Looking for Answers?

Faculty can find answers to their questions about academic issues here. For more information, refer to the university's main Stop the Spread page. 

Refer to the academic calendar to view the winter session and spring semester schedules. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Course Information

 Will withdrawal, add or drop dates be changed?

No changes are being made to Add/Drop date for courses.

We have extended dates for withdrawal from the university. A student who withdraws completely from the university by 9/26/20 will receive a full tuition refund; W grades apply.

A student who withdraws completely from the university by 2/9/21 will receive a full tuition refund.

 How do I know how courses will be offered?

All courses will begin online and be offered virtually until Jan. 29. On Feb. 1, courses will change to the mode of delivery shown in MyMadison as of Dec. 21.

 Do I have to update my syllabus?

If you are recording your class for students to view online, you must also include information in your syllabus notifying students about the how the recording will be used.

You must update your syllabus if any of these elements of your class have changed:

  • Goals of the course
  • Nature of the course content
  • Requirements of the course
  • Methods of evaluation

In light of COVID-19, it is recommended that you update your syllabus to include language on addressing disruptive behavior in online classes. For more details, see the syllabus site. Also consider addressing inclement weather for online classes in your syllabus.

If you are recording your class for students to view online, you must also include information in your syllabus notifying students that the course is being recorded and how the recording will be used. See (the next section) for more details.

Recording Courses and Student Privacy

 Where can I find information about student privacy?

The Registrar’s website has comprehensive information on FERPA and student privacy. Faculty can also find specifics related to their responsibilities online. You’ll also find guidance in the Privacy Considerations section of the Libraries’ Guide to Hybrid & Online Teaching.

The Department of Education has also provided information on FERPA during COVID-19.

 Can I record my classes so students can watch them later?

You can record your courses for later playback, but you must let your students know that the class is being recorded. Instructors must be mindful of the recording’s content, having documented consent from students, knowing how the recording is protected when posted, communicating their policies to students, and meeting their overall FERPA obligations. 

It is recommended that you provide students with options other than being recorded, especially if the recording will be posted to a class website. For example, you may allow them to use an audio option instead of a webcam; have no requirement to speak during class; or give an option to provide discussion or responses in an alternative manner

You must post any recordings through a university-supported source for playback to protect student privacy and avoid violating FERPA regulations.

 Do I have to tell my students if I’m recording a class?

Yes. Faculty must clearly communicate in their course syllabus when and how recording, streaming and photography are permitted in the course. Regardless of the individual course policy, recorded classes may not be used in any way that denigrates and/or decontextualizes the instructor or any student whose class remarks are recorded.

 Do students have to agree to be recorded?

Yes. Instructors must clearly state in the syllabus that classes will or may be recorded, as well as communicating at the start of class that a class session will be recorded. You should not tell a class that by virtue of attending the online class today you consent to being recorded.

You should encourage students to bring their concerns about recording to you privately.

 Can I require that my students turn their webcams on during my class?

You can establish in your syllabus that a requirement for “attending” class is having your webcam on, but you must allow students to request exemptions. Those recordings, to the extent they capture student images, become part of the students’ educational records and must be treated the same way as other student records.

Note: There may be exceptions for certain courses that have clinical components during which instructors must observe skills.

Attendance

 Are there any required university-wide attendance policies I must include in my syllabus?

No, attendance of class, labs, studios and other academic activities are matters between the student and the instructor. However, instructors must provide their attendance policy for each course. The attendance policy must state any mandatory, unrepeatable components of the course, and the expected procedure for requesting and obtaining approval for scheduled absences.

Additional considerations for attendance during academic year 2020-21 are available online.

 Will I be notified of my students’ absences due to COVID-19?

Notifying you is the responsibility of the student.

Students may contact you directly if they are going to be absent, and they may choose to share with you the reason for their absence. Faculty may not require students to submit notes or other documentation of illness from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) or the University Health Center (UHC).

 

 What should I do if students notify me that they have tested positive for COVID-19?

If a student reports an illness to you, you must tell the student to contact the University Health Center (UHC) via the UHC reporting website. Students taking online courses, including those that are not in Harrisonburg, must contact the health center to work with the DoS Office.

 

 How do my students get a note from the Dean of Students Office?

To work with the Dean of Students (DoS) Office, students who have been exposed to or tested positive for COVID-19 must self-report through the University Health Center (UHC) website. Students taking online courses, including those that are not in Harrisonburg, must contact the University Health Center to work with the DoS Office

The UHC will notify the Dean of Students (DoS) Office of students’ reporting. Only then will the DoS Office provide documentation of a student’s absence, based on the student’s request. The DoS will only generate a letter if the student does requests that they do so.

After receiving notice from the UHC and the student’s request, the DoS will email the student a secure link to access a personalized letter documenting their absence. It is the student’s responsibility to provide you with that letter if they choose to do so. The DoS will not send the letter directly to instructors for the student.

The DoS does not excuse students from classes or assignments, and it is up to the student to communicate directly with their instructors to determine how absences and assignments will be handled upon their return.

 What if my student is called to military service during the semester?

As stated in the Faculty Handbook section A.17. Attendance, “Faculty must make appropriate accommodations for students who are called to military service or jury duty.”

In addition, Virginia Secretary of Education Atif Qarni has asked that the university, on behalf of the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and the state Adjutant General, share this letter regarding the Virginia National Guard's call to active duty and potential impact on students in the Guard. 

 How do I handle attendance verification for students actively serving in the military?

When attendance rosters are available for faculty verification, you must report if students attended class, regardless of if they are deployed. To remain in compliance, follow these steps:  
  • If a deployed student never attends class by the time the attendance verification roster is submitted, mark them as never attended and their aid will be canceled.
  • If/when the student returns and begin attending class, you must contact the financial aid office at finaid_compliance@jmu.edu to confirm their attendance. Financial Aid will manually change the roster and reinstate any eligible aid at the time. 
Online Delivery

 Where can I find resources for online teaching?

JMU Libraries is the best place to start! From their Teaching, Learning and Research site, you'll find information on everything from adjusting your pedagogy to adapting to technology to renting equipment. 

Be sure to review the  Online Teaching, Scholarship, and Career Planning Resources page created by CFI.

There are also a Teaching Toolkit and Online Teaching Resources for Faculty, full of information compiled by your peers, available from this site.

 Are all faculty expected to live stream all classes?

Synchronous video sharing is not mandated. Faculty should work with their AUHs to ensure student access and provide course content in ways that are pedagogically appropriate.

It is also important that all video sharing of live lectures be conducted using Canvas and adhere to FERPA regulations. Libraries workshops and resources are provided to assist faculty with video recording and streaming. Faculty are encouraged to view a quick video tour of the classroom and familiarize themselves with the new classroom technology in advance of the first day of classes. 

Faculty should communicate with students to keep time zones in mind when planning for synchronous delivery, time-specific exercises and exams. It is possible that some online students will be as much as 12 hours out of alignment with Harrisonburg time.

 What if students have an online class and then an in-person classes 15 minutes later?

Students don't have to be off-campus to take an online course. Academic Affairs has set up multiple spaces on campus where students can safely study or participate in online courses. 

There will be a Faculty Guide for Classrooms in each classroom, lab, studio and other academic spaces that has a QR code leading to the study spaces website. Please share this information with your students. 

General

 Where can I access resources for myself?

Make use of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) if you are dealing with problems related to anxiety, depression and other possible concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. All health plans offered to state employees and their dependents have EAPs. You’ll find more information here: https://www.jmu.edu/humanresources/balanced-dukes/employee-assistance-program.shtml 

 I have questions about academic policies related to COVID-19 that aren't addressed here. Who should I talk to?

Academic Affairs established a Response Team of representatives from each college to address the evolving issues raised in our response to the pandemic. Chaired by Fletcher Linder, the group meets online weekly to discuss student and faculty concerns. Feel free to reach out to any member of the group with questions or suggestions.

 

CSM

Marcus Davis

davis4mc@jmu.edu

COB

Scott Gallagher

gallagsr@jmu.edu

CAL

Chris Arndt

arndtjc@jmu.edu

COE

Dara Hall

halldm@jmu.edu

CHBS

Doug Hochstetler

 hochstdr@jmu.edu

CVPA

Wren Stevens

stevenwr@jmu.edu

CISE

Bob Kolvoord

kolvoora@jmu.edu

Grad School

John Burgess

burgesjg@jmu.edu

Honors

Brad Newcomer

newcombr@jmu.edu

PCE

Nick Swartz

swartznj@jmu.edu

Libraries

Aaron Noland

nolandax@jmu.edu

CGE

Taryn Roberts

robertte@jmu.edu

CGE

Dietrich Maune

maunedx@jmu.edu

CARS

Keston Fulcher

fulchekh@jmu.edu

CARS

Dena Pastor

pastorda@jmu.edu

R&S

Carolyn Strong

strongcd@jmu.edu

Univ Advising

Mark Taylor

tayl29ma@jmu.edu

Registrar

Michele White

whitemm@jmu.edu

Univ Studies

Fletcher Linder

lindergf@jmu.edu

GenEd

Meg Mulrooney

mulroomm@jmu.edu

GenEd

David Daniel

danieldb@jmu.edu

Faculty Senate

Val Larsen

larsenwv@jmu.edu

Learning Centers

Laura Schubert

schubelk@jmu.edu

Accreditation

Herb Amato

amatohk@jmu.edu

Academic Policy

Cynthia Bauerle

bauerlcm@jmu.edu

AVPFC

Paula Maxwell

maxwelpj@jmu.edu

CFI

Ed Brantmeier

brantmej@jmu.edu

Communications

 Kristi Shackelford

shackekl@jmu.edu

Summer School

Catherine Crummett

crummecm@jmu.edu

 How was hiring affected by COVID-19?

During the last academic year, we initiated searches for 87 positions. From these searches, we’ve made 74 successful hires. There were six failed searches, six others were cancelled due to COVID-19 hiring freezes, and one search is still underway. Within Academic Affairs, 55 searches were not initiated to address pandemic-related budget concerns.

 What information is being used to guide how JMU responds to the COVID-19 pandemic?

The university’s COVID-19 Response Team, which is co-chaired by Marsha Mays-Bernard and Dr. Kristina Blyer and advises the president’s cabinet, is monitoring five main metrics. These metrics were communicated in a JMU reopening update of August 11, 2020 ( at https://www.jmu.edu/news/2020/08/11-reopening-update.shtml ), and are:

  • Changes in any orders from the Governor of Virginia;
  • Local hospital capacity;
  • Testing resources at the University Health Center;
  • An increase in positive COVID-19 cases within our community; and/or
  • Our on-campus and local isolation and quarantine capacity.

By watching these indicators in combination, rather than focusing on a single criterion, we are able to help flatten disease curves, prevent overwhelming our medical system, and protect vulnerable populations.

 How was faculty input considered when making university decisions regarding COVID-19?

JMU’s strong faculty governance model has been crucial in incorporating faculty feedback. Each academic unit has a Faculty Senate representative who has the responsibility of sharing with the larger faculty what is happening at JMU. These representatives are asked to go back to the units and update you with the most recent information. Your faculty senate representative serves as the voice of your academic unit and is responsible for sharing your ideas, opinions and concerns.

The provost typically meets monthly with just the deans and most weeks with Academic Council to consider an array of issues. This summer, those meetings have nearly doubled so we can deal with pandemic-related issues as soon as they come Keeping everyone involved was challenging because decisions needed to be made quickly, and this was occurring largely during the summer when most faculty were off-contract. We increased our communication by setting up the COVID website with FAQs and updates and we sent multiple surveys to faculty. Faculty were at the forefront of our planning.

During our response to COVID-19, the president created numerous committees to gather information from everyone at the university, including faculty. It was imperative that faculty served on these committees. As an example, Fletcher Linder chaired the Academic Affairs Infectious Disease Response Team and the Provost worked with the Faculty Senate Chair to make sure there were representatives from Faculty Senate on that committee. The same applied to the Contingency Planning Task Force, which included AA administrators and faculty.

Anyone who feels their voice hasn’t been heard can reach out to their senate representative, their AUH, their dean or Provost Coltman.

Student Support

 My students seem to be having trouble adapting to online courses. Are there resources for them?

The Libraries have excellent resources for students participating in online and hybrid learning. They can also get Online Learning Strategies from fellow students.

 Where can I refer students who are struggling with their mental health?

If you are concerned about a student in distress, you can speak with a Counseling Center clinician by calling the Counseling Center at (540) 568-6552, Monday–Thursday, 8:00 a.m.– 5:00 p.m., and Friday, 8:00 a.m.– 12:00 p.m. The clinician will help you develop a plan to respond to the situation and connect you with the appropriate resources. You may also find it helpful to review the section of the Counseling Center’s website that was specifically designed to assist faculty in your efforts to support students of concern.

If you are concerned about a student, please consider sending a Madison Cares referral. Madison Cares is a centralized program for departments, students, parents, and community members to refer or consult about students of concern. We operate as an extended arm to students experiencing varying levels of social, emotional, academic, or mental-health stressors.

Students, university personnel, community members, or family members can submit a referral online about a student they are concerned about through the Madison Cares program. We will respond and address any concerns by providing care outreach, university resources, and direct support.

You may also contact the Dean of Students directly at (540) 568-6468 or email.

 My student has a question about an accommodation. Where should they go?

The Office of Disability Services is the best resource for students needing any type of accommodation, related to COVID-19 or not.

 What additional space does JMU provide for students to take their online/hybrid courses that has stable internet access?

For a list of study spaces, refer students to this site.

Our usage data indicates that lots of space remains in the Libraries, and it is clearly marked as to “quiet study” or “talking okay.” Students doing group work are still required to socially distance, and they are asked not to move furniture that has been set up to support that.

There is also ample space remaining in some locations within the Union, the Student Success Center and the Festival Conference Center.

 How can JMU provide consistency to create a sense of security for students?

Stability and consistency are provided through the ongoing delivery of student support services (e.g., Learning Centers, Help Desk and Library services); continuing to provide access to on-campus spaces (e.g., labs, creative spaces, UREC, Libraries, dining), and continuing to enable student relationships with faculty, advisers, staff and fellow students.

 Have there been any efforts to ascertain how the constant course format changes have on student health? If so, what can be done to assist the students?

Students have reported that it is difficult for them to stay engaged with the material depending on the mode of delivery, which is the reason engagement with your students is so important. A large majority of students report struggling with online courses, particularly with those delivered in an asynchronous format. The asynchronous format, for these particular students visiting the Counseling Center, seems to exacerbate challenges with time management and understanding course material, and it leads to negative evaluations about the value of their education.

Students have also reported having a sense of isolation, and some are doubting their own ability to finish the semester. To combat these issues, students have reported that the most helpful tools are belonging to a community, having a support system in place, and taking advantage of numerous student resources (e.g., counseling services, tutoring, access to their adviser, etc.).

Research and Scholarship

 How are research and scholarship being handled?

The Office of Research and Scholarship (R&S) is working closely with the colleges to administer Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for continuing field and on-campus research activities. Contact your college dean to discuss the process for approval in your respective college. R&S will work closely with the Institutional Review Board for all research involving human subjects.

Vaccines, Testing and Notifications

 When can I get the vaccine?

JMU does not have direct access to the COVID-19 vaccine. JMU is actively working and communicating with the Virginia Department of Health in planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Central Shenandoah Health District.

To see updated information, including local distribution phase status and up-to-date vaccination efforts, visit the Central Shenandoah Health District website.

The Virginia Department of Health website is also a great resource. On this site, you can find out which phase Virginia counties are in and what phase you are eligible for, and view a comprehensive list of frequently asked questions.

 Can I get the vaccine at JMU?

The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is responsible for acquiring and distributing COVID-19 vaccine. The University Health Center (UHC) is not a vaccination site, and the UHC does not have direct access to the COVID-19 vaccine. JMU is actively working and communicating with the Virginia Department of Health in planning for the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations in the Central Shenandoah Health District.

To see updated information, including local distribution phase status and up-to-date vaccination efforts, visit the Central Shenandoah Health District website.

 How are we handling testing on campus?

JMU will be conducting entry testing for Spring 2021. The most up-to-date information on entry testing is available here.

Surveillance testing will also continue in the spring.

If you are interested in getting tested, you’ll find resources here.

 What should I do if I am exposed to COVID-19?

If you are exposed to COVID-19, follow these procedures from the University Health Center.

 What do I do if a student in my in-person class reports that they have tested positive?

If the student was tested at the University Health Center, the UHC will guide the necessary processes and protocols and you, as the instructor, do not need to take any action.

If you are aware that a student was tested off-campus, you should remind the student that they need to contact the UHC to report their positive test result. Student can fill out a Self-Report Positive COVID test form from their MyJMUChart portal.

If you are aware of circumstance in your class, lab, studio or other academic space where students were in close contact of fewer than six feet for more than 15 minutes, you should contact the UHC to receive direction.

The experience gained from last semester revealed that the likelihood of viral transmission is extremely low in academic settings where when face mask use is enforced and physical distancing is maximized. 

 If I test positive for COVID-19, what should I do?

Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 should follow these UHC guidelines.

 What is the university monitoring to determine if JMU should continue to offer face-to-face classes?

The COVID-19 Response Team is monitoring four main metrics:

  • JMU/Local Positivity rates
  • Hospital Capacity
  • Quarantine/Isolation Capacity
  • Testing Capacity

By watching these indicators in combination, rather than a single parameter, we are able to assist in flattening the curve, prevent overwhelming the medical system, and protect our vulnerable populations.

 Will I be notified if one of my students tests positive?

Due to privacy issues related to HIPAA and FERPA, you will not be notified by the university if a student in your class tests positive for COVID-19 unless you are identified as a close contact. A student may choose to contact you directly.

Students who are ill must contact the University Health Center, who will notify the Dean of Students (DoS) Office. The DoS will inform instructors of students' absence due to illness. If students give permission, the DoS may share a student's diagnosis. Academic Affairs worked with the Office of the Dean of Students Office to develop a series of FAQs for students regarding absences and notification of faculty. 

 

 When are students isolated or quarantined?

When students are tested, they will be told to bring an overnight bag with them. If test is negative, they will be released from quarantine.

All isolated and quarantined students will get follow-up phone calls and electronic communications from staff to complete a form to use for contact tracing.

View the Stop the Spread site for more details on the isolation and quarantine protocols. 

 Can faculty be tested for COVID-19 on campus?

The University Health Center will have the ability to test faculty and staff. The reference lab can bill individuals.

In addition, Human Resources has partnered with the University Health Center to provide an occupational health nurse. This nurse will specifically work and communicate with faculty and staff on COVID-19-related concerns and medical needs.

For faculty and staff who test positive, VDH will strongly recommend that they notify the university of a positive test. If they refuse, VDH will notify JMU of a positive test result without identifying the faculty or staff member by name.

 How does testing 300 asymptomatic students per week allow the university to "identify and get ahead of potential outbreaks of the virus"?

According to Dr. Blyer, surveillance testing will be performed with PCR (polymerise chain reaction) testing. 300 tests represents roughly 5% of our on-campus population. This number of tests and the testing selection process was vetted by the Scientific & Public Health Advisory Team, a group of 19 members – 11 from JMU – with scientific and/or public health backgrounds that functions to inform JMU leadership of current scientific research and public health guidance related to COVID-19. This provides a way to test groups of individuals who are assumed to be healthy to make predictions on how an illness spreads in populations.

 What is the purpose of surveillance testing?

Surveillance testing monitors the current state of the epidemic. The university can use this testing to monitor things like whether it is moving into a new area, affecting some groups of people more than other groups, or whether its prevalence is increasing or decreasing.

Face-to-Face Delivery

 If a student in my class tests positive, does the whole class need to quarantine?

Entire classes do not need to quarantine if a student tests positive.

When a student recieves a positive result, the UHC or VDH will determine if there is a need to quarantine and contact individual students, faculty or staff directly.

To protect student privacy, you should not tell the entire class of possible exposure or positive test results.

 

 Am I required to have a seating chart in my face-to-face class?

Seating charts aren’t required. However, establishing a seating chart that is shared with students could help with contract tracing if one of your students is exposed to COVID-19. Alternatively, you could advise students to sit in the same location, as tends to be the pattern for most students anyway, and get to know the students they sit near.

 Should I open the windows in my classroom?

In general, do not open the windows in any classrooms or offices. The HVAC systems and window units have been calibrated for the optimum mixture of inside and outside airflow. If windows are opened for ventilation humidity will be uncontrolled and may create conditions that would lead to other issues including the inability to maintain temperature within a comfortable zone and microbial growth because of excessive humidity.

Mandatory mask usage coupled with continual disinfection within the classrooms and common areas will dramatically reduce the amount of infectious material that could potentially be released.  These actions along with our ongoing disinfections of classrooms and reduced occupancy rates should create a safer working environment than many will encounter elsewhere in their daily travels.

More details on HVAC systems and ventilation are available on the Academic Space Health and Safety page (https://www.jmu.edu/academic-affairs/covid/healthsafety.shtml).

 Are there any concerns about teaching outside?

Remember that physical distancing and mask use are important – and required – both indoors and outdoors. 

Instructors must keep these important considerations in mind when using outdoor spaces: Maintaining building access; preserving pedestrian safety (e.g., occupying steps often reduces egress and poses safety concerns for pedestrians); considering access broadly (e.g., outside ambient noise can make hearing more difficult; some outdoor spaces are not physically accessible to all students); and monitoring safety concerns about weather.

Also, remember that wireless bandwidth is not readily available in all outdoor locations.

 

 A student with an ODS-approved Access Plan has asked to complete my in-person class online. What do I do?

When they have ODS-authorized accommodations, instructors should work with students to determine a reasonable accommodation that enables the student to proceed in the course.

 I have students who wants to finish the semester online because they do not feel comfortable returning to in-person classes. What should I do?

We understand that it may not be feasible in all cases to provide a semester-long online learning option. While we encourage you to be responsive to this type of student request to the extent you are able, you are not required to provide an online option if it is not feasible.

 I have students in quarantine and isolation that are requesting online delivery of my in-person course. Do I have to provide a virtual option?

Instructors should work with students that are in quarantine and isolation to determine a reasonable accommodation that enables the student to proceed in the course. This may be an online accommodation, but that is not required.

 Do faculty have to check students’ LiveSafe app status?

Faculty members should ask students to show their green check mark as part of on-campus classes, where possible and appropriate.

 How many students can be enrolled in my class?

When classes resume in person, meetings will be limited to 50 students or fewer. No class meeting will have more than 50 students in a single room. A class may maintain a higher enrollment if there are detailed plans to prevent 50+ students from gathering in person at once.

Masks and PPE

 What if a student in my class isn't wearing a mask?

You should ask any student in your class to wear a mask if they are not wearing one. A box of disposable masks will be available in each classroom, lab and studio to offer students. 

If a student refuses to wear a mask, you should ask the student to leave the classroom and/or building. If a student declines to leave, you should warn the student that such behavior may result in disciplinary actions through the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices (OSARP). Faculty or staff may call Public Safety (568-6912) to escort students who refuse to wear a mask from the classroom or building.

Guidance for talking with students about wearing masks from OSARP is available here.

More information on masks in the classroom is on the Academic Spaces Health and Safety page.

 Are face shields and no masks allowable in cases where students need to read lips?

Physical distancing is important to maintain when someone is wearing a face shield without a mask underneath. Clear masks are also an option. For more information on face coverings, see the Return to Campus plan. Also, review the ODS Mask and Accessibility Guidance.

 Is there sample mask policy language for syllabi?

Faculty may customize their syllabus as they choose. Here is some sample language that you can use or adapt for your syllabus.

JMU requires that all community members wear fabric face masks that cover the mouth and nose while indoors or while outdoors in the presence of others. Individuals may wear a face shield if they have a valid accommodation verified by a medical or mental health practitioner or if the academic or employment activity they are involved in cannot occur with a face mask. Students who do not wear masks in the classroom will be subject to Academic Affairs Policy #12, Disruption of Class, which outlines the progressive discipline for student misbehavior and has been updated to include responses to COVID-19. 

You may also want to review the OSARP messaging regarding face coverings.

The Office of Disability Services will notify faculty of those students with an ODS accommodation to not wear masks.

 What can or should we do if faculty or staff aren’t wearing masks where necessary?

All faculty and staff are encouraged to speak up when someone is not wearing a mask. If the faculty or staff member is not comfortable speaking directly to the person not wearing a mask, they should report the employee’s behavior to their supervisor(s). Penalties will depend on the infraction. For more information, see the Return to Campus plan.

 Do people working behind plexiglass or in cubicles need masks?

Faculty and staff at JMU are required to wear face masks which cover the nose and mouth at all times when in the presence of others or when physical distancing is not possible indoors. With supervisor approval, employees who remain behind some types of plexiglass barriers and thoroughly distanced from others when working may not be required to wear a face mask. They are still encouraged to wear a face mask or face shield. Remember, due to the configuration of some plexiglass barriers face coverings may need to be worn while working behind them, and if physical distancing is not possible when multiple people are working behind a barrier, face masks must be worn. 

It is not necessary to wear a face covering when working alone in a private office regardless of whether the door is open or closed as long as physical distancing is being practiced. If the door is closed, it is not necessary to wear a mask. If another person enters the office, both parties should wear a mask.

Cubicle workspaces are different than private offices. They do not have a door or ceiling height walls. To prevent the spread of COVID-19, employees who work in cubicle workspaces are required to wear a face mask at all times.

 Do faculty have to use the LiveSafe app?

All members of the community must complete the self-monitoring on the LiveSafe app daily before they leave their residence hall or enter campus. All JMU offices, dining halls, libraries, facilities and UREC will be regularly asking students to show their green check mark illustrating that they are symptom-free.

 Do I have to wear a mask in the classroom if I’m behind plexiglass?

Everyone must wear a mask at all times in all academic buildings while in the presence of others. If you are alone in your office with your door closed, you do not have to wear a mask. Faculty must wear masks at all times while teaching, even when behind plexiglass barriers.

Budget

 What is the status of the budget?

We are implementing budget reductions across the university to address the budget shortage caused by COVID-19. Centrally, the university is identifying as many mitigation efforts as possible to limit the financial loss to colleges and academic units. Maintaining the university’s academic mission is our top priority, so maintaining funding for instructional personnel is critical and important to protect during times of budget crisis​.

Academic Affairs is facing a budget reduction of $4M. AA leadership is working with the colleges to identify areas of budget reduction that will minimize impact to instruction and academic priorities​. However, final numbers are still uncertain as we await budget decisions made by the Virginia House and Senate.

 Will there be salary reductions to help with the budget cuts?

JMU, like most institutions, is facing a serious budget shortfall and is implementing multiple cost-saving measures. Salary reductions may be considered, but protecting employment is a top priority for university. No final decisions have been made at this point in time.

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