Administrative Policy News for December 2021

The University is committed to an inclusive policy-making process. This quarterly communication highlights new or significantly revised administrative policies recently posted for the campus community to offer feedback.

Discrimination

Discrimination

This new Administrative Policy: Discrimination specifically states that all University members are prohibited from engaging in, or assisting or abetting another’s engagement in, discrimination and related retaliation (collectively “prohibited conduct”). The scope of this policy extends beyond employees and students to include third parties who are engaged in any University activity or program, or who are otherwise interacting with the University, including, but not limited to, volunteers, contractors, vendors, visitors, and guests.

There are three separate appendices to support the policy and cover the following topics:

  • Reasonable Accommodations for Disabilities
  • Pregnancy and Lactation
  • Religious Accommodations

The policy outlines the process by which reports of discrimination will be investigated and handled. Please take the time to leave your feedback on the Discrimination review page.

COVID-19 policy

Covid-19 Vaccination image

This new policy language balances the health and wellbeing need of the University as well as addresses externally imposed requirements.

Wrapping up tasks

Due to the time-sensitive nature of this policy, it was originally put into effect on November 18th. Even when a policy is expedited, policy owners are still required to complete all remaining steps after the policy is posted. For this policy, it meant wrapping up necessary conversations with key consultative bodies (Senate groups and our Equity Lens Policy Review Committee) and then on to the two formal steps: Policy Advisory Committee and the President’s Policy Committee (the decision-making body for policies undergoing a major change and all new policies.)

This work is now complete, and a critical step is to open the policy up for public comment. Even though the deadline by which vaccinations needed to be recorded or requests for exemptions were to be filed has passed, this policy will continue to apply to all new employees. The feedback we receive now will help shape that final language.

Update on Compliance

There was a fairly short timeline by which the reporting or exemption requests needed to be submitted. Out of the Covered Individuals for whom this policy applies, 93% have now fulfilled the requirements stated in the policy. Also, as a result of the opportunity presented by this policy, over 2,000 employees have recently been vaccinated. The Office of Human Resources and the HR Leads and staff on each campus and college have been working with those remaining individuals to support them in taking action to comply with the policy.

Feedback from you!

The revised policy draft now incorporates feedback from the other consultative groups and is available for your comments.

Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents

Administrative Policy: Activities Involving Potentially Hazardous Biological Agents was recently updated to better articulate the responsibilities and roles of the Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) and the two offices involved in biosafety. The Office of Biotechnology Activities Oversight (OBAO) in OVPR assists the IBC and Institutional Official fulfill their responsibilities to Board of Regents Policy and Federal guidelines, and the Biosafety and Occupational Health Department (BOHD) in UHS provides inspections, trainings, advice, standards, emergency plans, and consults with the IBC. Individuals who work with recombinant or synthetic nucleic acid molecules, infectious agents, or biologically-derived toxins are encouraged to review the revised policy for additional clarifications.