Darden's return to Grounds in fall 2020 and the ongoing coronavirus pandemic have created a number of changes to the School's operations and questions for Darden stakeholders. This webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions relevant to Darden School staff.
The FAQ provides answers based on the latest plans and information available. Information may change based on the spread of COVID-19, the advice of public health experts or an order by the Virginia Department of Health. The top priority will always be keeping our community safe — and we will continue to update FAQ pages and other communications to inform you as circumstances require adjustments. Questions for leadership? Fill out this form. For communication questions or to offer suggestions related to the Return to Darden Grounds website, please write to [email protected].
How are Darden and the University of Virginia keeping students, parents, faculty and staff informed?
Darden is communicating regularly with our community through email, alerts and this website. The University is communicating on a broad array of topics for students, student families, faculty and staff, and managers and supervisors on its Return to Grounds website and Fall 2020 Student Resource site.
Please direct specific questions NOT addressed through these resources as follows:
- Staff: Refer specific questions to your immediate manager or supervisor.
- Faculty: Refer questions to program or faculty leadership.
- If you need medical attention, contact UVA Student Health at +1-434-982-3915 or +1-434-297-4261 after hours.
- For housing-related questions, student groups or general safety, contact a member of Darden’s Office of Student Affairs or UVA’s Office of the Dean of Students at +1-434-924-7133.
- For issues related to advising, credits or course registration, contact the relevant dean for your program or Darden Registrar Terri Smith.
- Questions about accommodations because of physical or mental disabilities would go to SDAC in Student Health at +1-434-342-5188.
Who can return to Darden Grounds while operations are impacted by the coronavirus?
All employees — including faculty and staff — who are not already identified as essential to continuity of operations should not come to the Darden Grounds in Charlottesville or Arlington, Virginia, until the School provides guidance on returning to the workplace. If you are a member of faculty or staff and believe you have an essential reason to access Grounds, please reach out to your manager first; requests must be approved by the Dean’s Office.On 17 June, the University of Virginia provided an update outlining plans for returning to Grounds and launched two new websites to provide updated information and answer key questions:
If I share an office with a colleague, what protocols must I observe? My shared office is too small to be six feet apart from my colleagues. Are we going to be working in the same office?
During Phase I, Darden has phased and staggered employees so they will not have to share an office space at the same time.
Office partitions will be installed to maintain social distance in certain shared office spaces. In addition, face coverings must be worn any time employees are in the presence of others.
My job function has been deemed able to return to Grounds. When can I expect to be back on Grounds?
HR is currently reaching out to supervisors to inform them who and when certain job functions will be required on Grounds to support teaching in August.
My job does not currently require me to work on Grounds. When can I expect to be back on Grounds?
There is no official return date at this time. Personnel not required on Grounds will be welcomed back to Grounds when federal, state, and University restrictions are lifted and when Darden leadership determines that it is safe to phase other employees back to Grounds. We do not anticipate entering Phase II until 2021 at this time.
I need to access Grounds, but I am not required on-Grounds personnel in this phase. What should I do?
Requests to return to Grounds made by faculty and staff who are not yet approved to return will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. If you believe you have an essential reason to access Grounds in either location, you must continue to reach out to your manager first. Requests must be approved by the Dean’s Office.
What is required before I go to Darden Grounds each day or visit a UVA facility?
You must be approved to return to a UVA worksite, even for a brief visit, by your manager and the Dean’s Office. Before you return:
Complete the Return to Grounds training module. This one-time training module must be completed before coming to Darden Grounds or any UVA facility.
Download the HOOS Health Check app to phones from the Apple App Store or Android Google Play Store, or access the website via personal computer. The app helps the University community prevent the spread of COVID-19. It will help individuals be aware of their symptoms, encourage personal responsibility, and provide resources and next steps for testing for individuals who report symptoms.
Darden community members are also encouraged to download the COVIDWISE app from the Virginia Department of Health to help protect the broader UVA, Charlottesville and Virginia communities. COVIDWISE uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology to quickly notify users who have likely been exposed so you can reduce the risk of infection for your friends and family and help Virginia stop the spread.
Where can I find frequently asked questions about guidelines for facilities, including classrooms?
Visit the Return to Darden Grounds FAQ for Students.
Am I required to take a COVID-19 test before returning to Grounds? Will I need to take a test later?
Tests are not required for UVA employees before returning to their workplace, unless they exhibit symptoms or may have been exposed during an outbreak. Please see the Ongoing Testing section of the UVA Public Health Measures website for more details.
When can I take my mask off while working on Grounds?
It depends. If you are working alone in an office or other room with the door closed, you can remove your face covering. However, if you are working in a public area or other shared space, such as a lobby or in a conference room with another colleague, a face covering must always be worn when in the presence of others.
What do I do if my mask fogs up my glasses?
UVA's policy for face coverings also applies to people wearing glasses. If your glasses fog up, it is most likely because your mask does not fit tightly around the nose and warm air escapes and rises to your glasses. If your mask allows it, try to pinch the top of your mask to make it better fit your nose. Try to tighten the sides of your mask. Other tips include applying anti-fogging solutions or soap water to your glasses before you wear your mask. Please check with your optician first to ensure your glasses will not be damaged, or ask them for additional advice.
How can I ask a question that is not answered in this FAQ?
For most questions, reach out directly to your Darden HR representative, manager or program leader.
To send a question to the Dean's Office and Darden leadership, faculty and staff can share them through this form. Questions will be addressed as they arise during regular, ongoing town halls for the Darden community.
All faculty and staff should work remotely, unless they are required to be on Grounds for essential operations.
The University is mandating telecommuting for all faculty and staff, except those who must report in person to carry out key functions. The traditional categories of “designated” and “non-designated” are not entirely relevant, given that those categories envisioned short delays due to weather problems.
Darden has appointed a Return to Work Committee led by Laura Martens and David Drab to lead planning efforts for a safe return to the workplace. The committee will communicate the plan with faculty and staff directly this summer ahead of the start of the 2020-21 academic year.
School leaders, unit supervisors and managers have the authority to identify those who must report and those who can work remotely and should share direct guidance with their faculty and staff. Staff may need to consult with their managers to better understand how to conduct their work under the changed circumstances. Managers must receive approval from the Dean’s Office for an employee to be allowed on Grounds for essential reasons.
Where can I find information about technology to work remotely?
- Visit Darden’s Technical Support for Remote Learning and Work website, which includes Zoom best practices such as video and audio tips and general etiquette.
- Increased use of Zoom creates new security threats to your computer and Darden. All faculty, staff and students are asked to authenticate to https://Darden-Virginia.zoom.us before class or meetings. Authentication will provide access to Darden’s Pro version of Zoom. In addition, the Darden community should stay up-to-date with the latest software updates from Zoom. Due to the severity of Zoom security risks, you should verify that you are running the latest version of Zoom and download any missing updates manually. Click here to learn how to check what version of Zoom you have and how to initiate the update process manually.
- Refer to UVA’s Faculty/Staff Technology Checklist for Working Remotely webpage for a technology preparedness checklist and a consolidation of valuable links to ITS resources.
- If you identify new or ongoing technology needs for teleworking, please let your manager know.
- For technology assistance, the UVA Help Desk is available 24/7/365 and can be contacted in a variety of ways. You can also contact the Darden Help Desk team.
- If you would like technical support for a virtual event or meeting, please reach out to the IT team ([email protected] or at +1-434-924-3276), Joanne Meier or Jarrod Tibbs. They can point you to resources that you can use to meet your needs.
Will the University reimburse costs associated with remote work associated with COVID-19?
Faculty and staff should work with their manager to determine requirements for working remotely, including the need for hardware, software, or enhanced network connections to meet those work requirements. New costs approved by the Dean’s Office and incurred to meet these work requirements will be reimbursable with preapproval.
Departments and units should keep track of all costs incurred by their units related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
International and nonessential domestic University travel is suspended, continuing for the foreseeable future.
We are anticipating additional policy guidance from the University in July on travel policies for the coming academic year. At this time, all nonessential business travel remains prohibited for faculty and staff. Essential business travel requires authorization by a Darden Enterprise Team leader, who must submit a request to the Dean’s Office for review and approval prior to making any travel arrangements.
Are there any professional development opportunities I can pursue at this time?
The University offers Coursera for UVA for employees — a catalog of self-paced classes from across Grounds and beyond that you can access with a UVA NetBadge credential and earn a certificate for free.
What resources are available to help me manage my health and wellness while working from home and observing a stay-at-home order?
For those looking to do things from home, a few resources include:
- IM-Rec Sports is offering virtual fitness classes, with live workouts via Zoom, Monday to Friday, and prerecorded options for any time.
- Hoos Well also has a suite of virtual resources to help promote physical and emotional well-being through this time.
- The Compassionate Care Initiative at the UVA School of Nursing offers free, public online offerings for well-being.
- FEAP has a suite of virtual resources on their website.
- I am not comfortable coming to Grounds. Can I continue to work remotely? If so, for how long?
HR & Benefits
Working remotely isn’t possible for my job, and I can’t come to work because I am in a high-risk category or need to self-isolate. How should I record leave?
Academic Division employees who cannot telecommute or cannot come to work for the reasons stated above should use appropriate leave type based on your employee category. See the UVA HR website for details.
Due to fall school schedules for children in my household, I have additional responsibilities incompatible with my typical working hours. Will Darden work with me in this regard? May I use the Public Health Emergency Leave to record my time?
Darden will make every effort to grant reasonable modification requests to work schedules. Please consult your manager, who will work with you to ensure you are able to continue to perform your job.
Guidelines from the Virginia Department of Human Resources for the use of Public Health Emergency Leave do not currently include childcare among permissible uses. Employees who must care for children while schools are closed and cannot work remotely should use University Time Off (University Staff) or the equivalent for classified staff. UVA offers benefits to assist with care for benefits-eligible employees who need temporary care and are looking into options for providing additional care options. We will provide updates about additional care options as they become available.
My child’s school is closed or operating virtually to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and I am unable to work remotely. Does the University offer any kind of caregiving support?
The University offers benefits to assist with care for benefits-eligible employees who need temporary care and UVA is looking into options for providing additional care options. UVA will provide updates about additional care options as they become available.
Is there a plan to provide UVA's contract employees with financial support?
UVA and Darden have asked contractors to structure any reductions in workforce in ways that enable their employees to take full advantage of federal and state relief. We hope that many of the contracted workers are eligible for a number of federal unemployment benefits. Many will be eligible for a new one-time federal tax credit.
On 7 April, UVA President Jim Ryan announced a $2 million emergency fund to assist contract workers at the University, including those who work at Darden. The emergency assistance fund is intended to help furloughed contract workers, but also will be available to UVA employees who are still employed and facing unexpected costs. UVA also will assist furloughed contract workers who need help in applying for state and federal unemployment benefits. The emergency fund will be operational through June 1, and then reassessed. The University will provide more details in the near future about how the fund will operate, including a timeline and process for accessing the funds. UVA also will set up a process for employees to donate directly to the fund.
What if I need to miss work due to COVID-19?
For those employees who are impacted by COVID-19, UVA HR is providing regular updates on new leave types on the pay continuity website. If an employee:
- Is out of work because a health care professional has confirmed that they have COVID-19,
- Has been advised to self-quarantine because of suspected COVID-19 and is not able to work remotely, or
- Is taking care of an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a health care professional,
they may use up to 160 hours of Public Health Leave. Please consult Employee Health about return to work procedures.
Please consult HR with any questions about these new leave types. Employees of the Darden School Foundation have similar leave available to them, please consult HR with any questions.
For the latest information about using PHEL, and guidance on situations where other leave types should be used, visit the UVA HR website.
If I am an academic staff member (including temp and wage), and a member of my immediate family has been diagnosed with COVID-19, what should I do?
- Above all else, take care of yourself and your family.
- Communicate with your manager. If you are unable to work remotely or your job doesn’t lend itself to remote work, enter your time off in Workday as “Public Health Emergency.”
- You may qualify for the new leave benefit for those affected by the coronavirus.
How can we ensure safety in our diverse community and protect against acts of bias, harassment or harm that target individuals on the basis of their identity?
The University has fielded reports of threats and acts of violence related to the coronavirus, particularly toward members of the community who are East Asian or Asian-American.
- If you ever feel unsafe or in danger, please try to remove yourself from the situation and call 911.
- If you experience, observe, or hear about such an incident, please use the UVA Just Report It bias reporting system, and reach out for support.
- At Darden, Christie Julien and Martin Davidson are available as resources.
When will information be released regarding parking for annual permit holders?
Employees who hold annual permits expiring on 1 September will receive parking permit renewal information in the coming weeks. New options will be available to accommodate those who continue to work remotely and may not need to park on Grounds every day. Monthly fees are increased slightly in 2020-21 in most central, west and north Grounds lots ($3-5 per month), but because parking fees were not charged for June, July and the first half of August, the net annual impact on employees is below 2019-20 annual fees. See the Parking and Transporation website for more information.
The University will not refund parking or other staff and faculty fees as a result of changes in operations due to COVID-19. These fees cover fixed costs of these operations and enable the University to continue to pay its employees.
For those not returning to Grounds in Phase 1, are there any recommendations on pausing parking permits?
Parking and Transportation will be in touch with employees in August with additional details. There will be options to delay purchasing an annual permit and to purchase hourly, daily and weekly permits for those on Grounds periodically. Visit the Parking and Transporation website for more information. Darden leadership is working on exploring similar options for Darden School Foundation employees.
Someone in my office will not wear a face covering or adhere to social-distancing guidelines. What can I do?
You may ask anyone to practice safe guidelines or to leave Grounds if they will not. If they are not able to, you may ask them to leave your office space and speak to you from outside. If this is not feasible, you may give them information to contact you remotely. If they refuse to leave your office or desk, you can leave. You can also discuss your concerns with Mary Jones at [email protected]) or Gayle Mapstone at [email protected].