How to Document Pandemic Impacts on Your Teaching, Research, & Service

A. Documenting Pandemic Impacts: Best Practices

"Documenting Pandemic Impacts: Best Practices" (pdf) recognizes that "COVID-19 has differential impacts; internal and external evaluators may not understand or know the specific context in which faculty members’ work has been disrupted, depending on where they are located or their own pandemic experiences."

  • The document provides an extensive list of "ideas about how to document pandemic impacts through annual faculty reviews, and separate 'pandemic impact statements' for personnel reviews." 
  • "Through careful documentation and thoughtful recognition of pandemic impacts in fair evaluation processes, the variable impacts of COVID will be less likely to worsen existing inequalities."
  • The two-page document covers the following topics:
    • "Why Document the Impact?"
    • "How Can Faculty Members Document Pandemic Impacts?" (sketched in B, below)
    • "How Should Evaluators Consider Personnel Cases?"
    • "What Resources Exist for Addressing COVID Impacts?"

B. What to Track/Document

The document "recommend[s] tracking the following, and documenting those relevant through annual faculty reviews or pandemic impact statements":

1. "Identify scope of work during the pandemic." 

  • "If granted 'essential worker' status, what work did it apply to, and what new work was added.

2. "Document changes to courses, including moving courses online and new technologies."

  • "Faculty may identify how many additional hours each week focused on teaching to concretize these effects (e.g., 15-hour/week workload for X course shifted to 30- hour/week workload for 7 weeks)."

3. "Point out specific challenges, such as lack of resources (high-speed broadband, software) for faculty and students, and trainings attended or led."

4. "Identify additional teaching responsibilities, including course overloads due to personnel changes, retirements, issues with teaching assistants, assisting others with technology, other workload changes."

5. "Address how advising changed, particularly as students navigated changing requirements."

  • "Identify any increases in advising load."
  • "Mention any additional support for students experiencing physical and or mental health, economic, and social consequences of the pandemic."

6. "Document mentoring impacts, including student progress, and additional mentoring time required with students/peers facing pandemic impacts."

7. "List attending/leading meetings, additional efforts made – any work that would not have occurred during a regular semester."

  • "List efforts to move meetings/events online, e.g. commencement."

8. "List additional work needed to develop plans for closing and re-opening of laboratories, including"

  • "coordination among research teams"
  • "development of cleaning and distancing protocols in the laboratory space, etc."

9. "Identify contributions to any department, university, professional society, interdisciplinary, or community engaged pandemic initiative." 

10. "Identify how research or creative work was disrupted. For example, faculty might note loss of"

  • "Research time due to increased or changed teaching and service responsibilities"
  • "Sabbatical time, other paid or unpaid leave (Fulbright, Guggenheim, etc.)"
  • "If willing, research time due to health issues or caregiving responsibilities"
  • "Access to necessary research facilities/labs/ computing resources (including impacts on longitudinal research), studios, or venues for creative works/performances"
  • "Access to research subjects, animals, cell cultures (including for longitudinal research)"
  • "Additional time and resources spent to restart research, which varies by field"
  • "Travel and field research opportunities"
  • "Funding to support personnel due to travel and visa restrictions or due to research restrictions"
  • "Access to internal or external research funds"

12. "Faculty should further note other kinds of impacts":

  • "Additional teaching/preparations"
  • "Cancellations of seminars, presentations, visits with collaborators or research teams"
  • "Challenges due to increased time for review of submissions for funding or publication"
  • "Redirected funding for COVID-19 related topics"
  • "Pivoting/changing research agenda due to pandemic restrictions"
  • "Diversion of funds for PPE"
  • "Donation of supplies or personnel time to COVID-19 initiatives"
  • "Challenges due to travel/visa restrictions"