Dear Colleagues,

I trust you are well. The campus remains unnaturally quiet, and I look forward to all of us being back together safely soon.

I write to you today to share the results of the Working Group for a Return to Campus as it relates to the return of staff to the workplace. Their efforts were conscientious and wise, and we appreciate their commitment to our well-being as well the well-being of our college. Since our priority is the return of students for the fall term, we will continue to operate remotely for Summer School II, and there will be no residential academic or athletics camps. Limiting our on-campus activities through the summer will give us the opportunity to bring staff back slowly and in a way that will create levels of comfort, confidence and acclimation.

Let me assure you that we understand that the addition and rotation of staff will be a gradual process, determined by vice presidents and their managers. Flexibility and accommodation should continue to govern our practices in this regard as we move toward full staffing before students return in August.

Return to Work Guidelines

In consultation with guidelines from the American Campus Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Working Group for a Return to Campus has developed standards to ensure the health and safety of all Wofford College employees as we return to work. This plan is determined by data and will be implemented beginning on June 1 with an eye on declining COVID-19 cases and percentages in South Carolina as well as projections for the future as reported by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The following minimum standards adopted by the president’s cabinet represent best practices including recommendations of the working group commissioned by President Nayef Samhat and comprised of representatives from across campus.

Returning to work should happen in organized phases for the first four weeks (beginning on June 1). Offices should limit staffing so that initially only 30 to 50% of employees are working at the same time in the same space. Some offices may require even smaller numbers based upon social distancing. Area vice presidents and managers should determine an appropriate schedule and staffing structure that helps employees feel increasingly secure while building office functionality over time. All employees are required to complete a return to work form that will be sent out by Human Resources later today, prior to returning to work. Employees who are at highest risk, have extenuating family needs or are fully able to complete work remotely may talk with their supervisors or human resources about continued remote work.

Social Distancing should be maintained at a minimum of 6 ft. In an office environment, that means a separation of desks in non-private offices and limiting usage of common work areas. Meetings unable to adhere to this standard should go online.

Cloth facemasks will be required and provided. These masks need not be worn at desks or in private offices. Facemasks should be worn in interactions with the public and in groups and always when social distancing is not possible. We recommend wearing them when you are walking across campus as well. For the proper way to wear masks, visit the CDC site.

Hygiene should become a priority. Employees should follow CDC guidelines for handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer when soap and water are unavailable.

Facilities staff will clean and disinfect areas using CDC-recommended materials on a daily basis. Individual offices may choose to take responsibility for conducting more frequent cleaning of high-touch spaces following CDC standards.

Visitors should be limited in the initial phase of return to work.

COVID-19 virus continues to evolve, and our policies and plans will be updated as appropriate and as more information becomes available.

Again, thank you for your commitment to Wofford College during this almost incomprehensible time. We will make it through this together.

Stay well!