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COVID-19: Guidance for Academic Appointees and Supervisors

March 23, 2020
Dear Colleagues,
 
As we do our best to work through the COVID-19 crisis, we write to offer guidance on several matters that affect faculty (and other academic appointees). We appreciate your understanding and patience as we work through the various areas of concern.
 
Paid Administrative Leave
 
Effective March 1, 2020, President Napolitano issued an executive order that authorized up to 128 hours of paid administrative leave for academic appointees. Paid administrative leave may be granted if at least one of the following conditions are met:
 
  • unable to work because of your own health issues related to COVID-19 or those of a family member;
  • unable to work because you have been directed not to come to the worksite for COVID-19-related reasons and/or the work site has implemented a COVID-19-related remote work program or is under a shelter-in-place order and it is not operationally feasible for you to work remotely; or
  • unable to work because a COVID-19 related school or daycare closure demands that you to be home with a child or dependent, and it is not operationally feasible for you to work remotely or in conjunction with the childcare commitment.
 
All academic appointees — policy-covered and represented (including students) — are eligible for COVID-19 related leave if one of these criteria apply. Please note, however, that paid administrative leave must not adversely affect the delivery of instruction or other essential university services. Please see the attachment for general provisions of these guidelines .
 
Academic employees who are requesting paid administrative leave must have prior approval from their supervisor.
 
Completing Timesheets
 
Monthly paid employees will continue to report leave time — sick, vacation, etc. — in the Time Reporting System (TRS) , including applicable use of authorized paid administrative leave. Employees will use the provided code of “Paid Leave (COVID19)” in full-day increments when applicable.
 
Monthly paid (academic) student employees who do not report time via TRS should work with APO ( academicpersonnel@ucmerced.edu ) for information related to COVID-19 impacts.
 
Processing of Merit and Promotion Cases
 
As mentioned in an earlier memo to department chairs, cases for faculty (and other academic employees) in progress with a July 1, 2020, effective date will continue to be processed. Every effort will be made to have all cases decided before the end of June.
 
Recruitments and New Appointments
 
As already noted in a memo to search committee chairs last week, departments should continue to conduct searches for open positions through online means. Appointment cases will continue to be processed.
 
Longer-Term Impacts on Faculty and Other Academic Employees
 
As with all advancement cases, review committees, department chairs, and deans should provide detailed information about the current context and reduced activity in research, challenges in teaching, service contributions, etc., as needed. Faculty should not be penalized for a reduction in work activities during the COVID-19 crisis and are encouraged to write self-statements that mention that work was affected.
 
Sincerely,
 
Teenie Matlock
Vice Provost for the Faculty
 
Nicole Pollack
Chief Human Resources Officer