March 13, 2020
Dear Faculty and Staff:
In response to today’s email from Provost Zukoski, I wanted to provide you with some information and resources to help you prepare to teach and work remotely.
As the COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation evolves, our priority is the safety and wellbeing of our campus community. While there are no cases of COVID-19 at USC, we know you may have concerns. We encourage you first to go to USC’s COVID-19 website, sites.usc.edu/coronavirus, for the latest information about university developments and your health, safety and wellbeing.
Information Technology Services (ITS) is committed to providing you with the tools and services you need to effectively teach your classes or work remotely. For a quick checklist to help you prepare to work from home, please see keepworking.usc.edu.
Additionally, here are some important reminders:
Some USC online services require access through on-campus USC Secure Wireless or a wired network connection. USC offers a service called Virtual Private Networking (VPN) to provide secure remote access to these services while you are off-campus. Use VPN if you are working remotely and unable to connect to online services. Additionally, you must use VPN to access internal USC systems handling confidential or sensitive data, such as Student Information Systems (SIS), and file servers for specific schools and departments.
Please note that you DO NOT need to use VPN when accessing Blackboard, Zoom, Workday, ServiceNow, Microsoft Office 365 or Google Apps at USC.
For more information, please visit itservices.usc.edu/vpn.
Phones and Voicemail
In response to COVID-19 developments, which is now requiring more individuals to teach and work remotely, ITS wants to ensure you are familiar with phone and voicemail guidelines and options.
As a general rule, we recommend that you use tools with which you’re comfortable, such as cell phones, USC email and USC voicemail, but please keep in mind the following:
Update your voicemail greeting to alert callers to any alternate work arrangements you may have due to COVID-19, and direct them to your USC-provided cell phone or email or another number you’d prefer. For instructions on how to record a greeting, itservices.usc.edu/telecom/voicemail.
Blackboard and Zoom
ITS would like to remind you that you can teach classes online using Blackboard, USC’s learning management system, and Zoom, which provides a high-quality, mobile-optimized video and audio conference service for free to all students, faculty and staff.
What you’ll need for a Zoom-based learning session:
Please note that you should turn off all notifications and alerts to your devices before joining a Zoom session.
ITS has launched two new websites to support you while working remotely.
ITS is at your service. Here is additional information you might find useful:
Again, your safety, wellbeing and ability to continue your regular university activities remain the highest priorities for the entire leadership of USC.
Douglas Shook, Ph.D.
Chief Information Officer
Professor of Data Sciences
e-mail: [email protected]