June 19, 2020
Thank you for your patience as we have been working on our plans to bring some of the employees who have been working remotely back to campus. Our goal has been to ensure that we have all of our safety protocols in place -- including cleaning supplies, masks and signage -- before initiating a phased approach to the physical reopening of offices.
Below are highlights of the plan for bringing a limited number of administrative professional and civil service employees back to campus beginning Monday, June 29. This plan will be in effect through July 31. Additional details are included in the online FAQ and Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31. Note that the plan is based on recommendations from multiple sources and is subject to change based on additional guidance from state and health officials.
- Most units or offices will be physically staffed by at least one person and maintain regular office hours.
- On-site staffing will be determined by unit directors and deans based on the guidelines outlined throughout the online FAQ (25 percent maximum, ability to ensure social distancing, office need, etc.). Note that directors and deans may delegate any of their outlined responsibilities. Only those employees directed to return to campus should do so. Most staff members will continue to work remotely.
- In order to support social distancing, a rule of thumb will be that no more than 25 percent of staff in a unit should be physically present at any time.
- Employees who can work effectively from home may be allowed to do so based on the needs of the office; we assume that many employees who currently work remotely will continue to do so.
- Employees who are unable to perform their duties from home may be notified that they should return to work on campus.
- Social distancing and a number of other precautions shall be taken to support the safety of faculty and staff.
- Staff who have been required to work on campus since March will continue their responsibilities as directed by their supervisors.
- Meetings should continue to be held virtually regardless of where staff are located.
Employees who are returning to campus June 29 should review Returning to Work: Training and Resources, a guide that includes helpful information about COVID-19 and safety protocols.
Employees who have been told they should continue to to work remotely, or who would like to request continuing to work remotely, should review the remote work guidelines and complete a remote work agreement. The online FAQ has additional details and answers to questions about employees who are in high-risk categories, student employees and other topics.
Masks and safety protocols
Please note that cloth face coverings are REQUIRED in certain circumstances as directed by the university and in compliance with an order from the governor. This is for your protection and the protection of your colleagues, students and campus visitors, many of whom may be at high risk or live with individuals who are at high risk. We expect employees to set an example for others by following safety protocols.
In compliance with the governor’s order, masks are required in indoor public spaces regardless of the ability to maintain social distance. Indoor public places include spaces anyone can access, such as reception areas with walk-in access and the lobbies of buildings. However, we expect staff to wear masks at all locations, including offices and laboratories, where multiple people are present and social distancing is variable or not possible. Masks are also required outdoors when social distancing is not possible and when multiple employees are sharing a vehicle.
The university is providing masks to employees, if you prefer, you may use your own. Please read the online FAQ and the Returning to Work: Training and Resources guide for additional information about face coverings and other safety protocols. Your support and compliance will contribute to a safe and healthy campus for colleagues, students and visitors.
Again, please review the online FAQ, Returning to Work: Guidelines for June 29-July 31 and Returning to Work: Training and Resources carefully. If you have additional questions about your status or office, start with your supervisor. Supervisors will consult with directors and deans as appropriate. Questions may also be sent to email@example.com by any employee.
After July 31
The current plan takes us through July 31. At that time, depending upon our region’s status in the state’s Restore Illinois plan, additional staff will return to campus. Some will continue to work remotely. We are also working on the university’s plan for fall classes and operations and anticipate sharing preliminary details within the next two weeks.
Thanks to all of you for your continued great work. This is a team effort, and your support Is needed and appreciated.
John M. Dunn