Returning to Work

The majority of employees will continue to work and teach remotely during the Fall term.

If faculty and staff are approved or instructed to report to work in support of campus operations or classes taking place on campus, they will be expected to follow all guidelines, policies, protocols and procedures put in place to ensure safety and compliance. Failure to do so will result in corrective action as outlined in the Employee and Faculty handbooks.

Faculty Access

Faculty access to campus will be determined by courses that have been approved for on-campus facilitation. The decision whether to offer on-campus instruction will be based on the guidelines previously outlined in this document as well as consideration of the following factors:

  • Priority of the class in relation to the expected term of enrolled students (i.e. third term, sixth term);
  • Curriculum requirements for graduation;
  • Critical need to access on-campus resources; or
  • Other factors determined to be important by department chair in consultation with
  • faculty.

Essential Staff

Only essential staff will be permitted on campus to support campus operations or on-campus classes. Departments with staff who are approved or instructed to physically return to work have several options available to maintain required physical distancing measures and reduce population density within buildings and work spaces.

The need to manage population density to meet physical distancing requirements will continue for some time. Support and administrative departments will continue to work remotely until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings. Adherence to this requirement is essential in order to prioritize student access to campus.

If you are not deemed essential, on-campus staff, your access and approval to be on campus will be limited and will be based on the screening protocols established by Campus Security.

Working in the Office

For those academic and administrative offices that are deemed essential to support campus operations or on-campus classes, working in the office must be planned carefully so that the office is not overstaffed. For example, if you are a department of six with adequate space to spread out, no more than three persons should be in the same room at any one time unless the required six feet physical distancing can be consistently maintained.

As noted in this plan, face coverings must be worn at all times, However, a face covering is not required if an individual is working alone in a closed individual office space. Cubicle partitions are not individual offices and persons working in cubicles must wear a face covering.

Common printers, fax machines and other office machinery must be sanitized after each use. Disinfecting wipes will be available in each office.

Offices that serve students and other customers must:

  • Visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs should be used to indicate where individuals should stand while waiting in line.
  • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple through-ways should be used to increase distance between individuals moving through the space.
  • Let individuals sign documents using their own pen or provide pens that the customer can keep.
  • Where possible, turn paper processes into electronic processes and approvals.

Alternating Days

In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on campus, departments may schedule partial staffing on alternating days, in combination with remote working. In other words, staff will have a combination of remote and in-office work days. Such schedules will help enable physical distancing, especially in areas with common workspaces.

Staggered Arriving/Departing

The beginning and end of the workday typically brings many people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering arrival and departure times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas, which will help meet physical distancing requirements. Similarly, when multiple staff are in the office at one time, breaks and meal periods must be staggered to avoid congregating in groups.


Convening in groups is a high-risk activity as we continue to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. As a first priority, and to the extent possible, meetings must be held in whole or in part using the extensive range of available remote platforms collaboration tools (e.g., Zoom, Highfive, Microsoft Teams, telephone).

If in-person meetings and gatherings are an absolute requirement, they are limited to the restrictions of local, state and federal orders. Currently, we are restricted to groups no larger than 10 with the ability to maintain six feet physical distancing. So meetings and spaces should be planned accordingly. Departments should remove or rearrange chairs and tables or add visual cues in meeting rooms to support physical distancing practices between attendees.

For added safety, Facilities and Campus Planning may consider the purchase of plexiglass dividers for offices. All attendees shall wear a face covering while sharing space in a common room.

Phased Staffing

The College will assess expanded staffing based on the guidelines mentioned herein. In addition, access will be evaluated based on mission-critical operations, the ability to control and manage specific work environments and the necessity to access on-site resources. These decisions, once approved, will be communicated either through your department manager, HR, Campus Security or Facilities and Campus Planning.

As on-site staffing increases and operations expand, exposure to risks based on the uncertainty of COVID-19 pandemic will also vary. The College will continue to closely monitor and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to immediately mitigate it. The goal, however, is to engineer into our processes mitigation strategies to minimize risk.

Remote Work

ArtCenter may determine that remote working is a condition of employment based on the job and scope of work. Those who can work remotely to fulfill all of their work responsibilities will continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements shall be approved by the immediate supervisor and HR. Please see the Remote Work Policy on Inside ArtCenter for the guidelines that govern this work method.