Fall 2021: Annual notification of selected University of Utah policies and resources

Dear students, faculty, and staff,

Welcome back to school! This memo reviews important University of Utah policies and regulations that all members of the university community are expected to follow, including guidance for health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these policies are directed to staff or faculty; others deal with issues students will face. Please take a moment to review this information. This memo is part of a series of policy notifications that are distributed during the academic year.  You can find this information, along with past notifications here.

Health and wellness (COVID-19)

  • COVID-19 vaccination requirement:
    • The university is requiring all students to document their COVID-19 vaccination or register an exemption from the requirement by Sept. 30, 2021. Those who do not complete the immunization series with an approved vaccine will have a hold placed on their Spring 2022 Semester registration as of Oct. 31, 2021. Holds will be lifted as individual students are vaccinated.
    • University of Utah Health Hospitals and Clinics staff, credentialed and privileged providers, and Health Academics staff in patient-sensitive job codes are required to be fully vaccinated by December 15, 2021. Requests for exemptions will be reviewed and more information is available on Pulse.
  • Masking and Testing:
    • For students, university leaders continue to encourage wearing masks in all indoor spaces on campus and completing asymptomatic COVID testing. For links to testing and vaccination clinics, visit the university’s coronavirus website.
    • All U of U Health staff and providers are required to mask in all locations. Any U of U Health employee, vaccinated or not, who is exposed or has symptoms that are concerning for COVID, should get tested and follow guidance regarding when they may return to work, as outlined here. These same guidelines apply to students in a clinical setting, who should follow this flowsheet if they are exposed or ill. While not required at this time, unvaccinated individuals—who are at higher risk of carrying the virus unknowingly—are strongly encouraged to undergo routine weekly testing. Asymptomatic surveillance testing instructions are found here.
  • The university is asking students, faculty, and staff to stay home if they are sick. Additionally, follow university employee exposure guidance. If you have been exposed and/or are exhibiting symptoms, complete the University’s Self-Reporting Form. U of U Health Hospitals and Clinics employees and U of U Health Academics employees, providers, and students who work in a clinical setting, please follow the Report to Work policy on Pulse.
  • If a student or co-worker becomes ill in a building where you work or teach, follow the University’s COVID-19 reporting and distancing protocol.
  • Administrative leave for COVID-19 testing and exposure is provided for campus and U of U Health Academics faculty and staff. Hospitals and Clinics staff, please follow this protocol on Pulse.
  • Counseling and Support resources are available to faculty, staff, and students.
  • The University of Utah is a tobacco-free campus.
  • Materials on the University’s Drug and Alcohol Abuse Prevention Program are available for download.

Campus safety and safety resources

  • SafeU: The SafeU website is a comprehensive resource for all safety-related information, from how to report a sexual assault to where to find bystander intervention training.
  • Safety section of @theU: This regular feature in @theU reports on a variety of safety issues across campus. Topics include fire safety, building evacuations, incident/injury reporting, etc.
  • Non-motorized Vehicles: Learn more about the rules governing the use of bicycles, skateboards, roller skates, and e-scooters on campus—where they are allowed, pedestrian rights-of-way, speed, etc.
  • Courtesy escorts: Available for all campus community members by calling 801-585-COPS (801-585-2677).
  • Weapons Policy: Policy 1-003 covers the university’s policy regarding firearms on campus.

Human Resources

  • Sexual Harassment/Discrimination: The University of Utah is committed to providing an environment that is safe and free from discrimination.
  • The Office of Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Title IX (OEO): is responsible for investigating sexual harassment and discrimination complaints.
  • Mandatory Reporters: Most university employees are required to report situations involving sexual misconduct and discrimination to OEO.
  • ADA Accommodation: Discrimination against an individual based on their status as a person with a disability is prohibited by federal law and university policy. Learn more, including requirements for equal opportunity and accessreasonable accommodation, and the grievance process.
  • Preferred Names and Pronouns: Students and employees should be called by their preferred name and gender pronoun, as found in the university’s Campus Information System (CIS).
  • Required Professional Boundaries in Relationships: Romantic and sexual relationships between a person in a position of power and a subordinate student or employee raise issues of exploitation, conflict of interest, and disruption of collegiality and mutual trust within a unit. In addition, supervision of or responsibility for the educational experience of immediate family members also raises concerns about conflict of interest. Both situations must be reported so a mitigation plan can be implemented. Guidance for appropriate practice when potential conflicts of interest arise can be found here.
  • Conflict Resolution: The Ombuds offices are staffed by independent faculty members who act as independent, confidential, informal, and impartial resources for faculty, staff, students, and post-doctoral fellows with a problem or concern. Click here for information on the Health Sciences Ombudsman Office and here for the Academic Affairs Faculty Ombudsman’s Office (main campus).

Political activity/Academic freedom

  • Use of University’s Name or University Affiliation: Faculty members must avoid exploiting the university’s name or their own relationship with the university for personal reasons unrelated to their legitimate academic or professional activities. They must not intentionally create the impression, in public appearances or statements, that they are representing the university unless, in fact, they are.
  • All University of Utah employees have the right to free speech on matters of public concern and are free to lobby or support candidates, issues, and campaigns. The Academic Affairs Office has developed a website with guidance for public communication, social media posting, reporting threats or harassment, and links to safety and support resources.
  • The university remains neutral on all election-related questions and issues.
  • Employees who engage in political activities must do so outside of work hours (or while on approved leave), and they must use their own resources. This means that employees should not use university email accounts, university letterhead, university office supplies, and equipment, or other university resources to engage in these activities. In addition, employees are expected to make it clear that they are speaking on their own behalf and not on behalf of the university.

Conflicts of interest

Intellectual property

  • Intellectual Property: As a public institution, the University of Utah is entrusted with facilitating the application of scientific and technical research findings for public use, as well as an equitable disposition of interests among the inventor(s), the university, and, where applicable, the sponsor. Learn what that means for administrative officers, faculty, academic employees, staff, and students here.

We hope these links to our most-used policies and forms will help you start the fall semester prepared to manage and respond to the unusual circumstances we face during this public health crisis. The University of Utah community is strong and resilient. We will emerge more nimble, creative, and able to face the future as One U!

Sincerely,

Daniel A. Reed
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Michael L. Good
Senior Vice President for Health Sciences