March 25, 2020

March 25, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

We know the past few weeks have been tremendously challenging for everyone, and we want you to know that our UFHR team continues to serve as a resource for you in these uncertain times.

We also know there are many questions you may have, so we hope the updates included in this issue are helpful to you. We will be sending out more regular updates via UF at Work to provide you with information as it becomes available and to share resources and tips to help you, your teams and our students throughout this challenging period.

If you have suggestions of information or resources that would be helpful to share with our UF faculty and staff community through these updates, you can complete our online submission form or email our communications team at

Because the situation is ever evolving, please be sure to refer to the UF COVID-19 Updates website for the latest information and updates and to find answers to frequently asked questions.

As always, if we can be of assistance, I encourage you to reach out to us at

Best wishes,
Jodi D. Gentry, Vice President for Human Resources


An expanded definition of essential personnel

Due to the unusual circumstances prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic, UF has expanded the definition of essential employees to include anyone who may be required to report to work, be “on call” to report to work and/or be available to work remotely. In the past, the “essential” designation was narrowly focused on a short-term emergency closing during which normal business operations were halted for two to three days.

In the scenario we face now, the university is open for business, and “essential” is expanded to ensure business continuity and to provide as-needed access to campus for those employees working remotely. Importantly, please note that while you may be designated “non-essential,” you may still continue to work remotely if you are able to.

Essential v. non-essential employees
Here’s a quick breakdown to help understand these new designations.

On-Campus Essential—Those working on campus
(Examples include: Assistant Director for University Housing, Plumber, Physician)

  • Continuation of critical and/or essential services that must be completed on-site
  • Maintaining integrity of infrastructure, property or systems on-site
  • Necessary on-campus work to maintain the safety and wellbeing of students, faculty and staff

Remote Essential — Those working from a remote location who may need periodic access to campus
(Examples include: Faculty, Payroll Coordinator, IT Professional, Academic Advisor)

  • Work is required to maintain operations and business continuity of the University and can be completed remotely
  • Access to campus may be needed periodically to complete required work

Remote Non-essential – Working from a remote location, does not need access to campus
(Examples include: Marketing Specialist, Administrative Specialist, Fiscal Assistant)

  • Work is important to the university and may be completed remotely, but is not essential to maintain operations and business continuity

Access to campus
Please note that only employees designated as On-Campus Essential or Remote Essential may be present on campus during the time the university is limiting on-campus work to essential employees only. Departments are advised to identify anyone who may need to be on campus as essential to ensure they have the building access they need. Faculty and staff who need to be on campus for any reason should wear their Gator1 card so it is visible to ensure safety and security. Directors and AVPs may email to request lanyards and clip-on holders for their departments.

Confirming your designation
UFHR is working with human resources departments throughout the university to ensure a myUFL UF Emergency Remote Work Location file is updated accurately. If you are unsure of your designation, you are encouraged to reach out to your supervisor and/or your area’s human resources department for clarification and to ensure you have the access you will need. In the coming days, if you are designated essential, you will receive an email confirming this. If you have further questions, please email us at


Latest announcements

Nonessential faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to work from home.​


Remote teaching and work support

UF Center for Teaching Excellence
The center is offering online consultations for instructors who are making the shift to online course delivery.

UF Info Technology
Find a wide range of online resources to rise to the challenge of learning, teaching, and working remotely. Most recently, UFIT announced it has arranged with Adobe to provide temporary, at-home (remote) access for faculty, staff and students during the university’s COVID-19 response.

National Center for Faculty Development & Diversity
Feeling overwhelmed and looking for effective teaching and self-care resources? UF offers faculty, staff and graduate students a no-cost membership to this organization, which offers many resources.


Updated services and hours

Transportation and Parking Services
UF is suspending parking decal requirements and raising parking lot gates on the main campus through the month of April. Gates will remain operational in employee parking areas surrounding UF Health in Garages 1, 2 and 3 to ensure access for essential health care providers. Additionally, the Heart and Vascular Neuromedicine Hospital (HVN) and South Employee garages will remain operational, and parking decal restrictions apply. Employees are advised not to park in patient and visitor parking areas, as violators are subject to fine and/or removal.

George A. Smathers Libraries, Library West, UF Health Science Center Library, and UF Education Library
Spaces will remain closed until further notice. However, the virtual library is open, and library faculty and staff are available to help the community. Be sure to keep in mind the collection of digitized materials in the UF Digital Collections.

All meetings, programs and tours are temporarily postponed through May 1. Statewide research education centers are providing essential services only. The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory will remain open to answer inquiries; however, tours, visits and meetings will not be conducted at this time.

Gator Dining Services
Locations are still open with limited hours, and all dining locations are to-go only. Gator Corner is closed until further notice.


Worklife and wellness resources

UF Employee Assistance Program
If you missed last week’s EAP webinar on Coping with Uncertainty About the Coronavirus, you can view the recording online. Remember that UF’s EAP offers someone to talk to 24/7. Call the UF EAP’s toll-free number, (833) 306-0103, or visit to learn more.