Guidelines for Faculty Members Considering Relocation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Guidelines for Faculty Members Considering Relocation

During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, remote instruction will continue at Kent State University at least through the spring 2020 semester. While most instructors are offering remote instruction locally, some instructors may have personal circumstances that could result in the need to relocate their remote presence away from the local area for an extended time. 

Before you leave the local area and plan to teach remotely from a site away from campus, your local residence or other local site, all instructors should review the following considerations and make necessary arrangements beforehand:

  • Inform and seek approval from your unit administrator (department chair, school director, regional campus dean or college dean, as applicable) if you must be away from campus or your local residence for an extended period.
  • Relocating to teach remotely from a location outside the United States is not permitted at this time.  While we understand that some instructors may desire to teach from a location outside the United States, unfortunately employment law, tax law, and other applicable rules and regulations vary greatly around the world. Your failure to comply with such laws, rules, and regulations may result in a substantial tax bill, issues with retirement contributions, ineligibility for workers compensation and other benefits, or delays in payroll processing. The university is not positioned to assist you with or resolve these matters outside of the United States. At the present time, if you need to leave the country for any reason when classes are in session, you must arrange to take paid or unpaid leave, as applicable, with your unit administrator. 
  • Should your unit administrator approve remote teaching at an alternate location in the United States: 
    • Do not assume that your healthcare, workers compensation, unemployment compensation, retirement, disability and other benefits will automatically apply in an alternate location. Review your situation with the Division of Human Resources to avoid any confusion about eligibility and coverage at an alternate location. Plan and prepare should you need to return to your local residence for medical or other urgent personal reasons.
    • Confirm internet availability and access to Kent State’s VPN and other systems at the alternate location. Be sure that you will be able to perform all the essential functions of your position. For tenure-track faculty members this includes not only teaching your courses, but also participating in research and service obligations. Your attendance at all virtual meetings such as various committee and faculty governance meetings, as well as your participation in research collaborations and administrative procedures is expected.
    • Maintain an accurate record of all university equipment that you plan to take with you to the alternate location. Share that information with your unit administrator and/or the Division of Information Technology. Confirm that all security protocols are current on all equipment. 
    • Be aware of COVID-19 restrictions that may require quarantine time when you arrive at or return from an alternate location. Also be prepared to communicate with students and manage classes and/or assignments in the event you are unable to return to campus or your local residence for any reason. 
    • Students should be notified of your change of location if instruction will be impacted in any way.
    • Always schedule any synchronous activities, meetings or office hours at reasonable times consistent with Eastern Standard Time.