Message from the Chancellor: COVID-19 Update for UIS Employees

3.15.20
 
Dear UIS Faculty & Staff –
 
Saturday’s announcement that two individuals in Sangamon County have tested positive for COVID-19 and Gov. Pritzker’s announcement to close K-12 schools in Illinois call for additional measures. These measures will support continued campus operations while at the same time allow for the flexibility employees will need to ensure the well-being of themselves and their families.
 
With this message, I am directing all deans, directors and division heads to begin working with employees to create alternative work arrangements to allow the option to work from a remote location, if appropriate; adopt a flexible or compressed work schedule; and/or establish rotation among staff for on-site work. Unit leaders can seek guidance from Human Resources to address unique circumstances and should remain in compliance with the UIS Essential Services Policy, which requires some essential employees to remain on site.
 
While some employees perform services that will require them to report to work on campus to support vital campus operations, I encourage all employees to consider what would work best for their individual situations and discuss potential options with their supervisor. I am specifically encouraging units to find ways to provide opportunities to work remotely for individuals designated by the CDC to be higher risk (older adults and people of any age with serious chronic medical conditions). Any alternative work arrangements must be approved by the employee’s supervisor.
 
Employees whose position does not allow for an alternative work arrangement but who choose not to work may use accumulated benefit time, subject to university policies. I encourage supervisors to be flexible in evaluating these requests during this challenging time.
 
Social distancing is one of the most effective tools we have to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is imperative we limit interactions with others as much as possible as well as ensure our personal behaviors align with CDC recommendations.
 
As you know, this is a dynamic situation. The hard work and collaboration happening throughout our university is both inspiring and encouraging. Please continue to monitor updates on the UIS COVID-19 website. I greatly appreciate your cooperation during this unprecedented time.
 
I am confident we will get through this together.
 
Chancellor Koch