To Washington University Faculty and Staff,
It’s been a highly unusual week to say the least, and I hope you’re faring well during this unprecedented time as we navigate the daily turns of dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak. As you’ve heard us say many times these past few weeks, our highest priority is to protect the health and well-being of not only our Washington University community, but the entire St. Louis community. Together we can contribute to “flattening the curve” of the spread of this virus across the country.
During these challenging times, it is important for you to know how immensely grateful we are for our faculty and staff and the significant contributions you make to help us fulfill our mission to improve lives in service of the greater good. In these past days and weeks, I’ve witnessed great teamwork, sacrifice, resilience, and collective strength as you’ve worked together, rolled up your sleeves, and confronted the tasks at hand — even despite moments of discomfort, uncertainty, or inconvenience. It’s moments like these that remind me — without a doubt — that we have the most talented, passionate, and committed faculty and staff in all of higher education.
To that end, it is now time for us to continue to harness our collective strength and work together in the days, weeks, maybe even months ahead. I encourage all of us to do our part to stay informed, remain flexible, and be willing to adjust our priorities and work as needed. In addition, we must continue to be vigilant and take abundant precaution when it comes to our own health and well-being — both individually and collectively.
To that end, on Monday, we plan to release detailed guidance regarding how pay and benefits will apply, should quarantine or health concerns arise on our many campuses. Rest assured that we are mindfully reviewing our guidelines to ensure they best support your physical and financial health. We also continue to take a close look at university operations, and how we can best protect our community moving forward. Please remember our guidance: stay home if you’re sick, pay attention to your email and the website (coronavirus.wustl.edu) for updates, and work with your manager if you need to make special arrangements. This is a team effort and we all have a role to play in keeping our community safe.
We also want to make sure you’re aware of the many resources the university provides to help you and your family stay well. In addition to the university’s benefit programs and time off policies, our employee assistance program, Work-Life Solutions, provides 24/7 counseling and referral services. Our employee wellness program, Wellness Connection, provides simple and effective ways to help you focus on your physical and emotional wellness. You can learn about our benefit programs, time-off policies, and support services at hr.wustl.edu.
In times like these, we’re reminded of our interconnectedness as human beings and the weight of our impact. Our success in weathering this challenge will depend heavily on the dedication we bring to our work; the respect, compassion, and empathy we extend to one another; and your attention to your own well-being. Thank you, once again, for your continued resilience and your abundant willingness to be on the front lines and make sacrifices in support of our mission.
Andrew D. Martin