Planning Underway for Full Return to Campuses
Update From President Struppa, March 12, 2021
As you likely saw in the message of Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Harold Hewitt, we have ended the hiring freeze effective March 1, 2021, for all positions that have become vacant after that date. While it is not a full restoration of all positions that went vacant before that date, we do believe this provides a sustainable introduction to some additional expenses as we manage the impact COVID-19 continues to have on our finances. I want to express my gratitude for the patience and innovation each area of the campuses has demonstrated while we have worked to maintain our financial strength through this crisis.
On that note, I also want to share that Chapman University’s Moody rating, which is a measure of our financial strength, remained intact through this past year. Many schools across the country saw their rating drop, while we maintained our already strong rating and received praise for our expense management during this challenging time. This is a huge testament to not only the leadership team but to each of you who made sacrifices, cut expenses, and worked with us to keep Chapman strong long into the future. I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to the Chapman Family!
I have many updates to share with you today so please read carefully.
Planning Underway for Full Return to Campus
Yesterday, President Biden announced an aggressive plan to have all restrictions on vaccines lifted by May 1, with plans to be back to a much closer state of “normal” by July 4. We are actively engaged in the planning for our full return to the campuses with this timeline in mind. We will share more information as the situation progresses, but everyone should be preparing for their return to the campus based on the evolving national and local status of COVID-19.
For those still seeking a vaccine appointment:
In addition to the options I have shared before, I’m told AltaMed is also open. Chapman educators and staff do not need to be employees or patients of AltaMed: visit www.altamed.org/vaccine or call (888-909-5232) to make an appointment.
Computer Equipment Updates
As many are preparing for a return to campus on March 29, I want to share important updates on computer equipment from IS&T:
Laptops and Web Cameras:
Currently, we are asking that if you are in possession of a Chapman University laptop or webcam that you please bring it with you when working from campus. At this time, due to a very limited supply, IS&T will not be able to provide any further loaner laptops. If you have a laptop, it includes a built-in webcam and can be used for video calls and Teams/Zoom meetings. If you still need a webcam, please contact the Service Desk to check availability at email@example.com.
If you are planning to bring your laptop to campus for office use and would like to utilize your computer monitor(s), IS&T has a limited supply of docking stations to accommodate this request. A docking station will allow you to easily connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse. If you are interested in having a docking station setup in a Chapman University office, please schedule an appointment on the IS&T Bookings page – “Docking Station Setup.”
When all were moved to distance learning and working remotely, faculty and staff office phones were migrated to the Microsoft Teams Soft-Phone system. As a result, this eliminated the need for traditional office phones and the ongoing cost maintenance costs associated with an office phone. Upon return to campus, you will not have a physical phone in your office as all inbound and outbound calls are now done through Microsoft Teams. Loaner laptops include a built-in webcam, microphone, and speakers; however, for privacy and noise control, we recommend you bring headphones when you return. If you need a headphone or still need your physical phone at your desk, please contact the Service Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hybrid/Hyflex Preparation Resources:
The Educational Technology division has created a robust resource to assist in preparation for Hyflex teaching. Please view the Preparing to Teach a Hybrid/HyFlex Course PDF, which provides both teaching guidance and technical guidance to help ensure a smooth teaching and learning experience this semester. There are also survey templates available for faculty to use, to arrange their class meeting schedule so that in-person students will not exceed their classroom COVID capacities.
From Human Resources
We know that some employees were impacted by the mandatory evacuation order on Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11, for Silverado Canyon, Williams Canyon, and Modjeska Canyon caused by the Bond Fire. With their supervisor’s approval, any employee who was scheduled to work and was unable to work remotely as a result of the mandatory evacuation may use the Paid Time Non-Work code to report time on Wednesday, March 10, and Thursday, March 11. Impacted employees should consult with their supervisors to determine if the use of the Paid Time Non-Work code is appropriate for their circumstances. If you have already submitted time for this pay period and need to update, please delete the original entry and click submit. You will then be able to re-enter your time using the Paid Time Non-Work code. If you need further assistance, please contact the Payroll team.
I want to let staff and administrators know that the annual performance appraisal process will open on Monday, March 15. I sincerely hope you will engage in this important opportunity to give feedback to your direct reports and explore their developmental potential and goals for the coming year. Please look for additional information from HR on Monday.