Message from Chancellor Koch: Additional Guidance for Remote Work Arrangements

From Chancellor Koch and Senior HR Director Melissa Mlynski:


Dear Faculty and Staff:


As we monitor updates on the COVID-19 virus, we continue to review and revise policies and decisions to be as responsive as possible to the health and safety needs of our campus community while continuing to fulfill our educational mission.  As prior communication explained on Sunday, March 15, units have been directed to consider alternate work arrangements for as many employees as possible.

The following is intended to provide further guidance on implementing this directive.

Deans, directors and department heads should be guided by the Essential Services Policy to ensure that essential services under their areas of responsibility continue. Based on the nature of the essential services, some work must be performed on-site while other essential duties can be accomplished by working remotely.

On-site work for essential employees:

  • Units are directed to operate with the minimum staffing required to accomplish essential on-site functions.
  • Units are directed to offer flexible schedules, if possible, to accommodate childcare issues or other unique challenges that an employee may be facing.
  • Units should consider establishing a rotation, if possible, where employees can come in for alternate shifts or days.
  • Employees should avoid in-person meetings when at all possible and practice appropriate social distancing.

Remote work for all other employees:

  • Units are directed to offer remote work options for all other employees.
  • Remote work involves working from a remote location for some or all of the workweek.
  • Employees will not be required to utilize any form of leave time during this period unless they are not available to work due to a scheduled vacation or they need to use sick time for themselves or a family member.
  • Some employees may be required to be “on call” should their services be required.
  • In determining whether to allow an employee to work remotely, supervisors should be as creative and flexible as possible.

Communication/Equipment for Remote Work:

  • Supervisors should plan to have regular, daily communication with employees to monitor the progress of work.
  • The employee must provide a list of all University equipment that will be transported to and used at the remote worksite.

Documentation of Remote Work:

  • Employee and supervisor should review the attached(below) UIS COVID-19 Remote Work Guidelines. The employee must acknowledge, in writing or via email, that they have reviewed this document.
  • Supervisors must send the employee acknowledgment to UIS Human Resources via email at


  • We expect all units to implement these working arrangements effective immediately and until further communication.
  • Units should consult Human Resources at or 217-206-6652 for assistance with any challenges they encounter with implementing these directives.


Thank you for your patience and cooperation as we adapt to the challenges this public health crisis has created.


Susan Koch, Chancellor

Melissa Mlynski, Senior Director of Human Resources





UIS COVID-19 Remote Work Guidelines
These guidelines outline the terms and conditions under which UIS employees will be allowed to work from a remote location during the public health crisis created by the COVID-19 virus and are subject to supervisory approval. These guidelines are effective immediately and will continue until further communication.

1. The employee shall provide the address of the remote work location to their immediate supervisor.

2. The employee must be available during their normal work hours through such methods as phone, Skype, email, etc., and agrees to respond within a reasonable timeframe.

3. Employee-initiated schedule changes must be approved by the immediate supervisor.

4. Work hours, overtime compensation, use of sick leave, and use of vacation must be approved in advance and in accordance with UIS policies and procedures, departmental guidelines, and/or applicable collective bargaining agreements.

5. The duties, obligations, responsibilities and conditions of the employee remain unchanged. The employee’s salary, retirement, vacation/sick leave benefits and insurance coverage shall remain the same.

6. Employee and immediate supervisor must discuss the specific duties and assignments to be performed at a remote location. The managing supervisor reserves the right to adjust work assignments as necessary to meet university needs.

7. Employee and immediate supervisor will have regular, daily communication to monitor the progress of work.

8. The employee agrees to remain accessible during designated work hours, and understands that UIS reserves the right to modify these guidelines due to business necessity.

9. UIS will not be responsible for costs associated with the initial set up of the remote work location such as remodeling, lighting or the cost of utilities.

10. Pursuant to Workers’ Compensation Procedures and Responsibilities, injuries sustained by the employee while at their remote work location and in conjunction with their regular work duties are normally covered by the university’s workers’ compensation policy. Employees are responsible for notifying the employer of such injuries in accordance with the university’s workers’ compensation procedures. The employee is liable for any injuries sustained by visitors to their remote work location.

11. The employee will provide a secure location for UIS‐owned equipment and materials and will not use, or allow others to use, such equipment for purposes other than UIS business. All equipment, records and materials provided by UIS shall remain UIS property. The employee agrees to allow the university reasonable access to its equipment and materials.

12. The employee will implement the steps for good information security in the remote work setting and will check with their supervisor when security matters are an issue. The employee will abide by applicable UIS IT Policies Procedures and Guidelines.

13. The employee agrees to use university-owned equipment, records, and materials for purposes of university business only and to protect them against unauthorized or accidental access, use, modification, destruction, or disclosure. The employee agrees to report to the supervisor instances of loss, damage, or unauthorized access at the earliest reasonable opportunity.