Subject: Operational information about working remotely for faculty and staff
Date: March 16, 2020

Calvin University faculty and staff,

Thank you for asking really good operational questions over the last few days. Please know your questions have encouraged us to address some specific operational issues in the midst of a rapidly changing environment. As we continue to focus on the best ways to contain the spread of the virus and maintain the health of our shared campus environment, the people, strategy, and technology (PST) division would like to provide additional details about how we are responding to the COVID-19 impact on campus.

CIT

Calvin’s information technology staff has provided technology options to faculty, staff, and students that may enable the business of the university to continue online. Go to IT Resources for remote teaching and working to explore what works best for you. The link on that page to the Keep Teaching and Working SharePoint site provides resources for VPN, Office 365, WebEx meetings, Teams, Moodle, and PowerPoint.

For some individuals, there may be a need to move the technology in your campus office to an alternate or home workspace. CIT has a process for this, please contact us at helpdesk@calvin.edu to make these arrangements.

An extra note of caution: CIT is seeing an upsurge in phishing attempts, as people’s guard for cyber-fraud may be a bit down now. Please don’t fall prey to those who are trying to compound the strain that is already surrounding our community. Visit CIT’s site to learn how to identify and handle phishing emails.

Human resources

An HR COVID-19 SharePoint site has been created for staff members who have questions related to their work. The site focuses on FAQs around what to do if you are healthy, have childcare needs, are sick/immune-compromised/or exposed to the virus, if you need to care for a dependent, how to handle PTO, and information about your benefits/health insurance coverage. However, if you have questions and concerns that are not answered, please feel free to reach out to our team in HR at humanresources@calvin.edu.

Benefits

If you reduce your FTE level before June 30, your current benefits eligibility will not change due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Meetings

As noted in President Le Roy’s letter earlier today, all face-to-face meetings should be suspended or moved to meeting over the phone, Microsoft Teams, Skype, WebEx, or FaceTime. This applies to meeting with both colleagues and students.

Remote Work

If possible, any work should be completed remotely until further notice. If you cannot work remotely, or if your work requires you to be on campus, speak with your supervisor about your work and determine how this can best be accomplished. Some staff must fulfill essential work on campus. If you do need to remain on campus for your work, please do so in a way that limits social contact.

Departments and offices should post a notice on their door if the office is working remotely, along with instructions for an office contact email for handling requests.

Facilities

Waste Stream Changes

In an effort to follow CDC recommendations to minimize exposure to and the spread of airborne pathogens, along with a decreased supply of appropriate PPE (personal protective equipment) for waste stream workers, the facilities office asks staff who are required to do their work on-campus to note the following changes to campus trash and recycling programs:

  • Recycling and composting programs will be suspended for the remainder of the semester. During that time, recycling bins can be used as additional waste bins.
  • Office waste: all faculty and staff will need to bag and tie their own trash and take it to a trash can in a hallway, common space, or to an outdoor dumpster. Please tie your bags tightly after you have gently pushed all air out of the bag. A supply of replacement trash can-liners will be delivered to and available in department offices.

These changes are meant to, as much as possible, eliminate secondary exposure to contaminated air and minimize touches before waste leaves campus. We have removed all student workers from waste stream activities.

Office Cleaning Materials

Building services has received requests to supply departments with additional cleaning supplies including disinfectant, gloves, and microfiber cloths. If using the provided disinfectant, always wear gloves, wet the microfiber cloth, wipe surfaces so that they remain wet for three minutes, and allow surfaces to thoroughly air dry. Soiled cloths can be exchanged in the nearest building services office or with building services staff.

Once inventory is restocked, building services will be able to provide a limited supply of disinfectant wipes. When using disinfectant wipes, wear gloves and wipe surfaces until wet, and let surfaces air dry Dispose used wipes in a trash receptacle. Questions? Contact the facilities front desk at x6444.

Closing Spaces

Over the next week, the facilities team will be working with academic departments to determine their required space needs during online instruction. To preserve cleaning materials, facilities will close and lock unneeded spaces after they have been sanitized. Closed spaces will be marked with a tag on the locked door, indicating that the room has been disinfected and closed. Please contact the facilities office at x6444 if you need access to a room that has been closed.

Smoke-Free Campus

Given that COVID-19 is a respiratory disease spread between people in close contact through airborne particulates, Calvin’s campus will officially become a non-smoking campus for the remainder of the semester. Smoke pits will not be cleaned during this time and we ask that, if you must smoke, you travel off-campus to do so or smoke inside of your vehicle.

Finance

While the campus is closed, please scan any invoices and requests for payment along with approvals to accountpayable@calvin.edu. If you don’t have access to scanning, please send paper copies through ICM. If you have a vendor who is not yet set up for ACH (electronic) payment, please have them complete the “AP Vendor – ACH Enrollment – Fillable” form found on the FSO website at: https://calvin.edu/offices-services/financial-services/forms-policies/.

Importance of Health, Safety, and Self-Care

Here are a few things you can do to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the Coronavirus:

  • Practice good hygiene.
  • Eat healthy and exercise.
  • Practice social distancing.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • If you are sick, stay home.

You might want to take a few moments to review Calvin’s Coronavirus Information site. It’s updated regularly and will contain all the latest information you’ll need to know.

Staff Action Requested

As President LeRoy’s letter earlier today indicated, we recognize that the urgent needs of our campus and those we serve have created uneven work requirements for campus staff. In order to most effectively deploy our resources to the most urgent needs, we are asking campus staff employees to please complete this brief survey indicating your remote work intentions.

Keeping the Calvin community and surrounding community safe is of the utmost importance. Thank you for all you are doing to protect one another from COVID-19.

Sincerely,

Todd Hubers
Vice president for people, strategy, and technology