Together, we are UB:

Guidance for faculty and academic support staff

Protecting the university community

Updated March 4, 2022

As a course instructor or academic support staff, you play a critical role in allowing students to adhere to UB’s comprehensive Health and Safety Guidelines, which help protect the health and safety of all of us at UB. 

Please be prepared to accommodate students who are requesting to stay home due to illness or who indicate they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms.

We recommend clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work and maintaining flexibility with respect to student circumstances and normal course attendance policies. 

Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course.

FAQ

  • Can faculty change course modality?

    No. Per prior communications, instructors must receive explicit approval from their department and decanal unit to change course modality. Course modality changes must be reported to the Registrar.

    Updated March 2, 2022

    classroom positive sick ill mask masks
  • Can academic support offices (e.g. tutoring, advising) require students to wear masks?

    No. Academic support offices (tutoring, advising, etc) may not require students to wear masks.

    Updated March 2, 2022

    classroom positive sick ill mask masks
  • Can Faculty require students to wear masks in class?

    No. Faculty may not require students to wear masks in class. 

    Updated March 2, 2022

    classroom positive sick ill mask masks
  • If there is a positive case in the class, do the other students have to quarantine?

    Masks are optional on UB’s campuses in most settings:

    • Students, faculty, staff and visitors, regardless of vaccination status, will no longer be required to wear masks in most settings, indoors or outdoors. 
    • Anyone who wishes to continue wearing a mask in a classroom, office or any other campus space is encouraged to do so. 
    • Masks will continue to be mandatory for everyone aboard UB buses and shuttles and in clinical health care settings (e.g. UB Health Services, Dental School facilities, on-campus testing sites) on campus.
    • UB faculty, staff and students who work or learn at hospitals, nursing homes, clinics or diagnostic and treatment centers off campus must continue to comply with any site-specific regulations in place.

    Remember: There are many reasons that individuals may continue to wear a mask, including those who are:

    • Unvaccinated 
    • Immunocompromised
    • Living with someone at higher risk

    Please be kind and respectful toward others in our UB community.

    Faculty and academic support staff, see Guidance for faculty and academic support staff.

    No. The risk of transmission within classrooms is still considered very low because 98 percent of UB students are up to date with their vaccinations against COVID-19.

    See "Close Contacts," below, for additional details on close contacts and quarantine and isolation requirements.

    Students who test positive

    Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate and report it via UB’s confidential reporting form.

    If students need to miss class due to illness, isolation or quarantine, they must notify their instructor  as soon as possible and no later than 24 hours after missing class. Residential students may request assistance from Campus Living to provide faculty notifications.

    Residential students have the option to isolate/quarantine in designated on-campus housing. See Quarantine Information for Residence Hall Students for more information.

    Employees who test positive

    Any employee who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should isolate and report it to their supervisor and to UB’s Office of Human Resources. HR will provide additional guidance.

    UB Human Resources
    716-645-7777
    ub-hr@buffalo.edu

    Notifications of Positive Cases

    • The spread of infection is expected to be low on campus due to vaccine requirements. However, positive COVID-19 cases on campus are anticipated.
    • Notifications will not necessarily be sent out for each reported case.
    • The university will continue to report the number of on-campus positive cases to the COVID-19 dashboard.
    Monitor Your Health

    All students and employees, regardless of vaccination status, should closely monitor their health, stay home if they develop symptoms of COVID-19 and get tested immediately.

    Updated January 31, 2022

    classroom positive sick ill quarantine
  • Will all students in my classroom be up to date with their vaccinations against COVID-19 before the first day of classes?

    Note that all UB students who live on campus or who come to campus for classes or activities are required to complete their primary COVID-19 vaccination series and are strongly encouraged to get boosters when eligible, in accordance with SUNY guidelines.

    Updated January 19, 2022

    mask classroom covering instructor faculty Booster
  • Are quarantine and/or isolation considered excusable class absences by UB?

    Yes. Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course.

    Updated August 23, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill excuse missed absence
  • What if a student feels sick?

    Encourage them to stay out of class and get tested immediately for COVID-19. All students, regardless of vaccination status, should closely monitor their health and get tested if they develop symptoms.

    Any student who receives a positive COVID-19 test result should report it via UB’s confidential COVID-19 reporting form.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • What concessions should I make for a student who is out of class with COVID-19 or is quarantining?

    Please be prepared to accommodate students who are requesting to stay home due to illness or who indicate they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. We recommend clearly communicating opportunities and expectations around alternative assignments or makeup work and maintaining flexibility with respect to student circumstances and normal course attendance policies. 

    Class absences due to COVID-19 isolation or quarantine are considered excusable per the university’s Class Attendance policies. Please use all means at your disposal to allow students to make up work and engage in class activities while in isolation, depending on the circumstances relevant to your course

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • Has UB addressed ventilation and air flow in the classroom, labs and other learning spaces to help reduce transmission?

    Yes. Ventilation systems have been adjusted to increase the flow of outside air into the buildings, per CDC recommendations.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom ventilation airflow
  • If I learn that one of my students tested positive for COVID-19, what should I tell the rest of my class?

    Please inform students that the risk of transmission within classrooms is still considered very low because all UB students who live on campus or who come to campus for classes or activities are required to complete their primary COVID-19 vaccination series and are strongly encouraged to get boosters when eligible, in accordance with SUNY guidelines.

    Also, in order to protect the privacy of the student who tests positive, faculty should not share the identity of the student in any communication to the class.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill
  • What should I tell students who say they are immunocompromised or have other medical conditions that do not allow them to complete course requirements?

    Refer them to Accessibility Resources for assistance with accommodations.

    Updated August 19, 2021

    classroom positive sick ill immunocompromised
  • How will UB keep me updated about the number of positive cases at the university?

    The university’s COVID-19 dashboard will be updated daily to report new cases among UB students and employees.

    UB students, faculty and staff are reminded to monitor their health each day, stay home if they are sick, practice good hand hygiene and follow UB’s guidelines on face coverings and other protocols. 

    Updated August 19, 2021

    positive cases dashboard communicate