Follow Up COVID-19 Staff Forum | CC Transcription (unformatted)
>> It made a huge difference so I will say the same thing back to all of you. Now we are going to do our best to answer your questions. I have many more much smarter people with me. We will do the best we can but please know that you're probably going to ask questions we don't have answers to. Ask them anyway, we will do the best we can to get to them. I know as all of you have heard we will get through this. We will get past this as a world, as a country. As a campus, have faith. With that, I will turn it back to I think Adam and get on with your questions, thank you Adam.
>> Thank you, Mary. I have a couple of things I forgot to mention.
Please ask your questions using the Q&A function on the bottom bar. Not the chat function, that is where we will take questions from. Just to piggyback off of what Mary said, we know that there are going to be a lot of people on this and many of you have multiple questions. We will try to get to as many as we can today but we may not, probably almost surely will not get to them all. We hope that we will get good information out to everybody nonetheless. With that, I will turn it over to you.[NAME] And we will go into questions.
>> Hi everyone, welcome. Just for housekeeping, if you want to submit a question please do so on the bottom under Q&A, please do not submit it in the chat so we can have all of this in one place. I see some questions coming in through the chat. Question one, for those who are working on a central task in making her decisions about facilities, CI team, HR, executives but I'm sure others, are we making sure that they are getting time off to rest and as we are relying heavily on them. We want to make sure that they don't burn out and have stressed immune
systems during this time.
>> I'm going to start but I will ask my colleagues to join in.
Recognizing that each of us touches many, I will say it is important for
them, I know this is happening by the way for the leaders of the areas to
remind people of exactly that. Just like President Pollock reminded me
yesterday, I think each of us are in contact with folks checking in with
them, making sure that they are taking time getting out, breathing, that's always a good thing. But I appreciate so much of your concern for people because there are certain central areas that are getting called out quite a bit right now. I appreciate that and don't know if anyone in wants to join in?
>> I will echo what Mary said, it is really important as unit leaders that we are emphasizing for all of our team members that wellness is not just something that we say and move on, wellness needs to be a daily check in for all of us with our direct reports for all of their direct reports. Trying to lead by example and making time each day to go out for a walk, practicing while important, social distancing. I'm finding even if it is a few moments to put down my iPhone and close my eyes, I've learned to meditate. Something I've always resisted but it's come in quite handy these last few days. I do again, recognize it needs to be an area of constant reassurance, we understand that our team members, all of our employees want to be doing the right thing but it can't be at the expense of our peace of mind and well-being.
>> This is Rick, let me jump into the respective on-campus aspect of it. Our plan is that we would rotate those personnel that are providing essential services so it is really a subset at any given moment. Our plan is to swap them out. With respect to the people that are working from home, it is a challenge, everybody's routine has been thrown into disarray, I know mine has. I haven't really gotten back to it yet,
I'm not exercising as much as I used to and that pays off when you can
exercise. It is a challenge for each of us as leaders and we need to make sure we are reaching out to people. It doesn't have to be supervisory top down, and encourage everybody on the line to reach out to your colleagues and check in with them. Not every day but just drop them a line and see how they are doing. They would greatly appreciate it.
>> Hei: Thank you, Rick. There's a question for you, will guidelines be forthcoming for building coordinator regarding what is expected, allowed during the COVID-19 remote work?
>> Rick: Yes, I'm actually drafting up something you want to send
out to college officers today and I'm going to copy and send that out to
facility directors. I personally don't have the building coordinator's manual folks in my organization do so I will make sure this gets out to them. We are trying to narrow that down, recognizing that there are some things that I have visibility on and knowledge of, I don't know for instance where every building coordinator that they still have still in their buildings trying to finish up teaching props or critical research. In terms of broad expectations we need people to pay attention to security so that we are locking things up. We have put out information regarding limited steam load shed that is going to happen starting tomorrow. That will save us some energy. The building coordinator should have gotten that communication and we have also asked them to advise us if they have faculty that are done in lab that they let us know and request we decommission hoods that saves us additional energy in that
regard. If there are specific individual concerns about for instance,
we have service calls yesterday about door locks that we wanted to get the locksmith in. We have the locksmith in today addressing doors that are normally open, building coordinators wanted them to be closed and locked. We can call people in as necessary to do those things. Addressing individual circumstances. Then the last thing you, is we are going to get revised information regarding mail delivery that has been very disrupted with people closing up buildings and offices. I will leave the details for the communication but I intend to put that out today. I hope that covers most of it, if there are other things I'm happy to answer those.
>> Hei: Thank you. What advice or message with Cornell health or the administration like to give to essential staff were coming to work,
campus work to ensure their self safety and well-being?
>> I will start with that and ask my colleague and doctor Jones to jump in with health advice.
>> Ryan: First I will say to all of you who are coming onto campus to support students, a very hearty thank you as Mary and others, Adam, suggested not all of the students were able to leave. Not all students could get home or had a home. If our campus is their home, we really appreciate your continuing to serve them and support them while they're here. It is very important to us while you're doing that to do all we can to support your health and safety at the same time. We have asked supervisors in the units, the essential units to put practices in place to support social distancing. To make sure lines of communication are
open and do all that we can to support your health and safety while we are supporting students. I would just add one last thing before I asked doctor Jones to share a few things and that is if you have specific concerns in your work area that you feel aren't being addressed in this capacity or are specific to your work area, please let us know where your supervisor know so we can make any necessary adjustments.
>> Anne: I would add from the health point of view, that what we know about this virus to date is that it spread via respiratory droplets. We know that there are many reports out there with question about any other forms of transmission and that research is emerging. Officials at the state and the national level and international level are learning more every day. But at present, what we know is that the transmission is
respiratory droplets which means it is transmitted, if a person is ill with the infection, with being exposed to the respiratory droplets, themselves. That is most likely to happen when you are within six feet of another individual. This is why the social distancing measures are extremely important. It is up to all of us to make sure that we are maintaining that distance between each other. I heard a great description that social distancing is as important as neutral distancing, we all need to help each other, keep those boundaries. So that we are maintaining that distance and keeping each other and ourselves safe.
Another way that it spreads is if those respiratory droplets, if someone is coughed on or sneezed on. That is why that distance is really important. In terms of maintaining protection, if you are at work or are at the front lines, that is where the personal protective equipment is important. Every single area, I know there has been detailed work in analysis of everyone's job functioning to make sure they have the appropriate PPE for the job that they are doing, we at Cornell health are
using full PPE that is recommended by CDC for healthcare workers. But every area has those specifications. It is important to turn to your supervisors as has been said to make sure that the appropriate protection is used for the work you are doing. In general, it is that social distancing and remembering to wash your hands, avoid touching your face, your face and taking care of yourself in all those ways.
>> Thank you.
>> This is Rick, let me jump in in terms of physical safety. The campus is pretty empty. There have been a couple of people expressing concerns about hey, you know is it safe. CUPD is out on the job and they help full strength shift and we are now bringing on this week, the police auxiliary to join with seven more personnel to keep an eye on things. I encourage everybody if you have the rave app, pull it up and get familiar with it. If you don't have it, download it, that's a quick way to get a hold of CUPD. If you do come to campus, keep your eyes and ears open, we are concerned about the potential for loss during this time and a few people on campus. If something doesn't look right, please let CUPD know and we have our standard 24/7 shifts out about on campus. Thanks.
>> Hei: Thank you. What will trigger a review by Cornell to allow
people to return to their workplaces?
>> Mary: I will start and then maybe I can turn this over to Joel.
This is a very common question that we are getting. It is actually coming through the whole country, people want to get back to normal. This is a very hard time, but I also think people recognize we don't want to do that in such a way that we actually create more health crises and make it last longer or be worse. With that, I'm going to turn it over to Joel because I know he has been working with the state.
>> Joel: Thank you, Mary. I echo what all of us are thinking about which is boy, how great will it be when we can look back on this. I am really excited for us to get to that point. But the reality is, we just don't yet know. We recognize that the progression of the virus in New York State depends a lot on how well everyone adheres to the social
distancing guidelines. We will not be in a position to make any decisions on that separate from where Governor Cuomo and perhaps federal authorities, public health experts direct us. But needless to say, the governor is very focused first on public safety and public health. But he is, not that I've spoken to him, but I'm pretty sure that he would echo all of our desires to be able to return to normalcy and to get back to the business of the state as soon as possible. We are tracking it,
my office in Albany is very focused and in communication with senior members of the administration. We have a number of really smart dedicated people across the state that one is to get to that point as well. We are going to do it in a coordinated and public health first focus.
>> Hei: Some staff have prior healthcare backgrounds licensure with
Governor Cuomo called to recruit prior healthcare staff, can you speak to what options staff at Cornell with these types of backgrounds may have?
>> Mary: And, I don't know if you are in the position to speak to this. I do know that what it reflects is this sense that people have that they want to help. This is something that I think just illustrates the compassion and generosity of our community. I'm not sure if you can speak to it specifically but maybe you can react?
>> Anne: Sure, yes I saw the notice coming out and very much agree
that it reflects this community effort and a public health effort to help each other in this community. I think that one thing, one of the truths that we have seen as we have been navigating this pandemic together is that everyone has needed to be a little bit flexible. To figure and realize that maybe what we normally do in our work everyday needs to shift just a little bit to accommodate the needs of the community,
especially within healthcare means. That every healthcare professional is
thinking about that as we are coming to work, whether it is seeing in person or individuals for in person care. Or thinking about providing care remotely.
I would say from the healthcare industry point of view, there is an
effort at trying to figure out who can help and where they can help. Whether that is in different places in the healthcare community. I think that I would say if anyone does feel that they can help and have the capacity to help, that is wonderful! It would be a wonderful thing to share and speak with your teams about. Thinking about how to help.
>> Joel: If I can jump in here, Hei and Adam, it's an extension of the question that is what about for nonhealth professionals, what can we as individuals as concerned members of our Tompkins County community do. Mary referenced this earlier, it is incredible to see the outpouring of
compassion, empathy and actual dedication of time and effort to try to
help our community. I just want to briefly mention a few of these examples, there is an effort underway right now in Bartel Hall that medical Center in conjunction with Brian Steen and student of campus life is undertaking in terms of actually having sewing stations where individuals even without sewing training can go and help to create these much-needed supplies both for utilization here in our community, for us to get down to New York City for their needs. There is a great effort that again, Ryan's team at Cornell dining has undertaken with the
southern food bank of the Southern tier. A number of our food pantries in our neighborhood are not able to operate. SCL Cornell dining employees are essentially collecting all of the food supplies putting together family packets and delivering them down to the greater Ithaca activity center. There is wonderful outpouring of student access funds, essay and GPA need to be commended for the $270,000 that have been made available to help our students. I could go on and on but suffice to say if you are interested, Frank I will suggest you as a contact along with Mary. We can be sure to take advantage of those of you with the
ability and the inclination to help.
>> Rick: Let me add to that one is the outgoing cochair for the United Way campaign of Tompkins County is accepting donations, you can
specifically designate them for COVID-19 relief. I encourage you to go
to the United Way Tompkins County website at UW TC.org.
>> Hei: Thank you, we've heard varying reports about whether or not we can get into a campus building to pick something up. Can you provide clarity?
>> Rick: Let me take that one, I would say first off, we really want to abide by the governors guidance. The governors directed that we go 100 percent remote. I would say first off, this should be only in the most mission essential needs that that should be coordinated with the person supervisor. Make sure that you have your Cornell ID card as I mentioned, we have police out there doing property tax and we don't want to come across somebody who can vouch for themselves and establish if they are on Cornell staff. Please do it during working hours. That is
kind of Rick's advice and I think we can abide by the spirit of that. What we really don't want is folks going in all at once and not abiding by the social distance and we really do need to stay out of the workspace. I know in some cases we left in a bit of a rush and maybe realize that you don't have something, you need a file or whatever. One last thing on that, I know some folks in my organization are having a hard time with bandwidth, just the size of the drawings and documents
they need to work with. Dave from central IT advised to get a pretty good signal even outside of buildings. You may even be able to bring your car up and park in a parking lot nearby a building that has Wi-Fi. To successfully get sufficient bandwidth if it is not a physical object you need to retrieve. I hope that answers the question.
>> Hei: Thank you. Many of us Cornell employees also have loved ones working in the essential industry is particularly as contractors,
subcontractors who are also on the front lines and they have been having a difficult time obtaining PPE. What if anything is the Cornell community doing to assist them and remaining safely protected while the must continue working?
>> Rick: I will take that one too. I'm not aware of any request that have come to us from contractors or for PPE. I'm going to inquire with my folks, we have asked contractors to follow safe hygiene practices, we have suspended all in person jobsite meetings, we have
asked them to do all the things we are doing with our own folks. If there is a need for PPE that a contractor or subcontractor has, if they can't get it, we can take a look at it and see if we can assist. To my knowledge that has not come up to date but I'm going to specifically ask my team about that.
>> Frank: I will add to that, our office of emergency management is
working with Tompkins County directly emergency operations center there and they are fulfilling requests and needs from everywhere in the county including the hospital, other medical providers, EMS operations. I don't know if they would be able to fulfill those particular needs but that would be the outlet that people should go through if they have requests.
>> Joel: If I could note again because it is such an inspiring effort, I know of two academic units that are utilizing their 3D printing facilities to actually create some of these PPE's that can be used for those most in need of them. Again, the more of these inspirational stories that we can collect and discuss with our community, I think it will provide some inspiration perhaps help address this critical need.
>> Hei: Thank you. In regards to housing and dining refunds, who can we get a definitive answer from to share with students, parents and families are continuing to reach out with anger and frustration?
>> I'll be happy to address that one.
>> Ryan: We are working feverishly to get some clarity to our students and their families on those rebates. What I stated now about a week and 1/2 or so ago still stands, we are going to offer those. I know everyone can appreciate that the team has just been inundated trying to make their way through the logistics of getting her students out and safely on their way but our financial team is working actively with
the University to try to get some clarity on when we can definitively put
those forward. Working as fast as we can, we appreciate everyone's patience and grace. I've also yielded a large number of calls and inquiries from parents myself about this. Have continue to tell them it's in the works, we are doing the best we can and will get it out as soon as we can.
>> Hei: Thank you. Us Cornell leadership anticipate any layoffs
during this period?
>> Mary: That is a question I'm getting a lot of. I think what I'm
going to say the same thing I said when it was after the last time. Right now we are focusing on what we have in front of us, what we have in front of us is pretty significant. We are trying to understand the impacts, financial impacts that this health crisis will create. Until we know more, we are doing everything we can to safeguard the meaningful work of our staff populations and to say more than that now, would simply be inappropriate because we aren't there yet, we are really looking at the things in front of us and addressing them. I recognize and want to his knowledge the concern that causes people to ask that question. To let you know we are trying our very best to understand what the implications of this will be and when we know, we will be out to people
as soon as possible. Until then, we have been very consistently supportive of our workforce and we are going to continue to do that.
>> Hei: Thank you. Will important campus infrastructure construction continued as scheduled or even sooner? Seems like a great time to work, get work done while the population is down with construction workers in trade areas have been laid off all winter and
are eager to get to work.
>> Rick: This is Rick, we are keeping the construction project we
have, I would love to get more work done. I think to Mary's remark is now on financial impacts, we are kind of trying to play this thing smart so we don't spend a whole lot on capital that we might later regret. I totally agree, this is a great time to get work done provided we can do it with social distance and do it safely for the individuals involved. We are in the process of evaluating everything we have in the work queue right now. We will be making some decisions whether we proceed or defer project by project.
>> Hei: Thank you. When making decisions regarding summer programs,
will decisions be made as a whole University working each program deciding what can happen if the campus is open?
>> Joel: I'll take a stab at that. These are discussions that are
beginning to be held, the reality is the number of programs at least in the early part of the summer, we don't have the luxury of waiting a long time. I think the answer to your question is, that decision, should it be made would it be a central leadership decision that will apply broadly across the University.
>> Ryan: I would second that Joel, that folks can expect a decision on that to give clarity for the folks doing important work in the summer.
>> Hei: Thank you. This is a question really saved in the first
COVID-19 form, how many students remain at Attica and how many have an exemption of being housed and where?
>> Ryan: We don't have the benefit of knowing how many students stayed with us off-campus, we don't know that information. They are renting private rentals throughout the city and the town, the villages that surround. We are benefiting from hard data on that. Anecdotally what I'm hearing is that very few students have chosen to remain
now. I think that is gradually weighed down especially in the off-campus space over the last week or so. I think initially, many of you probably have heard the same number of students indicated they were planning to stay and hang out and is a and do this and we even saw that a little bit in the community. But as this has progressed and number of states have taken stronger action, I think the number of students remaining in Ithaca off-campus has weaned. As far as on-campus we did make exceptions for students who as I mentioned before aren't able to get home or have a suitable home environment to go back to. Those numbers are still sifting out a little bit because we gave students until this coming weekend to finalize that. But we do think we will end up in a little over three percent of the undergraduate population remaining in residence halls
on campus. Right now, those students are where they were. In fact, the
residence halls are not very dense at all right now, they are spread all
around campus. Just depending on where they were living at the time. We have no immediate plans to do any kind of mask consolidation, we think there is some benefit to in large part, keeping most of them where they are to promote the aforementioned social distancing that is regularly talked about. I'm sure and appreciates it. We may have to do some shuffling around but at this point, we don't have any mask consolidation plans.
>> Hei: Thank you. I am wondering if the University has any plans to encourage people to self disclose if they have the coronavirus. I know that it is a strict thing for individuals, but given HIPPA, what else do we have? If it became socially acceptable and people were supportive.
>> Joel: Let me start and if I may, and this could be something you
may address. We as a university need to be very cognizant of privacy rules. We also need to be cognizant of the primary role that the Tompkins County health Department has and for those of our staff who live in other counties there respective public health departments. Given all of that, there are limitations as to what Cornell can or should be doing.
>> Anne: Yes, I have also heard this question and have been a part of discussions around the question that I think is underline questions like this which is how do we know whether the community is safe if we know there are positive cases, what steps are being taken to ensure that the appropriate contact investigations are being done. How do we know if I, myself or if an individual should be concerned. I think that those are very important questions because in this pandemic situation, as we have been saying this hour, this is a community effort to get through together. Those anxieties and concerns are valid. Also, I can speak
from experience that we have had close partnership with the Tompkins County health Department and the New York State health Department. If very careful and meticulous contact tracings are done and each and every case. Those involved several components to ensure that every single person who might have been exposed to a positive case is then identified and given instructions and protections to ensure that they and their families are safe. That is done with interviews with the individuals themselves, who are tested positive and then reviews that are done
especially with the healthcare facilities that were involved in caring
for them. We review the tracings to ensure that we have at every single
point, every person who may have been exposed, then identified. The Tompkins County health Department then conducts careful interviews with each of those individuals to then assess their risk using CDC criteria to determine what level of risk someone may be in, what kinds of efforts like quarantine, testing or isolation may be appropriate. In addition, the Tompkins County health Department will follow normal public health practice which is that if an individual is known to have been in a public setting, that would and have, had a situation where individuals wouldn't have been or would have been at risk but may not know their names, those sorts of steps are taken, sometimes what that means is specific outreach to the areas, sometimes what it means is a public listing of places where an individual was so the community members could come forward and identify themselves to the Tompkins County health Department. All of those steps are being taken to ensure community members are identified
and I think that it would give hopefully, some reassurance that the
community is being taken care of by those public health measures.
>> Hei: Thank you. Is it up to individual units at Cornell central
services to provide sanitizing spray, whites for day-to-day use for essential employees reporting to work on campus. What if we can't source those supplies?
>> Rick: I will take a crack at that one, I don't see any wells leaping forward. That is the approach, that the units are responsible for that. I know we are running into some back courting situations on materials, I would say if you have specific needs that you can identify to the IMT and Frank can help you get to the closest member on there. We have been looking at sharing resources.
>> Mary: I was going to add, if you are on campus in an essential role and you don't feel you have the safeguards that you need, you should
first start by elevating that the room door leadership team. If you don't feel like you're getting what you need, then let us know. Either go up through your channels, let me know, let someone know so that we can respond. It is a difficult time and there is a lot of moving parts, there may not be everything may not be where we need it exactly when we need it. If we find out the intention is to safeguard everyone, I think I feel very confident in saying that I believe the Cornell community realizes that we all have the best interest of everyone in our community at heart. If something isn't quite right, it isn't because it is of any intention, it is because we may have missed something. Tell us and that is how we can respond.
>> Hei: Thank you. We currently see 18 confirmed COVID-19 cases in
Tompkins County, can you speak to the impact on Cornell University community?
>> Joel: Let me address that, it is a chance to again, make sure all of you are aware of our coronavirus website. It is accessible from the
main what we call the panel space on Cornell.edu which is continually
updated with a lot of really important information, I should say that as we hear from more with specific questions, we are trying to utilize our growing FAQ to make sure that questions we hear most about we are able to provide answers in a timely fashion. One of the things that you will note at the bottom of that website is specifically, I will call it a tally of positive confirmed cases in our Ithaca campus community. That is a number that we continually update and it is certainly not going to go into great detail in terms of identifying. But we do recognize that it is top of mind for all of us to really get a sense about the extent that this virus has reached our campus community. Needless to say, we feel fortunate, certainly compared to our friends and colleagues in New
York City. We are grateful that our numbers in the county are where they
are, but that isn't to say that we all have a role in ensuring that number doesn't get too high.
>> Mary: I don't want to get over my skis so I will say something and the doctor Jones will correct me if I am wrong. One of the things I think for us to be proud of is the fact that our state frankly and our community has been active in testing and so when you test, you are going to find more positive cases so again, I don't want to get over my skis. I'm going to ask Anne if she can speak to that a bit.
>> Anne: Sure, yes, absolutely agreed. That the goal here is to
discover if there is community spread in the way we do that is by testing our community. When we test more, we will be finding more. That is where the public health infrastructure and approach becomes vitally important. As we find more and as we conduct or the Tompkins County health Department conducts the contact tracings, we begin to learn more about exactly how the virus is spreading, how quickly it is spreading and in what ways we can modify and adapt our knowledge about the virus and that the public health community can do so in conjunction with the scientific community who is doing research on this virus all the time.
24/7 to learn as much as possible to then get back to the treatment of our community, what we have seen in the last few weeks is change in criteria on a weekly basis, sometimes even on an every few databases that has widened and expanded the criteria for testing in such a way that we can capture and learn more about this virus over time. We and the healthcare industry both at Cornell health and in our partners in the Ithaca medical community and in the state and across the nation has been
actively adopting the calls as they come out so we can learn more about the virus.
>> Joel: If I can add comments a chance to call out the really
impressive planning and preparations that are being led, not just by the
health department here in Thompson's County but by the medical center and
they want to throw into the mix as well the amazing efforts that Frank who is here on our meeting has been spearheading to make sure that the
medical center is getting from Cornell and from our campus community, some much needed equipment so that we are ready should the countywide cases get to a far higher number. Amazing examples of public service of
leadership in all corners of our greater community.
>> Hei: Thank you. As we learn more about COVID-19 and things change, could there be any further adjustments to HAP that provide more support to staff who cannot work remotely? When will Cornell know and be able to share information about folks you might have to be furloughed?
>> Mary: Understandable question. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, right now with only a few exceptions, we have been able to keep people on pay. It is a reasonable and understandable question that people have about how long we can do that if they are not working. We are looking at our situation right now with the best interests of our community in mind and when we have something that we are ready to share, we will absolutely share it. I appreciate the question, we did add the 10 days that have been helpful to people. I recognize it doesn't in every case, go all the way. That is why we have been slow to change
anything that is or has an impact on the broad workforce community. We will stay in touch with you as we learn more.
>> Hei: Thank you. How can staff help to support students who are not on campus with the broad support and resources available to them at home. Are the new digital opportunities to volunteer for those of us who may not work with student services. Who may wish to help.
>> Ryan: Thank you for the question, I appreciate everyone's
willingness to help and support the students from afar as well as those
that are here. Our team has put together some virtual programming
resource tips and I can get the link out distributed to one of the
subsequent messages. To the extent that your work or unit might be able to offer something to our student population virtually, that would be
wonderful. I would encourage folks to think very creatively and work with a team that surrounds you, your supervisors, colleagues to think about how you might translate the work you do and to support students at a distance if it is students supporting student service type work. Please continue to do that, we will put a website out on the students office page with tips. We are going to start collecting information and sharing as much as possible. Some of the more obvious places that have started this and I can't thank them enough our fitness center who did a virtual some kind of fitness thing, I don't unfortunately do a lot of fitness but it was something online with hundreds of participants with fitness instructors in their living room. Leading the session online so there's great ways we can engage students near and far.
>> Joel: I will add many of us in my division included have a number of student employees. We are doing all we can especially for those who have federal work-study requirements to maintain as robust employment space for them as possible. I think it is important we continue to make those efforts.
>> Hei: Thank you. I'm getting a lot of comments, people having
appreciation for the form and the opportunity to engage. I wanted to put
that out there. Another question we have received, for central staff, will they get any kind of additional compensation for coming to work as
there are staff that are getting paid to stay home while others are putting themselves at risk by coming in.
>> Mary: Thank you for the question, we have received that before.
I understand the sentiment behind it. What I would say is that right now, what I am most gratified by is the community focus of our staff and
faculty on all people. I think there is a great awareness on part of the
entire workforce that we are going through something we have never been
through before. I am just so appreciative of the generosity and spirit that we have seen across this whole campus. We will look at all aspects of how we move forward and together. As soon as we have something to share, of course we will. My real message is to thank everyone for the
fact that I just have been, the outpouring of generosity and support for one another has been overwhelming.
>> Hei: Thank you. What recommendations do you have for technical staff whose primary and vital roles are for campus. They can't refer
primary tests remotely and want to feel like they're making a contribution to be part of the University and have some comfort knowing their roles remain paramount during this challenging time. I recommended remote training as well. Could be challenging to pursue this 39
hours a week for 18 months, are there other avenues to explore?
>> Mary: This is a great question, when we began we were hoping we would get a sense of what the projects were that need additional help and we still are hoping that that will be the case. What we are finding is that the best way to be sure you are continuing to contribute in a way that makes you feel good and proud is to ask your supervisor, let them know that you have capacity to be of assistance. Then move that up the chain until you can find something that you can do, that is not going to work in every single case but it is working in many cases. I just want to step back and say, that I understand that both two things are going on there. One, is really the desire to make sure people want to contribute and that you want to be a valuable member during this changing time. Also, underline, it is a fear that you may be not fully occupied and
therefore, vulnerable. We understand that. We also know that those who are not fully, that is not your fault, that's not happening because of
anything you did. This is the time we are in. We are evolving our
understanding about how to move forward and we are evolving that together. If you have got some time and you want to contribute, please let your supervisor know. Move it up the chain and we will do the best we can with that.
>> Rick: Maybe, we already have the gig advertisements that we have
been working on. The better part of the last year. Everybody has been in the thick of it for now but as things settle down and we sort out how long this is going to go on, that may be an opportunity for people who have projects that could be done remotely to let others know about.
>> Mary: Thank you, Rick. I should have said that. Thank you very
much for that, the eight. We are getting there, we were further along in
doing that when we were at a 50 percent work remotely and then we got a step backwards when we got to 75 and now another setback when we got to 100. We do have people in HR that are working on that, thank you Rick.
>> Hei: Thank you, how many exemptions are being made for faculty
and staff to return for instruction?
>> Joel: Let me take a stab at it, I along with some of my colleagues participating in the very regular meetings that the Provost convened with all of our deans. We are similar to what we have talked about in terms of staff, desires to go back to campus. We are trying to minimize the exemptions for faculty while recognizing that some exemptions are absolutely critical especially for those members of our faculty who don't have access to Internet at home. Those exemptions must be granted by a teen with consultation with the Provost, I don't have specific numbers except to say that all are approaching this with the proper level of seriousness while recognizing, we need to have successful
>> Hei: Thank you. Are we monitoring the changes we are making and how we work, teach, learn to identify best practices in order to make our work and learning more flexible to situations like this? If possible, can you provide an example, one thing we might consider adopting in
order to make life less disruptive to the educational experience in the
>> Adam: I think that will have to be our last question because we are at 1:00.
>> Mary: I'm going to take a stab at this to say that is a huge question. Actually, one that is being discussed across the country. I think we are learning about how to do things differently. Both Andy and instruction but also regular work. I will give you one very specific thing. I find that meetings we conduct on zoom are way more efficient. I think they go quicker and are much more focused, I find it a great tool to use and it saves travel time. It is a small one, but a lot of us are using it right now and I personally intend to keep it because I really like it. I will turn this back to Adam and hopefully, just a quick couple more.
>> Joel: Let me add another advantage of zoom Mary, is to see you
with a diaper changing station behind you. That is a side of you I haven't seen before.
>> Mary: And the Red Sox.
>> Adam: I want to mention a few things and I will kick it over to Mary to close. I want to thank you all, all of our panelists so much for your time and your leadership here today. We really appreciate it. I also want to thank Matt, Gina for facilitating this as well. Gina and Wendy with the office of assemblies, thank you for your efforts in setting this up both the last one and this one. Again, thank you all so much, we absolutely appreciate your leadership and your taking time to answer questions. Mary, I will leave it to you to say a few things and close us up.
>> Mary: I will say a couple of things and don't hang up because I want to give you your hopefully, your smile for the day before we close. First of all, if you have the wherewithal to do it consider ordering takeout from our food establishments that are downtown, they could use your support. They are doing really amazing things. I know you can't do that all the time, but if you have the ability to do it, consider doing so. Thank you for the fact that we can't answer all of your questions
but you ask them anyway. That is the best way for us as a community to stay together, when we first started talking about this virus doctor Jones talked to us about what it meant to have a novel coronavirus, it means it is something we hadn't seen before. We when we are in circumstances that we haven't experienced before, it means the playbooks we have, have to be adjusted. We appreciate your patience. As we do
that, now hopefully I can do this so that you have something to leave on a good note. Let's see if this works. No. It didn't work, when I do that on other zoom meetings my adorable five month old grandson face, a big face comes up. I will be thinking about you, find your joy where you can and thank you for coming.
>> Adam: Thank you everyone, stay safe and healthy.
>> Take care thank you for doing this, we appreciate it.
>> Thank you all for participating.