Date: May 11, 2020
To: NMSU-Las Cruces Faculty and Staff
From: Dan Arvizu, Chancellor
John Floros, President
Subject: Planning for Fall 2020
As the spring semester draws to a close, we are taking a moment to reflect on the inspiring way our campus community has responded to this crisis. We successfully achieved a massive and rapid change for the good of our students, our colleagues and our community. This was only possible through the flexibility, compassion, and personal responsibility that you have demonstrated and continue to demonstrate every day. For that and so much more, we continue to be deeply grateful.
Looking to the fall semester, we know there is no going back to normal. We must think in terms of moving forward together, and we must continue to be just as flexible, compassionate and responsible now, as we continue the important work of our land-grant university mission.
As a reminder, you should be collaborating with colleagues and supervisors to plan how to bring your unit back to campus, in phases, and in a way that ensures that your unit is fully able to meet the needs of NMSU. We seek to have a comprehensive draft in place by May 22 in order to set in motion the actions and accommodations necessary to allow a smooth transition into our fall semester. Plan also to pivot when we need to – these plans are not cast in stone, but are a guidepost for us as we navigate the future.
Plans need to be reviewed through your supervisory chain and send to President.Floros@nmsu.edu. While keeping your plans as succinct as possible, please ensure that they address the following key elements:
- A scope of work for your unit
- A list of functions that must take place on campus to support our mission and ones that can successfully support our mission through telework
- A description of the locations for these functions (example: work that takes place at a reception desk or in a single-occupancy office)
- A plan for how you will decide who works from campus and who teleworks
- An assessment of COVID-19 exposure risks, like proximity of staff work areas and exposure to others staff members or the public
- Mitigation plans for each of these risk points, including safety practices such as workspace or schedule modifications, installation of barriers, personal protective equipment recommendations, limiting public access, and training in daily cleaning and disinfection protocols
- A list of triggering events, such as an employee who reports likely exposure to the COVID-19 virus
- Continuity of business plan for the unit following a triggering event
Additional guidance can be found in “NMSU Employee and Administrative Protocols for Return to Campus — Fall 2020” and in the ACHA Guidelines. As you plan, please keep in mind some guiding principles. Your plan should:
- Understand and reduce individuals’ risk at NMSU related to COVID-19
- Support the mission, vision, goals, and values of NMSU LEADS 2025, and
- Protect the health and wellness of the NMSU community and the communities we serve. This means your plan needs to allow for:
- Appropriate distance from or barriers between community members at all times
- Hand washing and sanitizing workspaces and public areas as often as needed
- Requiring that staff stay home when they feel ill
- Supporting our community members who learn and work from home by facilitating remote participation in the NMSU community
- Ongoing assessment of worker exposure risk as conditions change, with help from NMSU’s Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management as needed
If you have any questions, please tune in to Thursday’s Town Hall meeting. As always, you can submit questions at https://president.nmsu.edu/.
Again, we thank you for your commitment to our mission and your tireless work on behalf of New Mexico State University.