Mar. 24, 2020 - A message from VP of HR Bryan Garey; VPN use; Slack licensing; TLOS instruction; Updated travel information

March 24, 2020

A message from Vice President of Human Resources Bryan Garey

 HR guidance on employee pay during modified university operations

We are all experiencing the impact of COVID-19 on Virginia Tech and our operations, so it is not surprising that many of us have expressed concern about our jobs and future employment. Virginia Tech cannot accomplish its mission without our talented faculty, staff, and wage employees. I want to assure you of our commitment to retaining our talented employees as we navigate a challenging future over the next several months. Please review the guidelines below for details and pay guidance by employee type..

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New COVID-19 updated travel information and resources for the Virginia Tech community

 Editor’s Note - March 24, 2020

The Virginia Tech Post-Travel Registration Form should be completed by all those who have traveled within the last 14 days. The New River Health District online assessment and Schiffert Health Center and Hokie Wellness resources are for anyone with COVID-19 questions whether having traveled or not.

All University community members who have traveled within the last 14 days domestically, internationally or from Northern Virginia, Eastern Virginia, or other identified COVID-19 hotspot areas in the Commonwealth of Virginia need to complete a phone or online health screening. A hotspot is defined as any geographic area or location that has had either a concentrated outbreak or a high risk of transmission.

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Additional updates and notices

Check back with us periodically to learn about updates, notices, and statements. This page is updated throughout the day, as the information becomes available.

A message from Don Taylor: Research Resources for COVID-19. In effort to keep the research community informed, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation has partnered with university leadership and teams across campus to provide guidance, information, and resources in order for researchers, faculty, staff, and students to make the best decisions given various circumstances. As we continue to make plans for a variety of outcomes that will impact the research community that includes faculty, staff, students, and animals, please visit the COVID-19 Updates: Research Continuity Guidance web page that includes a broaderFAQ section in addition to other resources, like the Research Preparation Guidelines, that we hope will provide assistance and guidance as you make plans.

A message from the Global Education Office on study abroad support. The last few weeks have brought unprecedented global developments causing anxiety and concern for many of our students, families, faculty, staff, and partners. We want to take a moment to thank all of you for your understanding. We share in your disappointment over canceled programs, early returns home, and experiences that did not occur. While our focus is still on the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we understand that you may have questions about the future of study abroad programming. Answers to Frequently Asked Questions can be found on the Global Education website. Please also refer to the university’s COVID-19 page for the latest information and announcements.

VPN users should choose ‘VT Traffic over SSL VPN’ setting. When using the Virginia Tech Remote Access Virtual Private Network (VPN) service, users should select ‘connect to VT Traffic over SSL VPN’ whenever possible. This improves internet performance for the user and leaves campus resources available for others who need them. Users should also keep in mind that connecting via VPN is not needed to access Canvas, Zoom, or the email and collaboration tools in Office or G Suite. The university has increased the capacity of the VPN to meet increased demands for the move to online learning for the remainder of the spring semester, however, capacity is not unlimited. The VPN makes it possible for users to access applications that are only available through a Virginia Tech IP address.

Slack licensing fee reduced through June 17, 2020. To aid the university in slowing the spread of COVID-19 and make it easier for employees to stay connected while working remotely, IT Procurement and Licensing Solutions (ITPALS) is reducing licensing fees for the online chat tool Slack to $5.00 for a period of 90 days, effective immediately. The license will allow access to Slack through the annual renewal date of December 19, 2020. With telework now required for Virginia Tech faculty and staff whose jobs can be performed remotely, Slack can be a valuable communication tool, allowing employees to communicate instantly within teams as well as with individuals across the university.

TLOS Top 10: Instructional Continuity Special Edition. The COVID-19 situation has dramatically altered the spring semester at Virginia Tech, and Technology-enhanced Learning and Online Strategies (TLOS) is doing everything they can to support the university's swift transition to online instruction. The coming weeks will be challenging for instructors and students alike, so TLOS has developed this special edition of the “TLOS Top 10” to share tips and gentle reminders that will help faculty adjust to a new model of teaching and interacting with students.

Deadline extended for VT Engage Faculty Fellows program. The VT Engage team has extended the deadline to apply for its Faculty Fellows program to May 15. More information can be found below and on the VT Engage website. The goal of VT Engage's Faculty Fellows program is to increase the prevalence of and quality of community engagement in the curriculum at Virginia Tech through curricular, faculty-led experiences in the areas of service-learning, leadership education, and civic engagement.