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Office of the Provost

COVID-19 Faculty Guidance

It is our mission to provide faculty with guidance needed to promote a safer and more successful learning environment. We will update our guidelines as changes occur.

COVID-19 faculty guidance for Fall 2022 semester | Updated August 4, 2022

As we approach the start of the Fall 2022 semester, we have compiled COVID-19 guidance to help inform classroom teaching during pandemic times. For the university’s current COVID-19 guidelines on larger campus issues such as face coverings, testing, vaccinations, isolation and more, please visit the university’s COVID-19 website

Cleaning supplies in classrooms
Cleaning supplies will still be available in classrooms this semester, and nothing has changed from past semesters regarding the protocols or policies for attaining or using cleaning supplies. The university’s facilities department possesses necessary cleaning supplies in reserve or set on order. To request classroom sanitation supplies for your classroom, please submit purchasing’s PPE Supplies Order form . Air filters can be requested through facilities’ Submit a Request form

Attendance policy following a positive test
All campus community members — faculty, staff, and students — who test positive for COVID-19 will be expected to complete a five-day isolation followed by an additional five days of wearing a tight-fitting mask when around others. For students who test positive, isolation instructions along with isolation dates and a class excuse, will be coordinated through the Undergraduate Student Ombuds Services. Faculty and staff who test positive will also receive a letter with isolation instructions and dates, but do not need to go through an Ombuds. Isolation dates will be calculated based upon the individuals’ testing date.

Changing classroom and teaching modalities
Students have now registered for classes and the modality of teaching should not be changed except under exceptional circumstances. These are:

  • When 30% or more of the students in a class have documented excused absences, the faculty member may choose to move the class online for a limited amount of time until those documented absences are less than 30%.  In such instances, there must be communication to the class both about where they may access lectures or course materials and when the class will go back to the original teaching method, as documented in Self-Service Carolina.
  • Since students are registered in classes and have an expectation that the class will be taught in the method that is specified in Self-Service Carolina, permanent changes in teaching method can only occur when there is a documented health issue or disability making online teaching a necessity. The decision of a change in modality should be made at the level of the dean and every effort should be made to not change the modality of a course with registered students in it. These efforts could include a change of classroom assignment to allow more social distancing, a switch in instructors, assignment of a new instructor, etc. Temporary changes and changes to hybrid instruction with less than 50% online are preferred over permanent changes to 100% online instruction; changes to synchronous online courses are preferred over changes to asynchronous online courses.   In the case of an approved change in teaching modality of a course in the spring, the faculty member should notify the students in the class of the change.  The academic unit should make every effort to provide the same course in the modality that most of the students prefer either in the fall or in the spring. Academic units are still expected to have their face-to-face offerings within approximately 5% of pre-pandemic levels.

Contact tracing and seating charts
In the theme of moving toward personal responsibility, students, faculty, and staff who test positive will be provided with a document from SCDHEC with instructions to call close contacts to inform them of a close contact exposure. SCDHEC is no longer performing contact tracing. With that guidance, USC’s Student Health Services is also no longer performing contact tracing. Therefore, seating charts are not necessary.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.