April 29, 2020
The past weeks have been difficult for all of us. COVID-19 has changed the ways that we work and live. Yesterday, President Cartwright wrote to us about some of the financial challenges the university is addressing. While UCF continues to plan next steps with everyone’s health and safety in mind, I want to address the personal hardships that many of you are facing now and offer some help.
I am thrilled to announce that our family of UCF employees answered the call for help and donated over 100,000 hours of personally accrued leave time to support our coworkers who have exhausted their own leave and are unable to work because of COVID-19.
Our faculty, who are working now to finish grading for the semester, have asked for a few more days to complete their donations. We are very happy to hear that there are more employees who want to help and have extended the donation window to May 11. We continue to gratefully accept donations at https://www.ucf.edu/lp/knights-care-leave-share/.
Many of us are working remotely and will continue to do so until further notice and pending conversations with our supervisors. Unfortunately, many UCF employees cannot work right now for a number of reasons including jobs that cannot be performed remotely, caring for children whose schools are closed, or the direct impact of a COVID-19 illness. For many of these employees, Emergency Paid Sick Leave will run out tomorrow, April 30.
For employees unable to work because of caring for a minor at home, I urge you to apply now for Emergency Family and Medical Leave: https://hr.ucf.edu/families-first-coronavirus-response-act/.
For leave-accruing employees who are unable to work because of COVID-19, your colleagues have generously provided for your support. Once you have exhausted your personally accrued leave, please request leave share at: https://www.ucf.edu/lp/knights-care-leave-share/
We are counting on supervisors and HR liaisons to help employees understand what leave they might be eligible to receive. HR has created a resource to help with this: https://hr.ucf.edu/wp-content/blogs.dir/23/files/COVID19-Leave-Options-at-a-Glance.pdf. Of course, your points of contacts in UCF Human Resources are always available to assist.
Finally, I want to remind you that UCF offers an excellent Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that provides a multitude of free resources, including information, training, counseling, and other forms of assistance and referrals to all non-student employees. I would encourage anyone wanting to better care for themselves or their family or who is uncertain about where to turn for emotional support to check out the EAP: https://HealthAdvocate.com/members.
As President Cartwright mentioned yesterday, we do not know for sure what the future holds for us as the university awaits future guidance from public health and government officials. We do know, however, that the UCF community will get through this together.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for giving so generously and for working so hard to help each other and to serve our students. You make me proud to be a Knight.
Associate VP & Chief HR Officer
UCF Human Resources