Transitioning back to on-site work
May 6, 2020 9:58 AM

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Though we are still under the stay-at-home order from Gov. J.B. Pritzker, we are actively planning protocols we intend to put in place once employees who have been working remotely can begin returning to on-site work.

Deans and other members of the Chancellor’s Senior Leadership Council are preparing detailed plans for how they will implement this transition for their own faculty and staff. These leaders will be working with unit executive officers and others to formulate their respective plans that address their unique functions and are tailored to the specific needs of their faculty, staff and students. 

I have charged a steering committee to lead our COVID-19 recovery planning response, and that committee will be led by Senior Associate Chancellor Mike DeLorenzo. We also have charged several COVID-19 recovery planning response subcommittees in these areas: academics, campus life, community and public engagement, finance and operations, human resources, research and scholarship and testing, tracking and monitoring. We will provide extensive information about each of these committees, their charges and their progress as we move forward. 

On-Site Working

  • Our transition to on-site operations will be done in a gradual, disciplined manner that is guided by scientific evidence and the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, staff and greater community.
  • Our goal is to steadily and safely increase our on-site workforce to near full-capacity over the summer to prepare for the new academic year.
  • The timing and the working arrangements of individual employees will not be the same for everyone. This allows our colleges and departments the necessary flexibility to implement their specific plans within parameters outlined by public health officials.
  • Gov. Pritzker has ordered that masks be worn in public, so the university will be supplying units with masks for employees who will be working on-site any time before Aug. 16.

Fall Instruction

  • We have not yet made a decision about the delivery of fall instruction, but we are actively engaged in planning for a number of contingencies.
  • Our goal is to ensure that we do all we can to maximize our students’ educational experiences.
  • We firmly believe the residential experience is an important part of the growth and development of our students, and it is our goal to return to that model as soon as possible in a manner that respects and prioritizes everyone’s safety and well-being.
  • We recognize that families need time to plan for the fall term.
  • We anticipate a formal decision and announcement on fall instruction by the middle of June.

I look forward to the day when we can begin the careful process to bring everyone back together in person. It will take each and every one of us to do our fair share to look after the health and well-being of one another. We have done it before and we will do it again.


Robert J. Jones

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Office of the Chancellor

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