Faculty & Staff: COVID-19 Updates

This page will be updated as often as necessary to provide the latest information on how WashU Olin is adapting in the wake of the global coronavirus pandemic. Email communication will reference this page, and Olin encourages staff and faculty to refer often to this page for updates.

If you have problems with access, please email website@olin.wustl.edu


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Faculty FAQs
Faculty and Staff FAQs
Getting Ready to Work from Home
Olin General Services
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Posted on March 23, 2020, at 1:58 p.m.

Hold on Parking Permits

WashU’s Parking and Transportation to allow a hold on parking permits: Do you pay for a parking permit on campus? Did you know that Parking and Transportation is allowing faculty and staff to place a hold during this telecommuting transition? Employees can request a hold using this form on monthly deductions until work resumes on campus again.

Posted on March 23, 2020, at 1:43 p.m.

Zoom Toolkit from the CDE

You are in full Zoom mode preparing for your first day of class this week! The CDE has gathered our most useful resources (attached) and compile a Zoom Toolkit for you that we think will help you during meetings. Here is a link to a Box folder with the toolkit. The Zoom toolkit includes:

The Pre-Meeting Slides for your PPTs - Remember those landing slides at the beginning of our trainings? You can use those with your students, in fact, if you do, you will significantly cut down on questions and hardware problems. Simply open the PowerPoint and copy those slides right into your own.

The Zoom Student Start-up Guide - We've created a short document that you can provide to your students that tells them how to properly sign in, troubleshoot their own audio/video, and how to participate during meetings.

The Zoom Meeting Checklist - Just like pilots have a pre-flight checklist, we've created one for you so that you'll know your meetings are "cleared for take-off!"

Instructor Zoom Cheat Sheet - We don't expect you to remember everything from our trainings, so here is your two-page reminder of all the most important things. Keep this one handy.

Our new Zoom FAQs:

You asked some really great questions during training last week and we have compiled them along with their answers in a FAQ Google Doc that we will continue adding to as new questions arise. Please check this out if you have a Zoom inquiry, we've probably got you covered (potentially with screenshots!).

A few announcements and reminders:

Don't forget that our Virtual Zoom Office Hours are still happening this week! Since today is the first day of class, we will be extending them to between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. today. Join our VZOH at this link this afternoon.

Check out our Olin Zoom Support page to view our archived training recordings as well as to see new training that will be available later this week.

Coming soon: Kaltura training (how to upload recordings from Zoom, how to record your own videos!)

Don't forget that if you need immediate Zoom help, the Olin AV team is on it! If you haven't already, you might want them on speed dial: (314) 935-8864

Please contact the CDE at olin-cde@wuslt.edu if you have any questions.

Posted March 20, 2020, at 10:52 a.m.

Update on Accounting Procedures

Submit supporting documentation for payment or reimbursement to your accounting assistant electronically when possible, including the appropriate department approval. If documentation cannot be sent electronically, you may submit via campus mail, but please be aware that payments will be delayed.

Reimbursements can be made for airline cancellation fees or non-refundable tickets, with the exception of cases where the airline provides a credit toward future travel. In order to reimburse, we will need documentation from the airline.

Travel Report Signatures/Approvals – Any of the following will be accepted

  • Scanned ink signatures
  • Scanned or electronic signatures w/audit log
  • An email from approvers stating, “This email serves as my signature/approval for the attached XX Form.” Supporting documentation must be attached to all email approvals.
    • Note: OSRS/SPA will accept email with documentation forwarded by the DA, or from the PI directly.

Before booking future travel, please get confirmation of the refund policies for airline tickets, conference registrations, and hotels.

Department Heads: Please review your budget and evaluate whether adjustments should be made, given the change in our operation. Inform your financial analyst of any revisions to your current fiscal year projected spending.

As always, please reach out to Sue Dunn (sdunn@wustl.edu) if you have any questions or you need assistance.

Posted March 19, 2020, at 8:07 a.m. (this section updated again at 11:08 am.)

Operation at Olin During COVID-19 Work-at-Home

Beginning Monday, March 23, Olin Operations Services will be conducted as follows:

Access Control: Beginning Friday, March 20th at 5 p.m.

  • For the safety of our community, faculty and staff should strictly avoid coming to campus until further notice, unless absolutely necessary. Olin’s buildings will be placed into the school break default mode. This will allow Olin to quickly identify who is in the building in an emergency. Faculty and staff will be able to access their building(s) 24/7 for essential functions but should strive to stay away from campus. Although instructed not to come to campus, students can access their school’s buildings 24/7, but cannot access any other school’s buildings.
  • Group study rooms and classrooms will be locked to discourage unauthorized student use. Please direct inquiries regarding classroom use to General Services to ensure adequate facilities and/or AV support is available.
  • Access to buildings will require a swipe of your campus ID.
  • Please continue to submit swipe access and key requests using the appropriate form on the General Services website.
  • Questions regarding access control can be directed to Shante Redden at redden@wustl.edu.

Mail Service and Package Receiving (FedEx, UPS, Amazon, Courier Services)

Campus Mail is an essential service and will continue with altered pickup/delivery sites. Please direct package delivery services to the appropriate mail receiving location.

Knight Center and Knight/Bauer Halls

  • Monday and Wednesday mornings, mail will be delivered to Knight Hall 541 for pickup.
  • Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, mail will be held at the Knight Center front desk for pickup. If there is no associate at the desk, knock on the office door for service.
  • Contact the Knight Center for additional assistance during business hours: 314-933-9400
  • Please contact Sue Ugalde (susan_ugalde@wustl.edu) if you wish for your mail to always be held at the Knight Center front desk or to discuss alternate pickup/delivery plans if your department does not plan to send anyone to pick up mail/packages.

Simon Hall

  • Mail will be delivered to the Faculty Lounge for pickup.
  • Contact General Services for additional assistance during business hours: 314-935-7788.
  • Please contact Sue Ugalde (susan_ugalde@wustl.edu) if you wish for your mail to always be held in the General Services offices or to discuss alternate pickup/delivery plans if your department does not plan to send anyone to pick up mail/packages.

General Services

  • Olin’s General Services Team will offer reduced on site services. Hours of support are subject to change based on Olin Community needs.
  • Please continue to contact Olin General Services at 314-935-7788 during core business hours for urgent requests.  Please continue to use the forms on the Olin General Services website to submit various Facilities, Cleaning and General Services requests: https://sites.wustl.edu/olings/forms/
  • Please continue to use the forms on the Olin General Services website to submit various Facilities, Cleaning and General Services requests.


  • WFF and FLIK will continue custodial/cleaning services, although likely on an altered schedule. Both companies have increased their cleaning efforts in compliance with CDC recommendations and their respective corporate protocols regarding sanitation in the event of group/community illness.
  • For specific cleaning requests, please continue to use the form on the Olin General Services website to submit Cleaning requests.

Olin Dining

  • All Olin Dining Outlets will be closed for the duration of the University’s COVID-19 protocols


  • CFU Facilities Planning and Management will continue operations as normal at this time.
  • For emergency Facilities issues, please contact Facilities Customer Service at 314-935-5544. For non-emergency maintenance requests, please continue to use the forms on the Olin General Services website to submit requests.

Posted March 18, 2020, at 1:03 p.m.

Answering Your Office Phone by Computer

This is possible! Scroll down to the "work at home" section below and look for the instructions on answering your office phone on your computer ("In addition to forwarding your phone"). This is an option if you did not forward your office phone to your cellphone.

Posted March 18, 2020, at 8:23 a.m.

From Parking and Transportation

After reviewing the alternate operations plan outlined by the university, Parking and Transportation believes the need for parking on the Danforth Campus will be minimal through April 5, 2020. That being said, we will switch our “open park” operations, effective immediately through 7 a.m. on April 6. During this timeframe, parking in yellow permit or visitor designated spaces is allowed without permit/payment. More information here.

Posted March 17, 2020, at 2:09 p.m.

WCC support for securing speakers for virtual classes

  • The Weston Career Center’s Corporate Relations team will be working closely with faculty to…
  • Continue to support current plans for faculty to have in classroom speakers via Zoom and/or video.
  • Work with external speakers to utilize Zoom or pre-record as necessary.
  • By request, secure additional speakers for online Zoom classroom/video speaking engagements.
    • Reach out to Jessica Martsolf, jessicamartsolf@wustl.edu or 314-935-3471, or Dorothy Kittner, kittner@wustl.edu or 314-935-6365.
    • Jessica will plan to work with your respective faculty support member to help with the process as needed.

Posted March 16, 2020, at 11:03 a.m.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) fact sheet

What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) (fact sheet)

Posted March 16, 2020, at 10:56 a.m.

Washington University Research Community,

As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread, we’re taking great care to ensure the health and well-being of our entire Washington University community as we work to maintain essential research and business operations. I want to let you know about our efforts to assist you during these challenging and rapidly evolving times.

In collaboration with university leaders, the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research posted guidance and FAQs to help address your questions and prepare for changes that may affect your research. You can find this information here.

The guidance, which will be updated as new information becomes available, covers advice on:

  • Continuity planning for research operations
  • Human subjects and clinical research, including information from the Human Research Protection Office
  • Research involving animals
  • Undergraduates involvement in research
  • Sponsored projects including information from federal agencies, such as NIH and NSF, regarding grants and funding
  • Other key sources

A virtual Town Hall is scheduled for Wednesday, March 18 from 11:00 am to noon to hear from you and answer your questions about research operations. Questions may be submitted in advance here. Representatives from Washington University Emergency Management, Environmental Health & Safety, Human Research Protection Office, Sponsored Projects Accounting, Clinical Research Office, Joint Research Office for Contracts, Office of Sponsored Research Services and the Division of Comparative Medicine also will give short presentations and will be available to answer questions.

We are strongly recommending that your research group/lab develop continuity plans in case research personnel are unable to come to work or the situation here in St. Louis worsens. Advice on how to develop a continuity plan is posted on the OVCR website, and each school at Washington University may decide to make these mandatory, or may ask for different information, depending on the type of research that occurs in each school. In addition, Emergency Management is conducting workshops to help you make continuity plans to help minimize disruptions to your research, in the event that some personnel are unable to come to work. A schedule of the workshops is here, and we encourage you to register.

If you do human subjects research and/or clinical trials, new guidance has been posted on the OVCR website (link). We are recommending: screening participants by phone prior to their visit; moving as much as possible to remote access; and postponing non-essential visits.

We appreciate your understanding and attention as research guidance can change rapidly as the COVID-19 situation evolves. Also, please continue to follow updates and FAQs from Washington University on the coronavirus.wustl.edu website.

Please contact my chief of staff, Johnnie Cartwright (cartwrightj@wustl.edu) if you have questions or concerns regarding your research.

I thank you for your cooperation and support as we work to map out our path forward.


Jennifer Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research
Washington University

Update as of March 16, 2020, 8:48 a.m.

As schools are starting to cancel and government entities are recommending social distancing, we want to ensure that our community is taking appropriate measures to safeguard the well-being of the Olin community.

Due to the extenuating circumstances related to COVID-19, employees may request a short-term virtual work arrangement for the remainder of March. Before working remotely, connect with your supervisor to discuss the arrangement and any questions you might have.

When working virtually, you will be expected to maintain the same office hours, participate in all regularly scheduled meetings and be easily accessible via email, phone or Microsoft Teams chat (if your team utilizes this tool). Please use Zoom to conduct meetings when needed. Also, make sure that you have reviewed how to use the WashU VPN and update your call forwarding and voicemail to be sent to email.

Olin HR is working on an overall Olin telecommuting FAQ as well as an official process with Central HR for telework.

Please note, the university will be providing additional related information and guidance for faculty and staff soon.


Getting ready to work from home

Discuss with your supervisor and complete the necessary paperwork.

Prepare a list of items that you will need at home.

  • Laptop
  • Chargers
  • Physical folders and documents

Check your tech.

  • Is your Internet working?
  • Can you access electronic files by using VPN?
  • Do you have access to Zoom?
  • Have you taken part in an Olin-hosted Zoom training?
  • Can you access any project management tool that your department may be using? Examples include Microsoft Project, Microsoft Teams, Hive, etc.

Get up-to-speed on telecommuting best practices.

How to set up call forwarding on your office phone

If you plan on working from home, but would like calls directed to your cellphone when someone calls your office line, please follow the instructions below (written up by telecom), or watch this YouTube video.

  1. Press the call Forward soft key located on the upper left hand corner of the display (third option down from the top).
  2. Use the Up and Down buttons on the Navigation rocker to select which type of forwarding (busy, don’t answer, all calls) you wish to activate.
  3. Type in the phone number you wish calls to your office phone to forward to, and then use the Up and Down buttons on the Navigation rocker again to highlight the “On” radio button.
  4. Press the center when the checkmark appears in the “On” box. Then press the button under “Save” at the bottom of the screen to activate the call forwarding. When this is done, the Message Waiting Light at the top right corner of your phone set will be lit, the button to the left of the "Call Fwd" tag will be lit, and the "Call Fwd" tag will have a red tip pointing left.

Few things to note:

  • To turn this feature off, you need to be at your phone in your office
  • If someone leaves a voicemail, the voicemail will be on your cellphone and not your office phone. Make sure your voicemail prompt on your cellphone is professional.The person calling your office line will not know that the call is being routed to your cell phone
  • The person calling your office line will not know that the call is being routed to your cellphone.

In addition to forwarding your phone...

You can also answer your phone on your computer. Instructions are downloadable from here and here. Here is a link to download the software. The default password is Welcome!. Super simple to set up and use. You just need a headset. NOTE: Please read and complete the DTS – Danforth Softphone Compliance form through this Learn at Work link. Telecommunication Services will not be able to provide softphone capability until the form has been completed. You also need a headset or earbuds to use a softphone.



FAQ for Faculty and Staff

If you don't find the answer you're looking for, use our Submit a Question form

Last updated on March 16, 2020

What do I do if I am sick?

Stay home, especially if you suspect you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it. Notify Occupational Health at 314-362-3528 (occupationalhealthservice@wusm.wustl.edu) prior to returning to work to discuss the next steps. For further information, please use this link to the Occupational Health Services website. Link to their COVID-19 FAQs.

What do I do if I am still in my orientation period and get sick?

The use of sick time prior to the end of the six-month orientation period will be allowed during this time IF it is for COVID-19 related illness or to care for a family member with COVID-19. Follow the same steps as above if you are ill with, or have been exposed to, COVID-19.

What do I do if I have, or am planning, to travel?

Non-essential university travel is prohibited except for within the confines of the St. Louis area. Essential university travel must be approved by the dean prior to departure and must be registered here with Emergency Management. Personal travel is strongly discouraged to international destinations and domestic destinations with an elevated risk. If you have traveled to areas of elevated risk, you must contact Occupational Health for screening and clearance before returning to campus. You may be required to do a 14-day self-quarantine.

What if my department is expecting a visitor from off campus?

At this time, we are strongly encouraging alternate arrangements, specifically virtual visits. If a visitor is coming from an area of elevated risk, they will not be permitted on campus, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms. Anyone who has had direct contact with a patient with confirmed COVID-19, or is under care for suspected exposure, is not allowed to visit campus within 14 days of the contact. Please click here for a list of travel-restricted areas. All visitors must be notified of this policy prior to their visit and have their status confirmed.

For other questions or concerns, please contact Joyce Montgomery or Kristen Jones.

Olin Faculty FAQ

If you don't find the answer you're looking for, use our Submit a Question form

Last updated March 13, 2020

Class Meetings

Do I have to hold classes virtually?


Does online teaching apply to all Olin programs?

Yes. All undergraduate and graduate programs are going online. You will be notified separately if you are involved in non-degree executive education.

Do I have to use Zoom?

Yes, for consistency, all online classes are delivered via Zoom.

Do my classes need to be at the same time as they were face-to-face?

Yes. Please deliver ALL sections of your class just as if you were in the classroom. We need to maintain the same course schedules for the benefit of the students.

Should I alert my students during this extended spring break?

Please publish to Canvas an updated syllabus by Friday, March 20, and communicate to your students that it has been posted. Please be as detailed as possible with respect to the remainder of the semester and include: updated schedule and topics (note that we are losing a week). If you already know how students will be assessed, please include that. If you are still working on that, please have that posted by March 26th, 2020.

What if I have to purchase headphones or a better camera?

If you need to update headphones or a camera, please go to the University website to be sure you get the Missouri sales tax exemption. Please do not purchase new computers/I-Pads/laptops on your own, the same rules apply here and you need to work with WashU IT and the Vice Dean of Faculty for approval.

My class lecture was previously recorded using MediaSite, will this continue?

No, lecture capture via MediaSite will no longer be supported as we work to transition to a new lecture capture system. Please host all your course meetings via Zoom and use Zoom to record and distribute your course meetings.

Will the Weston Career Center continue to provide support for classroom speakers?

  • Weston Career Center’s Corporate Relations team will be working closely with faculty to:
  • Continue to support current plans for faculty to have in classroom speakers via Zoom and/or video
  • Work with external speakers to utilize Zoom or pre-record as necessary
  • By request, secure additional speakers for on-line Zoom classroom/video speaking engagements
  • Please reach out to Jessica Martsolf, jessicamartsolf@wustl.edu or 314.935.3471 or Dorothy Kittner, kittner@wustl.edu or 314-935-6365
  • Jessica will plan to work with your respective faculty support member to help with the process as needed


Do I have to get Zoom training?

Yes. Please make sure to attend at least one, if not more, online training session for using Zoom in your classes. Keep an eye out here for list of Zoom Trainings.

For All Your Olin Zoom Needs

What if a student has technical difficulty during the course?

You should pre-announce that the class will be recorded each time, and that technical difficulties cannot be resolved in real time owing to the number of participants in each class. Please direct them to the recording.

Should I record every section of every class?


Where should I be to run my Zoom class session?

The preferred option is your office or home office. We would prefer that you do not use the classroom as getting support during your class will be easier if you are in front of your own computer. Also, not all classrooms have the necessary equipment. If you’d like to use the classroom -- contact General Services first to make sure that can be supported.

What headphones should I use?

Any headphones that work with your cell phone for phone calls are sufficient to run a Zoom meeting. You can choose to run the audio through a phone call rather than through computer audio.

What if something goes wrong during my class?

First off, don’t panic. Breathe. Try to restart the zoom session. If it fails for one section, but not another, provide a link to the recording of the session that did work at Canvas as a backup for your students.

Support for Students

Where should I post communications to my students?

Please channel all course communications, distribution of course materials, and collection of electronic submissions through Canvas to ensure that communications are archived and accessible. Avoid using email for sending and receiving assignments. If you need help with Canvas, please reach out to your administrative assistant.

How will students learn Zoom?

Students will get updates on how to use Zoom and be sent to videos and their own FAQ to navigate questions.

What should I do about office hours?

Please use Zoom to host smaller group help sessions, and either zoom/email/phone for any one-on-one appointments. Best practice is to set up one link for office hours.

Should I meet with students who are still in STL?

Some undergraduate and graduate students will be remaining in STL and the question of meeting with them may arise. You are encouraged to meet with them virtually unless truly necessary to meet in person. In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the university is working to have as few students on campus as possible and to reduce unnecessary group gatherings.


Do my finals have to be online?

Yes. At this time, students will not be returning to campus to take final exams. Exams will be conducted online. Stay tuned to this page for additional information, where we will update you as more information on testing technology becomes available.

Who will help me convert to online exams?

Stay tuned for more information related to running online testing. For many faculty that use a textbook, be sure to check out the Instructor Resources from the book’s publisher. For example, Pearson Publishers have many online testing resources.

Travel and STAR

These question and answers added March 20, 2020, 12:47 p.m.

Can I get reimbursed for airline fees and cancellation charges?

Yes. Reimbursements can be made for airline cancellation fees or non-refundable tickets, with the exception of cases where the airline provides a credit toward future travel. In order to reimburse, we will need documentation from the airline.

What about conferences scheduled for after the university travel ban?

In all likelihood, the travel ban is going to be extended beyond the current dates. While this isn’t certain, we ask that as you are contemplating a registration for a conference after the current ban, please look to see if registration fees and other deposits are refundable. If not, we ask that you delay registration for these until we know more.

Doctoral Students

Can doctoral students be in their offices and workspaces?

Yes. Doctoral students are full time participants of the school and they have access to their offices and workspaces just as faculty and staff do.

Should doctoral classes be offered in person or delivered by Zoom?

All doctoral student teaching should be delivered by Zoom, just like all other undergraduate and graduate coursework.

Can I meet with PhD students in person, or must these be virtual?

Please always offer a virtual option. But if both parties are comfortable with an in-person meeting, then this is OK.