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Falcon Forward!

Safety Culture

This year, the world has been dramatically affected by a novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic necessitating extraordinary actions across the globe. Under the direction of the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees, President John Stewart assembled a task force chaired by Dr. Tammi Dahle. The task force is comprised of students, faculty, and staff from all University divisions and community representatives.

In this unprecedented time, campus health and safety is of primary importance. Thus, the University of Montevallo will adhere to a culture of safety wherein the well-being of the UM campus community is the top priority. Since elimination of the virus is not likely prior to fall opening, new protocols for campus functions must be developed and implemented with ongoing assessment and revisions in order to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on campus. UM will base decisions on guidance from the American College Health Association, Johns Hopkins University, Centers for Disease Control, Alabama Department of Public Health, U.S. Department of State, local emergency management representatives, and local medical professionals. A framework developed by Johns Hopkins University will be used to base all decisions and protocols related to modifications, restrictions, and limitations. Within that framework, social distancing along with engineering, administrative, and personal solutions will be utilized.

These guidelines apply to all students, faculty, and staff at the University of Montevallo and will be phased in as guided by the University administration. Due to the evolving COVID-19 situation, this plan may be modified.


Culture of Safety graphic

Safety Culture

It will take a commitment from everyone on campus to ensure the University is adhering to a culture of safety. In order to achieve this, everyone at UM should know their own risks, such as underlying health conditions, and should understand how their actions could put others at risk. Each one of us must take responsibility for knowing how to protect ourselves and others, and we all must hold each other accountable for upholding our safety culture. Due to the evolving situation, we all must work to stay educated on the latest guidance from the CDC, ADPH, and others.

1. Social Distancing — Examples include:

a. Lower density in classrooms

b. Adjust capacity limits for events

c. Optimize class schedules and modalities to lower density and ease capacity

2. Engineering Solutions — Examples include:

a. Install physical divides — clear plastic shields and distance barriers

b. Design pathways and stairways to reduce foot traffic in high-density areas

c. Control entry/exit to facilities where feasible

d. Lock facilities so access can only be gained with UM ID where feasible

-Temporarily restrict visitors to campus

e. No-contact transactions

-Cashless wherever possible

3. Administrative Solutions — Examples include:

a. Optimize the class schedule for low-density classrooms

b. Set capacity limits for large spaces

c. Conduct wellness checks and screenings if possible

d. Allow work from home/flex schedules

e. Increase cleaning protocols

f. Clear communications — including educational signage

g. Replace face-to-face meetings with virtual meetings

h. Restrict non-essential travel

i. Active monitoring of the situation

j. COVID-19 testing (being evaluated)

4. Personal Solutions — Examples include:

a. Use Personal Protection Equipment — wear non-medical cloth masks on and off campus

b. Practice good hygiene (i.e. washing hands and using University-provided sanitation products in restrooms)

c. Take responsibility for your own behavior

d. Stay home if you are sick

e. Remind others to follow safety rules

-Hold each other accountable

f. Education


What We Do and Don’t Know

What We Know

The virus is not going away

Most Montevallo students are at lower risk

Faculty and staff are at a higher risk than students

We have a strong safety culture

How to lead through challenges

How to solve complex problems

We can prepare

What We Don’t Know

Who has underlying conditions/risks

If there will be a spike in our area or how bad it will be

When the local, state, and federal government will change restrictions

If there will be a vaccine

What type of immunity anyone has


What We Can and Can’t Do

What We Can Do

Leverage our safety culture

Plan to mitigate the risk

Conduct wellness screenings

Perform contact tracing

Clear, transparent communication

Learn together

Adapt our plan as needed

What We Can’t Do

Stand by and wait

Eradicate the virus

Participate in high-risk behaviors

Let our guard down

Change how contagious COVID-19 is

Stop practicing proper hygiene — washing our hands