Return to Workplace Planning

August 13, 2020

Dear Mandel Faculty and Staff,

As we approach the Fall semester, we would like to provide an update to the Mandel Community on: 1) the plan to return to campus during COVID-19, 2) the process regarding site inspections and operations plans, and 3) the changes we have made to our buildings (physical and operational). As you know, many teams have been working diligently on these processes and procedures. Your assistance and cooperation is most appreciated on behalf of our students, faculty, and staff.

Return to Campus Plan – Approach

Our approach is guided by three principles: safety, choice, and flexibility. Making our spaces as safe as possible is paramount. Additionally, we must respect individual choices and needs, and provide flexibility when possible.

Site Inspection and Operations Plan

  1. Each department or office space has now been inspected by the University’s Office of Resiliency. This group met with each supervisor and/or team, along with Craig Zullig, to learn how each group uses their space. The Resiliency Office will issue a written site inspection report that will include the area’s maximum capacity and any other specific requirements.
  2. After receiving the site inspection report, each department head must submit an operations plan. This plan will ensure each area is adhering to the guidance received in the site inspection report and indicate how individual staff members may return.
  3. After the operations plan is approved, cleaning supplies and cloth masks will be delivered to each office. Staff can then return in accordance with the operations plan. It is expected each supervisor will work with their team regarding individual situations.

The operations plan should be viewed as the ceiling for what is allowable and not as a requirement. For example, staff may return “as needed” to retrieve items or to use campus resources (e.g. printers and network connectivity) versus returning full-time, even if allowed by the plan. We can be flexible when invoking the plan as long as its limits are not exceeded.

Coming to Campus

Whether you make a short visit to retrieve a file or plan to work a full day, when coming to campus you must:

  • Fill out a daily health attestation form in advance. This can be done from the return-to-campus website or the Rave Guardian app. It is strongly recommended each employee do this daily, even if not coming to campus, so it becomes a habit.
    • Supervisors must review each employee’s assessment daily.
    • Supervisors are required to notify University Health Services if an employee presents with COVID-19 symptoms (even if the employee is not in the office that day).
  • Coordinate with adjacent staff to adhere to social distancing and office capacity limits.
    • Suggestion: create a shared office or “floor” Google calendar so individuals can note when they plan to enter the office. Make “self-serve.” Those with private offices do not have to coordinate via this calendar.
  • Wear a face mask from “door to door.” Masks can be removed only if you are in a 1-person private office or alone in a shared area.
  • Clean your work area before and after.
  • Clean any shared work counters or equipment you may have touched (e.g., stapler or copier).

Building Changes – Physical and Operational

  • Bathrooms/Hallways
    • Hallways remain 2-way, but no conversations should occur less than 6’ apart.
    • Observe posted occupancy signs.
    • Water fountains will be covered (bottle filling stations remain).
  • Furniture has been removed to adhere to social distancing.
  • Signage has been posted to enforce social distancing and hand hygiene.
  • Hand sanitizer stations have been added (and more are coming).
  • Office suites and waiting areas must be decluttered by removing all unnecessary items such as plants, books, brochure racks. Items that are “picked up and put back” and get in the way of daily cleaning need to be removed.
  • Items cannot be left behind in common areas. They will be discarded daily.
  • Kitchens
  • All food and beverages must be removed from refrigerators daily.
  • Appliances – Refrigerators, microwave ovens and Keurig “single serve” coffee makers will be permitted. Other types of appliances will be stored. All users must wipe down appliances before and after use using the provided cleaning supplies. Signage will be placed near appliances as a reminder to wipe down after each use.
  • All University buildings are key card access only.
  • Visitors are allowed, but must be met at the main entrance by their host and abide by the University’s social distancing, mask wearing, and sanitization policies. The host must ensure the visitor exits the building when the visit concludes.
  • HVAC guidelines – our two buildings do meet the HVAC guidelines. Specifically:
    • Outdoor air intake will be maximized, including programmed flushes (outside air only).
    • Systems will run 24/7.
    • Air handlers have MERV-13 filters.
  • Mail will continue to be delivered on a reduced schedule, and mail will be distributed to individual and department mailboxes. However, those faculty or staff who are anticipating items are welcome to check through any unsorted mail. Outgoing mail (via USPS) should be placed directly into a USPS mailbox (outside) or delivered to the post office. Campus mail should be placed in the campus mailbox in front of the MSASS building, next to the Harris Library book return.
  • Market C is closed. It is anticipated that snack and beverage vending machines will be located in the receiving room (space adjacent to the student kitchen) in the Mandel Building. The vending machines in the Mandel Center remain.

Final Reminders

  • All faculty and staff are expected to clean their own work stations and common equipment using the provided cleaning supplies. Additional cleaning supplies will be procured as needed.
  • Complete the daily health attestation before entering (for any duration of time).
  • Staff will be notified by their supervisor when their department’s operation plan has been approved. Employees and supervisors should discuss this plan’s implementation.

After your office’s operations plan is approved, it is expected that some staff will return for some portion of the work week. However, many Mandel School faculty and staff will still be working from home – for the ability to Zoom without disturbing others or to teach more effectively. This extended work from home period gives us an opportunity to innovate in how we work and stay connected. Do you or your team have a great innovation? Please get in touch! There are likely some great ideas that we can share.

Please let us know if there are any concerns or questions. Thank you for moving the School forward as we enter an academic year in an environment that none of us have experienced before.

Thank you.

Craig M. Zullig, MBA, CRA
Associate Dean of Finance and Administration

Grover C. Gilmore, Ph.D.
Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel
Dean in Applied Social Sciences