Return to campus plans for FAS, GSAS, and Yale College staff (June 16, 2021)

To: Staff members in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Yale College

Cc: FAS Steering, President’s office, Provost’s office, FAS Department and Program chairs

[Summary: This message outlines a timeline and guidelines for returning to on-campus work for staff in the FAS, GSAS, and Yale College. During June and July staff who wish to work on campus may request permission to do so from their supervisors. August 2-23 will be a period of phased return. Beginning Monday, August 23, all FAS, GSAS, and Yale College staff should expect to be on campus daily. Staff with extenuating circumstances may request flexibility.]

June 16, 2021

Dear Staff Members in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and Yale College,

Toward the end of May, the University announced plans for our return to campus and COVID-19 vaccination requirements for students, staff and faculty. We are grateful for the questions and suggestions that you have shared regarding the return process. We write today to provide additional information on how these plans will be implemented for staff in the FAS, the Graduate School, and Yale College. Below, we outline a timeline and guidelines for returning to campus, and the rationale for these decisions.

Return Timeline

We are grateful for your dedication and commitment during the past 15 months, whether you have been working on campus or performing your role from home. This fall, we will return to fully in-person operations, following the timeline below:

June and July

In early June, staff began returning to campus for summer programming and will continue to do so in July. Other staff who wish to return prior to August may request permission to return from their supervisor.

August 2 – August 23: Phased Return

All staff in the FAS, GSAS and Yale College should expect to begin returning to campus starting Monday, August 2. We recognize that many use this time for vacation, so your exact return date and schedule for August should be determined with your supervisor. We recognize that some of you may need flexibility during this return process. To that end, we have asked supervisors to assess the overall needs of their team when developing return plans. During this phased return process, we expect that staff will be on campus regularly; supervisors will develop specific phased return plans and schedules for their individual units.

August 23 and Beyond

Beginning Monday, August 23, all FAS, GSAS, and Yale College staff should plan to be on campus daily in accordance with their traditional pre-COVID schedule. Returning staff must follow all prevailing health and safety guidelines and complete any training required at that time by the university.

Transitional Arrangements and Flexibility

We will be flexible in working through transitional arrangements, and will be especially mindful of staff with childcare, eldercare, or other extenuating personal obligations during the summer and start of the academic year. To request flexibility on the return date for non-medical reasons, please complete the flexibility request form available here.  To ensure fairness, flexibility requests will be reviewed and approved by the Return to Campus Executive Committee and the Deans of the FAS, GSAS, and Yale College.  If you need to request flexibility for medical reasons, please contact the Office of Institutional Equity and Access (OIEA).  

Why Return to Campus?

The Fall 2021 semester will be different than the Spring and Fall of 2020 and the Spring of 2021. Instruction will be fully in-person, and research will be fully in-person. University leadership will be working on campus. Facilities will be open and available to our students, faculty, staff and community. Vaccines are readily available and protect the vaccinated extremely well. Staff, students and faculty are required to be vaccinated unless they have a valid exemption. Currently, infection rates are extremely low.

Why Return Full-Time?

Our experience since March 2020, has shown that remote operations can “work” when instruction is remote.  Based on the university’s 300-year history, we also know that in-person operations “work” when instruction is in person. We need time to determine whether and how flexible or hybrid schedules and operations can work in our schools when all instruction and campus activities are back in person, given our faculty-supporting and student-serving roles. We hope to develop guidelines during the Fall semester, and we may be able to accommodate hybrid schedules in certain circumstances in the future. For example, we can consider whether more remote work is possible during early January when classes are not in session.  We recognize that some other schools and offices at Yale will be allowing hybrid work this fall. The circumstances of each school are different, and this email outlines expectations for the FAS, GSAS and Yale College staff.

Campus Health and Safety

Every space with Yale staff has been or will be evaluated by Environmental Health and Safety. Final guidelines are in development, but given the latest data on COVID-19 transmission, we do not expect to need distancing requirements or density limitations.  

If Conditions Change

We have been able to plan for a full-time return to campus because vaccines have proven to be remarkably effective, infection rates are extremely low, and local schools plan to operate in-person this Fall. If conditions change, we will review the policy on on-campus work. 

Additional Support

The university has secured extended emergency back-up childcare. More information can be found here. If you have a unique caregiving situation and a hybrid work solution might help, please submit a flexibility request.
For those who drive to campus, parking fees will be charged again starting October 1, but reduced by 50% through December 31, 2021.

Concluding Thoughts

The FAS, GSAS, and Yale College staff have performed remarkably over the last 15 months, and we have all learned new modes of working and collaborating. We hope to take what we have learned and develop new ways of working in the future. For now, we look forward to welcoming you back to campus this fall, and to working alongside you once again.  

Tamar, Marvin, and Lynn

Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Marvin M. Chun
Dean of Yale College
Lynn Cooley
Dean of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences