H1N1 Contingency Plans
Date: September 17, 2009
To: UMBC Faculty and Staff
From: Dr. Geoff Summers
Vice President for Research
Re: Pandemic Flu: Maintaining Research and Creative Activities
As the university prepares for eventualities that might result from the spread of the H1N1 infection, especially the possible partial or total closure of the campus, it is important that plans are made now to maintain as far as possible the research and scholarly activity enterprise.
My own staff is making contingency plans to keep the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP), the Office of Technology Development (OTD) and the Human and Animal Research Protection Office (HARPO) functioning. A separate communication about this will be sent out in the near future.
In some instances it will be relatively easy for faculty members to continue their research/scholarly activity off site, especially for those who do not need access to special facilities on campus, but for faculty members with research or other laboratories on campus there would be considerable challenges if the university were to close completely. If this were to happen, only essential personnel would be allowed on campus and relatively few research and scholarly activities fall into the essential category. It is very important therefore that you start to plan immediately how you would continue your program if you, your research staff, and your students could not access your laboratory space. Specifically it is essential to think now about activities that could be performed remotely. Such things as developing new proposals, leading discussions of the literature in a new field you have been thinking about, writing journal articles, planning new experiments, developing computer codes, and gaining expertise in running modeling or visualization programs are activities that you might consider. Now might be the time to purchase software you will need in the near future that you could work on remotely if you had to. I am sure you can think of many other ways you could maintain the productivity of your particular research group.
For those faculty members whose scholarly activity requires access to special library books or facilities, it would be prudent to coordinate with the staff at AOK Library as soon as possible.
I urge you to discuss your plans with your department chair and colleagues since a collective departmental approach would make a lot of sense. If your research program includes elements that you think might be considered essential, such as equipment with special maintenance requirements, please inform your chair. The Deans will work with the Chairs and the university administration to develop a list of essential personnel.
Please do not hesitate to contact my office if you have concerns or would like advice on specific issues.
September 21, 2009
Human and Animal Research Protections Office