Coronavirus Update for the Harrisburg University Community
July 24, 2020
Announcement to all HU Employees: Fall 2020 Undergraduate Schedule
Since its outbreak in early 2020, Harrisburg University has actively monitored the trends, developments, and science of COVID-19 with one primary concern in mind: keeping the HUCommunity safe and healthy. Throughout the past several months, this has required us to make difficult decisions in what are truly unprecedented times.
After multiple discussions among leaders of the HU Community, as well as reviewing a wide range of options being considered by other universities, HU has decided that all undergraduate classes will be delivered online for the Fall 2020 semester. No face-to-face sessions will be held and no student access to HU classrooms or facilities will be provided. Limited students will be offered housing if personal circumstances would curtail their ability to learn online. Additionally, in order for a small set of senior students to meet graduation requirements, plans are being developed to allow limited access for a concentrated period of time to HU laboratories consistent with CDC and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania COVID-19 guidelines. Additional information will be posted in the near future regarding logistics for the Fall 2020 semester. Please continue to monitor HU’s COVID-19 webpage for news and developments: https://covid.harrisburgu.edu/.
Consequently, most HU employees will continue to work from home. Staff directly involved in the life-support of our students such as student services, student housing, security, maintenance, information technology, and student mental healthcare personnel as well as staff directly responsible for facility cleaning and maintenance may continue entering University facilities on a regular basis. University personnel who are directly involved in the provision of food and supplies to our students may also enter University facilities.
As we have operated since March, HU will not staff student facing functions including but not limited to the Registrar’s Office, the Library, the Office of Admissions, the Business Office, the Office of International Students, and the Financial Aid Office from University facilities. Rather, these functions should remain staffed during normal business hours by employees working from home. All other functions should also continue to be staffed from home offices, including all course delivery. Faculty are asked to remain in regular contact with their program lead, and to continue to offer regular office hours electronically. Faculty needing help or ideas for online course delivery are encouraged to continue working remotely with the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning.
The “work from home protocol” will continue until 8:00 am on Monday, October 5, 2020 unless otherwise notified. Employees who work their regular hours remotely, will continue to receive their regular pay based on their normal work schedule. Standard protocols for PTO apply for applicable employees if you are unable to work due to illness or if you need to take personal time.
Requirement to Maintain Confidentiality of Business Information and Educational Records
Employees must take all precautions necessary to secure sensitive and confidential information, including student, staff, alumni, donor records and information, etc., and prevent unauthorized access to University equipment and proprietary information. The performance of job duties remotely may require the handling of confidential information, and continued compliance with all applicable policies is an essential requirement in this arrangement. Employees must protect information from improper disclosure to, or access by, other persons, including other members of the employee’s household. Employees must take appropriate steps to ensure the security of all work-related materials, data, and equipment.
I had hoped that HU would resume its prior and what some would call “normal” operations for the fall semester. But to do so would comprise the health, safety, and welfare of the HU Community and this would be irresponsible. In the near future, I am looking forward to hosting another Town Hall so that I can share with you my thoughts on what HU will be pursuing and achieving in the coming months. The University is in a great position to continue building and growing.
I want you to know how exceedingly proud I am of the commitment each of you has exhibited since moving to a remote status in March. The quality and responsiveness of your work has been terrific and exceeds what many of our colleagues in higher education across the country have been able to achieve. We have remained student-focused and it has shown! Your commitment is very much appreciated by me and the members of the University’s Board of Trustees. Thank you.
May you and your families remain healthy and safe.
Eric D. Darr, Ph.D.
NOTE: Any HU employee needing 1) financial resource information, 2) legal resource information
or 3) help coping with anxiety and stress should contact the confidential Employee Assistance
Program at 1-800-316-2796