Email from President Robert J. Zimmer and Provost Ka Yee C. Lee (Mar. 13, 2020)
From: Robert J. Zimmer, President, and Ka Yee C. Lee, Provost
Subject: Adapting Administrative Work for Coronavirus Measures
We are writing to provide you with additional information following Thursday’s announcement that the University is transitioning to remote learning for Spring Quarter. We know this news and other society-wide precautions to reduce the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) will present many challenges, requiring all of us to adapt in order to ensure continuity and consistency of administrative work. As everyone adapts to this new and evolving situation, we appreciate the vital role that each of you is playing in helping the University respond to this global health crisis, ensuring all aspects of University operations continue, and protecting the well-being of our campus community.
While we don’t have answers to all the questions these changes are raising, we want to provide you with initial guidance and information about resources. Further information is forthcoming. The challenges are surmountable through our collective efforts.
- While we are moving to remote learning for Spring Quarter, the University will remain open and will continue the activities central to research, education, and patient care. At the same time, we are putting additional measures in place to protect our community’s health and well-being. Anyone who feels ill should not report to work. Human Resources will work with offices and departments across the University to ensure that our approach related to sick leave and related issues can accommodate a range of contingencies.
- In furtherance of these efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, we encourage remote work as appropriate. With the approval of managers and unit directors, employees may work remotely where possible. Remote work is available for staff whose responsibilities do not require them to be on campus and can take effect as soon as plans are agreed upon between relevant staff and their supervisors. We expect managers to ensure close communication and coordination among teams and within their departments as the structure and patterns of our work shift during this exceptional time. Moving to remote work where feasible reduces the risk for others whose duties require being on campus. Social distancing must be an organizing principle of life on campus during this period. We recognize that there are many roles on campus for which responsibilities cannot be accomplished remotely. In those cases, please take steps to limit close contact in the workplace.
- The vital work of research and education must and will continue during this period and will be supported to the fullest extent possible.
- We have directed units to develop and implement continuity plans tailored to their academic and administrative priorities, including addressing potential changes in staffing levels.
The COVID-19 situation is evolving quickly, and we will continue to assess the latest information and provide you with updates. Additional information will be posted to the University’s COVID-19 website. The site now includes a section dedicated to FAQs about Spring Quarter and will be updated later today.
Thank you for your continued commitment during this critical time.