Earlier today, Syracuse University began welcoming back members of its campus community, an important milestone to safely bring back students, faculty and staff after the monthslong work-from-home effort during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As announced earlier this week by Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer Andrew R. Gordon, Phase One faculty and staff arrived on campus this week as the first of four carefully planned phases to resume more normal operations.
“The Return to Campus Working Group for Faculty and Staff has collaborated with various teams and departments from across the University, too many to name, over the past several weeks to prepare to welcome folks back to campus in a safe and smart way,” Gordon says. “I am grateful to the many faculty and staff members who have assisted with these efforts. Many cross-functional teams continue the work of ensuring that campus is a safe and healthy place for all in anticipation of additional faculty and staff returning over the coming weeks, not to mention our students who will be back in August.”
Earlier this week, the Office of Human Resources also released comprehensive guidance on its website for faculty and staff returning to campus. This guidance encompasses topics like masks and other personal protective equipment (PPE), social distancing requirements, expectations of faculty and staff in monitoring and reporting any COVID-19 symptoms, cleaning and sanitation protocols, and more. Some key highlights include:
- Face masks or coverings will be required on campus while in the presence of others and anywhere social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.
- A required daily health screening questionnaire, which faculty and staff must complete at home before reporting to work on campus.
- A new shared responsibility to clean and disinfect personal workspaces and surfaces in common areas to supplement the enhanced day-to-day efforts of our custodial staff.
Faculty and staff, including those who are not yet scheduled to return to campus, are advised to review the Return to Campus Information Hub for Faculty and Staff to become familiar with new requirements and expectations for on-campus work.
“It falls on all of us to follow the guidance and protocols established for faculty and staff to ensure the health of our community,” Gordon says. “I thank everyone for their shared commitment to balancing how we work, move and interact with the entire University community on campus with the necessary goal of maintaining the well-being of every campus member.”
Syracuse University will continue to provide frequent updates via email communications and on Syracuse.edu/coronavirus, which will be the most up-to-date resource as the University navigates the evolving impact of the pandemic. The campus community can expect continued messages from University leadership, including Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie, who for the last three months has led a policy team to respond to the pandemic and prepare for the return to campus.