Guidance for individual faculty or staff attending external events

As Wisconsin continues to deal with COVID-19 and its impact on its people, environment, and economy, CALS faculty and staff have and will continue to be sought after to provide advice and guidance to farmers, local leaders, and other stakeholders. This could include invitation to participate in in-person events hosted by others.

In general, CALS highly discourages in-person events and our guidance remains: what can be done remotely should continue to be done remotely. However, rare situations are bound to emerge that necessitate in-person participation by CALS faculty or staff. CALS offers the following guidance to individuals in deciding whether to participate.

  • Individuals have unique health situations and contexts that they must consider in making a decision to attend in-person. No one should feel compelled to participate in person and should discuss with their supervisor, chair, or CALS HR representative if they do.
  • It is reasonable to expect any event, regardless of sponsor, should include sufficient safety protocols to minimize the risk to all participants. Participants should review and feel comfortable with these protocols before accepting an invitation to participate in-person.
    • For events sponsored by CALS units, a COVID-19 event checklist has been developed. This can serve as a guide for participants to assess risk and to share with event organizers to ensure they follow best practices.
  • Employed graduate or undergraduate students (to include graduate research assistants) in CALS are prohibited from participating in non-university events as part of their positions without permission of their department chair.
    • For such approval, the event sponsors will need to document protocols consistent with those on campus.
  • CALS faculty and staff are expected to observe existing UW policies for car travel with no more than two people per vehicle with appropriate precautions (diagonal seating with opposite windows open). Out-of-state travel and in-state air travel remains prohibited without prior approval of the dean.
  • If a participant is not comfortable with the level of safety protocols being used or compliance with it (e.g., not wearing masks, maintaining distancing), we encourage them to leave the event.

If you have questions about this guidance and how it applies to your specific situation, you should contact Associate Dean for Extension and Outreach Doug Reinemann.