Executive Officers - Letter to Staff Regarding Working Remotely During COVID-19

March 14, 2020

Dear Notre Dame Staff Members:

Thank you for everything you are doing to help us meet the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is obviously a difficult time for our nation and the world, and closer to home, many of us are worried about our own well-being and that of our loved ones. Particularly at such a challenging time, we are truly grateful for both the work that you do and for the generous and collaborative spirit that animates this community. 

We write to share some important new steps the University will take to safeguard the health and well-being of members of the Notre Dame community and our neighbors, while continuing our central work of education and research. We are continuously monitoring the rapidly evolving situation and thinking about the University’s response in light of local, national and global developments.

Experts believe that simple precautionary measures—such as washing your hands regularly, avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and maintaining a distance of 6 feet from anyone coughing or sneezing—are the most effective ways to avoid infection. Also effective, to the extent it is possible, is simply working from home to protect those who live on campus as well as those whose work necessitates their presence on campus. 

Based upon what we know now and with your well-being as our top priority, we ask staff to adopt the following measures:

  • By the end of the day on Tuesday, March 17 and until further notice, staff whose roles allow it may, with the approval of their supervisor, begin to work from home. 
  • Some jobs will require employees to be physically present on campus. The University remains committed to the safety of all those who work on campus during this time and will continue to adopt recommended safety measures. 
  • Supervisors will clarify who is expected to work from home or on campus. If there is any uncertainty, please talk directly with your supervisor. 
  • To the extent appropriate and in consultation with your supervisor, please take home any equipment and materials you need to complete your work. For those working remotely, please communicate with your supervisor about any challenges you encounter in doing your work, as each of us remains responsible for meeting our job responsibilities. 

We will continue to monitor the situation and will ask staff working from home to return to campus when appropriate. In all of this, we seek to support you and your families in what we know is a very trying time. As was previously communicated, pay and benefits will continue as we hope to resume normal operations in April. 

Your supervisor will follow up to address particular questions you might have. 

We are deeply grateful for your dedication, patience, and flexibility as we confront this current challenge together.

In Notre Dame,

Rev. John Jenkins, C.S.C., president

Thomas Burish, provost

Shannon Cullinan, executive vice president