October 22, 2020
I appreciate all that you have done to support our students and faculty throughout this most unusual fall semester. For those who have been coming to our campuses, thank you for following UCF’s COVID-19 protocols. This has helped to make our fall semester successful, with no tracing of the virus back to classrooms and offices where COVID-19 precautions were followed.
We are grateful to President Cartwright for the extended holiday closure but also are looking ahead to the spring semester, when employees report back to work January 4 in advance of classes starting January 11.
We are working to offer substantially more face-to-face classes in the spring than we have this fall because we know the on-campus experience is important for our students’ success. This means we will need to increase staff in some of our campus offices, particularly those where employees directly support our students and faculty.
We know much more than we did last summer about how our policies, testing and tracing efforts, and other measures help protect the health of our campus community, and we have honed these protocols to support our campus as we reopened.
Our spring approach will again follow our COVID-19 policies, including requiring face coverings and physical distancing for employees and visitors within our offices and on our campus. As always, should public health conditions require a change, we are ready to pivot to more remote teaching and work if necessary.
We will communicate details to you in the coming weeks as we more specifically establish spring staffing guidelines. Within those guidelines, divisional and departmental leaders will have the flexibility to determine how to best meet staffing needs in their offices and departments.
We recognize that some office settings, particularly those with cubicles, will need to continue to have some employees working remotely in order to maintain physical distancing. Each area will need to work with their leadership to determine the best plan to support increased activity on our campuses while also following our COVID-19 protocols.
We also recognize that some of our employees or someone in their household may be in a high-risk category for COVID-19, and we want those staff members to continue working remotely whenever that is feasible. We will soon communicate details of a new process that will be set up to allow for staff members to get documentation from their physician related to their situation.
To help limit the spread of COVID-19, we will be rescheduling spring break from March to April 11 through 18. We also will move to entirely remote instruction following that week, although residence halls and campus offices will remain open, similar to what is happening this fall following Thanksgiving.
If you need help coping with COVID-19 or other life events, UCF’s Employee Assistance Program, HealthAdvocate, continues to provide free, confidential, support to all faculty and staff, including non-student OPS employees. Employees can call 877-240-6863 or go to HealthAdvocate.com/members for assistance.
Thank you again for your dedication to our students and faculty and for your commitment to Armoring Up and caring for your fellow Knights.
Associate Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer