NOTE: The following guidance for teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the return to campus for fall 2021 was published on Aug. 16, 2021. Check back frequently for updates to this information.
Public Health Mandates
To protect each community member's health, employees and students are required to comply with the University System of Maryland vaccination policy and related University protocols.
Consistent with Baltimore City and CDC guidelines for protecting public health—particularly in light of the highly contagious Delta variant—the following protocols are now in effect:
- Everyone on campus, including visitors, must wear a mask in public indoor areas. The mask must cover the nose and mouth.
- Individuals are not required to wear masks outdoors.
- If individuals are alone in their offices or in another campus space alone, the mask may be removed.
- Similar to Baltimore City regulations for indoor performances, fully vaccinated faculty may remove their masks while lecturing as long as students or other audience members are at least six feet away.
- Faculty, staff and students are asked to respect each other's personal space, especially if they will be together for extended periods; however, formal social distancing is not required at this time.
Microphones for Lecturing
Fully vaccinated faculty members may wish to remain masked while teaching, although they are not required to if students are at least six feet away. If a lecturer has trouble being heard while wearing a mask, a wireless microphone may be used. If your classroom is not equipped with a wireless microphone and you want to use one, contact email@example.com. Check your classroom at least a day before you teach if you think you will need a microphone.
Conduct on Campus
Because masks protect all of us, failure to comply with the mask mandate is a conduct issue for everyone.
Employees' supervisors can be contacted if an employee refuses to follow the masking guidelines. If a student is not masked in class or when meeting with faculty, staff or other students outside class, and the student does not respond to a request to keep a mask on with nose and mouth covered, then a complaint may be filed through a Compass form.
Certainly we hope that as a caring and courteous community, we will all follow the mask guidelines without incident to help protect everyone's health. In the unlikely event that a student refuses to wear a mask during class, the student may be asked to leave the classroom, and the student will be considered as having an unexcused absence. In the even more unlikely event that a student refuses both to wear mask and to leave the classroom or the meeting area, and as a matter of last resort, the faculty member may contact campus security for assistance in escorting the student from class (call 410.837.4444).
Syllabi Notations About Absences and Make-Up Work
More than ever, it is important that faculty indicate on syllabi how class absences are addressed. Students should be informed how to contact the faculty member if they know they must miss a class. As usual, student absences must be addressed on a case-by-case basis, as should the way in which students will make up work. Faculty have discretion to say if make-up work varies from the original assignment.
If a student has COVID-19 symptoms, the students should follow University protocols for such cases (for details, visit our Frequently Asked Questions). The student must work with faculty members on a case-by-case basis about how to make up missed work.
An experience with short-term COVID-19 symptoms does not require ADA-type accommodations for the student. It is treated as a short-term illness.
If a student or faculty member has been diagnosed with "long COVID," then the student or faculty member should follow the usual steps for seeking ADA accommodation, if necessary.
Medical documentation of long COVID is required.
Students in the School of Law must follow the Law School's absence policy. Please refer to the School of Law Student Handbook for details.
Excused Absences for COVID-19 and Other Reasons and Making Up Missed Work
Undergraduates and graduate students who miss a class taught in any modality because they have a documented medical appointment—including COVID-19 vaccination, testing or treatment—should be deemed to have an excused absence. If students have a short-term illness of any kind, including COVID-19 symptoms, students should follow the usual procedures with their faculty for a short-term illness.
Undergraduate and graduate students who must quarantine because of COVID-19 and are scheduled for an on-campus course or an on-campus meeting of a hybrid course must notify the faculty members teaching their courses. The student must work with faculty members on a case-by-case basis regarding how to make up what was missed in class.
If an undergraduate or graduate student will be absent for more than a class or two, the student should discuss with each of their faculty members how absence will impact their study, how work could be made up, and if it is possible or appropriate to request an incomplete or a medical withdrawal from a course. The student should also contact their academic adviser.
If an undergraduate or graduate student has an unexcused absence, a faculty member may refuse to set up make-up work. It is therefore extremely important that students work with faculty members to demonstrate when and why an absence is excused.
As usual, unexcused absences from class are unacceptable. University policy—which is tied to the University's ability to distribute federal financial aid—indicates that a student who misses 20 percent or more of a course is failed for nonattendance (FA). In such cases, a student may be required to pay back federal financial aid received for that term.
As usual, a faculty member should follow department/school procedures for advance notification to the school and to students if one or more classes must be missed for any reason. If a faculty member has to be absent, that faculty and the relevant department/dean’s office should set up a process as soon as possible for ensuring students lose no instruction because of a faculty absence.
Faculty members should consult with their supervisor, dean and the Office of Human Resources as soon as possible if they will experience anything more than a short-term absence.
Faculty and other employees with COVID-19 symptoms or a positive COVID test or diagnosis should not come to campus and should report the information immediately to firstname.lastname@example.org. The person should then follow the guidance Human Resources provides. Human Resources will notify the faculty member’s supervisor and, after appropriate evaluation of the situation, anyone else with a need to know for public health reasons. Appropriate arrangements for conducting the course will be made on a case-by-case basis.
Tenure-track faculty who have any kind of serious illness or life event should alert their chair/executive director and dean and may wish to consult the Tenure Clock Extension Policy.
Potential Exposure/Confirmed COVID-19 Notification Steps
COVID-19 Response Topics
RETURNING TO CAMPUS
KNOW THE VACCINE REQUIREMENTS
GET THE FAQS
RESOURCES (HELP, VACCINATION & TESTING, ETC)