Faculty & Staff Information

The health and safety of students, faculty, and staff continues to be our top priority during this pandemic. As part of our decision-making process, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force is monitoring the latest public health guidance and data. Please find more information below, in our frequently asked questions and in our full 2021-2022 Faculty & Staff Community Standards.

Returning to Campus

Essential staff have continued to work on campus throughout winter break, and student-facing staff should return to campus next week if scheduled to do so. All other staff should continue to work remotely and/or in conjunction with the unique business needs of their department until January 24. As a reminder, all employees must complete a COVID-19 test (PCR or home test) up to 72 hours before their return to campus.

Employees may test on their own and upload results via CoVerified by following these instructions. During this time, all employees are welcome to come to campus to receive a COVID-19 test and then return home. In addition, all employees must test on the first day of their return to campus for work.

Meetings

Meeting rooms are available to reserve and faculty and staff have access to in-person meetings, subject to the posted capacity of the rooms. Some meeting spaces have been upgraded with video-conferencing technology, and faculty and staff are able to book these “Zoom Rooms” for hybrid online and in-person meetings.

Dining

The Fens and Common Grounds will be closed until Monday, January 24. Meyers Cafe in Lefavour Hall will be closed due to construction until further notice.

Commuting to Campus/ Parking

Employees can continue to purchase parking passes, commuter rail passes, and local train and bus link passes through their Workday accounts. Employees who are not on campus every day, but still wish to park on campus, should consider the pay-as-you-go parking plan, as it will likely be more economical than a monthly pass.

Health and Safety

Masks

As a result of rising COVID-19 positivity rates on campus, we are reinstating the indoor mask requirement at Simmons – effective Friday, May 13, 2022, until further notice. Masks will be required indoors unless eating or drinking, or in a private office. This also applies to all on-campus events including Senior Week or Commencement Week events.

Students, faculty, and staff should wear a tight-fitting KN95 or N95 mask whenever possible. There are many counterfeit KN95 masks for sale on the internet, so please visit ProjectN95 or the CDC to find safe and effective masks. Alternatively, you may wear a medical/surgical paper mask with a close fitting cloth mask over it.

Vaccine Requirement and Resources

All campus-based employees are required to be fully vaccinated and to record their vaccination status in Workday.

The CDC website lists resources for finding and making a vaccine appointment.

Those with a medical condition or sincerely held religious beliefs that preclude them from getting vaccinated should consult with Human Resources at [email protected] to request an exemption. Exemption request forms can be found in the faculty/staff policy index by searching "exemption". Employees who secure an approved medical or religious exemption will be required to participate in weekly COVID-19 testing. Unvaccinated employees without an approved exemption will not be permitted on campus and must contact Human Resources. If you have other concerns about getting vaccinated, please contact Human Resources at [email protected].

Vaccine Booster

All campus-based students, faculty, and staff during the spring semester will be required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot. Individuals must get their COVID-19 booster by January 18, 2022, or 14 days after they become eligible for the booster. Individuals become eligible for a booster five months after their second Pfizer dose, six months after their second Moderna dose, and two months after the single Johnson & Johnson vaccine dose.
 
If you are having trouble accessing a booster, you can schedule an appointment at the state’s newly revived mass vaccination site at Fenway Park. In addition, Simmons is planning an onsite booster clinic on February 2, 2022. This clinic is hosted by Osco Pharmacy​ and open to students, faculty, and staff​. ​Osco can provide all three vaccines: Moderna, Pfizer, and Janssen,​ and can incorporate first, second, and booster doses.​ Attendees should bring their physical vaccine record cards. If unable to provide that, then they should provide documentation of previous vaccines so they can be issued a new card.​ A link will be provided by Osco Pharmacy for attendees to schedule their appointments.

Testing

All students, faculty and staff are required to test once per week each week they are on campus. Beginning February 21, testing will be in the Special Functions Room (A-070, located on the ground floor of the MCB, near Fens Dining). The testing site hours are as follows:

  • Monday - Thursday: 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Any questions about testing should be directed to Simmons Health Center.

Contingent Workers

Contingent workers must have a 7-digit numerical Simmons ID number to properly use CoVerified. Contact HR to get the following forms which must be filled out and returned to HR to get the correct Simmons ID number:

  • Confidentiality Agreement
  • Temp & Contingent Info Form - Answer yes to “Will technology access to Simmons email and Network accounts be required?”

Please expect that it will take a couple of days to process.

If an Employee Tests Positive

If an employee receives a positive test result they should immediately go home, begin isolation and consult with their doctor as needed. Employees are required to remain isolated for five days from the positive test result and should not return to campus until the 5-day period has lapsed, and their symptoms have resolved and they are free from fever for 24 hours without the use of medication. A negative COVID test will not be required to return to work. Once you test positive, you do not need to test again for 90 days.

Employees who test positive are required to notify their supervisor that they will not be able to come to campus during the duration of the isolation period. If an employee receives a positive test from an off-campus COVID testing site, it is their responsibility to also notify HR promptly of the positive test at the secure address [email protected] for tracking purposes.

If a faculty member tests positive, a COVID coordinator will send the faculty a letter to send to the class with instructions on how to react to potential exposure depending on their vaccination status. If the faculty member feels well and is asymptomatic, it is expected that they will continue to teach the class remotely if possible. If they cannot continue to teach, the faculty member should work with their dean and academic unit head to identify a substitute instructor. Canceling a class should be the last option, only invoked if no substitute or remote options can be arranged. This also applies if the faculty member is required to quarantine due to close contact or symptom presentation.

If the employee is not able to work while in isolation, they can use the COVID-19 leave or accrued sick time to continue salary payments.

Facility Upgrades

There have been many upgrades to campus facilities for increased health and safety. All HVAC systems across campus have been upgraded with CDC-recommended air filters and increased airflow from outside air. Portable air filtration units have been added to classrooms and high-traffic areas. Plexiglass shields have been installed at high-traffic service locations. Enhanced surface cleaning will continue, and hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be available across campus.

Updated Travel Policy

In Spring 2020, Simmons restricted all travel due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Below are the most recent updates to COVID-19 restrictions on Simmons-sponsored travel. All Simmons-sponsored travel by faculty and staff is still subject to the Travel and Hospitality Policy.

Domestic Travel

Domestic travel by faculty and staff is no longer subject to health restrictions per CDC and public health guidelines. However, due to ongoing budgetary constraints, the FY22 budget may not include other funding sources for travel for faculty and staff and all travel must be paid for out of each unit's FY22 budget.

All travel must be approved by the unit head (President, Vice President, Dean, or Provost) with priority to travel that is needed in conjunction with student recruiting and for other revenue generating activities*. Faculty and staff may travel domestically for other purposes when approved by the unit head (President, Vice President, Dean, or Provost) and the funds for the travel are available in the unit's budget.

*Revenue-generating travel includes travel by the President and her designees, travel by Advancement staff, travel by Athletic staff and coaches, travel by Admissions/Enrollment staff, travel by staff and faculty in conjunction with applications for grant money, foundation gifts or activities that can or may generate gifts and funding for the University.

International Travel

International travel by faculty and staff is not permitted through at least the fall semester, we will continue to evaluate this decision as more information on international travel safety becomes available. This decision reflects both health/safety concerns as well as budgetary limitations.


Navigating Campus Updates and Construction

Although classes and university operations were remote the past year, campus has been full of activity as we have renovated spaces in all academic buildings and begun the process of constructing new library, labs, and classroom facilities. Parts of the Academic Campus will be an active construction zone throughout the fall, so all employees should be aware of changes to campus access routes and building closures.

The entrance to Lefavour Hall from Avenue Louis Pasteur will only allow access to the first floor of Lefavour, containing the Center for Student Success and classrooms. There is no quad access from Lefavour. You can enter the quad between Lefavour and Park Science, but note that the sidewalk entrance has moved. The entrance to the Main College Building from The Fenway will be under construction through the summer and will open in early Fall 2021 and will now be ADA compliant with a new ramp & stairs.

New Room Numbering

As part of the construction, room numbers and building designations have changed. The buildings on the Academic Campus have all been assigned letters, and the spaces inside have been re-numbered (e.g., A-XXX for Main College Building, B-XXX for One Palace Road, and C-XXX for the Management and Academic Building, etc.). The distinction between east, west, and center wings in the Main College Building have been removed and the numbering now runs across the entire building.

Updated floor plans will be displayed on each floor and each room will have updated signage to reflect the new numbering. 25Live will temporarily have both the old and the new names and numbers for clarity.

Academic campus map denoting construction

Latest Campus Map

View our latest campus map to see current construction zones, access locations, as well as new construction highlights and office locations.

Latest Campus Map
Front of Main College Building

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to your questions related to COVID-19, campus access and protocols, and remote work.

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