[AS-Staff] Updates for July and August

June 26, 2020 - A&S Dean

Dear Colleagues,

As you have seen, plans continue to develop for fall semester and the return to campus from working remotely. The final version of the Pivot to Fall planning document has been posted here.  Please note a couple of things about the plan.  First, plans will continue to adapt to a constantly evolving situation, and second, more details regarding employees’ return to campus, operations, student affairs, housing, etc. will be forthcoming. Attached is an email from Mark Watkins, Chief Operating Officer, regarding health and safety protocols for returning to campus. As these plans develop and evolve, we must also approach them through the lens of racial equity, seeking every opportunity to restructure our practices in anti-racist ways.

In President Bendapudi’s email yesterday, she stated that the current remote work recommendation is extended through July 20th. However, units have discretion regarding this, and so I am extending the remote work recommendation for A&S employees through July 31st, where feasible.  Please remember that it is a recommendation to work remotely, where there is meaningful work that can be performed off-site. Employees may choose to work on campus, following health and safety protocols, and in some cases, employees may be required to work in the office by their supervisors. We are working on plans for what returning to staffing offices in A&S will look like. Those plans will aim to reduce the density of staffing wherever possible by instituting rotating schedules of on-campus and remote work. We have masks, sneeze guards, and signage on order, and will be instituting one-way traffic flow wherever possible. By taking these steps and cultivating health practices of physical distancing, mask wearing, and hand washing, we are convinced that we can safely maintain a campus environment that meets the needs and interests of students.

As we enter the new fiscal year, we are also starting a new university budget model that ties budgets to enrollments. This new budget model reinforces the need to prioritize students and their educational experiences. Every member of the College shares in the responsibility to do all we can to support student success. Let’s  be a community of care, with each other, and towards each of our students.

Finally, thank you for all you do for students and the College. This has been an extraordinarily trying few months and I appreciate the hard work, dedication, and focus on students you all have demonstrated.


David S. Owen, Interim Dean
Professor of Philosophy
College of Arts & Sciences