Willamette has long understood the importance of residential education and the distinctive value of personal interactions, both formal and informal, among faculty, staff, and students and also between students and their peers. We recognize, though, that physical, face-to-face contact is not always essential, and that the need for faculty and staff to be present on campus will vary based on pedagogical and operational requirements.
We are asking deans and division heads to develop plans for on-campus teaching and staffing that prioritize student learning and support deep engagement and, in the words of our mission statement, a “vibrant campus community,” while also being mindful of the continued need to reduce the number and density of faculty and staff on campus.
Taking this more nuanced approach will take some time to finalize and we understand employees are anxious to know whether they should expect to be on campus in the fall. We will work with deans and supervisors to provide specific information to employees in as timely a manner as possible. The earliest staff will return to campus is Monday, August 3.
Some employees are at higher risk of serious illness from COVID-19, including those with the following characteristics:
- People 65 years of age or older;
- People with chronic lung disease (or other mild asthma);
- People who have serious heart conditions;
- People who are immunocompromised;
- People with obesity (body mass index of 30 or higher);
- People with diabetes;
- People with chronic kidney disease or undergoing dialysis;
- People with liver disease; and
- Any other medical condition identified by the Oregon Health Authority, CDC or other licensed health care provider.
Employees needing an accommodation based on any of the above characteristics should contact Danita Chapin, Benefits Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss options.
Holiday Closure Changes
- Labor Day: Due to class schedule changes necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the university will be open on Labor Day (9/7/20) and it will not be a paid holiday.
- Winter break: Like last year, the University is closing for more days than is typical for the Winter Break (12/20/20 – 1/2/21).