It’s the Week of June 22nd. Here’s What You Need to Know.
As New Mexico begins to slowly and safely re-open, The University of New Mexico and our Health Sciences Center are also working hard to responsibly “Bring Back the Pack” by enacting a comprehensive plan to move our campus back to fully operational status. This week, here’s what you need to know:
- Summer courses, which began on June 1, are being conducted remotely, while some laboratory and research facilities are continuing to carefully ramp up their activities.
- UNM’s Main and Branch campuses are continuing with a daily screening policy for all employees. Employees will receive a daily e-mail inquiring whether they will be working on campus--and if so, checking to see if employees are showing any symptoms of illness.
- To the extent possible, please continue to work remotely. Some faculty and staff will need to return to campus to carry out their functions; please do so in a safe and responsible manner, following worksite protocols.
- Residence Life and Student Housing has issued guidance for the Fall 2020 semester.
- Parking enforcement has resumed its normal summer schedule.
- Lobo Athletics has issued guidance for the Lobo football home opener at Dreamstyle Stadium on August 29.
- The Fall 2020 instructional schedule maintains the same start and end dates for the term, and the same number of instructional days as required by our regional accreditor—but will spread the two fall break days out over early October and early November, including making election day a non-instructional day. We also end in-person instruction just before Thanksgiving. Finals will take place from December 7 through December 12.
- Social distancing and the use of masks continue to be required whenever individuals are working or spending any time around others.
- To help slow the spread of infection, we are continuing with our policy of self-reporting either symptoms of or a positive test for COVID-19.
- We’re also constantly updating our Frequently Asked Questions as new questions arrive.
* this content will change regularly
Phasing Our Return to Full Operations
From June 1, 2020 until approximately the middle of July, UNM will be developing a comprehensive design for Bringing Back the Pack in Fall 2020. During this early summer phase, a limited group of individuals will be permitted to return to campus to start up critical functions and to support Fall planning. Services will continue to be available remotely, buildings will largely remain locked, and campus access will remain limited. Yet, our campuses will be forging the tools for protecting Lobos and helping them thrive under new and challenging conditions.
In this early summer phase:
- UNM will resume some of the essential operations that have been put on hold since March 13, 2020, including research and creative work that require in-person access to specialized facilities and provision of services to our students and the citizens of New Mexico;
- UNM will design and pilot, through a comprehensive Presidential leadership plan, the processes necessary for protecting health and delivering education and services as more people return to our campuses later in summer;
- UNM will prepare for a hybrid fall term in which we can deliver the critical elements of an in-person education in a controlled way that minimizes transmission of the COVID-19 virus.
In order to undertake this first phase of resumption of operations, our institutional actions must be aligned with the state’s COVID Safe Practices (CSPs) for businesses (See All Together New Mexico, especially pages 9, 11, 14), which include physical and policy approaches to hygiene, screening, distancing, and mask-wearing. Personal actions also focus on hygiene, self-screening, distancing, and mask-wearing (See All Together New Mexico, especially page 7). This is a collective effort -- I will keep you safe, and you will keep me safe.
University leadership has been actively planning our phased return to full operations around an aligned strategy with integrated task teams. The practices outlined in the state document were also described in the recent memos from VP Gabriel Lopez and EVC Richard Larson to researchers, and the Research Operations Continuity Task Force is still working on their next set of recommendations.
As directed by state health officials, we are phasing in our return to operations in a limited manner with an emphasis on the safety of our internal and external communities. We are ensuring that all members of our community who are able to do so continue to work and learn remotely during this phase. Some faculty, staff, and students, however, will need to return to campus when it is appropriate in order to complete their work in our mission areas.
Within each major area of university operations: Academic Affairs, Finance and Administration, the President’s Office, within the specialized areas of the Health Sciences Center, and on each of our branch campuses, leadership will communicate directly with their units to organize and prioritize the areas that can start to move to an increased on-campus presence.
Once a department’s Return to Operations plan has been approved by the appropriate Dean/Director, the next step towards increasing your department’s on-campus presence will be to formally submit a Facility Reopen Request on the Facility Reopen Request website.
Managers and Supervisors should not begin asking employees to return to campus until they receive final approval/confirmation through the UNM Facility Reopen Approval Process.
In the remainder of this document, we outline specific steps and actions that units must take, when authorized by their respective leadership, to allow the return of additional faculty, staff, and students to campus.