Pitt will be open for the fall. All activities of the University—teaching, housing and residence life, student activities, food services, research, athletics and more—will still occur, but according to the requirements in our infection prevention and control program. We will modify some of our activities to ensure that they remain safe and consistent with our commitment to managing risks related to the novel coronavirus.

The University remains committed to providing the finest educational experience, with the health, safety and well-being of our campus community guiding every decision we make. As government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic relax, we will continue to share the latest updates so faculty, staff and their families can plan for the fall term.

Following the recommendations of the University-wide task forces and public health and safety experts, the University of Pittsburgh has announced changes to its fall term calendar. These changes will bring students back to campus a few weeks earlier in August and allow in-person classes to conclude prior to Thanksgiving.

Updated June 9

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If you have a disability for which you are or may be requesting an academic accommodation, please contact Disability Resources and Services (412-648-7890). Students who are currently established with DRS are encouraged to contact their disability specialist should they require assistance.

For all modifications for fall 2020, whether to our physical spaces or how we work, teach and learn, plans are being made to ensure spaces, materials and platforms are accessible.

Updated June 9

The University is restricting all nonessential domestic and international university travel until further notice. The majority of travel is currently considered nonessential. Essential travel is defined as travel absolutely necessary to fulfill your core or primary job function and/or provides crucial support the University, such as research or lab work on a deadline. Nonessential travel is defined as anything that does not fall under one’s core job function, such as conferences, professional development and speaking engagements or any travel that can be done at a later time. The determination of whether travel is essential can only be made by Responsibility Center heads.

Pitt Global Operations Support will assist you to minimize interruptions as well as explore and evaluate alternatives to travel for essential projects when feasible. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Ian McLaughlin, the Global Operations Support Manager, at ian.mclaughlin@pitt.edu or via phone at 412-624-0125.

People traveling internationally on University business can explore the trip interruption insurance provided by International SOS. Further information about Pitt's travel insurance coverage appears in the Pitt Global Operations Support website.

The PantherExpress team has compiled guidance in response to the COVID-19 outbreakon topics related to travel as well as the use of the University Travel Card for unplanned/un-budgeted expenses.

At the recommendation of the Department of State, and considering the current travel restrictions, the Office of the Provost has suspended all new J-1 scholar programs until further notice and at least until August 1, 2020. Department administrators should coordinate with OIS in order to extend or cancel currently scheduled scholars.

Premium Processing is again available for all H1B petitions. Additional details concerning the handling of H1-B status of faculty and employees can be found on the OIS FAQs for administrators page.

Updated June 22

In the event of a serious medical condition or illness, a full-time faculty member is eligible for a medical leave of up to 26 paid weeks during a 12-month period.  If a medical leave extends beyond six calendar months, the faculty member may apply for long-term disability. Please see Pitt’s policy on Faculty Medical and Family Leave, 02-11-01 for details. Under this policy, faculty who have been employed at the University of Pittsburgh for 24 calendar months or more are also eligible for four paid weeks of family leave to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious illness. Note that a medical certification by a health care provider is required for these paid medical and family leaves. Policy 02-11-01 also allows for up to 12 months of unpaid family leave. 

For Provost area units, all Requests to Negotiate are still being reviewed in the normal manner by the Office of the Provost.

Updated March 18

University facilities are not open to the general public at this time. You are encouraged to interview faculty candidates using Zoom or another teleconference option.

For Provost area units, all Requests to Negotiate are still being reviewed in the normal manner by the Office of the Provost.

Updated March 18

Pitt will be open for the fall. The current planning effort supports all activities of the University, including teaching, housing and residence life, student activities, food services, research, athletics and more. These activities will still occur, but according to the new requirements outlined in our infection prevention and control program. As a result, we will need to modify some of our activities to ensure that they remain safe and consistent with our commitment to manage risks related to the novel coronavirus.

Updated June 8

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The Office of Human Resources has put together detailed guidance for supervisors on COVID-19 precautions, the applicability of FMLA, use of sick time, prohibiting employees from coming to work and sending people home. Generally, supervisors should encourage employees to stay home when sick, discourage public conversations about the health status of any employee and continue to follow all applicable laws and policies. Learn more from the Office of Human Resources.

Updated March 13

At the recommendation of the Department of State, and considering the current travel restrictions, the Office of the Provost has suspended all new J-1 scholar programs until further notice and at least until August 1, 2020. Department administrators should coordinate with OIS in order to extend or cancel currently scheduled scholars.

The April 22, 2020, presidential proclamation will have no effect on current Pitt international employees and scholars. It suspends, for the next 60 days, the granting of green cards only to those individuals currently outside the U.S. Those within the U.S. can continue to file nonimmigrant extensions (H-1Bs, TN, etc.), and green card applications will continue to be adjudicated for those who currently reside within the U.S.

For additional information, OIS has posted a detailed summary of the proclamation.

Regarding H-1B and other visa holders, the April 22 proclamation included an order directing the Departments of Labor and Homeland Security to review nonimmigrant programs and recommend other appropriate measures to stimulate the U.S. economy and ensure the prioritization, hiring and employment of United States workers. OIS will continue to monitor the situation and provide additional updates as necessary. 

Updated April 22

Campus Mail manages the collection and delivery of all University correspondence, a service available to all departments. During this time, we continue to process mail as an essential service to the Pitt community. Check the latest updates, including scheduling a mail pick-up at our campus facility, USPS/UPS/FedEx package deliveries and more.

Updated March 23

Effective March 11, all staff have been assigned two weeks (10 working days) of paid sick leave above and beyond accumulated time, up to the policy threshold of 120 total days. This pertains to all part-time (pro-rated) and full-time staff, as well as temporary employees.

Effective April 13, the University is offering the opportunity for employees to make a one-time donation to or request additional sick time from a Temporary Voluntary Sick Day Bank. If you have any questions, please contact HR Shared Services by submitting a request via the online OHR web form. Please review the Temporary Voluntary Sick Day Bank Policy and Procedure for detailed guidelines and protocol regarding the Temporary Voluntary Sick Day Bank.

Effective April 13, the Benefits Department is allowing the termination of Health Care, Dependent Care, Parking, and Mass Transit Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) due to closures caused by COVID-19. Learn more about how to terminate FSA and how termination circumstance may take effect.

Effective April 13, the Office of Human Resources (OHR) is temporarily lifting the cap on vacation accruals. Retroactive to April 1, 2020, the vacation accrual cap is lifted for all non-represented staff. Eligible staff may accrue vacation time at standard rates beyond the cap until November 30, 2020.

The Office of Human Resources is implementing a temporary voluntary effort reduction program to provide further flexibility for our staff during this emergency period. The voluntary effort reduction program allows employees to voluntarily reduce their effort effective May 3, 2020, until further notice. Through this program, employees have the option to request a reduction in working hours with a corresponding reduction in salary for family care or other personal or family needs. Eligible employees include all full-time exempt and non-exempt staff, except for staff covered by a collective bargaining agreement.

If you have any questions about any of these updates, please contact OHR by submitting a request via the online OHR web form.

Updated April 13

Beginning Friday, May 29, 2020, the University will resume parking regulation enforcement at campus-owned garages, lots and parking meters.

Updated May 29

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Recent changes in immigration and travel feasibility as a result of COVID -19 have impacted the ability of those who might normally be on campus from returning before the beginning of the fall term. It is important to recognize when deciding how/if activities should resume in a remote capacity (whether work, research or studies) that these activities are impacted by the laws of both the nation the individual is residing in as well as those of the United States.

Updated May 12

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Where can I find information on working, teaching or learning remotely?

In support of Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Ann E. Cudd’s message for faculty on the change in operations, along with Vice Chancellor of Human Resources David DeJong’s message to staff, the following resources are available to help students, faculty and staff with tools and guidance for remote working, learning and teaching.

The University Center for Teaching and Learning hosts information and resources to ensure course continuity. Instructors can find information on course delivery options, educational technology tools, a preparedness checklist, and support and guidance.

Pitt Information Technology provides a wealth of resources for remote work.

Updated June 19

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What is Zoombombing and how do I prevent it?

The rapid adoption of Zoom video conferencing by universities across the country has helped facilitate remote teaching and work—including across all Pitt campuses. Unfortunately, this most useful tool has also become the target of “Zoombombing” by bad actors, a practice in which uninvited attendees disrupt a meeting by sharing inappropriate or offensive material.

Updated June 19

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