The following includes both a summary of update responses on a number of topics from the Division (item number 1), while our usual internal weekly Ops update begins withe item number 2:
1. Student Affairs has sent a few updates regarding questions recently submitted by division departments. Some of those questions and responses are as follows:
Q. Will more administrative leave be granted given the pandemic will be going longer than expected?
A. This is being discussed at the systemwide level but no decision has been made.
Q. Can employees cash out vacation now or get an emergency loan from the university?
A. Neither option is being discussed at this time.
Q. Will there be any incentives for the option of early retirement?
A. Although UC has utilized this kind of strategy in past economic downturns, this option is unlikely at this particular time.
Q. Should I approve a request to use administrative leave for the entire quarter?
A. Approval for administrative leave should be done on a biweekly or monthly basis, similar to the timing of timecard approvals.
Q. How do we calculate administrative leave for an employee on ERIT?
A. Even though employees on ERIT receive full benefits, Administrative Leave for employees on ERIT should be pro-rated for the amount of time they are usually scheduled to work.
Q. Does the age of an employee’s child make any difference as to whether they are eligible for administrative leave?
A. No, if someone has children at home who are in pre-school and/or secondary school, they are eligible for administrative leave.
In addition, the following are a number of other miscellaneous Division Admin updates:
a) We are doing everything possible to identify work for student employees. For many student positions, this is challenging to sustain for the entire quarter. It would be good to continue to brainstorm work that students can perform and/or collaborate with each other to trade best practices or creative ideas.
b) Students are eligible for administrative leave under the same conditions as career employees. Most students work part-time so the available hours for administrative leave are pro-rated which is consistent with career employees.
(AS note: internally, we have been waiting for this confirming reply from the Division before being able to move forward with the internal AS Leave Request Form. Now that we have just received it, you will be able to freely distribute/use the form shortly as it will soon be accessible on the AS website. You may recall that the form has been completed by JudyAnn, and she provided a link to it this morning on the Slack Staff channel. The link to the form is https://www.as.ucsb.edu/spring-quarter-status/leave-request/. Feel free to take a look if you have not already done so. Again, you should see the form active on the website shortly.)
c) The Department of Education is allowing students on work study to secure additional funding to continue their education even if they have exhausted their annual allocation. Check the FA website and contact Financial Aid for with specific questions.
e) HR is requesting that departments be flexible about start dates for new employees. On-boarding paperwork will take more time than usual and new employee orientations are being offered online.
f) UCPath and UCRAYS (retirement) are no longer providing phone service. They are responding to email and service requests. UCRAYS is a paper based system and employees who are planning on retiring in June need to upload necessary documents by mid-May in order to receive a retirement check by August 1. Please see the memo from Lisa Romero about UCRAYS: https://www.hr.ucsb.edu/memos/2020/important-changes-retirement-process
g) If you have staff who are concerned about their personal finances and they are in the process of paying back their student loans, the link below will be a valuable resource. Borrowers have until October 1 to pause payments with no penalty. No interest will accrue and the skipped payments will still count for programs like the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program https://ticas.org/covid-resources-for-student-loan-borrowers
2. If you are in need of using the AS Concert – Lecture Agreement template, please facilitate the signing process by first having the person you want to contract with (supplier/artist) sign the template, scan and email it back to you. The template will then need to be forwarded to Marisela for her approval signature. Please also have the supplier/artist mail their signed original copy to AS Admin. As usual, the Agreement will need to be submitted with the usual required documents including an AS Requisition.
3. As you may have heard, Zoom’s recent expanded use has also made it a bigger target with would-be hackers. It is therefore important that you ensure Zoom is updated on your computer. Oscar has provided helpful guidance for doing so on April 3rd on the Slack Staff channel.
4. If you are in need of facilitating a remote presentation via Zoom, you will likely need to set up a webinar and not a Zoom meeting. Zoom webinars allow for a greater number of attendees and allow the facilitator more control over attendee interaction. Regular accounts cannot host webinars so you will have to request it as an add-on, but please only do so if you need to host a large event. Sean provided some additional information on April 2nd in the Slack Staff channel.
5. Where’s my Check? If you haven’t already noticed, Sean’s team has added a very helpful e-form on the AS website home page for students who need to request a check from AS Admin. If you receive any related questions from students, please refer them to this site rather than to Cindy or Anjum. Please also take a look at the request form if you have not already done so.
6. While still a couple of weeks away, please be aware that the UCPath system will be down and unavailable at the end of the month (April 29th @10pm – May 5th @ 8am) as well as near the end of May (May 22nd @ 10pm – May 28th @ 8am). These outages will likely affect payroll approval dates and any new hire processing so please plan accordingly.
7. A new learning opportunity for staff/students was introduced this morning: Gender Recognition Act Module (a course that provides information on new state legislation that established a third gender category (nonbinary) and guidance on what actions UCSB employees can take to create a more welcoming campus for nonbinary people). The course can be located in the UCSB Learning Center.
8. Reminder: If you are advising an AS student group, please be sure to send any corresponding operational or services updates to JudyAnn that should be posted on the AS website. Also please be sure to do the same for any relevant services updates in your area.
9. Reminder: If you need additional equipment to conduct your work in your remote location, please inform and coordinate your needs first with your supervisor. If you are supervising others with these needs, please forward a list of such items to Sean if they are computer/electronic equipment, and to Ed if furniture or other equipment needs. For each item, please indicate what the item is, who it is for, whether it is an item moved from a campus work location or if it was ordered (please provide cost), and if ordered, please provide a receipt copy or Gateway PO number. Again, we need to centralize tracking of remote work equipment as the items will need to return to campus when remote assignments end.
While some of you have already been reaching out with questions, please feel free to message Ed or Marisela if you have any questions concerning these updates. If we do not immediately have an answer for you, we will help locate one as best we can. Please understand that with the rapid changes we are all experiencing, there may be periods when an answer is not yet able to be fully confirmed. Despite urgent needs, there can be numerous campus and internal considerations that need to be solved before we can implement plans or tools. In such cases, please be assured that we are working through those requirements as quickly as possible, and we will provide as much status information as we can as we receive it.
Once again, thank you all for continuing to adapt to the on-going fluid COVID-19 situation.