As you all may know, the UM campus is preparing for the possible widespread outbreak of the H1N1 flu. The very nature of this situation is very unpredictable so we plan to monitor it closely and communicate appropriately. At this time it is important to prepare ourselves well in advance of any such outbreak, considering the implications to the day-to-day operations of our mission. What follows for your review are the resources currently available to handle both mild and severe scenarios.
Faculty and Staff Scenarios
I am first concerned with your health and ask you to seek the consultation of your health care provider should you experience flu like symptoms. Also recommended is self-isolation where you stay at home for a period of 24 hours after flu symptoms end. Please consider back-up plans for class coverage/job duties and consult the USM faculty and staff sick leave policies.
Please plan how you will ensure communication consistency with your class leading up to and during a possible disruption in your class schedule. Consider using one of the many options available to you through OIT, including: conference calls, e-mail lists, and ELMS. OIT Emergency Preparedness Resources for Faculty provides detailed information about communication/teaching options and training schedules.
I also ask that you consult the policy on student absenteeism and exercise increased flexibility in class attendance policies. Please review the university attendance policy and consider how you might adapt your class policy to accommodate students that fall ill.
To decrease the spread of flu, it may be deemed reasonable to suspend classes. All issues related to the H1N1 flu will be coordinated between university, college, and departmental administrative offices to ensure we are well prepared in the case of a health emergency.
Please rely on the following university, college, and government Web sites for updates:
Jim Harris, Dean
September 8, 2009
For more information, contact Monique Everette, email@example.com, 301-405-6714.