COVID-19: CHRO email to all faculty and graduate employees on May 6, 2020

Subject Line: Remote Work Request—Deadline extended to May 14

Dear Colleagues,

I hope this message finds you doing well. I want to follow up on my prior messages this week as the university plans for how best to resume some on-campus activities in a safe manner for our community.  I know discussions of re-opening campus are met with a mix of excitement and anxiety – I personally have both of those feelings when thinking about what it could mean to be in-person together. I take comfort in knowing there is robust planning taking place guided by the university’s incident management team and in partnership with public health authorities at the local and state level. This effort coupled with input from faculty and staff will enable the university to make the right decisions for the safety of the community. 

To effectively plan, we need to understand and have data around as many variables as we can – this is why we reached out to ask for your response to the Remote Work Request Form. Understanding the needs of our faculty and graduate employees as it pertains to remote work will be of great assistance as the team continues to develop and evaluate scenarios for our safe return to some in-person, on-campus activities. We do understand asking for the data raises questions and anxiety in itself, but without this information we would be less effective in the planning process and less able to address concerns as they are brought to our attention. Our outreach to you is intended to help us mitigate further anxiety as our community moves forward.

We recognize the sensitivity of the information we are requesting and do not take the request lightly. Submissions will be received and managed by the Office of Human Resources and will be treated privately, maintained securely, and only accessible to those with a need to know to perform their work. Faculty and GEs requesting remote work will be protected from retaliation based on their work from home request. 

We are extending the deadline to submit the Remote Work Request Form to next Thursday, May 14. This will allow you more time to consider your availability to work on-campus in the coming months, as well as fall term, to the extent our campuses are open. For those who do not submit a request form, we will assume that you are willing to work on-campus in some capacity.

Please refer to the message I sent to all faculty and staff, as well as the remote work request message I previously sent to faculty and GEs for more information, and submit the online request form if you prefer to continue to work 100% remotely though the fall term. 

Thank you for taking the time to review this important information and for your contribution to our university planning efforts. If you have any questions about requesting to work remotely, please contact Employee and Labor Relations in Human Resources at


Mark Schmelz
Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President