1. I submitted an Interim Plan, which got approved. Why do I have to submit a Research & Library Operation Plan (RLOP)?
The reason to do the RLOP is that it would allow operation above the 25% level approved in the Interim Plan. The presumption in the Interim Plan is that objectives for social distancing, enhanced cleaning in the public spaces, congestion at entry and exit points will not need much management due to the low level of occupancy. With higher occupancy, we want to aggregate the plans to be confident that these objectives can still be met and adjust some of the plans if they are not.
2. Can I revise my Research & Libraries Operating Plan (RLOP)?
Yes. While plans are being collected and aggregated, and are still in “in progress” status, they can be returned by the current approval stop to the submitter for updates or changes. As the data are aggregated for density analysis by building, by floor, etc., we do envision changes to individual plans may be needed, so the plans will be kept “in progress” in case adjustments are needed. Personnel change (removal/addition of personnel) on approved and operational RLOPs (Original RLOP or RLOP2.0) can be made using the RLOP Personnel Change Form.
3. I want to use my single-use office. Do I have to submit a RLOP?
No, you do not need to submit a RLOP, if the use of your single-use office is not for research. If this is the case, the use of the office falls under the campus guidance that “only onsite personnel should report to campus, unless contacted by a supervisor” remains in effect until the university examines the guidance and determines the campus’ approach to next steps: https://www.umass.edu/coronavirus/news/campus-onsite-personnel-policy-remains-effect-state-begins-phased-reopening. Contact EH&S for further information.
If the space is used for research that cannot be done remotely and it is essential as recommended by the dean or their designee, then the activity should take place on campus. Faculty and grad students will need to submit their requests to their department chair or dean who will coordinate access.
4. Some of my faculty need to work in their single-use office because of bad internet access at home or other circumstances that don’t allow working at home. Do they have to submit a RLOP?
No, faculty and/or grad students working in a single use-office because of bad internet access at home do not need to submit an individual RLOP. Department Chairs/Heads and/or Deans should coordinate their requests for access and send us the names and locations as well times of occupancy for each of these faculty and/or grad students in a spreadsheet via uploading it to the same Box folder used for the COVID-19 Interim Operating Plan.
For common spaces with multiple workstations across multiple PIs and/or graduate students, one RLOP should be submitted that coordinates among all the individuals needing to use the space. This is instead of each individual PI submitting a single plan for individuals in common space. The idea being to minimize burden but still ensure we have data for planning and compliance with the foundational requirements (separation, cleaning, etc.).
5. Why is the planning for the restarting research so detailed?
COVID-19 presents a complex situation that requires a campus-wide response to ensure the health and safety of the university community. The campus must comply with Governor Baker’s plan for reopening the commonwealth due to the COVID-19, which requires detailed information. Individual faculty are most knowledgeable and best prepared to plan their research activities, and provide the detail necessary to restart research on campus. The detailed information from individual researchers will be aggregated across campus so that the university complies with Massachusetts’ public health directives, and the risk to human health is minimized.
6. I received funding for a new project. Will I be able to start my new project as outlined in the proposal?
Each project has different demands. Outline a Research & Library Operating Plan 2.0 (RLOP) (NetID & password required) that reflects your needs to start the new project. Keep in mind that you may have to stop your research on short notice under the COVID-19 pandemic situation.
7. Do I have to submit a RLOP when I am working on scholarly or creative research in my studio or shop on campus?
Yes, you will need to submit a Research & Library Operating Plan (RLOP 2.0) when you are engaged in scholarly or creative research that requires the use of any campus facilities (e.g., studios, shops, etc.) and/or face-to-face creative or choreographic time on campus, to ensure health and safety during the COVID-19 emergency.