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COVID-19 Support

The COVID-19 pandemic has posed unprecedented challenges to the way we teach, research, and work together as an academic community. The following resources have been developed to support the work of teaching scholars.

Online Teaching Allowance and Modified Duties Pilot

Our undergraduate education is primarily residential, and we have returned to in-person teaching (except in established online programs). To give faculty flexibility and to recognize the pedagogical effectiveness of online innovations they've developed, faculty may teach as much as 30% of their course contact hours online (see Teaching Expectations & Academic Policies).

For faculty at severe risk of COVID-19, a pilot adaptation of the Modified Duties policy in 2022-23 allowed them to request an exemption from in-person teaching without taking a partial leave of absence. This change to the Modified Duties policy has been recommended for Board of Trustees approval by the Faculty Senate, Provosts, and President at their October 2023 meeting.

Faculty with ADA qualifying disabilities who also face risk from severe COVID-19 can apply for ADA accommodations (for more on these policies, see ADA Accommodations & Modified Duties).

Vaccination & Masking Requirements

All students, faculty and staff are required to be immunized and boosted against COVID-19, to help maintain the safety of our community. For the latest updates on the vaccination requirement, see Prepared SCU. You can upload your vaccination and booster records in Workday. The Prepared SCU website has a page dedicated to FAQs for faculty, including the current masking policy and what to do if you or your students are exposed or become ill.

Tenure Clock Extension

The Faculty Handbook allows two extensions of the tenure clock, at the discretion of the Provost ( In September 2020, the Provost invited applications for this extension. Faculty who applied at that time are still entitled to the two customary extensions allowed by the Faculty Handbook. Other probationary faculty are welcome to utilize the existing allowance of two extensions (Tenure Clock Extension Form). 

Pandemic-era Research Reboot Award for Probationary Tenure-stream Faculty

In December 2022, the Provost's Office announced the creation of a research reboot award to support pre-tenure Assistant and Associate Professors whose research has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All pre-tenure Assistant and Associate professors were eligible to apply for the award, including those who petitioned for tenure and promotion in September 2022, and those petitioning in September 2023. All 125 eligible faculty applied for and received the stipends, issued as supplemental pay for the pay period ending June 15, 2023. Awards were contingent on continued employment at Santa Clara University for the 2023-2024 academic year.

Pandemic Riders to Disciplinary Scholarship Standards

In 2020-2021, departments drafted "riders" to their disciplinary scholarship standards, memorializing the impact of the pandemic on research, publication, and professional networking opportunities in their disciplines. These statements are meant to remind faculty in subsequent evaluation cycles of the difficulties posed by the pandemic. 

Department Statements on the Evaluation of Online Teaching

In 2020-21, departments drafted statements of how they would evaluate online teaching, since this represented a significant pedagogical shift and learning trajectory for most faculty. An additional impetus was the Provost decision to exempt Winter, Spring and Summer 2020 Student Evaluations of Teaching (the numerical SET instrument) from faculty evaluation materials in any subsequent evaluation encompassing those terms (faculty may opt-in to include them, but they will not be published on the website or otherwise supplied to evaluators). In addition, Faculty Development has developed a teaching evaluation template that encourages the consideration of multiple factors and forms of evidence of teaching effectiveness, and is advocating that departments adapt the template as they draft teaching standards for faculty evaluation.

Winter, Spring and Summer 2020 SETs

For any evaluation that encompasses the winter, spring, and summer 2020 terms, Student Evaluation of Teaching (SET) reports will not be required in evaluation portfolios (announced in emails from the Provost on 4 August 2020 and 20 November 2020). Faculty may choose to include them (and if they do, should include reports for all courses in the term). Results from these reports will not be included in multi-year Provost Office SET Analysis reports supplied for reappointment, mid-probationary, tenure, and promotion cases. 

COVID-19 HR Resources

Human Resources has collected several resources in one place to help staff and faculty weather the stresses and logistics of the pandemic. In their "Financial Related Assistance" section, they provide a link to SCU's Employee Emergency Loan Application, which provides loans of up to $4,000 to benefits-eligible employees who have successfully completed one year of service and are in good standing. No interest is charged, and repayment periods depend on the amount borrowed.

Faculty and Staff COVID-19 Emergency Assistance Fund

The President, Provost, and other members of the community contributed funds to a Staff and Faculty Emergency Assistance Fund for caregiver support (faculty and staff caring for children, or for a parent, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse or domestic partner). This fund, available from Fall 2020 through Spring 2022, provided relief to help SCU employees recover from “reasonable and necessary” expenses directly attributable to the coronavirus pandemic, with the added provision that the expenses be related to caregiving. The fund was administered by leaders of the Faculty and Staff Senates.