May 26, 2020
It is so inspirational how you have continued to Charge On through the many challenges of COVID-19, quickly adapting how you work and generously donating tens of thousands of leave hours to colleagues adversely affected by the pandemic.
As we prepare for a return to campus, our “new normal” will require continued cooperation. We need everyone to continue to tackle some personal inconveniences and adopt the practices necessary to protect ourselves, our colleagues and our loved ones at home. As Knights, we should continue to be dedicated to the well-being of our broader community.
I am sharing updates from UCF’s COVID-19 planning groups that will help you prepare for a gradual, flexible return to campus. This information includes guidance from public health officials that supports our most important goal: prioritizing health and safety for all students, faculty and staff while restoring campus operations.
We’re addressing questions you are likely to have in our reopening FAQs, and with some highlights listed below.
About Return to Campus
With nearly 14,000 employees at UCF, there is no one-size-fits-all model of returning to the workplace, but this is a starting point while we continue to develop additional guidance for all supervisors and employees.
The employees below are intentionally permitted to return to campus starting June 1 in advance of most others:
- Vice presidents and associate and assistant vice presidents
- Deans and associate and assistant deans
During this process, supervisors will be responsible for maintaining an office occupancy at or below 30 percent capacity. The period between now and June 1 should allow ample time for developing plans and making adjustments that allow for a phased-in return.
Most other employees will start their transition back to campus later in June following the guidance that supervisors will be developing over the coming weeks with support from Human Resources. Employees should work directly with their supervisors on their work schedule and arrangements. Student OPS employees should check with their supervisors about plans for returning to campus.
Employees who can continue to work remotely should, especially those at high risk of complications from COVID-19. Supervisors are advised to remain flexible and understanding while slowly phasing employees into returning to campus, knowing that some employees do not need to work from campus and may not feel comfortable doing so at this time, or have special circumstances that would hinder them from working on campus.
About Workplace Safety
All employees returning to campus will be required to complete training through Webcourses that outlines health and safety protocols they are expected to follow. More about this training will be shared this week.
UCF will be providing all returning employees and students with a reusable cloth face covering, or you can provide your own. Face coverings will be required to be worn in all shared indoor spaces and in outside areas where physical distancing isn’t possible.
Additional and enhanced cleaning will take place in common spaces and areas where there are frequently touched surfaces, including hallways, stairways, restrooms and elevators. More signage and touch-free hand-sanitizing stations will be placed across campus, and upgrades are being made to UCF buildings to add more touchless features by the time the fall semester begins.
For office settings such as cubicles or shared workspaces that are close together, distances of at least 6 feet between employees in the office at all times are required. Employees will be responsible for cleaning and maintaining their individual workspaces, including desks, chairs and computer equipment.
Departments should proceed as they normally would with regular orders — following normal procurement processes and at their own costs — for office items such as soap, hand sanitizer, paper towels and other cleaning supplies that are especially important as employees begin returning to campus. Find information for departments with additional needs.
If you or any of your colleagues need help coping with COVID-19 or other life events, UCF’s Employee Assistance Program, HealthAdvocate, provides free, confidential, short-term counseling to all faculty and staff, including non-student OPS employees, and their dependents. Employees can call 877-240-6863 or go to HealthAdvocate.com/members for assistance.
I look forward to sharing more information with you in the weeks ahead. The latest updates also will be shared on the UCF coronavirus website.
In addition, there will be a staff town hall scheduled for next week that you are encouraged to listen in on. We will be sharing those details soon.
As we continue to Charge On, we must remember that we’re all in this together and that each of us is responsible for doing our individual part to help keep our fellow Knights safe.
Associate Vice President
Chief Human Resources Officer