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Office of the Provost

CWU Together Faculty FAQs

These FAQs are maintained and updated by the Office of the Provost.  Additional questions may be submitted to Gail Mackin, Associate Vice Provost, at Please use “Faculty FAQ” in the subject line.

For a comprehensive list of FAQs, visit the COVID-19 Employee FAQs and COVID-19 Student FAQs web pages.



The Fall 2021 Planning Group, sponsored by the Provost and led by Project Management Office Director James Jankowski, included representatives of all five divisions of the university, as well as Dr. Mark Larson, a Kittitas County Public Health officer.  The majority of the plans transitioning to a mostly in-person Fall 21 have been completed.  

The COVID-19 Fall 21 Planning Committee and Task Forces, led by Associate Vice Provost Gail Mackin and Dean of Student Success Gregory Heinselman, are making recommendations to the Executive Leadership Team and President Wohlpart concerning key elements to include for COVID-19 vaccination and face cover requirements and policy.  

Decision points and protocol pertaining to the ASL operations within academics and extracurricular operations will be established by ASL Leadership including the Faculty Senate Chair.

Teaching and Learning

 No. The last term in which the Provost authorized Emergency Pass/Fail grading was spring quarter.  All EP grades received during the COVID Pandemic will be used to satisfy course prerequisites and count toward degree requirements.  More information is available here.  

Internal MOU - Internship waivers and substitutions are available only to students graduating in spring and summer 2021.  Internship requirements will resume for fall 2021 graduation requirements.


Adhere to the vaccination and making policy.  Students who are not vaccinated are required to wear a facial covering on campus at all times, indoors and outdoors.  The current facial covering mandate is in effect through the end of winter quarter.

No, since CWU is considered a Fully Vaccinated Campus, we are able to use our classrooms at full capacity, as it was before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faculty maintain flexibility when creating course syllabi.  Existing CWU policy outlines required sections of syllabi and faculty can word them in a variety of ways to suit the needs of the course content and modality.  The following links provide useful information when developing syllabi:


Face Covering Information - CWU Together Faculty FAQs under "What if a student arrives to a face to face class without a facial covering?"


Faculty may add further information and course guidance to their syllabi if they chose to do so.


Example masking language for syllabi:

Due to COVI-19, students in this classroom are required to wear masks that cover both the nose and the mouth.  If you attend class without an appropriate mask you will be asked to leave and obtain a mask before returning.


If you do not have a face mask, Central Washington University can provide one for you.  If you have not yet received your CWU-supplied mask, please go to the SURC Information Desk.  Some departments/programs may also provide disposable masks.  Please obtain a suitable mask prior to the start of your first class.  Information on appropriate masks can be found at this web site:

Standard face shields, single-layer neck gaiters, single layer masks, masks with one-way vent valves, and handkerchiefs are not considered appropriate masks for this course.  

The COVID-19 Fall Planning Committee and Task Force, with membership representing all student, faculty and staff governance groups, are weighing all official recommendations from the CDC, the DOH and KCPHD as well as bringing with them a deep understanding of CWU culture and varying concern from all executive divisions and student body.  The recommendations the Task Force makes to the Executive Leadership Team represent hours of discussion and work to find consensus in providing a frame work to ensure that CWU can operate in-person, providing a robust living and learning experience for students while implementing sufficient restrictions and safety protocols to minimize risk of being infected with COVID-19.

Outside of campus, faculty should continue to follow KCPHD recommended guidelines around vaccinations, physical distancing, hand washing, wearing a face covering, and not attending large gatherings.

If you are feeling anxious, there are resources available via the Employee Assistance Program (username: cwu).  It often helps to talk to supportive people in your life, such as a friend, family member, partner, or other trusted person.

They will not know. Students and employees have until October 18th to comply with the CWU COVID-19 vaccine policy.  The indoor masking policy currently in place is an added protection to ensure the safety of both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals.  There may be limited instances of faculty knowing the vaccination status of their students for those who seek accommodations due to exemptions. 

Please note, anyone may volunteer their vaccination status, but they are not required to share it when asked and we should refrain inquiring about it.

Health and Safety

Yes. Effective Saturday, March 19, face coverings will no longer be required in most indoor spaces on the Ellensburg campus, with some exceptions that are outlined below.

However, CWU will continue to require face coverings through the end of the day Friday, April 8, inside all classrooms and at large indoor gatherings with 500 or more people.  Unless otherwise communicated, the CWU mask mandate will end for all indoor spaces on the Ellensburg campus Saturday, April 9.

University Centers and instructional sites will continue to follow the policies of their host institutions.  

Face coverings will continue to be required in several places, even after the mask mandate expires on April 9.

  • Lab classes that have close contact, as noted by the faculty member on their syllabus.
  • Public transportation.
  • Health and medical facilities, including the CWU Student Medical and Counseling Center.
  • The Early Childhood Learning Center.
  • Food Services.
  • University-owned or contracted vans or buses for the transportation of large groups of students.

CWU updated its face-covering policy due to declining COVID-19 transmission rates and hospitalizations, in accordance with the state’s revised guidelines.  New guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) places Kittitas County in the low range for COVID-19 transmission, which means masks are encouraged but not required.

Based on current data and guidance from state and local health officials, this is the direction CWU has chosen to follow. If our status changes and we move back into a higher range, the university’s shared governance groups will discuss reinstituting the mask mandate.

As it has throughout the pandemic, CWU continues to follow guidance from the CDC, Washington State Department of Health, and local public health officials. The CDC recently changed its guidance on masking, which is now based on three factors: (1) hospital beds used for COVID-19 patients, (2) hospital admissions for COVID-19, and (3) transmission rates, all at a county level. County-level data is available on the CDC website.

CWU continues to encourage everyone to stay home if they are not feeling well and contact your supervisor or instructor to make arrangements.

In addition, the university will host a series of testing clinics for students and employees the week after spring break (March 29-31) in SURC 137.  CWU will closely monitor the data from those clinics and the local health department for the next two weeks and make any determinations about how to proceed with the face-covering mandate at that time.  If you have questions about the testing clinics, call Student Health Services at 509-963-1881.

Yes.  Faculty may request that masks continue to be worn in their classrooms after April 8, and any employee or student may request that those entering their spaces when they are occupied (e.g., offices, residential hall rooms) wear a mask when they enter.  CWU asks that you honor those requests, recognizing that individuals may have reasons for requesting the additional safety measures.  

Yes. Masks have been shown to increase safety, and CWU encourages anyone who wants to continue wearing a mask to do so. The university asks everyone to remember that we do not know why an individual may be wearing a mask. They may be immunocompromised or may be caring for young children who cannot be vaccinated.

Faculty, staff, and students who need a safety accommodation with regard to the new policy should contact Human Resource Services at 509-963-1202 or, or Disability Services at 509-963-2214 or

Are vaccinations still required for CWU students and employees?

Yes. The changes to the face-covering policy do not affect the COVID-19 vaccination policy that was implemented in the summer of 2021.

Yes. The changes to the face-covering policy do not affect the COVID-19 vaccination policy that was implemented in the summer of 2021.

COVID 19 Non-Compliant Student Engagement in Academic Spaces

The purpose of this protocol is to assist faculty and staff in supporting a safe and healthy environment for all members of the university community.

If a student arrives to a face to face class without a Facial Covering, faculty should:

Engage the student and ask them if they have and/or need a face covering.

Faculty can direct the student to a location to obtain a face covering, or faculty can ask the student to leave the classroom.

If the student is not compliant with using a face covering and will not leave the classroom, the faculty should dismiss the class and the faculty should submit a Student of Concern Report online to Student Rights and Responsibilities. It is important to engage in a way that does not escalate the situation and frames the conversation around public health and wellness for all members of the community including faculty and students.

Student Rights and Responsibilities will contact the student and discuss the noncompliant behavior before the student will be allowed to return to the classroom.

 CWU can apply the following Washington Administrative Code that can address the noncompliant student behavior:

  • WAC 106-125-020 (5) Failure to Comply
  • WAC 106-125-020 (15) University Policy Violation
  • WAC 106-125-020 (12) Safety Violations

No.  Under current health guidelines students should never be unmasked in an indoor lecture or lab space unless they are the sole person assigned to the lab (see CWUP 2-40-145 Face Covering) and lab safety protocols allow.  Any exceptions must be approved by the Dean and the Provost.

A close contact is defined as someone who was less than 6 feet away from an infected person while indoors for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24 hour period.  This definition holds for those individuals wearing facial coverings as well. The close contact should follow the protocol described in the COVID-19 Screening Flowchart. 

  • It would be prudent to ask the student if they are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted or fully vaccinated and not yet eligible to be boosted.
  • If they answer affirmatively, they should attend class.  Remind them to get tested 5 days after their last exposure to COVID-19.  They may wish to distance themselves from others, if possible.  You may opt to work with them remotely until they receive their negative test, but this is not required.
  • Otherwise, they should not physically attend class and should get tested at day 5 after exposure.  If the test is negative, they can return to work/school once their symptoms abate.  If they test positive, they should stay home for at least 10 days from the day symptoms started AND at least 24 hours after fever resolves without fever reducing medications AND symptoms improve.
  • There is no reason to inform the class of close contact.
  • If you are fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and boosted or fully vaccinated and not yet eligible to be boosted and asymptomatic, you need to get tested 5 days after the last date of contact but should continue to hold class as usual.  
  • Otherwise, speak with your chair to arrange to shift the course online temporarily or find a sub while you are ill.  See Article 19 of the CBA for more information concerning Sick Leave.

A student who has tested positive for COVID-19 - vaccinated or unvaccinated - must follow these portocols as depicted in the Covid-19 Screening Flowchart:

  • Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others in your home.
  • End isolation after 5 full days when you are fever-free for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, end islation after 5 full days after your positive test.
  • If ill with COVID-19, you should isolate for at least 10 days and consult with your health care provider.
  • Continue to wear face coverings inside all facilities as well as outside when in large gatherings. N95/KN95 masks are strongly encouraged over cloth masks.

The isolation protocol includes the student not leaving their premises. If they live on campus, they will need to be moved to an isolation room.

Faculty should discuss and create an assignment plan for the time in which the student is out of class while isolating. Documentation through email of these alternative arrangements is crucial. Faculty may also:

  • Ensure that the student is connected to the resources of Student Health Services.
  • If the student was tested outside of Kittitas County, provide the student with the contact information for Kittitas County Public Health Department.  This will allow KCPHD to assist students with understanding their responsibility in contacting close contacts, providing the specific date when isolation is over, and connecting other resources.
  • The instructor should inform the department chair and college dean with as little identifying information as possible (Student ID of the COVID-19 positive student is sufficient).

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, they will be consulted by a health professional about how to identify their close contacts and will be asked to inform these people as soon as possible.  Students who inform their instructors are following proper protocol in order to keep their peers and the CWU community safe.

Consider the activities that occurred within the class at the time the COVID -positive student was contagious and the proximity of the COVID-positive student with yourself and the other students.

  • It may be that the student was not within 6 feet of you or other students for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more in a 24-hour period and everyone was wearing facial coverings, in which case there are no close contacts.
  • There may have been only a handful of students within 6 feet of the COVID-positive students, in which case these are the only close contacts.  If you are confident that you know who these students are, you are encouraged to contact them individually and inform them of the protocols above concerning close contacts.
  • If you are unable to verify that there were no close contacts - or a finite number of close contacts with the COVID-positive student, you should:
    • Inform the class they were potentially exposed to COVID-19 and should consider themselves to be close contacts.
    • Specify the dates and the directions listed above as close contact (share close contact definition and requirements with students, if necessary.)
    • Preserve the privacy of the COVID-positive student as much as possible.  In particular, if other students ask who the student is, you should decline to answer.

The instructor should inform the department chair and college dean with as little identifying information as possible (student ID of the COVID-positive student is sufficient).  This information will be necessary if an outbreak should occur.  Maintain contact with the chair and dean concerning additional confirmation of close contacts or COVID-positive students and consult with them to determine if there is a need to temporarily shift modality.



In the case of a positive test, CWU faculty  - both vaccinated and unvaccinated - must follow these protocols (available on the CDC website):

  • Stay home for 5 days and isolate from others in your home.
  • End isolation after 5 full days when you are fever-free for 24 hours (without using fever-reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
  • If you do not develop symptoms, end isolation after 5 full days after your positive test.
  • Continue to wear face coverings inside all facilities as well as outside when in large gatherings. N95/KN95 masks are strongly encouraged over cloth masks.

Students who are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms should make an appointment to visit Student Health Services at (509)963-1881 between the hours of 8:40 to 10:00 a.m., and 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.  See Welcome to Student Health Services for more details. 

CWU Student Health Services will also be offering three additional on-campus COVID-19 testing opportunities and a booster shot clinic the week of January 18-21 and January 25-27 for students and employees. Please visit Winter Quarter Testing and Booster Clinics for the complete schedule.

To check all locations of testing sites near you, visit the Washington State Department of Health website.

All field trips must be pre-approved by respective Deans. CWU Motorpool requires that everyone riding in a CWU vehicle be vaccinated. Faculty and staff leading the field trip should consider opening windows when possible and should ensure that everyone wears masks.

If a vaccinated, masked students who was on a field trip tests positive for COVID-19, inform the other students in the vehicle that they have had a close contact and must be tested for COVID-19 3 to 5 days after exposure (see COVID-19 Screening Flowchart).  They do not need to quarantine unless they show COVID-19 symptoms or test positive for COVID-19. 

If possible, faculty are encouraged to create, in consultation with the student as necessary, an assignment plan for the time in which the student is out of class while isolating.  Documentation through email of these alternative arrangement is crucial.

Note that if a significant portion of the class must be absent for COVID-related reasons, temporarily modifying the modality of course delivery may be considered with the approval of your chair and dean, per provision 13 of the MOU signed on September 23rd, 2021.

Contact your chair immediately.  For short-term absence, work with your chair to arrange to temporarily shift the course online or find a sub while you are ill or unable to meet your teaching obligations.  For long-term absences, contact HR.  See Article 19 of the CBA for more information concerning Sick Leave.

If feasible for your class, consider assigning seats and keeping a seating chart in case one of your students tells you they have COVID-19 and were in your classroom 2-3 days before the onset of their symptoms or when they were tested.  

Remind students to stay home if they are feeling ill, follow the guidelines for COVID-19 testing and keep in communication with the instructor concerning class assignments, etc.

Classrooms and labs will be cleaned daily with electrostatic sprayers and deep cleaned twice a week.  See the complete COVID-19 related service schedule here.

All academic buildings meet ASHRAE and the Washington State Department of Health's recommendations for reducing the transmission of Covid-19 within HVAC systems and will be open for Fall 2021. Facilities will install fans (primarily in windows) throughout campus in classrooms that do not have mechanically adjusted HVAC. Please see here for information on air circulation.  (See attached memo from Shane Scott, Associate Vice-President - Campus Planning & Facilities Management.)


All local, regional, or national travel by students or ASL employees may be approved at the dean's level as follows:

  • Individual Travel:
    • Faculty and Staff: Submit requests to Dean for approval
      • Vaccinated - no restrictions due to COVID
      • Unvaccinated - attest to following CWU requirements for exemption accommodation; safety protocol may be required
  • Students: Submit a request to the Dean
    • Vaccinated - no restrictions due to COVID
    • Unvaccinated - attest to following CWU requirements for safety requirements; safety protocol may be required. 
  • Group Travel:
    • Day Trips:
      • All individuals must be vaccinated
      • Required travel for course requirements 
        • All required travel must be listed on the class syllabus.
          • Clearly articulate if there is an alternative assignment available for students who are unable to participate in the trip (there may be reasons not connected to vaccination status.
        • Students must show proof of vaccination if Student Services has not verified that the entire class roster is vaccinated.
    • Overnight Stays:
      • Housing policies and contractual partners shall be reviewed and modified to comply with safety protocols.  When possible, occupancies should be reduced to no more than two students per room and common areas should accommodate physical distancing requirements.  All entrances to bedrooms must be able to be secured from inside the room to prevent entry.
    • Necessary Forms or Process:
      • Vaccination Verification Form for Travel




All international travel by any student or ASL employee requires approval by the Provost.  A comprehensive safety protocol will be required.

Students who are required to participate in a non-CWU location on a regular basis, as required by a course or program, must satisfy the CWU vaccination and masking requirements and any additional requirements of their host organization.  It is the responsibility of the host organization to ensure that the student is adhering to their own safety requirements.  The host organization may report non-compliance of either set of safety protocols to the appropriate CWU contact person.

Any ASL department organizing and hosting conferences and meetings on the Ellensburg or Sammamish campus is required to submit safety protocols for the entirety of the conference/meeting schedule.  Programs that include the following restrictions may be approved by the dean, with notification to the Provost Office:

  • All invited guests are required to wear facial coverings indoors (even while presenting) and outdoors in congested areas;
  • Sufficient social distancing is provided for participants (as if unvaccinated);
  • All transportation to and from CWU is the responsibility of the participants;
  • All meals occur either outside, at CWU dining facility, or off-campus;
  • All overnight accommodations are off-campus; and
  • Participants take responsibility of their own safety with respect to avoiding transmission.

Conference guests or invited groups that are participating in activities outside of those listed above may still be considered for approval.  Organizers are encouraged to consult with their department chair and dean to determine appropriate safety measures.  Approval by the Provost will be required. 


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