Coronavirus Guidance for CECS Students, Faculty and Staff

Updated March 19, 2020, 1:30 p.m.

All UCF Students, Faculty and Staff

UCF’s Coronovirus Website: Updates and Frequently Asked Questions

UCF’s latest coronavirus news updates, and university-wide FAQs regarding remote instruction, travel guidelines, closures and cancellations, international students, and much more. This website is updated frequently during this rapidly-evolving situation, and is the primary repository of information for students, faculty and staff. Be sure to check it often. The URL is https://www.ucf.edu/safety/coronavirus.

As of March 16, all classes are being taught online. Students are asked not return to campus for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. Essential campus operations are continuing, and most employees have begun working remotely.

UCF VPN instructions and how to access your computer from home.

Human Resources Information

Working Remotely –  Essential campus operations are continuing, and most employees, with the exception of employees whose jobs cannot be performed remotely, have been asked to work remotely starting March 18. Thorough guidelines are provided on UCF’s Working Remotely Information page within UCF’s Coronavirus Website

Student Employees – Student employees can work from home if their supervisor deems that remote work is feasible and can provide adequate supervision for the student. Federal Work-Study students may be paid even if they are unable to work this term due to COVID-19, according to updated guidance from the U.S. Department of Education. For full guidelines and the most updated information, visit UCF’s Coronavirus Website, then choose Employment FAQs.

Travel/ Self Quarantine – Follow the CDC’s guidelines if you are returning from Level II or Level III countries. Information can be found on UCF’s Coronavirus Website.

Graduate Teaching/Research Assistants – Treated as Faculty, follow the Faculty guidelines outlined on UCF’s Coronavirus Website

Faculty Search Process (Guidance from UCF Office of Institutional Equity)

Q:  What should my department do if we are about to invite to campus or have scheduled candidates who are finalists in a department search for in-person interviews as required by the University’s Search and Screening Guidelines?

A: For the short term due to the concerns regarding the coronavirus, departments may invite finalists to participate in the search process in a remote way using technology to create a process as close as possible to an on-campus interview experience.  It is important that if the decision is made to approach on campus interviews in this manner, the process is the same for all candidates, including those that are not traveling from out of the country.  That said, if any of the candidates are expected to travel from countries identified as restricted destinations by UCF (Azerbaijan, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Iran, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea and Turkmenistan), the department should arrange for all finalists’ interviews to be conducted remotely.

Q:  Now that the university has implemented modified operations for most employees to work remotely, what should my department do if we have not completed our finalists’ interviews in our search process?

A: If the department’s search process is in the midst of completing finalists’ in-person interviews, the department should, for the short term, conduct the remaining finalist interviews remotely by creating a process as close as possible to the other candidates’ on-campus interview experience.

CECS Faculty: Teaching

UCF’s Coronavirus Faculty Guidance – Visit the Provost’s website for the latest information at https://provost.ucf.edu The website includes:

Visit UCF Keep Teaching Website for information on teaching remotely including support workshops

CECS Computers for Faculty – With the change in the teaching paradigm and no on-campus class recordings, CECS has arranged for computers for Faculty and Staff to take home. There are about 40 laptops and over 100 all-in-one computers with built-in monitors. These are equipped with cameras and IT can assist with Zoom and VPN setup. Please email help@cecs.ucf.edu for assistance with checking one out. Don Harper is coordinating this effort.

Class Syllabus – Revise your syllabus with the following: (1) remove any requirements and weights for Attendance. (2) Add remote office hours.

Zoom and WebCourses Conference Information – Zoom is now available for all faculty to use through the Single Sign On to UCF (your NID and password) – after installing it. It is able to handle up to 300 participants in one session. There is no cost to the students as participants only.  Also, there is a similar portal within WebCourses called Conference that can also be used. Full FAQs on how to navigate Zoom and prepare meetings in WebCourses is available at https://cdl.ucf.edu/support/webcourses/guides/zoom-faqs/

Panopto Information – Panopto lectures will continue to be recorded by faculty as scheduled but without any students present in the class. Please note that there is very little capacity to add non-scheduled courses in the Panopto recording classrooms. All classes underway occupy most of the times during the day. It may be necessary to modify the style of teaching in this new paradigm to either scan written content and add voice narration. See UCF’s Keep Teaching website for guidance) or convert to PowerPoint slides.

EPC Resources On Campus – CECS will use the Evaluation and Proficiency Center (EPC), on the second floor of ENG II, as a college resource for faculty and GTAs to use for instructional purposes. There are 130 computers in that room ready to use with the settings needed to run WebCourses, Zoom, cameras and microphones. There are also several surface tablets with pens available in the EPC. The college will purchase individual headsets for faculty to use and keep. Schedule EPC use through Ashely Moore (Ashely.Moore@ucf.edu) or Michael Morris (mm@ucf.edu). Michael can also provide technical support.

Assessment – Assessment is the biggest challenge, particularly from an integrity and security point of view. Guidance on how to conduct examinations online will be provided on Friday. The university has some tools for this and we are also looking at other options.

Labs – Labs are not cancelled and must be held as planned. Cancellation will have an impact on CECS accreditation. However, there will be a need for some adjustments.

  • Labs with no physical experimentation (non hands-on) can be moved to fully online with review of work by GTA and faculty.
  • Labs with physical experimentation that require a presence in the lab will be handled as follows – GTA and/or faculty will video record the experiment in the lab. Include a clear narration in the video to describe the activities. Then, either the actual data from the testing or a set of simulated (synthetic) data will be provided to the students to analyze, plot, make conclusions and prepare reports. These report should contain all the necessary components except for the actual collection of data. This procedure is being followed by COS and BSBS also.
  • Use more discussions in lab to utilize the allotted time as the lab should be conducted synchronously during the scheduled time.

Labs (Lab-Based Instruction) – With the new conditions, we recommend minimal campus presence. A short visit to record the equipment and setup enhanced with videos from public domain sources may be used. Video narration can be added. It is still important to use synthetic data and analysis as before. CECS is open to any other ideas that faculty teaching labs may have and will share those with others. Share ideas with Manoj.Chopra@ucf.edu

CECS Undergraduate Students

Senior Design – CECS’s departmental Senior Design faculty are working together towards a plan for implementing the Senior Design capstone course online. The college will provide information to all senior design students as soon as the plan is finalized.

  • Senior Design laboratories are not open to students at this time.
  • The Spring 2020 Senior Design Showcase originally scheduled for April 16-17 is cancelled.

CECS Undergraduate Advising Services – Advising Services will be conducted either by phone appointment, Skype, Zoom, or through the CECS Advising WebCourses (found in WebCourses). WebCourses services include schedule planning assistance and information related to academic deadlines and policies.

Advising holds will require a phone appointment with a CECS Academic Affairs Office advisor.  Review the contact information for the appropriate office to assist with your advising needs.  Please be prepared for the appointment by having your degree audit available.

CECS Advising Contact Information

  • Academic Affairs Office:  407-823-2455 or eacaf@ucf.edu
  • Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering: 407-823-2841 or CECEAdvising@ucf.edu
  • Computer Science and Information Technology:
  • Computer Science:  407-823-5439
  • Information Technology:  407-823-2784
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering:  407-823-2787 or chilton@ucf.edu
  • Industrial Engineering:  407-823-2204
  • Materials Science and Engineering:  407-823-3806 or pamela.ross@ucf.edu
  • Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering:  407-823-5448 or MAEAdvising@ucf.edu
  • Photonics Science and Engineering:  407-823-6376 or mmckee@creol.ucf.edu

Graduate Faculty and Students

UCF Provost Office Faculty guidance: Consider How Coronavirus Could Affect Your Research

Accessing Your Laboratories During this Time (March 13, 2020) – https://www.research.ucf.edu/documents/PDF/2020/WEBCoronavirusLABaccess.pdf

Temporary IRB Protocol Revisions (March 13, 2020) – https://www.research.ucf.edu/documents/PDF/2020/IRBWEBCoronastory.pdf

Graduate Studies Information for Students – https://graduate.ucf.edu/Coronavirus-Graduate-Studies  Contains updated information from the UCF College of Graduate Studies and includes thesis or dissertation defenses, approvals, candidacy exams, Integrity Training workshops and deadlines.

Highlighted Info: Existing Spring 2020 thesis/dissertation deadlines will not change (Defense – April 3, final submission April 17). Thesis/dissertation meeting mode has been relaxed to allow for a fully virtual option (e.g., Skype, Zoom, Teams). For virtual meetings, an open-access meeting link that allows others to remotely join must be shared with the public.

Research/Lab Related Questions

Guidelines from UCF Office of Research

CECS Facilities

Access – The UCF Department of Security has implemented access-control of CECS buildings, which are now in Full Lockdown of all doors and buildings, with no public access points at any time.

To enter the buildings, faculty and staff may use their UCF-issued ID card. (Not all faculty and staff have building access by default, so check with Peter.Alfieris@ucf.edu). Newer cards have built-in tap capability. Older cards can be swiped, but if swiping  does not work, the magnetic strip could be failing. To get a new UCF-issued ID card, visit the Card Services Office located in the breezeway near the campus bookstore: ucfcard.ucf.edu. The Card Services Office hours (as of March 19) are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Call ahead before you go: 407-823-2100.

CECS Event Cancellations

In an effort to limit the spread of coronavirus and ensure the health of our students, faculty, staff and community, all CECS Dean’s Office events have been cancelled through the end of April. We will continue to monitor advisories from the CDC and the Florida Board of Governors over the next several weeks and make adjustments as needed. Some events may be held virtually (online). Those plans are being coordinated and details will be shared with the appropriate participants.

  • Women’s Graduate Studies Panel (scheduled for March 25) – canceled
  • North America Programming Camp (scheduled for March 30 – April 3) – in-person camp canceled; remote camp TBD
  • Graduate Studies General Information session (scheduled for April 8) – canceled
  • Dean’s Advisory Board meeting (scheduled for April 25) – canceled
  • Senior Design Spring 2020 Showcase (scheduled for April 16-17) – canceled; virtual options being explored

UCF Foundation Payment Requests/Travel Reimbursement Requests

To accommodate remote submission of payment requests and travel reimbursement requests, the UCF Foundation Accounts Payable Department has formulated the following procedure: Email your completed and approved payment requests, including all necessary supporting documents, to UCF Foundation Accounts Payable email address (fndacctpayable@ucf.edu). In the subject line, include project number, vendor name and total amount of the request. For example: UCFF000000 Aramark $100.00   Electronic signatures with the signer’s name will be accepted for all fields requiring signatures. If you have questions contact Margaret Payne in the UCF Foundation at Margaret.payne@ucf.edu

Additional Questions

If your question has not been answered by the UCF Coronavirus Website or the specific CECS information outlined above, please send your question to info@cecs.ucf.edu which is being monitored closely.