May 17, 2021: Bringing more employees back to campus

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As you already may have heard, as part of its Vacc to Normal plan, the state of Michigan has identified May 24 as the date that in-person work for all sectors of business can resume. While this is welcome news, it is important for you to know Michigan State University will not bring all remaining employees back at once on that date. Rather, to ensure a safe and health-informed return to campus, planning is underway to gradually have more faculty and staff return to working in-person on campus.

Also, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the state each recently announced new recommendations and guidelines related to mask wearing for indoor locations. We are reviewing these requirements and how they may impact our operations. For now, per rules from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA), everyone must continue wearing face coverings while indoors.

What does that mean for you right now?

  • All employees who have been working remotely should continue doing so until told otherwise by their supervisor.
  • In a few weeks, the university will establish a date that we expect those who need to return to in-person positions to be on campus and settling back into the routines of office and campus life.
  • Unit leaders will have the flexibility to determine how their teams work best (in-person, remotely or hybrid), keeping equity and individual team member circumstances in mind.
  • With more students returning this fall, we expect that people who have student-, faculty- or public-facing roles will be returning to in-person positions in some capacity.
  • We plan to phase in returning locations to minimize the impact on the workloads of IPF, IT and other staff members in support roles.
  • All unit leaders are still required by the state to complete a Return to Work Plan, which must be approved before employees can return to campus.
  • As we plan for more in-person work, face coverings, health screening forms and other mitigation strategies (such as physical distancing) still are required by MIOSHA emergency rules and will continue.
  • We will also include our labor organizations in the discussion to obtain their input and address any issues or concerns they might have.
  • Human Resources and unit leaders will provide more guidance soon.

We all are encouraged the state has reached this milestone with vaccines, and MSU continues to reinforce that we all play a vital role in contributing to our community vaccination numbers.

Getting a vaccination is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself, your family, friends and fellow Spartans. We have opportunities here in East Lansing at the MSU Pavilion and the MSU Health Care Pharmacy to be vaccinated. If you live in another community, please search out ways to be vaccinated wherever you are. Many commercial locations offer vaccinations and the state has a website to search for availability.

I want to close by acknowledging MSU’s many employees who worked in person over the past 15 months. They have kept our campus safe, functioning and beautiful and have supported the students who were living and learning with us and the outstanding research that makes us a national leader. All of you, regardless of how or where you’ve been working, have demonstrated commitment to our mission, and I am grateful to you all for that dedication and Spartan spirit.

We are all looking forward to being on our beautiful campus soon. Thank you for all you are doing to bring us safely back together.

Stay safe and healthy,

Samuel L. Stanley Jr., M.D. (he/him)