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Faculty & Staff Guide

Faculty & Staff Guide

MSU Denver faculty and staff have risen to the challenge of supporting students during this unprecedented time. Below are answers to your most frequently asked questions and resources to continue your extraordinary work.


Attend the Fall 2021 Safe Return Employee Town Hall

Mark your calendar for Thursday from 11 a.m. to noon and submit questions in advance. Read the March 1 message >

Roadrunners reflect on shift to online learning

Three students share their stories, praise the extraordinary work of MSU Denver faculty and staff. Watch the video >

Faculty & Staff FAQs

With the spring 2021 semester now underway, Roadrunners are likely to have questions; especially in this atypical academic year. This FAQ provides the latest information for MSU Denver faculty and staff as we navigate this journey together.  

Last updated: Jan. 19, 2021

Campus Operations

As of now, MSU Denver’s plan for spring semester is to have two phases of in-person course offerings. The first will start in January and run through the normal spring semester schedule. In that phase, we will have approximately 14% of our total offerings on campus.

The second phase will begin in March with an additional 50 accelerated spring courses on campus in an effort to provide more options for students who prefer face-to-face classes. These eight-week, 3-credit-hour courses will run March 15-May 15. Accelerated online courses will also be available. 

Per the latest recommendations from the state, employees not involved in face-to-face classes, who can work from home, should do so.

That said, campus is still open to any Roadrunner who needs to be there. MSU Denver asks that you follow established health and safety protocols and use good judgment.

Leaders of offices, departments and branches should work with their on-campus employees to ensure compliance with current city and state guidelines of 10% office capacity restrictions and all MSU Denver health protocols.  

All Roadrunners should have their official institutional ID visibly displayed at all times while on campus. For those who don’t have a way to display their ID, stop by the front desk of the Jordan Student Success Building to pick up a free MSU Denver-branded lanyard. 

Campus buildings are open during business hours. For employees who need to access to a building after hours, please coordinate with your department’s access matrix coordinator to be added to the department list.

Yes, accessibility was considered when determining primary entrances. Here is a map with designated entrances and exits for each building. Please follow all signage in buildings.

Some campus businesses remain open but may have different hours of operation. All patrons are required to follow MSU Denver’s health and safety protocols while visiting campus businesses.

The Safe Return Auraria Facilities and Operations subcommittee has established cleaning protocols which follow CDC and CDPHE guidelines. Disinfectant and paper towels are available in classrooms and offices for Roadrunners who want to wipe down their respective areas. Nightly disinfectant of classrooms is also being performed. Campus laboratories are being cleaned and maintained by individual lab managers to ensure no cross contamination with chemicals.

We are ensuring that there is a 7x7 foot bubble around each student with additional consideration for teaching areas, egress, equipment and configuration of the room.

There are sanitizer stations at building entrances and at elevator lobbies. Everyone is encouraged to wash their hands frequently throughout the day and minimize touching their faces. Please see the Health Protocols and Self-Assessment page for additional information.

If the governor were to reinstitute stay-at-home orders for higher education, MSU Denver would comply. The University has a plan in place to move classes and operations online if necessary.

Health and Safety

Yes. As noted in our health and safety protocols, all students, faculty and staff are required to wear a face covering (mask or face shield) over their nose and mouth while on campus, when in the presence of others. Roadrunners should also maintain 6 feet of social distance.

Individuals are responsible for bringing their own masks/face shields when coming to campus. If you forget your face covering on a given day, call the Health Center to pick one up at 303-615-9999.

For those who have a specific medical condition that precludes them from wearing a traditional cloth face mask, a face shield is an acceptable face covering. Faculty members who would prefer a face shield for teaching face-to-face classes can pick one up at the Jordan Student Success Building front desk.

Roadrunners are expected to complete a daily health assessment before coming to campus.  

Yes. Any Auraria Campus student, faculty or staff member with symptoms can be tested at no cost, regardless of whether they are insured or not.

Covid-19 drive-thru testing is available Mondays-Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., using a new expanded process for scheduling. This new process will include testing for asymptomatic individuals (those without symptoms) and symptomatic individuals (those with symptoms).

Click here to schedule a Covid-19 test at the Health Center at Auraria.

When drive-thru testing is not available at the Health Center, the following link will provide testing locations in metro Denver:

Please visit the Health Center at Auraria website for more information. 

Please continue to look for messages from President Davidson and the Auraria Executive Council for updates on vaccine distribution. Information will also be updated regularly on the Health Center at Auraria website. 

Our expectation is that Roadrunners act with a spirit of generosity and selflessness, maintaining social distancing and wearing a mask or face shield to ensure the safety of their peers.

If you have a concern about a student who is not compliant with expectations, please contact the Dean of Students Office (303-615-0220). If you have a concern about a faculty or staff member who is not compliant with expectations, please contact the Office of Human Resources (303-615-0999).

The University has a communicable disease policy to enforce its face-covering requirement.

They should call the Health Center at Auraria at 303-615-9999. The faculty member should inform the receptionist that they are a faculty member calling to report a positive case of COVID-19 and be ready to provide the following information:  

  • Faculty member’s name 
  • Faculty member’s cell phone number (for return phone call) 
  • Name of positive student 
  • Positive student’s campus ID number 
  • Student’s cell phone number (or, if no cell, other contact number) 
  • Name of course 
  • Course number 
  • Time/days the class meets 
  • Building and room number of class 

This information will be provided to the medical director or designee, who will then begin an investigation. 

In the case of a known positive, it is prudent and advisable for the faculty member to cancel face-to-face class instruction until the Health Center’s investigation determines appropriate guidance. Each situation is different and includes numerous factors, so the Health Center’s guidance will vary accordingly. Once the initial investigation is complete, the faculty member will be called to advise them of the “next steps,” contingent on the level of risk that the investigation determines. 

It may take several days to complete an investigation and for the reporting faculty member to receive a return phone call. The Health Center at Auraria medical team is triaging numerous Covid-19 related investigations and inquiries. However, please know that reports of positive test results in face-to-face classes are prioritized. 

If the risk to the class and the faculty member is low, then it may be possible to resume the face-to-face class. During the call with the faculty member, the physician and the faculty member will discuss if it would be helpful for the doctor to attend (virtually or in-person) the next class session to advise the class and to answer any questions. Additionally, a letter from the Dean of Students, outlining University resources to students, will be sent to the faculty member to give to their students. 

Please note that the name of the positive individual should not be disclosed. 

The University asks all Roadrunners to report positive cases to the Health Center at Auraria regardless of whether they are learning or working on campus or not. This communication permits internal contact tracing to be initiated and provides a better understanding of the impact of the virus on the University community.

Aside from essential workers and those involved in face-to-face classes, MSU Denver employees are not being required to return to campus at this time.

If and when employees are required to be back on campus, MSU Denver will follow the CDC's definition of who is considered high risk. See:

An immunocompromised employee, whose health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories or is pregnant, may seek a Temporary Covid-19 Workplace Adjustment using the Request for Accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act process by contacting Amanda Berry, employee benefits manager at

For employees who are high-risk due to a reason not in the CDC definition, certification of the condition and high-risk status from a health care provider will be required. Employees who are high-risk because of age will not be required to provide additional documentation.

If an employee isn’t feeling well, but can and is willing to perform work, continued remote work should be considered. Employees are encouraged to work directly with their supervisors. If the employee is unable to perform work, they may take sick leave or if the absence is Covid-19 related, employees should contact Amanda Berry, employee benefits manager at to discuss available leave options under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act.

Events and Travel

As of Nov. 20, 2020, all indoor events should be canceled, postponed or moved to a virtual setting. Outdoor events can function with 25% capacity or a maximum of 75 people. Please see this page for more details.

Yes. All University-funded or -affiliated travel is suspended through the end of the spring 2021 semester.

Faculty, staff or students who foresee a need to travel that warrants an exception to this policy should act well in advance of their anticipated travel to request an exception (proposed by the relevant dean and granted by the provost for academic travel; and proposed by the relevant director or associate vice president and approved by the COO for nonacademic travel). Please contact the Office of International Studies for additional information on study-abroad courses.

This policy does not address personal travel. However, MSU Denver asks its constituents to please act responsibly and either postpone travel plans or take extreme precautionary measures while traveling in any capacity.

Per recent clinical guidance, those returning from out-of-state travel should consider quarantining upon arriving home and be tested for Covid-19 (using a PCR test, not a rapid antigen test) five days after the date of return. At a minimum, quarantine should continue until test results are known. Once quarantine is ended, if earlier than 14 days, continue to monitor for the development of any Covid-19 symptoms for up to 14 days. The recommendation to wait five days to be tested is based on the fact that it takes time for an infected individual’s viral load to be sufficient to elicit a positive test result. 

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