March 24, 2020
Gov. Cuomo’s “New York State on Pause” Executive Order, which started Sunday night at 8 p.m., means that every business and non-profit in the state should be using telework procedures. Some businesses that provide essential services to the community – hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies, among others – will remain open and functioning. Higher education, however, is not considered an essential business under the Governor’s mandate.
What does that mean for us at Hobart and William Smith? Although higher education is not considered essential, some of the functions our staff provide are. They include ensuring the safety of the campus, supporting remote learning, supporting students who remain in campus housing, feeding students in campus housing, and preserving facilities and basic campus functions like our radio station and post office. If you provide one of these essential services to the Colleges, you are aware of this already and have been in touch with your supervisor about ways you can be safe while doing your jobs. If you have any questions, though, you can contact your supervisor or reach out to me anytime.
The vast majority of our staff, however, should be working remotely. Most of you have already been in contact with your supervisor about this and have transitioned into this new way of doing your jobs. We expect this is a short-term situation and that we will be back in our offices soon. As we wait for further guidance from authorities, I want to make sure that everyone has the tools necessary to be successful.
If you need to pick up work materials or supplies from your campus office, including a laptop or desktop computer, you can do so at any time as long as you alert your supervisor and return the equipment once remote working ends. Since there are very few people on campus, buildings are locked so you will need to bring your keys and lock up when you leave. While there, practice social distancing protocols and do not stay for long. Additional tips and information can be found on a webpage with resources for staff, including how to access the suite of web based services provided by the Colleges and how to obtain internet access if you don’t have it. We will continue to work with multiple offices across campus to revise frequently used forms to support a remote working arrangement so please be patient with us as we figure things out.
Many thanks for everything you are doing for the Colleges and our community during this challenging time. We will get through this
Vice President for Human Resources.