Dear Colonel Family,
This week has been one of progress. For employees who can work from home, we completed a new, detailed Teleworking Policy, which will be released shortly. We sent information on pending refunds for pre-paid housing and dining to our residential students forced to check out of campus housing by COVID-19. For all students impacted by the virus, we received further federal guidance for the distribution of CARES Act stimulus dollars to go toward expenses incurred due to the coronavirus. Those payments will be dispersed shortly. This will get much needed relief in the hands of our students.
With each passing day, I see more reason to hope for a better tomorrow. As we mourn those lost to COVID-19 and remember those members of the Colonel Family who are ill in the hospital or at home suffering from the virus, we are preparing for a gradual return to the campus we call home. As Gov. Edwards has cautioned, things will not go back to the way things were anytime soon, but May will see changes. We have circled May 4 as the date to have extraordinary health and safety measures in place to mitigate risk for those returning to campus.
Employees who can telework will continue to do so in some capacity, perhaps on a rotational basis, to keep office staffing down. Employees who cannot telework will:
- be assigned PPE.
- be required to wear a mask indoors or in the presence of others.
- wear bracelets indicating they have had their temperature checked prior to entry.
- use sanitizing wipes as directed.
Those who do not feel safe returning to work, who are identified by a physician to be in a high-risk category, or who meet other criteria for staying home can access supplemental COVID-19 sick leave and/or accrued sick leave available to them. Our priority must be safety, with the second being continuation of our mission to educate and graduate students.
In May we will likely begin to experience an easing of restrictions. To prevent another lockdown, we must continue to adhere to federal, state, parish, and campus guidelines. Be smart. Be safe. Be Well. And Geaux Colonels!
Jay Clune, President
Nicholls State University
Louisiana’s Coastal University