Post-Pandemic Return to Workplace Plan and Town Hall Invitation for Staff

May 11, 2021

Dear colleagues,

The Post-Pandemic Return to Workplace committee has been meeting over the past several weeks to develop recommendations for a phased return to workplace on-campus plan.

The committee approached its work within the framework of T.H.R.I.V.E principles and a student-centered approach to developing the “new normal” post-pandemic workplace. Roles that are critical for ongoing on-campus operations and those that directly support students have, in many cases, continued to support our operations on-site throughout the pandemic and will continue doing so. The committee’s work was aimed at helping facilitate a time of phased and intentional transition as we resume on-campus operations. Employees who are normally contracted to work during the summer will return to standard campus operations between June 21 and August 9, in accordance with their department’s plan.  

This relatively open timeline includes just under two months to facilitate supervisor conversations with staff, make appropriate staff accommodations if necessary, and create on-site work schedules that take into account work environments that are higher density or have shared spaces.

If you have questions about your specific needs or department plan, please contact your supervisor.

Staff Town Hall

We ask staff to join us for a town hall on Wednesday, May 12 at noon or Tuesday, May 18 at noon in which the approved phased return to workplace plan and associated processes including accommodations will be discussed. Please submit your questions in advance and we will try to address them all during the town hall.

Reimagining Work at Grinnell

We invite employee feedback in a survey that aims to better understand sentiment around hybrid (on- and off-site) work. Our decisions can then be fully informed by data from those who may be directly impacted by any changes in policies. This summer allows us an opportunity to ask ourselves about our workplaces and where we locate our work, and we thank you for your engagement with this process.


During the phased return, some offices or office functions may continue to operate remotely. Employees whose position and departmental needs allow for continued remote work can do so with supervisor approval, without the need for an approved interim exception or accommodation through August 9. 

If you need accommodations, please use the interim COVID-19-related accommodations for employees with a disability or other health conditions form. Please contact Autumn Wilke, Assistant Dean for Disability Resources for additional details.

As we reflect on this past year and look toward returning to a “new normal” for on-campus work, we have an opportunity to reimagine work at Grinnell College, learning from the many experiences of the past year. We recognize our commitment to supporting a vibrant residential campus and to providing for our students and each other in our values of community. As we fulfil our mission and business and departmental needs, interpersonal relationships must remain the priority. Please contact Heather Cox or Kaitlin Wilcox with any questions regarding the Return to Workplace plan.

Thank you on behalf of the Post-Pandemic Workplace Committee,

Kaitlin Wilcox, Heather Cox, Sarah Smith, Monica Chavez-Silva, Joe Bagnoli, Lee Sharpe, Schvalla Rivera, Angela Voos, Autumn Wilke, Kelly Terlouw, Mattia Wells, Timothy Arner, Johnathan Colby, Erika Jack, Jana Grimes, Rick Whitney, Elaine Marzluff

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