March 18, 2020 - Remote Working Update

Dear UMSL Community,

Since yesterday, leaders of Colleges, Schools and Divisions (CSDs) have been evaluating the feasibility of their staff to work remotely and to assess technology needs in order for that to happen. The goals of this effort are to 1) maintain our support structure for teaching and learning for a fully remote faculty and student body, and 2) quickly have a maximum number of people working remotely while being responsive to the needs of our campus and their normal duties.

CSD leaders are authorized to implement unit-level staffing plans that balance the objectives of continuity of operations, maximum remote work, and minimum physical presence on campus. Thursday and Friday are good opportunities to have employees test remote work arrangements and technology from home with the goal of having remote work fully in place by Monday, March 23.

We know messages like this can’t address every situation nor answer every question. Please work with your college, school and division leaders as decisions need to be made, using the following principles to guide your decisions:

  • Sustain academic programs and operational continuity;
  • Do right by our employees;
  • Maintain a safe and healthy workplace, including minimizing the transmission of contagious disease;
  • Be good stewards of our resources;
  • Encourage fairness, open communications and concern for the wellbeing of our faculty, staff and student employees.

This situation has evolved quickly and I have been inspired by your response and dedication to continuing UMSL’s mission in the face of this challenge. Please continue to move forward with empathy, compassion and courage as we work to support our UMSL family.

Sincerely,

Kristin Sobolik
Interim Chancellor and Provost

(March 17 Enhanced HR polices for employees systemwide)