April 17, 2020 Update

Information/Updates for Students, Faculty and Staff

President Ronald Rochon creating task force to address upcoming needs and communication

As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, and as the University continues to adapt, pivot and acclimate to meet future needs, President Ronald Rochon is creating a task force to develop a plan and consistent voice for the University as we move forward.

Recommendations for task force members are currently being provided by University administration and those members will be announced at a later time.

The task force will be charged with developing proactive response and communication for the campus community, including students and parents of both current and prospective students. It will look beyond the summer and into the Fall and Spring Semesters, as a plan is put in place to strategically move the University forward and prepare for the time to resume normal operations.

Federal CARES Act

The Federal CARES Act allotted two pots of money to USI, each at around $2.9 million. The first half of the money, expected in the coming days, will be utilized for direct payments to students for various categories of costs related to COVID-19. The University will have more discretion on the use of the second half of the CARES Act money, however, it still must be used for expenses related to COVID-19 or the University’s response to it. A distribution timeline for this second pot of money has not been released.

Campus reopen date to tentatively be reevaluated April 24

President Ronald Rochon has set a tentative date of Friday, April 24 to reevaluate the University’s Thursday, April 30 reopen date. The University will continue to monitor both state and national guidelines for social distancing when making decisions about the campus, including University-owned and –operated locations. 

Message for students from Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education

Teresa Lubbers, Indiana Commissioner for Higher Education, has recorded a video message for students. The message can be viewed on the Commission’s website. 

COVID-19 Treatment and more important Human Resources updates 

COVID-19 Treatment - member cost share waived until May 31, 2020

USI has been actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and is here to support our faculty and staff during this challenging time. We’ve been working with our medical plan provider, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Indiana, to ensure you have access to COVID-19 testing and treatment as well as improved access to all telehealth services. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact.

The USI Anthem Core and HSA medical plans will waive prior authorization, all deductibles and copays for members seeking COVID-19 testing and treatment. To receive the testing and treatment at no cost, your care must be ordered by a physician and you must meet the criteria for possible COVID-19 diagnosis established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

You’re encouraged to seek the appropriate level of care quickly to minimize the spread of the virus and help ensure that you and your family stay healthy and productive. Please note that these changes apply to COVID-19 only. If you’re tested or treated for other illnesses during this time, your regular plan deductibles, coinsurance and copays will apply.

Telemedicine - member cost share waived until June 14, 2020

Your in-network doctor or telehealth provider should be your first choice for care unless you’re experiencing life-threatening symptoms and require emergency care. Your telehealth visit is a good place to discuss your concerns and symptoms. Your costs for telehealth services – not just for COVID-19 related visits – will be waived temporarily during the outbreak. Use telehealth for common conditions, such as eye infections, rash/skin irritation, migraines, to avoid possible COVID-19 exposure at a doctor office or urgent care facility. Visit www.livehealthonline.com for 24/7/365 access to a doctor through video using your smartphone, tablet or computer.

Remember you also have a 24/7 Nurseline available to you for free at 800.337.4770.

Anthem Coronavirus Website

Go to www.anthem.com/coronavirus for helpful resources

· Sydney Care App to help you quickly understand your potential risk for COVID-19 and to set a telehealth visit
· COVID-19 Test Facility Finder
· Aunt Bertha social care network to find free and reduced cost program for help with food, transportation, housing, job training and more
· PsychHub free online mental health resource to help you navigate social isolation, job loss and other challenges
· Symptom Assessment tool uses guidelines issued by the CDC
· LiveHealth Online App to visit a doctor 24/7

Recap and Leave Information

The federal government recently passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA works within the existing Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide protected leave for eligible employees affected by COVID-19. USI Human Resources presented via Zoom and informational session covering the new Leave Laws and how to report them on the payroll recaps. Please review the slides, video and FAQ document from that session to learn more about the developing policies.

· COVID-19 Leave Laws and Recap Overview – Video Recording
· COVID-19 Leave Laws and Recap Overview – PowerPoint Slides
· COVID-19 Leave Laws and Electronic Recap - Questions & Answers

FFRCA Flow Chart

Human Resources will continue to assemble and share guidance and resources to help employees navigate their leave options. This flow chart answers questions on whether you may be eligible for one of the new Leave Laws enacted through the FFRCA. If you believe you may be eligible please contact Amy Miller.

· FFCRA Flow Chart Illustration

April 15 employee Zoom videos now available

On Wednesday, April 15, Dr. Ronald Rochon, USI President, along with Dr. Mohammed Khayum, Provost, and members of the administrative staff, offered three live Q&A sessions for USI employees via Zoom video conferencing. Those sessions are now available on the COVID-19 website with employee credentials.

Admissions enlisting faculty and staff to assist with student outreach

Undergraduate Admissions is coordinating with employees to reach out to incoming students on behalf of USI through a series of targeted campaigns to help maintain connection with the Fall 2020 cohort.

A training session will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, April 17, to brief interested employees on messaging and ensure consistent communication.

The coordinators who were identified by the Deans and VPs for each area are also listed below. Employees are asked to work with them to ensure that the campaigns are most effective, and that messaging is cohesive.

Enrolled Students (Faculty)
Pott College: Glenna Bower
Liberal Arts: Sakina Hughes
Romain College of Business: Brian McGuire
Nursing and Health Professions: Connie Walker/Department Chairs
Admitted Students without Orientation
Andrea Gentry (Foundation)
Terri Bischoff (Creative and Print Services)
Tim Bennett (Special Events)
Jaclyn Dumond (Outreach and Engagement)
Leslie Townsend (Outreach and Engagement)
Jennifer Hammat (Student Affairs)
Amy Price (Student Affairs)
Becky Ball (Finance and Administration)
Cole Collier (Finance and Administration)
Brad Will (Finance and Administration)

Contact Koryn Parsons, Senior Assistant Director of Undergraduate Admissions, for details and invitations to the training session.

Health Professions Center construction project moves forward

The state has decided to move forward with bonding authority to fund the renovation and expansion of the University’s Health Professions Center. The project, originally funded through bonding authority, was later moved to state cash reserves, however projects were temporarily put on hold and that money was withdrawn in light of state needs related to COVID-19 response. The project has now been given the green light to proceed under the new bonding authority, with the state seeing it as a way to inject revenue into the local economy for economic recovery.

Procurement provides information on ordering from home

USI Procurement has been in contact with Guy Brown to allow office supplies to be delivered to home addresses while we are working remotely. 

USI’s catalog pricing will be in effect and the University will continue to track the minority spend with Guy Brown. Delivery to home will stay in effect as long as the University mandates employees work remotely.

Departments typically have administrative assistants order office products for individuals as needed. That is not possible with this new system since individuals can only have one personal address. To begin the process, use the link below to self-register. You should receive an email within 72 business hours. All orders will route to Jeff Sponn for approval and purchase using his University P-Card. He will manually obtain fiscal manager approval via email and allocate the expenses back to department FOAPs.

Register for Online Ordering

Screen shot instructions for registration and ordering - PDF

If you have questions, contact Jeff Sponn.

Travel suspended indefinitely

Per President Ronald Rochon, all University or University-sponsored travel, domestic and international remains suspended until further notice.

University provides lifesaving ventilator loans

USI has sent five University-owned ventilators to area hospitals to assist the broader community with the COVID-19 pandemic response. Although not required currently, and hopefully not in the immediate future, the University loaned two ventilators to Ascension St. Vincent Evansville and three to Deaconess to be calibrated and cleaned for possible use.

Campus cleaning shifting to meet current needs

Spring cleaning takes on a new meaning this year. USI custodial staff are busy sanitizing high touch surfaces like doorknobs, railings and hallways on campus. They are also receiving updates of locations authorized employees with critical needs have visited for follow up cleaning. As per our normal cleaning process, personal and professional items and desktops are the responsibility of the employee. So, when employees are able to return to campus, they should consider what items they may wish to clean (i.e. phones, keyboards, desktops). Campus housing will receive special attention for the upcoming fall semester, as residence halls and apartments receive deep cleaning.