Requests for Modified Work Arrangements

To Case Western Reserve Faculty and Staff:

With fewer than three weeks until first-year students arrive in residence halls, the need to grow staff presence on campus has become increasingly urgent. Prior to the pandemic, Case Western Reserve was a vibrant and bustling place, with thousands of faculty, staff and students engaging in education and research. We have committed to in-person teaching and extracurricular activities, and look forward to the revived sense of community that increasing informal interactions can help foster.

We recognize that many are hesitant to come back—some cite health or child care concerns, others the burdens of commutes, parking costs, and less flexible schedules. The remote model that COVID-19 required taught us just how much we can accomplish with technology’s assistance; some insist that their return not only is unnecessary, but also counter-productive.

In at least a few instances, they may be right.

But until we have actual experience with a post-pandemic campus, we cannot know for sure. As a result, the university’s expectation is that everyone will have returned to campus by Monday, Aug. 23—unless the department or unit has submitted a request for modified work arrangements to the offices of Human Resources and General Counsel per the guidance on this webpage.  

The purpose of this process is two-fold: first, to ensure that the modified arrangement continues or even enhances the area’s contributions to the university’s mission; and second, that the plan includes measures to assess the arrangement’s impact on the area’s performance. The latter information will be invaluable as the university evaluates potential longer-term adjustments to workplace policies.

Human Resources has posted additional guidance regarding plan development on its website, as well as the form itself (PDF). Proposals should be submitted no later than noon, Monday, Aug. 16.

Thank you for your contributions to Case Western Reserve throughout the pandemic; we look forward to welcoming many of you back to campus this month.

Peter Poulos
General Counsel

Carolyn Gregory
Vice President for Human Resources