DEC. 23: A Message from President McPhee
As we begin our holiday break that runs through January 4, 2021, I again wish to express my sincere appreciation to each of you for your incredible work during the past 10 months as we managed this COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to successfully complete this past fall semester without a significant outbreak on campus. However, given the unfortunate recent surge of the virus in our nation and particularly our state, I believe it is important that, after the holidays, we take safeguards to assure the continued well-being of our employees and students on campus.
As you may know, Gov. Bill Lee signed Executive Order No. 70 on Dec. 20, with recommendations to further help our state control the spread of this pandemic. One of the Governor’s primary points was encouraging employees to return to work from home where possible. Therefore, effective at the end of business today, Wednesday (Dec. 23), and through the expiration of Governor Lee’s order at 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 19, 2021, I am directing supervisors to reduce the number of employees on campus.
As a result of the Governor’s Executive Order, after we return Jan. 4 from holiday break, we will return to Phase 1 of MTSU’s Charting Our Course work plan, which calls for the majority of our classified and administrative employees to work remotely. I have directed the provost and our division vice presidents to work with supervisors and develop work plans for their respective areas, which they will convey to employees.
Please be aware that some functions or duties will require select employees to work on campus, as we continue our new Winter Remote Academic Term and prepare for the Spring 2021 semester. Supervisors will reach out to those employees with expectations and further details.
We will continue athletic events, but will prohibit fans through Dec. 31. We will decide at a later date whether to keep in place this safety precaution.
Our executive leadership team will continue to monitor the rapidly changing developments from this significant surge in the state’s COVID-19 cases and I will keep you informed of any significant changes or decisions. While it is important that we all take time to relax and rejuvenate over the holiday break, I would ask that you regularly check your email in the event we need to share additional information.
During the holidays, I urge you to be cautious for the health and safety of you and your families by wearing masks, practicing social distancing when necessary, staying away from large crowds as recommended by the CDC and other public health officials.
I wish you a safe and healthy holiday season.
Sidney A. McPhee