Information for Faculty


male raising shirt sleeve to show blue band-aid after getting vaccineCOVID-19 Vaccinations

Vaccinations are strongly encouraged for faculty, staff and students.

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CHS faculty member in labWorkplace Public Health Expectations

Review guidelines to ensure the health of the campus community.

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professor teaching onlineVirtual Teaching Resources

Find info related to eCourseware, technology and everything you need to teach virtually.

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faculty member meeting with studentHR Information Related to COVID-19

HR has compiled a large list of resources and FAQs related to COVID-19 and human resources.

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Tigers Together: Faculty's Vital Role

  • Educating the Campus
    • Educate the campus community about proper hygiene protocols and the benefits of getting vaccinated.
  • COVID-19 Reporting
    • If you are an employee of the University of Memphis and have either tested positive for or been directly exposed to COVID-19, you need to report this to Human Resources at hr_contact_tracing@memphis.edu. These e-mail communications should NOT contain any personal medical documentation or sensitive materials. To get personal medical documentation or other sensitive materials to HR, please use our secure file upload utility at https://securefile.memphis.edu/form/hr. Please note: this e-mail address and upload utility are for EMPLOYEES only.
    • If a UofM student notifies you that they have tested positive for COVID-19 or has come in close contact with a positive individual, notify the student that they must contact the Dean of Students Office at deanofstudents@memphis.edu. Staff will guide the student through University protocols and provide any available resources. If students have questions regarding this protocol, they can email at deanofstudents@memphis.edu or call 678.2187. Students may contact Student Health Services at studenthealth@memphis.edu or 901.443.1397 or 901.443.6438 with questions or concerns about coronavirus symptoms.


Frequently Asked Questions

Spring 2022 Semester

Politely remind all students that the University strongly encourages all students to wear a mask as an effective way to protect themselves and others around them.   Acknowledge that you are aware that there is a state law the precludes masking this a requirement.  You can ask those students who nonetheless decline to wear a mask to please try to seat themselves so that others who are not comfortable close to persons who are not wearing a mask can still maintain a safe social distance from those students.

Appropriate flexibility in the application of attendance policies is important for a range of health issues, including cases related to, but not just limited to COVID. Students who are ill, with COVID or any other contagious illness, should not be encouraged or feel forced to come to class. Those cases should count as excused absences. Regardless of the reason, students who miss classes are still responsible for the material covered in those classes. Students who miss too many classes may or may not be able to make up that work, but additional penalties for those excused absences should not be imposed.

Even vaccinated persons can pass the virus to others, and in some cases, a person’s stated answer may or may not be reliable. The best approach is not to ask about vaccination status but to wear a mask and maintain distance in all indoor settings, regardless of another person’s immunization status.

If a student in your class reports to you that she or he has tested positive for COVID-19, ask the student to contact the Office of the Dean of Students at deanofstudents@memphis.edu. Faculty should also notify the Dean of Students as a follow-up in case the student does not notify that office. The Office of the Dean of Students will then: 

  1. Inform students of CDC recommended next steps. 
  2. Begin the contact tracing process. 
  3. Let students know about other support at the University.  

The Office of the Dean of Students may contact you for information about the students who sat around the infected student for contact tracing purposes. The Office of the Dean of Students will contact students directly and inform them of appropriate follow-up steps based on CDC guidance about possible exposures in an indoor classroom setting. According to CDC guidance, it is not necessary or permitted for you or for the Dean of Students to inform any other students in the class.

A representative from the Office of the Dean of Students will contact you if a student who has attended your class tests positive. You will then be able to discuss the appropriate next steps and notifications to the other students with that representative.

Guidelines for Being on Campus

  • Masks are strongly recommended to be worn by all persons while indoors and in places where maintaining appropriate social distancing is not possible.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently.

To appropriately respond to the impacts of COVID-19, the University has taken several steps following CDC guidelines and directives from local authorities to include:

  • moving all academic offerings to remote instruction during Spring 2020, and offering hybrid, in-person and virtual options for the 2020-21 calendar year;
  • allowing all non-essential personnel work from home in 2020 and Spring 2021;
  • limiting access to campus facilities; and
  • practicing appropriate social distancing and density of essential personnel on campus.
Beginning July 1, 2021, all employees returned to a regular on-campus schedule in there was not an Alternative Work Arrangement in place. Learn more about accomodations >


If you are displaying symptoms or believe you have been exposed to someone with the coronavirus, you must contact your healthcare provider immediately and discontinue working. After consulting your healthcare provider contact your HR Business Partner and Supervisor. Your HR Business Partner will advise you of your next steps as it relates to your work, health, leave and FMLA benefits including the Emergency Paid Sick Leave.

The University has opened a COVID-19 Testing Center for only UofM students, faculty and staff who are exhibiting symptoms. Testing Center access details are very specific and are provided at memphis.edu/coronavirusupdates/testing.

Leave of Absence

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) benefits enacted by the Department of Labor effective April 1, 2020 expired December 31, 2020. This benefit is no longer available. Employees are welcomed to contact their HR Business Partner at hrbusinesspartners@memphis.edu with questions regarding leave needed related to the pandemic. Learn more at https://www.memphis.edu/hr/ffcra.php.

To assist employees that may not have enough leave to cover any necessary absences due to illness associated with the COVID-19, and to allow the donation of leave from one employee to another, we are temporarily adjusting the Sick Leave Bank (SLB) Policy and the Sick Leave Transfer Between Employees Policy as follows:

  • Employees do not need to have a minimum of 45 hours to be able to join the SLB provided that they have 22.5 hours of accumulated sick leave to donate to the pool upon joining.
  • The 90-day waiting period for new members of the SLB to apply for SLB hours is being reduced to a 30-day waiting period.
  • The 12-month waiting period for new members of the SLB to apply for hours due to a pre-existing condition is being waived provided the illness is related to COVID-19.
  • Employees will not have to exhaust their accumulated sick and annual leave to petition hours from the SLB. As long as all accumulated sick leave is exhausted, a SLB member may request hours from the SLB without having used their accumulated annual leave.
  • The stipulation that primary consideration for hours requested from the SLB would be given to SLB members on 100% medical leave is being waived. Equal consideration will be given to all that apply for hours from the SLB.
  • Employees may transfer some of their own sick leave hours to a Sick Leave Bank member who has exhausted their accumulated sick leave hours as well as any SLB hours and continues to experience a disability due to illness associated with COVID-19. Employees do not have to exhaust their annual leave to receive hours from the SLB or donated hours from another employee.

Any requests and allocations of leave from the SLB and any leave transferred from one employee to another due to illness associated with COVID-19 requires a physician statement indicating the prognosis and diagnosis be provided to Human Resources. All medical documentation will be kept confidential in accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).

As a regular faculty or staff of the University, you accrue sick leave hours as well as annual leave hours, where applicable. While you are quarantined, you may continue getting paid by using first your accumulated sick leave and then your accumulated annual leave, if applicable.

  • CDC Quarantine - Employees who are quarantined by the CDC, may use their accumulated sick and annual leave to remain on pay status. If the employee does not have sick or annual leave accumulated, they will be eligible to apply for hours from the Sick Leave Bank (SLB) provided they are members of the Bank and have been diagnosed by a physician as being infected with the coronavirus. For information on how to request hours from the SLB, refer to policy HR5026. Employees who have exhausted all available leave must contact their supervisor and Human Resources to initiate a request for leave of absence without pay.
  • University Quarantine - Employees who are quarantined by the University may use their accumulated sick and annual leave to remain on pay status. Employees who are members of the Sick Leave Bank (SLB) will not be eligible to apply and receive hours from the Bank, unless the employee has been diagnosed by a physician as being infected with the coronavirus. If the employee has no accumulated leave to cover their absence, they must contact their supervisor and Human Resources to initiate a request for leave of absence without pay.
  • Self-Quarantine - Employees who self-quarantine, may use their accumulated sick and annual leave to remain on pay status. Employees who are members of the SLB will not be eligible to apply and receive hours from the Bank, unless the employee has been diagnosed by a physician as being infected with the coronavirus. If the employee has no accumulated leave to cover their absence, they must contact their supervisor and Human Resources to initiate a request for leave of absence without pay. 

Visit the Human Resources informational page related to COVID-19 that addresses leave, benefits, etc.

For any questions or additional information regarding your leave and/or benefits, you may contact your assigned Sr. HR Business Partner or Human Resources at 901.678.3573 or hr@memphis.edu. For a list of Sr. HR Business Partners, please visit:  https://www.memphis.edu/hr/staff.php.

View additional HR information related to COVID-19 >

Working from Home

Employees working remotely are considered to be on an Alternate Work Arrangement/Schedule as specified in University Policy HR5061-Alternative Work Arrangements. If it is determined that the functions of a position can be performed remotely, the employee should complete the Alternative Work Arrangement Request Form and submit to Human Resources. Also, employees seeking accommodations related to the Americans with Disabilities Act may start that process online.

All COVID-related AWA requests that were in place prior to the University’s announced full return to campus on July 1 will be considered void as of June 30, 2021. Any faculty or staff member wishing to continue on an alternative work arrangement should complete a new form and have it approved by all authorities listed on the form for it to be considered valid.

Yes, per the CDC, your risk of getting severely ill from COVID-19 increases as you get older. In fact, 8 out of 10 COVID-19 related deaths reported in the United States have been among adults aged 65 years and older. See this link for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/older-adults.html.

View additional HR information related to COVID-19 >

Technical & Teaching Assistance

The University was transitioning to Zoom as our video conferencing software. Additional information (including documentation, training videos, etc.) is located on the Center for Teaching and Learning website.

If you need assistance with remote teaching technologies, please contact the ITS Service Desk at 901.678.8888, email umtech@memphis.edu or visit umhelpdesk.memphis.edu.

Business Services

  • Any unavoidable costs due to COVID-19 are allowable as University expenses on all appropriate general, auxiliary and restricted funds. These include costs such as travel and lodging cancellation fees.
  • Even if an expense is unavoidable, it may not be allowable on a sponsored project if the project doesn’t benefit from the expense. An example would be if a conference paid for on a project is cancelled. If the cost isn’t refunded or only partially refunded, then that expense will need to be moved onto a non-sponsored research fund.
  • Any avoidable costs incurred out of caution to avoid activities that might expose personnel to COVID-19 are allowable on appropriate general, auxiliary and restricted funds; however, these costs aren’t allowable on sponsored research projects without approval from the sponsor. Examples include additional travel expenses incurred to avoid layovers in countries with a higher risk of COVID-19 per the CDC or choosing to avoid conferences that haven’t been cancelled.
  • The Controller’s office is following this guidance for sponsored projects in the absence of any specific guidance from sponsors. Departments will want to check if specific sponsor guidance is available or reach out to the manager, Grants and Contracts Accounting, in order to determine what COVID-19 related expenses are allowable on their sponsored projects.
  • The Controller’s office is working on a mechanism to track expenses related to COVID-19.

Effective May 1, 2021, the Position Prioritization Request (PPR) forms will no longer be required as part of the requests to effect employment actions. Instead, departments are asked to work with their respective division heads on employment actions prior to submitting them through their traditional channels of approval. All employment actions should include a thorough justification and confirmation of funding availability. Human Resources will compile hiring requests received for the week and these will be presented in summary to the President, through the Provost (faculty positions) and the CFO (staff positions) for consideration and approval.
Please work with your assigned HR Business Partner to coordinate these requests moving forward. The amended process should allow for a quicker, more efficient review and approval of the employment actions.


The Division of Research & Innovation has developed a series of guidelines for research labs to reopen and restart their on-going research. View additional information related to research on the Division of Research & Innovation website >

Campus Safety & Operations

Our facilities are appropriately ventilated and maintained in accordance with CDC, State of Tennessee and local safety standards. Our HVAC systems have been checked to ensure they are fully functioning and are maintained to operate as designed. Additionally, most of our buildings' HVAC systems are equipped with UV lights in the air handlers that is proven to significantly reduce viruses and germs including, COVID-19.

The risk of transmission of COVID-19 through surfaces and touch is minimal. Our facilities are cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis. Further, our buildings, classrooms and labs are regularly “fogged” with a disinfectant cleaner and equipped with hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and plexiglass sneeze protection, as necessary. Disposable masks will be made available across campus as needed.

Specific to our HVAC systems, we use MERV-8 air filters which trap particulates while still providing design air flow instead of HEPA filters. HEPA filters are more dense, thus restricting system air flow and providing less ventilation. We change all air filters regularly. With the frequency of filter changing, we achieve particulate matter capture at the same rate as the HEPA filter while maintaining equipment design parameters and ensuring appropriate airflow and ventilation.

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