Update to faculty and staff: Campus updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak

March 20, 2020

Dear St. Norbert Family,

In the uncertainty of these times, the college is mindful that the current disruption to your working lives is playing out against personal and family lives in which you’re also dealing with much disruption and anxiety. Attending to your need for information, for timely updates, and for working arrangements that reflect the deep values of our community – these are all high priorities. We appreciate the patience and understanding you’re showing, and in particular the grace and kindness you are extending to one another. We’re all also mindful of the additional strain this is placing on many of our departments. Your efforts are making all the difference: They are seen and deeply appreciated.

Updates to the alternative work arrangement and employee leave benefits

The COVID-19 pandemic has reached our state and the virus is spreading in Brown County. To minimize the spread on campus and in our community, effective Monday, March 23, all employees must work remotely. Only those employees whose work is essential to the core on-site operations of the college will be permitted to be physically present on campus. If you have not already done so, please work with your supervisor to develop a plan to work away from campus. The implementation of each employee's arrangement should be guided by the college's existing Alternative Work Arrangement Policy.

We know that some of you do not have positions that allow you to work remotely. In order to support all our staff, we are:

  • Increasing further the hours of additional PTO for employees who are now off-campus and as a result are not able to perform their work. This increase takes the total additional PTO to 80 hours for these employees. This is an increase from the 40 hours of PTO originally announced for employees in this situation. This additional PTO may be used before using your annual PTO and vacation. This provision also covers any employee who is ill with the virus themselves, providing care for an immediate family member, or ordered to self-quarantine due to symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Expanding the college’s compassionate leave policy. The college has a Compassionate Leave Policy to assist staff members who have exhausted all of their accrued vacation and PTO balances. The compassionate leave is now available to individuals who are self-isolated due to their own COVID-19 condition or are required to care for a family member who has COVID-19. All other provisions of the original policy apply. Anyone in need is invited to request compassionate leave support for additional paid time off. The college has also temporarily lifted the cap on the number of compassionate leave hours that can be donated to the bank of leave available. If you would like to make a donation, submit the compassionate leave donation form or email jesse.albers@snc.edu, cc-ing your supervisor.
Employees are currently required to work away from campus (unless specifically exempted for essential on-campus functions). At this point it is not possible to determine an end date for this policy. We will communicate new information as it is available.

Student move-out and refunds

With the announcement to move courses online for the remainder of the semester, students have been asked to move off campus as soon as possible. Residential Education & Housing has developed a move-out schedule and process designed to help students and families maintain social distancing. We have been directly in touch with international students and students whom we know have special circumstances to provide extra support and the appropriate accommodations.

The college continues to actively work on a plan to provide students a refund or credit for room and meal plans. We understand this is of serious concern to students and their families.

On-campus events

Our top priority is to keep our St. Norbert College community and the wider community safe and healthy by reducing the spread of COVID-19. Therefore, the college is adhering to the Wisconsin state ban on all public gatherings of 10 people or more statewide. You can see the status of campus events on the Box Office website.

St. Norbert College Parish

All of the parishes in the Green Bay Diocese, including St. Norbert College Parish, have suspended the public celebration of Mass through mid-April. The diocese has arranged several opportunities for celebrating Mass remotely. Old St. Joe’s will remain open for those wishing to pray individually. If you or someone you know is in need of prayers, please submit the prayer request form. Father Mike Brennan is offering reflections via videos posted on YouTube.

Counseling resources

We recognize the anxiety and emotional strain that these circumstances may place on all of us. If you or your immediate family member would like to speak with a counselor, please use our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) offered by ERC. Note that some of these services are currently available remotely via a modified format.

Coronavirus and market-volatility resources from TIAA

Our retirement plan provider, TIAA, has developed a body of resources to increase understanding around the market impact of COVID-19. They will be hosting a market volatility webinar next Wednesday, March 25. There are many questions right now so this information is very timely.

If you have other questions, check our list of frequently asked questions by employees.