COVID-19: updates, resources for employees

3/30/20

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Thank you for your ongoing patience and flexibility while the university continues to evolve its operations and policies to align with public health guidance during COVID-19 (coronavirus). This email includes several updates as well as important resources you may want to save for future reference.

Credentialing Document for Essential Personnel to Travel to UT Property for Work

Many staff members have requested official documentation to have available while commuting to and from work in order to perform essential and core job duties. An official document can now be generated through DocuSign. For detailed instructions, information on document routing, and a link to the form, visit the DocuSign Business Forms: Essential Personnel web page.

Contact the UT Service Desk if you need technical assistance to fill out the form.

Extension of Travel Ban

The university is extending its prohibition of university business travel, both domestic and international, through May 31, whether paid for by UT sources or external sponsors. A decision will be made by April 30 about travel starting June 1 or later. The domestic travel ban includes car travel. Visit the Texas Global website for more information about international travel. Any travel exceptions must be approved by the traveler’s executive leadership.

Travel Reimbursement Policy

The university also adopted a temporary policy on travel reimbursements for travel approved prior to March 26, 2020. The reimbursement policy addresses travel arrangements made through one of UT Austin’s contracted travel agencies or Concur, as well as arrangements made and paid for by the faculty or staff member.  

The university will not permit reimbursements from any source for deposits, down payments, change fees, or non-reimbursable airfares booked after March 26 for travel at any future time. 

Visit the Payment Services dedicated website or email oa.travel@austin.utexas.edu for more information.

Information Security: Phishing Scams on the Rise

The Information Security Office (ISO) indicates there has been a rise in phishing and other security breach efforts related to coronavirus. Employees should be on guard for email attempts and other scams targeting fear, promises of vaccines, investment opportunities, and dangerous links that appear to come from trusted sources. For more information on coronavirus scams, how to avoid them, and what to do if you think your UT accounts have been compromised, please visit this page on COVID-19 scams awareness and how to avoid them.

Building Access, Safety, and Security

All campus buildings require UT ID access to enter. Separate protocols are in place for the Student Services Building, parts of which serve as a health care facility.

Employees -- including teaching assistants and assistant instructors -- attempting to enter a building should enter via the celebrated entrance using their UT ID card. A celebrated entrance is typically a main entrance, but employees should look for the ID card swipe pad and words "Celebrated Entrance" printed on the doors to locate the building’s celebrated entrance.

Make sure the door closes behind you, and do not allow tailgating entry into a building for your own and others’ safety. Read more about building access on the Financial and Administrative Services dedicated page.

Additional Information, Resources

The university is frequently adding new information, policies, and messages to its COVID-19 Updates website.

  • The FAQs and Resources page is broken into several categories for different audiences including general, student and parent, faculty, and staff.
  • The All Campus Communications page chronologically lists messages that have been sent to all campus as well as targeted emails that only went to students, faculty, and staff.
  • The site also links to other dedicated resource pages, including Human Resources and operational status listings for areas like Facilties Services, Document Solutions and UT Mail Services, and Parking and Transportation Services.

I know this is a taxing time. Please continue to take care of yourselves and your loved ones. Our HealthPoint Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is open and providing services remotely through video and phone counseling. Visit the EAP web page to schedule an appointment or find other resources for managing stress and other common psychological reactions to coronavirus.

Regards,

Darrell Bazzell | Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer | The University of Texas at Austin

COVID-19 Graphic
March 30, 2020