Return to Campus | August 23
The start of the Fall 2021 semester marks not just the beginning of a new academic year, but the first major step towards a renewed understanding of what it means to be a university community following the months-long move to remote teaching, working, and learning.
Earlier this year we established the goal for a return to traditional campus operations with the understanding that our students’ academic, emotional, and professional success depends on us, as a university, having a robust and visible presence on campus. In recent months our ability to achieve this goal has been strengthened by positive vaccination trends in our community and a growing number of faculty and staff already returning to campus.
With these factors in mind, all UNO employees in consultation with their supervisors and unit leaders are expected to prioritize on-campus work and be physically present no later than the start of the Fall 2021 semester on Monday, Aug. 23. While some exceptions will be necessary as approved by each Vice Chancellor through the alternative work arrangement agreement process communicated to unit leaders by Human Resources, our goal will be that campus is ready to conduct and support a pre-pandemic level of activity.
It is also important that we remember that the backbone of any university is its staff and faculty. I am asking all units to spend this next month with this goal in mind and understanding what a fully in-person operation looks like for their team. As part of this process, supervisors should consult the University of Nebraska’s System Alternative Worksite Policy for guidance on how to best handle their unit’s respective needs.
I also want to be clear that – at any time – based on the recommendations of our Office of Health Security and reported data from the local, state, and national authorities, decisions will be made with the safety and success of our campus community as a top priority.
As we enter this new future together, I want to express my true admiration for the hard work and commitment our staff and faculty have shown during these challenging times. The fact that we are here, today, is a testament to the Maverick Spirit that inspired me to join the Maverick family. I look forward to continuing our important work with the same Maverick Spirit in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
In support and solidarity,Joanne Li, Ph.D., CFA