New University Directive on Working Remotely

March 17, 2020

As we continue to support public health efforts to increase social distancing and implement emergency strategies to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our region and nation, the health and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff is paramount.

Today, Seattle University is directing all faculty and staff to work remotely unless they have an essential or critical need for being on campus. The policy is in full effect Friday, March 20, at noon, and those who can make the transition sooner and have not previously done so are encouraged to do so. In areas that serve our students or manage public safety, we will move to critical staff only. Each division leader and Dean will make the determination on those staff roles where an employee’s physical presence on campus is critical and will communicate this to the staff in their respective area. Vice Presidents and Deans will be working remotely as well.

In deploying these steps, it is critical that all faculty and staff have clear direction. This includes clear standards in the use of tools, work hours and duties.

In addition, any staff member who meets the following requirements will be eligible to apply for Supplemental COVID-19 Leave:

You are a staff member who cannot work from home:

  • Due to the nature of your work duties.
  • Because your dependent’s school or care center has closed due to COVID-19 and you are the primary caregiver.
  • Other, please share with your supervisor.

You are in a critical on-campus staff role and:

  • You have been diagnosed, tested or are suspected to have COVID-19.
  • You have been asked to self-quarantine or directed to self-isolate.
  • You have an underlying health condition and have been instructed not to be at work (you do not need to share medical information with your supervisor or colleagues.)
  • Other, please share with your supervisor.

You will not need to exhaust your sick time to qualify for Supplemental COVID-19 Leave. This is a change from the initial announcement on March 12, 2020. Your sick time hours will remain available for non-COVID-19 absences.

We are putting this practice in place through March 31, 2020. At which time, we will reassess the conditions in our community.

This decision is grounded in the belief we must work together in the safe keeping of our campus, city and nation.


Michelle Clements
Vice President for Human Resources

Message from Information Technology Services About Equipment for Working Remotely

Many faculty and staff are, or soon will be, performing much of their university-related work at home or other remote location. Faculty and staff who have university-issued laptops may continue to use them wherever they are performing their work. IT Services has a small number of additional laptops that can be deployed as needed, with more arriving in early-to-mid April, but there will not be enough for every faculty and staff member who currently does not have a university-issued laptop. Department chairs and unit supervisors may permit faculty and staff to take their desktop computers and peripherals off campus as circumstances demand. Each department or unit must maintain complete and accurate records of computers and peripherals taken from campus, including the date devices are taken and the date they are returned. And in all cases, all university policies (e.g. FERPA, Data Privacy) remain in effect. IT Services is happy to engage with Seattle University departments and units to help determine the best approach for your area. See the IT Services COVID-19 page for additional information and resources.