Safe Return to Campus Plan

Updated: July 30, 2020

This is an evolving situation and we will continue to update our plans and our actions, with safety top of mind, as we move forward.

Updated Sections

COVID-19 employee leave laws and HR Contact Tracing Team information (July 10)

Student and Employee COVID-19 Preparedness Training

All students and employees are required to complete a short training module on COVID-19, how it spreads and how to limit its spread, prior to returning to campus or if continuing to work under alternative work arrangements. The online training module includes an 11-question quiz to ensure understanding of the material. Completion time is estimated at around 15 minutes. Upon completion, participants will sign an acknowledgement that will be directed to the Dean of Students Office for students or to the dean or supervisor entered by each employee. Human Resources will also have access to a database of those who have completed the training. Employees should complete the training prior to the July 6 return to campus date. Students should complete the training by August 10 or before returning to any classes on the USI campus. Student workers returning to campus prior to the Fall Semester should consult their supervisor for access to the training.

Face Coverings

While on the USI campus or University owned and operated facilities, faculty, staff, students, contractors, vendors and visitors are required to wear a face covering when in buildings, including in classrooms. Face coverings must also be worn in open office spaces and outdoor areas where physical distancing is not possible. Face coverings are not required in private offices or when in a space alone.

One face covering for each student and employee will be provided by the University. Employee face coverings will be delivered through interoffice mail on or after Friday, July 17. Employees should bring their own face covering until that time. Until July 17, disposable coverings will be available if needed.

The Dean of Students Office and Housing and Residence Life will coordinate distribution of student face coverings.

Cloth face coverings should be laundered regularly.

Physical Distancing

In order to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 to those at higher risk for severe illness, USI is implementing policies designed to create an expectation of physical distancing of at least six feet between people and discouraging large gatherings.

New signage has been added across campus both indoors and outdoors, promoting safe practices, indicating flow of traffic in buildings, and designating where traffic is restricted. Unless previously arranged, employees should refrain from visiting other offices on campus without prior notification. All meetings should continue to be held virtually when possible.


All employees are to be ready to return to work on campus on Monday, July 6, unless they have been approved for an alternative work arrangement by Human Resources. Employees should work with their dean or supervisor on specific expectations for returning to campus. Prior to July 6, a Request Campus Access Form is still required to visit campus. If you have had a change in health status, you will need to submit a Request for Alternative Work Arrangements.

Employees had the option to request alternative work arrangements from Human Resources for the purposes of child care. These flexible arrangements will extend from Monday, July 6 through Monday, August 14 and are intended to allow parents/guardians time to find child care for the Fall Semester and beyond. Employees should have received a direct link to the child care arrangements request form by email. All forms were due Friday, June 26.

Student workers should consult with their supervisor about return to work arrangements as well as completing the required training module.

COVID-19 employee leave laws and HR Contact Tracing Team information

The federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) went into effect April 1, 2020, and remains in effect through December 31, 2020. The FFCRA works within the existing Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to provide protected leave for eligible employees affected by COVID-19.

Under the FFCRA, USI offers two new employer paid leaves: Emergency Paid Sick Leave (EPSL) and the Emergency Family Medical Leave Expansion Act (EFMLEA).

(More Information about the leaves, plus tutorial and FAQ)

HR COVID-19 Contact Tracing Team information:

For additional information, please visit the HR Benefits COVID-19 webpage.

Campus Visitor Guidelines

All campus visitors will be required to wear a face covering when inside campus buildings, including Screaming Eagles Arena, as well as when in outdoor spaces where physical distancing is not possible. Visitors will be expected to provide their own face coverings.


Students and employees are asked to self-monitor and to check daily for symptoms of COVID-19. A daily screening should include a temperature check and answering the following questions:

  • Do I have a temperature over 100 degrees today?
  • Have I had a temperature over 100 degrees in the past two weeks?
  • Have I traveled to a high-risk area in the past 14 days?
  • Have I been in contact with someone with a known or suspected COVID-19 infection?
  • Do I currently have, or in the past 14 days have I had, any of the following?
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Or at least TWO of these symptoms (updated 8/26/2020):
      • Temperature over 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher
      • Sore throat
      • New uncontrolled cough that causes difficulty breathing (for students with chronic allergic/ asthmatic cough, a change in their cough from baseline)
      • Diarrhea, vomiting or abdominal pain
      • New onset of severe headache, especially with a fever
      • Loss of taste or smell
      • A full list of symptoms can be found on the CDC website.


Anyone who answers "yes" to the questions in the daily self-monitoring check or who has been exposed to someone who has tested positive for, or exhibits symptoms of, COVID-19 should fill out the Self-Report Form, remain off campus and contact their primary care physician or the University Health Center at 812-465-1250 for evaluation. Additional plans and forms for exposure and contact tracing are being developed and will be available soon.

University Health Center

The University Health Center (UHC) remains open to provide medical services and health-related information to students, faculty and staff. All individuals are asked to schedule their appointment online or by calling 812-465-1250. The UHC is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 17 and is located in the lower level of the Health Professions Center.

COVID-19 Testing on Campus

Deaconess Health System has agreed to provide COVID-19 testing on the USI campus in Fall 2020. More information will be provided as it is available.

Influenza Vaccine

Influenza vaccines are strongly encouraged. They will be made available at the University Health Center.

Student and Employee Wellness

COVID-19 may cause increased fear, anxiety and/or stress. The University provides a confidential employee assistance program through Deaconess CONCERN which provides assessment, short-term counseling, referral and follow-up services for eligible employees and members of their household. Employees and members of their household are eligible for up to eight free visits; additional visits are covered by most health plans.

USI COVID-19 email and phone hotlines are now available. The email address is, and the phone number is 812-464-1990.

Additionally, Human Resources is providing a number of benefits for employees, including waived cost share for COVID-19 testing and treatment and telemedicine; new prescription options; dependent care FSA changes; and CARES Act allowances for retirement plan loans among others. A full list of benefits is available on the HR website.

For students, the USI Counseling Center will continue to offer telehealth counseling. Please note that students must live in Indiana or Kentucky to be eligible for this service (Kentucky slots are limited). Students who live in another state are welcome to contact the Counseling Center for a referral to a provider in their community.

University Cleaning/Disinfecting Protocols

University custodial staff will clean each office weekly, including desk surfaces that are not covered, and will provide cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer for office spaces. Custodial staff will also provide instructions for cleaning separation shields installed in many areas around campus over the summer. Employees are strongly encouraged to clean and sanitize their own workspace and personal items, frequently. Additional guidance from the CDC is available on proper cleaning protocols.

Custodial will also continue to clean high touch areas around campus. Other high touch items such as newspapers, magazines and brochure racks should not be stocked in common areas. (More University Cleaning and Disinfecting Protocols)

It is extremely important for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19 that we all practice personal sanitation. Proper hand washing, as well as cough and sneeze etiquette, is important for all. Additional guidance is available from the CDC.

Building Access

New signage has been added across campus, both indoors and outdoors, promoting safe practices, indicating flow of traffic in buildings and designating where traffic is restricted. Please be aware of the direction of traffic indicated by new signage, particularly in stairwells designated as one-way paths.

Common and lounge spaces in buildings will be spaced and/or relocated to facilitate physical distancing. Hands-free door openers have been installed on restroom doors and other high-traffic entrances and exits. Please practice physical distancing and limit the number of individuals in these commonly visited areas at any given time.

Elevators will be limited to single or double occupancy and signage has been installed.

Unless previously arranged, employees should refrain from visiting other offices on campus without prior notification. All meetings should continue to be held virtually when possible. Some high traffic office suites may remain locked and require appointments to enter.

Rice Library

The first floor of Rice Library will reopen Monday, July 6 and through August 14 will have open hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All other library areas will remain closed except to authorized staff. Archives will be available by appointment only.

Access to study areas will be by appointment only and will be limited to single users. A scheduling form is available on the library website. Computer labs are being converted to academic classroom space and will not be available for public use. All research consultations and instruction will be offered virtually.

Library staff will offer an on-campus pick-up service for physical collections and online delivery of digitized materials. Returned physical materials will be isolated for three days before being returned to the stacks in accordance with industry best practices on mitigating the spread of COVID-19.

Equipment rentals are still available, and all returned rentals will be cleaned and disinfected between users.

An up-to-date list of library services and hours can be found on the Rice Library website at, including a COVID-19 Library FAQ.

Academic Services

Academic services, including advising, placement testing, disability accommodations, academic skills activities, and similar services, will be available both in-person and virtually beginning July 6. Students and guests are encouraged to schedule an appointment to access these services.

Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center

The Recreation, Fitness and Wellness Center will reopen on Monday, July 6 with summer hours of 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday through August 14. Students and employees will have access to locker rooms and to cardio and weight equipment. Some equipment is being rearranged to create safe physical distancing. Basketball courts, group fitness rooms and some other areas will remain closed. (RFW What to Know)

Additionally, the RFWC has partnered with more than 100 other universities to offer a variety of free online classes and workouts. More information can be found on the RFWC website.

Additional changes may be announced for the Fall Semester.

Trails and Reflection Lake

USI Trails and recreational fishing on campus lakes will both reopen to public access on Monday, July 6. In addition to all posted regulations, all accessing the trails and lakes are encouraged to maintain physical distancing while on campus.

Computer Labs

Some computer lab spaces in academic buildings will be utilized during the day for classroom space. They will revert to computer labs in the evenings for student use. A comprehensive lab schedule is being developed. IT will disable every other workstation to promote physical distancing. Updated lab spaces and times will be available prior to the start of the Fall Semester.

Athletic and Intramural Facilities

USI Athletics will follow the guidance of the University as well as the NCAA and GLVC. More information on games, practices, spectators and more will be available at a later date and can be found at

The Dean of Students Office in conjunction with Student Affairs and Athletics is developing guidance for club and intramural sports and available facilities.

Off-Campus Facilities

Additional information for off-campus facilities will be available at a later date and/or communicated to groups who use those facilities. In brief:

  • The Stone Family Center will reopen with campus on July 6.
  • Innovation Pointe is not currently scheduling any activities or meetings.
  • Historic New Harmony facilities will re-open and events resume July 6.

Eating and Drinking on Campus

Food Service offerings will be limited to Sub Connection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the remainder of the summer, with traditional and grab-and-go options available. Vending machines will be operational and proper hand washing is encouraged before and after use. Water fountains will be covered and should not be used, however touchless bottle fillers have been added in new locations around campus. Water coolers have been removed from meeting and conference rooms.

Departments will be responsible for setting guidelines for their kitchen/break room spaces. Employees are strongly encouraged to practice good hand washing hygiene and utilize provided cleaners to wipe down microwaves before and after use. Personal refrigerators and microwaves are NOT allowed in employee offices or department areas.

Eagle Express Convenience Store will change its summer operating hours to 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Starbucks is scheduled to reopen Monday, August 3.

Beginning Fall 2020, changes to queuing will be directed through signage and seating areas will be altered to promote physical distancing. Employees are encouraged to avoid University dining options during peak dining hours and to stagger lunch breaks to help mitigate crowding in the University Center and other dining locations.

The Ozzie reusable food container vending machines will be operational and other options for carry out service in The Loft are being explored.

More information about food/dining options for the Fall 2020 Semester will be forthcoming.

Events and Meetings

All requests for campus space will be directed to Special Events and Scheduling Services. Unless deemed an essential meeting by the University President or a Vice President, all meetings should continue to be held virtually. If meeting or events are held in person, participants should adhere to guidance on face coverings, physical distancing and proper hand-washing hygiene.

Special Events and Scheduling Services will assist in the execution of virtual meetings when appropriate, including providing guidance in setting up livestreams and using Zoom.

Carter Hall will not be available except for USI Dining and Academic Affairs usage. A large tent will be placed on The Quad to help promote physical distancing and provide space for some outdoor events. Departments and student organizations seeking to reserve space for meetings or events in the temporary outdoor tents should do so through Special Events and Scheduling Services.

Athletic events will follow an additional plan developed in coordination with the Great Lakes Valley Conference and the NCAA.

Travel Policies

All non-essential University travel will remain suspended until further notice. Exceptions to this rule should be directed to the President’s Office or Dean of Students Office.

University golf carts and fleet vehicles should be cleaned and disinfected between use. Number of riders should be limited, and face covering should be used while operating with more than one rider.

Mail Distribution

Mail will be distributed to centralized locations once per day. Departments should choose a centralized location and let Distribution Services know where their location is for drop-offs and pick-ups.

Copy Center Courier Service 

Copy Services will limit and consolidate its number of campus deliveries and pick-ups. For time-sensitive orders and deliveries, please plan ahead and allow ample time for delivery. Call the Copy Center for further information or with questions: 812-464-1889.

Creative and Print Services' design proofs will continue to be sent digitally when possible. 

COVID-19 Signage and Floor Graphics

USI Facilities and Operations is providing COVID-19 signage templates that can be printed by any USI office area on your satellite copier/printer to be displayed throughout your office areas. 

Four floor graphic options are also available from USI Copy Services. Floor graphics will be charged back to your department at $8 each. More information and Instructions available online.

Procurement Polices

Facilities will be the central purchaser of personal protective equipment (PPE) and cleaning supplies, including hand sanitizer, for the University. Departments are not to purchase their own PPE or cleaning supplies without prior approval from Procurement. New items specific for teaching in new accommodated settings, such as webcams and lip-reading masks, have been added to the Buy USI purchasing catalogs. If you are in need of personal protective equipment (PPE) special accommodations, please email Dan Martens, Director of Procurement, or call 812-887-0551.


On May 28, the USI Board of Trustees approved an interim University operating budget for the upcoming Fall Semester, ensuring all faculty and staff are paid in full through December 31, 2020. The Indiana State Budget Committee has reviewed a 7% cut in state appropriations for all state-funded higher education institutions, which would result in a cut in USI’s appropriation by over $3.4 million. The Board is expected to approve a final 2020-21 budget during its regular meeting November 5.

Revised Fall 2020 Calendar

  • Start of the semester
    Classes will begin on Monday, August 24.

  • Labor Day
    Monday, September 7 will be recognized as a holiday; the University will be closed, and classes will not be held.

  • End of in-person classes
    Classes will be structured so that all face-to-face instruction is completed by Tuesday, November 24.

  • Online instruction and finals
    A week of online instruction will begin on Monday, November 30. Most final exams will be conducted online. Students in clinical, practicum, student teaching, and other similar experiences may still be required to complete in-person activities after Thanksgiving break. Students required to be on campus after Thanksgiving break will be notified by their instructors in the first week of classes.

  • Student services after Thanksgiving
    Students will have access to Rice Library, computer labs, tutoring, advising and other student services after Thanksgiving.

  • Housing and Dining after Thanksgiving
    Students will be able to live in campus housing through the end of the semester. Dining services will be provided during this time.

  • Commencements
    • Spring 2020 Commencement is tentatively scheduled for Friday through Sunday, August 14-16. Graduates must make a reservation to participate in the ceremony even if one was already made for the May Commencement date. Reservations will be accepted until Wednesday, July 8.
    • Fall 2020 Commencement Exercises are tentatively scheduled for Saturday, December 19. All scheduled events are subject to change pending federal and state guidance.
    • The number of guests will be limited, and additional safety and physical distancing protocols have been put in place to create a safe environment.
    • Faculty participation will be limited, and faculty should work with their deans to coordinate.

Fall 2020 Class Schedule

To accomplish physical distancing in classrooms and other safety measures, the Fall 2020 class schedule has been adapted. The adaptations include:

  • changes in room assignments for some classes;
  • changes in the meeting times for a very small number of classes;
  • changes in instructors for some classes;
  • and/or changes in the modality (e.g. in-person, online) of some classes. The different course modalities are listed below and indicated by the section number for the course. 

Traditional Courses: Courses coded as full-semester (.001), first bi-term (.101), second bi-term (.201), etc., where the delivery of all the required course content, learning activities and assessments is conducted face-to-face in the classroom.

Face-to-Face Course - Technology Enhanced (.T##): Courses where the delivery of 25-49% of the required course content, learning activities and assessments are conducted online. Students are required to participate in both face-to-face and online activities throughout the semester. All face-to-face meetings are communicated to the students on the first day of the course and documented in the course syllabus.

Online Learning Course – Hybrid/Blended (.NC#): Courses where the delivery of 50-74% of the required course content, learning activities and assessments are conducted online. Students are required to participate in both face-to-face and online activities throughout the semester. The online portion may be delivered synchronously or asynchronously. All face-to-face meetings are communicated to the students on the first day of the course and documented in the course syllabus.

Online Learning Course – Asynchronous (.NO# or .AO#): Courses where the delivery of 75% or more of the required course content, learning activities and assessments are conducted online asynchronously, in which there are no scheduled meeting times for the course. The instructor may schedule face-to-face class meetings for exam proctoring or other assessments.

Online Learning Course – Synchronous (.NS#): Courses where the delivery of 75% or more of the required course content, learning activities and assessments are conducted online synchronously, in which the instructor meets with students at scheduled times online. The instructor may schedule face-to-face class meetings for exam proctoring or other assessments. All face-to-face meetings are communicated to the students on the first day of the course and documented in the course syllabus.

Students should log on to myUSI to determine if their Fall 2020 course schedule has been impacted. Any questions or requests to modify schedules should be directed to a student’s advisor or to one of the five advising centers. The Fall 2020 class schedule is still subject to change.


Student housing will be available for the Fall Semester. After much deliberation and consultation with medical authorities, the University will open campus housing to a maximum of 85% occupancy. Some apartment buildings will be left intentionally vacant with individual bedrooms and bathrooms reserved for possible quarantine use. Special training and contact tracing protocols will be provided to all those who work in Housing and Residence Life, including all resident assistants.

Housing Move In

Move-in dates for freshmen and new transfer students will be Monday, August 17 through Thursday, August 20. Move-in dates for returning students will be Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23. All students will sign up online for a 45-minute time slot for unloading vehicles and moving them to designated parking lots.

More information about move-in, including LLC move-in dates, parking permits and tent locations, can be found on the Housing website.

Busses and Shuttles

METS will continue to offer shuttle service on campus. All passengers will be required to wear a face covering, per METS policy.

Campus Store

The Campus Store will reopen on campus beginning Monday, July 6 and will be accepting buyback for Spring 2020 textbooks through Friday, July 10. Updated hours for the Campus Store can be found on their website.

Student Off-Campus Internet Access

Students who require assistance securing internet access necessary for online learning when off-campus should contact the Dean of Students Office.

Student Technology Access

The increase in online learning, combined with a reduction in available computer lab space, may require students to secure access to technology necessary for online learning. A limited number of computers are available for checkout from Rice Library. Students who are concerned about their ability to access technology needed for online learning when off campus should contact the Dean of Students Office.

Student Identification Cards/Eagle Access Cards

Student identification cards for incoming students will be handled in the Screaming Eagles Arena. (Date TBA) The Card Office in the lower level of University Center West will be open for employee IDs by appointment only. Contact the Card Office by phone at: 812-464-1859

Clubs and Organizations

Student clubs and organizations should consult the Student Affairs Office for guidelines and meetings and events.

Questions and Concerns

While many people contributed their expertise and hard work to constructing this plan, we do not expect to have answered every possible question or addressed every concern. The Contact Response Team form will remain online for the foreseeable future, and the entire USI community is encouraged to use it to submit questions or concerns to a wide range of relevant departments.