Employee Return-to-Campus Plans and Protocols
This update is a follow-up from Interim President Finney’s recent email and is intended to provide more information on our on-campus plans and protocols for summer, including our return-to-campus for employees. Since this is a lengthy update, here are the top takeaways and actions for you:
- In order to plan for testing needs, we will need employees to indicate their vaccination status prior to July 6. Employees who are fully vaccinated should fill out a self-attestation form. Employees who fill out this form will not need to participate in the testing pool. Unvaccinated employees who plan to access campus must participate in the weekly testing program.
- Follow Champlain’s Summer Health Pledge when on campus, including masking and distancing protocols. Submit the pledge form here.
- Prepare for full return-to-campus on July 6.
We want to congratulate employees for the extraordinary work to preserve the health and safety of our campus community. A couple of highlights:
- During the FY20-21 academic year, we conducted 35,875 COVID tests, with just 39 positive results.
- Champlain’s positivity rate of .11% for the spring semester was significantly lower than the rate of .31% for all of Vermont’s higher education institutions.
We thank this community for your commitment to helping us achieve these remarkable results for Champlain.
As we shared in our May 7 update, Summer Regulations are in place for residential students and employees currently working on the Burlington campus. Between now and July 6, employees may access campus as follows:
VACCINATIONS AND TESTING
- Employees who are fully vaccinated should fill out a self-attestation form. This will activate ID access; please allow 1-2 business days for this process. Employees who fill out this form will not need to participate in the testing pool.
- Unvaccinated employees who plan to access campus must participate in the weekly testing program.
- The testing center is located in the lower level of Whiting Hall and is open on Mondays 8:00 AM–3:00 PM and Wednesdays 11:00 AM–6:00 PM.
- Testing is not required for faculty and staff who do not come to campus on a regular basis and who will not be interacting with others (for example, to pick up an item from a private office or record a class in a private space).
- The College has not yet determined whether we will have a vaccine requirement for employees.
Champlain’s protocols for masking and social distancing remain in place. This means that although the CDC and the state have relaxed restrictions on masking for vaccinated individuals, Champlain will continue to abide by our Summer Health Pledge, which requires people to wear a mask at all times, except when alone in a personal office, while eating, or when outdoors and physically distanced. Our social distancing requirements remain in place as well. We know the state’s guidance may continue to evolve; we will inform you of any changes we make to Champlain’s current protocols.
Our Admissions team has resumed on-campus tours for admitted and prospective students and families. Guests must pre-register, meet all health and safety guidelines, and be masked and distanced at all times. You may see visitors in common areas or public spaces around campus; all tours will be led by an Admissions staff member or a student ambassador. The Admissions team has also introduced a self-guided tour that is accessed via an app which can be downloaded by visitors who are on campus during non-scheduled tour times. This tour showcases exteriors of buildings only. We will also be hosting two in-person Open House events later this summer. We appreciate your willingness to help us welcome these families to campus and to our community!
OTHER CAMPUS VISITORS
We are still working within strict campus event policies and limiting external events this summer. Room requests need to be submitted to the Event Center by email for approval. Any catering and media services requests will be discussed on a case by case basis due to limited resources. The Event Center will help guide employees through availability and other event needs. Advance notice is appreciated! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Interim President Finney indicated in his most recent email, we are planning for a full return-to-campus for all employees by July 6. We recognize that many employees are already working on campus. Employees who have been working remotely are able to begin transitioning back to working on campus this month, and as of July 6, it is our goal for employees to return to campus for in-person work.
We are excited to welcome employees back to campus and are planning for ways to support employees in this transition, understanding that there is a range of emotions and perspectives about returning to in-person work. Please work with your manager and Vice President to ensure a smooth transition. This is our opportunity to reconnect with the amazing community we have at Champlain and prepare for a full campus return of students, faculty, and staff this August.
Cabinet members, COVID teams, and a return-to-campus committee representing a cross-section of faculty and staff have been meeting regularly to discuss the issues and questions associated with returning to campus to help inform our plans, protocols, and communications. We will be providing more details in the coming weeks; here are a few initial updates:
- VACCINATIONS AND TESTING: In order to plan for testing needs, we will need employees to indicate their vaccination status prior to July 6. Employees who are fully vaccinated should fill out a self-attestation form. Employees who fill out this form will not need to participate in the testing pool. Unvaccinated employees who plan to access campus must participate in the weekly testing program.
- FLEXIBLE WORK: If you had a flexible work schedule prior to COVID, please ensure that schedule continues to work with your manager and VP. If you worked fully remote prior to COVID, you will remain fully remote. Cabinet will be reviewing our campus flexible work policy which has not been updated since 2016. The goal is to bring everyone back to campus, re-establish our new normal, and then review the flexible work policy from that baseline.
- WELL-BEING AND ENGAGEMENT: There are many team members working on well-being initiatives and engagement opportunities to support employees in this transition and to rebuild connections in the months ahead.
- FACILITIES: Campus facilities are being assessed for a full campus return in July. Sue Lindberg, Director of our Event Center, is leading an effort to clean and spruce up work areas across campus. Managers who are looking for help addressing their areas can contact Sue at email@example.com.
- TECHNOLOGY/OFFICE SUPPLIES: If you brought technology home upon going remote (ie. monitors, docking stations, etc.) or office supplies (ie. office chairs, phones, etc.), those technology/office supplies will need to return with you to campus.
- STUDENT EMPLOYEES: Student employees will be expected to follow the same guidelines as employees.
- VACATIONS: As Interim President Finney mentioned in his email, we strongly encourage employees to take advantage of the summer months to schedule vacation time to rest and recharge.
A reminder that Vermont Health Commissioner Mark Levine, MD, hosted a webinar in May for faculty and staff from Vermont colleges. This is an excellent resource for those seeking information about COVID vaccines and those with questions about returning to campus. The webinar was recorded and is available here (Passcode: TnHT8.AW).
We will continue to share information over the coming weeks as we prepare for our full return-to-campus and as state guidelines continue to evolve. The People Center newsletter and the Academic Affairs Brief are also good sources for updates, and as always, all of our COVID-related updates are included on our website. Questions can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Acting Director of Human Resources
Vice President, Student Affairs & Emergency Management Coordinator
Vice President for Academic Affairs & Chief Operating Officer