UAFS COVID-19 Response:

COVID19 response graphicIn light of recent developments relating to the coronavirus, which causes the flu-like illness COVID-19, the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is working to prepare the campus community for any student, faculty, or staff accommodations that may be necessary. Health and safety continue to be our top priorities.
 
The university is actively monitoring the COVID-19 situation and aligning our preparation and prevention planning with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization, the Arkansas State Department of Health, and the University of Arkansas system. 
 
While no members of the UAFS community have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and there is no evidence of exposure on our campus, the university is preparing for the potential of local transmission and has made the decision to move classes to remote delivery for the remainder of the Spring semester.
 
Our chancellor, Dr. Terisa Riley, will continue to send messages to campus regarding changes, updates, and the university’s planning process. 
 
University leaders are communicating daily to develop and refine short- and long-term contingency plans and to respond rapidly to emerging issues. As new information becomes available, this page will be updated, and we will communicate via email and social media.
 
The university has created a Resource Guide for adapting to online course delivery and navigating aid processes during the COVID-19 crisis, and to help meet your academic, health and wellness, digital engagement, technology, and financial needs.
 

During these chaotic times, we know students may face unexpected financial burdens, and as a university we will do our best to help students meet those needs. The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith Foundation's Student Emergency Fund allows us to provide immediate support to students who encounter unforeseen financial emergencies that may otherwise prevent them from continuing their education. These funds do not need to be repaid, as the program aims to address a wide array of critical student needs in a time of emergency - especially one such as the COVID-19 crisis.

 

 
 
 

UAFS Students & Families:

Is the university closing?

  • The university is not closing. University operations will continue, staff and faculty will continue their work remotely. 
  • Housing and dining services will continue with limited offerings and advanced safety and disinfecting efforts in place to protect students and staff. 
  • The Boreham Library will offer primarily digital services including live-chat and e-book resources.
  • The 24-hour computer labs in the library and campus center will remain open. The labs will be sanitized regularly and computers cleaned after each use.
  • Campus events will be suspended until the end of the semester.
  • Advising appointments will be completed remotely.

 

Is the university moving all of its classes to remote instruction?

  • Yes. University faculty have used the extended spring break period of March 16-20 to prepare to offer courses online, through virtual simulations or otherwise remote instruction by March 30. 
  • This website will be updated with any new information. 

Will I have to pay a distance education fee?

  • No. As this is an unprecedented move, the university will not charge online learners the traditional distance education fee.

Does this apply to WATC and concurrent students?

  • Governor Asa Hutchinson has announced that all K-12 schools in Arkansas will be closed until at least April 17.
  • WATC, regional workforce, and concurrent classes offered by UAFS will move to remote instruction as possible.

Why did UAFS decide to move to remote instruction?

  • The COVID-19 situation in the state of Arkansas and around the country is rapidly evolving. With new positive cases in the state nearly every day, this move is in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff. 

What does an alternative educational experience mean?

  • Alternative educational experiences are assignments given by faculty in lieu of strictly online course delivery.  For example, some students are able to use simulation laboratories for health sciences classes and that is outside of Blackboard.  Faculty will make decisions about those educational experiences and communicate them to their students. 

Are there any adjustments to grading policies?

Yes. In an effort to prevent potentially negative, educational outcomes for students, and in consultation with Student Government Association, Faculty Senate, and University Staff Council, Chancellor Riley approved offering an emergency Pass/Withdrawal grade option for students enrolled this full semester and for the second 8-week spring semester courses.

  • Students will receive letter grades for all spring 2020 classes, and after final grades are posted students will have three choices: 
  1.  Keep the letter grades in their classes,
  2. Elect to have letter grades from courses they have passed changed from a letter grade to “Passing” (P), or
  3. Withdraw (W) from the course. 
  • Students may complete the Pass/Withdrawal Request Form after final grades are posted.
  • All requests must be received by the Office of the Registrar by 5 p.m., June 5, 2020. 

The full text of Dr. Riley's announcement regarding grades is available here: https://news.uafs.edu/news/5256

How will I complete my tests?

  • Students may be tested through alternative means of assessment or may use Examity or Blackboard, with or without Respondus LockDown Browser to test.
  • Testing methods will be communicated by each professor.
  • The ASC is not currently open for testing; however, online tutoring services are available as are academic coaching consultations.
  • ADA Coordinator Dana Andreassen is available remotely for students needing assistance.  She can be reached at 479-788-7577 or Dana.Andreassen@uafs.edu

What if I need to take a PSB test?

If you are unable to schedule or take the PSB (Professional Service Bureau) exam, it will not harm/count against your entry into the college of Health Sciences this Fall. Please stay in touch with your advisor. You will be informed of a path forward once all decisions have been made.

Will I have to move out of my dorm?

  • No. The university is not closing its doors.
  • Students who live in campus residences are not being asked to leave their residences. 
  • We know on-campus housing frequently serves as the primary or permanent residence of students who have aged out of the Arkansas foster care system, international students, married couples, and students who have health or safety risks at their parents’ homes.
  • The UAFS housing office is available to answer additional housing questions at 479-788-7340or housing@uafs.edu
  • International students who have further questions or concerns may also contact the Office of International Relations at 479-788-7977 or email international@uafs.edu.

How will I complete advising for next semester's courses?

  • Although you should not plan to meet with your advisor in person between March 13-29, please contact your advisor via your university email account to make arrangements to schedule your advising appointment remotely. 
  • If you have an existing appointment, contact your advisor immediately to determine the method that best works to keep that current appointment.
  • UAFS is committed to doing everything within our control to adhere to our published schedules of courses. 

Will I be able to graduate on time?

  • As long as your degree requirements have been met, your degree will be conferred as scheduled.
  • The Spring 2020 Commencement ceremony will be held at a later date.

Should I order my Cap and Gown remotely?

  • As we make decisions about commencement we will communicate with you directly about when the ceremony will take place and how regalia can be purchased for that event. 
  • Please know that per Barnes & Noble policy, graduation related items, including the cap, gown, and tassel, are non-refundable. Exchanges may be made if a different size is needed. 

How do I return my rented textbooks?

All students with Rental Textbooks can visit our website at www.uafs.bncollege.com and click on Return Rental Textbookshalfway down on the main page. It explains exactly how to receive a free UPS return label.

What do I do if I feel ill?

  • If you develop flu-like symptoms, please stay at home and contact your primary care physician or the UAFS Powell Student Health Clinic, a free health and wellness resource for eligible students, at 479-788-7444or studenthealth@UAFS.edu
  • Faculty and instructional staff have received communication from Provost Hale, who advised them to be flexible with academic assignments if students are ill. 

 

Will I have safe access to food if I remain on campus?

  • Carry out and Grab-And-Go options will remain available from dining services.
  • Dining services will arrange meal delivery to on-campus students who are ill.
  • Dining Services employees change out service utensils, change gloves, and wipe down high touch areas every 30 minutes, have switched to entirely single-use dishware, banned refillable cups and will only offer seasonings and condiments are in single-use packets.
  • Self-service stations have been closed to avoid cross-contamination.
  •  This website will be updated with details as they are received from our food service provider.
  • The Lion Pride Food Pantry will continue to be stocked daily.
  • If you have needs beyond what the pantry can provide, please contact the Dean of Students for assistance at 479-788-7310 or dave.stevens@uafs.edu.

How do I request a dining delivery if I am ill?

  • Provide Aramark with at least one hour's notice for delivery.
  • Call 788-7313 to order your meal. Provide your Student Name, UAFS ID number and any dietary restrictions you may have. 
  • Meals will only be delivered to the Den Housing Lobby or Sebastian Commons Lobby. 
  • Breakfast delivery is available from 8 a.m. - 9 a.m. Lunch delivery from 11 a.m. - 12 p.m. Dinner delivery from 5 p.m. - 6 p.m.
  • All meals will be based on the current daily menu options and come with disposable utensils and appropriate condiments. 

Can I access the Counseling Center?

  • Yes, the Counseling Center will provide services, but students should first call the Counseling Center to make an appointment for either remote or in-person counseling at 479-788-7398
  • Students will have the opportunity to access counseling services via telehealth. Students wishing to access this service should call our Counseling Center at 479-788-7398. The Counseling Center staff will provide the student with detailed instructions on how to access the Doxyme platform.

Can I access the Health Clinic?

 

 

How do I access the internet if I don’t have the equipment at home?

  • Please complete the Technology Assessment in your student email, sent by Chancellor Riley Thursday, March 19.
  • The following computer labs will remain open and available for students, faculty, and staff:
    • The 24-hour computer lab in the Boreham Library
    • The 24-hour computer lab in the Campus Center

 

Are there low-cost options for internet access at my home?

  • Many area internet providers are offering discounted service plans to help during this time. Contact your local provider to see if you are eligible for any discounts or short-term offers.

How do I find my courses online?

  • All UAFS courses have a landing page called a "Shell" in Blackboard. 
  • To access your classes visit MyUAFS and select the Students Tab.
  • Select the “Log into Blackboard Learn” option on the left side of the Students screen. 

 

 

What if I am not familiar with Blackboard?

 

 

What if I struggle in online classes?

  • Provost Georgia Hale has discussed the difficult transition with faculty members to encourage them to work with students who are struggling.
  • Faculty have also been encouraged to be flexible with students who are ill.
  • We know this situation is beyond our students' control and we do not want you to be penalized for it.
  • If UAFS moves to remote instruction, some faculty would be teaching online or remotely for the first time, and students are encouraged to be patient and to communicate concerns directly with their faculty members.

 

Can I drop a Spring 2020 course without coming to campus?

  • Yes. Courses can be dropped until April 10 via email from your UAFS email account to registrar@uafs.edu. The email should list your full name, student ID number, course number, name and CRN of the course(s) you wish to drop. The email should be copied to your professional advisor (if advised through ROAR) or your faculty advisor (if advised through the college advising center) and to the Financial Aid Office at finaid@uafs.edu

 

If I am enrolled in Federal Work-Study, will I be compensated?

Guidance from the Department of Education notes that students who are enrolled in the Federal Work-Study program will continue to be paid for the average number of hours they are scheduled, even if they cannot report to work.

 

Am I required to report to work if I am a student worker?

  • No. Students who normally work on campus will not work on campus for the remainder of the semester. (Exceptions may be made for students employed through SSC, Aramark, or Barnes and Noble)
  • Please check in with your immediate supervisor if you would like to discuss work that may be accomplished remotely.

 

Will Financial Aid be flexible if I get sick or instruction goes online?

  • The U.S. Education Department intends to give colleges and universities flexibility on financial aid requirements in response to COVID-19.
  • A March 5 directive from the Education Department’s Office of Postsecondary Education addresses Title IV regulations regarding students who are ill or quarantined, recalled from travel-abroad experiences or can no longer attend classes, internships or clinical rotations due to the coronavirus.

 

Is there any Emergency Assistance available to students?

  • Yes, the entire emergency assistance program can function remotely.
  • Contact Dr. Dave Stevens, Dean of Students, for more information at 479-788-7310 or dave.stevens@uafs.edu.

 

Will the Student Research Symposium be held?

  • Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the Student Research Symposium.

 

Will study abroad be impacted?

  • All university-related travel is suspended for the next 60 days effective immediately.
  • International student trips scheduled for this semester have been postponed.

 

    How can I request a transcript remotely?

     

    UAFS Faculty:

    How should I prepare for online teaching?

    • Course shells have been created within Blackboard, our learning management system, for every applicable course at UAFS to faculty to teach their classes online and stay on track for the semester. 
    • During the March 16-20 spring break extension, work with Technology Services and faculty peers to develop your online content and strategize how you can bring the most important aspects of your course online. Through collaborative software, there are many more options to replicate in-class experiences online.
    • University staff members are available to support you in transferring content, optimizing content for web and remote operations.
    • Faculty and students may also utilize Blackboard Collaborate to conduct virtual “face-to-face” meetings and training.
    • The university and Blackboard have made numerous training modules available for faculty who would like more advanced training.
      • The Blackboard Learn Help page offers the latest information about releases, product updates, and building blocks.
      • The Blackboard Community page offers a place to exchange tips, information, and solutions with fellow Blackboard product users from across the globe.
         

    Where can I get help to move my courses online?

    • Instructional Support is offering the following training sessions next week in Library 202:
      • Using Discussion Boards: Monday -- 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. and 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
      • Using Examity:  Monday -- 3 p.m. - 4 p.m. and Tuesday -- 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.
      • Using Collaborate Training: Tuesday -- 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. 

    How can I support my students as they adjust to online learning?

    • Attempt to engage with EAB Navigate alerts early and often to help students stay aware of potential issues and help advisors keep up with students who are struggling in realtime. 
    • Be compassionate with students who are learning remotely for the first time.
    • Ask students to let you know if they are struggling with the new format. Encourage open communication.
    • Ask students if they have technology needs.
    • The university has also extended a technology survey to assist in meeting those needs before classes resume on March 30.

        How do I advise students remotely?

        • Student appointments should be held via FERPA compliant services such as phone, Google Meetings, or Blackboard Collaborate.

        • If you have scheduled appointments, please reach out to the students to schedule the appointment remotely.

        What is the deadline for faculty contracts?

        • Contracts have been mailed out and are due back by May 1. 
        • Contracts can be returned to the Human Resources Department by mail or can be dropped off in a sealed envelope at the Mail Room in Plant Operations at 500 North 51st Street. The Mail Room will be open for drop-offs and pick-ups, Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

        How will adjunct faculty be affected?

        • If you are currently teaching a UAFS class, your pay will not be affected by the changes that are being instituted as a result of COVID-19.
        • Your best source of information continues to be the department head over the discipline in which you are teaching. We are endeavoring to keep them informed, so they can keep you informed.

        Are COVID-19 screenings available?

        • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences will offer free screenings for all Arkansans who have questions about whether they may have the COVID-19 virus utilizing the HealthNow, its 24-hour digital connection to healthcare professionals. A screening tool with a series of questions will ask about symptoms, age, overall health, travel and other potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus and guide patients regarding the next steps if any. This may include a video session with a UAMS HealthNow provider, advice to contact local physicians for further evaluation and possible testing for the virus. 
        • The UAMS HealthNow platform will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide patients of all ages through a series of questions and next steps from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/.

        What should I do if I feel ill?

        • Anyone developing flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their physician. Do not come to work or class if you are ill.
        • The UAMS HealthNow platform will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide anyone who has concerns about having COVID-19 through a series of questions and next steps from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. That site is available at https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/.

         

        Have the University Health & Dental Plans made any changes in response to COVID-19?

        • Yes. In coordination with UMR and MedImpact the University Health Plan has taken the following steps. (Additional information about these steps is available on the UA System Benefits site.)
        • Testing services for COVID-19 are treated as other $0 preventative care services and available at no out-of-pocket expense to Plan members.
        • Existing pharmacy refill guidelines limiting refills to the point at which 80% of the medication should have been used have been waived for 30 days. This exception does not change prior authorization guidelines or dosing limits but should provide members with more flexibility.
        • Access to the United Telemedicine/Teladoc program which provides 24/7 access to a board-certified physician through has been expanded to all UAS campuses. Standard member copayments apply.
        • Benefits-eligible employees now have no-cost access the United Health basic Member Assistance Program (MAP) regardless of their health plan enrollment.
        • Local provider INN Telephonic and Video-based office visit services are available. Standard member copayments for office visits will apply.
        • Local provider INN Dental Telephonic and Video-based office visit services are also available.

         

        What leave should I use if I need to stay home?

        • Until further notice, the University will continue to follow the leave use guidelines as provided in Board Policies 420.1, 420.2 and 420.3.  Specific to a common question, at this time, the authority under state law does not exist for paid administrative leave. 
        • In some cases, individuals may be quarantined by the AR Department of Health, their physician or other health care authority.  They may not be ill or experience symptoms of the illness but will be unavailable for work.  As practical for each role and as meets the needs of the individual campus, work-from-home assignments (which would include regular job assignments, available campus on-line training, or similar types of arrangements) are encouraged in those situations.  If work-from-home assignments are not possible, accrued leave (sick and vacation) and leave-without-pay will be used in the normal manner.   
        • The University will continue to monitor this situation closely and will follow the guidance of the Arkansas Department of Health with updates provided as available.   We encourage employees to seek and follow the guidance of their physician as they would with other health care concerns.
           

        My children's school has closed unexpectedly, what should I do?

        • Faculty members who are faced with childcare concerns as a result of their children being out of school should contact their department heads and direct supervisors. Your supervisors will ensure that you can work remotely through April 17 to provide care for your children.

        What does the Governor's Public Health Emergency mean for me?

        Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson finalized two polices Friday:

        What does Governor’s Executive Order 20-06 mean for UAFS?

         

        Pursuant to Executive Order 20-06, to the extent any of the following “in any way prevents, hinders, or delays the agency’s [institution’s] ability to render maximum assistance to the citizens of this state while they are adhering to guidelines to prohibit the spread of disease or seeking assistance from the state to obtain benefits or services related to health, education, employment, or any service required by the state in response to or to mitigate the spread of COVID-109”, the University of Arkansas System of which UAFS is a part has suspended the following statutes, and associated rules, as applicable, from March 17, 2020 through April 15, 2020:

        1. Certain Procurement Matters – 19-11-229(competitive sealed bidding), 230 (competitive sealed proposals), 249 (cooperative purchasing), 265 (submission of contracts required), 267 (development and use of performance-based contracts), 271 (compliance reporting) and 274 (reporting required)
        2. Higher Education Classification and Compensation – 21-5-1403 (regular salary procedures and restrictions), 1411 (shift differential), 1412 (compensation differential), 1413 (salary administration grids) and 1414 (extra help positions)
        3. Certain Provisions related to Licensure of Healthcare Professionals – 17-87-101 et seq., 17-95-101 et seq. and 17-91-102 (nurses, physicians and osteopathic physicians)
        4. Higher Education Expenditure Restrictions – 6-63-305 (new or additional positions), 306 (additional compensation for additional duties), 308 (overtime for classified positions) and 314 (extra help restrictions)
        5. Salaries and Payroll Disbursement – 19-4-1604 (salary from two agencies), 1607 (monthly, bi-weekly, weekly and hourly salaries), 1608 (personal services less than 12 months), 1610 (retroactive pay prohibited) and 1612 (overtime pay)
        6. Attendance and Leave – 21-4-204/205 (annual leave), 207 (sick leave), 210 (leave without pay) and 6-63-602 (catastrophic leave)
        7. Prohibited Contracts and Investments – 25-1-503
        8. Commissioner of State Lands Inventory Requirement – 22-5-210
        9. Certain Provisions of FOIA (regarding the time for records to be produced) – 25-19-105
        10. Review of Economic Feasibility of Bonds/Loans – 6-61-202(a)(7)
        11. Telemedicine Act – 17-80-401et seq.
        12. Hospital Pharmacies Act – 17-92-601 et seq.
        13. Hospital Reporting Requirements (regarding the time for reporting to state medical board) – 17-95-104(a)(1)
        14. Graduate Registered Physician Act – 17-95-901 et seq.
        15. Duties of Disbursing Officer – 19-4-1206(b)(3)(B)

        Relevant rules associated with the above identified statutes
        ASBM Regulation 2.8 – establishment of patient-physician relationship
        ASBM Regulation 37 – residents
        ASBM Regulation 38 – telemedicine

        What does the Governor’s Executive Order mean for Accounts Payable and Procurement?

        Accounts Payable

        19-4-706. Interest and carrying charges

        • State agencies, including exempt agencies, may enter into contracts that contemplate the payment of interest, late charges, but only when such late charges are incurred sixty (60) days after payment is due, or carrying charges under such rules as may be promulgated by the State Procurement Director.
        • If we have a complete shutdown of the campus, there could be invoices that would exceed the 60 days if essential employees are not allowed to access the campus to process payments. 

        Procurement

        19-11-229. Competitive sealed bidding

        • This statute requires soliciting bids for procurements $75,000+, posting them electronically, and only accepting sealed hard copies of responses at a designated date and time. This entire process could delay or hinder necessary procurements. Exemption would allow us to treat procurements of $75,000+ as competitive bids (three quotes). 

        19-11-234. Competitive Bidding

        • This statute requires soliciting three bids for procurements of $20,000+ and less than or equal to $65,000, by receiving quotes via direct mail, telephone, telegraph, written form or electronic media. Exemption of the requirement for three competitive bids would allow us to complete procurement sin this dollar range more quickly and efficiently.

        Are there any restrictions on university travel?

        • Yes. All university-related travel is suspended for the next 60 days effective immediately. This includes athletic and academic competitions, conferences, presentations, gatherings, and events. 

        What if I’ve already booked a university-related trip?

        • Many large-scale events have already canceled. Please work with the sponsoring organization to request a refund. 
        • If your travel has already been paid for but will occur within the 60-day suspension period, please contact the university business office for guidance. 

         

        UAFS Staff:

        Will staff work remotely going forward?

        Yes. From March 20 through April 17 staff will work remotely as they are able.

        How will hourly employees be paid for remote work?

        • If you are working remotely, supervisors will need to enter your time worked in Timeforce.
        • Essential employees who are permitted to work on campus should continue to clock in and out.
        • If you are using leave (sick or annual,) you will enter that time in Timeforce as usual.
        • Employees could have a combination of all three on their timesheet.

         

        Do I need to keep an exact log of my time?

        • This is being left to the discretion of each supervisor.
        • Please contact your supervisor to discuss the expectations for your team.
        • Supervisors: You will need to make a note on the first entry only indicating the employee is working remotely.

         

        Can part-time staff work remotely?

        Yes. Follow the same procedures as full-time hourly staff.

         

        Will I still sign off on my timesheet?

        Yes. Employees and supervisors will still be required to certify timesheets. This can be done remotely from any device with internet access.

        The next timesheet approval will need to be done by March 30.

         

        What if I lost my Timeforce password?

        Contact Ashley or Effie by e-mail at Ashley.sosniecki@uafs.edu or Effie.lynn@uafs.edu
         

        Who do I contact if I have other HR questions?

        Since HR staff may also be working remotely during this time please contact Staci Zimmer at staci.zimmer@uafs.edu.

         

        I am an advisor. Will I advise remotely?

        • Student appointments should not be held face-to-face over the next two weeks.
        • If you have scheduled appointments, please reach out to the students to schedule by phone or through Blackboard Collaborate.

        Is university travel suspended?

        • Yes. All university-related travel is suspended for the next 60 days effective immediately. This includes athletic and academic competitions, conferences, presentations, gatherings, and events. 

        What if I’ve already booked a university-related trip?

        • Most events, conferences, etc., have already been canceled. Please work with the sponsoring organization to request a refund. 
        • If your travel has already been paid for but will occur within the 60-day ban period, please contact the university business office for guidance. 

        Are COVID-19 screenings available?

        • The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) will offer free screenings for all Arkansans who have questions about whether they may have the COVID-19 virus utilizing the HealthNow, its 24-hour digital connection to healthcare professionals. A screening tool with a series of questions will ask about symptoms, age, overall health, travel and other potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus and guide patients regarding the next steps if any. This may include a video session with a UAMS HealthNow provider, advice to contact local physicians for further evaluation and possible testing for the virus. 
        • The UAMS HealthNow platform will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide patients of all ages through a series of questions and next steps from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/.

        Have the University Health & Dental Plans made any changes in response to COVID-19?

        • Yes. In coordination with UMR and MedImpact the University Health Plan has taken the following steps. (Additional information about these steps is available on the UA System Benefits site.)
        • Testing services for COVID-19 are treated as other $0 preventative care services and available at no out-of-pocket expense to Plan members.
        • Existing pharmacy refill guidelines limiting refills to the point at which 80% of the medication should have been used have been waived for 30 days. This exception does not change prior authorization guidelines or dosing limits but should provide members with more flexibility.
        • Access to the United Telemedicine/Teladoc program which provides 24/7 access to a board-certified physician through has been expanded to all UAS campuses. Standard member copayments apply.
        • Benefits-eligible employees now have no-cost access the United Health basic Member Assistance Program (MAP) regardless of their health plan enrollment.
        • Local provider INN Telephonic and Video-based office visit services are available. Standard member copayments for office visits will apply.
        • Local provider INN Dental Telephonic and Video-based office visit services are also available.

        What should I do if I feel ill?

        • Anyone developing flu-like symptoms should stay home and contact their physician.
        • The UAMS HealthNow platform will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week to guide anyone who has concerns about having COVID-19 through a series of questions and next steps from a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or computer. That site is available at https://uamshealth.com/healthnow/.

        My children's school has closed unexpectedly, what should I do?

        • Staff members who are faced with childcare concerns as a result of their children being off school as ordered by the Arkansas Governor should contact their department heads and direct supervisors. Your supervisors will ensure that you can work remotely through April 17 to provide care for your children.

        What does the Governor's Public Health Emergency mean for me?

        Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson finalized two polices Friday:

        What does Governor’s Executive Order 20-06 mean for UAFS?

        Pursuant to Executive Order 20-06, to the extent any of the following “in any way prevents, hinders, or delays the agency’s [institution’s] ability to render maximum assistance to the citizens of this state while they are adhering to guidelines to prohibit the spread of disease or seeking assistance from the state to obtain benefits or services related to health, education, employment, or any service required by the state in response to or to mitigate the spread of COVID-109”, the University of Arkansas System of which UAFS is a part has suspended the following statutes, and associated rules, as applicable, from March 17, 2020 through April 15, 2020:

        1. Certain Procurement Matters – 19-11-229(competitive sealed bidding), 230 (competitive sealed proposals), 249 (cooperative purchasing), 265 (submission of contracts required), 267 (development and use of performance-based contracts), 271 (compliance reporting) and 274 (reporting required)
        2. Higher Education Classification and Compensation – 21-5-1403 (regular salary procedures and restrictions), 1411 (shift differential), 1412 (compensation differential), 1413 (salary administration grids) and 1414 (extra help positions)
        3. Certain Provisions related to Licensure of Healthcare Professionals – 17-87-101 et seq., 17-95-101 et seq. and 17-91-102 (nurses, physicians and osteopathic physicians)
        4. Higher Education Expenditure Restrictions – 6-63-305 (new or additional positions), 306 (additional compensation for additional duties), 308 (overtime for classified positions) and 314 (extra help restrictions)
        5. Salaries and Payroll Disbursement – 19-4-1604 (salary from two agencies), 1607 (monthly, bi-weekly, weekly and hourly salaries), 1608 (personal services less than 12 months), 1610 (retroactive pay prohibited) and 1612 (overtime pay)
        6. Attendance and Leave – 21-4-204/205 (annual leave), 207 (sick leave), 210 (leave without pay) and 6-63-602 (catastrophic leave)
        7. Prohibited Contracts and Investments – 25-1-503
        8. Commissioner of State Lands Inventory Requirement – 22-5-210
        9. Certain Provisions of FOIA (regarding the time for records to be produced) – 25-19-105
        10. Review of Economic Feasibility of Bonds/Loans – 6-61-202(a)(7)
        11. Telemedicine Act – 17-80-401et seq.
        12. Hospital Pharmacies Act – 17-92-601 et seq.
        13. Hospital Reporting Requirements (regarding the time for reporting to state medical board) – 17-95-104(a)(1)
        14. Graduate Registered Physician Act – 17-95-901 et seq.
        15. Duties of Disbursing Officer – 19-4-1206(b)(3)(B)

        Relevant rules associated with the above identified statutes
        ASBM Regulation 2.8 – establishment of patient-physician relationship
        ASBM Regulation 37 – residents
        ASBM Regulation 38 – telemedicine

        What does the Governor’s Executive Order mean for Accounts Payable and Procurement?

        Accounts Payable

        19-4-706. Interest and carrying charges

        • State agencies, including exempt agencies, may enter into contracts that contemplate the payment of interest, late charges, but only when such late charges are incurred sixty (60) days after payment is due, or carrying charges under such rules as may be promulgated by the State Procurement Director.
        • If we have a complete shutdown of the campus, there could be invoices that would exceed the 60 days if essential employees are not allowed to access the campus to process payments. 

        Procurement

        19-11-229. Competitive sealed bidding

        • This statute requires soliciting bids for procurements $75,000+, posting them electronically, and only accepting sealed hard copies of responses at a designated date and time. This entire process could delay or hinder necessary procurements. Exemption would allow us to treat procurements of $75,000+ as competitive bids (three quotes). 

        19-11-234. Competitive Bidding

        • This statute requires soliciting three bids for procurements of $20,000+ and less than or equal to $65,000, by receiving quotes via direct mail, telephone, telegraph, written form or electronic media. Exemption of the requirement for three competitive bids would allow us to complete procurement sin this dollar range more quickly and efficiently.

         

         

        Community:

        Are university events canceled?

        • All university-sponsored events have been canceled for the semester effective immediately.
        • University events and community events scheduled to be held on the university campus may be postponed, but will not be held during the spring semester.

         

        Will Season of Entertainment be canceled?

        All previously announced shows for the 2020 Season of Entertainment have been canceled or postponed.

        • The Fort Smith Convention Center has announced it will close its doors until April 30, so no events at that location will continue. 
        • Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story has been postponed to Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. Previously purchased tickets can be used at that time or reissued if necessary. 
        • UAFS Music performances have been suspended, but may be moved to a later date or moved to a virtual performance. 

        Will tickets be refunded?

        Can I still schedule a campus tour?

        • Campus tours will not be scheduled until at least April 17.

         

        Will the university facilitate Accuplacer tests for high school students?

        UAFS will not offer Accuplacer or other placement tests until at least April 17.