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Guidance on Working Remotely

Dear faculty and staff,

This afternoon, I met remotely with members of the Faculty Senate, and yesterday I met remotely with deans, department heads, and directors across campus. We are all committed to continuing our important work during these unusual circumstances. (You can watch the town hall here.)

We want to support our faculty and staff while reducing the number of people on campus as we do our part to maintain social distancing practices and help prevent the spread of this virus.

I have asked members of my cabinet to work with supervisors in their division to be as proactive and flexible as possible in encouraging faculty and staff to work remotely. We have provided a resource for helping supervisors work through remote-work decisions. If your work can be done only on site and you fall into the COVID-19 high-risk category according to the CDC guidelines, we will work to accommodate you.

If you are working remotely, there are a number of strategies for ensuring that you can remain focused and effective in your work. These include maintaining a routine with regular breaks, setting up a dedicated work space, and establishing boundaries and guidelines with those who may be sharing your space, such as family members.

As priorities shift in this new landscape, the nature of our work may evolve. But there is always work to be done. If you find lulls in your day, I encourage you to undertake “transformational work,” which is described here. These tasks are aimed at making our university even better. Take this opportunity to learn a new skill, reimagine your job and workplace, or connect with new people you wouldn’t normally work with.

It is vital that university operations continue and that we deliver the services that our students rely on. Instructors are adjusting their curriculum to move online, facilities workers are diligently cleaning and disinfecting campus buildings, and advisors are connecting remotely with students to ensure they stay on track. How we do our jobs may be changing, but our work has never been more important. You are taking care of our students, and I am committed to taking care of you.

My leadership team and I recognize that these unprecedented circumstances are significantly impacting not only your work life but also your home life. Taking care of yourself and your family should remain your top priority. Make sure you stay connected to one another and reach out if you need help.

We will get through this together.

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Donde Plowman