UCR Campus "Closed"

March 14, 2020
Thomas Smith (Interim Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor) and Gerry Bomotti (Vice Chancellor and CFO)
March 14, 2020

Effective Date:  March 16, 2020

To:  All UCR Employees

This message is intended for all UCR employees, including but not limited to faculty, staff (non-represented and represented), undergraduate student employees, graduate teaching assistants, and graduate research assistants.

The University has been ordered “closed” by the Health Officer of the County of Riverside, effective March 16, 2020 through April 3, 2020. “Closed” in this context means all offices, units or departments will not have staff on campus unless they are essential personnel, and many staff may be working remotely.

We are working with supervisors to define all essential personnel required to support critical campus functions.  Some essential personnel will need to continue to work physically on site. We expect that supervisors will alert all staff regarding our interim plans for Monday.  These plans may well be adjusted as we move further into this closure period. 

All individuals who are not essential personnel will first be asked to work remotely, if feasible. If remote work is not feasible a paid leave option is available, as noted below.

All campus offices, units, or departments will be closed (i.e., no employees physically working on campus), unless they are designated as essential to support critical campus functions.

Please read this entire email carefully and consult with your supervisor, as there are specific situations we are working to provide guidance on for all employees.  We are also working with the University System Office.

The health and well-being of our community remains our number one priority and we believe the most effective communications for individual situations with each employee is through our network of supervisors. 


The following guidance is provided to assist you with planning your work related responsibilities. We recognize that we are operating in a fast moving and fluid environment, but we wanted to get out some key information to everyone as soon as possible after the closure notice from the Heath Officer of the County of Riverside.  It is critical that all employees coordinate with their supervisors to verify work assignments and responsibilities.  We expect we will have to augment this information in the near future:

  1. At this time the University of California has granted use of up to 14 days of paid administrative leave for all employees.  This benefit was put in place before the campus closure by the Health Officer of the County of Riverside and may well be adjusted, but in the near term will provide flexibility for us to use until further guidance is provided.  Those individuals that do not continue to work either on campus as essential personnel, or remotely, may use this benefit to cover their time away from campus. This paid administrative leave is a single allocation of up to 14 work days at the current FTE level, but these days do not need to be consecutive.
  2. Essential personnel required to support critical campus functions will need to continue working.  Our goal will be to rotate these staff, to the extent feasible, such that we limit any that remain full-time physically on campus during the full extent of this closure.  Some essential personnel may be able to continue their work remotely.  Some essential personnel may be impacted by illness (them or their family) and/or the closure of day care and schools.  We will work with supervisors to assure we accommodate those situations.  All essential personnel and staff working remotely will be considered on paid work status. Note that all health care workers are designated as essential personnel.   
  3. Employees unable to come to work due to a COVID-l9 day care or school closure that requires them to be home with their child may work remotely if operationally feasible. If remote work is not operationally feasible, the University will provide up to 14 days paid administrative leave to cover the absence.
  4.  Consult with your supervisor relative to telecommuting is feasible for your duties. To assess whether remote work is operationally feasible, refer to the Assessing the Feasibility of Remote Work during the Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) Outbreak Guidelines. Please note that at this time we are not requiring the telecommuting form to be filled out by the supervisor and employee.
  5. To indicate you are using some of the 14 day paid administrative leave in the UCR Time & Attendance Reporting System (TARS), select “other leave” and choose the Administrative – Paid (PA) Leave type.
  6. For all staff, TAs and Graduate Research Assistants, the same policy considerations will apply, including the option for up to 14 days of paid administrative leave.  Graduate Research Assistants should consult with their supervisor/PI (who will be carefully coordinating with the appropriate Dean) on their work assignments and also their eligibility for paid administrative leave. We expect there will be some on-campus research work continuing even during this closure. TAs should consult with their supervisor particularly how they can fulfill their role when courses are not being taught in person. UCR will provide more details for TAs prior to the start of Spring quarter. We understand that some TAs and Graduate Assistants may have more than one supervisor, for separate appointments, and therefore they will need to check with each appropriate supervisor.
  7.  For employees who are undergraduate students the same policy considerations apply, including the option of up to 14 work days of paid administrative leave (which do not need to be consecutive). Some undergraduate student employees may have their duties impacted by the campus actions relative to the campus “closure” and the elimination of in person class meetings, and UCR will work to provide additional guidance for these individuals prior to the start of Spring quarter. For any students schedule to work next week please contact your supervisor for direction.
  8. Benefits – Generally, an employee granted a leave with pay will continue to receive all benefits related to employment.  Special limitations or requirements that apply to certain types of leaves are addressed in the provisions specific to those leaves in PPSM 2.210.III.A.6.

Please accept our thanks for your continued cooperation, patience, and understanding while we adjust and provide guidance to this fluid and unprecedented situation.   

Please anticipate additional email communications and guidance in response to the outbreak and campus closure, as the situation is fast changing . In addition, the UCR COVID-19 Outbreak website will continually be updated.  We anticipate additional communications relative to essential personnel for critical campus functions early next week.   We will also have additional communications to supervisors and staff, specifically prior to the start of the Spring quarter. 

Represented Staff should contact Labor Relations at Labor.Relations@ucr.edu with any questions or concerns.

Staff not covered by a collective bargaining unit should contact Human Resources @ HRPolicy@ucr.edu with any questions or concerns.

 Graduate student employees should contact graddiv@ucr.edu with any questions or concerns. 

Thank you again.