Updated: Thursday, August 26, 2021
We will be implementing workplace flexibility options on a pilot basis during the fall and winter quarters. Our learnings during the pilot period will help shape and inform our staff flexible work program going forward. The pilot period will also allow leaders to identify which flexible options serve their work unit best. Work units are defined as colleges, schools and divisions throughout this document.
Our campus community has shown tremendous commitment and worked hard to keep the university operational during the unprecedented past 16-plus months. As the nation grapples with safely reopening, Seattle University recognizes that returning to campus life is a significant change for staff. Faculty and staff are also excited and hopeful about returning to campus to foster a strong academic, student and workplace experience.
The university’s approach to a staff flexwork program is grounded in our mission to educate the whole person, to professional formation and to empower leaders for a just and humane world. Our Strategic Directions: A Jesuit University of Distinction for a Time of Change set our sights on being one of the most innovative and progressive Jesuit and Catholic universities in the world, educating with excellence at the undergraduate, graduate and professional levels. Central to our strategic directions and vision is reimagining and transforming our curriculum as well as the practices and processes that support this work. A staff flexwork program provides an opportunity to foster and unlock innovation, new opportunities and benefits for students, staff and faculty.
Flexible Work Program Pilot
As we launch the pilot program it is important we recognize that workplace flexibility can be an important tool in engaging, attracting and retaining staff who are critical to ensuring we deliver a student-centric environment. A flexible work program should enable Seattle University to achieve and maintain service and operational excellence while creating a thriving and vibrant campus experience in keeping with the expectations of students and creating a strong sense of inclusion and belonging for all.
Transition Back to Campus
To best address this change, we recommend all work units begin transitioning back to campus in advance of the fall academic term to achieve full readiness for the return of students. Supervisors and direct reports will develop a transition plan that best supports their respective work units. Part of the transition plan should take into account such considerations as how to manage the commute, parking, public transportation, childcare, etc. This transition may take a few weeks for staff to return to a place of familiarity and comfort as they re-enter the workplace. It will be important to provide support and resources during this time.
Staffing Plan Considerations
When developing flexible staffing plans please ensure the work unit can achieve and maintain service and operation excellence and cultivate a vibrant campus experience and strong sense of community for students, faculty and staff. Supervisors and their staff should think about coverage when staff members who are assigned to be on campus are absent from work. Supervisors and their staff may consider various options in developing work unit staffing plans that address the unique needs of the campus community they serve. Staffing plans should be flexible to changes in conditions should the COVID-19 virus evolve or new challenges emerge. Lastly, it is important we work together to ensure we foster an environment of inclusion and a strong sense of belonging for all.
Work plans must ensure we achieve and maintain service and operational excellence while delivering a thriving and vibrant campus experience in keeping with the university’s Jesuit character and the expectations of our students.
1. Flexible Work Options: Supervisors may utilize the following flexible work options to staff their work units:
a. A preapproved number of workdays per week off campus.
b. Flexible hours outside the core business hours of 8am - 4:30pm.
There may be some circumstances and/or roles where the following options may also be considered:
c. Compressed workweek, e.g., 37.5 hours in 4 workdays.
d. Reduced workweek, i.e., less than 37.5 hours in a workweek if the work unit can maintain the same or better levels of quality and service.
i. Note: If approved, an individual’s pay and vacation will be pro-rated based on a reduced work schedule. Please keep in mind that SU benefits are only available to staff working 20 hours/week or more.
2. Meetings: Supervisors will be responsible to ensure effective meeting protocols are in place to allow for in-person or virtual attendance whenever possible.
i. Note: Each supervisor is responsible for ensuring that they have worked out a plan to successfully accommodate hybrid meetings. Meeting rooms are not uniformly equipped with all virtual hardware, though IT Services will continue to expand these capabilities across campus. For more information on conference room capabilites please view the ITS webpage on conference rooms here.
3. Equipment and Supplies:
a. ITS will provide one laptop or desktop computer for each staff in a role that requires one, along with one webcam and headset. Staff members are responsible for all other remote work office needs (internet, printing, home furniture, etc.). Each division, school, or college will decide how best to distribute their other physical office equipment (e.g., additional monitors).
b. ITS will provide technology guidance about how to conduct hybrid meetings with in-person and virtual participants.
4. Office Space: During the pilot period office space will be prioritized for those who work 3 or more days on campus.
|Cabinet approval meeting||July 20th|
|Staff Flexwork Program Overview announced to campus||July 30th|
|Staff Flexwork website, resources and tools launch||Week of August 2nd|
|Supervisors attend info sessions and begin meeting with direct reports||Week of August 9th|
|Supervisors share recommendations for their work group with work unit leader||Week of August 16th|
|Work unit leader reviews all supervisors plan for approval||Week of August 23rd|
|President, Provost, EVP and CFO reviews plan for work units reporting to them and gives final approval||Prior to August 31st|
|Work unit leader releases approved plans to supervisors for communication to their staff||Starting September 1st|
Staff return to campus in their approved work schedules*Based on staff roles some timelines will need to be accelerated
|Week of September 6th and 13th|
Supervisors of staff were invited to attend one of two information sessions in August 2021 to help create and implement Flexwork Staffing Plans.
The slide deck can be accessed here for review: Flexwork Supervisor Information Session Slide Deck
Seattle University Transportation Program
University Recreation facilities have been closed during the pandemic. Please view their website in the fall for exciting opportunities to promote physical health and wellness.
The Sanvello App provides on-demand help for stress, anxiety and depression. To access Sanvello Premium, faculty and staff can sign-up for free using their SU email address (@seattleu.edu). Download on the Apple App Store. Get it on Google Play.
Zen Meditation for Daily Living
October 7, 14, 21, 28
Come to the Campion Hall Multifaith Prayer Room or join Via zoom (given campus policy)
Have you ever considered meditation? The Center for Jesuit Education invites faculty and staff to explore the practice of meditation (inspired by the Zen tradition) and how it can enhance your daily life. We will meet four Thursdays at 12:30 for an hour. The sessions will be led by Eddie Daichi Salazar. Feel free to come with your curiosity, questions and “beginner’s mind.” All are welcome, and no experience with any kind of meditation is required, however, attendance at the first session on October 7 is required. For more information and to RSVP, please contact Eddie Salazar (email@example.com).
In the spirit of the Ignatian value to live as “contemplatives in action,” Soul Sessions provide a brief (15 minute) time to breathe, reflect, and find inspiration for our students’ education, for the work of racial and social justice, for attending to needs of our families and colleagues, and for the betterment of the world.