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OU provost's office outlines new COVID-19 procedures for faculty

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Kyle Harper

Kyle Harper during an OU Board of Regents meeting Dec. 2, 2019.

Senior Vice President and Provost Kyle Harper’s office outlined new COVID-19 procedures for OU faculty, according to an email sent to some faculty and adjunct professors and obtained by The Daily. 

According to the email, per the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, accommodations will be made for faculty members deemed by their health care provider to have underlying conditions that put them at higher health risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those faculty members are encouraged to confidentially register with the Office of Human Resources. 

Information about this policy and process, as well as more information about qualifying situations for emergency COVID-19 paid time off and expanded Family and Medical Leave Act leave for coronavirus-related events can be found on the OU Human Resources website. According to the email, to maintain maximum privacy and confidentiality, faculty questions must be directed to Norman campus Human Resources Representative Vanessa Llach. 

According to the email, Harper’s office has asked that administrators be as accommodating as possible to requests related to childcare or care for a member of a vulnerable population. 

In the email, a college's professors are encouraged to share such requests with their area head within two weeks, and the college indicates it will do as much as possible to accommodate those requests.

Harper’s office has emphasized the importance of in-person instruction, according to the email, so other course assignments may shift to prevent further reduction of the total amount of in-person classes. Based on Harper’s guidelines and emphasis on in-person classes, administrators said in the email they don’t expect to accommodate other faculty requests to teach online.

Ari Fife is the OU Daily summer editor-in-chief and a sophomore journalism major minoring in international studies and political science. Previously, she served as a senior news reporter and was an SGA beat reporter.

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