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Message Sent To:All Staff
Message From:Message from the Office of the President, Message from Human Resources
Date Sent:Thursday, June 24, 2021 12:45 PM CDT

Planning Process for Fall Semester Return to Campus

Dear Staff,

There are not enough words to express our gratitude to you for your resilience and resourcefulness in helping our University through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout the past 15 months, you have cared for our students and their families, our faculty, and for each other as colleagues and friends. You have demonstrated how the Loyola University Chicago community is comprised of people who care and bring hope and faith to those we serve. Even in a remote capacity, we have accomplished much together and are confident in our ability to keep moving forward as our city and state have reopened.

As previously communicated, the University will resume full campus operations in August with the start of fall 2021 semester. For us, this means our work will lead us back to campus to support our students, faculty, staff, alumni, and community as we did prior to the onset of the pandemic. A strong on-campus presence ensures we can offer our incoming first-year students and rising sophomores the true Loyola experience they have not yet had and welcome our returning students and our colleagues back to an even stronger campus community. 

As excited as we are for the entire Loyola community to return to our campuses this fall and to reconnect with one another in person, we know the phrase “return to campus” can mean different things to different employees. We acknowledge the upcoming transition creates feelings of anticipation, excitement, and uncertainty as we determine what will be the most appropriate and effective way to carry out our job responsibilities. We also recognize that hundreds of faculty and staff have continued their work on campus throughout the pandemic.

In the upcoming days, detailed information about your individual school’s or department’s return to campus plans will be communicated directly to you by your administrative or academic unit leader. These leaders are best acquainted with your job responsibilities, overall work requirements, and departmental goals at the University. In collaboration with Human Resources, they have worked to assess the role and responsibility of each position in their area and determine the most appropriate work mode that supports the resumption of regular operations and the mission and needs of the department and University as a whole. It is important to understand that the priority decision criteria around work mode is based on the duties and responsibilities of your job, along with the objectives of each employee’s department.

As part of our phased reopening approach, we anticipate having the majority of staff return to campus by Monday, August 2. Based on this timeframe, staff are advised to begin making preparations to perform their job functions under the work mode determined by their department leadership. These pilot work modes will be evaluated and further assessed throughout the fall semester to determine which approach will work best for Loyola over the long term as we fulfill our mission.

Because we value our staff and faculty and care about retaining the excellent talent that has enabled Loyola to successfully operate during this extraordinary public health crisis, we recognize there are several possible workplace scenarios for leaders in academic units and departments to consider piloting and that a singular one-size-fits-all approach will not appropriately address the various operating needs of our unique University functions.

In the meantime, the Return to Campus grid serves as the most up-to-date resource on Loyola’s phased reopening approach. You are strongly encouraged to check the website for updates and also monitor your email for our weekly Return to Campus Updates that are distributed on Wednesdays. The website and the newsletters will serve as your source of information regarding reopening questions.

In addition, the University has formed a Staff Advisory Working Group comprised of colleagues from each University function who are working diligently to ensure a smooth transition for employees across our three campuses. Their collective learnings will not only aid in our full return to campus, but will also help us thoughtfully examine long-term policies to ensure we are providing an engaging employee experience in line with our mission and values. We extend our appreciation to this group for their hard work over the past two months:

  • Briana Allen, Office of Online Learning
  • Kathleen Andrade, College of Arts and Sciences
  • Dawn Carter, Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing
  • Bryana Deak, Facilities
  • David deBoer, Student Development (Wellness)
  • Samantha Dumm, Parkinson School of Health Sciences and Public Health
  • Tobyn Friar, Financial Aid
  • Rebecca Gomez, Finance
  • Becky Grim, University Marketing and Communication
  • Stacey Jaksa, Student Development (General)
  • Lester Manzano, Student Academic Success
  • Joanna Pappas, Office of the Provost
  • Chrissy Patel, Human Resources
  • Eniko Racz, School of Environmental Sustainability
  • Summur Roberts, Civic Engagement/Community Relations
  • Joan Stasiak, Human Resources
  • Chuck Van Hecke, Advancement
  • Dan Vonder Heide, Information Technology Services
  • Kirk Walter, School of Law
  • Laura Zbella, Quinlan School of Business

Please know that we are striving to balance cura personalis and cura apostolica as Loyola emerges poised for growth and that your health, safety, and well-being remain our top priority. We thank you for your flexibility, creativity, and continued commitment to the University and its mission. Together, we will emerge stronger—as employees, as individuals, as leaders, and as a Loyola community.

Sincerely,

Thomas M. Kelly
Senior Vice President for Administrative Services
Office of the President

Winifred L. Williams, PhD
Vice President for Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer
Co-Chair, Staff Advisory Working Group