COVID-19 FAQs for Academics

In addition to the UCI Academic FAQs listed below, the UC Office of the President has also created a FAQ relating to President Napolitano's announcement regarding job protections.

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Academic Review Process

1. What accommodations are offered in the Academic Personnel review process due to COVID-19?
Accommodations to the review timetable for Professor/Professor of Teaching/Professor In Residence/Professor of Clinical X, Health Sciences Clinical Professor (at more than 50% time) and Adjunct Professor (at more than 50% time), is available at https://ap.uci.edu/addtlguidancecovid19/
2. How will student evaluations of teaching be counted during terms that were abruptly disrupted due to COVID-19 (Winter 2020 and Spring 2020)?
Options for use of student evaluations of teaching during Winter 2020 and Spring 2020 for the review process are available at https://ap.uci.edu/apreviewcovid19/.  See https://ap.uci.edu/apreviewcovid19non-senate/ for application to non-senate faculty
3. If teaching evaluations are not necessarily used in the review process, how will there be oversight of what happens in the classroom those terms?
Evaluations should still be reviewed by individual faculty to identify potential areas of success and room for improvement. Department chairs should regularly review student evaluations of courses and meet with faculty, as needed, to discuss concerns and provide support to address major issues.
4. If a faculty already deferred a review for one year in 2019-2020, can they request a consecutive deferral due to COVID-19 in the 2020-2021 review cycle?
Yes, if a faculty deferred a review during the 2019-2020 review cycle, they can request a consecutive deferral due to COVID-19 in the 2020-2021 review cycle. This deferral would be Dean Delegated.  The deferral due to COVID-19 is available to all associate rank and higher who are employed while the university is operating in COVID-19 pandemic mode (March 2020 – TBD).  The deferral should be requested by June 30 of the year in which the review is to occur. The deferral will be Dean Delegated. (updated 6/30/20)
4a. When do I have to inform my Chair and Dean that I want to defer my review cycle by a year due to COVID-19?
A deferral for your next review cycle due to COVID-19 is available to all associate rank and higher who are employed while the university is operating in COVID-19 pandemic mode (March 2020 – TBD). The deferral should be requested by June 30 of the year in which the review is to occur. The deferral will be Dean Delegated.  (updated 6/30/20)
5. Can Assistant Professor faculty defer a merit review due to COVID-19?
Assistant Professors may activate the Stop the Clock (purpose selected would be COVID-19) to delay their Mid-Career Appraisal and/or promotion/promotion to tenure. This option is available to all assistant professors who are employed while the university is operating in COVID-19 pandemic mode (March 2020 – TBD).  Faculty who Stop the Clock will still have to be reappointed with or without a merit during their normal time. To activate the COVID-STC the faculty would complete the UCI AP-92 Stop the Clock Certification  routed via the chair, dean and to the assigned Academic Personnel analyst on or before June 30, 2021. In order to automatically defer a Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification to “Stop the Clock” must be submitted by the end of the faculty member’s third year (by June 30). If the notification to “Stop the Clock” is submitted after the Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification of intent to “Stop the Clock” must be made before July 1 of the academic year in which a tenure or promotion review is to occur.  For example, if the Mid-Career Appraisal or promotion/promotion to tenure is to occur during the 2020-2021 review cycle, notification of COVID-STC must be submitted by June 30, 2020.  (updated 6/30/20)
6. If my appointment at UCI begins in the Spring of 2020, am I eligible for the automatic one-year “Stop the Clock” (COVID-STC)?
Yes, Assistant Professors may activate the Stop the Clock (purpose selected would be COVID-19) to delay their Mid-Career Appraisal and/or promotion/promotion to tenure.  This option is available to all assistant professors who are employed while the university is operating in COVID-19 pandemic mode (March 2020 – TBD).  Faculty who Stop the Clock will still have to be reappointed with or without a merit during their normal time. To activate the COVID-STC the faculty would complete the UCI AP-92 Stop the Clock Certification routed via the chair, dean and to the assigned Academic Personnel analyst on or before June 30, 2021.  In order to automatically defer a Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification to “Stop the Clock” must be submitted by the end of the faculty member’s third year (by June 30). If the notification to “Stop the Clock” is submitted after the Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification of intent to “Stop the Clock” must be made before July 1 of the academic year in which a tenure or promotion review is to occur.  (updated 6/30/20)
7. If an academic already has two Stop the Clocks previously approved, and is requesting for a third Stop the Clock due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is there anything else the School needs to provide to the Office of Academic Personnel to notify UCOP?
The faculty should complete the UCI AP-92 Stop the Clock Certification and through their Chief Personnel Officer submit the form to the Office of Academic Personnel. The form should indicate that this is the third Stop the Clock request and include an explanation on how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted their work.  The Office of Academic Personnel will manage the exceptional approval request to UC Office of the President.
8. Senate faculty at the Assistant rank will have until June 30, 2021 (or June 30, 2020 if an MCA or promotion is required during 2020-2021) to submit the AP-92 form to Stop the Clock due to COVID-19 pandemic. What if a faculty realizes after June 30, 2021 how big an impact COVID-19 had on their research?
If a faculty member is unsure whether or not a Stop the Clock will be needed at a later time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is recommended that they submit a completed Stop the Clock, AP-92 form, prior to the deadline. We are removing the deadline date referenced above, June 30, 2021, since this option is available to all assistant professor who are employed while the university is operating in COVID-19 pandemic mode (March 2020 – TBD), In order to automatically defer a Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification to “Stop the Clock” must be submitted by the end of the faculty member’s third year (by June 30). If the notification to “Stop the Clock” is submitted after the Mid-Career Appraisal, the notification of intent to “Stop the Clock” must be made before July 1 of the academic year in which a tenure or promotion review is to occur.  Once a “Stop the Clock” has been acknowledged, faculty have the option to submit a Mid-Career Appraisal and/or promotion review file at the normal time or they can take the extra year if desired.  (updated 6/30/20)
9. How will CAP factor in COVID-19 related career delays for Assistant Professors? Will it be solely within the confines of the one year COVID-19 Stop the Clock procedure? Will extra consideration be given beyond this, if the pandemic damaged their career progression beyond a single year delay?
The Council on Academic Personnel will treat COVID-19 Stop the Clock requests, AP-92 form as it does with other Stop the Clocks. The accomplishments will be evaluated as if they had occurred in a time period without the stopped year (ie., a three year review period that with STC took four years will be evaluated for three years of accomplishments). If the pandemic slowed a faculty member’s career progression beyond a single year, then in addition to having filed the AP-92 form they can elaborate on the prolonged effect of COVID-19 on their productivity in the self-statement section/s of their review file. This will be considered by all levels of review.

COVID-STC Retroactive Salary

10. Who will be eligible for the retroactive salary at time of promotion from the Assistant to the Associate level?

Only faculty who have an approved COVID-STC.

11. When will faculty need to go up for promotion review in order to receive the retroactive salary at time of promotion?

Depending on when the faculty goes up for their promotion review.  For example, a faculty who started on July 1, 2020 and has a COVID-STC, they will not be due for a promotion review until 2026-2027 review cycle, with an effective date of July 1, 2027.

12. What if the faculty was approved for COVID-STC and a postponement?

The retroactive salary increase will be effective after the promotion has been approved and the salary would be retroactive to the previous year.

13. Is it only the salary that is retroactive or is the final decision of the promotion retroactive to the previous year (includes promoted title and salary)?

Only the salary is retroactive. The final decision on the promotion (rank and step) will be the year in which it occurs.  A faculty who’s promotion is effective July 1, 2027, their salary would be retroactive to July 1, 2026, but their promotion to Associate Professor, Step X is effective July 1, 2027.

Leaves and Sabbaticals

14. Is any leave paperwork required for academics who take paid administrative leave due to COVID-19?
Yes, the forms listed below should be completed for all academics who normally complete the form, senate and non-senate (librarians included). “COVID-19 Related Leave” has been added as a type of leave in the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form.

For UC Paid Administrative Leave (PAL), the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form will need to be approved by the Dean and submitted to the Office of Academic Personnel for record keeping.

For Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family Medical Leave (EFML), the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form along with the University of California Employee Request for Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and/or Expanded Family and Medical Leave will need to be submitted to the Office of Academic Personnel and approved by the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel.

15. Since postdocs are on the Time Reporting System (TRS), can they submit leave request on TRS instead of an UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form?
The UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form, must still be completed and submitted to Academic Personnel after Dean approval. They should still submit request on TRS, but the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form, approval is required since the Office of Academic Personnel is the office of record.
16. Are Academic Student Employees (ASEs) eligible to use the paid administrative leave? Do they need to complete the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form?
Yes, paid administrative leave does apply to ASEs. No, they are not required to complete an UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form. For Readers and Tutors, recording administrative paid leave in TRS will be sufficient.

For GSRs and TAs, the Office of Academic Personnel created a google sheet for each school to track administrative paid leave since they do not use TRS to report time. These were emailed directly to the Chief Personnel Officers (CPOs).

Please note: Individuals who are able to perform their duties remotely are not required to report leave.

17. Will grants pay for Academic’s administrative leave?
The Office of Research informed us that as long as there is an institutional policy, grants will still pay for 16-day administrative leave. The grants will be reported as they normally do. For now these will be handled on a case by case basis. For more information visit: https://news.research.uci.edu/research-continuity/sponsored-projects-administration/  and feel free to contact Nancy Lewis, Executive Director of Sponsored Projects Administration at nrlewis@uci.edu.
18. What is the policy for sabbaticals being cancelled at this time?
Faculty may cancel sabbaticals that have been approved for Spring and Fall 2020. For Spring, this can be done by submitting an email by April 7, 2020 to their chair and dean that briefly describes the impact of COVID-19 crisis on sabbatical plans, which can then be forwarded to assigned Academic Personnel analyst. The deans and chair will decide what the workload will look like. They also have the option of taking a Sabbatical in Residence.

Due to this allowance, faculty will be allowed to accrue above the max if they have any sabbatical cancellations due to the COVID-19 crisis. Individuals will need to submit a memo to accrue beyond the maximum credit via the chair, dean and forwarded to the assigned Academic Personnel analyst for Vice Provost acknowledgement.

Individuals wanting to accrue above the max with requests NOT due to the Spring sabbatical cancellation must go through the normal process.

19. What happens to the course load for faculty canceling Spring 2020 sabbaticals?
Faculty who cancel Spring 2020 sabbaticals (deadline of April 7) should have workload assigned for the Spring 2020 quarter. If regular teaching assignments are not possible, chairs are encouraged to assign faculty to help colleagues who are developing and teaching their courses remotely for the first time this spring, or to undertake other curricular or programming or service related work as needed. Cancellation of sabbatical should not result in assignment of increased teaching course load in 2020-2021.

Other Questions

20. Do academics have to complete the telecommute agreement?
No, the telecommute agreement is not required to be completed for any academics.
21. Is there any guidance on offering additional compensation for faculty developing an online course(s) for Spring quarter?
The switch to remote learning is not considered online course development, but an alternative mechanism to delivering an existing course.  This also applies to Unit 18 lecturers. If Unit 18 lecturers makes this request, please have them contact Tanisha Willoughby at tanisha.willoughby@uci.edu.
22. When I get to UCI, will I be able to hit the ground running when it comes to doing my research? Will the University provide all the services needed to enact my research program (e.g., IRB services, grant management, HR personnel to hire people needed to conduct my research, etc.)?
Although staff in the Office of Research are working from home, it remains fully operational. Sponsored Projects Administration is still reviewing and submitting proposals, negotiating and accepting awards, and supporting UCI’s faculty. The IRB and IACUC are still reviewing and approving research protocols. At the school level, grant proposals are still being prepared and active grants are supported by key staff; and at the department level, start-up funds are firmly in place, being used appropriately, and otherwise effectively utilized to support ongoing research. Some of these and other research related processes might be unfolding more slowly than is typical, but they are up and running. At this time, Critical Research is being carried out on campus, while non-critical research is being carried out from home to the greatest extent possible. Our goal is to insure research continues with as minimal disruption as possible. For details, visit https://research.uci.edu/.

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