Message Sent To:All Faculty, All Staff
Message From:Message from the Office of the President
Date Sent:Friday, March 13, 2020 04:58 PM CDT

COVID-19 Response Update

Dear Loyola Faculty and Staff,

Loyola University Chicago continues to monitor and take action as part of a national public health mobilization to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. Yesterday morning we announced the transition to online classes and suspension of in-person classes. As the situation evolves, we want to provide some follow-up information on policies and practices related to these measures.

In this unprecedented situation we continue to follow the guidance from public health officials as listed on our coronavirus (Covid-19) website, with the focus of our Core Emergency Response Team to: 1) to de-densify our on-campus population by transitioning from face-to-face education to online/distance learning; 2) to ensure that there is no disruption in the academic progress of our students, and enable continued operation of the University.

This is a challenging time for all of us. We continue to work to ensure the health and well-being of our faculty, staff, students, and the broader communities in which we live. As we move together through this situation, we encourage you to take good care of yourselves and your families.

All employees should visit the FAQs as listed on the University’s coronavirus (Covid-19) website, which will provide answers to many of your questions.

University Operations

Though we have closed residence halls and are moving to online classes, the University remains open. Business operations continue and faculty and staff continue to provide the ongoing academic support that will enable students to successfully adapt to the digital transition and complete the semester in good standing.

Faculty may continue to use office space and other facilities to prepare to teach online, to meet with colleagues, and to conduct important research. Staff will also have continued access to University workspaces and resources to perform job duties, as necessary. We realize that some staff members will need to have a presence on campus to support the continuity of University business operations. We thank you in advance for your contribution. Public health guidelines surrounding the coronavirus are changing frequently. We appreciate everyone’s support, patience, and flexibility during this time of uncertainty and change.

Employee Health

  • Employees who feel ill or are sick should stay home, alert your manager/supervisor, and seek medical attention from your provider, if needed, and follow the normal sick leave process.
  • Practice handwashing and other preventative measures as outlined on the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website.

Social Distancing

The CDC encourages implementing social distancing measures as a preventive practice. We again follow the public health guidelines in assisting us to determine best practices for the current situation. These measures include:

  • Increase the space between you and others
  • Refrain from gathering in break rooms
  • Limit in-person meetings. Utilize Zoom, conference call, and related technologies
  • Refrain from bringing food items into the workspace

Remote Work

The CDC guidelines encourage teleworking where feasible to ensure the ability of the department to meet the business needs of the unit. Supervisors might want to consider a rotation for who teleworks and who comes into the office to keep critical on-site operations going, and to create opportunities for people who can work remotely when feasible. 

Telework supports the goal of reducing the density of our campuses. Not all positions are viable for teleworking; please see your manager/supervisor for assessment. Your supervisor/manager will consider a number of factors including:

  • The nature of the work being performed (duties and responsibilities)
  • The ability to meet the business needs of the unit
  • Departmental staffing needs

Employees should work remotely if required to self-isolate and where working remotely is possible. All other employees should see their manager/supervisor.

Employees are expected to self-quarantine at home, away from Loyola, including the University’s residence halls and workplace for at least 14 days if you have traveled to/from/through, come into contact with, or live with someone who has recently traveled to a Level 3 or above country. This includes if you have been exposed to another person who has been exposed to the coronavirus. If you suspect that you meet these criteria, please contact your manager and Human Resources immediately for assistance via benefits@LUC.edu or 312.915.6175. 

Remote work arrangements may also be used, as feasible, to support employees who fall into high-risk health categories as outlined by the CDC, and employees who may need to attend to child/senior care needs. 

Please note: To ensure the greatest degree of flexibility, staff may now use any of their paid time off accruals, including personal/family friendly days, sick, and vacation time during the coronavirus period for pay continuity. 

Once all paid time off accruals have been exhausted, staff will be eligible to access up to 15 days of additional paid time off during this coronavirus period with manger/supervisor approval. 

Managers/Supervisors are encouraged to:

  • Begin immediately assessing working remote capabilities for your staff, as feasible, while maintaining the business needs of the unit. This process should be performed in a fair and consistent manner while reviewing the positions whose duties and responsibilities can be successfully performed remotely. Those employees in high-risk categories should be given first consideration, while keeping social distancing a priority for all.

  • Limit employee social interactions (e.g., discourage face-to-face meetings; utilize Zoom meetings when possible; distance work space; gatherings of 70 or more are prohibited at any LUC campus location).

  • Alter work schedules to reduce mixing and allow for social distancing (e.g., stagger start/end times).

  • Seek out advice and technology solutions through the ITS Service Desk at ITSServiceDesk@LUC.edu or 773.508.4487; also visit the How to Keep Working technology site for guidance and resources for working remote.

  • Consult with your HR Manager on any concerns or questions that requires additional information or guidance.

Student workers who live off-campus or who will be remaining on campus in the residence halls via an exemption are permitted to continue to work on campus.

As you are aware, we are facing many challenges due to the COVID-19 virus, which have been changing daily. Additional information regarding any changes in practices or pay policies will be distributed as it becomes available. 

With the understanding that these may be stressful times both at home and work, please remember that our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) has resources available at no cost to our employees and their family members. 

In the midst of this unparalleled effort, the well-being of our community and the world in which we live are foremost. As inconvenient and disruptive as some of these measures might seem, they have been shown to have a very real impact on limiting the speed and extent of pandemic infections. We know that the collegiality, creativity and professionalism that Loyola faculty and staff bring to work every day will help all of us navigate these challenging circumstances.

Together in Loyola,

Norberto Grzywacz, PhD
Provost and Chief Academic Officer

Winifred L. Williams, PhD
Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer
Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer