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COVID-19: News and Campus Updates

April 1, Operational Update

April 1, 2020 Update (View on YouTube)


President Feinstein (00:03):
Good morning, everybody. Wednesday, April 1st, and I apologize, I don't have any good April Fools' jokes today, but maybe someone else on the call does. Hope everyone's doing well. I know that we have a lot of things to discuss, so let's get right to it. I'll ask Dan Maxey, our chief of staff, to get us going and moderate conversations from each of our coronavirus task force leaders. Dan?

Dan Maxey (00:28):
Great. Thank you, President Feinstein. The Cabinet and the coronavirus task force, as well as its various subcommittees, meet today. The Student Senate also has a Microsoft Teams meeting scheduled for this afternoon. As our daily panel gives reports, please remember to unmute your microphones and turn on your cameras. Today, much like Saturday, we are practicing our contingency plans for the leadership of the coronavirus task force. Incident command for the day has been transferred to Assistant Vice President for Facilities Management, Kirk Leichliter. Kirk will start us off with a report on daily developing issues. Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (01:02):
Good morning, everybody. I'm in the picture. We noticed that Denver announced an extension of their stay at home order through April 30th. Not sure how that plays out with the state order, but that's what they did. Case counts: Colorado 2,966, that is an increase of 339. 69 deaths, an increase of 18. 509 hospitalizations, that's an increase of 95. We're up to 50 counties and there have been 16,849 tests provided.

Kirk Leichliter (01:45):
In Weld County, 296 cases, an increase of 43. 11 deaths, an increase of two. Unfortunately we have 17 first responders in Weld County that are in quarantine and that's up 10 from the last couple of days, so not a good trend there. That's it for the opening remarks, Dan.

Dan Maxey (02:13):
Thank you, Kirk. Next up, Dean of Students, Gardiner Tucker, will give a report on impacts to student life. Tuck, you have the headphones, I mean the floor.

Gardiner Tucker (02:23):
Headphones and the floor. That's a twofer. First up, I just wanted to let you all know that my partner, Marcie, and I ordered our first grocery store delivery, and it came, and everything was in there. I hear sometimes things get replaced. Luckily we got all our originals. I'm not sure if that'll happen again, but it was a very efficient way to get groceries. If those of you who haven't tried it yet want to give it a try, it worked well.

Gardiner Tucker (02:51):
Student impact: The first one I want to talk about is sometimes when we go through these things, our students lose connection to issues that are happening across the country. One of the strategies we're using is to find ways to connect students to national issues. One of the examples is the Census 2020, which is out. I've asked Jed Cummins, Assistant Director of Housing, to report on the Census. Jed, are you on?

Jediah Cummins (03:20):
Yeah. Hi, Tuck. I'm here and thank you all for inviting me. I have, for the Census, today is what the US Census Bureau would consider Census Day, in addition to being UNC's birthday. Thanks for pointing that one out, Lyndsey. Essentially, with a lot of the things going on with coronavirus, the Census Bureau released some additional guidance for students that essentially no matter where they are currently living, even if that has changed because they want to do socially distance at home with the family, they are asking that students that normally live at school or in a school's community report themselves there so they are counted there, even if they are living somewhere else temporarily during the pandemic.

Jediah Cummins (04:12):
We have released this information to both students and parents through various blogs and newsletters to them. UNC will be reporting our on-campus students that would have lived with us, even if they have currently checked out, on all of our counts for residence halls, apartments, and houses, as being here on campus. Obviously, our census process effects billions of dollars of federal funding, as well as representative governments at the local states and federal level. It's a very important process, so wanted to make sure that this group was aware of that.

Jediah Cummins (04:54):
I will paste into the chat for the meeting the information that went out to the students, so hopefully that will be of assistance for you all.

Make sure you are counted at UNC on the 2020 Census. The census is the once a decade count of everyone living in the United States, every ten years college student wonder where to count themselves, these questions may be particularly relevant due to the COVID-19 Pandemic and students who may be at home while UNC is delivering most courses online for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The official guidance from both US Census Bureau and UNC is: “students that normally live at school should be counted at school even if you are temporarily living somewhere else due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

If you live in UNC’s Residence Halls, Arlington Park Apartments or University Owned Houses UNC’s Housing & Residential Education staff will take care of reporting your census information. Students will be reported on where they live on campus, even if they have checked out due to the pandemic, are planning to check out soon, or haven’t returned from spring break. For students living off campus, you should receive an invitation in the mail to respond to the census and you can respond in three ways online by phone or by mail. We want to make sure students are counted where they normally live because those responses impact several billions of dollars in federal funding and how it be distributed, including to community and school services like safety, mental health services, and Pell grants. Want to learn more? Check out this video “What College Students Need to Know to Be Counted in the Right Place.”

Just wanted to make sure that you all were aware, especially for the folks that would be working directly with students, especially our off campus students, because they may generally during census processes, lots of students have questions about where to count themselves. I would imagine that this year's a very confusing time for folks to know where should I be counted.

Gardiner Tucker (05:30):
Thank you, Jed. Thank you for getting our students engaged in the national issues. Even though they're still here on campus, we need to keep them informed. Also, could you talk about the current state of printing for off-campus and on-campus students?

Jediah Cummins (05:44):
Yeah. During a call prior to the governor's stay at home order, we had been working with primarily the Center for International Education Students, but a wide variety of off-campus students to offer the Bear Print facilities over in Harrison Hall for off-campus students to do things like print tax forms, print a variety of forms that might be just relevant, things that needed to be printed, couldn't be done electronically. With the closure of the Harrison Hall desk, we have restricted our on-campus printing ability to only the students living on campus. However, we have added some options to the frequently asked questions website for off-campus students to be able to go and either utilize a FedEx store, UPS store, that sort of a thing for those printing needs. We have put direct links to our partners. I know that we've worked pretty closely with FedEx in the past, so we put some links to those sites for off-campus students to be able to access those needs still.

Gardiner Tucker (07:00):
Excellent. Thank you so much for your reports, Jed. Again, the basic, we need to keep students in touch with the basics so they can still have their daily lives work well, as well as our academic side.

Gardiner Tucker (07:13):
The next student impact: Students are still missing the smaller communities where their voices are heard, where mentoring takes place, where they make lifelong friendships. Our strategy for that is to develop virtual small communities to maintain the sense of belonging and connection. Today's example is the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center, GSRC, and the director, Stephen Loveless, and his team have moved a lot of their connections online.

Gardiner Tucker (07:41):
Stephen is available for drop-in and scheduled meetings virtually with students. They're finding that there are a lot of questions during this time when students are living together, there's more pressure on relationships and more likelihood of discrimination and abuse in those situations. So, he really is trying to reach out to students to let them know he's available for consult.

Gardiner Tucker (08:04):
Student staff are creating daily videos on self-care, academic tips, and tools for social distancing. They are posting articles regarding the queer community and culture and articles on queer history, as well as queer artist spotlights. Steven also has a series of director chats where he goes into certain topics in more depth. For example, yesterday he posted on Happy Trans Visibility Day, which is an official day in Colorado, signed by Jared Polis. They're posted on the UNC Gender and Sexuality Resource Center Facebook page.

Gardiner Tucker (08:44):
All of those things are happening in the month of April. In addition, they're hosting 15 affinity groups with 23 digital meetings during April. The affinity groups support those that may be back in those hostile living situations. It gives people others to talk about who may be going through similar situations. Finally, they're developing a program to digitally acknowledge graduating seniors. That's a very thorough approach to moving the cultural centers and the resource centers online. Thank you, Stephen, and to your team.

Gardiner Tucker (09:16):
Let's see, the final word, I have something to screen share with you all. If you see that, we have two kitties and a University of Northern Colorado T-shirt.

Katrina Rodriguez (09:36):
Okay. This is Katrina. I'm laughing. Those are my kitties.

Gardiner Tucker (09:42):
Those are Katrina's kitties. To me, they're symbolic, one, of what it's like to, some of us, work from home and to have daily pet therapy. But also symbolizes the integration of who we are as people and where we're living and how we're managing our world. Thank you, Katrina, for sharing those. That concludes my report.

Dan Maxey (10:04):
Thank you, Tuck and Jed. Next, I'm going to turn to Provost Mark Anderson to give his report on impacts to the academic mission. I think that yesterday Mark said that he might try to rhyme his report today. We'll see if he's prepared to do that.

Mark Anderson (10:18):
I am not, but I do have an April Fools' joke and that is, how many mugs does the chief of staff need for his coffee in the morning? Apparently a lot.

Gardiner Tucker (10:35):
They should all be UNC mugs.

Mark Anderson (10:38):
They all should be UNC mugs. Well, welcome and good morning. It's a tough act to follow when Tuck does his. Rhyming is not my thing, so I apologize. In addition to continuing to deliver courses to our students in the best way that we possibly can — and again, just want to acknowledge all of our faculty for really going above and beyond to make sure that the student experience on the academic side is as good as the student experience that Tuck has relayed to each of us every day.

Mark Anderson (11:12):
The other business of the university continues. We are interviewing our final candidate for the AVP for Strategic Enrollment this morning and remainder of today. The committee will collect feedback from the campus community and make a recommendation later this week, beginning of next week, and we'll continue to move forward with those hires.

Mark Anderson (11:41):
Myself, Stephanie Torrez, Charlie Couch, and Cindy Wesley yesterday worked pretty much all day in developing a proposal for grading options, pass-fail, a lot of student feedback, a lot of faculty feedback about wanting to have a grade option. We worked on a proposal based largely upon the proposal that the University of Colorado Boulder has put forward. Because we worked so hard on it and pretty much all day, we got it to Stan for Faculty Senate consideration late last night and, not surprisingly, needed some editing because we had been staring at it all day long. So, Stan and Faculty Senate are working on that. We hope to have a Qualtrics survey for Faculty Senate to weigh in on changing a grading option. We've tentatively set a deadline for Friday for finishing Qualtrics survey so we can have some announcement about grading for early next week.

Mark Anderson (12:52):
Charlie and IMT have been working behind the scenes to see how we can implement a change in grading policy so it's as seamless as possible. I want to shout out to IMT and Charlie and the Registrar's office for working really hard on that.

Mark Anderson (13:12):
Sorry to disappoint. No rhymes, not in my DNA I'm afraid. That's all I have, Dan.

Dan Maxey (13:20):
Next time. Next, we'll ask Kirk Leichliter to come back on to give his report on impacts to our facilities. Kirk.

Kirk Leichliter (13:29):
Hello again. We don't have any update for a Corps of Engineers yet regarding the possible alternative care facility. We'll keep flexible on that. Yesterday I understand cabinet approved a lease with Banner Health on housing out-of-state nurses on campus. I'm sure that'll be much appreciated. Buildings are operating normally. It's interesting how few trouble calls we get when nobody's there. There may be some correlation. Custodial, toilet paper thefts are on the rise. Otherwise, business as usual. EHS picked up an order of personal protective equipment from Weld County and then delivered some of our items to Weld for redistribution as well. They're also working with Nursing to get some supplies back to Nursing to support clinical work.

Kirk Leichliter (14:31):
IT will be available for support today, I believe from 1:00 to 3:00, by appointment if necessary. Dining's student load is back up to around 125. It dropped over the weekend and still trying to figure out what the normal is going to be there. I believe that covers it for today.

Dan Maxey (15:02):
Great. Thank you, Kirk. Finally, I'll call on Marshall Parks, Director of Human Resources, to share information about HR-related impacts. Marshall.

Marshall Parks (15:10):
Good morning, everybody. I'd also like to say happy anniversary to Provost Anderson. It's his first year anniversary. He's been at UNC one year and glad you're here, Mark, and happy anniversary.

Marshall Parks (15:23):
Yesterday, met with cabinet. President and cabinet approved a temporary pay differential of $3 per hour for employees who are required to continue to come to campus on a regular basis as essential personnel. The pay differential will only be applied to the hours worked on campus, not for remote work or administrative leave time. The specific areas included are our Dining, Custodial, Facilities, the Police Department and their dispatch operation. In addition, a stipend was approved for our residence hall directors and our RAs, who remain in our residence halls serving our students. The temporary pay differential will go into effect today and remain through the end of April. We'll review it again at that time to see what the circumstances look like.

Marshall Parks (16:08):
The details have been shared with the supervisors in these areas and will be posted on our HR website, as well as the Coronavirus website today and in the FAQs. Happy that we were able to do that for our employees who are still coming to campus, doing extra work, serving our students. Happy that this was approved yesterday by the president and his cabinet. That's all I have, Dan.

Dan Maxey (16:35):
Great. Thank you, Marshall. I want to thank everyone who's tuned in live or to the recording this morning. For anybody who is following my April Fools gag today, it was eight mugs. April Fools, y'all! I'm going to turn over the floor to President Feinstein for some closing words.

President Feinstein (16:54):
Thanks, Dan, and thanks, everybody, for your updates. I also want to congratulate Mark Anderson on his one year anniversary. Also, as I was reminded today, is UNC's 131st birthday. Happy birthday, UNC. Thank you, all, again for listening. Stay safe, be healthy, and we'll see you here again tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m. Take care, everybody.