FAQs for Faculty
These Faculty FAQs are updated continually so you can easily access the latest information. If your question is not on this page or the links, confer with your Dean for college-specific protocols or email ConnectedCampus@tcu.edu.
TCU encourages everyone to Protect the Purple by getting a vaccine. Free vaccines and boosters are available at the Brown-Lupton Health Center via walk-up or appointment. If you are vaccinated, please report your status at tcu.edu/protect-the-purple. If you are not confirmed via TCU’s online portal you will be considered unvaccinated and required to quarantine if in close contact with a COVID-19 positive individual.
IN-PERSON AND ONLINE CLASSROOM OPTIONS
If your classroom is disrupted by quarantine and isolation and you determine that you cannot ensure a good classroom experience, or if you are in isolation or quarantine, you have several options for academic continuity:
- GO ONLINE TEMPORARILY.
- No course may be moved online for the duration of the semester.
- Keep a log of when you begin online classes and when you return to in-person instruction. This helps us understand the extent that the pandemic is affecting the classroom.
- Limit online time to the duration of isolation or quarantine.
- If possible, teach from your classroom or TCU office while temporarily online, unless you are in isolation or quarantine.
- RECORD YOUR CLASS and share it with students at your discretion.
- TEACH IN PERSON and allow isolating/quarantining students to WATCH VIA ZOOM but not interact.
- TEACH A DUAL IN-PERSON/ONLINE interactive class for the length of time students are in isolation or quarantine.
- MAKE UP MISSED CLASSES using the method you established prior to Zoom.
We encourage you to focus on the in-person experience as much as possible, in response to the Student Government Association’s plea during fall 2020 for in-person-only courses to incentivize students to attend class, thereby enhancing the classroom experience.
NOTIFICATION PROCESS WHEN STUDENTS TEST POSITIVEContact Tracing and Investigation Flowchart
TCU has a proven effective process for notification and contact tracing when a student self-reports a positive test via the TCU online portal or is tested on campus. In the event of a student testing positive, instructors may receive any of the three different notification emails outlined below:
1. Positive Test Instructor Notification
- The TCU EOC may notify the instructor that an unnamed student from one of your courses has tested positive for COVID-19 if the student identifies that they were in the classroom within 48 hours of symptom onset.
- This is not a close contact notification. Not all instructors will receive this notice. This notification is contingent upon the contact tracing investigation and will be sent only if the COVID-positive person acknowledges that they were in the classroom within 48 hours of symptom onset.
- Instructors do not need to take action or inform the class since close contacts will be notified; however, you may inform the class if you choose, using the language from the email as a guide.
- While not required, if an instructor has a seating chart, please reply directly to the positive test notification to assist the investigator in identifying other potential contacts.
- Out of privacy, the person who tested positive will not be named in the Positive Test Instructor Notification email.
- TCU Facilities initiates additional disinfection protocols; the room does not need to be closed.
2. Close Contact Notification
- TCU EOC conducts an investigation and contact tracing to determine and notify close contacts* to either quarantine 10-14 days if unvaccinated or test at day 3-5 if vaccinated and asymptomatic. (Per CDC guidelines, testing before day 3 is less effective).
- *The CDC defines close contact as being within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in 24 hours.
- Instructors will only receive this notification if they are considered a close contact. Instructors who stay within the Teaching Zone will not be considered a close contact.
- Out of privacy, the person who tested positive will not be named in the Close Contact Notification email.
3. Student Absence Notification
- Campus Life notifies the instructor in a separate email, the Student Absence Notification, when a student (named) must miss class for a certain period of time. The student is copied on the email.
- Out of privacy, the email will not disclose the illness nor say if the student is in isolation.
*If a Student is in Quarantine
- Campus Life does not notify instructors if a student must quarantine, but the student is advised to notify all their instructors.
- Instructors may require to see the student’s quarantine email or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm their absence.
FAQs RELATED TO NOTIFICATION
Since not every student in the classroom will have been in close contact with the infected person, it is not your responsibility to notify the entire classroom that an anonymous student has tested positive. Those determined to be in close contact will be notified by TCU EOC.
However, you can notify the class if you choose.
- The language provided in the notification is appropriate to share.
- If you discover the identity of the student, please do not share it with the class.
It likely means the student has not self-reported to TCU. It is important that we track campus cases so TCU Emergency Management can activate the contact tracing and notification process.
Only those within 6 feet of the infected person for 15 minutes are considered close contacts per CDC & Tarrant County Public Health guidelines. Contract tracers interview each case to identify all individuals who meet that criteria. All of those identified as close contacts will be notified. Instructors who stay within the Teaching Zone will not be considered a close contact.
If you have a seating chart (not required), please reply to the Positive Test Instructor Notification and attach it, to assist with contact tracing in your classroom.
Other instances – sitting across the room, passing down the aisle – are considered incidental contacts and are advised to be diligent in hygiene and monitor symptoms, stay home if feeling sick, get tested, wear a mask, get vaccinated.
- If the student needs immediate medical attention, dismiss class and call 9-1-1.
- If the student is healthy enough to return to their residence, instruct them to go there immediately and contact the TCU Health Center for testing options.
- If the student tests positive for COVID-19, the contact tracing and notification process will begin.
FAQs RELATED TO CLASSROOM
TCU requires that face masks be worn in all indoor campus spaces, which includes classrooms. The face mask policy is available here.
- If TCU lifts the mask requirement before the end of Fall 2021, instructors may continue to require masks in your classroom. Please clearly convey requirements to your students. A mask requirement can be included in your syllabus.
- Students not complying with classroom mask requirements should be referred to email@example.com.
- Instructors may remain in the Teaching Zone – the front portion of every classroom that ensures at least six feet of distancing – at your discretion.
- Instructors and student presenters may wear face shields while inside the Teaching Zone in the classroom.
- Visitors must follow TCU’s mask requirement to wear face masks while indoors on campus.
Yes. Face shields may be exchanged for masks inside the Teaching Zone for instructors, guest speakers and student presenters. Masks should be worn while entering and exiting the Teaching Zone. Face shields are available through TCU Physical Plant, 817-257-7956 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students who do not comply with the classroom mask requirement should be referred to Dean of Students Mike Russel at email@example.com. This is solely for reporting students in academic instruction; i.e., your classroom. Students are receiving emails, videos, social media and other communications concerning the mask mandate and will continue to receive reminders via various communication channels while the mask requirement is in place.
No one is required to enforce the mask requirement.
In the classroom: If a student refuses to wear a mask in the classroom the instructor can refer them to the firstname.lastname@example.org to be treated as a code of conduct disciplinary issue. It is up to the instructor/chair/dean if the instructor takes action such as asking the student to leave, canceling class, stopping the lecture, etc. You are encouraged to open class with a personal appeal to wear masks and consideration of others.
Outside the classroom: TCU employees may ask students to wear masks or offer them masks. The same goes for colleagues. Again, you are not required to enforce the mask requirement.
Cleaning and sanitizing by instructors and students are no longer required but they are encouraged. Classrooms are disinfected by TCU Facilities based on CDC guidelines. If someone tests positive for COVID-19 and was in your classroom within 48 hours of symptom onset, TCU Facilities will initiate additional disinfection protocols. The room does not need to be closed.
The Teaching Zones are provided as a health and safety measure. Instructors may choose whether or not to stay within them. You may ask students to respect the area. The zones are not marked.
These are permissible since surface transmission is no longer considered threatening; however, use your discretion since some people may be averse to touching common items.
Students in the Teaching Zone may wear face shields. Students may also use microphones. Contact the IT representative for your college/school or TCU IT to request the microphone equipment.
No. We are maintaining 3 feet of distance (with only 10 exceptions) and assuring that every student has a seat in the classroom throughout the semester. Even if classrooms go online temporarily due to isolation or quarantine, or are taught hybrid temporarily, every student must have a guaranteed seat in the classroom.
Yes. Instructors may maintain office hours either in person, online or both. Masks are required if meeting in person on campus.
Shared offices are your personal space, so masks are not required if you are alone. Masks are required if you have office visitors or if you are sharing the office with a colleague at the same time. You may spread out if you have the space or work on a rotating schedule between being on campus in the office and working remotely.
Yes. Visitors are allowed on campus and must follow TCU’s mask requirement to wear masks indoors on campus.
TCU no longer requires documenting visitors to campus for contact tracing. It is up to your dean, program director or department chair to determine if this step should be implemented for your event. All guests on campus must abide by TCU’s mask policy at all times inside all buildings
If you think you have been within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes in a 24-hour period with an infected person, or if you have questions related to this exposure, contact the TCU COVID-19 hotline at 817-257-2684 or via email at email@example.com.
- Vaccinated close contacts who are asymptomatic are advised to test at day 3-5 following exposure. Testing before day 3 is ineffective. Quarantine is not needed.
- Vaccinated close contacts who are symptomatic should self-quarantine and contact the TCU Health Center for testing options.
- Unvaccinated close contacts must quarantine for 10-14 days.
- All close contacts will be sent a reminder on day 5 to make an appointment for testing at the Health Center.
Academic Affairs Resources for Faculty – non-COVID resources: Hybrid Certification, Syllabus Statements, Tenure and Promotion, Councils, Faculty Senate, Research, Travel, Inclusive Excellence, Chairs Resources, and Academic Affairs processes and procedures,