Information on Occidental’s planning for the 2021-22 academic year for faculty and staff.
Working Remotely vs. On Campus
Staff who have been working remotely over the past year will gradually transition back to regular, in-person operations. Our goal is to bring back employees gradually based on our need to support summer operations and fall preparations, beginning on a small scale in May 2021 and continuing throughout the summer, with most employees back on campus by mid-August. Vice presidents are leading the development of staffing plans and will communicate those plans to their departments in the coming days. We recognize there is no precedent for the circumstances we find ourselves in, and accordingly, we will remain flexible during the upcoming year of transition to accommodate the many work and life situations of our community members, while ensuring critical in-person needs and services are delivered. The College is also developing an updated remote work policy, which will be forthcoming by early June.
Teaching Mode for Fall 2021
Our students are returning to campus for an in-person academic program taught by Oxy’s stellar faculty. Over the past year, faculty members have learned new virtual pedagogical tools that can supplement in-person instruction, allowing them to make more effective use of their in-class time with students. Faculty members may have also found remote office hours or other kinds of 1:1 meetings with students to be more convenient to hold remotely. Many faculty may wish to continue to use those innovations to enhance and supplement their in-person work with students, and the College will continue to support the tools to make that possible. As always, faculty will have autonomy in the design of their classes; however, as a residential liberal arts college the College expects faculty members to return to in-person instruction, and there will no longer be completely remote classes.
A faculty member who is requesting a remote work arrangement due to a serious medical condition should work with Human Resources and the Dean’s office to determine whether a reasonable accommodation can be implemented which may include remote teaching. The COVID Operations Group (COG) will be working all summer to develop operational plans for safe in-person instruction across the disciplines, in close consultation with faculty.
Employee Health & Safety
In order to protect our campus community, we have implemented health and safety requirements for those who will be living or working on campus. This includes wearing face masks in public at all times, practicing physical distancing and using a College-sponsored monitoring app for daily temperature and symptom checks. Additionally:
- All employees coming to campus will be expected to wear masks, maintain social distancing, wash hands frequently and monitor symptoms daily via the health check app available on MyOxy. For your own well-being and that of those around us, we should also all follow these COVID-19 mitigation practices away from campus in our personal lives.
- COVID-19 testing is mandatory for students living on campus and employees performing essential functions who are regularly on campus and have regular close contact with other Oxy community members. Read more about our testing protocols for Oxy community members.
- Do not come to work if you are sick.
- Students, faculty and staff will be required to participate in a contact-tracing program and to observe Occidental’s isolation and quarantine protocols, as necessary.
- Employees who are regularly on campus and getting COVID-19 tested will be able to enter the Marketplace to get food to go. However we encourage you to make use of the new pre-order Tiger Takeout service. Staff and faculty who are not working on campus may also order contactless pickup via Tiger Takeout as long as they complete a health check before coming to campus and follow all health and safety protocols while on campus.
Summer & Campus Access
Our path towards a full opening in fall is already underway, and the momentum will continue with the resumption of our Summer Research Program and Multicultural Summer Institute plus a limited number of external programs. We know many of you have questions to understand precisely what type of in-person activities will be permissible this summer now that the state and county have eased restrictions. We look forward to reopening the campus and removing the “Campus Closed” signs, and will be issuing updated campus access guidance in late May.
Visitors are permitted on Occidental property within specific limitations. All visitors must be hosted and/or invited by a College employee, department, or registered student, and must follow the guidelines in our interim visitor policy as well as Occidental's health and safety protocols.
Occidental College Community Compact
Each semester we ask the Oxy community to renew its commitment to take the necessary steps to protect ourselves and each other during the pandemic. The Occidental College Community Compact provides guidance to staff and faculty of the expectations they are to follow as it pertains to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is a separate student compact that supplements the Student Code of Conduct.