UC Santa Barbara instructors who are at increased risk of contracting COVID-19 can request flexibility around in-person instruction mandate in place for Winter Quarter 2022 that began Jan. 31, according to current Academic Senate policies.
According to the Academic Senate guidelines, UCSB defines “increased risk” as those with “serious ongoing medical conditions, or those who cohabitate with someone who is seriously immunocompromised.” All instructors have the opportunity to teach up to 50% of their classes remotely if they submit their plans to their department chair, the guidelines said.
“Current Senate policy requires that online instruction can be offered in an in-person course for up to 50% of the scheduled instruction time when justified for pedagogical reasons, without need for further Senate approval,” the guideline read.
Faculty members, lecturers and graduate students eligible for “reasonable accommodations” include those with serious medical conditions, living with a family or household member who is moderately to severely immunocompromised or who have a child under the age of 5, the guidelines stated.
Medical accommodations for those with underlying medical conditions and disabilities can include “providing additional personal protective equipment (PPE); enhancing physical distancing or modifying the work location; modifying work schedules; modifying non-essential job functions; remote work; or a leave of absence.” Instructors wishing to apply can do so through the campus workplace accommodations specialist.
Workplace accommodations because of a household or family member are granted at the discretion of the Academic Senate, and instructors must submit proof of cohabitation and a physician’s certification.
While serious medical illness among children with COVID-19 remains uncommon, the Academic Senate approved remote teaching for those with children under 5 “to provide some measure of pedagogical stability for these instructors and their students” because of difficulties instructors might encounter obtaining childcare. Instructors who qualify for this exemption must notify their department chair, the guidelines state.
All authorizations are currently available for Winter Quarter 2022 only.