March 20, 2020
SIU faculty and staff,
Today, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has directed that everyone in the state must “stay at home” through April 7. This means that unless you are in a necessary position that requires your presence on campus, you should stay at home and leave only for essential functions, such as to purchase food or visit a health care professional.
- During the stay at home order, we will maintain as many university services and operations as possible, although most buildings will be closed and we will do as much as possible from our homes.
- Online courses will continue, but there will be no face-to-face courses or lab sections. The provost’s office will provide additional direction to faculty.
- Only employees who perform required functions for on-campus operations will be physically working on campus. These include but are not limited to people who support students in dining and residence halls, employees in health care and public safety, employees required to maintain the research labs and farms and others. Your supervisor will notify you if your work is required to be done on campus.
- All employees who are required to work on campus will follow social distancing and other guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. We will encourage supervisors to adjust shifts to minimize as much contact as possible.
- If your work can be done from home and you have the tools to work from home, you are expected to do so. We expect most offices to remain operational by phone, email and through virtual tools.
- Some employees have on-campus functions that are not "required" but cannot be completed from home, and some do not have the tools they need to be able to work from home. If you fall into either of these categories, you are expected to be available and on-call should your services be needed.
- All employees who work and are available to work/on call will be paid at the usual rate. There will be no change in benefits, and you will not be required to take leave.
- Regardless of function, people who are not available or refuse to work as needed must take leave; the exception is employees affected by school closings, quarantine or COVID-19 illness, some of whom may be asked to work from home if they are able to do so.
- We will honor current collective bargaining agreements when implementing our staffing plans.
- You may find it helpful to review the stay-at-home message to students.
The following offices can be contacted with questions:
- Questions related to employment, work requirements and benefits: Contact Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org or 618-453-6689.
- Questions related to technology and working from home: The Office of Information Technology has developed online resources. You can also contact Saluki Tech at email@example.com or 618-453-5155.
- Questions about converting courses from face-to-face to online: The Center for Teaching Excellence at cte.siu.edu has online resources and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or (618)453-2258
- Questions from students and families about housing and student life: You may refer students to The Office of the Dean of Students at 618-453-4846 or 1-877-725-0006 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. this weekend and Monday through Friday. Questions can also be sent to the email@example.com email address.
You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org on any topic.
I’m sure there will be many questions related to how your unit will function. Because the types of work we do varies widely, we anticipate that unit directors will work with employees to ensure that operations continue as possible during the stay-at-home period.
There are many, many details still to be addressed. At this time, our primary focus is on ensuring that we are ready to implement the stay-at-home order while protecting the health and safety of our community. Please know that addressing those details and related questions will be our top priority. We will answer important but less urgent questions as soon as possible in the days ahead.
We have said this before, but it bears repeating: we are in an unprecedented, rapidly changing situation. We appreciate your patience and welcome your partnership as we move forward.
Please know, too, that the pandemic is a worldwide issue affecting all of humanity. We expect all members of our community to be treated with respect, regardless of ethnic or national origin or COVID-19 status.
I am deeply, deeply grateful for your work, your patience, and your flexibility. With your help, we will continue to fulfill our mission with care and respect for colleagues and students.
John M. Dunn