This guide can assist academic departments and their staff, administrators or faculty in preparing for and conducting work and operations remotely.
Working Remotely via Mobile Device (or cell phone)
The following campus resources are available for download in respective app stores:
- SFSU Mobile App (with Student, Faculty, Staff, or Guest user profiles built in)
- Duo Mobile (for 2FA – see section below)
- Microsoft Products: Outlook, Teams, Office
Call Forward All Calls allows the user to forward all incoming calls to any extension on campus or to voicemail. Note: Call Forward All Calls will restrict your phone from initiating or receiving calls.
To forward all calls from a campus line, follow these instructions:
- To activate Call Forward All Calls: Lift handset or depress Speaker key Dial "*3" Dial desired extension number to which calls will be forwarded (86000 for voicemail) Confirmation tone is heard. Hang up.
- To cancel Call Forward All Calls: Lift handset or depress Speaker key Dial "#3". Hang up.
Note: Forwarding of any SFSU number must be sent to a single number, and thus this may not be suitable for all departmental lines. Additionally, a department may opt to forward lines en masse by preparing a document listing each phone extension and the number it will be forwarded to, and submit it as a ticket in the ServiceNOW platform, to be routed to the ITS Telecom Team.
To check campus voicemail from an off-campus phone, follow the steps below:
- Dial 1-415-338-6000 from a touch-tone telephone
- Depress # (to indicate you are a subscriber)
- When prompted, dial the last 5 digits of the phone number
- When prompted, dial the password
Note: You can key in commands almost anytime during the prerecorded prompts; you do not have to wait until the end of the prompt (some prompts which are not interruptible will continue to play).
Out-of-office messages can be used to alert students to changes in faculty or department availability, and as a method of screening messages received via an automated reply.
To set an out of office automatic reply, follow the steps below:
Open Outlook in your web browser and navigate to the Tools menu, located in the main menu bar at top-left.
Select the Out of Office option, and customize your out of office message accordingly.
In the event of irregular internet connection, please consult with your mobile carrier regarding the possibility of device tethering. This allows a smartphone to share internet connection with a computer, using the carrier’s data network. Additional fees may apply.
Departments should be sure to publicize any pertinent information on how students and faculty can get support during remote instruction periods. Departments should work with their content managers to implement an alert on their homepage to include this information. A good example of text to include can be seen here, in yellow: https://fiscaff.sfsu.edu
To create an alert on a website, refer to the following documentation from SF State's Drupal guides:
Departments should be sure to include:
- The department’s on-campus hours if the department has a public-facing office;
- The department’s remote operating hours and contact information; and
- Any department-specific changes in operations, such as changed deadlines or new processing methods.
If you encounter issues implementing an alert, or have questions about user permissions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Collaboration Tools and Meeting Alternatives
Zoom is SF State's video and web conferencing service. All faculty, staff, and students have the ability to create and join Zoom meetings.
To access or set up your account, go to https://sfsu.zoom.us and select the Sign in link. You can log in using your SFSU ID or SFSU email address and SFSU password.
Note: Zoom meetings can accommodate up to 300 people per meeting at a time. If you require a session for more than 300 people, contact email@example.com to request a Zoom Webinar license. Additionally, users are encouraged to download the Zoom client on personal devices; for more information on using Zoom, visit the Getting Started with Zoom page.
Microsoft Teams offers a campus-wide collaboration service available to all faculty and staff. MS Teams contains a wide range of features to promote collaboration across users and groups through audio, video, and instant messaging (IM).
Note: This is not intended to replace learning technologies outlined in the University's instructional continuity guides, but rather to offer an easy-to-use communication option for administrative interactions or internal unit-level communications required for maintaining operations.
Resources for Email and Calendaring via Outlook can be found at https://its.sfsu.edu/service/emailcalendar.
Outlook Web Access (OWA) is a Web email portal where SF State faculty and staff can access their email, including secondary and departmental accounts, online.
To access email via OWA, navigate to the OWA site, which will prompt users to log in using SFSU credentials.
Email Distribution Lists - Distribution lists make sending an email to a group of recipients simple, creating a shortcut email address for a static group of recipients.
More information on how to join or leave a distribution group.
Accessing and Sharing Department Files
Box at SF State is a cloud-based, collaborative storage service used to share documents with employees, students and non-SF State individuals. The service can be used to store documents that contain up to Level 2 data, but should not be used for documents that contain Level 1 data. The service permits syncing files between devices and provides access to files from many mobile devices.
The departmental file share, s.sfsu.edu, should be used for operations and business documents. Departmental file shares can be accessed while on campus, or through the use of VPN if accessing remotely (see VPN section, below). Files stored on this system will not be lost if an employee separates from the university. Each unit on campus has a share on s.sfsu.edu. Access to individual shares and folders is controlled by Active Directory security groups. Security groups are managed locally by each unit via the campus gateway.
SF State provides a secure VPN for faculty and staff to access protected on-campus resources, including remote access departmental shared drives, as well as other campus services, including the following circumstances:
- When accessing a service restricted to use on campus networks or subnets. Examples: Departmental shares/servers, OnBase, Appworx, Windows/Office authentication, and Active Directory access
- When accessing services that store Level 1 data (two-factor authentication required). Example: Departmental secure shares
- When administering servers/applications. Examples: SSH, Oracle, and server maintenance
- By PeopleSoft developers with privileged access.
Users are encouraged to download the VPN client, Cisco AnyConnect, on personal devices.
Download or get more information on obtaining or setting up VPN access.
DocuSign is offered as the campus-wide electronic signature solution and is available to faculty and staff for University business. While working remotely, DocuSign enables users to:
- Route approved documents for internal review or signature;
- Capture electronic signatures;
- Access DocuSign templates that meet common accessibility standards;
- Report and track documents;
- Establish document workflow.
To access DocuSign, please visit the DocuSign login page, here: http://docusign.sfsu.edu/.
For security purposes, SF State protects accounts using two-factor authentication. SF State employees who access sensitive data to perform work need to provide a second credential, either from a hardware token or the Duo Mobile app, before access is granted.
Note: Best practice suggests users have multiple means of authentication, as limited access to campus may delay restoration of access to locked accounts. Those using hardware tokens are encouraged to also set up the Duo Mobile application, and those using the application are encouraged to submit a service request to obtain a hardware token.
For more information on available software, please visit the ITS Help Guide, here: https://its.sfsu.edu/guides/software-support-distribution.
- Obtain Microsoft Office software under University license for personal devices
- Obtain Adobe suite software under University license for personal devices
Note: You may need to coordinate with your IT Provider.
Academic Technology (AT)
Contact AT for assistance with online teaching and learning tools, for instructors or students.
- Website - at.sfsu.edu
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone - (415) 405-5555
- Chat - Click the chat link in the iLearn help block inside of an iLearn class
- Twitter - @at_sfsu
Information Technology Services (ITS)
- Website - its.sfsu.edu
- Email - email@example.com
- Phone - 415-338-4120
- Twitter - @SFSU_ITS
Center for Equity & Excellence in Teaching & Learning
Instructors can participate in professional development opportunities, or contact CEETL directly to receive assistance in transitioning to hybrid and online learning.
- Website - ceetl.sfsu.edu
- Email - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone - (415) 405-5550
College of Health & Social Sciences Information Technology Services
- Website -
- Email - email@example.com
- Phone - (415) 405-3691