Coronavirus FAQ

Internet Access

Many students and staff have reporting limited or no access to internet from their homes. One option shared by the University System of Georgia is Charter Spectrum internet, which announced that beginning March 16, they will commit to the following for 60 days:

  • Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a Spectrum broadband subscription at any service level up to 100 Mbps.
    • To enroll call 1-844-488-8395.
    • Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
  • Charter will partner with school districts to ensure local communities are aware of these tools to help students learn remotely.
  • For eligible low-income households without school-aged children, Charter continues to offer Spectrum Internet Assist, a low-cost broadband program delivering speeds of 30 Mbps
  • Charter will open its Wi-Fi hotspots across our footprint for public use
  • Spectrum does not have data caps or hidden fees.

This message is provided as one of many possible internet resources available to USG faculty, staff, and students, and does not represent official endorsement of Charter or any other internet service providers by the University System of Georgia or its institutions. We will share additional resources as they are offered. 

Students

  • Academics

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How can I be successful in learning online?

    Each of you will be getting your own concierge coach. This person is your single point of contact for any challenge you may experience for the remainder of the term. They are “your person!” Your coach will reach out to you directly after the start of your course term.

    Will there be tutoring or supplemental instruction?

    All of your online courses will include a link that can connect you directly to the resources you need for academic support. We will also be offering easily accessible tutoring in one-on-one and/or group sessions online via video chat in every course where tutoring has traditionally been provided. Supplemental Instruction will continue to be available in the same courses in which it was previously available, and this assistance will be easy to access in your course materials in Blazeview.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, which includes plans for tutoring, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How will my tests be given, and do I now need to pay an additional fee for a test proctor service?

    Faculty are currently working to develop secure ways to offer and proctor tests in an online format that will not require you to pay additional fees. Specific information regarding testing will be available in your course materials on Blazeview.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, which includes testing plans, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How do I contact my advisor?

    Academic Advisors are actively connecting with students through VSU email. If you need to send an email to your advisor, a list of the academic advisors and their contact information is available here. If you're not sure who your assigned advisor is, the information is available in the VSU Success Portal. Feel free to send us an email at UAST@valdosta.edu and we will make the connection for you.

    How can I get technology assistance? Is the IT Solution Center available?

    The IT Solutions Center will continue to be available, and all staff will maintain established hours. Solutions Center management will be monitoring the number of requests closely and will be able to add additional resources to meet any increased call volumes. The IT Solutions Center can be reached at 229-245-4357.   

     

    What about my clinical placement, internship, student teaching, laboratories, and studios?

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for clinicals, field experiences, labs, and internships, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What impact does this have on Study Abroad?

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for Study Abroad, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Fall 2020

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for clinicals, field experiences, labs, and internships, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.
  • Summer 2020

    Valdosta State University and the University System of Georgia’s 26 institutions will continue to deliver instruction remotely (online-only) during May and summer semesters, with only limited exceptions.

    USG institutions are tentatively planning to return to normal on-campus operations for the fall semester, should guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Georgia Department of Public Health allow it.

  • Services

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for hours of operations and available services, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What services are available?  

    Additional campus services remain available with adjusted hours. This includes Odum Library Academic Support Center, Student Health Center, Counseling Center, Career Opportunities, advising centers, and many more. For a list of campus services, hours of operation, and contact information visit our campus operations page.

  • Student Employment

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including a Return to Work plan for student employees, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    Are Student Employees permitted to work?

    On-Campus student employees may continue to work if their supervisor has provided adjusted job responsibilities or a telework option. With the change to online instruction and limited campus services, student job duties may no longer be needed. Students that rely on campus student employment for financial stability should contact Career Opportunities at 229-333-5942 or careerops@valdosta.edu. On-campus jobs are available in custodial services, building maintenance, and grounds.

    Work study is a form of federal financial aid, and students on Work Study will continue to be paid for their hours when offices are no longer working in the normal capacity. You no longer need to work. Please contact Payroll if you do not continue to receive your payment this semester.

  • Fall 2020 Graduation

    Has Fall semester graduation in December been canceled?

    At this time, we expect to hold our Fall 2020 Commencement Exercises on the Valdosta Campus in December 2020.

    Spring 2020 graduates who were unable to walk due to COVID-19 cancelations in May 2020 may participate in the following celebrations:

    • Spring 2020 graduate recognition event - Homecoming, October 2020
    • Fall 2020 Commencement - Walk the stage and celebrate in December 2020

     

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for commencement, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Housing

    Please see the "return to campus" FAQ section at the top of this page.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for housing and residence life, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • What if I get sick?

    Please see the "return to campus" FAQ section at the top of this page for detailed procedures applying to students who have tested positive for COVID-19.

    A complete Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, including detailed plans for housing and residence life, is now available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

Employees

  • Precautions

    What action is the University System/VSU taking to protect students, faculty and staff from COVID-19?

    We continue to monitor COVID-19 and to take safety actions as warranted. We are operating in conjunction with our local, state, and national health agencies to include regular updates with the World Health Organization (WHO), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH).  VSU has established a task force composed of leaders from across campus who are working to continually assess the institution’s readiness plans and execute protocols related to medical health and safety, business continuity, emergency preparedness and travel.

    For a full Return to Campus Fall 2020 plan, please visit www.valdosta.edu/return

    What else can I do to minimize the possibility of exposure?

    Continue to follow current CDC guidelines regarding prevention, including frequent washing of hands with soap and water throughout the day, avoidance of touching eyes, nose, and mouth, and limiting avoidable contacts in areas that are highly populated. For those who need to schedule meetings, try to use conference calls rather than in person meetings when appropriate.

    What guidance is available for home quarantine and isolation?

    The CDC has guidance on this topic found at the website: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/.

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Symptoms and Sickness

    What should I do if I am sick?

    The CDC also offers valuable resources for individuals who are feeling sick: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I do have symptoms of COVID-19?  

    The CDC also offers valuable resources for individuals who are feeling sick or demonstrating symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/steps-when-sick.html

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I have been exposed but am not showing any symptoms? 

    Employees who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19, but are not showing symptoms, should self-quarantine consistent with DPH and CDC guidelines. Employees must contact their supervisor if they are unable to come to work or need to make a telework arrangement or can no longer telework. Employees should contact their healthcare provider if they become sick and remain home.   

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

    What if I have been exposed and am showing symptoms, or have been diagnosed with COVID-19?  

    Employees who believe they have been directly exposed to COVID-19 and are showing symptoms should seek care from a healthcare provider and may be required to self-quarantine. Any employee who tests positive for COVID-19 must inform their manager, and they should not come to work.

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return

  • Travel

    All non-essential business travel is suspended in order to comply with government regulations. Managers have the authority to rescind prior travel approval. Required face-to-face meetings should be transitioned to an electronic format or rescheduled.

    A full plan for university-related travel is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.  

    What if I am planning personal travel or have traveled out of the state or country?

    Employees should use their best judgment regarding travel plans to destinations other than CDC Level 3 or higher countries. Anyone planning to travel, either domestically or internationally, is encouraged to stay up-to-date with current travel alerts from the CDC.  

    Currently, CDC recommends travelers should avoid nonessential travel to any country at a Warning Level 3 or higher. Employees who have traveled to or plan to travel to CDC Level 3 or higher locations must not return to any USG campus or facility for 14 days following their return. In addition, employees returning from a Level 3 or higher country are required to self-quarantine in accordance with the DPH and CDC guidelines.

  • Leave Options

     

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees and supervisors, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Not sure if you are high-risk or not? Check the CDC’s guidance here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html.

  • Student Assistants and Graduate Assistants

     

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    What if my student employee does not want to return to work?

    The student employee can make the decision to resume work or not during this period. We ask that all supervisors be respectful of that decision and contact Career Opportunities at 229-333-5942 or careerops@valdosta.edu if there is a need to temporarily backfill that position with another student employee.

     

  • University Hours, Services, and Public Access

    A full Return to Work guide has been developed for employees, and is available at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Will the VSU campus be open?

    Yes, the campus remains open. That said, to reduce social interactions, VSU is limiting public access to campus to certain hours and offices. 

    Select areas will be open and staffed Monday through Thursday from 10:00am-2:00pm.  Contact information including phone numbers and email addresses may be found at www.valdosta.edu/health-advisory/campus-operations.php.  If you reach out to these areas during times other than what is published below, please know that every attempt will be made to respond to all emails and voicemail messages within one business day.

    • Students in need of food or hygiene items may contact the Drop-N-Shop program for assistance by email at slvs@valdosta.edu.

     

Faculty

  • General Academic Questions

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

     

    Will faculty members have assistance as they redesign delivery of course materials?

    Yes. eLearning has put a wealth of information on the web.

    Will there be any one-on-one support for faculty?

    Yes. eLearning and CELT staff are available for one-on-one faculty assistance. 

    Who should faculty contact with questions about externally funded proposals and awards?

    Questions should be addressed to OSPRA at: grants@valdosta.edu. 

    Do I need a special license to access Zoom for video and audio conferencing?

    VSU does not have a license for Zoom. However, we continue to maintain a license for Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. Microsoft Teams is also available for video conferencing. Details are available here. 

    What plans are in place for my individual College?

    All academic colleges are working to ensure that all classes are successfully transitioned to online delivery. For specific questions, please contact your department head or dean’s office.

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    How can I support students I work with on an individual basis?

    You may use any of the many tools available from eLearning to help you to continue your one-on-one student work. Students will also be assigned a personal Academic Coach, and advisors, tutors, and supplemental instruction remain available to all online learners.

    Do I still need to hold office hours?

    Yes. Although face-to-face office hours will not continue, faculty should continue to make themselves available to students for one-on-one assistance. This may be done through specific times where they are available by phone or video chat, or through any other means that the faculty member determines will allow for suitable interaction. 

    Can I require my class to be held synchronously (in the actual class time, but virtually)?

    Yes. The way your class meets is entirely up to you. Some faculty will convert face-to-face classes to synchronous meetings, while others will choose to convert classes to asynchronous meetings. The only restriction is that, if your class will be meeting synchronously, it should be held in the same time block as it was originally scheduled to avoid creating conflicts.  

    What kind of IT/tech support is available for me on evenings and weekends?

    eLearning will support faculty in converting their courses to online delivery and will assist faculty with any problems they may encounter. eLearning staff be available in Odum Library from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Monday through Thursday and by phone or email during normal business hours. Faculty can also call the D2L Help Center 24-hours a day for troubleshooting (1-855-772-0423).

  • Technology Support

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

     

    Can our technology infrastructure support a large influx of users?

    Yes, it can.  There are many connection avenues that faculty, staff and students use for needed system access.  Each will be monitored by IT staff to ensure system resources remain available based upon load.  If additional resources are needed based upon load, the IT department has contingencies to continue delivering services that meet our users’ needs. We have been assured that all of our systems, including BlazeView, will be able to handle the additional demands placed on them.  

     

Staff

  • Telework Options

    A full Return to Work plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Can a manager consider telework or flex schedules for employees?

    Supervisors are strongly encouraged to maximize telework and flex schedule opportunities for their employees, and increased flexibility to approve alternative work schedules now exists in line with the Governor’s directive to reduce the number of employees on-site at any given time.

    Authorized managers can waive the requirement to complete the usual telework agreement and may use email to confirm approval to telework.  

    Do we have to complete telework during normal business hours, or can we complete work hours during other times?

    Employees are permitted to work hours outside the traditional 8:00 am – 5:00 pm work week with supervisor support. A standard workweek is Sunday through Saturday.

    Full-time employees should work 40 hours a week, unless leave has been taken.

    Non-exempt employees should record time in OneUSG for the hours worked on the days worked (including weekends).

    Can I earn comp time or overtime?

    Neither comp time nor overtime should be earned during this period. Cabinet-level approval will be required for requests to exceed 40 work hours per week.   

    Can I come to campus outside of 10am-2pm if I need to do something in my office?

    Yes. Keep in mind that buildings will be locked to the public and will only be accessible via card swipe. Temperatures in buildings will be adjusted to maximize energy savings.  University Police will continue to patrol campus to ensure that all facilities are secure.

    Can I still take annual leave while teleworking if I wish to not work certain days?

    Yes. Leave would work in the same way it does as if you were physically on campus.   

    How do I enter hours while teleworking?

    When entering hours on your time sheet, employees should use the drop-down box and choose “telework”. Call or email Payroll at payroll@valdosta.edu, if assistance is needed.

    How would we record time if we usually use a time clock?

    Employees should submit time to their Supervisor. Supervisors will enter time worked for these employees.

    Do monthly employees have to keep a telework log, or is this only for hourly employees?

    Although a monthly log is not required, monthly employees must obtain approval for the work and tasks they will be performing and must maintain proof of completion.   

    If I am injured working at home, do I file worker’s compensation?

    Employees are required to designate a work area in their home.

    If there are any injuries while working, the workers’ compensation coverage will be limited to occurrences in the designated workspace (or during work-related travel). Please see the BOR telework policy at https://www.usg.edu/hr/manual/teleworking_flextime_policy#:~:text= for more information in this regard.   

    Can I telework from a location other than my home?

    The requirement that “employees should only telework from the designated work area established in their home” suggests that hours should be worked in the employee’s place of residence.   

    How long will this telework arrangement last?

    A full Return to Work plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return.

    Employees began transitioning back to campus work spaces in a phased plan on July 15. 

    We will continue to provide updates at that page.

    Can we continue to hire new employees and have them telework?

    While we can continue to post for jobs and hire new employees in the OneUSG system, interviews must be conducted virtually, not face-to-face. This could make hiring logistically challenging. 

    Can I telework with a child or family member at home?

    Yes. Employees may telework with a child or family member at home. However, there must be no interruption in duties. 

    Can I be scheduled for hours I do not normally work?

    Telework opportunities will allow for a good deal of flexibility to work alternate hours. However, hours worked on campus should continue to be worked within the normal workday schedule.

     

  • Concierge Coaching

    What is Concierge Coaching?

    Concierge Coaching is an innovative approach VSU is implementing to help students successfully transition to online-only coursework. All employees charged with being Concierge Coaches will be assigned their own group of students. Coaches will be their students’ single point of contact for any challenge they may experience for the remainder of the term. You are “their person!” All staff charged with being Concierge Coaches will undergo detailed training the week of March 23-27.

    If I have been assigned duties as an Concierge Coach, how will I contact students?

    Concierge coaches may contact students through phone, e-mail, or a messaging service. Furthermore, Student Success and IT are in the process of developing other options that will be shared at the upcoming training for coaches.  

    Do my responsibilities as a manager change when my employees are teleworking through the division of student success as concierge coaches?  

    The Division of Student Success will perform the standard supervisory functions for the employees assisting in this effort. Managers will only be contacted if additional support is needed.    

    If an employee doesn’t have a personal cell phone, will they be required to purchase one for concierge coaching?

    Student Success is working with IT to allow employees who are serving as Concierge Coaches to use Jabber through their computer. The number that will be displayed to students will be the desk phone assigned through the university’s IT system. Each coach will be given an online link to start the process.  IT will need to know the type of device being set up (iPhone or Android).

Other Questions

  • Other Questions

    Why aren’t we just closing the university?

    A closure decision rests with the University System of Georgia for all institutions, consistent with the guidance from the Department of Public Health, and the CDC.

    What do I do if I have other questions?

    We remain committed to keeping you informed via email and via Valdosta State’s coronavirus webpage.

    A full Return to Campus plan has been developed, and is available in its entirety at www.valdosta.edu/return

    You should also feel free to contact the Office of Human Resources whenever needed at 229-333-5709 or hrstaff@valdosta.edu .


Report Health Concerns

Students who test positive for COVID-19 should immediately notify the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at 229-333-5941. If after office hours then the student should call campus police at 229-333-7816 to be transferred to the on-call Dean. For more information, read the FAQ section of the coronavirus website.

All VSU Employees: If you are feeling sick or have tested positive for COVID-19, do not report to work; contact Human Resources immediately. For more employee resources on safety and prevention, please visit our Return to Campus plan. Please contact your Primary Care Provider (PCP) for your medical needs.