FAQ

Course Schedule

As of April 1, 2021, the President’s Cabinet has directed COVID-19 working groups to monitor guidance from the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the city’s progress towards yellow tier status. As restrictions around social distancing loosen, the Academic Spaces Working Group may coordinate with academic units to make surgical changes to the course schedule and to instructional modalities. Some possible changes that may occur -- if, for example, social distancing requirements in instructional settings are relaxed during summer 2021 -- include converting hyflex and hybrid modalities to in-person modalities, re-doing course schedules at particular locations (e.g., the Downtown Campus), and selectively thinning the number of early morning or Saturday classes.

Advising

Given the fluidity of the current situation, it is always useful to advise students to be prepared for the possibility of change. The Academic Spaces Working Group is anticipating that the fall 2021 schedule will remain largely intact once students begin registering for classes in April 2021. However, in selected circumstances, and if the San Francisco Department of Public Health guidance around social distancing requirements in instructional settings is relaxed, some surgical changes to the fall 2021 course schedule may be made. Some possible changes include converting hyflex and hybrid modalities to in-person modalities, redoing course schedules at particular locations (e.g., the Downtown Campus), and selectively thinning the number of early morning or Saturday classes.

Students can search by modalities. This video shows them how. 

Students can find information and resources related to the reopening of the USF Campus on the USF Together page. Topics covered include but are not limited too: 

  • Study areas and dedicated spaces for participating in remote classes, charging computers, and so on
  • Office hours protocol 
  • Independent work in studios and labs to do homework (e.g. art studio, design, architecture, CS computer labs)
  • Cleaning and sanitizing protocols before each class
  • Cafeteria availability and use

Instruction Modes

Check the USF Together page (e.g. Hyflex, assigning asynchronous work).

Training will be available from ETS for hybrid, hyflex, remote and online instructional modes throughout the summer in preparation for fall 2021. More information and registration will be available for faculty on the ETS training and workshops page in late April/early May.

In addition, the CTE and other faculty development groups are planning training offerings for fall. This information will be communicated once available.

In general, the instructional modality is assigned to the section by the dean or the dean’s designee, and is not a function of either student or faculty preferences. If, as hoped, the city of San Francisco enters a protracted period of time in the yellow tier, and if the San Francisco Department of Public Health issues guidance loosening restrictions around social distancing in instructional environments, the hyflex and hybrid instructional modalities may be the easiest to switch back to a traditional in-person experience. 

ISSS expects delays for some students entering the United States, based on different rates of consulates opening and different ways of processing backlog. There will be remote classes available, and there will also be exceptional, one-off cases for students to join existing classes.

At this time, it is not financially feasible for the university to loosen its current policies concerning under-enrolled courses. Department chairs, program directors, associate deans, and course schedulers are encouraged to schedule early morning, late afternoon, evening, and Saturday classes that historically have been well-enrolled. 

Faculty members are responsible for dividing the registered students and notifying them the week prior to the beginning of classes in August. Canvas offers tools to faculty members to facilitate the within-class splitting of students into distinct cohorts.

Classrooms

Classrooms will be cleaned before the first class each day.  Classrooms will not be cleaned between class meetings. It is expected that the Office of Facilities Management will make cleaning supplies available throughout the campus to facilitate wipe-downs of chairs, door knobs, desks, etc. by faculty and students in between classes.

Only if the classes scheduled paired as hybrid. They can’t be permitted after the schedule is confirmed.
 

Facilities staff have completed their current assessment of all spaces and airflow. Using criteria from ASHRAE specific to classrooms, all spaces have been assessed to confirm whether they meet or exceed ASHRAE's guidelines measured by air exchanges per hour. The spaces that only have windows and no forced air can't be assessed (i.e. there is no way of accurately measuring air exchanges in these spaces). Occupants of spaces with windows and no forced air will be expected to keep windows open. Facilities staff have installed Merv 8 filters on all forced air systems and these are changed on a regular basis. Fans in ducts were replaced in March 2021 to improve air circulation in some of the buildings (e.g. XArts). Facility guidelines will be published in mid to late May, which should include data from their assessment.

Microphones that are held close to mouths and shared among multiple people would not be a best practice at this time.  For faculty that are interested in voice amplification there are many affordable and portable options available for purchase.  This is an example. 
 

Yes.

Faculty and librarians will be subject to any guidance issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health throughout the fall 2021 semester. As of April 2021, the University of San Francisco expects that faculty and librarians will be required to wear masks while conducting instructional and all other activities on campus during the fall 2021 semester. Faculty and librarians are encouraged to investigate technology solutions that may facilitate the projection of their voice through one or two masks -- for example, a microphone that transmits, vis-a-vis Bluetooth, through the faculty member’s laptop. Academic units will be permitted to use existing general operating budgets to purchase masks so that a student who occasionally forgets to bring a mask can receive assistance. However, the university will not generally be providing masks to community members and community members -- particularly employees -- who persistently forget to wear masks will have to be sent home. All community members will sign a pledge outlining expectations. If a student shows up to class not wearing a face covering the faculty member can remind the students that they are only allowed in the classroom if they are wearing a face covering. If they refuse to wear a face covering the student will be referred to the Office of Student Conduct, Rights, and Responsibilities (OSCRR). All students will sign a “care for myself and others” agreement before the fall 2021 semester, and that agreement will empower faculty to ask those students to leave the classroom if they refuse to wear a mask or if they forget to wear a mask. 

Community members will be subject to any guidance issued by the San Francisco Department of Public Health throughout the fall 2021 semester. As of April 2021, the University of San Francisco expects that community members will be required to wear masks and to respect social distancing guidelines while conducting instructional activities on campus during the fall 2021 semester.

All students, faculty, librarians and staff will be required to complete the Dons Health Check health survey prior to coming to campus each day and attest that they will abide by all USF COVID-19-related policies. Those students who come to class but are exhibiting COVID-like symptoms should be recorded and reported to covidtracing@usfca.edu as they may be in violation of USF’s Community and Public Health Policy.

Yes, an absence related to a positive COVID test should be treated like any other illness-related absence.

Yes. Gleeson Library and Zief Law Library will be open in the fall. The libraries have individual rooms they will allow students to book to do their remote classes. Building occupancy caps may apply.

The university is trying to leave the outdoor spaces as social spaces for students.

No. Currently there are no plans for outdoor teaching spaces. We still cannot confirm the guidelines that will be in place for August 2021 for outdoor gatherings and activities. We will continue to monitor health guidelines from SFDPH to offer additional information. There are formidable challenges -- logistical, budgetary, environment, and technological -- with delivering instruction at any sort of scale in an outdoor setting.

COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.

  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain the virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.

  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them

The risk of contracting COVID-19 due to touching a contaminated surface is minimal - especially when following good hand hygiene. The sharing of supplies in the classroom presents no increased risk of exposure.

Facilities will furnish classrooms with fresh chalk and whiteboard pens, as it has the past. Again, there is no prohibition against sharing such items, but following good hand hygiene is recommended.

COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:

  • Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.

  • Having these small droplets and particles that contain the virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.

  • Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them

The risk of contracting COVID-19 due to touching a contaminated surface is minimal - especially when following good hand hygiene. The sharing of supplies in the classroom presents no increased risk of exposure.

High-touch classroom areas will be cleaned once a day per the USF Custodial Services Plan. It is recommended that you wipe down any high-touch surfaces between classes. Wipes will be provided in all classrooms.

There are no special protocols for the distribution of documents in class.

There are no special protocols for handling writing instruments and touching student work. Please remember to follow good hand hygiene after handling these items.

There is no expectation to remain in the front of the classroom.

Contact the COVID-19 Response Team at covidtracing@usfca.edu. They will conduct a case investigation and do all appropriate contact tracing. The Response Team will notify all potentially impacted individuals with guidelines and expectations of their next steps.

Offices and Meeting Spaces

Office access is still being looked at, and no determination has yet been made. Access will depend on building capacity limitations, which will be determined in consultation with SFDPH.

In general (i.e., pre-pandemic, and certainly after the pandemic wanes), the university encourages full-time faculty members to partner with part-time faculty members on office sharing arrangements. As of April 2021, the University of San Francisco expects that occupancy levels -- including faculty, librarians, students, and staff -- will have to be monitored and limited on a building-by-building basis. The most likely possibilities are a cap at 25% of fire code capacity or a cap at 50% of fire code capacity. Once the university has confidence in the cap level that will be reflected in San Francisco Department of Public Health guidelines, it will issue guidance to unit managers concerning remote versus in-person working assignments for employees. It is possible that as part of complying with these guidelines, deans may have to ask some faculty members and librarians to conduct office hours or other work remotely (i.e., over Zoom). Further information will be made available over the coming months. 
 

At this time, the University of San Francisco is not allowing departments, programs, or offices to reserve space for employee-only events. The rise of the delta variant of COVID-19 calls for prudence, i.e., for the university to conduct as many meetings over Zoom as is reasonably possible. In addition, the university is trying to maximize the amount of space available for student groups to reserve to conduct their co-curricular activities.

No. Such purchases are not permissible at this time. Existing ventilation systems meet the guidelines for air changes per hour and filtration. The Department of Facilities Management has responsibility for maintenance, audits, and upgrades to the university's HVAC systems. More information about this department's preparations for the fall 2021 semester can be found in the reopening plan.

Plugging portable air filtration systems into your work space – particularly if many employees did so – would place an added electrical load on our systems that could prove to be unsafe. For much the same reason that the university does not allow employees to use hot pots or space heaters, it similarly cannot encourage its employees to plug in and use their own personal portable air filtration systems.