June 11, 2020
As part of the Governor’s Forward New York Plan, the Finger Lake Region has met all of the criteria and has entered Phase II of reopening, which allows for a limited number of administrative, library and research employees to return to campus. The Hobart and William Smith Colleges senior leadership team has reviewed available information and collaborated with local health officials and other higher ed institutions in the area to ensure we are prepared with the resources and best practice safety protocols for returning to campus. I am pleased to announce that we are ready to begin phasing employees back to work on campus starting June 15.
We will begin to phase in employees beginning on Monday, June 15 and anticipate a return to full staffing by mid-August. The Return to Campus for Employees Guide is consistent with both federal and NYS guidance and provides details of the Colleges phased return and the protocols implemented to keep everyone safe. The guide is subject to change depending on future guidance from the state and if circumstances in the region or on campus do not evolve as anticipated.
All employees will be required to complete a COVID-19 Safety Training prior to returning to campus and to perform an online daily wellness assessment. The wellness assessment is in accordance with NYS guidelines and is intended to determine if someone is experiencing COVID-19 related symptoms or has been exposed to someone diagnosed with COVID-19. Employees who experience symptoms should not return to campus until cleared to do so.
Please familiarize yourself with the guide and consult with your respective vice president about specifics pertaining to your department and your individual timeline to return to work on campus. The order of return will be prioritized for those staff members who can best fulfill their jobs by completing their work on campus and whose work provides a critical operational need.
We recognize as we bring people back to campus that some employees may have special family circumstances or be concerned about childcare. Division vice presidents are sympathetic to these issues and will work with employees to identify flexible work arrangements. Similarly employees who are at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19 according to CDC guidance may be concerned about returning to work. In those situations employees should contact Human Resources about accommodations, as soon as possible.
I thank you in advance for doing your part to keep your work colleagues and the HWS campus community healthy and safe.
Vice President for Human Resources