Information for Faculty

July 30th Faculty Forum: Transcription > | View Recorded Video Stream >

Agreement to Comply with Expectations

Please check your @memphis.edu email and look for the email titled "Return to Campus Public Health Expectations" sent by UofM Human Resources on Friday, July 17, and again on August 12. You must watch both videos included in the unique link and submit your intent to comply with the expectations. If you did not receive the email, please contact hrowsey@memphis.edu.

Public Health/Workplace Expectations and Guidelines

Employees are required to conduct symptom monitoring and check their temperature every day before reporting to work. Symptom monitoring currently includes the following:

headache, fever, chills, shortness of breath, muscle pain, new loss of taste of smell, congestion or runny nose, cough, GI symptoms, sore throat, fatigue

Fever or chills (repeated shaking with chills) | Cough |Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing | Fatigue | Muscle or body aches | Headache | New loss of taste or smell | Sore throat | Congestion or runny nose | GI symptoms (nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea)

Anyone experiencing a temperature of 100.4 degrees (F) or higher or who has any of the above symptoms must stay home and NOT report to work. Employees should immediately contact their health care providers and then notify their supervisors of the needed absence. Supervisors of faculty and staff employees should notify Human Resources at 901.678.3573 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. or at hrservicecenter@memphis.edu outside regular working hours for further instructions. For student employees, supervisors should contact the Student Health Center at 901.443.1397 or 901.443.6438.

Employees who test positive for COVID-19, are being tested due to symptoms suggestive of COVID-19, or who have had close contact with an individual confirmed to have COVID-19 must NOT report to work and must immediately notify Human Resources. Upon notification to the University, self-reporting employees will receive further information about quarantine and clearances required for return to work.

Prior to returning to campus, all employees are required to complete specific online trainings designed to create awareness on how to sanitize shared spaces as well as following appropriate protocols while on campus. These online trainings will be available through Learning Curve and/or LinkedIn Learning.

All employees must wear face masks/coverings (disposable or reusable cloth masks) while on campus in public settings (common workspaces, public spaces, hallways, stairwells, elevators, meeting rooms, classrooms, breakrooms, restrooms, etc.). Faculty who are delivering on-campus instruction may remove their face mask/covering to teach, provided they are located within a delineated teaching area that is no less than 10 feet from students. If social/physical distancing is possible, individuals working in private offices or laboratory environments that do not otherwise require face masks/coverings may remove their face masks/coverings while in such space.

Employees may bring their own masks/face coverings or use University provided masks/face coverings. Two reusable cloth face masks/coverings per employee will be provided by the University. Cloth face mask/covering must only be worn for one day at a time and must be properly laundered before use again. Disposable masks may only be worn for one day and then must be placed in the
trash. For more information about wearing, making and maintenance of cloth face coverings, visit the CDC website.

No out-of-state travel is permitted. In-state vehicle travel exceptions can be directed to the Office of the Provost (for faculty members) and the Office of Business & Finance (for staff members). 

6 ft apart (illustration of two people with arrow and 6 ft apart between them)

Maintaining space of at least six feet (about two arms’ length) between individuals is one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the COVID-19 virus, and it is required of everyone while on University premises, including outdoor campus spaces. Social/physical distancing is important for everyone, but especially to help protect people who are at higher (vulnerable) risk of contracting COVID-19. Detailed information about the office and classroom environment will be covered below. The following are some general guidelines related to social/physical distancing.

Meetings: Employees should communicate with colleagues and supervisors by email, instant message, telephone or other available technology rather than face-to-face. In-person meetings should only take place if necessary, and as approved by department heads, provided proper protocols (distancing of six feet apart and wearing of face masks/coverings) are followed. Phone/video conferencing should remain the primary mode for meetings whenever possible.

Groups/Gatherings: Gatherings of individuals for non-work-related meetings in a manner that makes social distancing difficult must occur only in compliance with federal, state and local requirements. Groups/gatherings should never exceed 50% of a room’s capacity, assuming individuals can still maintain six feet of separation for social/physical distancing requirements.

Elevators: Employees should use the stairs whenever possible given that elevator capacities may be challenging due to their
size. No more than one person may enter an elevator unless it is larger than six feet. For elevators larger than six feet, multiple persons may ride at the same time, as long as proper social/physical distancing guidelines are maintained. Riders should anticipate having to wait, and whenever possible, should allow those with critical and accessibility needs priority use of the elevators. While using the elevator, face masks/covering must be used and touching the elevator buttons with exposed hands/fingers should be avoided whenever possible. Upon departing the elevator, hands should be washed with soap and water or by using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl.

Restrooms: Restroom occupancy should be limited based on size to ensure at least six feet of distance between individuals.
Hands must be thoroughly washed before leaving the restroom to reduce the potential transmission of the virus.

Handwashing and Sanitizing: Employees must wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after being in a public place, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing or touching their face. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. All surfaces of the hands should be rubbed together until they feel dry. Individuals should avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth, and should wash their hands after touching their face.

Gloves: Health care workers, childcare workers and those deemed in high-risk areas should use gloves as part of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment). Gloves are not necessary for general use and do not replace good hand hygiene such as hand washing.

Coughing/Sneezing Hygiene: If employees are in a private setting and do not have on their face mask/covering, they should always cover their mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing and then throw used tissues in the trash. They must immediately wash their hands and/or use hand sanitizer as noted above.

Dining on Campus

We encourage our campus community to dine in the campus dining locations to provide safe and convenient meal options during this time. Chartwells has adopted safety guidelines related to our associates and guests. Please review the new safety measures, such as wearing a face covering when not actively eating and social distance requirements, included in our Path to Open guide before visiting a dining location.

View current dining location hours >

View Starbucks hours >

If you have any questions or concerns related to dining on campus, please contact rstwart7@memphis.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions

Guidelines for Being on Campus

If you are on campus, you are required to wear masks, gloves (if appropriate) and wash your hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer frequently. Whenever you are on campus , a mask must be worn any time you are in public areas or near others, even if you are maintaining appropriate distancing. You are also asked to practice social distancing which includes staying at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from others, avoid gathering in groups, and staying out of crowded places. Maintaining space between you and others has proven to be one of the best tools to avoid being exposed to the virus. These precautions are for your own safety and the safety of others around you. A comprehensive list of guidelines is available in the Workforce & Facilities Committees Report.

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;
  • having all non-essential personnel work from home;
  • limiting access to campus facilities; and
  • practicing appropriate social distancing and density of essential personnel on campus.


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. Located at the Central to the Arts Hub, formerly the Visitors Information Center at the corner of Central and Patterson, the Center will be open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 9 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Testing Center access details are very specific and are provided at memphis.edu/coronavirusupdates/sick/testing.php.

Leave of Absence

In an effort to ease employees’ choices between protecting their jobs and their families, the US Department of Labor (DOL) has implemented various changes enacted by Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) effective April 1, 2020, through December 31, 2020. Complete details about the Families First Coronavirus Response Act can be found 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

As of March 24, the City of Memphis is operating under a “Safer at Home” Executive Order. Please note, the University of Memphis is not closing as a result of this order; however, on campus personnel is limited to only those employees considered to be on-site essential. On-site essential employees are those that perform functions that keep the campus running and whose functions cannot be performed remotely. All other employees should be working from home at this time and practicing social distancing. 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.

Yes, any employee wishing to work on an alternative work arrangement during Fall 2020 should complete a request form. Each request must be approved to be considered valid.

Faculty and staff may email parking@memphis.edu to make any changes to current parking status.

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.

The University is implementing a moratorium on all employment actions, effective April 1, 2020, until further notice. This action includes all requests to hire, reclassify or otherwise adjust staff and faculty positions. This action will allow the University to continue to monitor and assess this fluid situation and responsibly position itself to minimize the anticipated financial impact.

Recognizing there will be a need for essential or strategic hiring, an exception process has been developed to evaluate proposals. Any request for exceptions will be presented to the President through the Provost (faculty positions) and the CFO (staff positions) for consideration.


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 >

Questions Related to Fall 2020 Semester

Yes, in accordance with the best available health guidance and in an effort to protect the safety of our students, faculty and staff, the University of Memphis will begin classes one week earlier than previously planned so that all classes and final exams can be completed prior to the Thanksgiving holidays. All classes will begin on Monday, August 17, and end on Tuesday, November 24. The last day of regular classes will be Tuesday, November 17, with five days for final exams. We will not be taking a fall break this semester, but will observe the Labor Day holiday. Announcements about additional measures will be forthcoming as the University’s preparedness work groups finalize and present their recommendations to the administration for approval and implementation this fall.

Review the Tennessee Department of Health COVID-19 FAQs for Schools and Universities >
This guide provides answers to questions related to preventative measures, quarantine guidelines, tracking and other protocols as it relates to schools and universities.

Explore all FAQs >