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?
A compendium of accommodations 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/wp-content/uploads/Compendium-Measures-of-Support-for-Faculty.pdf 

2. Are student evaluations of teaching required in upcoming reviews?
Winter, Spring, Fall 2020 evaluations were watermarked with “COVID-19” and would be excluded from future review unless the faculty chooses to include them. If the faculty elect to include these evaluations, they should be discussed as per normal procedures. If they elect to exclude evaluations, they should not be included or discussed in review materials. https://ap.uci.edu/apreviewcovid19/ See https://ap.uci.edu/apreviewcovid19non-senate for application to non-senate faculty.

The requirement to include student evaluations in Academic Personnel review files resumed for all teaching titles, for all classes taught during Winter quarter 2021 and thereafter.  The evaluations will still have the COVID remote instruction quarter watermark for Winter, Spring, and Fall 2021. 

3. If a post-tenure faculty already deferred a review for one year in 2020-2021, can they request a consecutive deferral due to COVID-19 in the 2021-2022 review cycle?
Yes, if a faculty deferred a review during the 2020-2021 review cycle, they can request a consecutive deferral due to COVID-19 in the 2021-2022 review cycle. This deferral would be Dean Delegated. (updated 5/27/21)

The following COVID-19 deferrals will not be delegated to the dean and will require Vice Provost approval:

  • Any third consecutive deferral request will require dean and chair to provide justification for the deferral request.
  • For individuals who are/were due for review during required 5 years, Vice Provost will allow for the dean to approve the first deferral (will go up for review during the sixth year), but the second consecutive deferral (will go up for review during their seventh year) will require Vice Provost approval with a justification from the dean and chair. (updated 5/27/21)
4. Can Assistant Professor faculty defer a merit review due to COVID-19?
Assistant Professors employed during COVID-19 pandemic, including those hired 2021-2022, may activate the Stop the Clock (purpose selected would be COVID-19) to delay their Mid-Career Appraisal and/or promotion/promotion to tenure. 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. 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 2021-2022 review cycle, notification of COVID-STC must be submitted by June 30, 2021.

Faculty who use a one year COVID-STC and have a subsequent regular review action that results in a reappointment without a salary increase (due to low productivity related to COVID-19) will receive retroactive pay when they are promoted to associate rank. Assistant rank faculty who are approved for a stop the clock and receive a reappointment only for reasons other than COVID-19 are not eligible for retroactive pay.  Only the salary is retroactive. The final decision on the promotion (rank and step) will be the year in which it occurs.  For an assistant rank faculty whose promotion is effective July 1, 2027, and if they received a reappointment without a salary increase at any time since initiating COVID-STC, then their promotion salary would be retroactive to July 1, 2026, but their promotion to Associate Professor is effective July 1, 2027. (updated 7/30/21)

5. If an academic already has two Stop the Clocks previously approved that are non-COVID related, 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 routed via the chair, dean and to the assigned Academic Personnel analyst.  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.

Faculty may not request for a second COVID-STC.

6. Can a faculty member with two consecutive No Changes request a deferral due to COVID-19?
A faculty member with two consecutive No Changes will have an approved action plan that must be followed. In order to request a deferral, the action plan will need to be amended and approved on all levels before the deferral can be approved.

7. How will CAP factor in COVID-19 related career delays?
Faculty are encouraged to submit their merit file on time for the 2021-2022 review cycle if:

  • They have made strong contributions to teaching and service during the review period; and
  • Their contributions to research/creative activity are consistent with the achievement relative to opportunities, even if productivity/impact is less than expected pre-COVID-19.
    • Achievement Relative to Opportunities principles encourage “evaluation of candidates fairly based on their individual review-period professional accomplishments by taking into account unexpected or disruptive circumstances during that period that may have curtailed the candidate’s normal ability to achieve expected outcomes.” (From UC Academic Senate Recommendations to President Drake on Mitigating COVID-19 Impacts on Faculty, 1/26/21)
  • If otherwise: COVID-stop the clock (pre-tenure) and COVID-deferral (post-tenure) are available.
  • Accelerations will require similar activity and impact as prior to COVID-19.

Leaves and Sabbaticals

8. What leave options are available due to COVID-19?
Academic appointees are able to take Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) for qualifying reasons between March 29, 2021 and September 30, 2021.  If an appointee took any leave between January 1, 2021 and March 28, 2021 for one or more of the EPSL qualifying reasons but was not paid their regular rate of pay during that leave, the appointee may request that the University allow them to retroactively use EPSL. Also, any appointee who has a block EPSL leave in progress on September 30, 2021 must be permitted to finish that block leave using any remaining 2021 EPSL entitlement.  For additional information on EPSL, visit https://www.ucop.edu/academic-personnel-programs/_files/special-announcements/academic-personnel-guidance-regarding-covid-19-leaves.pdf.

For Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) complete the UCI-AP-76, Leave of Absence form and 2021 EPSL Request Form, route via the chair, dean and submitted to the Office of Academic Personnel and approved by the Vice Provost for Academic Personnel.

9. 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.

Return to Onsite Operations

10. Are flexible work arrangements allowed for academic appointees?

Consistent with APM policies (110, 025, 671, 700), Collective Bargaining Agreements, and other policies, academic appointees are expected to maintain a significant presence on campus in order to fulfill their obligations to students, colleagues, and the University.  This guidance was undergirded by UC’s commitment to equity, especially for communities that are disparately impacted by the pandemic.

  • Fall 2021 – a period of transition
    • Faculty: in person with potential flexibility if remote instructional delivery modality is approved by department/school/senate
    • Non-faculty academics: flexible arrangement allowed
  • Winter 2022 and beyond: return to onsite operation
  • Support student learning
  • Strengthen and support our innovative work

Flexible Work arrangement, if agreed to/approved by the department chairs, should be documented with a Flexible Work Agreement.

QuarterFacultyNon-Faculty Academic Appointees
Fall 2021
  • Onsite

  • Period of transition, with limited flexibility depending on instructional modality approved for courses

  • Onsite

  • Flexible work arrangement may be considered, if job duties, relevant academic/programmatic needs allow
Winter 2022 and Beyond
  • Onsite (Significant Presence)
  • Onsite

  • Allows for flexible work arrangement if nature of work/operation permit

11. Can an academic choose to telework abroad instead of working onsite?
UCOP has provided updated guidance on academic appointees teleworking abroad, reflecting the narrow exception for international telework through December 31, 2021.

The following academic appointees are permitted to temporarily telework from overseas, by exceptional approval, if they are:

  1. Academic appointees (including student employees) who have a visa but are subject to a travel restriction and cannot enter the U.S;
  2. Newly appointed academic appointees (including student employees) who have been unable to obtain their visa to enter the U.S; and
  3. Current academic appointees (including student employees) who have been unable to renew their visa to enter the U.S.

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Annoucements

Additional Guidance

COVID-19 Return to Campus/Safety Compliance Guidelines

Academic Appointees Teleworking Abroad

Interim COVID-19 Research Recovery Program (ICRRP)

Academic Review Guidance

Leave Guidance

Childcare Guidance for Academic Student Employees (ASEs) and Graduate Student Researchers (GSR)

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