Chancellor's Communique

Planning for Recovery, 4-23-20

Dear Colleagues,

We all know too well that the implications of COVID-19 have been profound on this campus, and the path to recovery is constantly evolving. It can feel like the goal line keeps moving, but that doesn’t mean we haven’t or shouldn’t be planning for this next phase.

While Colorado Governor Jared Polis recently issued “safer-at-home” orders and updated guidance for businesses with limited openings starting April 27, our operational decisions continue to be made with our specific mission and the safety of our campus community top of mind. 

Our operations are unique, and require careful consideration and tailored plans specific to the needs of our faculty, students, staff and patients.  

As I mentioned in my message yesterday, we are working hard to develop a return-to-work plan in a safe, deliberate, and phased-in manner. We will be guided by the best science and data available to us, including our own experts, and will continue to make these decisions with the health and safety of our employees the priority. 

First, we are extending our remote working timeline for non-critical faculty and staff past the April 30 date to last until further notice; for many of us, we see this extending into the summer months. Social distancing continues to be the most essential step we can take, so any work we can conduct virtually will continue to be done remotely.

Next, plans are underway for a very thoughtful and gradual reconstitution of our research activity on campus, starting with a pilot next week of a limited group of representatives from some of our research cores and support services deemed mission-critical. Those included in this pilot phase will be contacted. For increased research activity, specific and formal approval must be in place before proceeding. 

A committee composed of campus and research leadership, facilities, environmental health and safety, security and other vital areas is working in real time to operationalize the robust health and safety protocols we will put in place before slowly ramping up these efforts. More information will come on those plans, as well as when any additional programs may be considered. 

We are also developing a Return to Campus training course in Skillsoft, the completion of which will be required prior to reentry for anyone invited back for onsite activity, detailing the measures in place for your protection and expectations for the workplace in this new environment. We will of course adhere closely to guidance from national and local public health agencies, and ensure we are maintaining distancing requirements, wearing appropriate masks, limiting density within our workspaces, coordinating building entry and exit points, and ensuring visibility of campus- and building-level instructions.

There is no single switch for ramping up, or ramping back down, our on-campus activity, and we know this is a work in progress. However, we have the utmost confidence that with the comprehensive planning underway, and with each of us doing our part, we can take these initial steps together safely. 

Thank you for your continued adaptability and understanding as we work to forge a path forward, guided at all times by a commitment to your safety and support. More information will be shared as soon as it becomes available.


Don Elliman

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