Campus Information - Spring 2021

Updated 2/18/21

Health and Safety
Travel & International Student Guidance
The Enterprise Project - Workday
BuckeyeBox/ OneDrive Transition
Council of Graduate Students COVID-19 Resource Link

    You can view the latest updates from the OSU Graduate School on their website.
    Safe and Healthy Buckeyes, graduate studies page
    Spring Semester Testing changes
    COVID Data Dashboard

    View recording of 2/8/21 CFAES Grad Student Info Session.

    Academic Calendar

    In-person classes resumed on Monday, January 25. Depending on how COVID-19 cases continue to trend, and with the guidance of Governor DeWine and state and local health experts, the University will evaluate and act upon any need to transition to fully virtual instruction.

    The university will expand instructional breaks during the spring semester. Please note several other adjustments related to adding these instructional breaks for wellness:

    The first of these two-day breaks from classes will take place Feb. 23-24. The second will be March 31-April 1.
    On April 2, Wednesday classes will meet instead of Friday classes. This conversion day will ensure that classes that meet on Wednesdays have the same number of sessions (14) as every other class day over the course of the semester.
    The addition of these days will change the end of the semester. April 23 will now be the final day of spring classes, and final exams will take place from April 26-30.

    Grading flexibility

    PE is a new mark in the list of possible grades. When exceptional circumstances are declared by the Senate or the provost in coordination with Senate leaders, a PE grade will be applied when:
    Undergraduate students earn what would normally be a D+ or D grade.
    Graduate students earn what would normally be graded C+, C, C-, D+, or D.

    Students will receive a normal letter grade above these marks and an NP if they fail the course. Read full email announcement.

    View all of the academic decisions related to COVID on the Office of Academic Programs webpage:

    Daily Health Checks

    All CFAES personnel will report their daily health status if they plan to be on our Columbus, Wooster, or Statewide Campus (e.g., Extension offices and research stations), doing field work, or interacting face-to-face with the community on behalf of Ohio State.

    The steps to report are simple (view health check flow chart):
    1.     Take your temperature.
    2.     Log in to the health reporting tool via or the Ohio State app (under the "about you" section).
    3.     Record your temperature and answer other health reporting questions.
    4.     Receive your daily health passport. This passport is good during the day it was submitted. 
           RED = Stay home and contact your supervisor
           GREEN = Clear to come to campus
           YELLOW = Time to report your health check

    If you make a mistake while answering the questions, repeat the process.

    Learn more about the pilot, process, participants, and FAQs on the Health Reporting Pilot webpage.

    TESTING, TRACING, and quarantine

    Weekly, required testing of all students who live in university housing will resume the week of February 1, so please consider scheduling your MyChart appointments for the semester. Students who are compliant with weekly testing will be entered in drawings for prizes like gift cards and more. The University is keeping the latest information on the Safe and Healthy website. You can read more information about testing here and about contact tracing and quarantine here. Failure of students to respond may result in a directive to quarantine until testing can be completed, loss of access to non-residential spaces and a report to Student Conduct. 

    What to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms or have been exposed:
    Contact your local primary care provider (PCP) for a health assessment and direction.
    If you do not have a local PCP, contact Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) via a secure message on My BuckMD, at or 614-292-4321 to assess the need for testing and to schedule a COVID-19 test if indicated.
    If your PCP advises that you should have a COVID-19 test, contact Ohio State Student Health Services (SHS) via a secure message on My BuckMD, at or 614-292-4321 to arrange a COVID-19 test.
    If an Ohio State contact tracer determines that you have been exposed as a close contact to someone who is infected with COVID-19, you will be contacted by the team and advised about quarantine and testing.

    What if you test positive?
    If you test positive via Student Health Services (SHS), you will be notified by secure message and by phone. A health care professional will connect with you to provide guidance.
    If you are tested at another Ohio State site and test positive, SHS will be directly notified of the result and the actions above will begin.
    If you are tested outside of Ohio State and test positive, notify SHS by secure message via My BuckMD, or 614-292-4321. 
    You should notify faculty members/instructors/supervisors as soon as you can if you are ill with COVID-19 or having symptoms, or are otherwise unable to attend in-person classes/work to arrange for accommodations and plans for making up work.
    You are not required to tell any faculty members/instructors that you have COVID-19 if you have tested positive, unless they are your supervisor.

    All students, including graduate and professional students, will be included in the surveillance testing program. This allows the university to draw conclusions about the level of spread in the student population, identify asymptomatic cases for isolation, find potential hot spots and prevent further spread on campus and in the broader community. There are limited exceptions including for students who verify that they are taking all virtual courses and that they will not be visiting campus at all during autumn semester. Students are able to submit an exemption by visiting The university will plan to conduct diagnostic testing on 1,500 graduate and professional students on a weekly basis at Jesse Owens North Recreation Center.

    Can I opt out of testing?
    There are a few reasons why students may be able to opt-out of testing, including: 
    1. They have a disability that would physically preclude them from having the test done. 
    2. They are currently sick and unable to get to the testing facility.  
    3. If a student is taking all virtual courses and verifies they will not be physically on campus during the semester and they do not have a university housing contract If a student has been selected for testing in the same semester within one week of their second assigned test (applies to off-campus undergraduates, graduate and professional students only) They have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 90 days. 

    To complete an exemption form, please visit is external). Information about student exemptions can be found by checking their Ohio State email address. For questions, email Read more

    Wooster graduate students that are randomly selected for a COVID-19 test who would like to test in Wooster should reach out to Zac Burkey.56 who is helping to manage testing on the Wooster campus. You can opt out of testing in Columbus by responding to the email you received and state that you would prefer to test at the Wooster campus. Testing in Wooster is done each Wednesday from 11:00am - 3:00pm at Fisher Auditorium. There is no need to sign up for a time, just come during this window. When you arrive, you will be given a test kit and be setup with the electronic testing system. Questions about Wooster testing can also be directed to Zac Burkey.56. Read more


    Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) kits are available for students as outlined on the Safe and Healthy website. If you need to obtain a PPE kit, please contact Kayla Arnold.1065.


    For employment-related requests (including graduate assistantships): Visit the Office of Human Resources website for detailed information.
    View accommodation plan template
    Employee instructions to request an accommodation

    For coursework-related requests: Visit Student Life Disability Services
    University COVID-Related Accommodation Request Form

    The university is committed to supporting students and program participants with COVID-19 based risk factors. OSU Student Life Disability Services (SLDS), in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Equity, will work with students who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 to ensure that they have the necessary resources to participate in university life as safely as possible. If you are unsure whether you qualify for an accommodation, submit a request and an employee will respond to your concerns and provide you with additional resources. Further, documenting a request with SLDS will protect both students and instructors and allow for appropriate accommodations to be made where necessary. Further, CFAES is committed to supporting our students and their needs. If you have concerns that are not addressed here, feel free to reach out to Kayla Arnold for further assistance.


    University IT Services have been working to accommodate any students who may need additional technology to successfully work from home. If students need to request technology items, they can submit a ticket with the IT help desk. However, students should first discuss needs with their advisor and/or program coordinator as the department may have some technology options available to you. Students can also apply for technology funding through the University’s student emergency fund.

    In an effort to protect the health and safety of university faculty, staff, and students, the IT Service Desk offices will not be open for drop-in appointments this fall. Technicians will remain staffed strategically around campus for timely response when in-person support is required. The IT Service Desk will continue to provide IT support remotely through the following methods 24/7:
    For immediate assistance, call 614-514-IT4U(4848). 
    For non-urgent requests, contact online (Email: or Self Service:

    IT Service Desk technicians are able to resolve most issues via phone, email, or online support. If the technician you are working with determines that you need to receive in-person support, they will set up an appointment with you in alignment with the university’s safe and healthy guidelines. Only IT staff will be allowed in IT Service Desk locations. When in-person support is necessary, it will be performed via curbside pickup, at the customer’s desk or in a central meeting area following physical distancing recommendations. Customers and IT Service Desk technicians are required to wear a mask. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we return to campus this fall.

    Recording Studios Available
    Two recording studios are available for use on the CFAES Wooster and Columbus campuses. These rooms are set up for individuals to create course content, research and promotional videos, student projects, and other recorded materials. To help ensure the safety of our CFAES colleagues and students, one morning and afternoon appointment are available this upcoming semester so that we may limit traffic in the spaces. Per Safe and Healthy Buckeyes, facilities will clean the high touch areas twice a day, and clean the main areas once a day. Individuals making use of the spaces will be expected to clean areas before and after use. Cleaning wipes will be made available in the recording studio. Scheduling of the studio space is by appointment only. Please click on one of the links located on the recording studio page, or contact the IT Service Desk at 614-514-4848 (IT4U).

    Additional Recording Hardware Available
    A limited number of iPads outfitted with Padcaster technology are available for week long reservations, and can be picked up at the IT Service Desks on the Columbus and Wooster campuses. These bundles can be used for recording video materials in the field, as well as several of the suggested activities outlined in the recording studio spaces (class introductions or overviews, promotional videos, etc.). Please contact the IT Service Desk at 614-514-4848 (IT4U).

    Coming to Campus?

    Before coming to campus, always answer the following questions: Am I healthy? Have I been exposed to COVID19? And report this on either the website at or on the Health Tracking App on your phone. 

    Wash your hands and clean your lab areas before you start and after you finish, even if only present for a short time. Wash your hands often as you work through your building spaces. To prevent the spread within a lab area and shared spaces, everyone must assume and behave as the person before was shedding virus.

    Face masks are an important tool in helping to protect our colleagues, classmates and broader community from the further spread of COVID-19. As of August 19, masks must also be worn outdoors in settings on campus, even when individuals can maintain appropriate physical distancing. Indoors or outdoors, exceptions are made for those dining, participating in strenuous exercise or taking part in performance-based classes as long as physical distancing can be maintained. Read more about mask requirements on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website.

    No matter where you are, whether you’re at Stone Laboratory, one of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Centers, a field site, or other location, Buckeyes need to wear a mask when in public to protect themselves, each other and our community. Face masks will be part of the return-to-campus kits provided to students, faculty and staff in August before classes resume. The kits will include one disposable mask, two reusable masks, a thermometer, disinfectant wipes and hand sanitizer. If you need to obtain a PPE kit, please contact Kayla Arnold.1065.

    You can find the latest information and resources specific to CFAES on the college's main webpage.

    Events and Gatherings

    The restriction of in person student events of 10 people or fewer has been lifted (as of February 8) based on the latest COVID positivity numbers. Requests for outdoor space, may be made through the Buckeye Event Network website. A limited number of spaces in the Ohio Union and other Student Life facilities may be reserved using the online space request tool. At this time, classroom spaces are not available for events and gatherings. 

    Building Safety and Availability
    It is important to keep building security in mind with fewer people occupying them. Please keep offices and labs locked when working alone or leaving even for a brief period of time. For questions about buildings/safety contact the below Building Coordinators:

    Thompson Library, Columbus
    Wooster Campus Research Library

    Student Emergency Fund
    Ohio State was awarded $42.9 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help mitigate financial impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. Of this total, $21.4 million will be used to assist students experiencing financial hardships caused by the pandemic. The university also has set aside a portion of university donor funds to assist with this emergency. If you are in a situation causing you to need emergency funding, students are encouraged to apply for funding through the University’s student emergency fund.

    Below are some additional financial resources which may be helfpul.


    Health and Safety

    HIPAA Reminder
    Please remember: If you learn of a possible case of COVID-19, do not share the person's health information with colleagues. This is a violation of their privacy, and this information is protected by HIPAA and other laws. To report a COVID-19 case, contact your primary care physician. If you are a manager and receive a report, contact our CFAES HR business partners (Brandi Gilbert-Hammett.1 and Nicole Wakeley.1). In the face of this unprecedented pandemic, we must rely on regional public health officials to continue to investigate cases and trace potential contacts. To prevent the spread within a lab area or shared spaces, everyone must assume and behave as the person before had COVID-19. Remember that substantial spread of COVID19 can occur before a person begins to show symptoms. 

    Spring Semester COVID-19 Testing

    The Ohio State University continues to refine, improve and expand testing efforts as they are a critical component of a safe and healthy campus community. Testing programs are carried out across campus to help the university monitor and address real-time trends and prevalence and make timely decisions on intervention and response.

    Ohio State is planning for spring semester to prioritize the health and safety of the university community, and students need to be prepared to do their part. The university successfully completed autumn semester by acting Together As Buckeyes, and those requirements, including face masks, physical distancing and other personal behavior, will continue in 2021.

    • On a weekly basis, students living in university-managed housing are required to complete a COVID-19 saliva test. Please note, any student living in university-managed housing, including the Gateway Apartments, Buckeye Village and others, are required to participate in the testing program. Participation in the testing is required for continued residence on-campus.
    • Each week, undergraduate, graduate and professional Columbus-campus students who live off campus will be required to take a COVID-19 diagnostic saliva test. There will be no direct costs to students participating in surveillance testing, and participants will be eligible for prizes as a thank you for participation.

    Please visit the Spring Semester COVID-19 Testing page to learn more about changes and requirements for spring semester. You can find further instructions on testing sites and how to setup your testing appointment here:

    Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) has responded to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak by adjusting its cleaning protocols and identifying additional ways to promote health and safety throughout our facilities and shared outdoor spaces. For FOD-managed buildings, custodians will clean restrooms and disinfect high touch point areas at least twice a day, including door handles, faucets, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces in high traffic areas. Specific cleaning protocols will continue to evolve in alignment with central guidance from the university's Transition Task Force. Everyone should review the current guidelines for specific building spaces to determine which areas they are responsible for disinfecting:

    • Individual Offices - Individuals will continue to be responsible for cleaning and disinfecting their own workstations. For employees who occupy single offices, we ask you to please empty your own deskside trash and recycling bins into centrally located containers. This will limit foot traffic in and out of your office.
    • Research Labs - Lab benches and sinks will remain the responsibility of the lab employees. Shared spaces and high touch surfaces will require more frequent disinfection and cleaning. Individuals should clean and disinfect shared workspaces before and after use.
    • Kitchen and Break Areas - Building occupants utilizing break rooms or kitchens should wipe down surfaces after each use, including handles and buttons on water coolers, microwaves and refrigerators.
    • Conference Rooms - Virtual meetings are a preferred alternative. If in-person meetings must be held, users are responsible for wiping down conference room high touch surfaces after each use.
    • Classroom – Classrooms will be cleaned and disinfected nightly. Students and faculty should wipe down their personal area (e.g. seat, desk or podium, keyboard, mouse) on their arrival in the classroom before use. Individuals may use the wipes that are part of the university's welcome kit, and the university will also be distributing cleaning supplies in classroom buildings. In addition, custodians will clean bathrooms and disinfect high touch point areas at least twice a day, including door handles, faucets, handrails and other commonly touched surfaces in high traffic areas. Students and faculty should also plan to engage in regular hand hygiene throughout the day (e.g., prior to coming to class, immediately after leaving class)

    Where can I obtain proper cleaning supplies to disinfect my area?
    Cleaning supplies for individual use are the responsibility of building occupants or may be provided by your college or unit.

    Will hand sanitizer be available in FOD-managed buildings?
    Despite limited supplies nationwide, the university has hand sanitizer in stock and FOD will place a limited number of dispensers in each FOD-managed building. Each floor will receive at least two hand sanitizer dispensers. We will prioritize hand sanitizer placement near exterior building entrances, followed by interior stairwells, outside of restrooms and near elevators, when possible.

    Are drinking fountains open?
    Drinking fountains in FOD-managed buildings will remain operational and FOD will disinfect them at least twice per day.

    Is the water safe following our building being shut down?
    Public water devices, including drinking fountains, were flushed on a regular schedule to avoid water becoming stagnant in unoccupied, FOD-managed buildings. Water systems are being thoroughly flushed prior to reopening each building. It is important to note that sinks or other water-using devices in non-public areas, such as ice machines, may require additional flushing and cleaning (such as discarding old ice). Departments are responsible to ensure these devices are flushed and cleaned.

    If you think you may have COVID-19 or have been exposed

    If you've been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and do not have symptoms, you should quarantine for 14 days. We advise you fill out an accommodation request linked above, and the appropriate staff can assist you with needed work or academic accommodations. If you were following appropriate health and safety guidance at the time of exposure, your risk of contracting the illness should be low.

    If you develop symptoms, you may want to get tested at that time. To get tested, first call your primary care physician (if you have one) and they can order a COVID test. Otherwise, you can OSU Student Health Services; they can advise you on whether you need medical care and help you with your next steps. Read more

    Exposure Infographic


    Wellness Resources


    Travel & International Student Guidance

    Travel Restrictions Extended Through December, Education Abroad Cancelled
    To help slow the spread of COVID-19, the university has extended restrictions on domestic and international travel through Dec. 31, 2020. All previously approved travel prior to that date must be canceled. This includes all education abroad programs for autumn semester. The exception process for narrowly defined instances of business essential travel is spelled out on the Business and Finance website and must be pre-approved.

    The university has also taken the difficult step of canceling all education abroad programs for the autumn semester. We look forward to students returning to these important teaching-and-learning experiences once it is advisable to do so. We will continue to monitor guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and others. View the latest University travel guidance online.

    Federal Guidance Related to International Students
    On July 24, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a final announcement and further guidance concerning international students who plan to enroll at a U.S. institution in the fall.

    The July 24 guidance both supersedes ICE July 6 and 7 guidance and clarifies March 2020 guidance that is now in effect due to a court decision rendered July 14.

    The July 24 guidance confirms that international students can engage in distance learning in excess of regulatory limits due to the public health emergency generated by COVID-19, however, there are additional limitations for new international students.

    For more detailed information, please visit view the updated Frequently Asked Questions on the Office of International Affairs Website.

    At the Ohio State University and within the College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences we value the hard work and dedication of our international researchers. Whether you are a graduate student, postdoctoral scholar, faculty, or in another position, we truly appreciate the work that you all do and are here to support your efforts. Further, know that the university is helping to advocate politically against actions affecting our international community; for example, with a letter sent to Representative Dave Joyce. There is also a signed letter from June 2nd advocating for the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program. There are national partners advocating for these issues as well, such as the Association of American Universities (AAU) – you can read their latest statement here.

    If you have specific questions about your immigration status, we suggest you contact the OSU Office of International Affairs (OIA) at If you have general questions or are not sure who to contact, feel free to reach out to your department’s international affairs coordinator, Poppy Thornton (at CFAES International Programs in Agriculture), or Kayla Arnold (Office for Research and Graduate Education).

    Accessing Office of International Affairs services (PDF)

    The Enterprise Project - Workday

    We are looking to get a training scheduled specific to graduate students using Workday. For now, you can watch Workday Basics, to view Workday navigation, terminology, and frequently used features.

    To log in to Workday, visit

    To talk with someone in your unit who is already familiar with Workday, contact your Change Coordinator or a Local Support Contact.

    (For FAES - Lori Bowman, Steve BoylesBrandi Gilbert-HammettAngela LeMasterJeanne OsborneTerry SnoddyNicole Wakeley)

    Helpful functions

    Find more resources for employees here:

     BuckeyeBox/ OneDrive Transition

    BuckeyeBox will be retired by the end of 2021. When your department or business unit begins to migrate, OCIO will move your files to One Drive and Teams. IT will work with departmental leaders to determine the best time for your department to migrate. In advance of your migration, your department will send communications with dates and resources specific to your migration.

    • What Should I Be Doing?
      • Clean up your files: Use this Job Aid(link is external) to help walk you through this process.
      • Participate in trainings to learn how to use the new platforms. Recorded One Drive and Teams trainings are below under "Making the Switch." OCIO will host more advanced trainings as the project progresses.
      • Review the Retention Schedules(link is external) for your documents.
      • If you have API's or unique use cases, please share them with the project team at If you are a Managed IT Services (MITS) partner, you may also contact your relationship manager with concerns.
    • Explore timeline below, or view the main informational webpage: 


    (AUG 2020 - JAN 2021)

    (FEB 2021 - DEC 2021)

    (JAN 2022 - JUNE 2022)

    Begin BuckeyeBox cleanup, university-wide.

    Identify and redefine processes that include BuckeyeBox.

    Tests and pilot high-volume moves.

    Publish resources and training opportunities for OneDrive for Business and Teams.

    Users start moving files.

    Begin moves of department files and high-volume user moves.

    Move spring 2021 course materials to OneDrive for Business.

    Automated moves of individual’s files that are not already moved or deleted.

    Review BuckeyeBox one last time to ensure you have all of your files.

    Ohio State’s contract ends with Box ends and BuckeyeBox is retired.

    Link to Training and Tips

    The university is building an extensive base of resources to help you make this change. Training resources are available in our Administrative Resource Center: Migration to OneDrive for Business from BuckeyeBox.We are planning on hosting training sessions follows: