Dear faculty and staff,
In consultation with the President’s Executive Council, I have decided to move the University to “reduced operations” status until April 6 to responsibly care for our campus population in response to the spread of COVID-19. We will monitor developments in the days ahead and will revisit the possible extension of this plan, as well as our timetable for teaching remotely, on Monday, March 30. We will communicate any changes as soon as decisions are made.
Each vice president has crafted a plan for their specific area of operation outlining how to meet the responsibilities of their division with reduced on-campus staffing. Those employees identified as “essential personnel” by their supervisor and emergency policy will come to campus, as will those employees identified by their vice president as needed to provide on-site services. Each staff member will hear from their vice president and each faculty member will receive instructions from the provost.
Even as the plans are being developed for specific University divisions, anyone at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 because of age or a serious long-term health problem that compromises the immune system, or who is experiencing childcare issues, should still work with their supervisor to make alternative work arrangements. Go to the Human Resources site at https://www.smu.edu/BusinessFinance/HR/BenefitsAndWellness/Coronavirus,
review the documentation and, if needed, work with your supervisor to fill out the Emergency Telecommuting Arrangement Form.
Any employee who would like to continue coming to campus to work should do so in consultation with their manager. All employees, however, are urged to monitor their own health judiciously and remain home (while contacting their health provider) if they develop symptoms consistent with COVID-19 – dry cough, fever and body aches. And for the health of the University at large, we would appreciate it if any faculty or staff member feeling ill – whether working from campus or from home – would report the information to the University through this form. We will, of course, keep your information confidential and respect your privacy rights.
As part of this reduced operation plan, University libraries will for the time being be staffed for virtual operations only and will not be open to the University community or the public. The Meadows Museum and Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports will close, at least until April 6.
Thank you for your flexibility and patience as we roll out new information every day to help us all work through this unprecedented situation. As I’ve said before, please follow this website for the latest we have to share, and stay healthy.
R. Gerald Turner