed message and we will return your call within 24 hours.

Post Office Services
The University Post Office is currently closed. The Office of Residential Life and Housing is making arrangements to pick up mail for students who remain in University sponsored housing.

Students who are currently at home should complete a “Change of Address” Form at https://www.USPS.com to have mail and packages forwarded to Home Addresses. 443-885-3234

Residential Life and Housing
www.morgan.edu/residencelife
The Office of Residential Life and Housing is continuing to function via telework. You can contact the staff as follows:

P: 443.885.3217
E: reslife@morgan.edu

Student Life and Development
www.morgan.edu/studentlife
The Office of Student Life and Development will continue to offer online services through the Office of Student Life and Development Virtual Office. Students will have access to events, resources, student body elections, meetings and can set appointments via Google Hangouts. Please email studentlife@morgan.edu to set an appointment and visit instagram @msuosl_ig or twitter @msuosl for virtual activities.

Student Disability Support Services
www.morgan.edu/sdss
If you are already registered with Student Disability Support Services (SDSS), you are still eligible to receive your accommodations. Your accommodations may need some alteration due to moving to online instruction. Please contact SDSS@morgan.edu if you have any questions or concerns.

If you are a student with a disability and require accommodations, you can register with SDSS. Please go to www.morgan.edu/sdss for more information, or email SDSS@morgan.edu with questions.

Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities
www.morgan.edu/studentrights
The Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities is responsible for matters related to student conduct. The staff is available by phone appointments at this time. To schedule an appointment please call 443-885-4710 or email studentaffairs@morgan.edu. For more information about the Code of Student Conduct please visit the following website: www.morgan.edu/studentconduct.

Office of Diversity EEO and Title IX
www.morgan.edu/titleix
The Diversity, EEO and Title IX Coordinator is available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment please call the following number: 443.885.3559/3580 or visit the website: www.morgan.edu/titleix.

University Book Store
Barnes and Noble Bookstore will be available for online purchases at morgan.bncollege.com

University Chapel Services
The Dean of the Chapel will be available by phone 443-621-5211. Also visit the MSU University Chapel Facebook page for updates and Daily Inspirations.

University Police and Public Safety
The Morgan State University Police is available 24 hours a day, Sunday - Saturday. For police service, dial 443.885.3103 (off campus) or ext. 3103 (on campus).

Please be informed that all safety escorts will be conducted on foot patrol to comply with social distancing mandates. www.morgan.edu/police.

What if my questions about refunds have not been answered here?

If you have questions about refunds related to the COVID-19 situation that have not been answered in these FAQs, please complete this form. Please allow 3 business days for a response. Please do not submit multiple inquiries, as that will delay the response.


FACULTY ACADEMICS (REMOTE INSTRUCTION, RESEARCH AND LABORATORIES)

Are faculty expected to advise students during the remainder of the semester

Faculty should develop and plan office hours and schedule times for advising students remotely. They should communicate that plan to their advisees and chair/supervisor.

Do faculty need to hold office hours?

Faculty are expected to hold virtual office hours to assist students. Virtual office hours should be published on Canvas How do I add a Scheduler appointment group in a... and communicated to students.

I attended a Canvas workshop in the Fall, but never populated my course shells. Can I get some help with them?

Absolutely! Our colleagues in Academic Technology Services have scheduled upcoming Canvas training sessions and enlisted the help of our Canvas Ambassadors.

How do I get in contact with a Canvas Ambassador?

Each school and college has been assigned a Canvas Ambassador, so you should reach out to your dean to find out who your Canvas Ambassador is or contact Karen Rubinstein, Director, Academic Technology Services at karen.rubinstein@morgan.edu.

What should I do if my students don’t have computers or internet access?

Beginning this week, students will have the opportunity to check out a limited number (30) of WIFI-ready Chromebooks from the library. As of 3/30/2020, all but 3 of the Chromebooks have been distributed.

What if my students have difficulty getting assignments turned in by due dates?

Faculty should exercise flexibility when it comes to assignment parameters and due dates given the reality that some of our students may not have access to computers and the internet in their homes.

Are there any guidelines for grading given this unusual disruption to student learning?

Faculty have latitude in grading and are encouraged to develop creative ways to expedite course completion while maintaining and meeting course objectives.

Will librarians be available for reference / research services?

Yes, librarians will be available through chat (see ESR Library webpage), email, and phone, to assist students, faculty, and staff with reference / research requests.

Will the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) be open?

NO

Will the Director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) be available to help me teach online?

YES, email her at catherine.martin@morgan.edu
Also, check out the extremely helpful information that is available at the CANVAS FACULTY INFORMATION HUB.

Does the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) have resources on Canvas that I can use?

Yes, resources have been moved to the CANVAS FACULTY INFORMATION HUB. However, the CETL Announcements page contains information that may be helpful. Click directly on the 'loudspeaker' icon in CETL's Canvas box to go directly to Announcements. For specific help on metacognition (helping your students learn how to learn online) and on growth mindset, go to EDUCATOR RESOURCES.

Do I still have to provide reasonable accommodations to students that are registered with Student Disability Support Services (SDSS) and have given me an accommodation memo for the Spring 2020 semester?

Yes, all accommodations must be provided to students with a current accommodation memo. Please email SDSS@morgan.edu if you have any questions about how they might apply.

Given students cannot utilize the SDSS Testing Center for an extended time, what do I do?

Extended time must still be provided. If your student receives extended time as a reasonable accommodation for quizzes/tests, please ensure you extend the time on any online quizzes/tests. Extended time should be added to the amount of time the rest of the class has to take the test. For example, if the class has an hour, please add an additional 30 minutes, if the student receives the time and a half.

The faculty HUB on Canvas has more information about quizzes and extending the time:

How does a note-taker provide notes for online classes?

Please introduce the note-taker and the student requiring notes as an accommodation via email. The note-taker can send notes directly to the student registered with SDSS.

Do I need to include closed captioning on my videos/recordings?

Yes! To ensure all videos are accessible, please ensure to turn on captioning. Here is more information:

Panopto Guides and Tutorials

What are some of the common resources available to my students?

Smarthinking Online Tutorial via Canvas

The University Counseling Center is offering remote counseling services

Are there some best practices that other faculty are using in developing remote assignments?

Faculty are using the video recording features to capture lecture information so that students can access it again after the instruction.

Faculty are using CANVAS tools, Google Meets, Zoom and other interactive tools to facilitate remote instruction.

Faculty are making PowerPoint presentations and other course notes available to students prior to any lecture.

Faculty are asked to be flexible in creating liberal due dates and timelines for assignments to allow sufficient time for technology-related problems.

Faculty are asked to be innovative in creating course assignments that all students various opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of the material other than those traditionally being used. For example, allow students to create an essay, homework sets, oral videos, projects, portfolios, etc.

Faculty are being flexible in their grading scales to accommodate the disruption in the traditional class plans.

Faculty are revising their syllabi to reflect the changes in course assignments, grading scale, due dates, plans for course completion.

What are some of the common problems that students are encountering?

Students are unsure of the new plans for course instruction and course expectations

Students have not received updated syllabi or information from their instructors discussing how the course will proceed during remote instruction

Some students are having difficulty with remote instruction because they don’t have laptop computers and are using their mobile phones

Some students have stated that faculty are not exercising flexibility in assignment due dates.

Some students have stated that faculty are refusing to keep assignment portals open long enough during the first week for them to get accustomed to remote instruction

Some students have had professors make requests for them to purchase additional hardware and software.

Students are experiencing anxiety and feelings of uncertainty regarding remote instruction and being able to retrieve belongings from the residential living facilities and ultimately move out

What are some of the common concerns that faculty are expressing?

Some tenure-track faculty are concerned about research productivity and quality of their instruction

Some tenure-track faculty have asked about stopping their tenure-clocks.

Some faculty have expressed concerns around implementing P/F grading.

Are there any guidelines faculty should follow to minimize student anxiety and disruption to student learning?

Faculty can implement many of the best practices listed above.

Faculty are using various strategies to collect information from their students regarding their concerns.

Faculty are asked to be as responsive as possible to student needs—questions, concerns, and fears—given this “new normal.”

Faculty should remain cognizant of the concerns associated with students working at home with limited resources and distractions

Information for International Faculty and Students?


OFFICE OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

IP PROTECTION

Are there any changes to the process of filing new Intellectual Property (IP) Disclosures with the Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)?

Many times the submission of an IP Disclosure (IPD) to OTT is time sensitive, due to prior publication dates. It is imperative that OTT protect the IP/patent rights while still making sure the department and college/schools are informed. All IP Disclosures are to be submitted electronically to OTT, with a copy being sent to either the Department Chair or School/College Dean, for review and signature, and then forwarding to OTT. If a signature is not possible, an email acknowledgement from the school/dept. is acceptable.

Will OTT continue to file provisional and non-provisional U.S. Patent Applications, and manage pending U.S. Patents applications to protect the University’s IP/patent rights?

Yes. Under Morgan’s IP Policy, the OTT has day-to-day responsibility, on behalf of the University, to make determinations of ownership of Intellectual Property and to manage, protect and commercialize University-owned Intellectual Property.

I-WORKS and I-GAP GRANTS

Will my existing I-GAP Grant end date be extended?

Due to the disruption in Morgan operations, existing I-GAP Awards will be extended.

Can I apply for new I-GAP funding for my innovation for FY 2020 funding? For FY 2021 funding?

OTT will still accept new I-GAP applications for FY 2020 and FY 2021. However, the issuance of awards will be based on the availability of funding, and any university restrictions for the remainder of FY 2020 and for FY 2021.

OTT CONTACT

What is the best way to contact OTT if I have questions?

Although OTT team members will be checking for voice messages, please use email to contact OTT Team Members: wayne.swann@morgan.edu; raymar.dizon@morgan.edu; alexa.morris@morgan.edu; Kanika.ellis@morgan.edu; For general inquiries: technology.transfer@morgan.edu

Where can I find other information related to innovation, IP protection and technology transfer?

For information and resources, please visit the OTT Website at https://www.morgan.edu/technologytransfer


HUMAN RESOURCES (TELEWORK, PAYROLL)

Am I required to report to work on the campus?

Unless you are designated as an essential employee, you should not come to the campus. All non-essential employees, including contractual employees, are required to work remotely if possible. Please contact your supervisor if you are not sure you are designated an essential employee.

What if I am a non-essential employee who is able to work remotely, but do not have the necessary equipment to do so, i.e., computer?

Contact your supervisor for any equipment you need to assist you in performing your job remotely.

What if I am a non-essential employee and cannot work remotely due to the responsibilities of my position?

If you are a non-essential employee and unable to work remotely due to your position, you will be eligible for Administrative Leave, if you are not already on leave.

Will I be permitted to work remotely if I am also providing care to my children or a relative?

Yes. The restriction on teleworking from home when caring for children or other dependents has been waived. As long as you believe you can carry out the duties and responsibilities while caring for children or dependents, it is permitted.

What if I am designated as essential to work on campus during this time of the COVID-19?

Although the campus is closed to the public, the University is still open and must carry out services that are critical. However, not all essential employees are required to come to the campus. Essential employees should keep in contact with the supervisor to determine if their services are required.

Are student workers permitted to work remotely?

Yes. Student workers are eligible to work remotely. They should contact their supervisors for directives.

If I am working remotely, how do I indicate this on my time sheet?

Time sheets should be completed and submitted the same as if you were working on campus.

What type of leave should I use if I am sick?

If the illness is not related to COVID-19, you should use your accumulated leave.

What type of leave should I use if I am sick relative to COVID-19?

You must first use your accumulated leave. Once that is exhausted, you should use Administrative Leave through March 31, 2020. You may be eligible for financial benefit from The New Families First Coronavirus Act which becomes effective April 1, 2020. Employees or family members of employees should contact the Human Resources Office for information and assistance.

What is the New Families First Coronavirus Act?

The Families First Coronavirus Act (FFCRA or Act) (H.R.6201), which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. The U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division administers and enforces the new law’s paid leave requirements. The Act is effective April 1, 2020 through December 31,2020.

If I am sick, do I need to call my supervisor each day?

No. Employees should maintain communication with their supervisor. However, employees who are absent from work related to COVID-19 may not need to call in each day.

Am I required to provide medical documentation for being out to due to illness?

Normal absence procedures apply for illness not related to COVID-19. The requirement for medical documentation for illnesses related to COVID-19 have been relaxed. Contact the Human Resources Office for additional information.

Am I able to take vacation or other leave scheduled during the COVID-19 period?

Yes. Employees will be able to take accumulated leave during this time. Leave requests continue to require the approval of the supervisor.

I am an employee over the age of 60 or with an underlying health condition (by CDC requirements). Am I required to report to campus for work?

No. Employees who are immuno-compromised or otherwise considered by CDC guidance to be at high risk regarding COVID-19 will not be required to work on campus. Telework, use of sick or other leave or administrative leave maybe permitted. Employees with this concern should contact the Office of Human Resources.

Am I able to fill a vacant position during this time?

No. President Wilson has implemented a Hiring and Spending Freeze until June 30, 2020. This also includes reclassifications of employees as well. Those reclassifications already received in Human Resources will be held until July 1, 2020. However, this freeze does not apply to positions that are supported solely by grants or contracts or that have been approved for hiring prior to the freeze.

I have a new employee scheduled to start employment during the COVID-19 emergency. How will this person receive the required documents for onboarding?

Human Resources is familiar with those employees approved to begin employment within the next few weeks and have communicated with these employees to provide the necessary forms. Questions regarding onboarding should be sent to ohr@morgan.edu

Will annual performance of employees still be required?

The Performance Management Process and Annual Professional Employee evaluation period ends on March 31, 2020 as scheduled. Human Resources is working on forms that may be signed electronically. However, the deadline for submission of these documents will be extended and provided later.

While schools and many daycare facilities are closed, what can I do about the funds I am contributing to my Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account for this year?

COVID-19 has resulted in a number of lifestyle changes, including closed daycare facilities, unnecessary before and after-school care or even a new need for daycare.

Regular employees who have experienced a reduction in dependent care costs or have a new need for dependent care, can request a change to your Dependent Care Flexible Spending Account in SPS Workday or enroll in one for the remainder of the 2020 calendar year.

To make a change to your DCFSA or enroll in a DCFSA, please login to your SPS Workday account and select the Benefit Event Type, “Employee: Change in Dependent Daycare.” Please note: EBD has temporarily removed the supporting documentation requirement for this benefit change. Please consider the overall impact to your annual 2020 daycare costs, as the DCFSA runs through December 31, 2020 and is subject to the IRS maximum of $5,000 per household per year.

What is the effective date of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) which includes the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act?

The FFCRA’s paid leave provisions are effective April 1, 2020, and apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.

If I am home with my child because his or her school or place of care is closed, or child care provided is unavailable, do I get paid sick leave, expanded and Medical leave or both?

You may be eligible for both types of leave, but only for a total of 12 weeks of paid leave. You may take both paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave to COVID-19 related reasons. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act provides for an initial two weeks of paid leave. This period thus covers the first ten workdays of expanded family and medical leave, which are otherwise unpaid under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act unless you elect to use existing vacation, personal, or sick leave. After the first ten workdays have elapsed, you will receive 2/3 of your regular rate of pay for the hours you would have been scheduled to work in the subsequent ten weeks under the Emergency and Family Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Please note that you can only receive the additional ten weeks of expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act for leave to care for your child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Can I be denied paid sick leave if I was given paid leave for a reason identified in the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act prior to the Act going into effect?

No. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act imposes a new leave requirement that is effective beginning on April 1, 2020.

Is all leave under the FMLA now paid leave?

No. The only type of family and medical leave that is paid leave is expanded family and medical leave under the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act when such leaves exceed ten days. This includes leave taken only because the employee must care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

Are the paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave requirements retroactive?

No. The Act is effective April 1, 2020.

What does it mean to be unable to work, including telework for COVID-19 related reasons?

You are unable to work if your supervisor has work for you and one of the COVID-19 qualifying reasons set forth in FFCRA prevents you from being able to perform that work by means of telework.

If I am unable to telework, am I entitled to paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?

Even though the University permits teleworking, if you are unable to perform those tasks or work the required hours because of one of the qualifying reasons for paid sick leave, then you are entitled to take paid sick leave.

If you are unable to perform those teleworking tasks or work the required teleworking hours because you need to care for your child whose school or place of care is unavailable, because COVID-19 related reasons, then you are entitled to take expanded family and medical leave. Of course, to the extent you are able to telework while caring for your child, paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave is NOT available.

May I collect unemployment insurance benefits for time in which I receive pay for paid sick leave/or expanded family and medical leave?

No. If you are paid as a result of paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave, you are not eligible for unemployment insurance. For confirmation, you should contact the Maryland State Unemployment Office.

Do I qualify for leave for a COVID-19 related reason even if I have already used some or all of my leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)?

If you are an eligible employee, you are entitled to paid sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act regardless of how much leave you have taken under the FMLA.

However, your eligibility for expanded family and medical leave depends on how much leave you have already taken during the 12-month period. You may take a total of 12 work weeks for FMLA or expanded family and medical leave reasons during a 12 month-period.

Do I need a letter from Morgan indicating that I am an mission critical essential employee and required to perform work on the campus?

If you have been deemed as mission critical or essential, please contact your supervisor for further instructions.