Returning to Campus Work Guidance Update

As we prepare for the fall semester, and develop return-to-campus guidelines, we must balance the need to limit density on campus while ensuring that all students get appropriate support and that the services of the university continue. NIU continues to put the health and safety of our students and employees first and expects supervisors to remain flexible to accommodate employees who must balance work and caregiver responsibilities. As a supervisor, I realize that the next few months ahead will require continued guidance and flexibility. The Human Resource Services (HRS) team is here to provide you with information and support as we prepare for the fall. In addition to the information in this message, I, along with other members of the HRS team, will host supervisor informational sessions at the end of July to offer additional guidance. We will answer questions on how to best manage and support campus and your teams.

Supervisors are expected to follow these guidelines for the remaining of the summer and fall semester:

Work from home has been extended to August 16, 2020

The guidance that came out in late May encouraging those employees who can work remotely to do so through July 31 is extended through August 16.

Returning to campus August 17 through the end of the calendar year

  • Beginning August 17, 2020, most offices and facilities that are student-facing (e.g., academic departments, student support services, cultural resource centers) or that serve employees or the community (e.g., human resources, admissions) will be open during normal business hours for in-person visits.
  • To maintain low density, supervisors must work with their teams to develop staffing plans, where appropriate, for the entire fall semester.
    • Supervisors are encouraged to continue the use of rotational or staggered schedules to reduce density and foot traffic.
    • To accommodate employees with desktop computers, supervisors might want to consider rotational schedules in weeks instead of days. For example, in an office with two employees, one might work in the office for the first half of the semester while the other works from home. The two employees would then switch mid-semester.
    • Employees should think about what will work best considering their personal or family circumstances, and contact their supervisors to discuss and reach agreements on work schedules that support the needs of the departments and the circumstances of the employees.

Working remotely August 17 through the end of the calendar year

  • Offices that can continue to provide their services to students, employees and the community remotely are encouraged to do so as long as those decisions are widely communicated to staff and the community.
  • Employees working remotely will not be required to complete Work-At-Home Agreements through the end of the calendar year.
  • This guidance might change depending on federal, state and local orders as well as the decisions made by local school districts regarding fall schedules.


Vernese Edghill-Walden

Interim Chief Human Resource Officer

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