November 3, 2021

Message from the Dean – College Guidance on Spring 2022 Staff Work Arrangements

To:  Full- and Part-Time Staff in the College of the Liberal Arts 
cc: Deans and Department Heads 
From: Clarence Lang  

Dear Colleagues, 

I hope this message finds you well and that you are enjoying a successful fall semester. 

I want to take a moment to thank you for your dedication and continued effort as we transitioned our students back to a robust on-campus experience, this fall.  Our staff have performed admirably not only in continuing to ensure the important work of the college is accomplished but also in demonstrating your flexibility and agility navigating evolving work modes.   

In preparation for the spring semester, I would like to summarize the college’s plans for staffing and office coverage from January 2, 2022 through approximately mid-May 2022. 

  • All college offices are expected to maintain a regular staff presence in their offices 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. While we recognize there is no “one-size-fits-all approach” to office staffing, departments are required to honor University and College expectations to continue to provide a full in-residence campus experience for students and visitors. 
  • Flexible/hybrid work arrangements (i.e., alternating days/weeks that an employee works on-site and remote, creating alternate work schedules outside the traditional 8:00-5:00/M-F timeframe that meet the needs of the business) will continue to be available after accounting for factors such as cross-training, work priorities, adequate office coverage during normal business hours, and office setup/occupancy rates. Staff schedules should account for coverage for regular mask and other breaks. 
  • Supervisors and managers will meet with each member of their team (individually or collectively depending on the size and complexity of the team) to identify a plan for spring staffing and to discuss employee working arrangements. 
  • Wherever possible and feasible, staff should be working in-person.
  • As a reminder, hybrid and remote work arrangements require the individual to have a dedicated space to perform their work, free of interruptions and distractions.  Further, hybrid and remote work are not a substitute for childcare or other caregiving/household needs.   
  • Once spring schedules have been finalized, employees will be expected to adhere to their assigned schedule. Any substantive schedule change requests must be submitted to the employee’s supervisor for approval. 
  • Employees are expected to continue to adhere to all University health and safety protocols when on-site. 
  • OPP Janitorial Services will continue their COVID cleaning protocols on a daily and weekly basis throughout all campus facilities based on current guidelines. This includes wiping down all high-touch surfaces, including conference room doors, stairwell bannisters, water fountains, and countertops in all common areas. Janitorial Services will also maintain and refill all hand sanitizer stations placed around high-traffic areas. 
  • In the instances where meetings/events/workshops have proven to be more successful being held virtually rather than in person, we strongly encourage units to continue hosting those events virtually. For those planning in-person events, please refer to the college’s Application Process for On- and Off-Campus Meetings document for guidance. 

The guidance outlined here is effective for the Spring 2022 semester. We anticipate university guidance on the establishment of more permanent staff flexible work arrangement in late spring or early summer 2022 and are eager to formalize flexible work in the college.  However, your patience and continued understanding of the temporary nature of flexible work until the guidance is release is appreciated.  

Thank you for all your hard work on behalf of the college.