Category: For Staff Page 1 of 3

Majority of University Staff to Work Remotely Through June

The following memo was send to University leaders and managers.

TO: Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM: Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration
RE: Update on Plans for a Return to the Workplace

As North Carolina and Durham continue to revise restrictions for public and business activity and Duke gradually reopens clinical facilities and research laboratories, we expect the majority of university staff will continue to work remotely through the month of June.

With the successful reopening of labs in the School of Medicine, Pratt School of Engineering, Nicholas School of the Environment and the Duke Marine Lab, several thousand faculty and staff have returned to the campus under controlled circumstances and with new protocols for safety, cleaning, scheduling, social distancing, symptom monitoring and testing.

University officials will be monitoring this new activity to ensure that the health and safety of all employees and students are protected and will make necessary adjustments as the reopening continues.

Each school and administrative department now has a Return to the Workplace Coordinator who is assessing staffing models, space configuration, scheduling, social distancing requirements, cleaning and safety procedures, and signage to facilitate the expansion of on-site work as departments are approved to reopen and staff their facilities. Any individual who is approved to return to the workplace will be required to submit a symptom monitoring assessment daily and wear a mask while on-site.

Please take a moment to review the Guide for the Return to the Workplace as we gain more experience in addressing specific needs of departments and more information will be made available over time.

Thank you for your ongoing support of your teams in helping Duke respond to the unique challenges of this time.

President Price Announces New Steps to Secure Duke’s Financial Future

Dear Colleagues,

Over these past few months, the world has seen the best of Duke. Every member of our community has risen to meet extraordinary difficulties that none of us expected when the academic year began with such promise last August. For all that, and on behalf of your colleagues around the world, I thank you. I have never been prouder to be a Blue Devil.

Even as we rise to meet the public health challenges and navigate this new world of social distancing and working from home, we must also rise to meet the financial headwinds now confronting us, both individually and collectively. As I noted last month, the fallout from the pandemic has had a significant negative effect on almost every aspect of our operations. Indeed, as predicted, every one of our sources of revenue—tuition, research grants, clinical and patient care services, private philanthropy and income from our investments and endowment—has already suffered large reductions or is expected to be quite substantially diminished in the months ahead. 

Read the full text of the message.

Guide to Return to the Workplace

The following memo was sent to University leaders and managers.

TO: Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers
FROM: Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration
RE: Guide to Return to the Workplace

As we continue planning a phased expansion of on-site operations later next month, we have developed a Guide for the Return to the Workplace to assist school and department leaders in considering guidelines to ensure a safe working environment.

The document will be one that is updated over time as conditions change and we learn more about how to best address these issues through ongoing analysis, consultation with our peers, and emergence of best practices across the country.

Coordinators have been identified by each University dean and vice president to lead the efforts within their respective areas using the policies and protocols in the guide. These coordinators will take the lead in their respective areas to identify appropriate staffing models to reduce population density in buildings, develop social distancing plans inside facilities, and coordinate requests for masks and other resources.

Please take time to review the guide to help address potential questions and concerns among staff and reinforce the steps being taken to provide a safe working environment. Duke University is taking a slow and deliberate approach to expanding operations and staffing so that we might learn from them before taking broader actions. As a result, most of the University’s workforce will continue to work remotely for the immediate future.

Update on Return to the Workplace Plans

Dear Colleagues,

We are writing to provide you with a brief update regarding the planning process for Duke University’s Return to the Workplace efforts. These efforts are being carefully controlled and coordinated to ensure personal safety and mitigate potential risks of spreading COVID-19.

Team 2021, the strategy team convened by President Price to assess options and recommendations for the next academic year, continues to meet several times per week. While decisions about the fall semester will likely not be made until late June, the team is also coordinating more immediate plans to initiate the reopening of certain offices and facilities on campus.   These areas will initially include clinical services in Duke Health and research laboratories. 

While the stay-at-home orders for the state of North Carolina and Durham County’s are expected to expire on May 8 and May 15 respectively, please note we expect the majority of the University’s workforce to continue to work remotely until further notice.   

No unit or department should increase on-site staffing beyond current levels until further notice and only employees who have been specifically designated and informed by their supervisors should make preparations to return to their offices after May 15.

The University has formed a Return to the Workplace group made up of representatives designated by each dean and vice president. This group will be coordinating the process, schedule and approvals needed to ramp up activity in Duke facilities.  They will also work with their respective school, department and administrative unites to ensure appropriate social distancing practices, coordinate building controls and access, and distribute appropriate PPE and other safety resources. 

A video Q&A and a comprehensive Guide for the Return to the Workplace will be made available to all employees later this week to provide more detail on policies, practices and expectations that will need to be observed as we continue the process of restoring activity to the Duke campus and our off-campus facilities.   

We want to extend a special thanks to the thousands of front-line Duke Health staff who have continued to deliver exceptional patient care during this public health crisis, and the hundreds of University staff who are supporting the students who currently remain on campus, maintaining critical laboratories, utilities, and facilities, and providing essential operational support services to the entire Duke community. We are also deeply grateful to the countless others who are working remotely to advance our missions in new and innovative ways. 

Sincerely,

Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration, Co-chair Team 2021
Jennifer Francis, Executive Vice Provost, Co-chair Team 2021  

This message is being sent to all Duke University faculty and staff.

Transition Plans for Expanded Staffing Over Time

This week Governor Cooper announced an extension of the “stay-at-home” order for the entire state through May 8, and the City of Durham City and Durham County announced a joint extension until May 15. Area municipalities are also allowed to create provisions that are in addition to and extend beyond the state’s May 8 order.

Duke will phase in a return of faculty and staff over time in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate social distancing, availability of PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing capabilities for COVID-19. Expanded staffing will begin in more controlled areas of greatest need such as health clinics and research laboratories as early as next week.

These efforts are being tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure the safety of faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve. No unit or department should increase staffing levels beyond current needs to support critical on-site operations without approval from your respective dean, vice president or vice provost. Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made, those areas will receive guidelines and instructions for returning to work on campus.

Our approach to staffing will need to be phased in over time and fluid as conditions change. As areas of the state and region begin to ease restrictions on activities, we may see localized spikes of COVID-19 outbreaks. Such outbreaks will increase demands on our health system and may force us to restrict on-site staffing again to only those necessary to support critical operations until the outbreaks are contained.

We continue to work closely with local, state and federal authorities as well as public health officials, including our own Duke Health experts in infectious diseases, to determine the safest approach for all members of the Duke community.

No decisions have been made yet as to activities related to the fall semester. President Price has charged Strategy Team 2021 with assessing options for a return of students, faculty and staff to campus. More information will be communicated regarding those plans as we assess conditions through the coming months and once decisions have been finalized.

Thank you for your ongoing flexibility and support in serving our core missions and upholding our shared values during this unique time in Duke’s history.

Sincerely,

Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration, Co-chair Team 2021

Jennifer Francis, Executive Vice Provost, Co-chair Team 2021

Planning for a Return to the Workplace

The following memo was sent to University leaders and managers on Tuesday, April 21, 2020.

TO:       Vice Presidents, Vice Provosts, Deans, Directors, Department Heads, and Managers

FROM: Kyle Cavanaugh, Vice President, Administration, Co-chair Team 2021
Jennifer Francis, Executive Vice Provost, Co-chair Team 2021

SUBJECT: Planning For a Return to the Workplace

President Price has charged Strategy Team 2021 with assessing options for a return of students, faculty and staff to campus. As co-chairs of that team, we want to share some considerations to help set appropriate expectations for the coming weeks and months.

The “stay-at-home” order for Durham and all of North Carolina remains in effect through at least April 30. Under that ordinance, only essential staff and faculty are reporting to campus to support critical on-site research, safety and security operations, facilities, student support services and patient care. We anticipate either the state or local orders will be extended beyond the original deadline, perhaps until May 15. 

When the “stay-at-home” orders are lifted, Duke will likely phase in a return of the faculty and staff over time as we ensure appropriate social distancing and availability of PPE (personal protective equipment) and testing capabilities for COVID-19.  We are working closely with local, state and federal authorities as well as public health officials, including our own Duke Health experts in infectious diseases, to determine the safest approach for all employees.

To be clear, no dates has been set for the resumption of activity on the Duke campus, regardless of when the “stay at home” orders are ended.  Further, we ask that you not make any public announcements, statements or commitments regarding the return of students, faculty and staff and the resumption of events and programs on the Duke campus. More information will be communicated regarding the transition once plans have been finalized. Until then, only employees supporting critical operations should report to work on-site.

In the meanwhile, we are taking every precaution to ensure the safety of those required to be on campus. All employees on campus are provided masks to wear during their shifts, social distancing is being practiced to the extent possible and building access is being tightly controlled and monitored daily.

Any employee reporting to work should continue to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to work and contact the Duke COVID hotline* (919-385-0429 option 1 for employees) if presenting with any symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose/sinus congestion, sore throat, muscle aches, and headaches) before returning to work.

Please share updates with your staff to help set appropriate expectations regarding when and how Duke will manage a phased return to work and operations. Thank you for all you are doing to help lead your teams during this challenging time.

Durham Residents Required to Wear Face Coverings

The City of Durham and Durham County issued new regulations on Friday that require people to wear a clean face covering any time they are or will be in contact with other people who are not household members in public or private spaces where it is not possible to maintain social distance such as grocery stories, pharmacies, business location and public transit.

Implementation of the rules governing face coverings will become effective on Monday, April 20 at midnight.

For complete details, view the press release on the Durham County website.

Price Creates Two Strategy Teams to Plan Post-Crisis Agenda

The two new strategy groups – Team 2021 and Team 2030 – will devise a structure for addressing the shorter-term issues facing the university as it prepares for the traditional start of the new academic year in August, as well as longer-term challenges and opportunities that come about as a result of COVID-19.

Read the full story on the Duke Today website.

Student Employment – Spring Semester 2020

To:          Department Heads, Business Managers, and Payroll Representatives

From:     Jennifer Francis, Executive Vice Provost

Subject: Student Employment Spring Semester 2020

Date:      April 10, 2020

A number of efforts have been underway to provide additional support to our undergraduate and graduate students during this unusual time. We wanted to provide an update of the processes related to the student payments through the end of the spring semester. 

Undergraduate Students

Undergraduate students who are able to work remotely should do so, proving their hours worked per the normal process. They will continue to receive payments based upon the hours submitted on their biweekly time records.

Undergraduate students who were working at Duke prior to spring break, but are not able to work remotely now (because of the nature of the job or because of connectivity issues), will receive a payment for the three full pay periods since spring break based upon one of the four following processes. The first payment will be issued with the regular biweekly payroll on Friday, April 24 and the final payment will be issued on Friday, May 8.

  1. Federal Work Study – undergraduate students who were awarded federal work study funds will receive a payment based upon a calculation by the Financial Aid teams using cumulative earnings for the spring semester and remaining dollars on the individual’s federal work study award whichever one is less. 
  2. Duke Work Study – undergraduate students who were awarded Duke work study funds will receive a payment based upon a calculation by the Financial Aid teams using cumulative earnings for the spring semester and remaining dollars on the individual’s Duke work study award whichever one is less. 
  3. Students not using work study awards who were working prior to spring break, but are unable to continue working remotely, will receive a payment based on the calculations below:
    • Payment amount will be calculated as the average of the individual student’s gross earnings over the five Spring term pay periods prior to spring break. Dollars for both primary and secondary positions were included in the calculations. Outliers were reviewed and, as needed, adjusted.
    • Eligibility Criteria:
      • No hours worked were submitted since the pay period (02/17/2020 – 03/01/2020) which paid on 03/13/2020. If students received a payment for time worked during the period of 03/16/2020 – 03/29/2020 for the pay date of April 10, the assumption is that the individual is working remotely with pay described above. 
      • The undergraduate student did not receive federal or Duke work study awards.
      • Minimum average pay calculation is greater than or equal to $25.00.
    • Students in this category will receive a payment on April 24 which will include two pay periods, one for the April 10 pay date and a second for the April 24 pay date. The final payment will be issued on May 8, 2020.
    • A list of the payment amounts will be sent to the management centers who will disperse to the individual departments at the end of this week.

Graduate Students

  1. Payments for graduate students who are paid as non-exempt employees on a biweekly basis will be handled using the same processes noted above for undergraduate students.
  2. Payments for graduate students who are paid as exempt employees on a monthly basis will be processed according to the standard process. If adjustments to pay are necessary, departments can submit iForms to make the necessary changes.

If students need additional financial support, they should apply for the student assistance fund.

Non-Duke Students (students from other universities or high school students)

  1. Non-Duke students who cannot work remotely, but are currently receiving payments may continue to do so through the period ending April 26, pay date of May 8.  They should submit hours for average hours worked through submitting an Electronic Time Record through Duke@Work.
  2. If non-Duke students are working remotely and can continue to do so after the pay period ending April 26, they should submit hours worked using the usual methods to submit time.

For more information: FAQ: Student Employment – Spring 2020

Securing Our Financial Future

This message was sent to all Duke University and Duke University Health System faculty and staff

Dear Colleagues,

What sets Duke apart are our people and our purpose, and both have been tested over these past few weeks.  We have all lived through what for many has been the most tumultuous and unsettling period of our lives.  The combination of understandable concern for our health and safety, and those of our loved ones, with massive disruptions to society, education, business and even our ability freely move around our communities, is deeply unsettling.

But we have as a Duke community met these unprecedented challenges with an extraordinary outpouring of creativity, commitment and courage from thousands of people spanning the globe.  Each of you has contributed in your own way, through actions that have saved lives, supported our students, faculty, staff and patients, and ensured that our important work continues despite the challenges we confront every day.  Many of you have done so while balancing health concerns, caring for family members, and navigating the mental and emotional challenges of an uncertain and isolating time.

Your extraordinary effort brings home the truth that we can only do great works through great people, and that ensuring the well-being of our people is critical to our purpose of seeking knowledge in the service of society.

Even as we confront present challenges, we must be clear that the pandemic will also produce profound and lasting effects, including severe and negative effects on our operations and finances.  Duke is not alone in this, of course: every business, government, nonprofit organization and family is now making difficult choices. While it is too soon to determine with precision the magnitude of disruption to our finances, it is clear that the impacts will be both severe and prolonged.  All of our formerly reliable sources of revenue – tuition, research grants, clinical revenue, private philanthropy and income from our investments and endowment – will almost certainly be significantly and adversely affected, even as we face increased expenses in our education, research and patient-care services.

The responsible institutional course is to engage in a thoughtful, comprehensive, and strategic review of our operations and finances, and we are initiating exactly that.  In the meantime, we must also act responsibly now by taking immediate steps to mitigate our deepening financial challenges.  As a result, we are today either confirming (in the case of actions that were announced earlier) or implementing the following Duke University policies, which do not apply to the Duke University Health System:

Expenditures:  All schools, units, departments and programs will need to pause new non-salary expenditures, including (but not limited to): contracts, service or consulting agreements; computer, office and laboratory equipment; renovations; furniture; travel and entertainment; meetings and conferences. Any ongoing expenditure of university funds (including grant, gift and endowment funds) greater than $2,500 will continue to require pre-approval by the Executive Vice President, Provost or Chancellor for Health Affairs or their designees.  There will be additional guidance forthcoming regarding information technology services, including software licenses.

Hiring:  All staff hiring is paused until further notice.  Requests for exceptions for positions that are essential to the operation of the university can be made through the vacancy management process, which requires the approval of the Executive Vice President, Provost or Chancellor for Health Affairs, depending on the unit.  Subject to the approval of the appropriate dean, ongoing faculty searches may continue provided that all salary and startup funds are identified.  Likewise, searches for staff positions that are fully funded by external research grants that have already been received by the university may continue, subject to review through the vacancy management process.

Salaries: For the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2020, there will be no salary increase for University employees making more than $50,000 per year.  Employees earning up to $50,000 who earn satisfactory performance evaluations will receive a one-time, $1,000 payment.  The only exceptions to this policy will be certain academic promotions.   Positions covered under collective bargaining agreements will be governed by the terms of the contract.  This action also does not cover Duke University Health System (DUHS) employees.  DUHS administers compensation on a different calendar from the University, and guidance for the next year will be provided to DUHS employees at a later date.

Benefits: At this time, we do not anticipate making any changes in our insurance programs (health, dental, vision and disability).  We are reviewing our 403b program to determine whether adjustments are now appropriate.

Construction:  All new construction projects are on indefinite hold, except those related to safety, repairs, infrastructure, virus research and a small number of obligations to new faculty.

As we adapt to this new reality, I pledge to you that Duke will never lose sight of our highest commitments, to our people and our purpose.  We remain firmly committed to meeting the financial aid needs of our students, which are likely to rise.  Our decisions will be guided by and aligned with Duke’s overarching strategic framework, Toward our Second Century.  We will be mindful of the needs of the most vulnerable among us and committed to the health, safety and security of our students, faculty and staff.  And we will be true to our shared values of respect, trust, inclusion, discovery and excellence.

We will get through this, together, by supporting one another and our shared mission as a university.  Thank you for all that you are doing for Duke. I am proud to call you colleagues.

Sincerely,

Vincent E. Price
President

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