March 20, 2020
11:05 AM (EDT) 

Dear Colleagues:

We are in the midst of a challenging situation for which Vincennes University has been preparing. We have made many difficult decisions this week in an effort to significantly reduce the population density on campus to enable social distancing, a set of practices recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  I announce today that telecommuting protocols are in place and are expected to be implemented the week of the 23rd.

In a previous email from Provost Treanor, faculty were encouraged to work remotely as they teach their courses online, effective March 23, through April 6.  Staff supervisors have also received information and tools to successfully transition certain employees to partial or complete remote working environments during this period.  Work statuses will be reassessed in two weeks. Your manager will be in contact with you to determine telecommuting work capabilities and assignments.

There will be a designation of onsite employees and remote workers.  Our VU team holds various jobs and responsibilities and the modifications that managers make to work schedules will vary based on those differences. There will not be one solution that works for everyone, and some individuals due to the nature of their work, will be asked to continue reporting to campus.

Subject to the needs of the University, supervisors are working on the implementation of flexible work arrangements such as having employees work on-site with flexible schedules. This may be coupled with remote work assignments for the time not spent on-site. The Federal government is considering substantial emergency relief in the areas of sick and family leave. We will share more information as guidance becomes available from Federal agencies and there may be upcoming federal relief.  

At this time, the virus does not appear to have spread to Knox County and it has not affected anyone on our campuses.  Even so, we must prepare to take additional steps to help stop the spread of the virus in our communities. We encourage all staff members to use tools like Zoom and transition standard meetings into phone conferences.

I understand this situation has created a significant disruption in many people’s daily lives. I realize there continue to be questions which we might not have answers to yet. We will provide updates as we receive guidance from regulatory bodies.

The patience, resourcefulness, and dedication exhibited by everyone at VU during this difficult time is simply inspiring. I am proud to be part of this resilient and caring community. Please remember that each and every challenge we overcome today will make us stronger tomorrow.

Sincerely,

Chuck Johnson
President
Vincennes University