Faculty FAQ - Fall 2021

Last updated: Aug. 30, 2021

Below, you can find answers to some of the most commonly-asked questions about the fall 2021 semester. Don't see what you're looking for? Email us at provost@vcu.edu.

If a student volunteers this information to you, you should encourage them to call 804-MYCOVID to connect with University Student Health Services for further instructions. This information should not be shared with others in the class. Contact tracers will notify anyone who has been exposed: see the One VCU: Better Together Exposure page for more information.

This is at the discretion of the faculty. The temporary academic regulation pertaining to student absences due to COVID put in place last academic year is no longer in effect. VCU’s regular attendance policy, as listed in the VCU Bulletin, once again applies for all students going forward.

As in any semester, if a faculty member teaching an in-person class is unable to be present for any reason, they should have a colleague cover for them or seek permission from their department chair/dean to teach online for a limited number of class meetings.

Faculty members are welcome to rearrange their classroom during their class time but they must reset the classroom to its original configuration immediately after each class. Faculty are strongly discouraged from removing chairs, desks, white boards etc., from classrooms as multiple class sections are using these spaces.

First, privately share with the student that you very much want them to attend class. You do not want them to miss the important content covered in your class. Remind them that masks are a university requirement and there are multiple places on campus where they can get a free mask (kiosk in the student center and other locations).

However, if the student is repeatedly ignoring university requirements, you should submit an incident reporting form to the Dean of Students Office. This form notifies them of student issues including concerning behaviors, violations of the Student Code of Conduct and/or university policies, student organization misconduct, and academic integrity violations.

Faculty are expected to teach their course(s) in the originally scheduled modality.

It is possible that an unvaccinated individual - faculty or student - could be in a classroom or learning setting. Primarily, that is due to approved medical and religious exemptions. However, a student who has a hold on their registration as of Aug. 16 may be in classrooms while still in the process of satisfying the vaccination requirement.

No. However, if by Aug. 16 a student is not in compliance, a registration hold will be put in place. Examples of what happens with a registration hold: students who are already registered for classes will not be able to adjust their schedule until the requirement is met and the registration hold is lifted; students who have not yet registered, will not be able to register; students who have a registration hold will not be able to register for the spring semester.

Faculty will not know which students in their classes have or have not been vaccinated; some students have received exemptions while others may still be in the process of satisfying the vaccination requirement.

No. Faculty cannot ask students about their vaccination status.

University officials should instruct students training at sites with a vaccine requirement to provide requested records directly to the site. Some students may comply with the university's requirement by obtaining an exemption. If a student is excluded from a training site for failure to produce documentation, then the university official should advise the student of the university's process for requesting reasonable accommodation as set forth in the policy on Preventing and Responding to Discrimination. Reasonable accommodation may include identifying a comparable educational experience for the student.

The vaccine requirement for students is managed by VCU Student Health Services for all students, throughout the university. The employee vaccine requirement is managed by VCU Employee Health.

While all faculty, staff and students are required to wear masks indoors, occasionally someone will forget to bring their mask to class. If that happens, faculty should allow the student to retrieve their mask or go to one of the COVID-19 supply vending machines on campus and return with a mask.

If a student refuses to wear a mask, faculty may ask that student to leave the classroom.

The university maintains several COVID-19 supplies vending machines — Students and employees can use their VCU ID to obtain hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes and face coverings free of charge from vending machines located throughout campus. Individuals are allotted one swipe per item every 30 days.

Monroe Park Campus locations:

  • Bowe Street Parking Deck, 1st floor, elevator lobby
  • Snead Hall, East Hall, center lobby across from the security desk
  • T. Edward Temple Building, auditorium wing across from the atrium entrance, between Rooms 1160 and 1165
  • James Branch Cabell Library, 1st floor, center of building, near the copy machines
  • Student Commons, 1st floor, near Suite 104

MCV Campus locations:

  • Larrick Student Center, right of Starbucks
  • Health Sciences Library, 1st floor, left of main entrance in the vending area
  • VCU Health Sciences Research Building Hall and Annex, 1st floor, lobby
  • McGlothlin Medical Education Center, 1st floor, across from the elevators (two vending machines)
  • Hunton Student Center, 1st floor, right of the information desk

Yes. Please refer to the Entry Pass webpage to ensure that you and your students understand what the Entry Pass is and how it works. Any faculty member requiring the entry pass should include this information in their syllabus, Canvas page and welcome email.

Entry pass does not indicate vaccination status. However, it does show whether a student has submitted their COVID-19 vaccine record to VCU or — if they are not vaccinated/exempt or have not submitted their record — whether they are in compliance with completing daily health checks and/or asymptomatic surveillance testing.

Anyone who exhibits symptoms or who tests positive for COVID-19 must report it to Student Health Services or Employee Health by calling 1-804-MYCOVID. Student Health Services and Employee Health will provide students and employees (including faculty) with instructions for isolation/quarantine and testing. They will then notify VCU Facilities Management and leadership in the school/department in order to initiate the closing and cleaning of the classroom(s) and/or workspace(s).

Some faculty may find that even when quarantined they can still teach their course remotely. As is always the case, faculty members should notify their department chair/supervisor if they need to miss class for any reason. It is always helpful if faculty have a recommendation for their department chair on an appropriate backup instructor if that becomes necessary.

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