Friday, March 6, 5:09 PM

March 6, 2020

Dear A&S Leadership Groups, staff supervisors and staff,

    Hello everyone. Shortly after we sent our guidelines for next week we received the email below from HR this afternoon. Please read it and note the following points:

    Given that all in-person classes and finals are now moved to online format for the rest of the quarter, I believe the vast majority of A&S employees (but probably not all, I’ll be on campus) can work from home for most of the next three weeks.

    At the same time, we need to make sure we understand where people are working across the college and know how to reach people who are working remotely. As we noted in the email we sent out at 4:09 this afternoon, limited/remote office operations should be arranged in consultation with your supervisor(s) and communicated to faculty/staff/student employees in your department or program and the Dean’s Office via

    Everyone will still have access to offices via swipe cards and keys. Even if you are planning to primarily work from home/remotely, faculty, staff and students can come in and work.

    HR notes below that student work study issues have not been resolved at the university level, but you should see an email Kate Elias sent out at 4:50 pm this afternoon, where she is leading an effort to check in and coordinate where a) you are missing student workers who are needed, and b) we have students who want to work with no work available.

    We’re trying to figure a lot of things out very quickly, don’t hesitate to email your chair/director, supervisor, Lisa Ferrin or me with questions. We are here to support you, your emails are how we’ll know where the problems are.

    Hang in there, we are all living through a whirlwind of disruption; we’ll get through it together far better than alone.

Best regards,


David V. Powers, Ph.D. | Dean


901 12th Avenue, Seattle, WA 98122-1090

Office: (206) 296-5300

See next item for HR email included in message

From: Clements, Michelle

Sent: Friday, March 6, 2020 4:25 PM

Subject: FW: ACTION REQUIRED: Employees need your guidance: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Importance: High


Please direct this message to those leaders in your schools and colleges who have oversight at supervisors in your schools and colleges.

Thanks very much,


Michelle Clements | Vice President, Human Resources

To Cabinet, Deans, AVPs, and Directors,

As President Sundborg announced this morning, the university is remaining open even while classes will not meet in person. Because of this, it is critical all supervisors take proactive measures now to enact the guidance Human Resources provided to supervisors yesterday. In particular, as was the case yesterday, supervisors should prioritize decisions about whether employees may work from home, and should share their decision-making upward through their division. HR has been hearing from some employees across campus stating that they have not received direction or contact from their supervisors. Employees are counting on engagement and guidance from their leaders as we have employees on campus who may feel especially vulnerable at this time or need more guidance from us.

Human Resources has also received questions from supervisors specific to student employees. HR intends to provide additional guidance specific to student employees. For now, the same guidance to supervisors regarding regular employees generally applies to student employees with one critical additional point: supervisors should freely allow student employees not to work scheduled hours.

I have attached below our guidance from yesterday for your reference. The guidance is also included on the university’s Human Resources page:

Please reach out to the HR leadership team as needed for consultation on both individual employee situations or with regard to your larger workforce (Matt Philip, Jeff Pixler, Mary Dawson, and me).

Thank you,


Michelle Clements | Vice President, Human Resources

See next item for related March 5 email to supervisors

Message from Thursday, March 5, 2010 to all campus supervisors:

To the supervisory community at Seattle University,

    Our community’s response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is shifting rapidly.  You may be aware that King County issued a set of recommendations for employers on Wednesday, March 5 which suggests all employees should work from home, including employees 60+ years of age. That is NOT what Seattle University is implementing at this time. The university is actively monitoring the situation. At this time, we are asking supervisors to review situations on a case-by-case basis.  We ask that you promptly escalate ‘work from home’ requests to your division vice president or dean. University leadership will collaborate in order to develop a university-wide response.   

This email reflects the university’s position right now and focuses on:

    Immediate advice for you in working with your direct reports;

    The university’s attendance policy and paid time away benefits; and

    Requests to work from home.

Recommendations for SU Supervisory Actions Related to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    Review the materials, options, resources and information provided on the university’s COVID-19 website.

    Also review the attached FAQs which are written from an employee’s perspective.  These are also posted to the HR site here:

    Refresh your understanding of the university’s paid sick time benefit information summarized in the FAQ and fully described here:  Our paid sick time benefit supports all employees in need of time off to care for themselves or a family member.

        If an employee is currently showing any signs of illness, please encourage them to stay home and contact their healthcare provider for further instructions and guidance. Employees and supervisors should continue to record the absence as sick time per university policy. When someone indicates they are able to return to campus,  supervisors should not require that employees remain at home.  There may be circumstances where a doctor’s release is appropriate, but that determination should be made in consultation with Human Resources.

        Employees whose children or dependent’s school or care center is closed due to health concerns should also be excused from work. This time would also be recorded as sick time per university policy. Supervisors should support employees in utilizing this benefit.

    Consider options for working at home in the case of a campus or worksite closure or if your department is seeking to be proactive and can support people working from home.  Identify if there are jobs or roles that don’t lend themselves to work at home options and why this is true. Ensure employees not eligible to work from home understand the rationale. Please develop a communication strategy and set clear expectations for any employee approved to work remotely.

        Nonexempt employees must continue to accurately track their work time. As their supervisor, you must approve submitted timesheets.  Human Resources is your resource if you’re considering having a nonexempt employee work from home and can help provide guidance.

        ITS has a page devoted to technology for remote computing, located here:

    Assess key service goals and objectives, and the key deliverables for your group in the coming month. What is negotiable or flexible? What is not?

    Note key dates of events, as well as scheduled vacations, meetings, etc. Consider if these need to be shifted, changed, or cancelled.

    If work-related travel is planned or scheduled, consider whether the travel is necessary and discuss it with the employee. Strongly consider canceling the planned travel unless it is critical to your operations.

As soon as possible, have a meeting with your work group to review the information from the university related to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – consider reviewing the official communications and the attached FAQ. Plan on explaining the options available and what limitations might exist, then follow up with each person for a one on one discussion about their plan/situation. Do not make any commitments at this time without approval from your division vice president or dean.

        Key discussion points include:

            Focus on availability and service in consideration of alternatives to the regular work location.

            The need to find approaches that are team-oriented and don’t place an undue burden on others in the group.

            Possibility of authorizing work from home, virtual meeting tools, etc.

            Anticipated need for use of sick/safe time or a leave of absence.

            Need for continued communication and dialogue.

            Alternative work arrangements are temporary and will be re-evaluated periodically during this time period.

    Based on these conversations, design a contingency plan for your work group and share it with your leader. Any work from home arrangements must be approved in advance by your division vice president or dean.

    Communicate this plan to the team and have regular check in meetings to gain feedback, assess feasibility, share updated information and make any necessary adjustments.

Contact Human Resources for assistance as you consider options during this time.



Michelle Clements | Vice President, Human Resources