The University will follow a data-informed four-phase plan to gradually shift from mostly remote work to working on campus. Phase 1 begins the week of May 26.

Overview & Principles

The plan aims to protect the health of employees, ensure the well-being of the community, and carefully and deliberately prepare for students returning in the fall. It is based on the most up-to-date guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC); Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines; Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) rules and regulations; as well as other applicable sources.

This website outlines the components of the plan that apply to all employees. Each department and/or facility may have additional requirements and guidance depending on the nature of their work. If you have questions, check with your supervisor or contact Human Resources. Each area is responsible for developing specific plans and communicating those plans with their respective offices. We need everyone’s support and participation to keep our community healthy. 

Guidance and requirements are subject to change and will be updated prior to future phases, especially prior to a return to in-person instruction. It is important that we are all working from a common set of terms and definitions.  

Principles for Returning to On-Campus Work
  • Work from home if possible.
  • If you are a member of a vulnerable population or if you live with someone who is a member of a vulnerable population, you will be accommodated as possible.
  • We all must be ready to adjust based on guidance from federal, state, and local health officials.
  • Physical distancing, handwashing, staying home when sick, and use of cloth face coverings as needed must become our new routine.
  • We all need to be compassionate and flexible in working with employees who have child care or other family responsibilities and be mindful of the anxiety felt by employees.
Phases: overview

Phases: Components

For each phase, the plan will consist of three components:

  • Staffing Shifts: Bringing employees back to campus responsibly and safely to increase capacity.
  • Sanitization and Prevention: Supplement the work done by Facilities Management by incorporating personal hygiene best practices and work space sanitization into every department/facility.
  • Monitoring the Environment: Monitor employee health to ensure the well-being of our campus community.
Phases: Definitions
  • Return to campus in a limited capacity. Priorities include positions that are needed for campus safety or reopening, as well as roles that cannot be effectively completed from home and are critical to ongoing operations. Requires physical distancing, screening, temperature checks, and other mitigation measures for on-campus employees. This phase began on Tuesday, May 26, for some employees in the Executive Offices, Facilities Management, and Sewanee Dining. Other offices may have individuals returning to maintain essential operations. What to expect
  • Carefully bring back additional employees to increase operational capacity and functionality. Refine work space habits focusing on social distancing and hygiene. Target date is mid June, but not before June 15. Additional information to come prior to start.
  • Preparing for a “new Sewanee” with close to full staff on campus while also allowing for necessary remote work, schedule modifications, and other containment measures. Target date early July, but not before July 6. Additional information to come prior to start.
  • Final preparations for a new experience, knowing that we must continue to all do our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19. There will be significant differences from our former routines, including expectation for on-campus testing, tracing, masking, and social distancing.