From Kevin’s Desk: How Each of Us Can Help (8/14/2020)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

I hope you and your loved ones are safe and well.  Our campus is ramping up for a public health-informed fall semester.  What does that mean to each of us for now?  Until the Governor modifies her executive orders and President Schlissel provides us further direction, if your job can be done remotely, continue to work remotely – do not come to campus.  I know many of us are raring to get back to the office.  For those who listened to the virtual Staff Townhall this week, you heard that even the President is working from home.  So, he follows his own guidance: do not come to campus unless you are told that you must come to campus.  Know that by working remotely, you are helping to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus while keeping the university running.  I know that this is frustrating for many.  I think Betty would send me to the office right now if she could!  But hang in there with me.  This too shall eventually pass!

In the meantime, something fun that you can do for yourself and your colleagues is apply to become an MHealthy Champion by August 31. Join the 750 other U-M employees who currently help support a culture of health within their teams and work areas! MHealthy Champions are incredibly important during this pandemic – informing their teams of different MHealthy programs and resources and encouraging them to participate in healthy activities. I don’t know about you, but I am suffering from COVID weight gain!  I have lots of MHealthy work to do, so might as well start now!  A big shout-out to our colleagues in MHealthy who are stewarding this incredible program – YOU ROCK! 

Finally, please note that the Interim Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Misconduct goes into effect today. As I shared last week, it will take a deep commitment by all of us to create a culture of safety and a work environment in which sexual misconduct is not tolerated and people feel safe to report it. This umbrella policy applies to all U-M community members and provides common definitions for prohibited conduct and how to report misconduct. It also notes which U-M community members have reporting obligations (this online course helps you determine if you have reporting obligations).   You can find the policy and accompanying resources in the Record. Please familiarize yourself with the new policy and reach out to your supervisor with any questions.  I am personally committed to creating a work environment where everyone feels very comfortable raising any issue that might not “seem right” to them so that others can take a look.  I know that each of you support me in this endeavor. 

Thank you for all you do to support the university community. Together, we can ensure that our community is as healthy and safe as possible.

With much appreciation and gratitude,

Kevin