Taskforce Response Team Goal:
Converse University's policies and protocols for responding to the COVID-19 pandemic will be rooted in safety for our staff, safety for our faculty and students, and for the public, we interact with.
COVID-19 Response Team Members:
Boone Hopkins, Interim President
Lienne Medford, Interim Provost
Chris Vaneman, Dean of the School of the Arts
Bethany Garr, Director of Counseling and Wellness
Claire Gregg, Director of Human Resources
Danielle Stone, Director of Community and Inclusion
Debbi Thompson, Director of Event Services
Dianne Crocker, VP for Finance and Business Administration
Erin Templeton, Dean of the School of Humanities, Sciences and Business
Gladden Smoke, Director of Facilities
Holly Duncan, Interim VP of Marketing and Communications
Jamie Grant, VP for Enrollment Management
Jennifer Bell, Director of Athletics
Jessica Backman, Director of Student Activities and Civic Engagement
Karen Mims, SGA President
Kristin Lacey, VP for Operations and Strategic Planning
Kristina Pisano, Director of Annual Giving
Kyle Crowder, Campus Fire Marshal and Emergency Management Coordinator
Larry Jones, Director of Campus Safety
Margaret Moore, Faculty Senate President
Mike Kennedy, Interim VP for Philanthropy and Alumni Relations
Madison Buisch, VP of Student Goverment
Pamela Greenway, Senior Executive Assistant to the President and Assistant Secretary to the BOT
Rhonda Mingo, Dean of Students
Sher-Ron Laud, Director of Residential Life
Tori Good, Director of Career Development and Employer Relations
Will Case, Associate Provost for Student Success, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Co-Director of the Nisbet Honors Program
Zach Corbitt, Chief Information Officer
Food Service Representation, AVI Foodsystems
Rebecca Furr, Budd Group Manager
Workplace Expectations & Guidelines:
All employees are expected to fully comply with the policies, protocols, and guidelines outlined on this
site as part of Converse Workplace Expectations and Guidelines.
- Symptom Monitoring Requirement:
Employees who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct a self-screen questionnaire
every day before reporting to work (on-campus or remotely). You must be free of ANY symptoms potentially related to
COVID-19 or have had evaluation and clearance by the Wellness Center, Teladoc, or another medical provider to be eligible to report to work.
- Phased Staffing:
Converse University will phase in a return of staff overtime in a coordinated process to ensure appropriate
social distancing, availability of PPE (personal protective equipment), and self-screening protocols for
COVID-19. Converse will assess expanded staffing based on mission-critical operations, the ability to control and
manage specific work environments, and the necessity to access on-site resources. These decisions,
once approved, will be communicated through your respective supervisor.
The need to reduce the number of people on campus (density) to meet social distancing
requirements will continue for some time. Support units that can continue to effectively work
remotely will likely continue to do so until restrictions are eased for larger gatherings.
Expanded staffing will be tightly controlled and coordinated to mitigate potential risks and ensure
the safety of faculty and staff, as well as the communities we serve. No department should
increase staffing levels beyond the current needs to support critical on-site operations without
approval from your supervisor. Once decisions to expand on-site staffing in certain areas have been made,
staff should follow the policies and protocols detailed in this guide for returning to work on campus.
As staffing on-site increases and operations expand, the COVID-19 response team will closely monitor
and assess the potential spread of the virus, as well as existing policies and procedures to mitigate it.
If localized outbreaks emerge, tighter restrictions and reduced staffing may need to be implemented again.
- Staffing Options:
Once staff members have been instructed to return to work on-site, there are several options
departments should consider maintaining the required social distancing measures and reduce
population density within buildings and workspace.
- Remote Work:
Those who can work remotely to fulfill some or all of their work responsibilities
may continue to do so to reduce the number of individuals on campus and the potential spread of
the COVID-19 virus. These arrangements, which should be approved by the immediate supervisor,
can be done on a full or partial day/week schedule as appropriate.
- Alternating Days:
In order to limit the number of individuals and interactions among those on
campus, departments should schedule partial staffing on alternating days. Such schedules will
help enable social distancing, especially in areas with large common workspace.
- Staggered Reporting/Departing:
The beginning and end of the workday typically bring many
people together at common entry/exit points of buildings. Staggering reporting and departure
times by at least 30 minutes will reduce traffic in common areas to meet social distancing
- Personal Safety Practices:
Face masks or face coverings must be worn by all employees working on campus when in the presence
of others and in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (e.g., common workspace.
meeting rooms, classrooms, etc.). Appropriate use of face masks or coverings is critical in minimizing risks to
others near you. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. The mask or
cloth face covering is not a substitute for social distancing.
- Social Distancing:
Keeping space between you and others is one of the best tools we have to avoid being exposed
to the COVID-19 virus and slowing its spread.
- Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have
been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or touching your face.
- Cleaning/Disinfection: Budd Group Housekeeping teams will clean based on CDC guidelines for disinfection.
Facilities will also maintain hand-sanitizer stations at major building entrances, elevator stops, and high-traffic
areas. Mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and monitoring systems will be assessed and readied prior to the
reopening of buildings.
- Working in Office Environments: If you work in an open environment, be sure to maintain at
least 6 feet distance from co-workers. If possible have at least one workspace separating you from
another co-worker. You should wear a face mask or face covering at all times while in a shared
workspace/room. A mask or face covering is not required if you are working alone in a confined office space
(does not include partitioned work areas in a large open environment). Departments should assess open
work environments and meeting rooms to institute measures to physically separate and increase the
distance between employees, other coworkers, and customers, such as:
- Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape, or signs to indicate to customers
where they should stand while waiting in line.
- Place one-way directional signage for large open work
spaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance
between employees moving through the space.
- Consider designating specific stairways for up or down
traffic if building space allows.
- Using Elevators: The use of elevators should be limited where possible to avoid close proximity with
others in a confined space. Those using elevators are required to wear a disposable face mask
or face covering regardless of traveling alone or with others.
- Using Restrooms: Wash your hands thoroughly afterward to reduce the potential
transmission of the virus.
- Meetings: Convening in groups increases the risk of viral transmission. Where feasible, meetings
should be held in whole or part using the extensive range of available collaboration tools (e.g.
Zoom, telephone, etc.). In-person meetings are limited to the restrictions of local, state, and
federal orders assuming individuals can still maintain 6 feet of separation for social distancing requirements.
- Meals: Before and after eating, you should wash your hands thoroughly to reduce the potential transmission
of the virus. If dining on campus, you should wear your mask or face covering until you are ready to eat and
then replace it afterward.
Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA)
With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education, and assistance. OSHA is part of the United States Department of Labor.
- Know Your Rights - Under federal law, you are entitled to a safe workplace. Your employer must provide
a workplace free of known health and safety hazards. If you have concerns, you have the right to speak up
about them without fear of retaliation. You also have the right to:
- Be trained in a language you understand
- Be provided required safety gear, such as gloves or a harness and lifeline for falls
- Be protected from toxic chemicals
- Request an OSHA inspection, and speak to the inspector
- Report an injury or illness, and get copies of your medical records
- See copies of the workplace injury and illness log
- Review records of work-related injuries and illnesses
- Get copies of test results done to find hazards in the workplace
- Working conditions that do not pose a risk of serious harm.
- Receive information and training (in a language and vocabulary the worker understands)
about workplace hazards, methods to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace.
Report a Health and Safety Concern
You have the right to share a confidential safety and health concern with Converse University Risk Management if you believe there is a serious hazard or if you think Converse is not following OSHA standards. The concern should be filed as soon as possible after noticing the hazard.