COVID-19 Update: Summer 2020 Office Operating Schedule

COVID-19 Update: Summer 2020 Office Operating Schedule

April 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

It is hard to believe it is almost the end of the semester.  In some ways, the time has flown by; in others, it seems like years since we have been together on campus.  The work you have done to ensure our students continued to learn and be supported during these taxing, unmatched times is truly commendable.

As we work to meet the significant financial challenges resulting from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, all aspects of university operations are being examined.  To reduce costs and energy consumption this summer, a four-day-a-week office operating schedule is being implemented.  This modified schedule can also reduce commuting costs for employees.

Beginning on Monday, May 11, 2020, University offices must be open Monday through Thursday, staffed either in person or virtually, and at a minimum, cover the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  University offices will be closed on Fridays.  As all summer courses are being offered in alternative delivery formats and do not require University offices to be open, they will be held as indicated in the summer schedule of courses.

Staff are required to work 40 hours during each 4 day week.  A typical work schedule would be 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., with a 30 minute lunch break.  A staff member can also choose to work 8 hours for each of the 4 days and use vacation for the remaining 8 hours, or work 9 hours for each of the four days and use vacation for the remaining 4 hours.   Supervisors will contact staff to determine preferred work schedules.  It is anticipated that the modified summer schedule will be in effect through Friday, July 24.

By Monday, May 4, Human Resources will provide a suggested out-of-office telephone message and email response along with details about how employees who use Time Clock will log their hours.  Any additional questions in regard to the four-day-a-week work schedule should be directed to either Supervisors or Human Resources.

It is important to note that neither the move to a four-day-a-week office operating schedule nor the expiration of Governor Parson’s stay-at-home order on May 4 means that all employees will be returning to campus to work.  We are following the White House/CDC Guidelines for Opening UP America Again, and in Phase One, the recommendation is to, “Continue to ENCOURAGE TELEWORK, whenever possible and feasible with business operations.”  As such, staff who can productively work from home may continue to work from home.  Supervisors will contact staff whose work-from-home status has changed.

As additional strategies to effectively address current and future budget challenges are developed and implemented in the coming weeks, the University will continue to follow the guiding principle of balancing, to the greatest extent possible, the financial needs of each employee with the financial needs of the University.

I wish you a wonderful end to the semester.  Take care of yourselves and continue to be well.

Best regards,