Our faculty and staff have demonstrated extraordinary commitment over the past 13 months. The pandemic presented obstacles we had not encountered before. We broke down barriers and worked together to keep the university moving forward.
Some of us worked from campus the whole time. Others of us worked from home until last summer and then returned to campus. Still others have continued to work from home.
Regardless of your work situation, I applaud all of your efforts. Together we worked to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to support our students and campus community.
Thank you for your diligence and hard work.
Fall will look more “normal”
The coronavirus situation is rapidly improving. As vaccination numbers continue to increase, COVID-19 case numbers are steadily declining on campus, in the Springfield community and throughout the state.
Because of this improvement, students and others will be back on campus in the fall. While I anticipate our online enrollment will remain robust, campus activities in and out of classrooms will largely return to the way they were before the pandemic.
Students are our top priority. As they return to campus, it is critical that staff also come back to campus.
Explaining the guiding principles
To guide us through decisions about who must work from campus, who may work some days from home if their supervisor approves, and when exceptions are appropriate, the university’s leadership team has established Guiding Principles for Return to Campus in Fall 2021. I encourage you to take a moment to review these principles.
At their core, the principles lay out five basic points:
- Offices should be open for standard hours (typically 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).
- Supervisors should work from campus.
- Non-exempt employees should work from campus with regular work hours to ensure compliance with wage and hour laws.
- Staff whose job duties include face-to-face interaction with students, regular participation in in-person meetings or interactions on campus or in the community, or office reception should work from campus.
- Few staff members should be permitted to work remotely on a full-time basis.
In application, these principles require that the vast majority of university staff who worked from home during the pandemic must return to campus full-time.
Supervisors will have discretion to approve limited exceptions to these rules, and I will review return-to-campus plans created by cost center heads to ensure university-wide compliance.
Remote work arrangements
As was the case before the pandemic, supervisors will continue to have discretion to authorize remote work arrangements under section 4.11 of the employee handbook within the constraints of the guiding principles.
This policy will be updated later this year during our annual update of the employee handbook to be consistent with the guiding principles. Details about when a formal remote work arrangement is appropriate are set out in the guiding principles.
The university will continue to take a decentralized approach to formal remote work arrangements. This means some offices will allow remote work while others will not, and some employees will work remotely while others with similar job duties will not.
Wellness incentive tied to vaccination for 2022
As I mentioned in last week’s Clif’s Notes, I encourage all members of the campus community to get a COVID-19 vaccine. I have also long advocated for everyone on campus to receive an annual flu vaccination.
As an incentive to get these vaccines, we plan to connect this year’s wellness incentive to vaccination.
- Employees who complete their COVID-19 vaccination will qualify for a $20 per month discount on their 2022 health insurance premiums.
- Employees who complete their flu vaccination will qualify for an additional $10 per month discount on their 2022 health insurance premiums.
Details about the 2022 wellness incentive plan can be found online.
Plan to attend Virtual Town Hall Friday
We have scheduled another Virtual Town Hall meeting for 3 p.m. April 9. At this meeting I will:
- Update the campus community on the status of COVID-19 on campus.
- Discuss the university’s Guiding Principles for Return to Campus.
- Share the 2022 wellness incentive plan.
You will have an opportunity to provide feedback and ask questions. I hope you will plan to attend.
Thanks for all you do for Missouri State!
- Clif’s Notes for April 13, 2021 - April 13, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for April 6, 2021 - April 6, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for March 30, 2021 - March 30, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for March 23, 2021 - March 23, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for March 9, 2021 - March 9, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for March 2, 2021 - March 2, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for Feb. 23, 2021 - February 23, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for Feb. 16, 2021 - February 16, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for Feb. 9, 2021 - February 9, 2021
- Clif’s Notes for Feb. 2, 2021 - February 2, 2021