SALT LAKE CITY — The University of Utah has restricted all university-related business travel, for employees, through April 30, 2020.
This is a direct result of the growing international concern over the number of novel coronavirus (COVID-19) cases.
In an email, the university informed faculty members that they should cancel any university-related travel, whether in the United States or internationally, beginning now and lasting through the end of the spring semester (April 30.)
The email indicated that the University would review requests for exceptions to the restriction, but the request must be approved by the employee’s department chair or manager, the dean or vice president, AND a representative of either the Senior Vice President or the Chief Human Resources Officer.
Leaving the state of Utah is also frowned upon. The same email indicated that should an employee travel outside of the State of Utah, they may be restricted from returning to work.
The restriction would depend upon the employee’s health and whether there was a risk of COVID-19 in the area the employee visited.
Along with travel restrictions for employees, the University says it is considering and planning for other measures should the need arise.
University officials have asked university leaders to consider the possibility of telecommuting for what they call non-public-facing employees. They have asked that large gatherings be curtailed and replaced with video-conferencing when appropriate.
And though no classes have yet been cancelled, the University says they are looking into whether large enrollment classes may be switched to online formats. In light of this possibility, the school says it’s technology team has already come up with a “Canvas Fast Course.” That would help instructors to quickly create an online learning environment should the need arise.