Return to Offices and Campuses

CFAES has several college transition teams actively synthesizing university guidance to localize for CFAES departments and Units. Our return to offices/campuses plans will balance reopening in-person activities while weighing risk and safety. Below are updates and links related to this process. Information will be updated as new guidance surfaces.
 

Updates and Guidance:

Work/Life/HR

Be sure to visit the COVID-19 Work Related Accommodations website for information including a robust list of frequently asked questions.

Checklist/guidance document created for CFAES supervisors as they navigate the repopulating campus plans and requests for accommodations. Reach out to your HR Consultant for assistance. 

COVID-19 Manager Guidance: The HR COVID-19 webpage has been updated to include manager guidance. As we continue to move forward, team members will look to their managers to help navigate work situations regarding COVID-19. The guidance helps managers address specific situations that may arise related to the training, pledge and child care. Visit https://hr.osu.edu/coronavirus/managers/ for more information. This website will be updated as new guidance is available. 

COVID-19 Work Related Accommodations Process: As we implement return to offices/campuses plans ahead of fall semester, it’s important to know that the university has established a COVID-19 Work Related Accommodations Process to ensure that faculty, staff, and graduate students have the necessary resources to work as safely as possible. Through a COVID-19 accommodation request, which is a secure intake process, individuals will be able to identify issues and concerns they may have, and indicate what needs and resources they feel are necessary to perform their job safely.

For HR guidance around flexible work arrangements, visit: https://hr.osu.edu/policies/flexible-work/

As always, please reach out to your HR Consultant with any questions. 

Hiring Pause Guidance 
As shared in the March 25, 2021 On Campus today, the university has implemented a hiring pause.  Below we have recapped the overview of the impacts of this decision for our college in addition to provide clarity and action steps surrounding the reference to any applicable exceptions.   

Any hiring should focus on maintaining adequate staffing levels in these essential service areas:
- Law enforcement and public safety
- Facility utilities
- Residential support
- Key faculty positions 
- Key research positions 
- Others determined to be essential by the university

We have created a procedure (see below) for each department and unit leader to submit requests.  

Evaluate Position Need:
1. Evaluate the needs of your unit
    a. Is this position critical to our CFAES enterprise across the mission areas? 
    b. Can this position wait? 
    c. Can the duties included in this position be performed by existing personnel within your unit or other units within the college? 
        *We ask that you evaluate this carefully, as we do not want to hire students to do work that could be given to a current staff member with the bandwidth and skill set but needs work to maintain their 100% telework.

2. Can you onboard and train a new employee in the event we remain in a telework environment?

Position requests will be reviewed and evaluated by a college committee. Positions deemed mission critical will be submitted to the Dean and Provost for approval.  The procedure is as follows:
1. Complete the CFAES Employee Position Request Form (*can only be submitted by unit leader reporting to the Dean)
2. Submit CFAES Student Employee Position Request Form to cfaeshr@osu.edu
3. Requests will be reviewed, and you will receive a formal reply as soon as possible.
    * Requests should be reviewed and scrutinized first by the leader reporting to the Dean. Once forwarded to cfaeshr@osu.edu, a committee of Brandi Gilbert-Hammett and Nicole Wakeley will review the request based on the criteria. The committee will then forward their recommendation to the Dean.

Other important dates
5/8/21  is the last day any/all FWS students may work for 2020-2021  We will want to adhere to any new Workday processes related to academic year transitions after that point. For work-study students to be eligible for their funding after 5/8/21 they will need to have accepted a 2021-2022 FWS offer, and be meeting enrollment and SAP requirements for summer.  You may pay a student with regular wages who is not taking classes for summer, just don’t forget to check their FWS eligibility and switch them to FWS funds in the system for autumn.

Academics and Students 

CFAES COVID-19 Resources and Best Practices

For up-to-date information on University policies, procedures and notices, please visit https://keeplearning.osu.edu/.

Guidance for student organizations.

Review the Office of Student Life - Return to Campus Plan.

CFAES Common Areas for Students

Extension/Events

Effective January 16, 2021 – OSU Extension county offices will be open with limited staffing. Each county’s arrangement is different, depending on a local staffing plan coordinated with Extension administration. Counties will continue to take into consideration local COVID-19 circumstances, and they will continue to follow the guidelines around the Ohio Health Advisory System Map. Connect with your local office online or by calling the office. Visit extension.osu.edu/lao for your county’s specific contact information.

When Extension employees are not in the county office, they continue to telework. We are following strict guidelines to remain safe, and to keep our clientele safe as well. All service sector requirements for general office environments from the Ohio Department of Health will be strictly adhered to in each office.

At this time, in-person programming will be conducted in accordance with existing approved exemptions (per CFAES). We will continue to evaluate and update plans based on evolving conditions with COVID-19.

In-Person programming and events - The process for requesting exemptions is similar to the previous Research and Extension Exemption approval including a form to submit, committee review, and additional guidance following approval.  University guidance was used  to develop a CFAES Events process for approving in-person programming and events. It includes two tracks: 1) In-person programming/educational events by our OSU professionals, and 2) the events organized at one of our 27 facilities or event centers by external customers. 

• CFAES Events and In-person Program Proposal Process can be found here: www.go.osu.edu/CFAESf2fEventRequest
• Any students needing in-state travel reimbursement for in-person programming should work with their supervisor to have them submit the exemption.

ResearcH

Research
Beginning Monday, May 10 and continuing forward, people density in research and creative expression (R&CE) activities can be up to 100%, PROVIDED that campus physical distancing requirements are maintained and all other university and CFAES guidance for activities on campus are followed, including physical distancing, wearing masks and appropriate hand hygiene. 

Please note that as the conditions of the pandemic evolve, we can expect changes in guidance from the CDC and from the campus Academic Transition and Comprehensive Monitoring Teams, and these changes may consequently change the scope and density of R&CE activities. 

For laboratory and greenhouse work, the increase in people density is an update of the continuation of Stage 5 in the research reopening process in place since August 2020.  For field work, please see this guidance distributed in March.

Several important reminders: 
a. Extension activities are now being reviewed under the In-Person Programming Exemption Process.  
b. Purchasing and travel requests still receive additional scrutiny and may require additional justification and approvals.  Please allow adequate time for processing.  The one person per vehicle limit is still in place. 
c. For our ag operations managers, working with COVID safety precautions creates inefficiency and additional work. Our capacity is still reduced due to safety practices, cleaning, and social distancing.  Density limitations and other health precautions will also keep overall activity levels less than under pre-COVID conditions. 

Operations (Columbus and Wooster Campus Facilities)

Columbus Campus
• Regular building hours took effect, Monday, January 11th, 2021 and will continue through Spring semester.
• More information about OSU Libraries COVID-19 operating procedures is available at https://library.osu.edu/locations/faes
• Cleaning and disinfecting – effective 1/11/20, custodial services will be preparing for spring semester. During the semester, FOD will resume high touchpoint disinfection, restrooms will be cleaned twice a day, and University COVID cleaning guidelines will be followed. FOD is asking individuals that are working in their offices, please empty their trash receptacles into the common area receptables. This will minimize the need for custodial services to enter individual offices.  Disinfecting wipes will continue to be available for building occupants. Additional cleaning requests should be sent to Service2Facilities, 614-292-HELP.
Contact for questions or support: Building coordinator or Kent McGuire, (740) 341-7589, McGuire.225@osu.edu  

CFAES Wooster Campus
• Most research buildings will remain locked as they have been during the fall semester. Halterman, Skou, Science Building and others with classes will be open by January 25th through Spring Semester
• Cleaning and disinfecting – Custodial services will continue high touchpoint disinfection, restrooms will be cleaned twice a day, and University COVID cleaning guidelines will be followed. Facilities Operations is asking individuals that are working in their offices, please set office trash cans in hallways overnight for custodians. This will minimize the need for custodial services to enter individual offices.  Disinfecting wipes will continue to be available for building occupants. Additional cleaning requests should be sent to Sarah Everhart (everhart.135@osu.edu; 330-263-3915).
Contact for Wooster questions or support: Building coordinator or Seth Walker, (330) 263-3665, walker.439@osu.edu   

Campus/Office Repopulation Guidelines

TIU heads (chairs/directors) and unit leaders have sent in plans and those should be communicated by your TIU head and unit leaders. Each unit’s plan was designed under tenets developed by college leadership and vetted by the college transition team, which consists of administrators, faculty and staff. Our goal is to maintain less than 50% population at any given time, but lower when possible.

One focus is Columbus, Wooster, and Piketon where we are aligning limited return to campus across our teaching, research and Extension mission areas, along with key in-person support needed. Current plans through Spring Semester 2021 will be a mix of low density in buildings for priority on-ground activities and telework continuing when possible. 

Part of the repopulation process includes taking into account the various needs and concerns of our faculty, staff and graduate students. Please check with your supervisor or unit leader if you have questions regarding your time on campus.

General Safety/Security Tips and Reminders 
• Encourage everyone to keep your guard up. Wear a mask, wash your hands regularly, and keep practice physical distancing.
• Remind your employees to keep up with the daily health check each day they come to campus or work in the community on behalf of the university using the Ohio State app or online through https://compass.osu.edu/health-reporting
• Get additional resources, answers to questions, and keep up to speed with changes to University guidance at https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/
• Due to the continued low population density in buildings, we are requesting that you remind staff and faculty using campus labs or offices to be sure and secure those areas for personal safety to reduce the likelihood of theft or vandalism.  In addition, please contact OSUPD to report any unusual activity you observe while on campus. We have had a few questions come up about unusual activity and it is always good to contact the non-emergency number for OSU Police if in doubt. [614-292-2121] 

Return to Campus Training
All faculty, staff and students returning to offices or campuses must complete an online training course and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge form. The pledge acknowledges an understanding of and commitment to the behaviors described in the training. It is not a legal waiver. The 10-minute training is available in BuckeyeLearn and the pledge will be signed upon completion of the course.  

Completing the training and signing the pledge are mandatory for all faculty, staff and students returning to offices or campuses. Those who have already been working on campus should take the online training and sign the pledge as soon as possible. Training and pledge must be completed by everyone who is coming to campus or has been approved to do research or Ohio State Extension programming.

The training course will cover expectations for daily health checks, personal protection such as face masks, hygiene, staying informed and more.

To complete the training:  
1. Go to https://buckeyelearn.osu.edu and sign in.
2. Click on “My Transcript”
3. Find the “Together as Buckeyes” training (you may have to sort by “Active”) and click on “Open Curriculum”.
4. Launch the Safe and Healthy Campus training
5. Once you have completed the training you will need to complete the pledge as well.

Purchasing

If you have questions about COVID-related purchases, please discuss first with your department chair/school director or unit leader.

Safety

This CFAES Employee Safety page will serve to list work procedures or guildines, reinforce existing work safety protocols, and provide resources to reduce COVID-19 risks by implementing administrative or engineering controls.

Travel

New travel guidance has been issued by the University and can be found here:  https://busfin.osu.edu/news/2021/06/07/new-fiscal-year-2022-travel-guidelines

Travel Approval Process
1. Traveler confers with supervisor to determine if the travel is necessary and in line with the guidance above.  Departmental financial resources should be considered as part of the decision.
2. Traveler or designated department staff person enters a Spend Authorization at least 2-weeks prior to departure date for domestic travel, 6 weeks for international travel.
   - International Travel:  Travelers are required to sign the International Acknowledgement of Understanding Form and attach to Spend Authorization prior to submitting Spend Authorization for approval.
3. Spend Authorizations will automatically workflow to all required travel approvers (e.g. Cost Center Manager, Department Leader, etc.). 
4. Once the Spend Authorization has completed workflow the traveler will receive a confirmation email noting the approval and health, safety and risk responsibilities. 
NOTE:  The University will continue to monitor compliance of Spend Authorizations for international travel and/or locations experiencing elevated exposure rates.   

Questions should be directed to the department fiscal officer.

More information can be found on the Business and Finance website.

CFAES Operations travel exemptions:
In accordance with recently updated University mask and social distancing guidelines for vaccinated individuals, CFAES is removing the limitation on vehicle occupancy for those who have been vaccinated. If a team member has not yet received the vaccination, we recommend continued adherence to the previously announced vehicle occupancy safety guidelines for passenger vehicles (i.e., cars, vans, trucks). Guidance is as follows:
- Operate vehicle climate control fan in the “on” position set at outdoor air circulation with maximum flow rate.
- Keep all windows open enough for natural ventilation with constant air inflow and outflow.
- Occupants wear an appropriate face mask worn properly (extending snuggly from bridge of nose to below chin)
- Limit passenger density per vehicle to less than capacity to ensure that there is minimum of one empty passenger space between each passenger.

To date, CFAES has required an exemption assessment when more than one individual was planning to travel in a vehicle. Given this update, we will no longer require the assessment process be utilized by CFAES personnel when the University guidelines above are followed. An assessment by CFAES Safety and Compliance will still be required when travel plans would require exceeding the listed guidelines. Should you have any questions regarding the guidance or the revised exemption process, please reach out to Seth Walker (walker.439) or 330-263-3665

Visitors

If the meeting can be accomplished virtually, it should be held virtually. The repopulation goal is to limit the use of buildings to staff, students, clientele, and visitors to those that need to be in-person for specific activities. Density needs to be kept low and limited to things that have to happen in-person.

OSU employees should share the university’s expectations. 
The Ohio State University requires face masks to be worn in indoor settings. Masks must be put on before entering enclosed or indoor spaces including, but not limited to, classrooms, common areas, conference rooms, shared office spaces, hallways, buses and shared vehicles. Anyone feeling sick or with a fever should not be on campus. Further, anyone who has signs or symptoms of respiratory illness consistent with coronavirus, has been exposed to an individual with coronavirus, or has been diagnosed with the virus should contact his or her primary care physician and should not be on campus.

Employees are welcome to share this link with their visitors: https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/personal-protection-hygiene.

Community members with particular needs for accommodations should contact Student Life Disability Services, the ADA Coordinator’s Office or the Office of Human Resources.

For the most up-to-date information about visitors, go to: https://safeandhealthy.osu.edu/campus-visitors, which includes a link about Extension-related visitors.

CFAES Town Hall August 12, 2020

Watch the recording of the August 12, 2020 CFAES Town Hall

CFAES Town Hall Q&A


I need to:

Complete a Health Check:

All CFAES personnel will report their daily health status if they plan to be on our Columbus, Wooster, or Statewide Campus (e.g., Extension offices and research stations), doing field work, or interacting face-to-face with the community on behalf of Ohio State.

The steps to report are simple (view health check flow chart):
1.     Take your temperature.
2.     Log in to the health reporting tool via compass.osu.edu or the Ohio State app (under the "about you" section).
3.     Record your temperature and answer other health reporting questions.
4.     Receive your daily health passport. This passport is good during the day it was submitted. 
       RED = Stay home and contact your supervisor
       GREEN = Clear to come to campus
       YELLOW = Time to report your health check

If you make a mistake while answering the questions, repeat the process.

Learn more about the pilot, process, participants, and FAQs on the Health Reporting Pilot webpage.

Complete the Return to Campus Training

Return to Campus Training
All faculty, staff and students returning to offices or campuses must complete an online training course and the Together As Buckeyes Pledge form. The pledge acknowledges an understanding of and commitment to the behaviors described in the training. It is not a legal waiver. The 10-minute training is available in BuckeyeLearn and the pledge will be signed upon completion of the course.  

Completing the training and signing the pledge are mandatory for all faculty, staff and students returning to offices or campuses. Those who have already been working on campus should take the online training and sign the pledge as soon as possible. Training and pledge must be completed by everyone who is coming to campus or has been approved to do research or Ohio State Extension programming.

The training course will cover expectations for daily health checks, personal protection such as face masks, hygiene, staying informed and more.

To complete the training:  
1. Go to https://buckeyelearn.osu.edu and sign in.
2. Click on “My Transcript”
3. Find the “Together as Buckeyes” training (you may have to sort by “Active”) and click on “Open Curriculum”.
4. Launch the Safe and Healthy Campus training
5. Once you have completed the training you will need to complete the pledge as well.

Confirm a Direct Report has completed their Health Check:

Visit healthreporting.osu.edu to review your direct report's health check.

Request an ACCOMmODATION:

Link for submitting a secure accommodation request due to COVID-19 (for your own health, the health of someone you live with, child/elder care, etc.): https://apps.hr.osu.edu/covid-request/

Request an Exemption for Events/In-Person Programming:

CFAES Events and In-person Program Proposal Process can be found here: www.go.osu.edu/CFAESf2fEventRequest

Our CFAES team has worked with university guidance to develop a CFAES Events process for approving in-person programming and events. It includes two tracks: 1) In-person programming/educational events by our OSU professionals, and 2) the events organized at one of our 27 facilities or event centers by external customers. The process for both will be similar to the current Research Exemption approval including a form to submit, committee review, and additional guidance following approval. 

Print COVID-19 Signage:

• General Ohio State signage can be downloaded or ordered through UniPrint here.
• CFAES-specific signage can be downloaded here

For additional information on signage please visit: https://brand.cfaes.ohio-state.edu/templates/covid-19-signage

Remote AcCess to Computers at the University

If you have existing desktop computer(s) on campus that you would like to access, please see the article on OCIO Remote Access Powered by Guacamole. This service will allow a remote session that connects to existing desktop computers or specific OSU servers, and will allow you to access them through a web browser. For assistance with OCIO Remote Access powered by Guacamole, please contact the IT Service Desk, or through the self-service portal located at http://ocio.osu.edu/selfservice.

Take Home Office Items for Telework

As part of a CFAES telework or accommodation agreement, you may establish a window of time with your supervisor to retrieve university owned items from buildings to help facilitate your work.  If an accommodation is sought, individuals are expected to account for and detail (service tags, serial numbers, models to the best of their ability) all removed university property as part of the accommodation process, as well as notify CFAES HR of any future changes. If an official accommodation is not sought or needed due to a continuation of an existing telework agreement, additional relocated items are expected to be detailed and accounted for in an updated telework form signed by the employee and direct supervisor, then submitted to CFAES HR.


Update Messages from the Dean:

CFAES-All Message Archive

An archive of update messages from Dean Kress can be found at: https://cfaes.osu.edu/faculty-staff-resources/deans-updates