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FIU to transition to remote work starting Monday

FIU to transition to remote work starting Monday

Update No. 17

March 15, 2020 at 3:18pm

  • FIU is transitioning to remote work on Monday
  • Libraries and other services will close
  • Remaining on-campus residents are encouraged to go home

Dear members of the university community:

Based on the escalating coronavirus pandemic, and for the benefit of the entire community, FIU will transition to temporary remote work for as many roles as possible beginning on Monday March 16, through at least April 4. Certain employees will be required to be on campus, as we will continue to support our academic and research enterprise as well as other university functions during this time.

This comes on the heels of last week’s transition to remote learning. Students and faculty will continue their academic work remotely until at least April 4. All on-and off-campus events and athletic competitions scheduled to take place through April 4 are canceled as well.

All of these measures are designed to promote social distancing, which experts say is central to preventing the spread of disease. This is a dynamic situation; it is important that you continue to stay alert to updates on the FIU coronavirus website.

It is important to note that there are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in the FIU community. However, we have been advised that a member of the FIU community has a close family member who has tested positive for coronavirus. In an abundance of caution, employees who work with that member of the staff have been asked to self-quarantine. To be clear: the employee has no symptoms and to our knowledge has not been tested.

Remote work

Research conducted by the Division of Human Resources suggests that about 80 percent of faculty and staff are able and equipped to perform their duties remotely at least in the short term.

During this unusual time, it is imperative that supervisors work with each member of their team to confirm the remote work assignment, provide guidance for remote work, and set expectations. The work from home arrangement is to begin Monday to the extent possible. Please avoid coming to campus and if you do, please stay away from others. On Sunday the State of Florida announced 39 new coronavirus cases, which is an indication that the virus is being transmitted through “community spread.”

The expectations during remote work are: 

  • All employees, on-site and working remotely, will fulfill their duties and work hours. 
  • All employees are to remain connected to secured systems during normal working hours and following all university policies related to access, data security, and data confidentiality. Employees should contact ITS for technology-related questions. Contact call 305-348-2284 for assistance. The call center will open at 6 a.m. on Monday only. Regular hours of operations are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • If employees are in roles that do not traditionally accommodate remote work, supervisors are expected to assign other work, projects or professional development that can be performed remotely. The Division of Human Resources will assist in identifying alternative work assignments for these employees.
  • During this period of remote work, employees will avoid travel and are asked to practice social distancing. FIU has imposed travel restrictions for all university-related travel.

Employees who are not able to do their work from home because the work requires their physical presence on campus, will work closely with their supervisors to devise a suitable solution that supports social distancing. Supervisors are encouraged to consider rotating shifts as well as utilizing four-day/10-hour work weeks to provide more options toward the increase of social distancing.

An employee who is unable to work due to a family care emergency may use accrued leave or leave without pay, to account for time away from work, with supervisor’s approval. All employees are still required to submit time through the normal payroll process by the appropriate deadlines. Please look for further information from the Division of Human Resources.

Researchers please consult a dedicated page for additional information. 

Be reminded that the Office of Employee Assistance will remain accessible to our FIU community. Please contact the Division of Human Resources at 305-348-2181 with any questions. 

Library and other campus services

In an effort to promote social distancing, FIU libraries will open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday and Tuesday only to allow students to retrieve any necessary resource materials including laptops, iPads and a limited number of hotspots for students with no means of completing their course work remotely. The due date for material currently checked out will be adjusted based on the university’s schedule.

Effective March 17 at 2 p.m. all libraries will be closed until further notice. Additional limited hours may be announced for the following week.

Likewise, the recreation centers and pools on both campuses will close at 4 p.m. today until further notice.

Limited food options will remain open on both campuses to serve on campus residents who may not be able to go home and the limited number of faculty and staff who will remain on campus. For hours of operations, please visit Shop FIU

All social gathering spaces on campus will be closed until further notice.

Clinical Services

FIU Health and the Student Clinics will remain open for the time being but will only see patients by appointment. The clinics will see students on a hybrid walk-in basis; meaning all patients (students) should call ahead and speak with a provider prior to entering the premises. Again, for the safety and welfare of all, please call ahead.

Contact FIU Student Health Services at 305-348-2401

Faculty, staff and other members of the community may contact FIU Health at 305-348-3627(DOCS). 

On-campus residents

We are asking all residents who are still on campus and have homes within a short drive from campus to make arrangements to go home no later than noon on Monday, March 16. A detailed message is going out to all residential students to clarify expectations of those who remain on campus outlining the additional expectations of social distancing.

International students and others who are not able to secure transportation to go home may remain on campus. Students who remain on campus are expected to practice social distancing. No guests or visitors will be allowed on campus and all social gathering spaces will be closed.

Call center

The FIU Call Center will be open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday. If you have questions, please call 305-348-3481 during those hours.

Please continue consulting the FIU Coronavirus webpage for the latest as well as instructions on how to self-quarantine and other useful links on how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Our frequently asked questions page is updated daily with the latest information on university operations and other important news.

Our Panther family remains strong. Thank you for your patience and support as we work through these unprecedented times. Please stay healthy.