This message to all faculty and staff has been approved by Renisha Gibbs, Associate Vice President for Human Resources and Finance & Administration Chief of Staff.
The University continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on our state and local community and has been working toward a plan for faculty and staff repopulation of campus. The following information relates to faculty and staff returning to campus to perform assigned duties and does not in any way contradict or negate the FSU Fall 2020 Reopening Plan.
After reviewing recent increases in COVID-19 data, including a record setting increase in Leon County over the weekend, the University will not be moving forward as anticipated to the next phase on July 6. Updates will be provided, including a new anticipated date to return faculty and staff to campus for Phase 2 repopulation, as information becomes available.
Departments can continue to allow employees to return to campus as needs arise. Employees who are able to work remotely may continue to do so. Faculty will continue to hold classes online through Summer C.
Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing
Although employees are not returning to campus on July 6, you are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to test on campus at our Drive-Through Testing Site in the Traditions Parking Garage.
University voluntary testing has identified several COVID-19 positive individuals – all of whom previously believed that they were COVID-19 negative but chose to be tested as part of their larger responsibility as members of our community. Any situations that may impact campus continue to be reviewed immediately and addressed.
To register for testing, please visit the University Health Services Testing Site.
Remote Work Update
We previously announced that effective August 7, 2020, the University will return to normal policy and no longer allow employees to care for children while working remotely. The University’s requirement under the normal telecommuting policy generally applies to employees whose job duties require them to be on campus full-time during normal business hours (8:00 am to 5:00 pm) and is intended to create flexible work arrangements that serve both the needs of the employee and their work unit. We have not typically required employees who are already regularly performing their job remotely, or a combination of on-campus and remote work (e.g. faculty) to enter into a Telecommuting Agreement, nor were those employees required to complete the Temporary Remote Work Agreement at the beginning of the COVID-19 emergency. Therefore, the University reverting back to normal policy does not affect their regular work arrangement.
The University’s normal policy on Telecommuting states in pertinent part:
“If a child or dependent is present during scheduled work hours, arrangements must be made for the care of the child or dependent by someone other than the employee and the specifics of the arrangements may be requested by HR to be submitted with the Telecommuting Agreement.”
In an effort to be responsive to our employee needs at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we immediately suspended this part of the of the policy (copied above) and allowed employees to care for children while also working remotely. Our decision to shift to remote work in the spring was made in conjunction with decisions by Leon County Schools, our local K-12 public school district, as well as neighboring districts, to move to virtual learning. Our decision was done in part to support our employees — many of whom are parents of school-age children.
Now that our local public schools are planning to resume in-person instruction next month and local daycare centers are open throughout the county, FSU is also shifting back to normal policy. Although we were planning to begin repopulating our campus up to 50% capacity beginning July 6, we had always planned to continue to allow remote work while caring for dependent children until the start of the K-12 school year.
As a reminder, employees have the opportunity to request a temporary modification to any on-campus work assignment based on high-risk concerns by completing the Request for Temporary Modification form and submitting it to their supervisor or Department Chair. Information on the request process can be found on the HR website.
Florida State University is closely monitoring Leon County School’s reopening plans. If circumstances change, Florida State University will make any adjustments accordingly.
We appreciate your patience as we work through this unprecedented and evolving situation. As we continue to monitor the data and consult with health authorities, a new repopulation date will be communicated. Any other necessary adjustments to previously announced dates and timeframes will be communicated as well. Our goal continues to be a safe return to campus when the time is appropriate.
Questions? Please contact Human Resources at HR-COVID19@fsu.edu.