Spring '21 Important Return to Workplace Information


Dear Staff and Faculty:

The spring semester starts on January 19, 2021, and many JMU students will be returning to campus at that time or shortly thereafter. As we begin the spring semester, it will be more critical than ever for JMU to provide students and the entire campus community with the best possible experience. Therefore, it is expected that beginning January 19, all campus departments are fully open, and all services are made available to students, faculty, and staff. Offices should be staffed and maintained in such a way as to ensure the highest quality interaction with students and each other.

JMU has operated successfully during the pandemic thanks to your diligence and sacrifices. For that, we are incredibly grateful.

Continued challenges:

As spring semester begins, we will continue to be working during the pandemic. Therefore, it is essential to acknowledge that we will also continue to face serious challenges.

  • We may experience faculty and staff absenteeism due to COVID-19 illnesses and exposures.
  • Local schools may remain closed or partially open, requiring some parents to be home with their children.
  • Some of our co-workers may continue to experience greater vulnerability to COVID-19 due to their age or an underlying health condition.
  • More information about the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine will be forthcoming.

To ensure health, well-being, and success:

  • Everyone should review the Return to Workplace Guidelines and diligently follow all health-related protocols when returning to campus.
  • Managers and supervisors should work with their respective teams to find creative ways to maintain the highest level of service which may include a combination of virtual and in-person customer experiences. Responsiveness and availability are paramount to providing the exemplary level of customer service and attentiveness that our students and campus visitors deserve and expect.
  • All faculty and staff should contact their direct supervisor if there are questions about work schedules or when to resume on-campus work.

Pandemic-related temporary teleworking:

Currently, due to pandemic-related constraints such as child-care, quarantines or other related circumstances, JMU allows a simplified method of establishing temporary teleworking arrangements. If such a temporary teleworking arrangement is already in place, no action is necessary. If a need arises, temporary teleworking can be established with an email initiated and approved by the supervisor that includes important details. Click here for more information. For all other more long-term teleworking agreements, see Policy 1332.

Thank you:

As usual, thank you for your patience and commitment as we work to successfully begin on-campus operations for spring semester while ensuring the safest work environment possible.

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

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Published: Monday, January 11, 2021

Last Updated: Friday, May 21, 2021

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