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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Phased Plan for Returning to Work: COVID-19 Update

Dear Colleagues, 

We have begun our coordinated, phased return to on-campus work announced on May 15. As we move forward, the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and visitors remain the number one priority. 

The “Stabilization Phase” of Returning to Campus 

Like several other universities, UVU is currently in the Stabilization Phase, which is anticipated to last until September 30, 2020. This specific phase applies to campuses currently operating under Yellow Level state recommendations. 

The different phases are determined by the level of disease transmission in the community and the resources that are available to protect the safety and health of employees and students. Managing health risks during all phases will require the identification, containment, and mitigation of the virus. It will also require diligence and a commitment from all of us to keep everyone safe. 

The timing and specifics of the plan are contingent on the progression of COVID-19 in our area, and local, state, and federal guidelines. We must also consider the complex structure of UVU and reserve the right to make decisions based on the specific needs of our campus community, which means that some decisions may look different than those of the nation, state, or county based on case numbers within our service area, specific situation, hospitalizations, the university’s ability to maintain safety measures, and readiness. 

We invite you to familiarize yourself with the documents outlining the protocol for this Stabilization Phase

Target Return Dates for Category II Employees 

We have already welcomed our first employee group (Category I) back to campus, and the next wave of employees (Category II) will be returning to campus in the coming weeks. As we move through this phase, the divisional/school leadership teams are working with their respective employees to determine who is considered a Category II employee. 

We are using the following schedule to bring back our Category II employees: 

  • Group A: Employees return June 8 
  • Group B: Employees return June 22 
  • Group C: Employees return July 6 
  • Group D: High Risk: Consult supervisors regarding a continued remote work agreement 

As we carefully bring back additional personnel in a phased approach, supervisors are determining how to increase functionality and meet the needs of their division, students, and employees on campus. Supervisors will be contacting employees to identify the specific date of return. Those who are in the high-risk category or feel they cannot return to campus are encouraged to communicate with their managers or Human Resources

In addition, on June 8, all buildings on UVU’s Orem, West, Airport, and Lehi campuses will reopen and resume normal hours of operation. When Wasatch County is transitioned from Orange to a Yellow Health Risk status by the state, the Wasatch Campus will also reopen 21 days after that announcement. 

Our Return-to-Campus Strategies 

We have put additional environmental controls, Human Resources employee health and wellness, and individual protective measures in place and are using the following strategies to bring employees back to campus: 

  • Staffing: Increase staffing incrementally to gradually expand operations while maintaining recommended social-distancing guidelines
  • Hygiene: Increased hygiene and sanitation practices
  • Innovation: Continue to promote innovative work practices
  • Monitoring: Monitor health to ensure the well-being of our campus community
  • Minimize non-essential travel: Any approved UVU travel is subject to national, state, and local regulations and guidance

We ask that you read the documents provided to ensure that you understand the expectations and requirements of returning to work on campus, and are aware of the resources and options available to you. 

In addition, we recognize that this a fluid situation that requires flexibility. The decisions made now are informed by data, done in conjunction with local health and governmental leaders, and aligned with the Utah System of Higher Education. Updates will continue as conclusions are made, as changes are needed, and as we move into the “new normal.” As we do so, we encourage you to communicate your concerns and questions. 

Finally, and most importantly, we want to thank you for your efforts to provide essential services to our students as they further their education, and we extend our sincere appreciation for the collegiality, care, and assistance you have provided to each other. 


Wayne Vaught
Vice President of Academic Affairs 

Marilyn Meyer 
Associate Vice President of Human Resources
Chief Human Resource Officer