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A U forward the plan for fall 2020

Moving to the Next Phase of How We Work

June 16, 2020

As states and DC start their phased reopening, AU is planning a phased return of faculty and staff to campus for the fall semester that takes steps to support the university’s teaching, research, and service missions in a way that ensures the health and safety of our community members. Although the university will begin phased physical return, the way we work will differ significantly from the pre-COVID-19 period to protect the health and safety of faculty, staff, and students—in terms of where, how, and when we work.

Below you’ll find information about what we’re doing, community care expectations, and the new COVID-19 accommodations and work adjustments for fall 2020.

  • All AU community members and visitors entering our buildings asked to self-monitor for COVID-19 symptoms and possible exposure. 
  • The level and frequency of cleaning for all buildings will be increased. Cleaning supplies will be available, and faculty and staff are encouraged to clean and disinfect their workspaces throughout the workday.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in AU buildings.
  • Posters are displayed with reminders on how to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Staff whose physical presence is required on campus will be permitted staggered work shifts to reduce the number of people in the building at one time.
  • Group and one-on-one meetings will be held virtually.
  • Instructional spaces and common areas will have reduced seating capacity.
  • Stay home if you are sick. Go home if you become sick while on campus.
  • Promptly contact employeerelations@american.edu if you have COVID-19 symptoms or diagnosis.
  • Maintain physical distancing practices in the workplace.
  • Follow cleaning product instructions when cleaning your work areas.
  • Wash your hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Wear a face covering in common areas at work.
  • Replace handshakes with head nods and waves.
  • Avoid using other employees’ phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment.
  • Follow all policies and practices.
  • Be kind. Understand that this is a stressful time for everyone, and an extra bit of kindness right now can go a long way.
  • Faculty and Staff may request a COVID-19 accommodation or work adjustment to telework/teach remotely.
    • A reasonable accommodation due to a disability/medical condition; or
    • A request to work/teach remotely due to age (65 or older) or household member that is immunocompromised.
  • This process was made available to faculty on May 28, 2020, so that the fall classes could be planned, and the process will be made available to staff starting June 17, 2020, via an electronic form.
  • The requests will be reviewed by HR Employee Relations, and the employee and supervisor will be notified of the outcome of the request.
  • If requesting a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or medical condition, employees will be asked to provide medical documentation.
  • Any request for a reasonable accommodation due to a disability or medical condition will be kept in the strictest of confidence. Any related information will be maintained in a separate file and will only be available to designated Employee Relations staff in HR.
  • Supervisors may be informed of necessary restrictions on work or duties, and any necessary accommodations.