- Additional staff to return to campus October 5, 2020
- Download P3 app, familiarize yourself with Panthers Protecting Panthers protocols
Dear faculty and staff,
I have every reason to be optimistic that we can make this our best academic year yet. Yes, this has been a very challenging journey lately – endless and maddening at times. I want to thank you for finding a way to continue the learning process for thousands who believe in us and count on us to help them. We can draw strength from our uplifting response! This is what binds us together – the hope and opportunity that comes with student success and impact research and innovation. Look at what we have accomplished:
We have taught nearly 20,000 courses in the last three semesters, graduated nearly 11,000 students, conducted extensive research on countless subjects, and fostered significant innovation in the search for solutions to these challenges of our times. Throughout, we have managed to limit the spread and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic among us, although there have been impact losses to many of our FIU families and friends. Nonetheless, I remain extremely hopeful about this academic year because of your determination to maintain and enhance our momentum, and your commitment to our FIU and all we stand for.
Following a thorough review and examination of our situation, both here at FIU and in our community, we believe that we can now gradually accelerate the process of repopulating our campuses and sites effective October 5, 2020. Continued adherence to our Panthers Protecting Panthers COVID-19 protocols will be key to a successful repopulation. Our goal is for every office on campus to begin the repopulation process on this date in a manner that facilitates physical distancing. Please look for an invitation to a supervisor's townhall in the next few days.
At FIU, we have had the advice of faculty health experts both near and far. We have taken precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure health and safety while returning to campus.
Actual repopulation will vary by department or unit, depending on the needs of the area, space availability, and the expressed direction of the unit dean or vice president. Each area’s COOP plan will serve as a guide for leaders to determine appropriate staffing levels that ensure adequate physical distancing and attention to sanitary circumstances. You will hear from your department or unit leader soon with details about your area’s specific repopulation plan. Additional resources to assist in a successful repopulation can be found in the Panthers Protecting Panthers Guidelines for Repopulation.
Flexibility has been a guiding value for us since the inception of this pandemic. We remain flexible to help accommodate faculty and staff members who have children still learning remotely or are caregivers for relatives, as well as those who self-identify in a high-risk group. The university’s COVID-19 Emergency Policy offers several options to address unique circumstances including the listing of qualifying Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) addressing childcare provisions associated with COVID-19.
Please remember the basics!
Please understand that we must not let our guards down as we find a way to open even more offices and facilities. Face coverings must be worn everywhere on campus including in restrooms and elevators. You do not need to wear a mask while working alone in your individual office with the door closed or while eating and drinking away from others.
It is imperative that you practice physical distancing of at least 6 feet and wash your hands or use hand sanitizer often. Each day before arriving on campus, please complete the P3 app questionnaire. This helps FIU slow the spread of COVID-19 by flagging anyone with symptoms and requiring they remain off campus or seek medical attention. It also helps our contact tracing teams in the event that someone tests positive for COVID-19.
Also, if you missed the recent webinar on COVID-19 Procedures and Resources: What supervisors need to know to repopulate campus, you can find it on [Develop.fiu.edu]Develop.fiu.edu.
The summary of cases reported to our COVID-19 Response Team is shared every Monday with the university community on the COVID-19 case reporting page.
The FIU Health Faculty Practice is open and performs COVID-19 tests. We encourage all members of the university to get the flu shot as soon as possible. Please call 305-348-3627 for an appointment. COVID-19 testing is also available throughout the community, including a free Miami-Dade County testing site located on the fairgrounds next door to MMC.
All in-person university events on and off campus are still suspended until further notice. Exceptions may be made for events that are tied to student success or research and cannot be done remotely. To request an exemption, please complete the event form. You may reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance.
To facilitate your return, shopFIU locations and campus partners will continue to serve our FIU community. This includes dining locations, Barnes and Noble at FIU and service partners such as Wayki’s Salon (formerly Santi’s), Golden Touch, Ricoh and College Optical. For a complete list of what’s open, hours of operation and information on appointments and reservations, visit shopFIU.
Visitors must make an appointment before arriving on campus and must be escorted while on campus. No visitors are allowed in student housing. Before welcoming a visitor to campus, host members of the FIU community must require visitors to answer the questions asked in the P3 app, and follow the guidelines.
As we increase our physical presence on campus, we will do so in the same manner we have done things since the beginning of the pandemic: carefully and informed by data. We will continue to monitor the case numbers in our university community as well as in South Florida and will adjust our plans as necessary.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your department, unit leader or me directly at email@example.com. I look forward to welcoming all of you back over as we continue our challenge to make this academic year our best yet!
Mark B. Rosenberg