Important Health and Safety Reminders

Dear Colleagues,

I hope the first few weeks of the semester have been productive for you and you are beginning to settle into a comfortable rhythm for your classes.

I want to share some important health and safety reminders as we approach cold, flu and COVID-19 season, and as we continue to process the tragic shooting at Chapel Hill. Health and Wellness Here is some general guidance to help navigate illnesses in your classroom this semester:

  • Absences and Privacy Considerations: With any medical absence, it is a student’s responsibility to contact you if they are unable to attend class because they are ill. How much they disclose to you about the nature of their illness is their choice.
  • Reporting Concerns: If you are concerned a student in your class is ill and needs support, you should complete the standard process for a Care and Concern Report. The appropriate offices will follow up with the student to ensure they are well.
  • Accommodations: To prevent the spread of disease on campus, you are asked to accommodate students who report to you that they are ill, responding compassionately and allowing them to make up missed classwork to the extent possible. As a reminder, you are not expected to switch your class delivery modality to accommodate absences.
    • As a reminder, anyone who is diagnosed with COVID-19 is still asked to follow an isolation period of at least five days. We have established University protocols in place to help students navigate extended medical absences, regardless of the circumstance, which we will continue to follow. (Note: You no longer need to report a positive COVID-19 diagnosis to the University.)
    • Please do not ask students to contact Student Assistance and Support Services (SASS) for absence verification except for extreme or unusual circumstances such as an extended illness, hospitalization, etc.
  • Your Health: Should you become sick for any reason this semester, remember to follow the University’s standard protocols for faculty illness. If you need additional guidance about individual circumstances, please consult your department chair or dean’s office.
    • Please take care of yourself! Stay home if you do not feel well.
    • Don’t forget to prioritize your mental health. An important resource available for you is the Employee Assistance Program, which provides confidential counseling and resources on financial, legal and work-life matters. The Ginger App is also a free service that is available through the University.
  • The Niner Nation Cares website remains a resource to you and your students for health and safety information from the University.

Safety I am sure safety may be on your mind following the tragic death of our fellow UNC System colleague from Chapel Hill, Dr. Zijie Yan. The University has resources and trainings to help keep you and your students safe:

  • Active Assailant Training – Police and Public Safety offers active assailant training (known as ALICE training) to faculty, staff and students. If you have not participated in this training yet, I encourage you to register for an upcoming in-person session using the Learning and Development Portal. The University is also working with the Deans on scheduling focused sessions for faculty and staff. Make sure to be on the lookout for more information on registration when these are available.
  • NinerAlerts – All faculty, staff and students are automatically registered for NinerAlerts using their contact information in Banner. Make sure your cell phone number is updated through Self Service Banner. It’s also helpful to review the different action directives that may be issued through NinerAlerts and to understand the difference between NinerAlerts and NinerNotices.
  • Contacting Police and Public Safety (PPS) – Make sure to have Police and Public Safety’s direct number in your cell phone: 704-687-2200. Dialing 911 from your cell phone will call the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. Dialing 911 from a campus phone, however, enables you to reach PPS directly. You may also contact PPS directly by downloading the LiveSafe App.
  • Classroom Lockdown Kits – The University has the ability to lock down all external doors with the push of a button, and we are working on a long-term strategy to extend that capability to all internal doors as well. In the interim, lockdown kits containing a door wedge and/or pieces of cut fire hose are located in classrooms and teaching laboratories that do not have doors that can be locked by occupants from the inside or are not already controlled through swipe card access.
    • Location – The kits are most commonly located on the teaching podiums or near the safety posters in each room. Kits are in tan bags labeled “Classroom Lockdown Kit. Do Not Remove.”
    • Directions for use – Review this video for instructions on how to use the lockdown kits and other helpful information to remember if a lockdown directive is issued.
    • Missing kits – Take a moment to locate the kit in all classrooms in which you teach. If you discover a kit is missing, please complete this form so Emergency Management can follow up.
      • IMPORTANT NOTE: Not every kit will contain both a wedge and a fire hose. The kit has been personalized to the room it is in and should not be removed. There should be a piece of firehouse for every door that opens outwardly and a wedge for every door that opens inwardly.

I know this is a lot of information in one email, but I hope it is useful to you. The health and safety of our faculty, staff and students remains our top priority. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office ( or 704-687-5717) if you have any additional questions. We are here to support your success.


Jennifer Troyer Signature

Jennifer Troyer
Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs