Dear University community,

Today we would like to share with you information on the impact on our University of Gov. Evers’ Safer at Home order.

As you are likely already aware, the order closes all “non-essential businesses” and prohibits “all non-essential travel” in the state from 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, until 8 a.m. Friday, April 24. Read details of the order. For information on what constitutes an essential business, please visit the WEDC website.

The order declares our ongoing work and planned teaching, research and service essential. With that good news, we continue to encourage you to practice the social distancing and remote-work measures we have adopted, following local, state and federal health safety guidelines.

The work undertaken by UW Oshkosh’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and leadership team has helped prepare our campuses for this decision. We moved quickly to transition our courses to alternative delivery methods, and we determined who can remain on campus and who can do their work remotely. We have also expedited the move out of our students to help them transition safely to their home residences. And we are working with the state on options for potentially using our campus facilities to house coronavirus patients.

Because of these actions already taken, the order will have little additional impact on our employees and operations. Specific to higher education institutions, the order allows employees whose work is essential to the following to continue their work: facilitating distance learning, performing critical research or performing essential functions as determined by the institution. These essential functions are tied to the tiering system that was shared with you last week. As a reminder, Tier 1 employees perform critical work and are allowed on campus. Tier 2 employees perform critical work but are expected to work remotely.

Mail

Mail pickup is not an essential operation. This means mail access on the Oshkosh campus will be available only to Finance and Administration staff. We are suspending pickup of all other mail at the Document Services/Facilities Services building on Witzel Avenue to comply with social distancing recommendations.

Mail and package delivery services on the Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campuses will be very limited until further notice. Access campus staff will receive more information via email when a process is finalized.

Building Access

As a reminder, all buildings on all three campuses are now locked and available only to those with keycards or keys. Employees with permission to be in Oshkosh campus buildings who need a keycard may request one by filling out this form through Facilities Management.

We are asking all Tier 2 employees, including faculty, who can do so, to work from home and set up distance learning opportunities from their home. We realize that, for many faculty and instructional academic staff members, this work is well underway, and we are grateful. Those who need assistance with this should fill out this Technology Needs Survey. We have staff available to help you with your technology needs. Our goal is to reduce the number of people on our campuses. This is paramount to ensuring your health and safety and complying with this order from the Governor.

Campus Access

Faculty and instructional academic staff members with needs requiring them to be on our campuses should contact their deans to secure permission. Fond du Lac and Fox Cities campus employees who are not Tier 1 and who have essential business on campus must continue to seek prior authorization to be on campus from Caroline Geary (instructional) or the campus administrator (non-instructional).

This information from all three campuses will be shared with the EOC so campus police and facilities personnel will have a record of who will be on our campuses, where they will be and when. This is another step to ensure everyone’s safety while preserving some work flexibility.

We must remember that all of these actions are being taken to stem the spread of COVID-19. The disease continues to spread at a rapid rate, threatening to overrun our healthcare system. We are committed to doing everything we can at UWO to assist the state’s efforts to control this pandemic as we carry out our mission.

We appreciate your continued willingness to develop alternative methods to teach your classes and to remotely perform your work responsibilities.

 

Chancellor Andy Leavitt