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COVID-19: Message to University Council - Implications of COVID-19

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University of Denver

Planning for Coronavirus (COVID-19)

News  •

Dear Colleagues,

I wanted to send you a message to underscore a few of the messages that were shared in the most recent update from the Chancellor on all quickly evolving implications of COVID-19. I realize that this is affecting each of us in various ways based on our roles as citizens, unit leaders, and family members. As you care for the needs and concerns of others, please be sure to take good care of yourself as well.

You can contact SupportLinc anytime, around-the-clock. To get started, call 1-888-881-LINC [5462], or log in to the SupportLinc website or eConnect® mobile app (iOS/Android) with the username: universityofdenver. Take a moment now and download the app.

We are asking all supervisors to remain flexible for employees who have health factors that place them at higher risk. Also, please share with your supervisors that while COVID-19 protocols are in place at DU, employees are asked to refrain from bringing their children to work. If area schools close amid concerns about COVID-19, employees responsible for the care of their dependents can stay home with them. The expectation is that employees will work from home where operationally feasible. If work from home is not possible while caring for a dependent, sick leave should be utilized. If no sick leave is available, vacation time should be utilized. We have received many expressions of concern regarding pay continuity. Please know that we are exploring options. For now, our leave practices remain in effect.

If no accrued vacation time is available, the employee will be on unpaid leave. As always, employees must notify their supervisor as soon as possible if they plan to be away from work. 

While we are asking you to exercise as much flexibility as possible, allowing employees to work remotely where operationally feasible, employees who feel they need to work remotely should contact their manager as soon as possible to seek approval.

Employees who are not sick, have not been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19, do not have childcare issues they must attend to, or have not recently returned from visiting a high impact area, are expected to come into the workplace as usual. While in the workplace, individuals are strongly encouraged to use social distancing to help prevent the spread of the virus. In addition to increasing physical space of at least six feet between individuals, some of the other ways to implement social distancing include decreasing social contacts in the workplace (e.g., limit in-person meetings, meeting for lunch in a break room, etc.), and limiting large work-related gatherings (e.g., staff meetings, after-work functions).

If you have any questions, please contact your HR Partner.

As we continue to re-evaluate and work through COVID-19 protocols, I want to encourage you to review the link: COVID-19 website frequently. This week, MarComm redesigned the website to make it a little more user-friendly for stakeholders—students, parents, family, and staff. Please reference these FAQs, which are updated regularly, to share when you receive questions.

We are encouraging all students and employees to go into Pioneer Web to add emergency contact information. Currently we have about 60 percent of students with emergency contact information, so if we can increase that number that would be ideal.

IT has started to do an audit of how many employees on campus have laptops that they can take home to work remotely and they see that there is a deficit. MarComm will be reaching out to all business officers, asking them to send information about whether or not there are units have spare laptops or even tablets. We are hoping to be able to locate units (like ours) that have spare laptops or tablets. While we’re gathering that data, perhaps you might be able to do a quick needs assessment for your department. With that in mind, in order to be prepared if we need to move to working from home, and as part of your departmental planning, listed below are a few suggestions:

  • Identify what work can be done remotely for a period of time, and what work cannot be done remotely. This includes an assessment of non-benefited staff and student employee functions.  
  • Identify any technology gaps that might exist to enable remote work.
  • Identify which functions and tasks are essential to running mission critical operations.

During this time, please know that the University is committed to re-evaluating this evolving situation between now and March 31 when a final decision will be made about the remaining weeks of spring quarter. While we may not have all of the answers, I want to thank you for your patience and understanding during this rapidly evolving time.




Corinne Lengsfeld                                                      Laura Maresca

Interim Provost and                                                    Vice Chancellor

Executive Vice Chancellor                                         Human Resources & Inclusive Community