Return to Campus – Fall 2021

Planning Process

Over the past year, we have successfully maintained a safe and healthy campus.  During this time, a limited number of staff came regularly to campus to support mission-critical operations, specific student-facing services, campus operations, critical research, and necessary access to on-site resources.

In anticipation of moving to in-person instruction and services in the fall, a Return to Campus Staff Workgroup was formed with representatives nominated by  the Professional Staff Senate (PSS), Non-exempt Staff Senate (NESS), each division, and the colleges.

The work of the group was framed by several guiding principles:

  • An appreciation for our campus community and an excitement to be able to provide necessary services face-to-face.
  • A commitment to health and safety protocols based on guidance from USM, CDC, State, and local government.
  • Understanding that fairness, compassion, and flexibility will guide scheduling decisions.
  • The importance of frequent communication with staff as the process moves forward.
  • The requirement that our plans include decisions that can be adjusted based on the changing public health situation and guidance from the CDC, USM, state and local government.

This workgroup will continue to advise campus leadership over the next few months.  For more detailed information please refer to the Return to Campus Guide – Fall 2021

Timeline

July 6 – August 9, 2021

  • Employees will begin a gradual return to work on campus.
  • All faculty and staff will be approved for campus access; supervisors will no longer need to use the approval process for employees to be on campus.
  • Supervisors and department heads will work with staff to determine appropriate schedules.
  • We are asking that faculty and staff make every effort to be fully vaccinated by August 9, 2021.

July 20 – 26, 2021

  • Employees will continue their gradual return to work on campus.
  • All faculty and staff will be approved for campus access; supervisors will no longer need to use the approval process for employees to be on campus.
  • Supervisors and department heads will work with staff to determine appropriate schedules.

August 9, 2021

  • All staff will have established schedules with their supervisors.
  • Offices and departments should be prepared to deliver services between the core hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m., with extended hours for some offices when appropriate.
  • Faculty and staff should make plans to be fully vaccinated before they return to the campus
  • We estimate that 100% of staff will have schedules and be working on campus as appropriate.

One Approach Won’t Fit All

As supervisors/department heads think through best methods to offer services for the fall, face- to-face or alternative work arrangements may be considered. With any approach you choose, consideration must be given to customer needs, maintaining camaraderie and connections across campus and within teams, and ensuring that any work performed off site is in compliance with UMBC DOIT security protocols.

Supervisors/department heads are encouraged to notify employees of their return to campus date as soon as possible, but no less than two weeks prior to the return date. Supervisors/department heads should offer opportunities for employees to have conversations around scheduling. It is most important that all areas continue to maintain on campus services for faculty, staff and students. The following are examples of alternative work arrangements available.

  • Flexible Work Schedule – allows adjusted start/end time for work (i.e., early start/end or later start/end to workday.)
  • Compressed Workweek (for nonexempt staff only) return to campus with extended workday (4, 10-hour workdays with one day out of the office or similar model).
  • Telework – a hybrid schedule with designated days on campus and designated days off site. Telework arrangements in place prior to the pandemic will be reviewed by each college/division to determine which agreements will continue for the fall. (The telework agreement process has been revised for Fall, 2021).
  • Remote Work – full-time off site work schedule with presence on-site as required. (Very Limited Use – Approved for fall only). 

The alternative work arrangement forms are available on the HR website.  They are for fall 2021 and may be changed as on campus operational needs dictate.

Each division/college will determine if alternative work arrangements align best with the needs of the services offered.

Health & Safety

On Friday, April 23, 2021, the University System of Maryland announced that it will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students, faculty, and staff who will be on a Maryland campus.

All community members are encouraged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

  • Information on getting a vaccine appointment, as well as vaccine information and resources are available here.
  • **NEW**Report your vaccination to us here.

Go to Retriever Ready for the latest information regarding COVID-19.

It is important that members of the campus community follow all of the safety protocols in place for Fall, 2021.  More detailed information is available here

Workspace Planning

The Staff Guidance for Space Usage may be helpful in answering your questions about space utilization on campus.

Reporting Safety Concerns

Ensuring the health and safety of all campus community members is everyone’s responsibility. Concerns related to safety at work should be discussed with the supervisor, department head, chairperson, or email Retriever Ready at covid19@umbc.edu.

If the concern is about someone or unknown person(s), University Police Officers are available and trained to de-escalate situations.  Police can be contacted by calling ext. 5555 or sending a message to police@umbc.edu.