We want to follow up on David Provost’s recent email regarding the impact of COVID-19 on Middlebury’s finances. As David described, the impact is significant, and it will affect every department throughout our operations. Working through so many big questions, our top priorities continue to be wage and academic continuity.
We have been heartened to see so many of you adapting to these unsettling conditions while bringing a collaborative spirit to our cost-cutting imperative. We are all in this together. As we continue to look for savings to support wage and academic continuity, we want to share a few new processes that will go into effect immediately.
For benefits-eligible employees, if for any reason related to COVID-19 you are unable to complete a normal work schedule, here is how you should navigate—in order—the various forms of leave time to maintain your income:
- COVID-19 Pay Bank — First, use your hours from the new COVID-19 bank. Every benefits-eligible employee has been given a 168-hour pay bank that will extend through June 30. You will see the COVID-19 Pay Bank as an option on your time sheet (far left column) and you should enter the hours just as you would CTO or SLR.
- CTO — When your COVID-19 Pay Bank is depleted, use your CTO hours until you reach a zero balance there, as well.
- SLR — When your COVID-19 Pay Bank and CTO are both at a zero balance, you may use SLR as needed, even if you, yourself, are not sick. You may maintain a balance of up to 80 hours to be prepared for unexpected future needs.
- COVID-19 Pay Bank — When your other options are exhausted, please use the COVID-19 Pay Bank (even if it accrues a negative balance) to account for any administrative paid leave needed to bridge to June 30.
Staff Professional Development Funds
As we focus on channeling all possible resources toward ensuring wage continuity, we have instituted a temporary freeze on staff professional development funds. This includes funds within departmental budgets as well as requests for staff development funds or continuing education funds from Human Resources. We will not be able to approve any pending applications at this time.
We recognize that student employment is very important, both for the students who depend on the income and for academic continuity in particular areas. Here is how we are approaching student hiring for the foreseeable future:
- Any student currently working may continue to do so through the rest of the academic year.
- Spring Hires: New hires this spring are restricted to grant-funded positions and those that support academic continuity. For example, DLINQ or ITS may require new student workers to support remote learning, while HR would not be approved to hire a student to do filing.
- Summer Hires: Grant-funded and educational continuity positions. The academic administration continues to assess if and how the summer research program might be feasible and will make a determination soon.
- Fall Hires: We anticipate that we will be able to start posting fall positions on or around May 15.
Thank you for your continued partnership, and for quickly responding to our financial challenges. We are mindful that this public health crisis affects all of us, both professionally and personally, and will continue to do so for some time to come. We are committed to finding the best ways to refocus budget dollars toward wage and academic continuity and will keep you informed of future developments.
VP for Human Resources and Chief Risk Officer
EVP for Finance and Administration