Table of contents
IT issues

In an effort to help users resolve issues as quickly as possible, all IT questions and concerns should be sent via email to helpdesk@coa.edu . The IT department will triage support requests.

The following services are offered by appointment only for Fall 2020:

  • Remote, in-person, telephone, and e-mail support for educational technology needs.
  • Basic (limited) support for personal computers (Mac or PC)
  • Help with installation of student-owned software or other free programs/utilities
  • Support for our campus Wi-Fi network

Phone usage from off-campus
  1. How to change your message on your work phone to tell people to call you at home:
    1. Contact IT at helpdesk@coa.edu  for instructions
  2. Using the call handling option on the COA phone system from your office (must have Mitel app on your desktop):
    1. Use your program search feature to see if you have Mitel Connect app loaded on your COA computer
    2. If so, open it.  If not, you will have to use method #1 above
    3. If you’re asked to Log In and don’t remember your username and password, ask the IT helpdesk at helpdesk@coa.edu
    4. If you are already set up, your account will open
    5. Click on the settings widget to the right of your name
    6. Click the “call routing” menu item. This is most likely set to “available,” “incoming calls are routed to your desktop,” and “no phone selected to simultaneous ring.”
    7. On the right-hand side of the box, click the first green button that says “change” (do not hit the Start Wizard; it’s the button just below that)
    8. At the top of this new page, you will see a gray box that says “availability routing.” Underneath that, check the box that says “also simultaneously ring these numbers”
    9. A new box will open for you to enter your landline and/or cell phone #
    10. Once you have done that, click SAVE
Hosting meetings from afar

Supervisors, committee chairs, and others can host meetings remotely via these free and easy-to-use platforms:

Zoom:  Zoom is a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. Normally, only the first 40 minutes is free, but the company is extending that during the coronavirus pandemic (Pam Mitchell is also getting 50 Zoom Pro licenses which will mostly be used for teaching. More on that later). Have your employees download the Zoom app. It’s quite simple to set up and invite people to a meeting. Here’s how to host a Zoom meeting.   

Google Meet: Google Meet is another video conferencing app. Google Meet application for PCs is here, and for Apple products (phones, iPads,etc) is here. You can also take notes and chat on the site. To start a meeting, in a web browser, enter https://meet.google.com and follow these steps:

  1. Click Join or start a meeting.
  2. Enter a nickname or leave it blank to start your own meeting. Click “continue.”
  3. Click “join now.”
  4. To add someone to a meeting, choose an option: Click “copy joining info” and paste the meeting details into an email or another app.

Slack: Slack is great for keeping in touch with your employees and committees in real time. However, it does not provide video or audio conferencing — rather, it is like instant messaging. Slack offers chat rooms (channels) organized by topic, private groups, and direct messaging. Content, including users,files, and conversations, is all searchable within Slack. Slack’s free plan allows only the 10,000 most recent messages to be viewed and searched. Get started here .

Business office information and solutions

The Business Office has changed practices due to COVID-19, especially with an eye toward making the system easier for employees while off campus. The doors to the business office will be locked; all transactions should occur over email or by phone.

We are simplifying the timesheet process and reducing the need for paper while many employees work off campus. As such, all hours should be submitted via email, by supervisors only. We will still be following regular payroll deadlines.

Student timesheets: We are longer using paper timesheets. Instead, supervisors should email businessoffice@coa.edu with:

  • A list of the students who worked during the pay period, how many hours worked by each, and the pay period end date
  • The list should include full student names and the budget number to be charged for each
  • If a student works for more than 40 hours in a pay period, you must also include weekly totals for both weeks of the period
  • This email must come from the supervisor (your COA email please) and note STUDENT TIMESHEETS in the subject line
  • Submit the hours NO LATER than 8 am Monday when hours are due

Staff timesheets:  Similar to the student timesheets, supervisors should submit to BusinessOffice@coa.edu :

  • A list of who worked during the pay period, how many hours worked by each, and the pay period end date
  • The list should include full names of staff and the department to be charged, if not a standard COA department (record the number if a grant)
  • If in one week the employee has vacation, personal, or other types of time paid that is not standard work time, please not that
  • Submit the hours using your COA email, and note STAFF TIMESHEETS in the subject line
  • Please remember that for regular staff, hours should total what they were hired for (full-time staff should have hours that equal 70 for two weeks, etc.)

Budget transfers: Budget transfers should be submitted to the business office email and in the subject line please note BUDGET TRANSFER. Submit these from your COA email, and in the email please include: 

  • Amount:
  • Budget to be charged:
  • Budget to be credited:
  • For:

If you have one of our paper budget transfers and want to complete it and scan it to the business office, that is fine too.

Payment vouchers/expense reports: These should also be submitted to the business office email and in the subject line please note PAYMENT VOUCHERS.  Submit these from your COA email, and in the email please include:

  • Who to pay (full name):
  • Amount:
  • Why/when/where:
  • Budget to charge:
  • Address to send check: 

If there are any receipts to go along with the payment voucher, please attach a copy to the email.  Additionally, if this is for a new vendor, please submit a W-9 along with the voucher. If you have one of our paper payment vouchers and want to complete it and scan it to us, that is fine too. 

We are trying to continue to do a weekly check run, however if this changes we will let you know as soon as possible.  Please give us all the necessary information to process a check as communication could be delayed during these times. Remember, reimbursements must be turned in to the business office within 60 days of the expense.

Invoices/credit card bills/purchase orders: COA will still be processing mail and receiving invoices. As many employees will be off campus, we are asking the mail room to send all invoices received (when one can tell it is an invoice) directly to the business office, even if it is addressed to another office. We will email the manager the vendor name and amount, and ask for approval from you.

We want to make sure we only pay what is a legitimate COA expense, so if you are unsure about the invoice, let us know and we will scan you a copy. If you have an invoice and can scan it to us, please do so and put INVOICE in the subject line.  At least for now, we will have someone in the office who can issue you a purchase order, which is the best way to go if you are purchasing an item. For all PO requests, email the business office with PURCHASE ORDER in the subject line.  

If you have a COA credit card and won’t be on campus checking your mail, please go online and retrieve your credit card statement.  You can send the bill via the business office email address, and in the subject line writeCC (or Credit Card). I believe all or most credit card bills are due on the 19th of each month, so try to get the statements in to us in time to process the payments for you.

Paychecks: As there will be no walk-in traffic in the business office, we will be mailing all paychecks and pay stubs. If you do not have direct deposit and would like to start that, please email us and we will get you the proper paperwork. Important: when you send the paperwork back, it must be from your COA email address.

Miscellaneous: The business office staff will be staggering our hours between home and on campus, however, we will be constantly checking email. As we will not always be on campus, there may be some things that we will not be able to complete immediately. In those situations, we will try to get the information to you as soon as we possibly can. Please write to BusinessOffice@coa.edu to check in on any pending requests or issues. 

If you have other questions about items such as benefits, budgets, insurance, workers compensation, etc, please feel free to email us at BusinessOffice@coa.edu . For personal questions involving pay, benefits, or workers compensation, please email Tricia Pinkhan or Missy Cook

These new systems are a work in progress, so if one or more of these processes don’t work well for you, please let us know and we’ll see what solutions we can come up with. The business office will be receiving a lot of emails, so please remember to use the subject lines as outlined above.

Social distancing
Public health goals are to prevent rapid spreading of COVID-19 through social distancing, as the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are within about six feet from each other. Along with good hygiene practices, social distancing is considered the best practice for protecting our personal health, along with the health of the most vulnerable in our society. 
 
All COA staff and faculty who can have started to work remotely, and we are instituting social distancing practices for those who continue to work on campus, as well as Millard’s workstudy crew. Public spaces are now closed or are in the process of closing, including the library, museum, freebox, academic buildings, Deering Common, and TAB. Each of those areas is working to move their services online or to deliver them in new ways that reduce risk. Please email or call rather than go to any office in person. Only people required to be on campus because of work or living arrangements should be on campus.
 
There are things that each of us can do as well. Best practices state that individuals should remember the following:
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick or feeling unwell
  • Maintain more than six feet of distance between yourself and others as much as possible
  • Limit the sharing of things like towels and utensils
  • Limit gatherings and use alternate methods for social connection (connection is still critically important for mental health, so let’s be creative— see below)

And the following guidance still applies:

  • If you are sick, stay home 
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after being in a public space or after you cough or blow your nose
  • Use hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if hand washing is not possible
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover your cough; sneeze into elbows.
Travel
The following restrictions are in place for people planning to travel and those who have recently returned:  
  • If you left the state after March 12, remain off campus for 14 days, beginning with the day you returned to the state.
  • If you have traveled and returned to the state within 14 days prior to March 12, remain off campus for 14 days after your return to the state, beginning with the day you return.
  • If you have not traveled, but are in close contact with someone who has traveled outside of the state, please practice social distancing, wash your hands, and limit all unnecessary contact with others while on campus.
  • If you have any reason to believe you have been in contact with someone who has been exposed to COVID-19, remain off campus for 14 days from the day you were in contact with that person.
 
Mailroom protocol moving forward

Beginning Monday, July 6th mail service and deliveries to the campus mail room will return to 5 days a week

Package and mail distribution to Turrets will only occur on Monday/Wednesday/Friday
Even though mail and packages will still be delivered each business day, the mail will only be sorted and distributed three days a week. Those days are strictly Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. If you have a special circumstance please communicate with Sydnie White directly and with as much advance notice as possible.

Getting your mail/packages metered
Kaelber Hall hall will continue to be locked during regular business hours, so please continue to use the library book drop that is located directly outside. Please be sure to include your name/department information somewhere on your outgoing mail.

This drop box will be checked on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of each week and mail will also be posted on those days. If you have something that needs to be posted and go out the same day, please communicate that prior to putting it in the dropbox.

With regard to packages or large mailings that need to be metered, please be in touch with Sydnie White directly, with as much advance notice as possible to coordinate the logistics.

Retrieving your packages & mail
You will continue to receive your mail in your faculty/staff mailboxes in Turrets and your packages from the Turrets copier room. Distribution of mail to these mailboxes and packages to the copier room will occur on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week.

Turrets will be open from 8am-6pm M-F. If you use Turrets outside of these hours, contact Millard for a key.

Any questions at all, please contact either mailroom@coa.edu or swhite@coa.edu .


Intermittent Paid Leave for Employees who are Teleworking with Children at Home

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act has two provisions relative to families with children affected by COVID-19. They are the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family & Medical Leave Expansion Act.  Both provide paid leave for employees who are caring for children for whom school or childcare has been closed due to COVID-19 precautions if they cannot telework because of their responsibilities caring for the child or children.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also states that if an employer directs or allows an employee to telework, the employer may allow the employee to take paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave intermittently, in any agreed increment of time.  

 COA has decided to allow the use of intermittent leave for eligible employees under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (only). This gives an employee up to 80 hours to use incrementally over any number of weeks. For example, if an employee normally teleworks for 35 hours a week, but, because of small children at home due to COVID precautions, can only productively work 25 of those hours, they may take 10 hours of leave per week up to 80 hours under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act.  The pay rate for those 10 hours is ⅔ rate of pay, per the act.

A staff member must use all their earned time off before using paid leave, as well as 50% of all banked time if any. Further, the law stipulates that there must be a clear written agreement between the supervisor and staff member that explains that the employee may take intermittent paid sick leave.  Additionally, they also must agree on the increments of time in which leave may be taken. COA will further request the employee’s schedule be stated in the agreement. 

If you are interested in applying to take advantage of this benefit, please email Lynn Boulger (lboulger@coa.edu ) for the agreement form.