Updates

Colleagues,

Ninety-three days ago we began walking on a new road. We announced an extended spring break for students, sent them home for remote learning, and began working from home ourselves. It’s been 93 days since we waved at each other across the Canyon Commons or stopped for a hello as we passed in a hallway. For some, it’s been 93 days of balancing professional responsibilities with homeschooling our grade-school children, or caring for elderly parents. Regardless of our individual circumstances, it’s been 93 days of uncertainty, of worry, of loneliness, of anticipation.

We have walked this road together even from the isolation of our own homes. We have all learned how to make decisions from a new framework, how to stay physically and mentally healthy, how to pursue community in new ways.

And now it’s time for us to walk another road together the road where we thoughtfully return to campus and teaching sites in July and August to prepare for the important work of welcoming our students back to George Fox. 

Some of you will be elated at the idea of returning to the office, while others will be anxious about your own health and how returning could affect your loved ones. There are a few important things to remember as we take steps forward:

First, our campus will look and feel very different from what you are used to, so please do not expect to return to “business as normal.” In May, we established a COVID Operations Team (COT), and they’re working now to ensure the health of our community within each workspace.

Second, we are reopening together. This is a time to assume positive intent of those around us, to offer grace to each other, and to understand we all approach this from a different perspective. Remember, we share this in common: A desire to serve our students well.

Third, there will be significant details and information shared with you prior to our return to on-campus work. We know there will be questions about childcare, returning to campus if you’ve successfully worked from home, concerns about pre-existing conditions, questions about operations on campus. We will have answers to all of those questions. Here is what I can tell you right now:

  • We are currently in Wave 1 of our return-from-home plan. Wave 2 begins on July 1 and will include 50 to 75 percent of employees who are on contract returning to the office, which will be communicated by supervisors in consultation with vice presidents. There is likely to be a staggering of remote and on-campus work in Wave 2.
  • Supervisors will receive resources today to begin conducting a thorough evaluation of their teams’ workspaces to develop new standard operating procedures to keep employees safe.
  • All employees and supervisors will be required to complete a training on workplace safety before they return to campus.

We are preparing to share information on all these topics and more in the coming days and weeks. A few final details:

  • Please send the COT your suggestions, questions and concerns through this form
  • We will accommodate childcare and medical consideration. You can address the former with your supervisor and the latter with Human Resources.
  • This website will be regularly updated with new information. Please also read your email and Daily Bruin for updates.

Lean into grace and remember we will navigate this road together as Bruins.

 

In Christ,

Nichole Drew
Executive Director of Human Resources

Colleagues,

Even in the midst of uncertainty and change, our community has continued to step forward as they always do to deliver our mission to students. And while we cannot predict how the COVID pandemic may continue to change our course, we continue to prepare for a fall semester that is robust with learning as well as spiritual and personal growth. We are so excited to welcome our faculty and staff back to campus to begin this new year.

Since we announced our intent to return to campus for in-person classes, the response from the majority of students has been positive and enthusiastic. Students have told us they highly value the in-person experience, even with significant alterations to reduce risk. As we prepare for a new academic year, we acknowledge that our employees are approaching the semester with a range of needs, concerns and emotions, but together we can create as safe an environment as possible and still serve our students well. 

Keeping our campus safe and healthy

George Fox has invested significant resources into preparing health and safety precautions to keep our community well. The most recent precaution we’ve incorporated is asking all students, where it is possible, to self-quarantine for a minimum of seven days before returning to campus, whether they will live in residential housing or off campus.

We’ve also created the required spacing for students in classrooms, erected barriers for high-traffic and common areas, reduced student housing capacity, staggered and scheduled move-in times for students, enhanced and increased cleaning protocols, and instituted a mandatory face covering policy for all indoor locations and outdoors when physical distancing is not feasible. George Fox will provide all employees and students with a reusable mask, but we recommend that you provide a few of your own for backup and cleaning. We will provide hand sanitizer for common spaces but also recommend bringing a small bottle for your private desk space.

We’ve created signage and instruction throughout campus reminding us all to remain vigilant in doing all that we can to continue to slow the spread. That includes:

  • Wearing a face covering in public

  • Washing your hands regularly

  • Practicing physical distancing

  • Monitoring your health and staying home when sick

  • Avoiding others who are sick, and

  • Getting tested if you are experiencing symptoms or think you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19

All employees should download and use CampusClear daily

We are asking all employees and students to download the CampusClear free app to use for your required daily COVID symptom screening. Employees can download the app here. This app will help us all monitor our health, and it will provide you with next steps and advice if you develop symptoms or have concerns. Protection of your personal health information is a top priority, and all data will be treated in a secure and confidential manner. Please use your georgefox.edu email address to sign up and complete your self-check every day you plan to be on campus.

Addressing adjustments in the workplace

We understand that, for some employees, physically returning to work is complicated, and some employees may need an adjustment. If employees are experiencing childcare disruptions, live with high-risk individuals, or are worried about returning to campus for any reason, the university will do its best to be flexible. While some positions have some flexibility in the delivery of the job responsibilities, not all do. Adjustments in work need to be developed in consultation with Executive Deans or supervisors and approved by the associated vice president. Please work with your supervisor if you have reason to request an adjustment in the delivery method of your work and if you believe you can still perform your job functions remotely. If you cannot reach resolution with your supervisor or academic dean, you may escalate your concerns to HR.

Adjustments to the delivery of your work because of concerns or logistical challenges is not the same thing as an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA prevents employers from discriminating against employees and job applicants who have mental and physical impairments that limit major life activities. If you have a protected condition under the ADA, you should work directly with HR to discuss accommodations.

We go forward together

We cannot wait to welcome students to campus. Although we may come to campus with different levels of comfort and views about the virus, we hold this in common: We are Bruins, and we’ll navigate the road ahead together. We’re working hard to keep our employees and students safe as we seek to transform lives and educate and inspire students to pursue God's calling. We know that our success in keeping COVID-19 off our campus largely will depend upon the actions taken by all of us collectively. We hope you will join us in working together to take care of ourselves and each other by committing to the Bruin Pledge.

You can find the most up-to-date information about our preparations on our Life on Campus page. We encourage you to contact HR or the Covid Operations Team with any questions or concerns you have that are not addressed on the resource page. Lean into grace and remember we will navigate this road together as Bruins.

 

George Fox Human Resources

Icon of a person and a thermometer

Daily self-screening app

Employees are asked to complete daily self-screening through the #CampusClear App before entering classrooms, buildings, or offices.

COVID Concern and Reporting Form

The university has created a COVID Concern and Reporting Form as a resource to monitor COVID-19 cases on campus.

Employees should use this form to:

  • Notify the COVID Response Team (CRT) that a student is showing symptoms or has told them of a positive case
  • Submit concerns about a student, employee, or group of students that are not being compliant with university guidelines
  • Notify CRT that they have tested positive

COVID Concern & Reporting Form

This form will require you to log in with your George Fox email account.

COVID-19 Remote Employment Guidance

Remote employment refers to an arrangement where an employee works from home or other location away from the usual workplace. Depending on the details of the arrangement, remote employment constitutes either a portion of the employee’s work time or all of it.

This guidance applies to time periods when the university deems remote work necessary in light of the coronavirus situation. The university reserves the right to revoke the arrangements approved under it at any time, based on the university’s sole discretion. 

Supervisors are responsible for determining if an employee’s essential responsibilities may be performed remotely. Supervisors have discretion in deciding whether an employee is a candidate for remote work and what portion of his or her work (type of work and/or amount of work time) can be done remotely. Some employees may not be eligible due to their specific job requirements, their absence’s impact on a team, required equipment or tools, physical space limitations for remote work, performance concerns, and/or other relevant factors. All remote work arrangements require VP approval. 

Performance and Conduct Expectations of Remote-Working Employees 

A remotely working employee is expected to account for all time worked and to take appropriate sick time, vacation time, or leave (paid or unpaid) to account for time spent away from normal work-related duties (e.g., to care for dependents or family members, in the event of illness, etc.).

Non-exempt (hourly) employees should follow their regular work schedules, unless their supervisor(s) have approved a deviation in advance. Non-exempt (hourly) employees must record all hours of work accurately in the George Fox timekeeping application.

  • Supervisor(s) or human resources may ask exempt employees to keep track of their work hours, if such tracking is deemed necessary. In such situations, more guidance will be provided about how to track work hours.

Employees working remotely are responsible for the same performance and conduct expectations, including communications between supervisors and employees whom they supervise, that pertain to normal business operations.

  • Employees working remotely should be available during their scheduled hours and should make every attempt to be responsive via email, phone or video. Visit this link for instructions on how to connect your George Fox extension to your computer. 
  • Employees working remotely should conduct meetings using Google Hangouts, Zoom or other appropriate technology options.

An employee should always have a sufficient amount of work to perform throughout the workday when he or she works remotely. An employee working remotely who does not have enough work should notify his or her supervisor so that more work can be assigned, if possible. Supervisors should consult with HR with any questions relating to this provision.

Employees who do not meet performance or conduct expectations may be subject to discipline pursuant to relevant university policies, including but not limited to, the removal of remote working privileges, in consultation with supervisors and HR. 

The following are expectations of supervisors:

  • Supervisors must continue to be responsible for managing remotely working employees’ performance and conduct, consistent with normal business operations.
  • Supervisors will be required to implement protocols to ensure they are appropriately managing employees’ work performance and productivity, including regular check-ins and communications. 
  • Supervisors should continue to monitor and keep their university leadership apprised in a timely manner about relevant information such as work levels of employees, changes, operational needs or challenges, concerns, etc.
  • Supervisors are expected to notify HR for assistance when there are potential performance or conduct concerns about remotely working employees.

University Property and Data Security

Reasonable steps must be taken to ensure that university property is used in compliance with university policies and requirements during remote work. This includes complying with all software licensing agreements. The security and confidentiality of university records must also be maintained, and employees must comply with all applicable laws and policies, including, but not limited to, FERPA. 

Workers’ Compensation 

Employees who work remotely are covered by workers’ compensation for job-related injuries that occur in the course and scope of employment. When the remote work site is in the home, workers’ compensation does not cover injuries that are not job related.

Frequently Asked Questions

Coming Back to Campus

Some teams may work in rotations at the office and at home, while others will be able to accommodate a full return to office work. We are offering flexibility with remote work through the coronavirus pandemic, understanding that offices need to be open and operational for students. We understand there may be childcare constraints or other circumstances that may require a flexible work arrangement; please communicate with your supervisor. 

Time Off

  • All regular sick and vacation policies apply May 1st going forward. We will no longer offer negative sick accruals. 

  • Sick leave is only available for employees who are sick or on a protected leave.  Please follow procedures in your department to request sick or vacation time.

  • It is supervisors' responsibility to validate time logged and appropriate codes are used by employees. Please discuss any discrepancies you see before the timesheet is locked for payroll. During this time, logging time off may not be a top priority, but please take the few moments needed to ensure accuracy. 

An employee may request protected leave for the following reasons:

  • A serious health condition as defined by federal or state law.

  • Caring for a covered family member who has a serious medical condition as defined by federal or state law.

  • An underlying disability (medical condition) that requires accommodation under federal or state law.

  • Dependent child’s school or childcare provider is unavailable. One parent may take protected leave at a time as defined by Oregon’s Family Leave Act.

 

An employee who needs to request a protected leave or accommodation can initiate that request with the Benefit and Leave Administrator, Aga Luptak, in Human Resources.

We understand anxieties are heightened right now and want to work with our employees to ensure they feel safe at work. Many cautionary measures are being taken, and we are eager for additional ideas. Employees with an approved leave or accommodation due to childcare considerations or a pre-existing health condition will be permitted to work remotely or use paid leave. 

We are offering flexibility with remote work through the coronavirus pandemic, understanding that offices need to be open and operational for students. Please speak with your supervisor if you would like to be considered for a partially remote schedule.

Health & Safety

You should immediately return to your place of residence and self-quarantine, until you safely can be transported to a medical center. 

  • If you have a positive COVID-19 viral (PCR) test, you should remain at your place of residence for at least 10 days after illness onset and 24 hours after the fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.

    • If you have a positive or suspected positive COVID-19 test, you report your status through the CampusClear app and notify the university by filling out a COVID-19 reporting form.
       
    • If an employee tests positive, contact tracing will occur and any individuals who have come in direct and sustained contact with the infected individual will also be tested. Affected individuals should self-quarantine.

  • If you have a negative viral test – and if you have had multiple tests, and all tests are negative – you should remain at your place of residence until 24 hours after the fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.

  • If you do not undergo COVID-19 testing, you should remain at your place of residence until 24 hours after your fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.
Any faculty, staff or student known to have been exposed to COVID-19 (e.g., by a household member, roommate) within the preceding 14 days should stay in their place of residence and follow instructions from the local public health authority. Close contact is defined as closer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes without a face covering.

Any faculty, staff or student known to have been in close contact with someone who has COVID-19 (e.g., by a household member, roommate) within the preceding 14 days should stay in their place of residence and follow instructions from the local public health authority.

Close contact is defined as closer than six feet for more than 15 minutes without a face covering. During self-quarantine, employees should develop a remote work plan with their supervisor, if job responsibilities can be met in remote work. Employees may also use paid time off they have available.

Please immediately report your test result through the COVID Concern and Reporting Form, and notify your supervisor and HR. If you have a positive COVID-19 viral (PCR) test, you should remain at your place of residence for at least 10 days after illness onset and 24 hours after the fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.

If an employee tests positive, contact tracing will occur and any individuals who have come in direct and sustained contact with the infected individual will also be tested. Affected individuals should self-quarantine.

Any individual who has been tested for COVID but hasn’t yet received results should remain quarantined until test results are received, and monitor their health symptoms. Be sure to answer any calls you receive, as a public health worker will contact you with results.

During the time employees are quarantined, employees should develop a remote work plan with their supervisor and approve it through the associated vice president, if job responsibilities can be met in remote work. Employees may also use paid time off they have available.

  • If you have a positive COVID-19 viral test, you should remain at your place of residence for at least 10 days after illness onset and 24 hours after the fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving. You must be medically cleared before returning to campus. 

    • If you have a positive or suspected positive COVID-19 test, you report your status through the CampusClear app and notify the university by filling out a COVID-19 reporting form.
       
    • If an employee tests positive, contact tracing will occur and any individuals who have come in direct and sustained contact with the infected individual will also be tested. Affected individuals should self-quarantine.

  • If you have a negative viral test – and if you have had multiple tests, and all tests are negative – you should remain at your place of residence until 24 hours after the fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.

  • If you do not undergo COVID-19 testing, you should remain at your place of residence until 24 hours after your fever is gone, without use of fever-reducing medicine, and other symptoms are improving.

  • Any faculty, staff or student known to have been exposed to COVID-19 (e.g., by a household member, roommate) within the preceding 14 days should stay in their place of residence and follow instructions from the local public health authority.

The identity of individuals who are positive for COVID-19 will be kept confidential within George Fox. However, health officials may ask individuals who test positive to share names of those with whom they have been in sustained close contact for contact tracing purposes.

Any individuals who have come in direct and sustained contact with the infected individual will be contacted by public health officials. Employee names and other identifying information will not be shared during the contact tracing process.

Public health officials will follow up with anyone who has had direct and prolonged contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
In the interest of safety for the entire campus community, we are asking that employees download the CampusClear app to use for your required daily COVID symptom screen. You can download the app here for iPhone and here for Android, which will help us all monitor our health. Protection of your personal health information is a top priority and all data will be treated in a secure and confidential manner.
Please work with your supervisor and Human Resources to develop a plan that will help you feel safe in your work environment.
If you are working alone in your office or cubicle, you are not required to wear a face covering. If you are in a personal workspace that is separated from others by a minimum of six feet or barriers (e.g. a cubicle), you are not required to wear a mask. If you have invited someone into your office or workspace and are not separated by six feet, you both must wear a mask.

Those who need medical exemption to the policy should contact Human Resources.
Face coverings will be supplied to all employees and students prior to the fall semester. Employees are welcome to supply additional PPE that helps them feel safe.
You should speak with your manager and Human Resources regarding your needs. Under the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), if you have a pregnancy-related impairment, which may include examples such as a high-risk pregnancy, gestational diabetes, or preeclampsia, and that disability substantially limits a major life activity, you may receive a reasonable accommodation at work.
Employees are encouraged to utilize childcare services as available. Please address these concerns with your supervisor to determine if a flexible accommodation can be made. If an employee cannot effectively work from home and needs to be excused from regular responsibilities, they may utilize protected leave and paid time off policies by contacting Human Resources.
We can’t require it, but to keep our community safe, we ask that all employees who have been confirmed to have COVID-19, or have been exposed to someone who does, complete the COVID Concerns and Reporting Form.

Contact

Leave and Accommodation Requests

Aga Luptak

Aga Luptak

Benefits and Leave Administrator

503-554-2181

aluptak@georgefox.edu

General HR Questions or Concerns

Nichole Drew

Nichole Drew

Executive Director of Human Resources

Title IX Coordinator, Employees

503-554-2182

ndrew@georgefox.edu

General University-Related Questions About COVID-19

Bill Buhrow

, PsyD

Dean of Student Services

Director, Health and Counseling Services

Licensed Psychologist

Specialties & Research Areas: College Student Mental Health, Integration, Marriage, Trauma

503-554-2340

bbuhrow@georgefox.edu

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