March 19 Faculty and Staff Update

JMU News

Dear Faculty and Staff,

The purpose of this email is to provide important information that will assist you as we navigate the COVID-19 health crisis together.


In an effort to ensure the health and well-being of all faculty and staff, only "designated" employees should continue to work on campus. This transition should begin the week of Monday, March 23 (next week).

Supervisors now have the authority to identify those who should report and those who should work remotely. The following guidance is designed to assist supervisors as they determine which employees should be deemed "designated".

"Designated" employees include faculty and staff who perform the following functions:

  • Provide online instruction from an on-campus location
  • Ensure that systems supporting online learning are functioning properly
  • Work with systems that cannot be accessed from off-campus
  • Greet and/or respond to campus visitors (using social distancing)
  • Ensure, by fulfilling their on-campus job functions, that JMU remains in compliance with state and federal law (e.g. employees who handle cash, submit legal documents to the Commonwealth, etc.)
  • Ensure the health, safety and security of people on campus
  • Protect JMU property
  • Answer JMU phones and ensure that critical messages are delivered to remote workers who must respond to the callers

Note that employees who are considered "designated" during this pandemic situation may differ from those considered "designated" within JMU Policy 1309-Closings, Class Cancellations and Exam Postponements Due to Inclement Weather or Emergencies. The compensatory leave provision of 1309 is not applicable at this time.

Some staff may need to consult with their supervisors to better understand how best to complete their work remotely given the existing circumstances.

Faculty and staff may return to campus intermittently to complete their work or to collect items necessary to work remotely. While on campus, employees are required to practice social distancing and proper hygiene.

Supervisors may seek additional guidance from their HR consultant.

More information on Telework can be found in the communication issued by Rick Larson on March 16, 2020, here.


In the past week, Information Technology has received hundreds of requests for off-campus access to information technology systems. We are working on methods to provide secure, off-campus access to JMU systems. Depending on your need, this may require that you have a JMU-owned Windows computer at your home that was initially set up using an image provided by IT Desktop Services. We will be following up with all requestors by close of business Monday, March, 23. IT will have a limited number of loaner computers available for this purpose. If you have questions, contact the IT Help Desk at 540-568-3555 or email


The university will adopt a modified work schedule beginning Monday, March 30.

  • University hours of business operation will be 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Monday - Thursday.
  • University hours of business operation will be 8:00 a.m. - noon Friday.
  • Departments and supervisors who have employees working after 12:00 noon on Fridays will determine customer service needs and expectations.
  • Any alternate or flexible work schedules that meet the 40-hour workweek are acceptable with supervisor approval. Supervisors should exercise as much flexibility as possible to ensure employee safety and accomplish critical work functions. Employee safety is the first priority.


As noted above, we urge all supervisors, managers, and unit heads to be as flexible as possible to ensure the safety of employees working on campus. JMU already has university policies in place that may aid in social distancing. Please review Alternate Work Schedules policy to see if any of the options available could help you keep your employees safe.

Some of the following options may help:

  • Alternative work schedule - For full-time employees, a work schedule agreed to by the supervisor and employee other than Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Flexible scheduling - A full-time schedule that allows flexibility within a regular 40-hour workweek on a non-routine basis and with unit head approval.
  • A compressed workweek - A work schedule completed in fewer than five full workdays per week.
  • Flextime - A full-time schedule that allows flexibility within a regular 40-hour workweek on a non-routine basis and with unit head approval.
  • Alternate work locations - The occasional necessity may arise to perform job duties at an approved location on campus other than the employee’s central workplace.

Supervisors may seek additional guidance from their HR consultant.


Given the unprecedented changes in the JMU community related to the coronavirus pandemic, the JMU University Health Center (UHC) has agreed to take calls from employees who have questions about COVID-19.

If you have questions about COVID-19, such as how to protect yourself and your family, what is social distancing, should you self-isolate, etc., we encourage you to first visit the UHC website for information and links to many helpful sites. If you still have questions regarding work operations or employee health-related to COVID-19, you may call UHC at 540-568-6178. A member of the UHC team will receive your question, return your call, and respond to any questions you have. They will not be screening patients, conducting remote examinations, diagnosing illnesses, or writing prescriptions. The best time to call is 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.


For supervisors or search committee chairs who have questions about recruitment, interviewing, job postings, or the onboarding of new employees, please either review the Recruitment and Hiring FAQs regarding COVID-19 or contact a member of the Human Resources Recruitment Team. Some team members are working remotely and, if called, will be monitoring their voicemail from a remote location. They will return your call. Please call 540-568-3597 to contact the Recruitment Team.

If you have questions related to the job duties and/or designation of newly hired employees, please contact your HR Consultant. Use this link to find the HR Consultant or Recruitment Specialist assigned to your department:


It is our goal to keep you informed throughout this situation. You can expect to hear more in the coming days. Thank you once again for your patience and willingness to support each other through this challenging ordeal.

Warm regards,

Rick Larson
Assistant Vice President, HR, Training, and Performance

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Published: Friday, March 20, 2020

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

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