Section 3: Return to Campus for Staff and Faculty

Priorities for returning employees to work on campus:

  • On-site mandatory employees: those who must be on-site at a given time to work with students or prepare the campus for returning students, or to support critical research functions.
  • Those who cannot do their work remotely.
  • Those who are unable to be fully productive remotely.

Circumstances under which employees should not come to campus:

  • Employees who are exhibiting symptoms related to COVID-19 illness.
  • Those who have had contact with others who have COVID-19 and are still within their 14-day quarantine window.
  • Those with self-identified underlying health conditions that enhance risk from COVID-19; these employees should be referred to Office of Equal Opportunity and Compliance for potential accommodations.
  • Those caring for, or living, with others with underlying health conditions that enhance risk from COVID-19; these employees should be referred to the Office of Human Resources for appropriate arrangement.
  • Those who, in the last 14 days, have traveled to a COVID-19 hot spot or international destination, as identified by the Arkansas Department of Health or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  • Those who have recently completed COVID-19 testing with results pending or positive.
  • Non-essential visitors.

In addition, subject to the return phases listed below, employees who can conduct their work effectively on a remote basis, as determined by the supervisor, should continue to do so. Our overall goal is to minimize the number of employees on campus while the pandemic is ongoing wherever possible.

Phased Return

Phase 1:  Bring employees back only as needed (Target Date: June 15)

  • Mandatory on-site employees continue to work on campus.
  • A limited number of employees may be asked to return to campus to assist as needed with key activities to prepare for the fall semester as identified by department heads.
    • These plans must be approved by a dean or vice chancellor because the intent is for people to work remotely as much as possible. Units should plan according to their unique needs.
    • Examples may include, but are not limited to, certain staff members based on job duties in academic units, IT support to prepare classrooms, enrollment management, student affairs, or athletics
    • On-site work schedules for employees coming to campus should be staggered as necessary to adhere to social distancing requirements 
  • Departments must notify Facilities Management when buildings will be occupied to ensure proper cleaning and disinfecting of common areas.  

Phase 2: Bring additional employees back only as needed (Target Date: July 6)

  • While the intent is for people to continue working remotely as much as possible, additional employees who must be on campus to prepare for students in the fall should return as determined by the unit.
  • University Libraries and the Arkansas Union reopen on a limited basis. Plans and opening dates will be communicated by these entities.
  • Departments continue to notify Facilities Management when buildings will be occupied until all employees have returned to campus.

Phase 3: Employees and students return for the fall semester (Target Dates: Aug. 3 and Aug. 10)

  • August 3 is the first day of the fall intersession.
  • Limited official campus visitors will be allowed beginning Aug. 3. Official visitors include people invited to campus for a specific academic or business purpose.
  • On or around Aug. 10 – All employees return to campus other than employees with documented permission to work remotely or be absent. Supervisors have been provided with guidance on the various forms of permissions and leave.
  • Supervisors may consider whether there are staff with demonstrated performance who may be able to carry out their functions effectively via telecommuting on a longer-term basis (post-virus), consistent with efficient campus operation and university policies.
  • August 24 is the first day of classes for fall semester.

Research Continuity

o As a part of the first and second phases of allowing employees to return as needed to the University of Arkansas campus, researchers are allowed to return in a manner detailed in the university’s Research Continuity plan, developed based on recommendations from the COVID-19 Response Team and Research subcommittee.

The Research Continuity Plan covers approvals necessary, types of research and expectations for meeting all health and safety guidelines.