Task Force Message on U.S. On-Campus Presence

Oct. 21, 2020

Task Force Message on U.S. On-Campus Presence

The following message from the Task Force on Transition & Adaptability was distributed on Oct. 21.To Webster University employees at U.S.-based locations: 

This message is to keep you apprised of plans for spring 2021, and to thank you for your vigilance during fall 2020 in following safety precautions that have allowed a successful return to campus at many locations.  

First, a note of appreciation: We could not have successfully returned to on-ground class offerings and operations this fall without your thoughtful preparation and diligent adherence to Webster’s measures to prevent spread of the coronavirus. Whether modifying behaviors, course delivery and event formats, or showing flexibility to students and colleagues, this community has pulled together to continue serving our students while prioritizing safety.  

With the pandemic remaining a factor in our daily operations, it is essential that we all continue to take safety protocol as seriously today as we did when we first began returning to campus. This means continuing multiple layers of safety measures, including the daily health screening, social distancing, face masks, controlled access to buildings, frequent hand washing, disinfecting surfaces and common areas, reduced office density and ongoing proactive handling of confirmed or suspected cases and of community conditions.   

That brings us to plans for spring 2021. Having successfully incorporated these safety measures and barring any changes in guidelines from health or government authorities, in the spring term Webster will reinforce our expectations for employees to return to our U.S. campus locations to the fullest degree possible where campuses are open and where workspace density allows. As an example, private offices provide appropriate density and distancing. We are still committed to supporting those employees who request accommodation based on their own serious health condition following the criteria established by the CDC as at high risk for COVID-19; however, look for all others to move towards a full return in 2021. 

Full-time Faculty and All Staff 

Current approved work from home accommodations and arrangements will be extended through the end of the Fall term, or Dec. 31, 2020.   

Effective Jan. 4, 2021, full-time faculty and all staff employees with work from home accommodations or arrangements at U.S. locations will be evaluated for working on campus at an increased level determined in discussion with their supervisor and/or Department Chair/Dean in consultation with Human Resources. Any arrangements will to continue to offer flexibility as we navigate on-going changes resulting from the pandemic. Supervisors will receive further guidance from Human Resources on supporting this effort. 

Those full-time faculty and staff with an accommodation for your own serious health condition will be granted an extension, which now also includes the above discussion for an increased on-campus presence, through Spring term, or May 31, 2021.   

Those with a current accommodation to support a child’s education or day care or another remote work arrangement not due to reducing workspace density should update their direct supervisor and/or Department Chair/Dean by Friday, Nov. 6, regarding current or expected needs impacting a full-time return to campus.   

You do not need to submit a request for the above considerations in spring 2021 but may need to submit a revised Flexible and/or Remote Work Arrangement Agreement as directed by your supervisor and/or Human Resources.  If you would like to revoke a previous request for accommodation, please email humanresources@webster.edu

Part-time Faculty

Current approved Work From Home Accommodations and arrangements will be extended through the end of the Fall term, or Dec. 31, 2020.  

If you are anticipating teaching in the spring semester, please submit any request for accommodation for your own serious health condition as defined in the policy noted below no later than Nov. 6. Also, if you need a Flexible and/or Remote Work Arrangement for a child’s education or day care or another reason, speak with your Department Chair/Dean no later than Friday, Nov. 6. If you would like to revoke a previous request for accommodation, please email humanresources@webster.edu.   

As referenced in the Transition & Adaptability policy (revised Oct. 21), the University supports the health and safety of our employees, students and visitors on campuses that have returned through our multiple layers of safety measures. We encourage you to review the policy carefully. Those who need to request a Work From Home Accommodation as outlined in the policy should complete the information requested in this updated survey link if you have not previously done so.   

Again, we thank our faculty and staff for your commitment to safety and to each other, which has resulted in very low incidents and low extended impacts due to the pandemic. As a reminder, if you fail your daily health assessment or suspect you may be impacted by COVID, contact Human Resources at humanresources@webster.edu or 314-246-7580.  As always, we will continue to monitor conditions and communicate any changes accordingly.  

The Task Force on Transition & Adaptability

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