Update for Employees, May 21

Posted on 5/21/2020 6:04:57 PM

In follow-up to President Driscoll’s announcement regarding plans for Fall 2020, we would like to provide some additional information to our employees regarding what we can expect as we prepare for Fall 2020, particularly those who are currently not working due to lack of work.

As we have explained in previous communications, because COVID-19 still presents a serious risk to our community and because there is very restricted use of campus facilities this summer (i.e. no camps or conferences, no faculty or students in academic buildings, no onsite orientations, and the vast majority of employees will continue to work remotely), we do not anticipate bringing additional employees back to campus before July 1, 2020.  This does not mean we won’t make adjustments to the plan as necessary, but it is intended to provide a general statement to employees as they consider their options between now and then.

As the President stated in his communication, when we do return things will be different.  We are currently planning the very focused work of how to prepare our campus for this new reality.  We will not be preparing every residential unit for occupancy, only those that will be occupied.  We will focus our efforts on classrooms that are being prepared for use with new technology and removing desks from those spaces.  Spaces that won’t be used will not be a priority.  And as the President mentioned, social distancing, proper cleaning, and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment will be required specific to your jobs.  You will receive communications regarding all of this prior to your return and you will be required to acknowledge that you have read and understand these protocols. 

For those employees working remotely, this is also a new reality.  We will be assessing needs department by department, and job by job, as to when or if people return to their offices.  While we must maintain a high level of service to our students, we also need to maintain social distancing.  To the extent we can deliver services to our students and employees remotely we will continue to do so to minimize the number of staff in offices.  To that end, you will be receiving information about a virtual Summer Academy for staff in the near future that will help student facing staff hone their technology skills to better serve students virtually.  In offices with face to face contact, we will be installing physical barriers and signage much like those you see at the grocery store.  As the President indicated, we are all in this together, it is the responsibility of us all to follow the rules and keep our IUP community safe.