About Manchester

Weekly Update - July 23


From: President <President@manchester.edu>
Sent: Thursday, July 23, 2020 11:57 AM
To: All Colleagues <AllColleagues@manchester.edu>
Subject: Weekly update - July 23

Dear Colleagues,

Phase 3 of our reopen goes into effect Aug. 1, and I know you have had a number of questions regarding our plans. I’ll outline below the guidelines we have in place and remind each individual and office that we aren’t taking a one-size-fits-all approach. At the end of the day, if you have a question that isn’t addressed here or if your situation requires an adjustment to the guidelines, talk to your supervisor or send questions to health@manchester.edu.

Our overarching goals are to provide students with an excellent experience and maintain the health of our campus communities. These goals go hand-in-hand and we can’t have one without the other. It will be a different student experience this fall, and a different experience for all of us as well, and the guidelines we’re adopting will help us meet our goals in a challenging time.

A primary strategy in our plan is to “de-densify” our campuses, which means we want to spread people out, give them enough space to social distance and discourage them from congregating in groups or lines. That extra space reduces the risk of spreading COVID-19 and may also help keep us healthier when cold and flu season escalates.

The Reopen Work Group formulated its plan around these basic principles and realities:

  • Not all offices need to have colleagues physically present in order to function. Work with your vice president to determine your office needs and schedule.
  • Some colleagues should continue working remotely.
  • Some colleagues may split their time between home and the workplace.
  • Some colleagues cannot do their jobs from home.

The following guidelines apply to faculty and staff more specifically:


  • Plan to be on campus the days you teach, have in-person office hours, conduct research or need to monitor labs in person.
  • Use virtual office hours as much as possible.
  • Hold department and committee meetings virtually.
  • Work with other faculty on the same halls to stagger your times on campus.
  • Work from home as much as possible.

Office Staff

  • If you work in an office area with multiple people, try to have only half the staff in the office on a given day. Work with your supervisor to create a schedule.
  • Staff members who sit close to each other should come to campus on different days or rearrange work spaces if possible.
  • Hold department, committee and other meetings virtually.
  • Focus on student-facing tasks while you are on campus.

In addition, campus visitors must be registered and approved to come to campus.

  • Residential life will approve visitors to residence halls.
  • Admissions will approve incoming student and family guests.
  • Conference Services will approve all other external guests.

If you have additional questions, please talk to your supervisor or send questions to health@manchester.edu. We will answer them directly if specific to your situation or in future emails and at the All-Colleague Meeting on Zoom at 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 29. You should have received an Outlook invitation for the meeting.


Our state and regional health officials are discouraging mass testing for a variety of reasons (first among them being that testing resources are in short supply and needed for symptomatic individuals) and we are following their advice. That said, testing is an important part of our reopen strategy. Access to testing will allow us to do surveillance testing on our campuses and meet recently announced NCAA guidelines for some sports.

Teri Beam, professor of pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacogenomics and chair of the department of pharmaceutical sciences, has arranged with a Michigan CLIA-certified lab to provide low-cost, quick-turnaround tests for Manchester. Staff at the company regularly teach in our PGx program and the company has hired a number of Manchester graduates. We are loaning them our equipment and providing some of the staffing to run the test. As a result, we will be able to test at half the cost of commercially available alternatives and obtain same day results.

That is a long set up for this week’s gratitude: I appreciate Teri’s creativity in setting up this partnership and am grateful that we have access to this testing. Thank you, Teri, for helping us meet our goals of offering an excellent student experience and maintaining community health!


Dave McFadden
Manchester University