Priorities and Guiding Principles

Huskies appreciate and respect all members of our community, and are encouraged to continue to demonstrate civility and support of each other during this stressful and uncertain time. To protect our community, all students, faculty and staff are expected to comply with the protocols and guidelines articulated on this website. Failure to do so jeopardizes the safety and well-being of your fellow students, faculty or staff, and can result in corrective action. Visitors on campus are expected to take the same precautions we ask of our Huskie students and employees.

Guiding Principles

Protecting the Pack was developed following these four guiding principles:

  • The university will follow all applicable local, state and federal public health guidelines and orders.
  • The health and safety of our students and employees come first. 
  • Supervisors will remain flexible to accommodate employees who must balance work and caregiver responsibilities.
  • University operations will continue in a manner consistent with expert public health guidance and principles.

Higher Education Guidance

Additionally, the Illinois Board of Higher Education report for institutions of higher education provided guidance for the transition to the 2020 academic year with these principles, which also played a key role in the development of our plan:

Campus Health and Safety

  • Protect the health and well-being (including mental health) of students, faculty and staff.
  • Adopt science-based public health measures and procedures.
  • Attend proactively to the needs of medically susceptible and other vulnerable subgroups among our campus stakeholders.

Sustaining Our Missions

  • Focus relentlessly on student success inside and outside of the classroom, with high-quality teaching, learning and support services.
  • Emphasize issues of diversity, inclusion and equity, with focused attention on the needs of under-resourced and underserved students, faculty and staff.
  • Consider reasonable accommodations to the greatest extent possible for faculty and staff who are in high-risk categories.
  • Protect and advance scholarship and research in all disciplines, with particular urgency for research involving COVID-19.
  • Strengthen professional and career development efforts for faculty and staff whose work has been disrupted.

Institutional Planning

  • Prepare for multiple scenarios and flexibility to address ongoing uncertainties and changing risks for students, faculty and staff.
  • Recognize financial implications as well as opportunities to realize efficiencies in all decisions, both short- and long-term.
  • Think creatively about all aspects of the institution.

Institutional Processes

  • Be transparent in decision-making.
  • Engage faculty, staff, students and other stakeholders in shared problem-solving.
  • Communicate frequently and consistently, emphasizing individual and collective responsibilities in the reopening process.
  • Collaborate with surrounding communities.
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