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COVID-19: Safe Return FAQs for Faculty and Librarians

Note: This is an Archival Document

For the latest COVID-19 information and Faculty FAQs, please visit Fall 2021 Return site


Testing and Tracing

Communication/Transparency: The testing dashboard is updated weekly by close of business on Thursday. A regular, weekly email will be transmitted by the Wellness Center with all relevant health updates. In that email information will be included on the testing amount, frequency and percent positive. 

Contact Tracing: Details on the BSU Contact Tracing program can be found at here.

Testing Frequency/Population: In the spring, BSU is testing residential students at the time of move-in and every week thereafter. Students who are coming to campus to attend classes and/or utilize campus resources are being strongly encouraged and regularly invited to test. All surveillance testing costs are being assumed by the university. For more information on testing, please see our testing process.

Availability of Tests: Testing is available to all BSU students and employees on Tuesday and Wednesday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. in the Dunn Conference Center. Please continue to check the COVID-19 home page for any updates to our testing hours and availability.  As a reminder, the Dunn Conference Center Test site is an asymptomatic test site. If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, or you have been identified as a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID-19, please call the Wellness Center to arrange a test.  Please also continue to stay vigilant about your physical distance, mask wearing and hygiene while limiting your close contacts.

Guidance for Students Testing Positive: Any student reporting a positive COVID test to any faculty, staff or librarians should result in a communication to the Contact Tracing team on campus for immediate follow up. The communication need only be the forwarding of an email if all the pertinent identifying information is captured. The student who tested positive would then be put into isolation for at least 14 days and may be expected to participate in coursework remotely depending on the severity of symptoms and process of convalescence. Consideration should be given to students reporting severe symptoms as they may not be able to attend synchronous courses nor attend to timely completion of assignments while they are recovering.

Safety Protocols

What PPEs will be available to faculty, librarians, and staff?

Please see BSU’s Mask and Face Shield Guidance for current requirements. Masks are mandatory on the BSU campus including in indoor and outdoor public spaces. For faculty teaching in-person classes, face shields are available upon request and may be worn in addition to the mandatory face mask for additional protection. Special transparent face masks are also available on request in the event students have hearing challenges and require lip reading. The sciences are utilizing industry standard lab safety PPE according to their disciplines. BSU also has developed specific safety guidelines for the Fine and Performing Arts.

Will there be limitations and monitoring on the number of individuals allowed in the Maxwell Library or other large areas at a given time?

Similar to all buildings, the Maxwell Library will be secured with our CCURE system, and all employees and students entering the building will be required to card in with their CONNECT cards. Because of the criticality of the library to our mission, the facilities management department has installed customized plastic shields for the circulation and reference desks. The library is heavily signed and laid out with floor markings to advise users are social distancing and traffic patterns. All buildings across campus will be similarly signed and marked prior to the fall semester.

What protocols have been developed for cleaning classes and meeting spaces and for entering and leaving these spaces?

Cleaning and disinfecting will be coordinated with the final in-person class schedule, in order to disinfect and wipe down spaces between room occupancy. This work will be completed by facilities management maintainers. CDC guidelines require that every instructional space used be disinfected every 24 hours at a minimum.

Please see the Custodial Services Framework  for information on cleaning and disinfecting.

In addition, the facilities management department has developed new custodial cleaning logs  that will be posted in many space on campus including restrooms in both academic buildings and resident halls.

Each space will be equipped each instructional space with “Bear Buckets.” Bear Buckets will contain wipes and disinfecting spray, instructions for use and MSDS’s. It is strongly encouraged that faculty and students take personal responsibility and wipe down spaces upon entry and prior to exit from instructional spaces as an added layer of safety. All of the BSU community shares the responsibility for ensuring timely disinfecting of common spaces and high touch areas by asking students, faculty, and staff to wipe down their areas when possible to reinforce University maintainers efforts.

How will the wearing of masks in classrooms and public spaces on campus be enforced?

Please see BSU’s Face Covering Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines.

How will HVAC be assessed and managed?

Filtration for the mechanical systems in university buildings will be fitted with only manufacturer recommended filters. This is necessary to maintain warranties and proper operations. The facilities management energy management team has reviewed all university buildings’ mechanical systems and has provided the information contained in this document  in regard to indoor air quality.

This information is posted in all campus buildings. Per CDC guidance, it is recommended to utilize operable windows to supplement the building’s mechanical system movement of fresh air. This summer all of the HVAC filters on campus have been replaced, and additional filters are being procured to enable supplemental replacement during the year.

How will social distancing be ensured when students enter and leave the classes?

Efforts in planning have included limiting the use of buildings with narrow corridors. Currently, most student occupancy for instruction will be limited to Burnell, Hart, DMF, Art Center, Rondileau Student Union, Hunt Hall, Boyden Hall Tinsley Center and Moakley. The focus has been to utilize two-way traffic in corridors with widths greater than 6’- 0”. Floors are marked for directionality. Wear Face Mask signs are posted throughout the campus and every face-to-face instructional space and lounge has Maximum Capacity signage.  It is important to note that risk of transmission is greater when exposure to others lasts longer than 15 minutes.

Regrettably, the majority of instructional spaces have one door. For those instructional spaces with two doors, one will be designated entry and one exit. Much is dependent upon students taking personal responsibility for everyone’s safety.


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Suggested Statements for Syllabi

Online Course Recordings Policy

This course is scheduled to run synchronously at our scheduled class time via Blackboard Collaborate Ultra. These class sessions will be recorded. The recording will capture the instructor’s audio, video and computer screen. Student audio and video will be recorded if students share their computer audio and video during the recorded session. The recordings will only be accessible to students enrolled in the course for review. These recordings will not be shared with or made accessible to the public.

Faculty can also see the Guidance on Recording in the Classroom and in the Virtual Classroom. This language is being shared with students via a Student Announcement and other means, such as the new student online learning support being developed by Continuing Studies. This matter is also being discussed at ERC.

Notice to students that they are not allowed to record any portion of the class in the absence of instructor permission or an accommodation.

Students are not allowed to record any portion of the class in the absence of instructor permission or an accommodation. Failure to comply are subject to reporting to the Office of Community Standards.

Compliance Policy for safety and social distancing guidelines in class (i.e. wear a mask to class). NOTE: For classes with in-person instruction during the semester.

The faculty member in charge of a class is in control of the classroom. Please see BSU’s Face Covering Compliance and Enforcement Guidelines for guidance on how to deal with a student who is non-compliant with safety protocols.

Obtaining student consent for recording Blackboard Collaborate Ultra or Zoom lectures.

Faculty are strongly encouraged to: a) include written expectations about recordings on their syllabi ; and b) to have conversations with all students about this on the first day of class. The Classroom Conduct policy and the Student Code of Conduct are means for addressing any unauthorized recordings.

Faculty Office Hours

Faculty should hold virtual office hours of three hours a week over at least two days during the Spring 2021 semester. It is recommended that those hours be held on Zoom, Teams, Blackboard Collaborate Ultra, or over the phone; information about how and when the office hours will be held should be shared with the department chair and administrative assistant and be included on each course syllabus. It is also recommended to include office hours in faculty email signatures. Additional office hours and information for advising should be sent to advisees via email. For help with setting up virtual office hours contact the Teaching & Technology Center at


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Support Services for Students

What support services are being offered to students this semester?

BSU will continue to provide exceptionally strong academic support, services, and resources to help each student succeed. Our Academic Achievement Center will continue to provide a comprehensive array of programs, whether students require advising, learning assistance, disability resources, or other individual needs. All these services will be delivered remotely, although the Academic Achievement Center is reconfiguring its space for social distancing to accommodate limited by-appointment in-person advising and support.

Below is the contact information for each of the Academic Achievement Center’s departments:

What should I do if I need guidance about offering support to a student’s accommodations in the remote or the in-person teaching environment?

Students will continue to work directly with the Office of Student Accessibility Services (formally known as the Office of Disability Resources or DRO) to obtain accommodations and the student will forward their accommodation letters to faculty. Questions about how the accommodations may be implemented in an online environment can be posed directly to staff of the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) as well as the Teaching and Technology Center. New guidance on delivery of accommodations including accessible testing will be sent to all faculty via email and posted on the SAS webpage prior to the start of the semester.  In person accessible testing will be available to students, although on a limited basis. For questions, please contact Jenna Shales, Associate Director of Student Accessibility Services (formerly Disability Services) at

What support services are available for students with anxiety or in need of support?

Counselors are available for faculty/staff who wish to consult with counselor about students of concern by calling 508.531.1331 during regular business hours. The CARE Team referral form outlines criteria for filing a CARE report. See guidance on how to help students of concern here.

What resources exist for students who do not have reliable access to technology for online classes?

The Maxwell Library First Floor (Shaw Road entrance) will be open for computer access. Additionally, the Library circulation desk has loaner devices, i.e., laptops, Chromebooks, iPads, wireless hotspots, etc. available for you to borrow. For more information, please contact the Circulation Desk at 508.531.1392 or visit IT Loaners . (BSU login required.)

BSU has recently deployed Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) to replace Cloud PC 2.0. This service provides students with access to a virtual Windows 10 computer in the cloud pre-loaded with academic software. WVD can be accessed anytime (24/7/365) and from any device (PC/Mac/Tablet) and provides a very similar experience to our on-campus computer labs.

Finally, internet and wireless service providers are providing discounted or low cost internet services to households that don’t have access to affordable internet services. In addition, the federal government has established the Lifeline program to provide monthly service discounts. To learn more, review offerings from the programs below.

Where can students study on campus this semester?

Please see Study Areas - Spring Semester 2021.


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Technology Needs of Faculty/Librarians

What should I do if I still need hardware (i.e. headset) to deliver my classes remotely?

Contact the Teaching and Technology Center at

What types of software is available to faculty for remote of HyFlex delivery of classes?

To better support the growing needs of our faculty and students for online instruction, BSU has adopted Respondus for securing online exams and remote proctoring, Zoom for web-conferencing, VoiceThread for online student presentations, Screencast-o-Matic for developing lecture capture videos, Blackboard Ally for improving online course accessibility, and LinkedIn Learning for on-demand video tutorials on a variety of topics (e.g. online learning, Blackboard, Adobe Creative Cloud, SPSS, Microsoft Office).

Where can I find training workshops on uses of various technologies for remote delivery?

The Teaching & Technology Center and the College of Continuing Studies host an annual summer-long self-paced Online Teaching Institute to support faculty online teaching needs. The TTC also hosts live webinars throughout the year on online teaching practices and technologies to support online delivery; sessions are typically recorded. Faculty can find recordings of these sessions at: .

How can I access campus spaces and equipment such as HyFlex classrooms, One-Button studios, and light boards, as well as support with the relevant software to help me ensure quality remote instruction?

The One Button Studio  is available to faculty in the Maxwell Library to record lecture videos. Faculty can request safe, secure time with Teaching & Technology Center staff to record a Lightboard video lecture  in the Moakley Center.

Faculty can contact the Registrar’s Office to request a classroom for HyFlex teaching purposes . BSU has 60+ HyFlex mobile video cameras and microphones that can accommodate virtually any classroom on campus, as well as new HyFlex classrooms with permanent camera and ceiling microphone technologies. Faculty interested in receiving training on the use of HyFlex technology in their assigned classrooms can email to set up an on-campus appointment with our IT Media Services team.


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Other Important Information

Faculty should note that important decisions have been reached through ERC about Office Hours, Committees meeting remotely, personnel actions, etc. These decisions have been shared via campus email and are posted on the MSCA website .

We strongly encourage all members of the BSU community to utilize SafeScan on the BSU Mobile App. QR codes have been generated for approximately 500 locations across campus. These codes can be scanned through the BSU Mobile App; the more frequently students and other members of the community scan, the more impactful our contact tracing will be.