Subject: COVID-19 response update for staff and faculty
Date: March 15, 2020

Colleagues,

We want to express our gratitude to each of you for rising to meet the challenge before us and investing much time and energy to explore new ways of carrying out your work. This transition is daunting, and at times many of us feel like we have more questions than answers. It has been heartening to see and hear the many ways you have stepped in to support each other.

We want to take this opportunity to let you know we are hearing the questions and concerns you are raising, and we are working hard to provide answers to those questions. We are consistently adding new FAQs to our COVID-19 FAQ page. Please access this resource as questions come up. While you will find relevant information in each of the FAQ sections, we want to call your attention specifically to the Calvin Employees FAQ, to which we have added a fair amount today.

One of the questions we have been asked recently is:

Should faculty and staff meet face-to-face with students who are on campus?

At this time, we are strongly encouraging faculty and staff to limit face-to-face interactions with students. This recommendation is consistent with the other decisions we are making as a university to promote social distancing. While we understand this transition is going to be challenging for our community, given the many ways we are accustomed to interacting, we also understand that social distancing is a critical factor to stopping the potential spread of COVID-19. We encourage faculty and staff to use the digital tools available to them to meet with students.

A few of the other FAQs we’ve added this morning include:

  • Should we limit face-to-face meetings between colleagues on-campus?
  • When is it safe—and ethical—to return to work after an illness?
  • Should I let someone know on campus if I’m being tested for COVID-19?

If you have a question that is not addressed on the FAQ page at this time, please send it to ResponseTeam@calvin.edu so we can work to find an answer.

The COVID-19 outbreak is causing major disruption in all areas of our lives, so again we want to thank you for the energy you are putting in as you navigate your work here at Calvin. Please continue to ask good questions and continue to extend one another grace as we enter this uncharted territory together.

With gratitude,

Cheryl Brandsen, provost
Todd Hubers, vice president of people, strategy, and technology