OFD has gathered resources to enable quick access to information for navigating faculty life during the pandemic. This site is a work in progress. Please email OFD with additions, edits or requests.
- UMass Response to the Coronavirus - Authoritative and current guidance from UMass Amherst: Human Resources, Health Resources,
Student Resources, Faculty Teaching/Research Resources, Civic-Engagement Resources, and Travel Guidance.
- A Message to the Faculty from the Provost - the Provost's guidance on tenure, promotion, and reappointment timelines; personnel actions; teaching evaluations; and more.
- Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act - The U.S. federal government has passed much legislation related to the current coronavirus outbreak including the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). Under the FFCRA employees may be eligible for leave in some circumstances.
- Helpful Articles:
- Be kind to yourself, your students, your coworkers, and your loved ones. Expect mistakes and a learning curve all of us adapt to this new reality.
- Now is the time for good-enough. Be realistic with your expectations of yourself and others. Don't hold yourself to normal standards.
- Limit news overexposure by containing news consumption to scheduled blocks of time, and only read from reliable sources. Constant consumption fuels anxiety.
- Make sure you take breaks and prioritize healthy boundaries (balance your work with self care) as you adapt to a new work environment and schedule.
- Get up and move! Crank up your favorite tunes and dance. Take a walk. Add some kind of fun activity to your day.
- Stay connected with colleagues and loved ones. Schedule time to video chat and phone. Check in and ask others how they are doing.
- Practice good sleep habits such as reducing screen time and stretching at night.
- Be mindful of the moment and your surroundings. Step outside. Breathe deeply. Journal. Focus on gratitude for this moment.
- Focus on the things you can control. Organize your desk; rake your garden leaves; take a deep breath and trust you will get through this.
- Pay attention to your feelings, thoughts, and seek professional help from a licensed mental health professional if necessary.
- Managing Anxiety and Stress during this time - Centers for Disease Control
- Center for Counseling and Psychological Health - Psychological tips for managing Coronoavirus concerns
- Faculty and Staff Assistance Program - Mental health referrals assistance; will talk about how to support individuals or departments though this time. FSAP is offering webinars on Managing Anxiety, Meditation, and Tending to Wellbeing.
- Resources for a Meditation practice
- Tara Brach on practicing self-compassion
The National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity has compiled many resources and helpful articles about self-care and moving forward for faculty during this challenging time. Note: UMass Amherst has an institutional membership for NCFDD, learn how to setup your free account here.
Thriving as you Work From Home
Set up your work space and establish office hours
- Establish a dedicated home work space if you haven't already, where you can be productive and signal do-not-disturb.
- Communicate with your colleagues when you will be on-line and available. You may need to set and adjust your schedule for domestic responsibilities such as care for family members.
- Prepare for holding on-line meetings:
- Document your on-line meetings and save to a shared location for reference. This is especially important for focused productivity during distracting times.
Supports for maintaining productivity
- Create virtual communities for ongoing support, such as:
- Form a weekly writing group among colleagues for ongoing accountability.
- Set up a regular meeting with selected peers to share tips and experiences about the transition to on-line teaching.
- Organize a virtual meeting with a colleague to talk about research related activities or to discuss the grant or paper you are working on, etc.
- Have lunch with your lab over Zoom once a week.
- Be generous with your expertise. Offer to help a colleague, and reach out for help. We are a highly talented community.
- 8 tips to Make Working from Home Work for You - National Public Radio
- Working From Home: a time management coach provides surefire methods to stay productive and levelheaded during these unprecedented times.
- National Center for Faculty Development and Diversity - sign up for some of NCFDD's many webinars (UMass is a member so webinars are free)
- Managing Work Remotely - Guidance from the UMass Partnership for Worker Education
Help family members stay busy
- For parents/caregivers at home with children - a home-school blog post by Josh Levy, What to do with the kids, Coronavirus edition, with helpful suggestions you may not know.
- Resources for Families - a compiled list of useful websites for on-line learning activities for parents with children at home.
- Activities for Children in Google Docs - SBS Communications Advisor Nicola Usher has created a wonderful list that may be helpful for those balancing work with children at home (sign in through UMass account).
- Opinion piece from the New York Times - Setting reasonable expectations - you can't recreate school.
- Yoga for children and parents - an idea to try for relaxation
- Virtual Babysitting: 38 Activities to do with Kids/Sittercity
If you or someone in your family gets ill
- Know that you are not alone. Reach out to friends, family, colleagues and ask for what you need.
- Take Time. You are entitled to take leave and may utilize FMLA or sick time. Talk with your department chair.
- Caring for yourself at home – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Caring for someone at home – Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Know the Symptoms and When to Seek Care - UMass Amherst Environmental Health & Safety
- UMass Amherst HR Response Team - 413-687-2283 or COVID19HR@umass.edu.
College and School Resources
- College of Education resources for resilience planning.
- College of Information and Computer Sciences college resources and communications during this unsettled time.
- College of Social and Behavioral Sciences - Sr. Associate Dean Lynn M. Phillips offers helpful advising and teaching advice.
- Commonwealth Honors College CHC Covid-19 information and resources.
Teaching and Advising
- Disruption-Resilient Instruction: Resources to aid faculty in on-line instruction during the disruption of campus activities.
- Keep Teaching: The Center for Teaching's guide to help instructors to teach remotely in as thoughtful a way as possible.
- Concerns regarding students: CCPH assistance with assessing and supporting student distress.
- UMass Registrars Office: UMass registration date changes and scheduling updates.