March 16, 2020
A Message from the President:
On Saturday, March 14, 2020, Governor Reeves declared a State of Emergency for the State of Mississippi due to the spread of COVID-19. This week, starting Monday, March 16, 2020, our faculty are preparing to take the remainder of their courses to an online, virtual or alternate format. As an IHL system, we are also being asked to likewise have non-faculty employees prepare for ways and the manner in which the university can continue operations in the event of significant absenteeism for the next two weeks, and potentially longer.
I am first asking everyone to consider their own position and how their job functions could be performed at home. I am also asking departments to consider how work schedules can be developed within departments to maintain a limited physical presence on campus, and with the understanding that there may be individuals within your department and throughout the university who are working remotely and/or not working at all due to absenteeism. For those who can perform their work at home for the next two weeks, with your supervisor’s approval, I am asking that you do.
My hope is that this will only be a temporary modification to our university’s operation, and everyone will be flexible and patient as we do the work necessary to safeguard the mission of the institution and the health of our W family.
We each have a role to play, and now is the time for you to think about how your role can serve this institution as we face this challenge. Please remember that while everyone is being encouraged to work from home, when they can, there are offices who will need to maintain a physical presence. While we have encouraged all students to move home for the semester, we have many students who cannot. We will continue to support those students and make staffing adjustments within offices to meet their needs.
This is an opportunity for us to come together (literally, not physically) and work together in ways we have never before been asked to imagine.
Below is a list of resources and forms that are on this website as well as important deadlines.
- Telecommuting Job Analysis – This form will assist you in gathering information from the individual benefits-eligible non-faculty employees you supervise regarding specific duties they perform and whether telecommuting is possible. Supervisors should provide each benefits-eligible non-faculty employee in their department with a copy of this form ALONG WITH a copy of the employee’s job description to assist in completing the form (see number 4 for accessing job descriptions).
- Guidelines for Temporary Telecommuting- Supervisors and employees should carefully review this document.
- Supervisor Checklist – Supervisors and employees should carefully review these documents.
- Temporary Telecommuting Agreement – Supervisors and employees should sign the agreement before telecommuting can be allowed.
- Accessing Job Descriptions in People Admin - Supervisors follow these instructions to access job descriptions for all of your direct reports.
- The Telecommuting Job Analysis should be completed by each employee and submitted to supervisors no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, March 16, 2020 so that employees may start telecommuting as soon as it is approved and deemed necessary. If you have employees currently on scheduled leave, you will need to complete the form for those employees by the deadline.
- Supervisors need to be prepared to discuss these with your Cabinet-level supervisor no later than 5:00 pm on Tuesday, March 17, 2020 so that approvals for telecommuting may be given to individuals for no later than Wednesday, March 18, 2020.
Supervisor/Department Head/Unit Manager Responsibility
- Supervisors have the authority to allow telecommuting after the approval of the Supervising President’s Cabinet Member. It is the sole responsibility of the supervisor to ensure reported work time for telecommuting and any paid leave time reported is verified, true and accurate before approval of employee time sheets or leave records.
- The university’s leave policies for approval of medical and personal leave remain unchanged and supervisors are responsible for requiring and approving all applications for leave.
- Some offices will need to maintain physical regular office hours (Mon-Friday, 8am-5pm) on campus and can use a rotating schedule for employees within that department. Your supervising President’s Cabinet member will inform you if this applies to your department.