Sent to all faculty & staff March 16, 2020

To all faculty and staff,

The University continues to closely monitor all developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are continuing to take steps to protect the safety and wellbeing of our entire community. In order to do our part in limiting the spread of this and other illnesses, we have taken the following unprecedented measures.

Remote Working

Campus-wide remote working will be in effect beginning Tuesday, March 17 until March 31, 2020. We will require that University faculty and staff – whose positions enable them to do so and who have the approval of their supervisors – work remotely so we can do our part to optimize social distancing recommendations. Please note, this time frame may be extended depending on further developments with the COVID-19 situation.

Please be advised of the following:

  • We ask that all units work with their supervisors to transition to remote working today. In instances in which questions arise about the suitability for remote working arrangements and/or essential vs non-essential staff, supervisors should work with their respective AVP and VP to make final determinations.
  • All university buildings will be closed to non-essential faculty and staff beginning Tuesday, March 17. Faculty/staff who currently oversee facilities and/or resources that require monitoring, must work with their supervisors for shut-down plans.
  • For all employees who must continue to work on location to provide essential services, please work with your supervisor to develop an appropriate plan for coverage of these functions.
  • Supervisors will be accountable for developing plans for all employees and their areas of responsibility (particularly those working remotely) to ensure the continuation of university operations in the most effective manner possible.  These plans may include a combination of remote work and modified schedules in the office among smaller groups if needed (i.e., staggered hours) to ensure business continuity.
  • Supervisors may assign tasks different from employees’ normal activities on an as-needed basis. 
  • Supervisors will meet with employees through teleconferencing or other virtual means of communication to develop appropriate business continuity plans.
Update on In-person Meetings or Events:
  • All required meetings will be moved to virtual and/or tele-commuting until March 31, 2020, regardless of number of attendees. This may change based on further developments with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • All in-person events are cancelled, postponed or moved to virtual and/or tele-commuting until further notice. This may change based on further developments with the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Update on University Visitors:
  • Effective immediately, all non-essential on-campus meetings, visits and events with external visitors, must be cancelled or postponed until further notice. This includes all admissions visitors, as well as student visitors, faculty visitors and others, both domestic and international, and regardless of the length of the visit.
I’d like to remind everyone of what I relayed on Friday: this transition will not be easy. We recognize that we are asking the entire University community to temporarily change fundamentally how we deliver all programs and services. To be successful, it will require the collective effort of our entire community – students, faculty and staff.

We must turn our attention to identifying the opportunities this circumstance affords. Please keep in mind that all of our competitors are facing the same immediate challenges. How will we not only deliver instruction and services, but inspire the next generation of future UArts students? What higher education institutions will emerge as leaders for maintaining student transformation amidst unprecedented hardship? While today the world is focusing on the limits, closures, and restrictions the global pandemic is imposing on all of us, we must consider what success stories of resilience will be shared tomorrow.

Please also be sure to bookmark and return to the webpage we have established that chronicles all policies and updates throughout the pandemic. We are continually updating the website throughout the outbreak.