COSAM News Articles 2020 March Message from Dean Giordano – Important Employee Information

Message from Dean Giordano – Important Employee Information

Published: 03/17/2020

By: Dean Giordano

To all faculty, staff, and students in COSAM,

I want to keep everyone in the College of Sciences and Mathematics (COSAM) updated with open communication as we make adjustments to our working environment to reduce the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

On Sunday, March 15, I emailed COSAM staff and supervisors about work procedures during our transition to online instruction. My email, which is reproduced below, was sent out in the morning. Then, in the evening on Sunday, another message was sent out from Executive Vice President Burgess that may have resulted in confusion.

I want to clarify and share several essential points from meetings with the Provost on Monday, March 16. Based on what I learned from the Provost, there is a slightly different set of take away messages that I believe you should all hear directly from me:

(1)  Auburn University is open for business. This means that all functions, except teaching, should proceed in as normal a way as possible. Teaching will now shift to an online format until at least April 10.

(2)  Anyone who can do their job from home and wishes to do so, can work from home.

(3)  Anyone who wishes to work on campus can come to campus and work in their normal office or at their normal desk.

(4)  If you wish to work from home, either to help deal with child care needs or just because you feel safer health-wise, we will do everything we can to make this possible.

(5)  Anyone who wants to work from home should discuss with their supervisor and get approval.

Whether you choose to work on or off campus, we all in COSAM will do everything we can to ensure your hours and paychecks are not affected.

I ask all of our faculty, staff, and students to show patience, flexibility, and understanding, so we as a college can continue to provide high-quality instruction during this time.

Over the next few weeks, I will continue to share information with everyone in COSAM via email on a consistent basis. 

If you have any questions about this information, please do not hesitate to contact me, or your supervisor, or your department chair.



Message from the Dean, Sunday, March 15

You have probably all seen that Auburn University will be instituting some major changes in response to the coronavirus – see the message from the President:

Two important sentences from the President’s message are as follows:

Auburn University will transition from on-campus instruction to remote delivery beginning Monday, March 16 and continue through April 10 in response to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The university will continue normal operations, although departments and units should utilize remote work and “social distancing” as appropriate.

These changes will affect the operations for all of us in COSAM. In this email I want to address how these changes will affect staff and their supervisors.

First, for all hourly workers, my goal is that everyone will continue to work their normal number of hours each week, so that paychecks will not be adversely affected.

Second, where possible, I urge you to work from home so as to achieve “social distancing.” If you wish to work at home, please consult with your supervisor as soon as possible. You will need to be sure that you have the means to work from home (i.e., an appropriate computer and software) and also that your work is such that it can be done effectively from home. And above all, your supervisor must give his or her consent.

Third, I realize that the closure of K-12 schools in the area will make life even more challenging for many of you. I urge supervisors to be as flexible as possible to make working from home possible. At the same time, it is important for COSAM to continue to function – the work must get done.

Fourth, with the transition to online instruction some of your normal jobs may need to change. For example, laboratory courses or sections may change substantially by incorporating online work, etc. The work done by folks who are engaged in supporting the instructional labs will likely need to change temporarily, for example to support a broader range of teaching and research missions of the department. The COSAM Department Chairs may therefore need to work with the instructional lab staff to decide on appropriate work assignments.

Lastly, I anticipate that the coming weeks will be challenging for all of us. My goal is that no one should suffer financially, nor should needs such as daycare be neglected. This will require that we all be flexible and work together.

If any member of the COSAM staff (including supervisors) have any questions about what is allowed, please contact me.



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