Faculty & Staff COVID-19 Town Hall

good morning everybody welcome to UAB’s virtual Town Hall for faculty and staff before we get started I just wanted to do a little housekeeping with everybody to let you know how the webinar the livestream will run over the past week we’ve received hundreds of questions which would be impossible to address individually today so leadership has looked at all of your questions and have crafted responses that hopefully will address your questions collectively so I want to share the agenda today so these are the individuals that will speak we’ll hear from Jennifer Breland, Ria Hearld, Dr. Watts, Provost Pam Benoit, Dr Vickers, Allen Bolton Alesia Jones and Chris Brown and if we have time after each of the individuals speak then we will open this up to live questioning and when that happens I’ll come back and explain to you how you can submit a question so having said that I’d like to hand off to Jennifer Breland Thank you Rosie, let me start by thanking you all for joining us this morning for this important town hall discussion as we face the uncertain times that are created by the COVID-19 pandemic it’s been really amazing to see how the many parts that make up the UAB community have come together to encourage and support each other as we navigate the many complex issues that are presented and work together to ensure that UAB is able to continue achieving its mission by adapting our business practices in a way that will keep our people our families and our communities safe while remaining productive a staff council chair I’ve been part of the university leadership meetings that have taken place daily for more than six weeks to ensure that this university is doing all that it can to protect our employees both faculty and staff while facing academic head-on and serving as a national leader in combatting this virus as I hear all the achievements that our frontline workers researchers and medical teams are doing daily I’m truly proud to be at UAB and have the opportunity to be your staff liaison during this time and now I’ll hit it off to Ria Hearld chair Faculty Senate Thank You Jennifer um I’d like to take a moment just to reflect on her last month this month has been a month of many firsts and a lot of change I commend the faculty in the School of Medicine dr. Watts dr. Vickers dr Ferniany and dr. Marrazo and leading the front lines of this fight against the epidemic and it’s been amazing to see faculty across UAB being called to action and frontline patient care breakthrough and last-minute clinical research health services research public health research and all being involved in the endless heroic efforts of to end this fast epidemic our Faculty of our teaching the semester course are amazing in many cases completely redesigning classes in short period time and it also has to be noted that beyond the virtual transition of courses and daily operations many of you have had to adapt to additional responsibilities while working remotely such as childcare homeschooling elder care being a source of knowledge and resource for family members while all about managing your own fears anxieties of what is to come so we recognize your heroic efforts to manage the competing demands while working remotely and all of us appreciate your hard work our faculty are also serving as support for many of our students the student counseling service remains available to provide counseling services to students through health and distance counseling their daily live events available for students including meditations at Yoga wellness workshops so the Faculty Senate Executive Committee and our university administration have work collaborative collaboratively a lot of key issues impacting both academics campus operations and our having continued continued in almost daily conversations but what is the best path for the university as we face this ever-changing and evolving situation I sincerely appreciate the conscientious communication commitment to share governance for dr. watts Provost Benoit and of course mr. Bolton in that with the leadership of the Faculty Senate to sum it up I believe that universities are sources of hope universities embrace challenges with integrity and resilience and knowledge maintain progress even in the face of complex challenges I know it’s unknown of what covid-19 and its impact will be on our campus but I really do believe that we are walking here in this journey hand in hand and we

are strongest together we’re ready to face obstacles as they come to deploy our intellect and to guide how to navigate the unchartered waters ahead on that note I’d like to introduce president ray watts to talk about the university efforts to date dr. Watts your muted thank you very much dr. Harold and dr Breland for your leadership and your partnership and shared governance we face an unprecedented crisis caused by this covid nineteen viral pandemic it has clearly disrupted our lives in ways we could not have imagined before but it has not changed our commitment and our resolve to serve those in need in our community and across our state one of the great joys of being a part of UAB is to see how we come together to face challenges and have a bond in service to our multifaceted mission to educate to heal to discover and disseminate new knowledge and to support each other in our community locally across the state and nation and around the world I have been so impressed like others by the willingness of all parts of UAB to pull together and to work hard and go beyond the call of duty to face the challenges that we faced in these recent weeks as others have said and I often say our people our greatest asset and our action as leadership team in these recent weeks have been focused on protecting the lives and safety of our people and our families we come together today for our leadership team to address important matters and potential decisions before us we want to address concerns and your questions so we all understand where we are presently and address the uncertainties about the epidemic these are uncharted territories but we will navigate them successfully together from early on we have been proactive and in this crisis we moved swiftly to prevent the spread of this virus among our institution which is the largest employer in the state and we have worked with city leaders County leaders and state leaders to make sure that they are all as informed as possible with medical knowledge the epidemiology knowledge and the ways to combat this virus we instituted travel restrictions distance learning information sharing heightened cleaning and safety we strongly encouraged social distancing which is a powerful tool in fighting this epidemic and we have tried to provide research and lab guidance and you’ll hear from dr. Vickers our Medical Teams our health care workers have been real heroes in the fight against this as it’s affected our people our hospital and those that we serve we move to a limited business model and have only about 20% of our employees on campus who are essential in service in our health care activities but also in support of those in support of our campus business continuity 60% of those are working remotely and 20% of our employees have not been able to come to campus to work because of the safety we strive to take care of everyone’s families we’ve been able to provide full salary and benefits throughout this crisis to date because we want to take away that uncertainty for our faculty and employees our students have been resilient and have adapted as have our faculty to this remote learning in really using technology in ways we haven’t used collectively before our Blazer kitchen has served many employees and students in need and continued to do so we have raised funds to catalyze research and support those in needs over 1.7 million today in this covid pandemic we strive to communicate as

clearly and as aggressively as possible warning our employees our faculty our staff our students our alumni and our community to be as informed as possible a question submitted for me was what is the silver lining in all of this and I think I can say clearly we will be stronger and more resilient on the other side of this crisis we will be successful by working together now I’d like to introduce dr. Pam Benoit our Provost good morning and thank you so much for joining us this morning I want to give a few academic updates the first thing I’d like to remind you of is that in very early March we worked closely with the Faculty Senate to develop an academic continuity plan that included among other measures the option to give students the pass/fail option for grading this semester we’ve now extended that into the summer as well on March 25th we moved to remote instruction for the spring and on April 8th we were moved when some remote instruction for the summer and this included all five of the summer sessions that we offer and I need to thank you for moving so quickly and so competently to doing remote instruction there as of 4:14 there were almost 2,600 active courses in canvas there were a thousand 400 zoom meetings with over four hundred and forty-seven thousand minutes I know I clocked at least a couple thousand minutes myself there were over 3,000 video plays on Kaltura so there it’s very clear people are adapting and using the technological resources that we have available I need to thank Pam Paustian’s elearning group and Scott Phillips and the center for teaching and learning they provided enormous service and will continue to provide that mr. faculty in the summer and beyond to help refine and make our online courses even better this next time around we’ve also gone to a virtual commencement and so in the spring on the same days that it was originally scheduled we’ll be live-streaming a virtual commencement including speakers student speakers it will include video montages from students about their experiences at UAB and congratulating them so we’re trying even in these times to make sure that students know that we recognize the incredibly hard work that they have gone through in order to graduate with a degree for faculty we have extended the tenure clock we’ve not included idea surveys in dossiers and performance evaluations going forward there are a number of questions that came in about clinical experiences and field experiences and how would we adapt to that and when will we be able to do that and as many of you know one of the issues here is that the sites that we usually send our students to are closed now so we need to look and see when they may start to reopen and then be able to evaluate whether or not we can safely send students to these locations in order to complete their clinicals but in the meantime faculty have been incredibly creative about alternate kinds of ways of getting the same objectives accomplished these include some simulations include some other kinds of experiences so we’re very happy that people are thinking about how do we within the accreditation requirements still meet the needs of our students there are also been some questions about fall questions about what does enrollment look like in the fall and I have to tell you it’s really hard to predict right now there have been a number of projections that American Council on Education is predicting a 15% decline and fall enrollments across higher ed in the fall one of the things that’s the silver lining for us is that students will probably stay a little closer to home and a number of our students are relatively close to home that come to us and that students are very attracted to institutions that have an academic Medical Center and we one of the best so I’m hopeful that our enrollments will will stay steady but it’s very hard to predict at this point we’ll continue to monitor that the other question that got asked was about the libraries and the libraries are continuing to offer online services library liaisons to each one of your areas are very eager to help with online resources to help you in your courses and interlibrary loan continues to operate as well related to that there was a question about Sterne library those of you who have driven by campus may have seen that there is a chain-link fence around Sterne library and that’s there because we are redoing reconnecting the utilities that are in

the education building because of needing to demolish the education building and so that that’s why that’s that’s happening right now so the question was is we’re going to put fences up around all the buildings the answer’s no this is done for a particular construction purpose so again thank you the resilience has been amazing I’ve been incredibly impressed and and I think it’s the talent the resilience the determination of every member of our UAB community that has really allowed us to pull together and get through this I’ve asked dr. Austin to talk a little bit about international students because there have been a number of questions about how we’re trying to serve them during these very difficult times as well dr. Austin good morning that we are as always concerned about the health and safety of our international students faculty and staff and we understand that many of you face the added strain of worry for family and friends and countries far from the United States so those of you who work with our international community thank you for all of your hard work on their behalf please know that international student and scholar services and into UAB are actively reaching out to members of our international community and that both offices are fully operational if you are a faculty member with international students in your classes this semester the team at into UAB is red to assist you this includes assistance with virtual tutoring for your students and refers referrals to health services and counseling if you are an international faculty or staff member and you have questions please contact Katherine crow and her team in international students and scholars services we continue to think of new ways to engage our international students and so today we are relaunching the ever-popular international coffee hour as a virtual event and now I will turn it over to Dean Selwyn Vickers of the UAB School of Medicine Thank You Suzanne and Thank You president Watson Provost Benoit I echo all of the comments made and certainly as we look at the numbers globally where we’re nearly two million cases a hundred and thirty-eight thousand deaths Alabama has 4,100 cases and certainly the efforts led by the leadership at UAB our hospital and our University leadership have really led to state and I think giving us the best chance to come out on the other side of this from limited damage needless to say our faculty have been tremendous in this particularly at the height of where our pulmonologist were running to icy use with patients who either were under investigation or who were covid positive with nearly half of them on ventilators I walked through the icy use this morning and for the first time I saw empty beds not because people had died because people had actually been excavated transferred to the floor and being discharged these individuals have put themselves on the line as well as nurses and doctors and fellows they have provided a tremendous amount of support for our state we as a hospital as dr. Ferniany can attest have had the burden of patients in this state admitted to UAB our ID doctors have also been extremely busy they have been extremely careful and diligent in providing the best treatment protocols for these patients when there were no defined protocols we’ve created the ones that are standards that are used hopefully not only across our state but are models for the country and they have certainly been busy consulting all of the servers related to potentially covid positive patients in addition although we’ve canceled a lot of cases in order to be in this limited business model many of our surgeons are still busy we’re still seeing those patients who have limited time for care for their cancer four significant symptoms related to their cardiac disease all of those patients are being seen but the numbers are still drastically down when we went limited business model we went from nearly a hundred cases a day down to less than 30 the other aspect of our faculty that has really set UAB apart is our pathology department under dr Netto’s leadership to really create a model of testing that really has allowed us to manage this many states around us still struggle with getting tests back on five to seven day animals and obviously that’s disturbing and painful for anybody dr. Netto’s lab has ramped up in a short time period in the first several days if weeks have been able to test nearly over

500 cases which has allowed us to test all of our admissions through our hospital and all of those patients who happen to be needing surgery that testing has also provided some services for across the state and it has been proven to be highly accurate and sensitive it will play a role as we go forward in the future both for the testing of patients are positive as well as for those patients who may have had encounters with covid in their serology our research efforts also are continuing to grow we’ve raised from our donors close to a million dollars to support covid research and we’ve had over 50 projects submitted and the number of those are going to be funded on the clinical side dr. Marrazzo who has become she and her colleagues have become national as well as local spokespersons for this disease and particularly on a national level have been active and clinical trial participation particularly the redeems of their trial which is a drug developed at UAB with Gilead by rich Whitley and his team and they’ve enrolled 13 papers 13 patients and just last week a paper from the in the New England Journal of Medicine began to highlight the potential of this drug without full proof because it wasn’t randomized but it did show it was safe and it pointed toward some improved outcomes a lot of you had questions regarding the hospital and dr. Ferniany’s on the line but I’ll make comments and I will say that again like many aspects of UAB it’s been tremendously encouraging as well as impressive to see the leadership of our health system led by dr. Ferniany and our hospital leadership the command center has guided us daily about how to manage the hospital and dr. Ferniany’s leadership has been felt through Jefferson County and statewide as he’s helped guide the entire state as well as the hospitals and the regions regarding how we might address this pandemic and create the best model for Alabama citizens you’ve clearly been concerned like we have about access to testing and for the most part we are testing still with some agloe algorithm although our capacities grown we’ve often been limited by the number of test kits but under dr. Benoit’s leadership we’ve harnessed a ton of if you would 3d printing to actually increase our test kits as well as provide better access for testing so one we’re testing clearly all of our employees who have any symptoms who have unclear who had exposure that may not have been protected but most recently we’ve had more than adequate PPE protection and our faculty and our workers have had the ability to be protected such that all have appropriate masks when they encounter people we do offer the ability that check temperature when you come in particularly for visitors but what we ask of our employees is if they are symptomatic certainly use your employee health that mechanism mechanism has now facilitated for very streamlined testing and results can come back often in 24 hours in addition the we have not done a bra screening of all visitors but they certainly are had the ability to be tested when we coming in and and the thermometers are present when those actually have some symptoms are concerned about fevers the PPE has been clearly an issue throughout this but we have in some ways holding our own and that we have adequacy in our and all of the areas to protect our caregivers the testing has been essential to allow us to do that we’re hoping and there is a team because as we’ve seen that the numbers flatten out UAB Hospital has been at about forty to fifty five patients admit it for the last ten days and we’re hoping peak to be toward the end of this month the and that gives us some hope to begin the process of planning of how do we reopen that that really accounts for the hospital there accounts for the clinics and it’s certainly a process that accounts for a research and I’m sure ray and Pam or think about broadly what happens at the University I would say that in general we’re doing all we can to support our frontline caregivers our leaders our chairs are rounding I rounded today just to thank them for what they were doing and to certainly encourage the efforts that they are going through to take care of our citizens as well as provide this service for our Hospital UAB and our health system I’ll stop with that Alan you’re next thank you and good morning I have a few slides we’d like to share with the viewers today and really appreciate everybody’s attendance and participation in this Town Hall understandably there are a lot of questions about what might the financial implications of this

pandemic be on the institution and I want to start by saying that UAB is a financially sound and stable institution and that’s not my opinion only it is reaffirmed by very high credit ratings that we’ve received over the past four years from both Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s so what that means is we are in a very good position on the front end of this pandemic to whether the financial implications that might result from it and there will be some financial implications so I wanted to spend just a few minutes with some slides to highlight well we anticipate those implications to be so next slide please first of all this is a timeline of significant recent campus events that have impacted all of us over the last five or six weeks but notably there are several decisions that have been made out of necessity and in consideration of safety of our patients students and employees most particularly when the it was announced on the 15th of March that we would move to a limited business model and protect employees compensation and then that was extended again on March 26th you also notice on March 20th we did announce hiring suspension across the campus and then asked the schools and the vice-president units to begin participating in financial planning exercises as we tried to ready ourselves for what might be on the horizon financially next slide so I want to talk for a few minutes about our revenue picture as it’s becoming clearer it’s not quite clear precisely yet but this is what we’re anticipating is that there will be a downward trend in enrollment and credit hour production for this summer of 2000 what we saw in 2019 we don’t know the extent of that yet but we have run a few prediction models on that and then enrollment for fall is likely to melt over the course of the summer as the economic downturn nationally and in the state grows larger for state appropriations we’re getting a little bit of varied opinion on what might happen with state appropriations but I will remind individuals that we are funded through the education trust fund in Alabama and that is that gets its revenue from sales tax various use taxes and corporate in individual income taxes so certainly those revenue streams for the trust fund will be impacted wisely our legislature a decade ago in that recession learned from that experience and did set aside a rainy day fund so we’re hopeful that will buffer the impact at least for the remainder of fiscal 20 next slide our extra mural revenue from grants and contracts is one of the bright spots so far congratulations to the faculty and the leadership and the research side of the campus for really rolling up their sleeves and they’re doing a great job of not only preserving the grants and contracts that we already had in our portfolio but continuing to produce new grant applications and taking advantage of actually some of the new extramural funding opportunities related to covid- 19 and then at the bottom of this slide you see our auxilary revenue budget we’ll be taking a pretty substantial hit we believe that budget consists of things like student housing and dining income that we typically budget for dozens of summer camps on campus that now will not occur and the spring is a peak season for our various arts programs on campus and of course those are not occurring on campus although our arts community has gotten creative and some of them are occurring in a virtual environment and then of course the elimination of spring and summer sports impacts revenue particularly ticket revenue and distribution from the NCAA next slide please clinical revenue will drop during this at least the early phase of this pandemic and dr. Vickers indicated some of the reasons why elective procedures have ceased for a while and they will eventually come back but that will have

an impact the hospital did discharge many patients in order to be ready for potential surge in covent patients there’s been a big shift to telemedicine that has occurred across the health system all those are great things to have occurred but they do have a revenue impact and then investment income and philanthropy is showing signs of a downturn and of course the investment income is related to the stock market and I think we’ve all had personal experience with the implications of that and that will have a modest impact on our budget we predict for the remainder of this fiscal year next slide one of the other bright spots however is the cares Act and other stimulus monies that are being discussed and implemented UAB and Alabama are very well positioned and in deep conversations to take advantage of any and all of those types of funds so thanks to our leadership particularly at the system level for carrying those conversations forward on behalf of UAB in the state so what does all that mean our preliminary estimated impact on our campus budget for the remainder of this fiscal year is a negative variance of between 52 and 77 million dollars but remember that’s on a total expense budget of 868 million so we do have time to adjust and we will adjust and we’ll move on from the slides and I’ll wrap up with a few comments so in the context of that background of the revenue impacts what’s next first our energies and investments will remain focus on adapting our infrastructure to support all of our missions across the campus while taking all appropriate precautions to keep those that we serve and our staff as safe as possible by focusing our energies and investments that means that campus leaders need to lead by example and keep pace with a dynamic and unpredictable set of circumstances they seem to change not only week to week but day to day for us all that’s the reason the campus and Health System leaders have been meeting daily certainly electronically but we’ve been meeting every day for the past 35 days and it’s the reason the leadership has been the first to adopt everything the campus community has been asked do we were the first to sign our telecommuting agreements we implemented our own hiring suspensions and led the way with dramatic reductions in our operating expenses as we asked the campus to do the same and I will say that any other actions that need to be taken to navigate this pandemic the campus leadership will participate at the highest levels second we need all persons and all units across campus to be aware of the financial challenges that I’ve outlined and please consider your role in financial stewardship in these times I know you do anyhow but it’s it’s heightened at these times in that regard a few questions have been asked about employee parking fees and this has been a topic of several leadership discussions and we’ve also examined how some of our pier urban institutions are addressing the same issue initially I do want to commend and thank Andre Davis and his team in parking and transportation for adjusting and supporting the campus and the health system during this time frame especially their efforts to implement sanitizing and social distancing practices on our blazer Express routes that are still in operation there they’re critical to serve the Health System parking is a core part of our urban campus infrastructure and most of our cost to operate that service are fixed things like land decks lighting and security cost so those infrastructure costs do not go away during a time of limited business operations for that reason and because we prioritize paying our employees for as long as financially responsible to do so we do not have plans at this time to issue refunds to employees who are enrolled in our parking system third we are meeting with various leadership and advisory groups this week and next to discuss the impact of existing expense management activities and to discuss possible next step and I’ll wrap up by saying fourth we do expect limited business operations to continue through May and into some or all of the summer we cannot be more

specific than that at this time but we will be planning around that with the help of the University of Alabama system and with our own task force on campus to sort of contemplate what coming back to campus will look like when we’re able to do so so thank you very much you know ask Alesia Jones our chief human resource officer to make a few comments Thank You Allen and good morning everyone I as I read through the questions that were submitted there were several questions about HR policies so I want to talk a little bit about that as well as point you to where you can get more specific information about some of those policies there have been new HR related policies that have been created at the federal level related to covid19 some have come out of the cares act as related to you different leave policies impact on withdrawals and loans on retirement plans all of that is is there as a part of the the cares Act and available on this resource some of our HR processes have also had to be modified during this time to support new policies and processes Allen mentioned the hiring suspension so HR work 3 to revise some processes around the hiring suspension and and that’s one of these areas that is as we were moving to put something in place we realized that the the first option didn’t work as well as we wanted so and it didn’t support you as well as we wanted to support you so we made some modifications to that process and as we’re going through this you know in real time as we find things that are not working we’re going to continue to work through and improve those processes but most of our HR policies and remain exist exist the way that they did before limited business operations and this health crisis so there were questions about vacation accruals do they continue to accrue as they did previously yes what about vacation requests for employees who are working on-site or working remotely and need to take vacation time the process to take that time is still the same as it was previously if you need to make a change to your benefits and you have a qualifying event that supports the change that process remains the same and as well as other existing processes which again if you on this webpage will point you to not only the HR processes and changes policy revisions relate it to covid-19 but as well as others that exist the last comment I’ll make is that there have been comments about remote working and what does that look like and how will that will that continue as we transition from limited business operations back into our normal business operations what I can’t say with certainty is that is absolutely a part of the conversation going forward while there have been some members of our campus community that have found remote working a bit challenging there are others who have been seeing the benefits of that on seeing that there’s a positive side so we are going to talk about what telecommuting and remote work looks like as we transition back into our normal business operations so there’ll be more to come on that that’s definitely a topic that we are considering I want to thank you for all the things that you’ve done and if there questions or anything that we can do to help you through HR please contact us on the at the HR resource site that was listed on the slide previously and give us an opportunity to I answer your questions directly so at this point I’ll pass it on to dr. Chris Brown for update on research Chris before you talk I want to come back and revisit one issue that we’ve mentioned and put a little more detail around it and that’s the issue about how do we know when it will be safe to return to campus and and Allen mentioned that we have a task force of the Alabama system

that’s been created to look at this it includes dr. Vickers it’s developing plans for all three campuses to be the safest campuses in America when on campus instruction resumes and it’s considering issues like testing measures enhanced cleaning classroom procedures housing policy security and wellness program the provision of PPE in developing a very comprehensive plan for students faculty and staff and as ellen also mentioned we also have a task force on campus looking at these same kinds of issues and their ramifications for our particular campus so we’re giving a lot of thought to planning for what that return looks like and how it needs to be done okay Chris sorry for jumping in a problem there thank you and good morning I’ll give just a few updates on where we are in research to remind us all our goal in the office of research is entirely to support UAB significant research Enterprise one of the things that we’ve taken on during the Cova 19 crisis is to establish guidelines for doing this while keeping our faculty staff students and participants as safe as possible we all know this is a very fluid situation so I point you to the UAB research website that’s UAB dot edu slash research for the latest updates we are keeping this site very up-to-date let me tell you that all units within the office of research are functioning our research business operations which includes office of sponsored programs our research regulatory oversight group which includes the IRB in the AIA Cooke are working fully and remotely in fact in March our proposal submissions were relative to last year’s numbers were up 8% so we’re still working hard in submitting proposals and getting them processed our year-to-date awards for the for this time relative to last year are up 13 percent or 30 million dollars so good for us that’s a testament to our hard-working faculty and one other note our our IRB has been working diligently for the last 35 plus days on new submissions and revisions that allow us to work more on covid 19 with an average approvable day of just one point two days our research development engagement partnership groups are are also fully functional we are continuing to push out opportunities for funding whether it’s specific for covid or others in fact there’s a lot of there are a lot of supplements that are coming out right now that you can attach to current grants that allow you to do things related to covid and we’ve developed a small tutorial with a youtube video on how to apply for these if you’ve never done that before question has come up about what research can be done what is essential on campus research again I point you to our website to look at this but in a few points here any research that’s related to covid 19 with the potential to mitigate the pandemic is allowable and encouraged in person human subject research that is conducted for the health and well-being of the participant is allowed that’s on campus and in person lab operations and procedures that require on-campus attention like essential care for plants animals or cell culture or maintaining expense equipment and studies that are required for a thesis or dissertation defense in the spring or summer of 2020 those are also required let me speak a little bit about personnel and social distancing I need to emphasize that no trainee should be compelled to come to campus if they are uncomfortable in doing so are unable and departments department chairs mentors need to be flexible around this faculty and staff should maintain plans and develop social distance and hygiene plans for those students trainees faculty or staff that need to come into campus undergraduate programs and k12 programs for the summer are canceled on campus undergraduate research is suspended there is an exception process again on our website please go take a look and grad student and postdoctoral research under the circumstances I mentioned before can be allowed but again there’s an X there is a process to go through with approvals for grad students and postdocs research activities that’s that are encouraged are things like data analysis lab

meetings proposal writing proposal reviews publications and as a former researcher myself this can be counted as a gift you can do that reading and thinking that you never had time to do because you are so busy in the lab so take advantage of this this time right now let me point out about that and if questions come up around this I Melinda cotton is on the call with us federal agencies are being very flexible in allowing salaries to continue to be charged to grants even though the work is not being done at this time we’re hopeful through the cares Act that was mentioned earlier that funding will be made available through the funding agencies to allow us to cover that cost and continue the research make sure you look for those funding opportunities new Cova da opportunities non kovat opportunities and the supplements keep track of the cost that you are incurring keep track in your own way of the cost that you’re incurring there a be possible reimbursement coming down we’re keeping a close tabs on this with the federal government so let me end with that we’re doing all we can to ensure that UAB comes out of this with its research engine tuned and running so that we can when we’re done we will be able to continue our important work whether it’s medical whether it’s Co vid19 or all the other research that we do so thank you for your support hey thanks so now we’ll open the floor up to live questions and so if you’re in the livestream view over to the right you have the ability to join the submit a question as a guest we highly recommend that you submit questions as a guest and write your full name so that if we don’t get to your questions we know which areas that we can give these questions to but before we take any live questions just wanting to ask the panelists is there are there any other follow-up statements or comments that anybody would like to add okay all right so if you have a question please feel free to submit hopefully we’ve been able to answer a good number of the questions that have already come in while we’re waiting for questions I’ll go to a question that was previously submitted someone wants to know does you any plan to implement a mandatory campus-wide face covering policy didn’t know if anybody wanted to take that question so maybe that’s something that dr. Vickers or dr. Ferniany facemasks and what we know about them so I would say Pam that as we think about what a safe campus looks mat looks like for people returning the activities I think face masks will be a part of that and I would not be surprised as we move back to some level of increasing past our limited off operations back trying to get the normal I think they face mass will play a significant role because they are a significant somewhere between twenty to forty percent of individuals with covid nineteen carriers who are totally asymptomatic and so the masks are largely if they’re cloth or even precede your mask they’re largely to protect those people from spreading even when they don’t know it I think that might be it’s not been suspected might move in that direction thank you hey so we have a question from Rachel are there any anticipated changes to the educational assistant policy for employees so that I think is a question for Alicia know there are at this time there are no anticipated changes for educational assistants that’s one of the existing policies that is currently unchanged at this time okay we have a question from amber O’Connor are there any discussions of layoffs or lows or salary cuts Nolan do you want to take this one sure as I mentioned in my remarks we have been focused on full employment for as long as it’s financially responsible to do so as we sort of look at the challenges ahead that’s why you’ve been seeking advice from a variety of groups throughout this week and will extend into next week so we’re we’re going to be focused on

ringing out expenses from other sources first okay we have a question from Steve Feldman there was a comment on parking charges what about the rec center charges that are automatically being deducted from checks John do you want to come in from then yes Pam thank you I’m surprised to hear that recreation fees are still being deducted from paychecks we terminated that deduction a couple weeks ago certainly we will check and confirm our that that process has stopped okay we have a question someone’s asking what was the support for moving to pass/fail so what asked the question again what was the support for moving to pass/fail I’m not sure I understand the question if they argue if the question is asking why is it that we moved to pass/fail many other institutions have moved in that direction we were concerned about students who might not have as much access to remote instruction there was an immense amount of anxiety for that and that was a vetted very thoroughly through the Faculty Senate the thing that we did that’s a little different than some other institutions is that a number of institutions mandated pass/fail rather than do that we thought it was better to give students the option of choosing pass/fail so we wrote a set of FAQ’s for students we wrote a set of FAQ’s for faculty and for advisors help students make the choice about what might be the best thing for them to do regarding pass/fail I noticed this morning in Inside Higher Ed that the American Council on Education is now encouraging institutions across the United States to be very flexible with pass/fail grades as students are being considered for transfers for graduate schools for professional schools because so many institutions have implemented a similar policy okay so we have a question from Greg pence our students being charged online fees for courses going online or are they just charged the regular fees they are charged the regular fees the only courses that will carry the online fees will be those courses that had originally been put into the schedule online course those will continue to have that charge but otherwise the classes will have the same fees as usual Rachel has submitted a question are there any anticipated changes to the educational assistants policy for employees I think we’ve already answered that question the answer at this point is no many of you have said that you’re having trouble with the Vimeo stream so just letting everybody know we will post this online we will both have it on Vimeo and YouTube so if you need to come back we have a question are the processes related to get to new international students beginning in the fall still proceeding Suzanne do you want to take that one or yes the processes are still proceeding we don’t know at this point what’s going to happen in the fall but I can say that our colleagues and into UAB and all of the folks who work in that area and international admissions are proceeding on I just had some communication this morning from that area and we are continuing to get applications from international students and and we’re thinking about what the alternatives might be if international students for a variety of reasons are not able to enter the u.s. in time for the start of fall semester so we’re really looking at all of our options but the goal is to make sure that we are able to admit and engage as many international students as usually well this is just this isn’t a question but a comment someone has come in it but they’re really proud of the way you maybe has treated their employees so I don’t know dr. Watts if you wanted to say anything just in response to that comment well we have kept that first and foremost from our initial decisions and one of the reasons we were so proactive really the first employer to go to limited business model with remote working in just a minimum a number of

employees on campus was number one to keep us as safe as possible and number two to be responsible in blunting the impact of this infection in Birmingham and in Alabama and we have done that by being so aggressive about social distancing and of course we knew everyone had a lot of uncertainty about are they going to be able to continue to pay their mortgage take care of their children meet their financial needs so we put that first and foremost and have strive to maintain that and we’ll do so as long as we can and we are making decisions to reduce all other expenses in order to continue to support our employees and their families right we have a question about conferences spending on conferences have have been suspended but what about conferences and flights that have already been purchased so Allen or Stephanie for this one is Stephanie on I’ll kick it to her she is if not I’m glad to address it I’m sorry conferences and travel that have been previously booked or paid for we are some proving reimbursements for those cancellations or those conferences that you are no longer able to attend that information can be found on the financial affairs website and we will get I’ll get that link out to to everyone so that you can can have the information on the process right we have time for just a couple more questions let’s see coming in fast and furious when when would on when would all classes would fall classes go online and if so when would that be determined so I’ll take that one we don’t know the answer to that question yet we have done some preliminary planning about different options that we could implement if it became necessary including things like delaying by a week delaying by a month having classes partly online at the beginning and then moving to being face to face at another point within the semester all those are potential options and the reason we can’t make that call yet is that we’re continuing to watch what happens around us in terms of the number of cases looking at the models to try to figure out what is best in terms of our population and to try to protect the health and safety of students and faculty and staff when we do move back to campus we also you know as the planning encouraged you know there’ll be some talk about do we do that more gradually as opposed to doing it all at once so so you know we’ll try to make that call as soon as we can but we’re trying to do it with the best information possible okay we’re near our end time so questions continue to come in we’ll collect these and provide these to leadership to look at so with that are there any parting words dr. Benoit dr. Watts do you have anything else you want to close with I want to say once again thank you to all of our faculty and staff for being so flexible and willing to roll up your sleeves and do whatever it takes for us to be as effective as possible in continuing to pursue our mission and I have no doubt we will get through this crisis and that we will be stronger and better on the other side