Quinnipiac’s employees are invited to return to campus

Employees will return to their offices with a measured and phased approach

Chatwan Mongkol, Associate News Editor

Quinnipiac University planned three phases for its employees to return to campus and their offices as a key preventive step before having its students back in the fall, according to a letter sent to employees from Elicia Spearman, general counsel and vice president of human resources.

“We will slowly begin inviting employees to return to campus and offices over three phases as part of our plan to support a sustained de-densification of our campuses and our workforce,” Spearman said in the letter.

Employees who work in the departments that support graduate students, summer research programs and plan for new student orientation and administratively essential operations are among those who may return in the first phase starting June 15, however, working from home is still largely preferred by the university. It was noted in the letter that some clinical-related programs may return to on-campus work prior to June 15, which is based on Connecticut’s reopening guidance for higher education.     

In the second phase, which begins on July 13, employees who work in the departments that are involved in preparations for students’ return in the fall may return to campus. It is still recommended that each department alternates on-site and work-from-home schedules.

Employees in remaining departments may return during the third phase beginning on Aug. 10.

Connor Lawless

Leadership in each department are expected to start assessing their staffing needs for the three phases and have the return-to-work plans submitted at least two weeks prior to the beginning of each phase.

The letter detailed key guidelines for the return of employees to campus — including expectation to have a 50% on-campus workforce capacity, wearing face coverings, six-feet physical distancing, physical workspace adjustments, alternating work schedules between working on-site and working from home, limiting group meetings to teleconference instead of face-to-face and self-monitoring of employees’ health conditions.

The university will provide two cloth face masks to every employee in late June to early July.

Employees who may be vulnerable to COVID-19 due to their age, health conditions and childcare and primary caregivers may request for accommodations. The university will work with each individual as appropriate.

While these are key guidelines, a full “Return to Work Toolkit” that details health, safety and cleaning protocols, new work-from-home policies and workspace adjustments will be provided to employees in early June.

“We also recognize it will take time for many employees to become comfortable with our ‘new normal’ and to re-enter an on-site work environment,” Spearman said. “With the health and safety of our QU family top of mind, we will be able to thoughtfully prepare for a fall reopening of our campus to welcome back our students.”