Message from leadership — Aug. 14, 2020

Weekly update: Faculty resources, Staff info session, leave and other HR resources and more

As we plan the return to campus for the university’s faculty, staff and students, our priorities are the health, safety and wellness — both physical and emotional — of every member of the VCU community. Many details have been worked out, and many are still to come. This weekly update will be a resource to help keep you informed as details become available. All updates are available at together.vcu.edu. Receive notifications by downloading VCU Mobile from your iOS or Android app store.

Academics

New pass/fail grade policy for undergraduates beginning fall 2020

This week the university announced a new, permanent pass/fail grade option policy for undergraduate students effective fall 2020. The full policy is available in the VCU Bulletin. It is important that undergraduate students read the policy thoroughly now, at the beginning of the semester, and recognize that it is an option that is available to them. Additional information and FAQs are available.  Please note that the temporary pass/fail grading option made available for spring 2020 only is no longer valid. 

Provost’s update for faculty

The Office of the Provost has posted a new webpage with important information for faculty regarding fall 2020. This page will be updated as new information and/or updates are distributed throughout the fall. In addition, all faculty received this information via email in a Provost’s Update.

Operations

Staff information session FAQs and recording

Questions and answers from the VCU Staff Information Session that took place on Monday, Aug. 3, are now posted at together.vcu.edu/qa/ along with the recording and transcript of the entire session.

Daily health surveys

Students and employees are required to complete a brief daily survey, monitor their health and report symptoms of COVID-19 to Student Health Services or Employee Health Services. 

  • Non-residential students and employees: Complete your daily health survey at dailyhealth.vcu.edu.
  • Residential students: Complete your daily health survey by logging into your Kallaco account.

Starting Aug. 17, all employees (regardless of work location) must complete health surveys on a daily basis; weekends and/or non-work/vacation days are excluded.

New discounted daily parking permits available for employees

Starting on Friday, Aug. 14, at 3 p.m. VCU Parking and Transportation will offer discounted single-use daily permits for employees. Permits are valid for up to 24 hours per day in designated parking facilities on the Monroe Park and MCV campuses at a cost of $8. MCV Campus permits can be purchased in person at 659 N. 8th St., and Monroe Park Campus permits can be purchased online. To learn more about purchasing a daily parking permit, visit parking.vcu.edu/parking/faculty-and-staff/options-and-rates/.  

Volunteer for asymptomatic prevalence testing

In addition to promoting healthy behaviors, such as wearing a mask and physical distancing, VCU’s current testing strategy includes testing a percentage of asymptomatic VCU community members on a daily basis. Regular testing of asymptomatic individuals helps us monitor the overall prevalence of COVID-19 in the VCU community and provides the valuable data we need to make decisions about safety measures and university operations.

VCU will offer COVID-19 prevalence testing at no cost to students and employees at locations on both the Monroe Park and MCV campuses; however, we need to identify a pool of students and employees who want to participate. To volunteer for prevalence testing, fill out the online form at covidtest.vcu.edu/. Participants will receive a viral, oropharyngeal (throat) swab test, not the more invasive nasopharyngeal swab in the nose. If you are selected to participate in prevalence testing, VCU will contact you with details about how to participate and receive your test results. 

Call center connects to Employee and Student Health services

Students and employees who develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19, or who test positive for COVID-19, must inform Student Health Services or Employee Health Services. Both can now be contacted via a call center line at 1-804-MYCOVID or 1-804-692-6843, where students and employees who are experiencing symptoms can discuss testing options and other appropriate next steps.

Starter supply kits for returning students

Returning students will receive starter supply kits with hand sanitizer, spray disinfectant and launderable face coverings. Residential students will receive their supply kit upon move-in. Non-residential students can pick up supply kits during the first week of classes at various locations on the Monroe Park Campus. A card swipe will be required. Health Sciences students will receive kits at their respective school. Starting August 24, the kits will be available at University Student Commons and Hunton Student Center. 

Hand sanitizer and spray disinfectant bottles can be refilled and should not be discarded. More information about how to refill disinfectant supplies will be communicated later in the semester. 

VCU Health Hub at 25th open

The VCU Health Hub reopened its doors to provide Richmond East End neighbors access to care coordination, health education and wellness education, and in-person and virtual activities needed to stay healthy. A community health worker is currently on-site, and neighbors are being surveyed to understand community health needs better. The health hub is now open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. To learn more, contact Natalie Pennywell, director, at nrpennywell@vcu.edu or vcuhealthhub@vcu.edu.

HR updates

Leave carryover extended for UAP

Due to the impact COVID-19 has had on employees' ability to take leave, the university will extend leave carryover for University and Academic Professionals through Jan. 9, 2022; there will be no leave carry-over limit implemented for 2021. Employees who leave the university will be subject to regular leave payout limits.

Reboarding training due Aug. 17

All employees must complete VCU's Reboarding/Return to Work training in Talent@VCU by Aug. 17. Those currently working on campus full-time or in a hybrid role should already have completed the training. Managers must complete an additional reboarding course. 

Resources for working parents at VCU

With the recent announcements of online schooling for most K-12 students in the area, many employees are considering how to make this a successful fall for themselves and their children. VCU Human Resources provides a list of resources on the HR return to campus page under “resources for working parents at VCU.”