March 13, 2020
Dear University Community,
In times when we are most greatly tested, I find that pausing for a moment of reflection—even briefly—will help refocus attention toward what is critically important.
Today, and in recent weeks, the significance of maintaining the health, safety, and welfare of the La Salle community cannot be understated. I am inspired by the universal cooperation we have seen from our students, faculty, staff, and Christian Brothers during these extraordinary circumstances. Together and by association, we will navigate this public health crisis and continue to support one another.
As you know, a task force at the University is working swiftly to share updates related to this global pandemic, recognizing that this situation is changing rapidly.
Given Governor Wolf’s most recent mandates placed upon Montgomery County, it is imperative to me that we continue to take care of our students, faculty, staff, and Christian Brothers by taking preventative measures in the interest of public health.
It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within the La Salle community.
We are currently focused on ways to follow social distancing best practices and provide additional flexibility for our employees, while also maintaining overall productivity and momentum of the important work that we undertake for the benefit of our students. As such, we have made the following decisions, effective immediately and continuing through at least April 5:
The complexity and severity of actions that are taking place are likely to cause anxiety for all of us. It’s important for each of us to practice self-care and support one another during this extraordinary situation.
Colleen M. Hanycz, Ph.D.
To the University faculty and staff,
Next week, the University’s campus will be staffed physically by academic and administrative staff specifically designated by a vice president or dean. Divisional Vice Presidents have been meeting with their leadership teams to disseminate more specific information and instructions.
It is strongly recommended that all other faculty and staff work remotely. These employees are not required to report to campus during these two weeks. However, the University will not be closed to faculty and staff. For example, the retrieval of an essential item from a campus space will be permitted.
Employees who are unable to work during this period of remote operations should be prepared to use their available allotments of vacation and sick time. Employees with an insufficient balance of available vacation and sick time should contact the Office of Human Resources at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As a reminder, Dr. Hanycz previously gifted staff employees with a discretionary holiday to be used on either March 16 or March 20. Recognizing the additional burden that the event of COVID-19 may be placing on our employees, we encourage staff to use this extra day to practice self-care and to take care of any personal needs.
Immediate next steps
As employees work with supervisors to define their critical tasks, it is important to note that Project Compass will remain a top priority for all employees involved.
During these next two weeks, non-essential personnel who are working remotely will be required to:
The supervisor will give the completed Remote Work Plan to their Divisional Vice President as soon as possible.
This Remote Work Plan will serve as an agreement between the employee and their supervisor on roles and responsibilities during a remote work period. Divisional Vice Presidents will set any other division-specific expectations. Divisional leadership or Human Resources reserve the right to request additional documentation of work at any time.
In addition to identifying the employee’s work schedule, tasks, and projects, employees and supervisors will set expectations for regular check-ins. Remote work plans should be approved and reviewed by Supervisors with an eye toward equity, responsibility, connectivity, and productivity. Employees who may need reasonable accommodations to work remotely should contact the University’s Affirmative Action Officer, Rose Lee Pauline, at email@example.com.
Best practices and tips
Some tips for creating productive and successful remote work experiences:
Resources and technology
Tools are available to faculty and staff to ease the transition to remote work. The following represent considerations each employee and supervisor should make while preparing to work remotely:
If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember to frequently review the University’s site dedicated to COVID-19 updates for the latest information from La Salle. Thank you for your continued support of our students and each other.
Kristin Heasley, M.S., PHR, SHRM-CP
Assistant Vice President of Human Resources