Coronavirus Response Update

March 09, 2020 / PSU-AAUP

Oregon’s response to this potential public health crisis in our state continues to evolve almost daily. The Oregon Health Authority, Oregon Department of Education, and the Higher Education Coordinating Commission issued yesterday a joint communication with guidelines and best practices.

Last week, PSU-AAUP shared information about your rights in order to answer questions that naturally come up as you prepare contingency plans. We share that information again this week.

There are several possible situations, some for which we have policies and systems in place to deal with, and other situations that will need to be managed as they arise. 

  • If I am sick or immuno-compromised and don’t feel safe at the university? Stay home, and use sick leave; if you are out of sick leave you can draw from our donated sick leave bank. Click here for the form to request leave.

  • If I need to care for a sick family member? Stay at home and use sick leave; if you are out of sick leave, you can draw from our donated sick leave bank.

  • If the university declares a closure:

    • Time away does not count against your PTO (personal time off)

    • No need to report, in-person, or remotely

What if you want to plan ahead, and change plans for delivering your spring-term courses? The Office of Academic Innovation (OAI) has put together a helpful list of suggestions, which includes options for continuing synchronous, real-time, lecture and discussion for you entire class, or smaller discussion groups.

And, what if your child’s daycare and/or school closes and you must stay home? 

PSU is still developing a response plan, so there is not a clear answer to this question. The simplest recommendation we have: if it is work that normally requires that you physically be at PSU (e.g., teach a class), write your chair, or supervisor, informing them of the situation, and requesting permission to make alternative plans to get the work done from home (e.g., give students alternative work in lieu of class). With this permission, you will not have to draw on any of your leaves. 

We understand that many of us, with news of a first school closure, you may need to make plans before PSU has its plans ready. Our recommendation is that you do what is best for you and your family; use your best judgment; stay home as needed, and use PTO/donated sick leave bank or work remotely. Contact AAUP-PSU if you need any help managing the situation. Again, you may also be able to set up remote work for most of your duties if you choose to do so that you don’t have to use sick days. 

Faculty and staff began to hear from deans and directors about some possible plans of what may occur during the outbreak. If any of these plans seem to involve a significant additional burden (e.g., being asked at the last minute to redesign your courses to move them online), we have the right, under our Collective Bargaining Agreement, to ask for additional compensation, or negotiate to reduce your overall workload.

PSU-AAUP will make sure there are not unintended adverse impacts of any university plan. If you hear of a plan that causes reasons for concern, please contact the PSU-AAUP at

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