Faculty/Staff Frequently Asked Questions

Click the questions below to find answers to many questions. You can find more health information about COVID-19 and best practices for staying safe and healthy at:

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Faculty-Specific

+ When will classes be held on campus?

The Virginia Western campus is currently closed to the public and non-essential personnel until further notice. We are carefully monitoring reports from the CDC and other federal and state government agencies to determine when it will be safe for students and employees to return to campus. While we will return to campus as soon as it is deemed safe, based on current information it is likely that we will not reopen for the remainder of the spring semester and that all current courses will be completed remotely. Faculty should be prepared to complete all current courses remotely. If you are teaching a course that cannot be completed remotely and that will require in-person meetings to ensure that all course outcomes are met, please work with your Dean to determine next steps. Also, please stay in contact with your students about how they should proceed as updates are made available. When decisions are made about reopening, updates will be posted here and email messages will be sent to the campus community.

+ What should I do if my students don’t have the necessary computer equipment or internet access to participate in my class?

At this time, the campus is closed to students and non-essential personnel. Computer labs on campus are not currently accessible. However, students may access campus wifi in the parking lots. Please visit Options for Student Needing Internet Access for information regarding internet access options. Please work with students who do not have access to a computer off-campus to find other ways for them to be able to submit assignments. There are not currently computers available for students to borrow and at this time, there are not emergency funds available from the Foundation.

+ Is the Testing Center closed? If so, how do students complete tests for my courses?

The Virginia Western campus is currently closed to the public and non-essential personnel until further notice. This includes the testing center. Faculty members should provide specific testing requirements for their course. Information regarding online assessment is available in the GOLF Infoguide. Faculty members with testing concerns should reach out to their Dean with questions.

+ Will the grading scale for my classes change?

Multiple colleges and universities across the country are shifting to some type of a pass/fail grading system for the remainder of the semester. Discussions are currently taking place within the Virginia Community College System and additional information should be provided within the next week. Updates will be posted here and sent out through college email.

+ When can students withdraw from a class?

Students can withdraw from courses through SIS within the withdrawal deadline window, as has been done in the past. For the spring semester (16 week) courses the deadline is Tuesday, March 31st. Beyond this timeframe, students will be able to withdraw and receive a “W” grade through the last day of classes using a version of the administrative withdrawal process. For the spring semester (16 week) courses, this extended deadline will be Friday, May 8th. Additional details regarding the extended withdrawal deadline and the revised process will be provided here and sent to the campus through email in the near future.

All Employees

+ I am working off campus but may have mail or printing pickups, how can I get them?

To ensure proper social distancing and protect the health of print and mail service employees, please call 540-857-7228 in advance and the staff will place packages or materials outside the door. If you are having difficulty opening your PO Box, staff can open from inside for you while maintaining proper social distancing.

+ I do not have childcare readily available to respond to the K-12 closure. What do I do?

Talk with your supervisor about your options related to utilizing appropriate paid time off benefits or making alternative work arrangements. Decisions may be made in consultation with Human Resources.

+ What do I do if I, or a family member, is sick?

If you or an immediate family member are sick, please stay home and notify your supervisor through your normal process. Your supervisor, in consultation with Human Resources, will advise you on next steps.

+ How can I find online resources for teaching or to telework?

You’re in luck, the IET team has put together a web page to help you get started: https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/preparing-to-telework/.

+ I’m part time — how does this impact me?

Speak with your supervisor about how your particular job will be impacted and expectations for work. In general, we are working diligently to ensure that our part-time workforce remains actively working. As with our full-time population, remote work is strongly encouraged where feasible and appropriate. For jobs that require presence on campus, work will continue as long as our physical campus remains open.

+ I’m teleworking — are the expectations of my job the same?

At a high level, yes. Teleworking simply means that you are performing the core responsibilities of your job from a remote location instead of on campus. The specific deliverables and/or work responsibilities you’ve been assigned may be different from what you would typically do from campus, as not all job duties can easily transition to remote work. Your supervisor will have provided you with expectations, and will remain in continued communication with you throughout your telework arrangement. Let your supervisor know if you are uncertain about what to do, or have questions related to your work assignments.

+ I’m stressing out about trying to work from home. Will there still be resources available to help me?

Yes. Your supervisor is your primary resource – they will be best positioned to talk with you about your specific concerns and how your work objectives may be accomplished. Our Help Desk will continue to be available to assist with technology related questions as well. IET has also shared the following resource to assist with questions related to remote-access capabilities (https://virginiawestern.edu/iet-services/preparing-to-telework/).

+ Why are some employees continuing to work on campus?

Not all jobs are able to easily translate to telework. As long as our physical campus remains open, employees who need to be on campus to fulfill their job responsibilities may continue to work from the college.

+ How will telework impact my ability to get my job done?

Ideally, telework will allow for our campus community to continue business without disruption to key operations. Realistically, telework is a new environment for all of us, and there will be bumps along the way. If you are experiencing specific difficulties, make your supervisor and/or the appropriate department aware so that we can assist you in working through them. In general, remember that successful telework will require patience, flexibility, and communication. We are all learning as we go to some extent, so providing that understanding to one another will be key.

+ I’m worried about COVID-19 in general. What resources are there to assist me?

For our campus community, Sheri Meixner remains available for consultation via phone (540-857-6711) or email (SMeixner@virginiawestern.edu). Anthem provides a wealth of online resources related to EAP.

Visit https://resources.powerflexweb.com/1631/login.html and enter “Commonwealth of Virginia” in the company code box, then click Commonwealth of Virginia. You may also reach out to Human Resources via Hrapps@virginiawestern.edu to discuss what EAP options may be available to you personally. The CDC has also developed a webpage dedicated to tips for managing anxiety and stress, which can be accessed at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html.