Path to Fall - Supervisor Guidance for Discussing Fall 2021 Planning

IMPORTANT NOTE: Because our knowledge and understanding of the COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, policies, plans, and guidance will be updated appropriately as more information becomes available. As staffing onsite increases and operations expand, officials will closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it. In the event that conditions worsen and the Oregon Health Authority and/or Higher Education Coordination Commission issue guidance on required or expanded remote work, this guidance will be adjusted.
Last updated - May 11, 2021

Supervisors should check-in with individual employees to understand their personal situation, potential barriers, and preferences related to returning to on-site work and let them know the timeframe by which they anticipate making a final decision about the date of the employee’s expected return. 

In these conversations, units are gathering information to inform their planning and engaging with employees so they are aware of what to expect in the coming month(s). It’s an opportunity to notify employees that they will be expected to return at some point in the next few months, but in most cases no later than September 13, or the start date of their fall contract for faculty, so they should begin planning for that.

Talking points for initial check-in with employees:

This is not intended to be a script; it is intended to serve as a guide for your discussion. Please adapt for your communication style and work situation and add additional relevant information as necessary and applicable.

  • UO is working toward a predominantly in-person fall term, which means that you, and other employees in our unit, will need to return to onsite work in the coming months.
  • Our unit is currently reviewing our operational needs and health and safety requirements and following university guidance developed from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to determine when and how our team members will return to onsite work.
  • While the decisions will be made based on operational needs, we want to be aware of, and sensitive to, the needs of our employees.
  • I am just gathering information right now, we’re not going to make any decisions or commitments today.
  • What are your thoughts regarding your return to onsite work? Do you have a preference in terms of timing? Would you prefer a gradual return over a few weeks, such as working part time in the office and part time from home, or would you rather stay remote a bit longer and return to the office full time all at once? Is there any part of your job or working on-site that has you concerned?
  • Do you have plans to take time off over the summer?
  • For now, you can continue working remotely at your current schedule. I should be able to let you know by (DATE OR GENERAL TIMEFRAME) when you will need to return to onsite work, and we can work out the details of your transition. In the meantime, it’s important that you start preparing for that, as we understand it may be a significant transition for many people.
  • Please be aware of the university requirement that employees be fully vaccinated or complete an exemption process prior to the start of fall term.
  • Support resources are available on HR’s website, I can send you the link or show you where to find it. (Employee Support Resources Link -
  • Let me know if you have any questions or concerns.