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Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Updates

Information for employees

All Kansas State University campuses are limiting operations through the end of the spring semester to mitigate any further spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

K-State's success will depend on the creativity and resourcefulness of all K-Staters during this challenging time. Leadership will continue to evaluate as the situation evolves and issue further guidance. Please watch K-State Today and the k-state.edu/COVID-19 webpage for updates on this fluid situation. In addition, read a list of frequently asked questions

Effective March 18, 2020:

  • Employees will continue to be paid.

  • Faculty and staff members should not be on K-State campuses unless they are performing operations deemed essential that can't be done remotely. Employees who are able to work remotely or telecommute should do so immediately, until further notice.
    • Those working from home should remain vigilant to avoid phishing scams. K-State will never ask for credentials via email or phone. When in doubt, don't give it out.

    • Confidential information should remain at work.

    • If you are looking to set up connectivity at home, the Federal Communications Commission has launched the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, urging internet service providers to make special accommodations in the wake of the COVID-19 situation. What follows is a list of links to several companies' responses. This list does not imply endorsement, nor is it exhaustive. We're listing companies available across many geographic locations, so please make sure the service provider is available in your area.  
  • Mission critical employees will be identified by unit director. These employees will report to campus. In all situations, proper social distancing guidelines should be followed.

  • All university-associated travel — even out of the state — has been suspended until further notice. Read the Travel Advisories page.  

  • The university has initiated a hiring freeze.  

  • Read a list of frequently asked questions

  • Use sick leave if you are ill.

Teaching faculty-specific information and advising guidance 

  • Remote teaching for courses previously held in-person began March 23 (following the suspension of in-person classes March 16-20) and will continue to the end of the semester. 
Fair use guidance: Scanning and utilizing materials from texts


In looking to scan or utilize material from texts that a faculty might have on hand and to keep in line with copyright law, consider fair use for each proposed use. There may be additional flexibility in fair use considering the current circumstances. Please refer to the Public Statement of Library Copyright Specialists: Fair Use & Emergency Remote Teaching & Research for more information. 

The Library has resource information related to using course materials in an online environment:

Persons are allowed to use copyrighted materials without permission under the principle of fair use. Whether a particular use is "fair use" depends on several factors. Some ways to make fair use of materials while minimizing the use needed include:

  • Limiting access to materials only to students and instructors in a course.
  • Using the materials only for the period of time that is necessary under the circumstances, and then
  • Removing access to the materials.
  • Using only those portions of the materials that are necessary for instruction.

You can also link to materials, use public domain content, use materials licensed by the University for the particular use, use the Creative Commons License, and/or display materials without the ability to download in accordance with the TEACH Act. There is more information about each of these at the above Library resource site.

Once you have reviewed the guidance and determine you can scan or utilize material from texts that you already have on hand and adhere to copyright law, you may consider these apps

Also consider open educational resources (OER). Please contact your subject librarian and they can help you find and access these and other resources.

Department heads and supervisors (updated 3/16)

  • If an employee can fulfill duties by working remotely, please let them do so.
  • Unit heads have identified mission critical functions or services that require people to report to campus. Supervisors and department heads should notify and communicate with these employees to let them know if they are expected to be in. In all situations, proper social distancing guidelines should be followed.

Below you will find specific content for managing employees and faculty while working remotely, as well as information on how to cultivate a positive culture in a remote environment. You may also download the information below (pdf).

Trainings available 

Human Capital Services has compiled links to several trainings to assist supervisors and employees through this period of remote work. Trainings include topics like time management when working from home, managing at a distance, leading virtual teams and more.

Managing employees and faculty while working remotely

With K-State’s decision to shift to remote teaching, faculty and employees are encouraged to work remotely until further notice.  As the supervisor or department head, you have the responsibility to support faculty/employees through the current coronavirus situation. Below are some practices and resources which may be beneficial. Educause has also compiled some helpful information for employees transitioning to remote work.

  • Telecommuting provides a creative solution to accomplish work. As you and your team adjust to working remotely, please consider the following:
    • What type of work is accomplished through telecommuting? This requires employees to think differently about what work is a priority. Are there other goals that can be accomplished? Are there special projects that are appropriate to begin or resume?
    • For faculty, the biggest change will be in teaching. As department head, please support faculty efforts to not only convert their classes to remote teaching, but also as they continue to assist student learning once remote classes begin.
    • Meetings can be held using Zoom or other video conferencing technologies. Therefore, committees can still function. 

What functions are not able to be done remotely?  What communication needs to occur so that your team and stakeholders are aware of the adjustment of services per your department’s continuity of operations plan (COOP).

  • When working remotely, please consider the following:
    • A formal telecommuting agreement is not required to work from home/alternate location on an infrequent basis or for period of time in this specific situation. 
    • For faculty, since remote teaching can take many forms, it is expected that most will operate best from home or an alternate location. Especially if faculty utilize asynchronous technologies, faculty will be working across many hours of the day. It is important for faculty to communicate with the department head regarding how they will be conducting their teaching and research work.   
    • Employees and supervisors should be in regular contact during this time about the work, productivity, problems experienced, and other concerns.
    • K-State has strict policies regarding access to sensitive data. No one is allowed to take sensitive data to their home or any other off-campus facility.  This includes hard copies, flash drives, and personal laptops or other technologies.  Supervisors are encouraged to have conversations with employees regarding what constitutes confidential information.
  • Employment guidelines regarding exempt and non-exempt employees include:
    • Telecommuting is possible for employees whose job duties are conducive to working from home, regardless of their Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) status as either non-exempt or exempt (from overtime).
    • Non-exempt employees should utilize official timekeeping systems and all hours worked must be recorded and compensated.
    • If a non-exempt employee is working remotely, overtime is not recommended.
Cultivating a positive culture in a remote environment

As supervisors communicate and support their employees through the current coronavirus situation, it is important to exercise leadership through cultivating a positive culture.  Helpful ways to demonstrate this include:

  • Exercising empathy and understanding that support K-State’s Principles of Community.
  • Providing constant and consistent communication which may look and feel different than the communication everyone is used to in person. It may be helpful to establish frequent, recurring unit meetings (i.e., Zoom) that can accommodate everyone’s schedule.
  • Remaining available to field and centralize questions and answers from your staff. As a supervisor, your transparency instills trust and helps alleviate worries and concerns.
  • Being clear and concise with your staff as possible. Ensure you articulate your goals and expectations of this remote-working timeframe.
  • Supporting work life balance due to school closings and disruptions of care arrangements, employees may have to balance family caregiving tasks with work tasks. Employees and supervisors are encouraged to communicate about their circumstances and to use both common-sense and empathy when it comes to working around them.
  • Reassuring employees that their health and safety matters. You should encourage and fully support self-care.  Supervisors may find it helpful to direct employees to K-State’s employee assistance program (EAP).
  • Work with students. It is important to remember that for many students, these are the first online/remote classes that they have taken, as well. The change is not simple.  Please support them and help build their confidence in the new learning environment. 

If you have further questions or need support through supporting your employees, please contact Human Capital Services at hr@ksu.edu.

Teleconferencing/remote meeting best practices
  • Mute your microphone unless you are actively speaking.
  • Mute or disable your video if you are not speaking, as this reduces strain on bandwidth.
  • Assume you are always on camera and that you are always audible (even if you think you're muted or video-disabled).
  • Avoid side-conversations if you are physically near someone in your home. Cross-talk can be especially distracting to remote participants.
  • Be careful not to talk over others. Politely wait your turn, and if you are talking for more than a minute at a stretch, pause to let others ask questions or seek clarifications.
  • Whenever your microphone is unmuted, make sure to minimize any noise aside from yourself speaking, as it can be distracting. This can include things like tapping your pen or pencil on your table or typing on your keyboard.
  • Make notes on what you want to say before the conference starts. Take notes on "action items" during the conference whenever you are asked to work on something.
Guidance for business managers

Guidance continues to updated regularly on the Division of Financial Services business continuity planning website. If you have questions, information is provided on the contact page.

Guidance from the Office of General Counsel

The Office of General Counsel has also compiled a list of legal topics and resources for your benefit.

 

Questions?

Read COVID-19 FAQ

If experiencing symptoms
and in Manhattan:
Call 785-532-6544 

Available 24 hours

Email lafene@k-state.edu

Lafene Health Center hours:

Monday-Friday:
8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

If care is needed when Lafene Health Center is closed, contact the local hospital emergency department:

Ascension Hospital
1823 College Avenue
(west of K-State football stadium)
785-776-3322