COVID Update: Campus Operations and Telework

March 16, 2020

To: Purdue University Northwest Faculty and Staff

From: Niaz Latif, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Stephen Turner, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration

Date: March 16, 2020

As all of you know, the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve very quickly. Both the spread of the virus and the responses to mitigate that spread (PK-12 school closings, day care closings, etc.) have an impact on our Purdue Northwest community. As indicated in communications last week, our campuses remain open and we will be offering remote instruction until at least April 4. Today we write to share additional information about working together during this challenging time.


To assist with social distancing and to diminish transmission of the disease, we will be allowing telecommuting/remote work on a temporary basis for all positions where such work is possible, whenever such work is possible (including research functions). We recognize that some jobs require a campus presence and for other jobs, at least some time must be spent on campus.

Unit leaders will decide which jobs can be performed remotely and which require presence on campus – this is not an individual decision, but we are permitting telework/remote work wherever possible.

Faculty should note that during the weeks we have designated for remote instruction due to COVID-19 response (March 29 to April 4), faculty cannot mandate students to come to campus for instructional activities like testing, lab work, research and so forth.

In addition, during this extraordinary time, please note that you may be asked to assist with duties outside your normal responsibilities as we transition to this remote learning/virtual environment.

No central staffing mandate covers every situation in our complex university, so your good judgment, creativity, and smart decision-making is key.

Childcare Issues

If you are an employee with childcare issues that will interfere with your work schedule, please let your supervisor know immediately so we can explore possible options – telework, alternative hours, etc. Please note that no faculty member or staff member is permitted to bring a child to work or to the campuses during this time, to comply with national and state health guidelines on preventing the spread of the disease.

The Lion Cubs Child Care Center on the Westville Campus will close at 5 p.m. today. Current plans are for the center to reopen on April 6.

Working Safely

As a reminder, we ask all faculty and staff not to come to work if you are feeling ill, and to follow the CDC best practice recommendations for preventive actions such as frequent hand washing and avoiding touching your face.

In addition, any faculty or staff member who has a fever or other symptoms of coronavirus, who has a family member with symptoms of the virus, or who has been exposed to the virus, must self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to any PNW facilities. Guidance for self-quarantine is available on the PNW COVID-19 Guide.

Campus Operations

Please note that we are not currently moving to any of our ‘reduction in operations’ procedures – our campuses remain open. Each unit is asked to make decisions that permit the unit to continue to perform its functions for students, staff, faculty, and appropriate stakeholders. The action to work remotely, where possible, will remain in effect until April 5.

Your work and response has been exceptional over the past week and there are so many stories of PNW faculty, staff and students powering onward. That said, there is much in front of us and you have our thanks in advance for all you will do during this extraordinary time to keep our Purdue Northwest community safe and our university operating.

Please continue to monitor your email and the PNW website for periodic updates as circumstances will certainly change quickly.

Niaz Latif, Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Stephen Turner, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration