Academics

Academic Calendar
Updated 7/8/2020

August 24 will be the first day of classes for the Fall semester for all students except Cumberland School of Law. The semester will begin on August 17 for law students.

In an effort to minimize travel and possible transmission of the virus, all on-campus instruction will end prior to the Thanksgiving holiday. Undergraduate students will complete the semester by Tuesday, November 24; graduate programs will have varying schedules. Graduate students will hear directly from their academic dean or program director regarding the end of the term for their respective programs.

Labor Day and Fall Break will be regular class days for all students and employees in order to allow for an earlier conclusion of the Fall semester.

Library Access
Updated 7/1/2020

Samford University libraries will be opened only for enrolled students, faculty and staff. Visitors will not be permitted during the Fall semester.

Each facility will observe university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage, maximum capacity and social distancing. Maximum occupancy requirements will be implemented based on a minimum 6-foot separation between persons. Access and occupancy levels will be managed by card swipe when possible and furniture will be configured to accommodate 6-foot social distancing requirements.

To promote equitable access for all students and employees, libraries may implement a reservation system. Books may be reserved or checked out by phone or at the websites for the respective libraries. Special collections, microfiche and other areas requiring personal service by library employees will operate by appointment only.

Contactless transactions will be available for many services such as photocopy equipment and check-outs. Sanitization of high touch surfaces will occur at least twice daily and employees and students will be equipped with disinfectant wipes to sanitize after use of spaces. Returned books will be allowed to “cure” in accordance with National Library standards before being returned to stacks.

Classroom Protocols
Updated 6/29/2020

Classrooms will observe university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage, maximum capacity and social distancing. Face coverings and social distancing will be required in all public spaces, including classrooms, for employees and students. Additional information may be provided in the course syllabus.

Athletics and Events

Are visitors allowed on campus?
Updated 7/23/2020

Until further notice, visitors are not allowed on campus. Exceptions include those assisting with residential move-in day, prospective students registered for campus tours through the Office of Admission and approved vendors.

Will you host Homecoming?
Updated 7/21/2020

We always look forward to hosting families, alumni and friends on our campus. However, it is still too soon to know if Homecoming will occur this Fall. Please check back here regularly for any updates.

What are the plans for student athletes returning to campus?
Updated 7/14/2020

Samford Athletics has created a comprehensive guide for student athletes. It is available here.

Athletic Events
Updated 7/1/2020

Samford plans to resume intercollegiate athletics pursuant to CDC, NCAA, and Southern Conference guidelines and applicable university policies and protocols in order to mitigate COVID-19 related risks. 

The NCAA has published a plan for collegiate sports which provides for phased implementation and core principles that athletic departments must consider in developing operational plans. More information will be provided as the Fall athletics season approaches.

All attendees at Samford athletic events are required to wear masks and practice social distancing in accordance with CDC, NCAA, and Southern Conference guidelines and applicable University policies. All athletic venues have been properly socially distanced, and available seating options are properly marked. Uniformed ushers will be available to assist those in attendance to their seats.

Season and individual game tickets to Samford athletic events will go on sale on August 1, 2020. All ticket packages and plans will be general admission, but fans will have a limited opportunity to purchase tickets in their section of choice.

Finance

Are there resources available for Samford employees who face significant financial challenges during the coronavirus pandemic?
Updated 6/27/2020

Yes, the university’s Employee Assistance Fund exists to support the unforeseen financial challenges our colleagues may face now and in the days ahead.

Food Service

What will Samford Dining look like this fall?
Updated 7/25/2020

Samford Dining will provide a range of new dining options on campus this fall. This includes new outdoor seating, food trucks, more grab-and-go prepackaged options, online ordering, meal kits for students who can cook at home and new locations that will accept students’ card swipes. The Caf will remain open with a host of full-service meal options.

Food Service Protocols
Updated 7/23/2020

Campus dining is provided and managed by Sodexo Operations, LLC. Food service operations will be in accordance with applicable government health standards, including those for ServSafe operations. On-campus food service in Fall 2020 will be provided pursuant to the following requirements:

  • High touch surfaces in dining areas will be sanitized on a determined schedule throughout the day.
  • Food service operations will follow university standards for traffic flow, circulation, signage and social distancing of at least six feet.
  • Reservations by students wishing to eat in the Caf will be required using the Sodexo BITE app.  In order to adhere to capacity restrictions required for social distancing, only students will be permitted to eat in the Caf for the Fall semester.  
  • Stanchions, hand sanitizers, plexiglass, signage and other controls will be installed in queue areas and throughout the Caf.
  • Whenever practicable, contactless service techniques will be employed, such as cashless payment, card “tap,” wireless payment technologies, and door props.
  • Food service hours will be extended to align with extended class schedules.
  • Students and employees shall wear face coverings when standing or moving about food service areas or when queueing for entrance. Face coverings may be removed and properly stored while eating.
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required for all food service employees including gloves and masks. Face shields also are required for front-line employees (i.e. those with direct customer contact).
  • All food service employees must receive COVID-19 specific training.
Menus and Food Distribution
Updated 6/30/2020
  • All dining patrons are encouraged to order take-out food, which will be available for all meals. Grab and go menu options will be expanded.
  • Additional food distribution points will be established across campus, such as food trucks, food lockers, concession areas and catering.
  • Grocery boxes will be available for sale to students to prepare their own meals.
  • All self-service food or drink stations will be closed. Utensils, plates, cups and condiments will be single-use and disposable.

Health

Will health services be available on campus this Fall?
Updated 7/14/2020

University Health services will be available by appointment only for students and employees from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, beginning August 10. To learn more or make an appointment, visit the University Health Services website. Outside of these hours, you should contact St. Vincent’s Urgent Care or another primary care provider for your health care needs.

IMPORTANT - If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should CALL the clinic at 205-726-2835, please DO NOT visit the clinic without first calling for an assessment and instructions.

Quarantine and Isolation
Updated 7/1/2020

The University will help facilitate quarantine or isolation, as appropriate, pursuant to one or more of the following measures:

  • Employees, students, and regular campus contractors with confirmed COVID-19 are required to isolate for up to 14 days and can’t return or resume campus activities until three days have passed with no fever and medications, all symptoms have passed, and at least 10 days have passed since the COVID-19 symptoms first appeared.
  • Students and employees residing in a dwelling with a person who tests positive for COVID-19 - regardless of whether there has been close contact - must be asymptomatic for seven days from last exposure and test PCR negative before returning to campus. If a student or employee has been in close contact with a person who tests positive for COVID-19, the student or employee shall self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.
  • Anyone exposed to a person with COVID-19 shall quarantine at their home if possible. Quarantine requires that the student remain exclusively in the assigned space for 14 days (no exceptions).
  • Quarantine may also be required if employees or students travel to areas of wide community transmission (i.e. “hot spots”), as determined by the CDC.
  • The university will facilitate regular check-ins and social support to students quarantined on Samford’s campus or in facilities assigned by Samford.
  • Assistance for loss of resiliency, stress, depression and suicidal ideations is particularly important. As part of its case management protocol, Samford will seek to inform diagnosed individuals as to accessible and confidential support services available through web-based, mobile and other traditional modalities.
OSHA Administrative and Engineering Controls
Updated 6/30/2020

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recommends that employers implement administrative and engineering controls to help establish a workplace free from harm. Samford has created a common rubric to define controls based on position duties, vulnerability status, and levels of interaction. This rubric provides a framework for supervisors to implement controls for employees, safe work practices, and engineering controls.

According to OSHA definitions, most employees have moderate or low risk of exposure. To address the needs of at-risk individuals and/or variable work conditions, administrative controls, engineering controls and safe work practices may be implemented, depending upon the situation. Those who have self-identified to fall into the vulnerable classification or as a primary caregiver of someone in the vulnerable classification, as defined by the CDC, may request administrative or engineering controls. Human Resources will provide this process in July.

What to do if you are sick (Rapid Identification Protocols)
Updated 6/30/2020
  • Students with a fever, cough, sudden loss of smell or taste, or other symptoms of COVID-19 shall call University Health Services for an assessment at 205-726-2835.
    • University Health Services will designate a contact or referral for after-hours calls.
    • University Health Services will facilitate COVID-19 testing that strives to minimize inconvenience and delay.
  • Employees with a fever, cough, sudden loss of smell or taste, or other symptoms of COVID-19 shall be promptly tested by their primary health care provider.
  • ALL employees and students shall immediately report to Covid19health@samford.edu suspected cases of COVID-19; confirmed cases of COVID-19; or if they or other employees or students have been exposed to someone with (i) COVID-19 symptoms, (ii) confirmed COVID-19; or (iii) suspected COVID-19. The report shall be made within two hours of first obtaining any of the foregoing information.
Quarantine vs. Isolation
Updated 6/30/2020

Quarantine is used to keep someone who is reasonably believed to have been exposed to COVID-19 away from others. Quarantine aids in preventing the spread of the disease that can occur before a person knows he or she is ill or infected with the virus. People in quarantine should remain at home, separate themselves from others, monitor their health, and follow instructions from their state or local health department and primary health care provider.

Isolation is used to separate people infected with the virus (those who are sick with COVID-19 and those who are asymptomatic) from people who are not infected. People in isolation should remain at home until it is safe for them to be around others. In the home, anyone who is sick or infected should separate themselves from others by staying in a specific “sick room” or area and using a separate bathroom (if available).

View the CDC guide to determining whether you should quarantine or isolate.

Masks
Updated 6/30/2020

Face coverings are required in all public spaces on campus including classrooms, the library, event venues and dining facilities. They are not required in private offices or a student’s assigned room or apartment.

COVID-19 can be spread by people who do not have symptoms and do not know that they are infected. This is why it is so important that everyone consistently wear a face mask. Cloth face coverings provide an extra layer to help prevent the respiratory droplets from traveling in the air and onto other people. This is not an individual decision but a requirement for the common good. Learn more about proper use, storage, cleaning and replacement of face coverings.

Office Sanitization
Updated 6/30/2020

Sanitization of personal office spaces and high touch surfaces inside offices should be performed twice daily (in the morning and before lunch) by each office occupant. This includes, for example, desks, computer keyboard, staplers and surfaces on the desk, light switch, door knob, copier machine, phone, and cell phone. If you need cleaning supplies, request them from your supervisor or the Purchasing Department. Students and employees are encouraged to maintain their own supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for personal use. If anyone has difficulty locating wipes or sanitizer for purchase, he or she should contact the Samford Shop or Purchasing Department.

Sanitization Processes
Updated 6/30/2020

Samford has implemented stringent sanitization processes across campus operations in accordance with CDC guidelines. Samford’s custodial services are performed by Southeast Service Corporation D/B/A SSC Service Solutions (SSC). SSC will certify that CDC required sanitization, including approved EPA products, will be utilized on the campus in accordance with the university’s sanitization plan.

Sanitization of personal office spaces and high touch surfaces inside offices should be performed twice daily (in the morning and before lunch) by each office occupant. This includes, for example, desks, computer keyboard, staplers and surfaces on the desk, light switch, door knob, copier machine, phone, and cell phone. If you need cleaning supplies, request them from your supervisor or the Purchasing Department.  Students and employees are encouraged to maintain their own supply of disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer for personal use.  If anyone has difficulty locating wipes or sanitizer for purchase, he or she should contact the Samford Shop or Purchasing Department.

Reservations and assigned seating may be required in some spaces on campus to aid sanitization and contact tracing, and to minimize use of high touch surfaces.

Social Distancing
Updated 6/29/2020

Samford University is following CDC guidelines related to social and physical distancing.

Social distancing must be observed in, among other locations, classrooms, labs, large gathering areas, food venues, event venues, athletic venues, gathering spaces, restrooms and conference rooms.

Samford’s social distancing may also include alternate pedestrian traffic flow plans and limiting capacity in university facilities using a standard of six feet per person to calculate space capacity. Furniture and space configurations will be considered and diagrams and maximum capacities will be posted in each classroom. The university shall strive for six feet per person, recognizing that such distancing will not be achievable in all classrooms and venues.

Return to Work

Requirements for Returning to Campus
Updated 7/30/2020

Before you return to campus it is important that you accomplish each of the following:

  • Read “Bring Back the Bulldogs: A Guide for Returning to Campus”. All employees (including employees that have previously completed other assigned training and assessments) must acknowledge receipt of the Guide, read the Guide and agree to comply with the practices contained in the Guide. The signed Acknowledgement is required before an employee may return to campus. All employees must complete the acknowledgement by August 17, 2020.
  • Covid-19 testing will be required of all employees (and students) prior to the August 17th full return to campus.  Additional information related to employee testing requirements will be shared with employees soon.
  • Complete the individual and position risk assessment questionnaire (this was sent by email to all employees in June; in case of questions inquire with Human Resources).
  • Commit to not come to work if you are ill, have any COVID-19 symptoms, or are exposed to someone who has known or suspected COVID-19 disease or exposure.
    • If you develop symptoms or believe you have been exposed to COVID-19, you must immediately email COVID19health@samford.edu and self-isolate or quarantine for up to 14 days per university and CDC guidelines.
  • Commit to wear, care for and replace all personal protection equipment (PPE) that is required for your job function (e.g. masks, gloves).
  • Discuss with your supervisor your workspace and schedule, and the potential for alternate spaces and schedules.
  • Commit to maintaining a clean workspace (e.g. desk, equipment, phone and tools) and sanitize the work area at least twice daily (in the morning and before lunch). If you need supplies, request them from your supervisor or the Purchasing Department.
Safety Measures
Updated 7/23/2020

The following employee related engineering controls will be implemented across the campus for fall 2020.

  1. HVAC chilled water coils disinfected and drain pans treated
  2. Replaced HVAC Air filters
  3. Increased the outside air flow to 100% inside buildings
  4. Treated and tested water for bacteria
  5. Water fountains disabled
  6. Sanitization of high touch surfaces based on CDC requirements, including use of electrostatic sprayers
  7. COVID-19 signage is being posted throughout campus
  8. Traffic flow, such as one-way hallways and queue management will be implemented across campus
  9. Social distancing will be implemented across campus, as feasible, including in offices where desks are shared or co-located
  10. Proper isolation and quarantine procedures will be required
  11. Plexiglass and/or sneeze guards will be installed in high traffic/high transaction locations
  12. Hand sanitizer will be installed at every building entrance
  13. PPE will be provided, as required for job functions, and face coverings will be required in all public spaces (not in individual cars, private offices, or private residence hall rooms)

Risk Assessment

Samford Risk Assessment Tool
Updated 7/22/2020

Samford uses a risk assessment tool and survey to define vulnerable populations and categorize employee and job risks and locations as either (1) Very High, (2) High, (3) Moderate, or (4) Lower Risk.

Every employee should complete the survey and self-identify risk factors that are included within the vulnerable population. This includes personal medical conditions and persons who serve as a primary caregiver for someone else who qualifies for the vulnerable population category. Employees may request a personal discussion with a confidential Human Resources (HR) representative who will not disclose this employee information except for purposes of offering reasonable accommodations.

Accommodations can be requested by those who are in the CDC vulnerable population classification and/or who are primary caregivers for vulnerable populations. Human Resources will work closely with employees and supervisors to consider reasonable options in alignment with the essential functions of their job.

HR will work closely with these employees to define appropriate options for them to perform the essential functions of their job.

The ability to perform the essential functions of the employee’s job applies to all employees, including all higher risk employees. Examples of reasonable accommodations include telework, workplace adjustments, leave and adjusted schedules.

Supervisors may request that Human Resources help them define appropriate administrative controls for employees who self-identify as a vulnerable population. This interactive process is intended to identify a reasonable accommodation that does not constitute an undue hardship to the university.

Travel

International Travel
Updated 6/30/2020

All university-sponsored study and travel abroad is canceled for Fall 2020.

For your personal well-being and in consideration of the health of others in the campus community, students and employees are strongly encouraged to refrain from personal travel outside of the United States throughout the Fall semester.  Employees or students traveling internationally during the Fall 2020 semester will be required upon their return to the United States to self-quarantine at their expense for 14 days in an off-campus location. If significant community spread occurs either on-campus or in proximity to campus, Samford’s quarantine requirements may be revised.

View the CDC travel recommendations.

University-Sponsored Travel
Updated 6/29/2020

Only essential business travel will be permitted and funded for Samford employees during Fall 2020. All university-sponsored study and travel abroad is canceled for Fall 2020.

The plan to Bring Back the Bulldogs is continually evolving, and some of our planning may change as new information becomes available. We recommend that you return to this website often, in the event that pertinent updates have been communicated.