Returning MORE to On-Site WOrk: General Information for All MAUs

As Spartans, we have risen to the challenge of navigating the intense challenges of a global pandemic and successfully continued our work in advancing knowledge and transforming lives. The progress made through safe and effective vaccines gives us great hope for our future, yet it is essential to note that we continue to operate within the pandemic workplace. 

Effective August 1, 2021, new COVID directives have taken effect on campus, which includes wearing a face covering when indoors, and mandatory vaccination against COVID-19. Complete information about the face covering and vaccine requirements, as well as details about medical or religious exemptions can be found on the COVID directives page of the Together We Will site. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding these mandates can be found on the Together We Will FAQs page.

Four Guiding Principles for Returning to On-Site Work

  • Health & Safety: Maintaining a continuous focus on the health and safety of all individuals in the MSU community.
  • Meeting our Mission: Ensure the successful delivery of our teaching, research, and outreach imperatives through multiple modalities.
  • Employee Support: Providing leaders with resources to connect and collaborate with all employees ensures their well-being and success in their work.
  • Building Community: Commit to efforts that increase cross-functional work, interpersonal connections and a culture that pursues and embraces understanding.

Decisions are made within the Major Administrative Units (MAUs). To ensure alignment in policy and practices, departments/centers/institutes should first communicate with MAU leadership before moving forward with any workplace decisions relative to returning to the on-site workplace. MAUs have the flexibility to determine how their teams work best (in-person, remote, or hybrid), keeping equity and individual team member circumstances in mind.

It is expected that employees who have student-, faculty- or public-facing roles will be returning, in some capacity, to in-person positions. Leaders must support, encourage, and exhibit self-care and a balanced approach to work and personal life to achieve success and avoid burnout in a flexibility-driven workplace.

Leadership Requirements for All MAUs

Use the following checklist to help your unit prepare for your return to campus:

  • MAUs will plan for all on-site services to be fully functional by August 15, 2021.
  • Units should not enter into any new permanent remote/hybrid workplace arrangements with returning employees at this time. Additional guidance for long-term solutions is being researched.
  • Begin planning employees’ return using the Workplace Decisions Guidance.
  • Determine a specific date that employees who have been working remotely will begin returning on-site. Provide at least four weeks of notice for employees. Those that wish to return prior to a four-week notice may do so with supervisor discretion.
  • Utilize a strategic phasing approach to bring small groups of employees back on-site over specific time intervals. This is critical to limit pressure on service reintegration units (IPF, IT Services) and ensure a smooth return for employees (see Key Information below).
  • Provide timely, clear, and frequent communications to all employees explaining what is happening and when.
  • Communicate with employees about work schedules, workplace expectations, and other organizational changes that may impact them.
  • Provide onboarding for new employees who may be arriving at the workplace for the first time.
  • Ask employees what questions or concerns they may have and work collaboratively and as a leadership team to address them as best as possible.
  • Consider linking to the Faculty and Staff webpage on the Together We Will website in your communications.

Key Information to Support Unit & Employee Transitions

All service units will have significant demands. Please be patient as services return to normal.

IPF has worked diligently to prepare campus workspaces and buildings as more faculty, staff and students return.

Find additional information at IPF’s website about HVAC systems, cleaning practices, water quality and more.

MSU IT is proactively checking technology equipment and connectivity in centrally managed classrooms,
conference rooms, labs, and dormitories and recommends that local IT staff do the same for spaces managed by colleges and units. Comprehensive health and connectivity tests are being performed for the MSU network as well as telephone and cable TV systems. Infrastructure teams are prepared to scale monitoring and support as much heavier usage loads are anticipated as communities return to campus.

Various services will experience unusually high demand due to the number of students, faculty, and staff who joined MSU over the last year and have not yet had an on-campus presence. MSU IT is prepared to scale campus support in response to the phased return plans of our campus partners, in addition to the volume typically anticipated with the start of fall semester. MSU IT plans to scale these services accordingly, but longer response times should be expected and factored into your planning.

Some examples include:

  • Longer hold times on phone calls or longer response times for emails to the Service Desk, as well as potentially longer lead times to resolve incidents.
  • Potential delays in request fulfillment or delivery of new workstations from Field Services, Workstation support, or the Tech Store due to global supply shortages and demand.
  • Longer lines when picking up ID cards from the ID Office.
  • Delays in classroom support services due to exceptional demand.
  • Surges in conference room support requests may impact AVIT turnaround time for new installations and fixes due to the volume of conference rooms being brought back online; classroom support will be prioritized in these instances and outside vendors will be engaged as needed.
  • Some network issues only appear under heavy user load, despite robust testing of the technology.

Colleges and Units should engage with their local IT support to check setups such as DHCP re-registration and wifi connections as people transition from remote to on-campus work. Be advised that Windows or Apple updates and patches may need to be installed, and require time or rebooting that could be disruptive, for people whose machines have not been connected via VPN during remote work. Anyone in need of additional support, or unclear who their local IT support person is, should contact the Service Desk.

View more information and resources from IT Services by clicking here.

Order employee parking permits at MSU Parking Permits. Please allow three weeks for processing and mailing. All employees should plan to utilize this online service and secure parking before returning to campus.

Place orders for typical supplies needed for the fall semester through Spartan Marketplace. The University Stores catalog within Spartan Marketplace is fully stocked with PPE, gloves, cleaning, and other COVID-19 response items.

Mail and delivery service has resumed at all campus buildings. Additionally, we are open for processing mail. Email Mail Services or call (517) 884-6084 if you have questions.

PCard users who place orders through MSU’s Amazon Business account in Spartan Marketplace should update the default delivery location to their on-campus address in Amazon. View instructions for updating your delivery address.

MSU HR created this webpage to provide a resource for units and employees regarding work and employment policies and procedures as they relate to the pandemic. We will continue to work with University Communications on linking items to the Together We Will website, which now serves as the primary site for the most up to date information regarding the university's response to the pandemic. 

MSU HR will continue to support all campus HR needs. In-person services will be available by appointment beginning Monday, August 16. Details can be found on the page, HR In-Person Appointments to Resume August 16

Contact the Solutions Center at (517) 353-4434 or email solutionscenter@hr.msu.edu for assistance.

MSU has a number of resources dedicated to informing our community. These references are updated as new information is available and decisions are made. In addition to the requirements listed above, consider including the following information in communications with your staff:

Final Notes

Cooperation and support from all leaders will be needed to navigate back to a more typical fall and academic year. Leaders must be mindful of the tremendous demand for limited support services and resources. Patience and planning are integral to a successful change on this scale.

Workplace of the Future Team Members

Nancy Allen, University's Physician's Office

Tina Alonzo, WACSS Representative

Marilyn Amey, Academic Advancement Network

Jabbar Bennett, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

Amy Carnahan, MSU Alumni Office

Terah Chambers, College of Education

Cheleane Clerkley, MSU Human Resources

Carmen Crist, University Communications

Greg Deppong, Office of the Controller

Kevin Eisenbeis, Environmental Health & Safety

Rick Fanning, MSU Human Resources

Erica Fiasky, College of Engineering

Barbara Forney, College of Human Medicine

Jeanne Fox, MSU Human Resources

Terry Frazier, Student Affairs & Services

Sonja Fritzsche, College of Arts & Letters

Brooke Gallagher-Rademacher, Research & Innovation

Amanda Goll, Office of the President

Debbie Hafke, MSU Human Resources

Zoe Hansen, Microbiology & Molecular Genetics

Eric Hegg, College of Natural Science

Danielle Hook, MSU Human Resources

Andrew Jarvis, MSU Human Resources

Samantha Lake, MSU Human Resources

Jake Lathrop, MSU Human Resources

Cindi Leverich, Academic Advancement Network

Kathy Lewless, Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs

Sharri Margraves, MSU Human Resources

Kelly High McCord, Residential & Hospitality Services

Jennifer McManus, Infrastructure, Planning, & Facilities

Dana Moore, College of Education

Kristine Moore, Office of General Counsel

Jessica Nakfour, MSU Extension

Jon Novello, Employee Assistance Program

Evonne Pedawi, Contract & Grant Administration

Jon Prush, MSU Police Department

Renee Rivard, MSU Human Resources

Barbara Roberts, WorkLife Office

Caleb Sandoval, Res Ctr for Person w/Disabilities

Tom Siu, Information Technology Services

Lindy Smith, Payroll Office

Alice Smith, MSU Human Resources

Melanie Trowbridge, Facility for Rare Isotope Beams

Christy Turner, MSU Human Resources

Matthew Uebel, Purchasing Department

Melanie VanAntwerp, Office of General Counsel

Phil Weinstein, Environmental Health & Safety

Becky Yauch, MSU Human Resources