When assessing the ability for remote work options, supervisors and employees should discuss operational needs and review the employee's position requirements. Where operationally supported, a formal COVID-19 Telecommuting Agreement is required. Since the university's operations remain open, and where it is not functionally supported for several employees within a unit to enter into a telecommuting arrangement, supervisors are asked to prioritize employees with underlying health issues and those in workspaces where social distancing measures cannot be observed to the appropriate extent.
For more information about leaves, workplace/remote work options and benefits, please visit the Human Resources COVID-19 FAQs.
For information on moving your course online, including training and support on Moodle and Zoom, please visit the CATL Instructional Resiliency Guide .
Remote Desktop Options
You can use Remote Desktop Connection to connect to any of our remote Windows work environments from off campus. We recommend the remotedesktop.sou.edu environment for most users. Faculty in need of specialized academic software should connect to the virtuallab.sou.edu remote environment instead. Computer Science instructors should use the cslab.sou.edu remote environment. If you find that we do not currently offer software that you need on any of our remote desktop environments, contact your Computing Coordinator and we will see what we can do for you.
All users should save their files created within these remote environments to their P drives, the S drive, or the X drive (faculty courses). NEVER save your files on the desktop within these remote environments because they will disappear after you log out. Click here for instructions on how to find your network drives within our remote Windows environments.
We recommend that most users try to use one of these remote Windows environments to do their remote work before requesting access to our VPN service from a laptop. We can provide these remote environments to everyone, but we cannot provide VPN access to everyone because the requirements are more restrictive.
Below are instructions for connecting to any of these remote environments from Windows or Macintosh computers, along with instructions for how to configure your Remote Desktop client to get the most out of your remote work experience. You can configure the remote Windows computer to see your local computer's storage drives, flash drives you connect to your computer, and your local printers. You can also configure your connection settings, which could help with performance. Contact your Computing Coordinator if you need help connecting or configuring your remote environment.
- How to connect to SOU's Remote Desktop Environments from Windows
- Advanced Remote Desktop Connection Options for Windows
Certain users on campus may require access to our VPN service as an alternative to using our remote desktop environments. The IT Department evaluates requests for VPN access on a case-by-case basis. The following list of criteria is not exhaustive, nor is any single criterion both necessary and sufficient for approval, but hopefully the list will give you an idea of what we consider. Even if we determine that the VPN service is not the best solution for you, we will work with you to ensure that you have what you need to do your work remotely by other means.
- Your job duties require you to have access to secure online systems that can normally only be accessed while on campus, such as Banner, Cognos, EMS for scheduling, Millennium FAST, and Perceptive Content.
- Your job duties require you to use software that would be impractical or impossible for us to make available through our Remote Desktop environments.
- Your job duties require you to use software that would not perform adequately on our Remote Desktop servers because of their processor, memory, or graphical processing requirements.
- You have a laptop that is managed by the IT Department that you can use with the VPN service. We are not authorizing VPN use from personal devices.
To request access to the VPN service, contact your Computing Coordinator.
Click here for our detailed instructions on how to use the VPN service after you have received approval.
Hardware for Remote Work and Instruction
The right equipment can make a huge difference in your remote work experience. The IT Department wants you to know that you don't have to make those decisions on your own. Please consult this guide we wrote for you about selecting equipment for remote work, then contact your Computing Coordinator so that we can help you make an informed selection.
After consulting with Human Resources and management, it has been decided that users who don't have a personal computer at home can take their office computer home during the COVID-19 Pandemic. This will require the Departmental Director's approval based on the need of the user. Only users who have a need because (1) they don't have a personal computer or (2) they don't have a personal computer that is adequate to do their work should be approved to take their desktop computer home. When the campus resumes normal operations, the computers must be returned to their original locations.
You will need to fill out two forms for approval:
1. The COVID-19 Telecommuting Agreement
2. The Telecommuting Off-Campus Use of University Property Agreement
You'll find these forms at https://inside.sou.edu/hrs/formsinstructions.html.
Regardless of how you acquire your equipment, you need to notify your Computing Coordinator so that we can have you fill out the Telecommuting Off-Campus Use of University Property Agreement (link above). All equipment acquired with university funds, PDA or otherwise, is university property and must be relinquished upon termination of your employment with Southern Oregon University.
Using Duo remotely
If you have not already enrolled a mobile device for use with Duo (smart phone, cell phone, or hardware token), then you should contact your Computing Coordinator for assistance with setting one up on your account. You can also enroll new Duo devices, such as a home landline, on your own if you feel comfortable doing so.
Remote support from IT
If you have trouble with your device or one of our services while working away from campus, you should contact your Computing Coordinator or the IT Helpdesk (541-552-6900) as usual. We are preparing to offer remote support over the Internet in an exciting new way. (Some limitations will apply, especially if you are using a personal device for remote work.) Your Computing Coordinator or one of our helpdesk IT analysts will instruct you on what to do when you contact us.
Forwarding your telephone
Each campus phone is enabled with the capability to forward calls to another extension or telephone number by use of the dial code "*2".
To forward all incoming calls to another extension or telephone number:
- Pick up the handset and dial *2, you will hear a succession of beeps
- Dial the extension or telephone number to which you would like to forward your calls.
- to forward to an on-campus extension simply enter the 5-digit extension (e.g. *2 26900)
- to forward to an off-campus extension you will need to enter "9" plus the 10-digit telephone number (e.g. *2 95415526900)
- To turn off call forwarding dial #22, again you will hear a succession of beeps, then simply hang up.
NOTE: This feature does not work with long distance telephone numbers
Please refer to our Voicemail Guide to learn how to setup and access your voicemail remotely.
Zoom Web Conferencing
With Zoom, you can participate in a virtual meeting with up to 300 people. Zoom can be used for online gatherings such as class meetings, office hours, and study sessions. Everyone with an SOU computing account can create a Zoom host account. Anyone with an Internet connection can join a Zoom meeting, but only a host can start or schedule a meeting.
Zoom is integrated with Moodle, making it easy to have virtual sessions with your instructor and classmates.
If you are unfamiliar with Google Drive and want to learn how to manage your files and share them out, you can consult Google's online support webpage for Google Drive, or you can look through the handout from the IT Department's Google Drive training class. Both are helpful resources for faculty looking for ways to share recordings with their students.
Google Hangouts, Google Meet, and Jamboard
Google Hangouts and Google Meet are popular video conferencing tools availalble to SOU students. Hangouts is useful for one-on-one conversations and small groups. Google Meet is a powerful tool for remote collaboration between larger teams or classes of students. Jamboards enable you to share a remote whiteboard with your students or colleagues that you can draw on with your mouse pointer, a touch screen, or a tablet and stylus.
For even more special offers available to educators right now for remote teaching, click here to visit Educause's Corporate Resources for COVID-19 webpage.