Letter to Faculty

Letter to Faculty

Letter to faculty from Provost - March 17, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As we enter our second day of remote instruction, I want to thank all of the faculty who have worked so diligently to transition your courses to remote delivery and our staff who stepped up to provide additional support. Again, I recognize that this sudden transition has resulted in unexpected adjustments for many of you. I appreciate your continued efforts as our campus pulls together to uphold our academic mission and support our students as they resume their academic work.

Earlier this week, the university’s administration provided guidance for faculty and staff to work remotely in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. I am writing as a follow-up to that communication to provide additional clarification.

While on-campus classes and events are canceled through April 10, Auburn continues to conduct full university operations (with the major exceptions of remote instruction, on-campus student housing, on-campus dining, Auburn University Libraries, and the Recreation and Wellness Center). The request for faculty and staff to work remotely is an additional step being taken to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We encourage those who can develop and implement remote work plans to do so, as it reduces the overall number of employees on campus. Doing so also protects the health of our colleagues who are unable to work remotely.

Please allow me to provide a few additional points of clarification:

  • Faculty and staff whose university duties can be either entirely or partially performed remotely should do so. Where possible, units should establish flexible work schedules for faculty and staff while keeping offices open with at least one staff member during regular university hours.

  • Working remotely is strongly encouraged. Faculty and staff who can work remotely are encouraged to do so to minimize close contact with others.

  • Working remotely and on-campus are not mutually exclusive. Faculty and staff who want to substitute working a few days remotely with a few days in the office may do so. Remember, the goal is to reduce the spread of infection as much as possible.

  • Our instructional mission should continue. Faculty may deliver instruction from your office, a classroom, or away from campus – whatever works best for you and your students.

  • Faculty and staff who work remotely should always remember to take precautions regarding data privacy and security. As a reminder, familiarize yourself with Auburn’s IT policies and best practices for protecting data, and use VPN and 2 factor authentication to securely access the Auburn network when you are away from campus.

  • Units that utilize student workers should have them work remotely, if possible. Units who need student workers for on-campus functions may have them report to work, provided the students are comfortable coming to campus.

  • Most campus buildings, except for some residence halls, dining facilities, library, and rec center, will remain open. HVAC operations and campus mail will continue as usual.

  • Faculty and staff who do come to campus should always practice safe social distancing (at least 6 feet) and proper hygiene (wash hands, avoid touching common areas such as doorknobs, etc.).

Again, keeping everyone safe is our top priority. I understand the challenges that these changes place on everyone, and I thank you for your support during these uncertain times.

To keep up with the latest developments, visit: https://ocm.auburn.edu/news/coronavirus/. On this website, you can also sign up to automatically receive email updates; I encourage you to do so.


Bill Hardgrave


Last updated: 03/17/2020