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Faculty and Staff FAQs

Drexel is committed to taking all steps to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus by adhering to the latest public health guidelines and fostering a culture of interdependence and responsibility. The information you need to prepare for a safe return to campus can be found in the FAQs below. Please refer to the University Resources page for information about your specific department, school, or program.

Please check this page regularly, as information is updated to reflect the situation as it evolves. For the latest Drexel health and safety guidelines, view our Health & Safety overview page. Please also see the Provost's Fall 2021 Return to Campus FAQ.

>>View Provost's Fall 2021 Faculty/Staff FAQ

Key Information for Faculty and Professional Staff

Vaccination Requirement

In order to ensure the safety of our community, Drexel University will be requiring all current faculty, staff, and post-doctoral trainees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their return to campus, no later than August 1, 2021. Employees within the College of Nursing and Health Professions as well as the College of Medicine should consult with their managers to ensure they follow any additional school-specific guidelines. Employees granted vaccine exemption based on medical or religious grounds, or employees who choose not to upload proof of vaccination, will follow key public heath measures for their individual and collective health and safety including enrollment in regular COVID-19 testing, wearing face masks when indoors, and maintaining appropriate distance.

Learn more: COVID-19 Vaccination

Phased Return to Work

Each faculty and professional staff member’s position will be classified into two categories: those needed for on-campus support and those who can continue working remotely. These classifications will be based upon safety protocols, individual job functions and the University’s commitment to ensuring that we fulfill our obligation to maximize the student experience. 

A phased approach for returning to campus has been created to ensure we can safely scale up the number of individuals on campus:

Phase Date Population
Phase 0
6/24/2020 All essential personnel and research personnel approved for the increase in Research activities. Please see Research Ramp-Up for more information
Phase 1: Semester Return to Campus 7/20/2020 All faculty and professional staff required to prepare for the return of students on the semester schedule to campus
Phase 2: Summer Ramp-up 8/3/2020 All faculty and professional staff who are required to prepare for the return of students on the quarter schedule to campus
Phase 3: Fall Return to Campus 9/7/2020

All faculty and professional staff who are required for the start of fall term classes on September 21

Phase 4: Winter Return to Campus 1/4/2021

All faculty and professional staff who did not return to campus in Phases 1-3, with the option to continue remote work

Phase 5: Spring Return to Campus 3/29/2021

All faculty and professional staff who are required to return for the start of Spring term on March 29, 2021

Phase 6: Summer Return to Campus
6/21/2021
 All faculty and professional staff who are required to return for the start of Summer term on June 21, 2021
Phase 7: Fall Return to Campus
9/20/2021
 All faculty and professional staff who are required to return for the start of Fall term on September 20, 2021

Once faculty and professional staff positions have been categorized and individual needs have been considered, employees will be notified of their Return to Campus date, which is subject to change given the evolving public health circumstances. However, the University will make every effort to provide advanced notice of Return to Campus dates. Faculty and professional staff should consult with their department head or supervisor to clarify their department’s expectations and needs, and should contact their department head, supervisor and/or HR Business Partner for consultation should they require an accommodation.

Changes to the Work Environment

COVID-related building occupancy restrictions have been lifted—classrooms, labs, and other areas can resume operations at normal capacity. Please consult the FAQs below and on the Provost's page, plus the Health & Safety section and the main FAQ page of this site for information about health and safety protocols associated with the return to work (including vaccination and requiring masks in all campus buildings). The University has also made changes including adjustment of ventilation systems in all buildings to ensure maximum air flow.

Additional adjustments are being made on a continual basis. Please continue to check this site for the latest updates.

Travel

Drexel is currently in Phase 3: LIMITED TRAVEL for University-related travel. View Phase 3 Travel Guidelines [PDF].

In Phase 3, all Drexel travelers participating on university-related travel are required to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Travel by non-vaccinated travelers with a medical or religious exemption may be considered on a case by case basis. View Drexel travel guidelines and restrictions here.

For details on essential and approved travel, review the guidelines below:

More information on U.S. travel restrictions and guidelines can be found on the CDC’s Traveler’s Health website and on the Philadelphia Department of Public Health website.

Handling COVID-19 Cases at Work

If you learn that you have been exposed to COVID-19, or if you learn about a case on campus, please follow the protocols in this Dos and Don'ts document [PDF]

Returning to Work

What happens if a faculty or professional staff member contracts COVID-19?

Faculty and professional staff are advised to seek medical care by calling their primary care doctor and asking to be evaluated for COVID-19. Immediately after calling your provider, please contact covid19health@drexel.edu and provide your name and a phone number to be contacted by a Drexel representative. It is imperative that the University is aware of any exposure risk to the members of the Drexel community. For more, see What to Do if You Feel Sick and our Dos and Don'ts for Handling COVID-19 Cases at Work [PDF].

What do I need to know about masks in classrooms?

As of August 31, 2021, Drexel requires all students and employees to wear a mask in all on-campus public and shared spaces, including instructional and research settings, regardless of vaccination status. Removing masks or eating in classrooms is prohibited. For more about mask requirements, as well as how to enforce them, see the Fall 2021 Return to Campus FAQ from the Provost's Office.

Are there circumstances in which instructors may ask for exemption from wearing a mask?

Faculty who are seeking accommodation based on a documented disability must contact Disability Resources to determine if they meet the criteria for approval. Additionally, the Provost’s Office is working with IT and Real Estate and Facilities to upgrade classroom technology to accommodate voice projection concerns.

What accommodations will be made for faculty or professional staff who are immunocompromised?

Faculty or professional staff who are immunocompromised should work with their department head to develop a schedule that permits them to work remotely. Visit the Office of Disability Resources page for more information on employee medical accommodations.

How is the University accommodating students with disability or academic accommodations?

Students who seek accommodations or temporary adjustments for a documented disability should contact the Office of Disability Resources, which is the standard process. For more about how faculty should accommodate students with approved requests for accommodation, view the Provost's Fall 2021 Return to Campus FAQ.

Will the Pass/No Pass option be continued for this term?

No, normal grading policies will apply. The University returned to normal grading in Summer 2021 after offering optional Pass/No Pass grading from Spring 2020 to Spring 2021.

How will shared office spaces be handled?

As of June 10, 2021, occupancy limits on Drexel campus spaces are returning to pre-pandemic levels. However, wearing a mask is still required in all shared indoor spaces. You can take your mask off if you are alone in your office with the door closed.

Travel: Faculty and Staff

What do I do if I have planned University-related travel?

You can view the most up-to-date Drexel travel guidelines on our COVID-19 Essential Travel Guidance page. Effective 5/13/2021 Drexel University will move into Phase 3: LIMITED TRAVEL for University-related travel. View Phase 3 Travel Guidelines [PDF].

Human Resources Information

How will I be paid if I am showing symptoms or am diagnosed with COVID-19?

If the professional staff member is able and approved to work remotely, they will not be required to use their leave time. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

If the professional staff member is unable to work remotely, is expected to work on campus, or is experiencing symptoms and are unable to work as a result, they are required to use their sick leave. If they do not have enough sick leave accrued, the professional staff member will be permitted to utilize future sick leave accruals to ensure that there is no disruption in pay. Members of a collective bargaining unit should refer to their union contract.

Absences that span more than three days may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Non-FMLA Medical Leave of Absence. Faculty and professional staff members are encouraged to contact our Leave of Absence Administrator, Lincoln Financial Group. You may file for a leave of absence by phone at 1.888.992.0549 or online by logging in to DrexelOne and selecting “Leave of Absence” in the Benefits Administration section under the “Employee” tab.

What if my family member is showing symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19?

Vaccinated people are not required to quarantine if exposed to COVID-19 unless they show symptoms. Faculty and professional staff members who are off work to care for a family member should use available sick time during their absence. Qualifying family members are outlined in the Sick Leave Policy.

Absences that span more than three days may be covered under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Non-FMLA Medical Leave of Absence. Faculty and professional staff members are encouraged to contact our Leave of Absence Administrator, Lincoln Financial Group. You may file for a leave of absence by phone at 1.888.992.0549 or online by logging in to DrexelOne and selecting “Leave of Absence” in the Benefits Administration section under the “Employee” tab.

Can I ask my faculty/professional staff member if they have COVID-19?

You are permitted to ask faculty/professional staff members how they are feeling in general, but you are not permitted to ask about a specific illness.

Can I communicate with faculty/professional staff members if a co-worker has tested positive for COVID-19?

No. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) restricts employers from sharing personal health information of an employee. Any faculty/professional staff members who have been exposed to or are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 are required to email covid19health@drexel.edu and provide their name and a phone number to be contacted by a Drexel representative. A physician will review and evaluate the responses to covid19health@drexel.edu and communicate with the impacted department accordingly.

How do I resume commonly used services, such as water delivery and document management and shredding, which were previously suspended?

Please contact the appropriate supplier representative to restore any services that were suspended following departure from campus. Please see Procurement Services' COVID-19 Resources page for contact information for the most commonly used suppliers and other pertinent information. Contact information for many Drexel suppliers can also be found on the Supplier Information Dashboard in Smart Source.

Facilities and Operations

Are any changes being made to ensure safe transportation to and from campus?

For information on the Drexel shuttle bus service, please visit the Shuttle Services webpage.

For the latest SEPTA updates, please visit the SEPTA website.

For information about parking, visit the Parking Services webpage.

What are the latest updates on departmental mail service?

Mail service has returned to pre-pandemic operations.

 

What processes does Drexel have in place to ensure clean and well-ventilated buildings?

We maintain, clean, and disinfect in accordance with CDC guidelines. We use a Hospital Grade Disinfectant when disinfecting buildings at least daily with second shift personnel giving special attention to high-traffic areas. We are also using electrostatic sprayers in some areas when needed or appropriate. Facilities staff are fully compliant with PPE at all times.

We have also reviewed and adjusted HVAC systems, filters, etc., to ensure shared spaces meet ASHRAE’s 62.1 Standard on “Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality.” That has included purchasing and installing over 600 standalone HEPA air purification units throughout all 3 campuses to support existing house ventilation. For more information, view our Facilities page.

What if I am still uncertain if my space meets the proper requirements for occupancy?

Talk with you Building Administrator and/or Area Manager to express your specific concerns. Departmental concerns should be brought to the attention of EHRS so that spaces of concern can be verified/evaluated as needed.

How can I help support the cleaning efforts in our office?

For both faculty and staff offices/workspace, housekeeping will provide full cleaning and disinfecting weekly. Individuals are asked to wipe their personal desk and workspace giving special attention to electronic devices such as keyboards and telephone. Alcohol disinfectants have been found to be gentler on electronics.

How do I request or obtain PPE?

  • Individual schools, centers, departments and divisions should purchase PPE and cleaning supplies directly for their organizations through the identified preferred suppliers using the standards developed by Procurement Services.
  • Special Spot-Sourcing and Central Sourcing Support is available through our strategic sourcing team.
  • A central emergency inventory of various PPE items is maintained by EHRS to support University operations when needed.

What should I do if a bathroom is out of soap or paper towels or an on-campus sanitizer station is empty?

Please call the Facilities Call Center (Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.) at 215.895.1700 to report the concern. Student residents can also contact their residence hall Front Desk for assistance.

Am I able to access my building on campus?

To access campus buildings, you need to have your DragonCard. If you need a replacement card or first-time DragonCard, you need to schedule an appointment. Please visit the DragonCard site or Drexel Business Services’ COVID Operations site for full details. If you have any questions or would like to request access to campus buildings, please contact dragoncard@drexel.edu.

I work in a leased location, should I follow guidance from the landlord or Drexel?

For faculty and staff returning to offices, labs, and other facilities, following Drexel’s health and safety procedures is of paramount importance. If there is any discrepancy between Drexel’s general procedures and guidelines provided by the company managing your building, follow the strictest rule for maximum safety. If you have challenges with the landlord gaining access to a leased location, please notify Drexel's Real Estate and Facilities team through the Facilities Call Center at 215.895.1700.

What provisions are made for housekeeping, air, and water systems if my office is in a leased building?

Additional provisions have been made in our leased buildings, as monitored by the Drexel Real Estate and Facilities. Housekeeping is following CDC guidelines, including high-touch surfaces and common areas. Signage similar to what is installed on-campus has been installed in these spaces. For HVAC systems, longer run times, enhanced filtration and increased amounts of outside air have been implemented. Water systems have been periodically flushed in all of our buildings.

Where can I eat and drink on campus?

Meals often serve as an important and enjoyable time to socialize with others. However, mask removal indoors can increase the risk of viral transmission. In general, it is always safer to eat outdoors regardless of your vaccination status, so plan your schedule to make this option possible. Eating indoors on campus is allowed in designated eating areas such as dining halls and eateries, during approved events, and in a select number of indoor eating areas that are primarily located in the center city campus at this time. Eating in classrooms and lobbies is otherwise prohibited. Eating is allowed when you are alone in your office with the door closed as well as in work cubicles where you are below cubicle walls when seated.  To establish a designated eating area, implementation team members should contact Jon Chase, jc52@drexel.edu. When eating indoors, only remove your mask when seated with your meal. Reduce your risk further by eating with no more than 4 other people. A list of dining options is provided at https://drexel.campusdish.com

Those who are not fully vaccinated should take precautions including physical distancing while eating. Students, faculty, and professional staff looking for places to enjoy the seasonable weather can view a map of outdoor seating areas on the University City Campus https://drexel.edu/business-services/dining-retail/outdoor/. Seating options include a variety of tables and chairs as well as shaded and non-shaded.

Questions about larger events and activities with food should be coordinated through your Colleges/Schools Implementation team designee.

 

Research

How will this affect my research project(s)?

Please see the Return to Research page for information.

 

Additional Information for Faculty & Staff

Please see the Provost's FAQ page for more Fall 2021 Return to Campus information, and visit the pages below for additional information for faculty and professional staff on Drexel’s COVID-19 response and resources. Please also refer to your school, college, or department’s website for information specific to your area of the University.

  

Updated September 16, 2021