Campus Update for Faculty & Staff
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Sunday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards issued a proclamation that orders Louisiana residents to assume new measures to help stem the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). It orders residents to stay at home through April 13.
To be clear, Louisiana Tech University is NOT closing campus. We are offering essential services to our students and to maintain business continuity. That means that we are limiting access to campus, starting immediately, in order to comply with the Governor’s order.
Because of the governor’s order, we are mandating telework for all Louisiana Tech employees except those who are deemed essential to certain on-campus operations beginning Tuesday, March 24. Only essential personnel of the following departments shall report to campus:
- Facilities – Physical Plant, Receiving Depot, and Environmental Safety
- University Police
- Purchasing (limited hours)
- Computer Center/Information Technology
- Animal care for Tech Farm and research – as needed
- Finance – (limited hours) payroll, payments
- Registrar’s Office (limited basis)
- Food Service – grab and go only with all seating closed in the cafeteria and Tolliver
- Post Office – services limited
- Health Center
- Housing – for students remaining on campus
Today you will receive detailed information on conducting purchasing, travel, and human resources functions during the stay-at-home mandate. Remember to be patient with employees in these areas, as they are required to work from home as well.
We are limiting the number of employees on campus to the absolute minimum necessary to accomplish the needed tasks that cannot be accomplished online. Employees who report to campus should alternate time in an office to increase social distancing.
The approval of the President or his designee shall be required for any other personnel to remain on campus. Faculty requiring access to campus to deliver online courses may continue to do so for that purpose only. All other personnel shall telework or be placed on leave.
If you are unable to telework, the state has adopted the emergency rules found in Chapter 27 of the State Civil Service Rules, which allows for special leave to be applied. The University of Louisiana System has also authorized the President to designate use of special leave for unclassified staff.
Library resources will be available online. Physical access will be limited to the first floor of the library and the computer lab, which will remain available. Other computer labs will be closed.
There will be limited access to campus and most facilities will remain locked. Wyly Tower, the Library, Keeny Hall, the Student Center, and Tolliver Hall will continue to be accessible. Faculty and staff who are teleworking or on leave should not attempt to return to campus except where advance supervisor approval is provided.
These measures shall remain in effect until further notice.
Current directives from Louisiana Tech’s Incident Response Team and leadership:
- Cease all in-person instruction. Remote teaching and learning will continue through the end of spring quarter without exceptions.
- Only stay in student housing if you need it. Students who need to stay in housing may be moved to a different building to support the needs of the community.
- Essential activities including traveling to return to your permanent place of residence is permitted.
- Only come to work if your supervisor has told you to do so to fulfill an essential function. You are allowed to come to work if you are supporting an essential operation on campus as defined above.
- Regularly visit Louisiana Tech’s COVID-19 webpage for resources and past communication.
You should not do the following:
- Do not host any in-person Louisiana Tech events or gatherings of any size through the end of spring quarter.
- Do not come to work if you are sick. Faculty and staff who are sick should contact their health care providers. Please always call ahead before arriving. If you are ordered to self-isolate or to self-quarantine related to a COVID-19 exposure or diagnosis, notify your supervisor who should then report that status to the President’s Office at 318.257.3785.
- Do not come to work if you are on approved administrative or other approved leave.
- Do not come to work if you have been asked to work remotely.
- IT support services will be fully operational and faculty and staff who need assistance while working remotely should contact the help desk (318.257.5300) per standard procedure.
- Do not come to work to engage in research, except to engage in ramp down, continuity, or laboratory safety work. Essential experiments and essential research personnel may continue, but only with the approval of designated leadership.
- Do not come to work to take advantage of better internet connections or fewer distractions, except for classroom or laboratory instruction for remote teaching. We understand that it may be harder for some employees to conduct work from home. Faculty and staff can address their needs with supervisors or department heads.
- Do not come to work to retrieve items from your office or visit colleagues required to be on campus. Only come to campus if you have permission from your supervisor.
Essential services on campus will be available, even while Louisiana Tech faculty and staff are following the mandate to stay at home. Patience and flexibility – especially with processes that require assistance in offices that have restricted hours or staff – will be needed from all of us. We hope that the action our Governor requested today serves to slow transmission of COVID-19.
Please remember to check latech.edu/coronavirus frequently for the most up to date information about our University’s response to the novel coronavirus.
Thank you for your support of this directive. If you have questions, please discuss with your Division Head.
Our compliance with the Governor’s Order is important for reducing the spread of the coronavirus and enabling us to return to a more safe and productive environment.