Information for Faculty & Staff

COVID-19 updates in the College of Fine Arts
COVID-19 updates for UT Austin

Looking for faculty and staff information? We want this page to serve as an easy portal for important information for all staff and faculty in the College of Fine Arts. 


Staff Updates

Dear COFA Staff,

(This is a message from COFA Staff council from June 4, 2020 which we are sharing here)

Work likely isn’t the first thing on your mind. We may all be living through ongoing trauma with the pandemic and brutal news cycle, but we are not afforded the same privilege. Trauma is not new for our Black and POC neighbors, co-workers and loved ones. 

Black Lives Matter. We condemn police brutality and white supremacy. We are committed to anti-racist work. We know that releasing a statement, sharing posts on social media and unlearning internalized racism is the bare-minimum required of allyship. We are committed to actively learning, listening and uplifting the voices of Black and POC professionals within COFA. 

We are also looking to the future. We need to better support and amplify the Fine Arts Diversity Council past the current news cycle. We will advocate to get yearly anti-racism training at COFA. We hope to better understand how COFA is incorporating anti-racism in hiring practices. We want our talented, valuable and esteemed Black and POC staff members to feel safer working with us, and safer working on campus. 

Action Items: 

Please take a look at the resources compiled from staff, the Fine Arts Diversity Council and Pride and Equity Faculty Staff Association. We encourage donation and ongoing anti-racism education.  

Are there things you’d like COFA Leadership to hear? Can COFA STAFF Council amplify your voice? Please share your thoughts on this survey (answers are recorded anonymously) 

 Please take care of yourself,

 COFA Staff Council 

UPDATES

JUNE 1, 2020

MAY 21, 2020

MAY 19, 2020

APRIL 24, 2020

APRIL 21, 2020

APRIL 6, 2020

APRIL 2, 2020

Dean's Office Schedule for essential employee activities

MARCH 29, 2020

HealthPoint is offering FREE online fitness classes, these classes are open to anyone. The at-home workouts will begin streaming on the Zoom platform the week of March 30. The virtual classes will be led by the FIT Institute of Texas and Callie Ogden Yoga. The home workouts will offer tools to combat stress while providing motivation and inspiration sure to keep us all physically and mentally fit.

MARCH 26, 2020

EMPLOYEE RESOURCES

Spotlight Resources

Mental Health Resources

Working Remotely Resources

Wellness and Mental Health

What mental health resources are available for staff?

GUIDANCE ON WORKING REMOTELY

For Supervisors and Teams

  • Develop a team schedule, rather than an independent schedule, and a teleworking system that is consistent with the needs of the department and organization. This could mean sticking to your regularly scheduled team meeting times but coming together virtually.
  • A teleworking policy can be developed by the entire team by working together to answer the following questions:
    • How will we connect with each other?
    • How will telework affect the way my work is assessed?
    • What are the procedures for coordinating team projects?
    • How can we manage customer expectations while teleworking?
    • How can we use technology to help us telework better?
    • Can we create a sense of workplace and community when we are working away from the office?
  • Remote Working Resources

For Individuals

Workspace
  • Create a dedicated office space, ideally outside of the bedroom. Doing work where you sleep can impact your brain's recognition of that space making it harder to maintain a nighttime routine.

How to Start the Day Right

  • Maintain a typical morning routine for yourself including getting up at a consistent time. This will make it easier to plan your day and transition once we get back in the office.
  • Instead of sleeping in, re-create a "commute" or activities that you would normally do during your time getting to work. You could do things like listing to music or a podcast, taking a walk or doing a quick workout.
  • Some folks find that dressing for the office gets them in a better headspace, but you may want to take this opportunity to be dress comfortably. Just make sure you are prepared to hop on a Facetime or Zoom call with your supervisor or co-workers!

Virtual Presence and Task Management

  • Establish your schedule and availability and stick to it.
  • Instant messaging systems can be used by team members to check in each morning, and change status when they will be away from the computer for more than a few minutes.
  • Be proactive and schedule one on one time with your supervisor.
  • Transparent communication tools like shared calendars can also be useful.
  • Start by giving yourself daily, weekly, or even hourly goals. Once you start accomplishing them, you’ll feel productive and happy. Share your goals with your supervisor or colleagues and hold each accountable.

Distractions

  • Wear blinders. The tricky bit about working from home is that there’s always something on the to-do list that isn’t work-related. You can’t just close the front door on that stack of dirty dishes or overflowing laundry basket, but you can choose not to look. If you don't turn your back on everything else your precious work hours can be a series of fits and false starts.

Distractions- Parents Edition

  • Working from home can be especially difficult for people with children, but it is not impossible.
  • Help the kids understand what it means to work from home. If they are old enough to comprehend, show them what you are working on and why it's important to your job or colleagues.
  • Draw the boundaries--as in be quiet when you're on the phone, knock on the office door, etc.
  • One source offers this creative solution: Place a sign on your office door that lets them know right away whether it's alright for them to come in, or if they shouldn't disturb you. For younger kids, use colors--green for "go" and red for "stop."

Breaks

  • Take breaks and meal times as if you normally would during the workday. Employees who are non-exempt (overtime-eligible) get two 15 minute breaks per day- use them! If you have a safe area near your home to take a walk – get outside! It's a great mood booster and helps to calm the nervous system.
  • Take a lunch break!
  • Meal prep and plan as you normally would if you were coming into the office. It can be tempting to spend some extra time in the kitchen preparing a nice meal, but it can pull focus and lead to a longer workday than intended.

Human Connection

  • Since you don't have the opportunity to connect with your colleagues, it can be easy to feel isolated.
  • Make sure to use your break time and tools like Facetime, Slack or Zoom to connect with co-workers.
  • Can that email be a call instead?
  • Send that GIF or selfie from your home office, submit a question of the day for Slack, or share a light-hearted article.
  • Tell someone if you are struggling to stay focused, and share ideas to stay motivated. Sometimes just talking about what you are working on can help your peer get back on track.

How to End the Day Right

  • Make a list of hanging to-do's or send your supervisor/co-workers an update about what you did that day/ plans for the next day.
  • Pick a time and log completely off, including clearing your workspace.
  • If possible, recreate a buffer between work and home life. Take a walk, listen to music or a podcast, or call a friend.
  • Finally, tackle those household tasks that you have been ignoring all day!

Some days, despite our best efforts, things might feel chaotic or unproductive and that’s ok. Just start again tomorrow!

LinkedIn Learning Resource: LinkedIn Learning: Working Remotely

Timesheet Guidance

Timesheet guidance for May 1 - May 31

Timesheet guidance for April 1 - April 30

Guidance on timekeeping for March

Hourly Employee Questions

Can my hourly/student employee continue to work on-site?

Yes, but with a few key caveats. 1) Not if they are an undergraduate student, 2) Not if the work can be performed remotely, 3) Not if social distancing cannot be practiced. Supervisors: Think about projects that you've been meaning to complete that could be done on box. Also think about professional development opportunities for your employees. LinkedIn Learning is a great resource for all staff to use to gain skills and competencies that help you and those you supervise (1 hour watched = 1.5 hours counted as work time).

Can my hourly employee/student work remotely?

Yes, if there is work they can complete remotely, this can count as time worked.

Alternative Activities for Student Employees

Graduate Academic – Teaching Assistant /Academic Instructors

  • Instructional duties via Zoom, Canvas 
  • Grading duties via Box, Canvas 
  • Virtual Office Hours – via email, Zoom, Skype, Adobe Connect, Canvas

Graduate Academic – Graduate Research Analysis

  • Data Analysis, if appropriate (use of SPSS, Tableau, Excel, and applicable software)
  • Publication writing, literature reviews, and annotated bibliographies
  • Data Collection, if applicable given the student employee’s area of research and research confidentiality guidelines.
  • Question to consider: Is VPN needed for any of software applications typically used by a department’s research staff? Are data tools and information accessible from UT Box or other shared university-provided network service

Tutors, Graders, Undergraduate Assistants, Peer Advising

  • Responding to inquiries via university email account/shared office email account
  • 1:1 peer advising or tutoring appointments via Zoom
  • Grading assignments and sharing grades via Canvas or Box
  • Updating policy or process manuals, creating new training workshops or modify current workshops
  • Professional Development Activities
  • LinkedIn Learning Workshops

Non-Academic Student Work

  • Responding to inquiries to general office email accounts, escalate inquiries using normal office protocols
  • Updating process manuals
  • Support with Box file cleanup effort
  • Support with records retention (if on-site)

Alternative Activities for Hourly Employees (non-student)

  • Develop or Revise departmental trainings: Develop trainings that will benefit the department. Review offerings available in LinkedIn Learning (1 hour watched = 1.5 hours counted as work time) to stimulate ideas.
  • Professional Development: LinkedIn Learning training, webinars from professional associations. Consider capturing learning via a short written reflections or present a presentation to disseminate knowledge gained. 
  • Document departmental processes: From the viewpoint of a new employee, what processes would be helpful for them to have in writing?
  • Written Materials for Customers:  Are there customers your unit serves who could benefit by handouts, flyers, brochures? Is there information on the website that could be enhanced?
  • Policy or guideline review: Review departmental policies with suggestions/recommendations where appropriate
  • Research relevant topics: Research a specific topic relevant to your unit’s mission and capture ideas or practices to discuss as a group.
  • Grants: If applicable, research potential grant opportunities and/or prepare aspects of the grant writing.

Salaried Employee Questions 

What if I need to take sick leave and my paid leave balances are low?

Your health and the health of your colleagues is the highest priority. If you are out of sick leave, you can use other paid leave balances (comp, vacation, floating holiday, overtime). If those balances are exhausted, there is the option of Sick Leave Donation. Please contact COFA HR if you are in this situation.

How do I connect with my staff when working remotely?

The University now has a contract with Zoom. This will allow employees to video conference with team members regardless of their location. IT Director Brad Johnston has been leading this effort. Many teams across the college have been using Slack as a team communication system.

For Employees Who Can Work Remotely but Do Not Have a UT Device (laptop) What Should They Do?

If an employee works on a UT iMac Desktop, they may "check out" their computer with COFA IT using this link. ATTENTION: There are key steps necessary to take on your iMac Desktop PRIOR to leaving the office with it, otherwise the computer will not work properly at home. Be sure to follow the steps linked here prior to taking your computer home. If an employee works on a UT Macbook, they may take that laptop home without the above "check out" steps.

VPN Remote Access is also an important tool most employees will need to download in order to access UT-specific portals.

For Employees Whose Work is Site-Specific, What Should They Do? 

This may be a staggered mixture of working on-site and off-site. For example, if on-site work can be performed while maintaining social distancing, on-site work can continue. If on-site work cannot be performed (e.g., no students = no clients), look into alternative work assignments. Below are some options for Alternative Work Assignments for your workforce when normal job duties cannot be performed.

What if I do need to come to campus? Can I do so during Shelter-In-Place?

Yes, however, no employees should be reporting on campus before consulting with their supervisor. The goal is to have as few employees on campus as necessary. At this time, we encourage departments to schedule weekly mail pick ups and other routine on-site needs (e.g., scanning documents) so that other employees within your building are aware of who will be on-site.

If you are in a situation where you may be near other employees, please consult these standard operating procedures regarding shared work spaces provided by the university.

Alternative Activities for Staff Employees

  • Develop or Revise departmental trainings: Develop trainings that will benefit the department. Review offerings available in LinkedIn Learning to stimulate ideas (1 hour watched = 1.5 hours counted as work time).
  • Professional Development: LinkedIn Learning training, webinars from professional associations. Consider capturing learning via a short written reflections or present a presentation to disseminate knowledge gained. 
  • Document departmental processes: From the viewpoint of a new employee, what processes would be helpful for them to have in writing?
  • Written Materials for Customers:  Are there customers your unit serves who could benefit by handouts, flyers, brochures? Is there information on the website that could be enhanced?
  • Policy or guideline review: Review departmental policies with suggestions/recommendations where appropriate
  • Research relevant topics: Research a specific topic relevant to your unit’s mission and capture ideas or practices to discuss as a group.
  • Grants: If applicable, research potential grant opportunities and/or prepare aspects of the grant writing.

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Human Resourcery - An Human Resources Podcast for the College of Fine Arts

Human Resources

Kevin Crook, Director of Human Resources
kcrook@austin.utexas.edu
512-475-7028
DFA 2.422A

Julia Tufano, HR Coordinator
jtufano@austin.utexas.edu
512-471-0629

Dean’s Office Organizational Chart 

College of Fine Arts Dean's Office Organizational Chart

(PDF, 116 KB) 
EID login required

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IT Help Desk

The Fine Arts IT (FAIT) Help Desk delivers general computer, software, peripheral and networking support to the faculty and staff in the College of Fine Arts. Use the following options to contact us.

3 Ways to Get IT Help

Create a Ticket on the Web Portal

Create, track and collaborate online with UT Campus Central Services Desk: https://ut.service-now.com/sp  (Bookmark this page)
Log in

Call

*For immediate assistance call the UT Campus Central Services Desk at 512-475-9400 (5-9400)

Self Help

Common troubleshooting tips and instructions for COFA faculty and staff can be found on the Fine Arts IT Help Desk Wiki 
If you feel comfortable troubleshooting the IT issue on your own, search the IT @ UT Knowledge Base. If you'd like to learn more about campus IT support visit the ITS Customer Support Services website.

Always, include the following information:

  • That you are from the College of Fine Arts
  • UT Tag (for computers issues; silver tag with number on it)
  • location room/bldg
  • contact phone number
  • other people who are involved
  • as detailed description of the issue as possible
  • how urgent it is

Why we ask you to contact Campus Central Services and not go directly to FAIT?

  • The central Service Desk solves the needs for the UT community daily and have direct access to common UT systems.
  • They are the first contact for support so that FAIT is better able to focus on your needs.
  • If they are not able to quickly resolve your problem, the central Service Desk will create a ticket for you which is immediately routed to FAIT and allows FAIT to queue your issue. You can interact with any ticket you create either through phone or online at the user portal. Login here! https://ut.service-now.com/sp (mobile friendly!) 

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Communications & Web Resources 

Communications Resources and Guidelines

The communications department in the College of Fine Arts shares the college’s most compelling stories to engage the media, current and prospective students, alumni, the general public and the university community. Our office is here to help faculty, staff and students with various marketing and communications needs. Our website includes the college's written style guide, visual guidelines, best practices for media interviews, social media guidelines and more.

Web Instruction

The Web team provides the college with help and guidance for Web related questions. We're engaged in keeping the college websites secure and making sure they comply with legal requirements and university policies. On our website, you can connect with us, find resources, learn best practices, get tips on how to improve your website's performance, and much more.

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Career Services for Faculty & Staff

Classroom experience

Fine Arts Career Services (FACS) provides a full range of services and resources to support students and alumni as they realize the full potential of their education and experiences. We are available to visit classrooms and conduct workshops for your students, you can refer students to the Career Services office for assignments, we provide a job board and many other opportunities we would be happy to discuss with you.

Request a Presentation

Fine Arts Career Services is available to visit your classroom and conduct workshops for your students. Workshops are conducted by our FACS staff. We offer several 30-60 minute workshops on a variety of topics including resumes, cover letters, job and internship searching, interviewing skills, networking and self-care. We can also tailor workshops to your needs. We require 2 weeks notice for standard in-class workshops. Requests for workshops on special topics not in our regular workshop rotation may require additional lead time depending on how much preparation time is needed. Our staff is available to conduct workshops Mon-Fri between 9am-5pm. Requests for workshops outside of these times will be handled on a case-by-case basis. Complete the In-Class Workshop Form to request an in-class presentation and see the various workshop topics available.  

Fine Arts Works Job Board

Sign up for Fine Arts Works to:

  • View all job and internship listings vetted by FACS
  • Recommend opportunities to your students 
  • View all professional development workshops and events offered by FACS
  • Email FACS to request faculty access to Fine Arts Works. 

Classroom Assignments

If you would like to refer students to the Career Services office for an assignment, please give us notice, by email or by phone at 512-232-7333, so that we can be as prepared as possible to meet the needs of your students.

Special Requests

We welcome questions and suggestions about ways we can collaborate. Contact us today by email or by phone at 512-232-7333 for more information or to discuss how we can meet your needs.

Learn More

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Staff Council

College of Fine Arts Staff Council connect the college with the University Staff Council. You can also connect with the campus Staff Council on Facebook.

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CARE Counselor Consultations

If you are a faculty or staff member and would like to talk about your concerns for a student, you can contact the CARE Counselor for guidance. For example, if you’ve observed a student in distress or you’re wondering how to check-in with a student, you can schedule a consultation with the counselor to discuss how to support the student.

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Department & School Resources

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Additional Resources 

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