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Apr. 24, 2020 – Remote work for staff extended to May 8

Posted by on Friday, April 24, 2020 in Community Messages.

Dear colleagues,

As the end of April rapidly approaches, and as we begin to look ahead to our next chapter as a university, we write to update you on next steps regarding potential changes to the “stay at home” orders for our Vanderbilt community.

Many questions remain, however it is possible that Vanderbilt’s first phase of increased campus activity will begin as early as Monday, May 11. With this milestone in mind, we are extending “stay at home” orders and authorizations for remote work until Friday, May 8.

If you have not had the opportunity to read Interim Chancellor Wente’s message about the economic impact of COVID-19, we highly encourage you to take a few minutes to do so. That message, and the follow-up message sent to you from your dean, vice chancellor or vice provost, outline the stark realities of the financial challenges the university is facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the difficult actions we will need to take now and over the next couple of years to manage through these tough economic conditions.

In her message, Interim Chancellor Wente describes our new Voluntary Staff Departure Incentive Program, which we have introduced as part of our workplace planning. You can read more about this program here. Please note that the final date for submitting an interest form is Friday, May 1.

Any additional staffing changes and reorganizations related to operational changes and/or current and future economic conditions will be managed by individual schools, colleges, and units. You will hear from leadership and managers across Vanderbilt’s different schools and units regarding operations, timelines, personnel changes and other specific considerations.

Vanderbilt’s strategy for returning to more standard levels of campus operations will continue to follow a phased and data-driven approach. These phases are based on Vanderbilt’s unique operational and personnel requirements as a university, while also taking into account the city of Nashville’s overall roadmap for reopening.  When we begin the partial and phased return to campus and some campus activities, explicit directions about the date and protocols will come from your manager. All will have the opportunity to address any unique circumstances with their manager prior to their return.   

As we move forward, your continuing flexibility will be critical. We anticipate returning to campus through stages of increasing activity and study of what activities will resume and when, and how they will safely do so. We will continue to carefully evaluate all data, models and public health recommendations and to consider government recommendations. We will also track and reflect the overall progress of the COVID-19 disease response on local and regional levels, and our actions will be based on information that we receive from VUMC and public health experts.

We encourage you to continue to monitor the HR information page and the telecommuting and remote work resources on the university’s COVID-19 webpage as we move forward.

Thank you again for your ongoing efforts, patience, flexibility and dedication to the university during this unprecedented time.


Eric Kopstain
Vice Chancellor for Administration

Laura Nairon
Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for People and Business Services