Return to On-Campus Work Update

Back to Updates & Messages: COVID-19

Dear Colleagues:

We write today with more information on Colgate’s plan for a phased return to on-campus work, which will begin after June 27 in compliance with the New York State phased reopening plan. Colgate, as an educational institution, falls under phase four of that plan. Even after June 27, the return to on-campus work will take place over time and be based on a unit-by-unit evaluation of duties and physical spaces.

There will be cases in which units return portions of their workforce to campus or rotate personnel to reduce density. Supervisors, department chairs, and program directors will provide employees with specific dates, notifying individuals at least two weeks in advance of a specific unit’s return to on-campus work. 

In keeping with state regulations and guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the University will implement a series of initiatives to help safeguard the health and wellbeing of everyone on campus. These measures are only as strong as our collective commitment to community public health, and we thank everyone in advance for adhering to them to ensure their effectiveness.

Health Education

The Emergency Operations Center has developed an online training program that covers essential details you need to know as you return to campus. All faculty and staff members must complete this training prior to return to on-campus work. Employees already working on campus should proceed as soon as possible with health education training upon receipt of this communication. Completion of health education training will be monitored through Human Resources. 

The training can be accessed through Google Classroom on your web browser. (Google Classroom is available on mobile devices, which may be a more convenient way for you to access the material. Visit the App Store on your iOS device or Google Play on Android and search for Google Classroom. Sign in with your Colgate Google account.) Click the + icon to join a class and enter the course code tarvyu2

Please review each of the slide collections, then fill out the confirmation form at the conclusion of the training. Anyone who still has questions after completing this course, or has any trouble accessing the program, should email Your email will be forwarded to staff members who are best suited to answer your question(s).

Remote Work Agreement

For a variety of reasons, many employees will not be able to return to campus at their phased return date. Supervisors, department chairs, and program directors will work with individuals who need to continue to work remotely. The Human Resources Department and the Emergency Operations Center have created an agreement that covers protocols related to continued work from remote locations. Supervisors and employees will collaborate to complete and submit this agreement. Guidelines for remote work and work-related accommodations in the academic division will be sent directly to faculty members from the Provost and Dean of the Faculty Office.

Personal Protective Equipment

All employees will be required to wear a cloth face covering in environments where physical distancing of at least 6 feet is not possible. The University will distribute two face coverings to each employee for this purpose, per CDC and Occupational Safety and Health Administration(OSHA) guidance. Please pick up face coverings from Campus Safety when you arrive back on campus. Employees may also wear their own cloth face masks, provided they comply with CDC guidance.

On-Campus Work Schedule

Moving forward, it is important for the University to record faculty and staff members’ dates of on-campus work accurately and consistently so that it can make appropriate plans for building cleaning and maintenance, health education, and other factors that help to promote the health and safety of all community members. Each month, employees will be asked to fill out a simple form that notes the days on which  they will work from campus. Though the completion of this form will not be required until you begin your return to campus, you can see it online now.

Daily Health Survey

Each and every day, either prior to or immediately upon arrival to campus, employees will be asked to fill out a brief, confidential health survey. This survey checks for symptoms of or exposure to COVID-19. Aggregated information from this form will be accessed by a newly formed Health Analytics Team, which will continuously evaluate numerous data points related to Colgate’s return to on-campus operations to ensure that public health measures in place are effectively containing any spread of COVID-19.

Members of your Health Analytics Team include staff members from the Human Resources Department, Student Health Services, Facilities Management, ITS, EHS, the Department of Athletics, the Dean of the Faculty Division, and the Dean of the College Division. We thank these colleagues for taking on such an important duty for the continued health and safety of the University community. 

Supervisors, department chairs, and program directors will not see answers to an employee’s specific questions, but they will be able to see whether or not the form has been completed. Only HR staff and University health professionals will have permission to see all survey answers. Though the completion of this form will not be required until you return to campus, you can see it online now. Employees already working on campus should begin submitting a daily health survey upon receipt of this communication.

The beauty of our campus is one of the benefits of working at Colgate. While we celebrate the possibility of a return to campus, we also acknowledge the challenges and responsibilities that come with that welcome moment. Working together, we will preserve our health and safety to the greatest extent possible in a time of rapid change and persistent uncertainty. This is a new moment for Colgate, but our longstanding commitment to each other and to our mission will see us through — as ever.

With many thanks and best wishes,

Dan Gough
Associate Vice President for Campus Safety, Emergency Management and Environmental Health and Safety