Information for Instructors / Researchers

This page contains information related to your role as an instructor and/or researcher at the university. For additional information pertaining to all who are employed at the university, please see the Information for Employees page.

Required Re-Entry Testing

As we return to campus for Spring Semester, we are conducting one round of required campus re-entry testing for ALL students, faculty and staff, regardless of vaccination status.

After the first round of campus re-entry testing, students, faculty and staff — regardless of vaccinations status — will participate in required random mitigation testing. Those who can document a recent case of COVID-19 or have a medical exception to saliva testing can also file an exemption from all testing.

Testing and Reporting

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln offers free COVID-19 testing services. Any member of the university community who receives a positive test report should report their case to the Public Health Advocacy Team. For the health of the university community, please cooperate with any contact-tracing information requests you may receive.

For more information, please refer to our comprehensive resources on Testing, Reporting & Contact Tracing.

Voluntary Vaccine Registry and Random Testing

To help us understand the breadth of vaccination rates in our community, we have created a voluntary COVID-19 Vaccine Registry. You must have completed your final dose in order to register.

To help us continue to monitor and prevent any spread of COVID-19 on campus, we will require weekly saliva-based testing for a random selection of students, faculty and staff who will be on our Lincoln campuses. Tests will be offered Sunday through Thursday each week.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Do not ask about others' vaccination status. Such information is considered private.

Academics & Deadlines

Class Attendance Policy

Faculty Senate has updated its class attendance policy for the fall and spring semesters.

Academic Flexibility for COVID-19

Students who have medical documentation of a health risk that cannot be mitigated through vaccination should submit a COVID-19 Academic Flexibility Request. Those with a disability and/or chronic health condition that makes them high risk for the virus should seek support via Services for Students with Disabilities. International students should contact the International Student and Scholar Office to discuss their options.

When Students Miss Tests and Project Deadlines

To discourage students from coming to class when they are actively ill or potentially infected, offer students who are in quarantine/isolation opportunities to make up exams (in-person or remotely) or turn in projects.

KN95 Masks Available for Instructors

Health experts are recommending upgraded face coverings for indoor public settings during the Omicron surge. UNL is not requiring individuals use a certain type of face covering. However, the university is making two KN95 masks available for in-person classroom instructors (including graduate assistants). A limited inventory of KN95 masks will be available for other employees, prioritized for those faculty and staff who primarily have in-person interactions with students or the public. Contact your dean's office or the EVC Office for more information.

Alternatives to fabric face coverings are readily available online. As the demand for them has increased with Omicron, orders should be placed soon, if desired. KN95s, while disposable, may be worn multiple times safely: go.unl.edu/kn95.

Syllabus Language for Face Coverings in Instructional Spaces

In the absence of a University of Nebraska-Lincoln face covering requirement or Directed Health Measure from the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department, there are some instances where face coverings may be required or requested in classrooms given the current transmission level of COVID-19 in the community.

  • Pre-approved courses that include substantial work in close physical proximity to one another for extended periods of times.
  • Instructors may receive approval to require face coverings for a documented instructor or student need after submitting a Request to Require Face Covering Form.
  • Instructors may request that students join them in wearing face coverings.

Syllabus language for these scenarios was developed in consultation with Faculty Senate for use by instructors to communicate about face covering expectations with their students. This language is unchanged from Fall 2021. For courses that have been approved by the university to require face coverings, instructors must include language on the course syllabus informing students of the requirement and the reason for it. You will receive a notification from your college dean’s office if your course or section has been approved for required face coverings; this notification will include the required syllabus language.

Beyond the particular situations in which a face covering requirement may be approved, an individual instructor may have a preference that face coverings be worn in their class. Instructors may ask, but not require, that students do so. The language below may be used on the syllabus in these instances:

Given the current transmission level of COVID-19 in our community, I respectfully request that you join me in wearing a face covering during our classes.

When Students Forget Masks

Disposable masks are available for students who need or want them for class. Instructors can direct students to the following locations for a disposable mask at no cost:

  • City Campus – a self-service wall dispenser in the hall by the west doors of the Nebraska Union or the Nebraska Union Welcome Desk located on the first floor near the north entrance
  • East Campus – the Nebraska East Union Welcome Desk located on the first floor near the north entrance
  • Innovation Campus – at Food Innovation Center, 1901 N 21st Street, Room 232
  • Peter Kiewit Institute – at the reception desk in Room 107

Academic Support

It's important to make sure students have the resources they need to succeed. If you have concerns about a student's academic performance, you can raise a red flag or make a referral to the Center for Academic Success and Transition through MyPLAN. CAST has created an easy-to-use resource to help you decide how and when you should use these tools. There's also an option to give kudos to students who are excelling academically. If you have concerns about a student's mental health and well-being, the Behavioral Intervention Team and Counseling and Psychological Services have separate resources that can help.

Graduate Studies

Visit the Graduate Studies COVID-19 page for guidelines and updates.

University Libraries

Libraries are open. Learn more about specific library policies on the Libraries and COVID-19 page.

In the Classroom / Lab

Disinfection

Classrooms are equipped with wellness stations and disinfectant for technology equipment at instructor stations.

Research, Travel, & Study Abroad

Research Planning and Continuity for Researchers and Research Groups

The needs of research groups for continuity of operations are many and varied. The Office of Research and Economic Development has created a COVID-19 Research Planning resource to assist researchers in operations and planning through this period.

Travel

  • Travel Policy allows pre-approved domestic and international travel for essential university business for faculty, staff and students. For international travel, submit travel requests well in advance of the proposed travel date to ensure the approval process does not delay travel preparations.
  • For policies regarding use of university vehicles, see the Fleet Management COVID-19 information and FAQ page).
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Since the beginning of this public health crisis, we’ve been answering your questions about how UNL is planning and responding. We’ve compiled a list of answers to frequently asked questions on the FAQ / Contact Us page. For questions and answers of specific interest to instructors and researchers, please see the FAQ section Health and Safety in Classes I Teach.

covid19@unl.edu

Emails to Instructors / Researchers

This is a list of all messages sent specifically to instructors and researchers. Please see the latest updates page of this site for university-wide messages.