Fall 2021 guidelines for classes

The University of Akron is monitoring COVID-19 and its variants, tracking our campus and local vaccination rates, and continuing to vaccinate and contact trace on campus.

Our policies and guidelines are based on recommendations from the CDC, the state of Ohio, and state and local health authorities.

Frequently asked questions

  1. What is the mask policy on campus?    
     The University has changed its protocol to align with the CDC guidance and requires everyone – regardless of vaccination status – to wear a mask/face covering in indoor public areas (not private offices and residences) across all campuses effective August 9.  Masks/facial coverings continue to be required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals when they cannot maintain social distancing.
  2. Can I ask students, colleagues or others on campus if they have been vaccinated?    
    No. You should not ask anyone about their confidential medical information, which includes vaccine status.  You can encourage students and your colleagues to upload their vaccination information into Med+Proctor where Health Services and contact tracers will have access to help expedite the process of determining who is exempt from testing.
  3. Can I require students to wear masks in my class?
    As of August 9, all on campus are required to wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status. Even if conditions improve and return to low or moderate levels of community spread and the University relaxes masking protocols, faculty/instructors may continue to require the wearing of masks or facial coverings in their individual classrooms. If you will require facial coverings in your class, please include this on your syllabus (see the syllabus statement below).
  4. Are we going to require students and employees to be vaccinated against COVID?  
    Yes. To keep our campus community as healthy and safe as possible, we have put in place a vaccine requirement.
  5. Can I switch my fall in-person class to online?     
    All courses should be offered in the modality already established for the fall semester. No faculty/instructors should unilaterally change the instructional modality for any course.  
  6. Do I still have to keep a seating chart for my class?  
    Yes, you must keep a seating chart. Keeping a seating chart will greatly enhance our ability to contact trace, if needed, so please keep up-to-date seating charts for all your classes.
  7. I’m vaccinated but prefer to wear a mask when conditions improve. Is that OK? 
    Yes, and face shields are fine too.
  8. Can I keep my office hours virtual for fall? 
    Faculty/instructors may hold virtual office hours for fall but should accommodate students who request to meet in person.  
  9. How can I get a microphone to use while teaching?
    Faculty/instructors should contact audio visual services to check out a microphone.
  10. Do we have a new COVID syllabus statement?

Because our policies could change rapidly, please include this statement on your syllabus.

The COVID-19 pandemic is still present and serious. Before entering class, you should have completed your daily health assessment. You should not come to class if you fail your health check or feel ill. At that time, I also ask you notify me that you will be absent. When campus policies require masks to be worn indoors, all students are required to wear a mask during in-person classes. While you are in class on campus, you are required to: sit in your designated seat, always cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue, and adhere to other public safety protocols and directives for your specific classroom/lab/studio. Students who do not follow these health and safety requirements will be instructed to leave class immediately. Students who violate this protocol will need to leave the classroom and MAY be marked absent. Repeated violations of these health-saving protocols may lead to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct up to and including suspension or expulsion. Current guidelines can be found at: uakron.edu/return-to-campus/.

If you will require face coverings during times when campus policies do not, use this syllabus statement:

The COVID-19 pandemic is still present and serious. Before entering class, you should have completed your daily health assessment. You should not come to class if you fail your health check or feel ill. At that time, I also ask you notify me that you will be absent. Regardless of any campus-wide policy on masks, all students are required to wear a mask when this class meets in-person.  While you are in class on campus, you are required to: sit in your designated seat, always cough or sneeze into your elbow or tissue and adhere to other public safety protocols and directives for your specific classroom/lab/studio. Students who do not follow these health and safety requirements will be instructed to leave class immediately. Students who violate this protocol will need to leave the classroom and MAY be marked absent. Repeated violations of these health-saving protocols may lead to sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct up to and including suspension or expulsion. Current guidelines can be found at: uakron.edu/return-to-campus/.