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March 11, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This week we were compelled to take the unprecedented step of suspending face-to-face instruction and prohibiting events and meetings of more than 15 people on our campuses. These are the most significant immediate steps at our disposal to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community. Our goal with these actions is to protect our staff, faculty, and students by dramatically reducing the size of our on-campus population that would, by its nature, congregate in large groups and enable the spread of the virus.

COVID-19 has created understandable concerns about our own personal health and that of our loved ones. I also know that many parents are waiting to hear from local schools about their plans for possible closure and that there are significant questions about the ongoing daily operations at public agencies and private businesses.  We all recognize that we are dealing with a fluid situation, and our responses and actions will likely need to be modified and updated frequently to reflect this changing environment.

At this point in time, Rutgers University remains open. We must continue to deliver world-class education to our students, lead our research enterprise, and maintain our large physical and technological infrastructure. Our employees are the engine that makes our success possible. Fulfilling our mission will require us all to be flexible, patient, and compassionate as this situation evolves.

Please be assured that your health and safety, and that of your families and communities, continues to be at the forefront of our planning process.

University Human Resources is here to help you. I have asked that office to regularly communicate information to help navigate this difficult situation. This information will be intended to help all Rutgers employees prepare for an environment of remote engagement and the possibility of additional disruption to our daily lives. In the coming days, UHR will share information related to our leave policies, telecommuting practices and policies, and resources to address other questions as they arise.

I thank you all for your patience and professionalism as we face this public health crisis together.


Robert Barchi