Dear Brown Staff,
The work of this community has been exceptional at an extraordinary time. I know that the uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic is creating new forms of stress as we all balance new ways of working with concerns about our own health and the well-being of the people we love. At the same time, the world has slipped into a financial crisis that has created widespread anxiety about job security. Some of our own staff are worried about their jobs.
For Brown, the financial consequences of the pandemic are unclear. The University already has incurred significant expenses associated with moving our students home, returning fees for room and board, curtailing some revenue-generating programs and providing critical financial support for students who rely on Brown for support to meet basic needs. How significant and lasting the financial impact will be depends entirely on how long the pandemic lasts, and this is something we simply don’t know.
However, while I can’t tell you what the future will hold, I want to offer the assurance that Brown’s regular staff don’t have to be concerned about their job security right now. I want to assure all regular staff that you will remain paid and employed at least through June 30, 2020. This is the University’s commitment to our community. Our immediate budget analysis remains focused on the current fiscal year, and it’s important to acknowledge that the future holds many unknowns. But we know the strength of Brown is its people, and we’ll do everything we can to hold our community together and protect our employees as the University does its budget planning beyond this fiscal year.
I write this recognizing that there are a number of employees who are seasonal, intermittent or temporary through agency partners. Their work is managed by their supervisors in individual units across Brown, and those units are responsible for informing their employees about whether their job assignments will continue. I am encouraging those supervisors to be generous in how they make decisions about keeping people in their jobs.
Extension of telecommuting through May 1, 2020
I and other members of the University’s leadership know that week-to-week uncertainty about how long the current remote work arrangements will last may be creating challenges for some employees and their families, particularly as schools and other businesses remain closed. We continue to monitor guidance from health experts regarding the spread of COVID-19, and we are extending Brown’s current work policies for reducing on-campus operations at least through May 1, 2020. Supervisors will continue to manage schedules with their employees based on the nature of their job assignments, and the policy remains in effect that only essential personnel should report to work in person while all other employees who can telecommute are expected to do so.
I want to extend special appreciation and gratitude to Brown’s employees who continue to report to campus to deliver essential services. I also appreciate the supervisors who continue to manage work schedules in order to protect the health and safety needs of these employees.
As our community, the nation and the world continue to confront the severe impacts of this pandemic, I know that all members of our community are working in extraordinary ways. Thank you for all you’re doing every day.
Executive Vice President for Finance & Administration