fbpx Return to Campus Fall 2021 | Harvard Kennedy School

Return to Campus, Fall Semester 2021

Guiding Principles and Approach
Guiding Principles for Return to Campus
  • The way we work must support our mission and distinctive excellence by prioritizing the academic needs of our students, supporting cutting-edge research, and fostering engagement with practitioners. 
  • The fall semester will be a transitional period of learning and discovery—capturing and sharing new ideas and practices, piloting and iterating additional flexible work options, and strengthening our community and culture.
  • Our plans will follow and incorporate the evidence-based policies and approaches identified by the University, as well as State regulations and local guidelines, to protect the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community. 
  • We recognize roles vary and will necessitate different requirements within departments and centers, and we aim for an equitable decision-making process in determining respective return to campus plans. 
  • We are committed to timely and transparent communications including opportunities for feedback in support of our transition back to campus. 
Approach/Criteria for Return to Campus

Various remote work options will be explored for fall semester return to campus, based on business need, coverage, and roles.
 

  • Some roles that cannot be conducted remotely have already been campus-based throughout the pandemic.
  • Roles supporting in-person teaching or research, or roles providing in-person services to students, staff, fellows, or faculty will generally return to campus in a phased approach beginning in early August, representing roughly 50% of staff but will vary across departments.
  • Most remaining staff will join their colleagues already on campus and are expected to return in a phased approach beginning later in August or September, depending on levels of collaboration required, the culture and community needs of the team, role-specific requirements, or other reasons.
  • Employees will be able to discuss specific return to work plans with their managers and department heads or executive directors, and with HR should accommodations be needed.
  • Wherever possible, we will support a graduated return schedule for each employee that factors in appropriate on-campus support necessary for each department and center, beginning with at least one day per week.    
  • If employees wish to opt-in to return to campus earlier than requested, we will aim to accommodate individual requests as conditions allow.

The health, safety, and well-being of our community remains our top priority. Faculty, staff and fellows can find answers to important questions below. 

Frequently Asked Questions
HKS campus access and operations

Who can come to HKS campus buildings to do work?

The Kennedy School campus is open for staff, faculty, and fellows who are required to be on campus as well as other pre-approved work arrangements and ad-hoc visits.  No other visitors are allowed in the buildings at this time.

What do I have to do before returning to campus?

Before you return to campus you will need to complete the following safety requirements.

  • Training:  Anyone coming to campus must complete the state-mandated COVID-19 training once before returning to campus.  It is available here and takes only 10-12 minutes to complete.  Completion of this training course enables you to access the Crimson Clear app.
  • Crimson Clear:  Every day, before leaving home for the campus, employees must report any symptoms of illness or contact with individuals diagnosed with COVID-19 through Crimson Clear web app.  If you are not cleared by the app, you must not come to campus and if you are an essential on-campus worker you must inform your supervisor. Additional protocol details are available here. It is essential for the well-being of our community that anyone coming on campus follow the Crimson Clear protocols.
  • Virus Testing: All staff, faculty, and fellows who have been approved to return to campus will now self-administer the COVID-19 test without medical observation. You can pick up your weekly test kit at the Wexner Building main entrance Security Station and drop off your completed test at the Wexner Building lobby.  Please see the details attached herein. Please plan to take your viral test on the first day of returning to campus. If you have traveled, you will need to complete the full travel re-entry protocol before returning to campus. 
    • Optional additional viral testing: Given the recent rise in cases across the state and nation, employees in a one time/week testing cadence who are on campus more than one day can take up to two tests/week.  The additional test is optional.  If you are interested, please send an email to Brian Conroy and/or Arthi Kasetty. 
  • Social distancing, face coverings, good hygiene:  Anyone coming to the HKS campus or any part of Harvard must adhere to all University Guidelines pertaining to maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings, and following good hygiene practices.

What should I expect on the HKS campus when I return?

Health

  • Employees are expected to wear face coverings in all areas of the campus except when an individual is in a private office with the door closed or when there is no one else in the same room/suite when you are at your workspace. Face coverings (Masks) for all students, employees, and vendors on the central quad (Littauer, Wexner, Rubenstein, Taubman, Ofer) will be required to wear a general use surgical mask.  If you do not have one, they will be available at entrances, dining, and the Forum areas. If you have a preferred mask, please wear a surgical mask over your preferred mask. Consistency of masks and appropriate mask-wearing will help ensure our safe environment, in addition to physical distancing and good hygiene.   
  • HKS will be monitoring the ongoing daily use of Crimson Clear and weekly viral testing completion.  If you fail to abide by these protocols, you may have your campus access privileges revoked.

Workspace and Meetings

  • Employees are expected to be working in their workspace and to not visit other parts of the buildings, including common areas. 
  • Zoom and Teams should continue to be used for meetings even if you are on campus. We are exploring the possibility of allowing meetings of up to five people, with proper social distancing, but that is not yet available.
  • Faculty may teach from their campus offices. Remote teaching from classrooms is not currently available, though we hope to be running some remote teaching classroom pilots shortly.
  • You are expected to wipe down your own work area daily with the materials provided.  Vacuuming or other services in private office spaces is available by request (to operations) only.

Common Areas and Bathrooms/Kitchenettes

  • The café will be opened from 8 am – 2 pm, Monday – Friday, and will service prepackaged breakfast and lunch options. You can either visit the café or order online and pick up your selections at Taubman G02 (next to the dining area).  
  • Bathrooms can be used by following social distancing guidelines. There are enhanced cleaning protocols in place and each multi-stall bathroom has been outfitted with air purifiers.
  • Kitchenettes are limited to one occupant at a time and are posted with protocols.

Additional information on what HKS is doing to keep our campus safe can be found on the Health & Safety page

Will warnings/sanctions be issued against staff who don’t wear face coverings as required on campus?

All members of the HKS community will be expected to do their part to help limit the potential spread of the virus. Anyone coming to the HKS campus or any part of Harvard must adhere to all University Guidelines pertaining to maintaining social distance, wearing face coverings, and following good hygiene practices. Individuals who are unable to comply with the new health and safety policies will not be allowed to have access to campus until the threat of COVID-19 has passed. Anyone who fails or refuses to comply with University protocols with respect to the wearing of face coverings and other requirements will be subject to discipline, including loss of campus access.  We strongly encourage our community to help one another with compliance, and we should feel comfortable reminding one another to put on masks or keep an appropriate distance.  If, however, you feel that further action is needed, please make your manager or HR contact aware of your concerns so that appropriate action can be taken.

If approved to come to campus, how do I exit and enter various HKS buildings?

The Central Quad buildings (Belfer, Littauer, Taubman, Wexner, Ofer, and Rubenstein) should be accessed by employees with prior authorization, via the Wexner building entrance only. Those entering will be required to swipe their Harvard ID. Daily Crimson Clear attestation is required and should be displayed to the security attendant before entering the buildings.

Access to 114 Mt. Auburn,  124 Mt. Auburn, and One Brattle also requires prior authorization. Employees entering these buildings will have to swipe their Harvard ID to gain access on their approved days. Prior to leaving home each day your Crimson Clear attestation should be mailed to your center executive director/department head (for staff and fellows) or Suzanne Cooper (for faculty and faculty assistants). Failure to complete Crimson Clear attestation may result in future denial of access to campus.

What protocols have been put in place for cleaning and other building related safety?

Campus Planning and Operations is following Harvard Environmental Health and Safety protocols and taking a multi-point approach in maintaining our cleaning and building safety at HKS. This will be accomplished through various methods such as enhanced cleaning, building systems such as filter upgrades, new space guidelines when traveling on campus, and changes to common space operations in bathrooms, kitchens and kitchenettes, and common areas.  Additional information on what HKS is doing to keep our campus safe and other questions about return to campus can be found on our Campus Planning and Operations pages.

What building services will be available?

  • Mailroom hours: Open Monday -  Friday from 8:00 am - 11:00 am and 1:00- 5:00 pm.  Any questions, please call the CPO helpdesk at 617-495-1306.
  • WB Mason supplies delivery will be limited to the mailroom. Employees can pick their orders up from the mailroom.
  • Local kitchen areas will be available for use. Cleaning supplies will be made available for occupants to wipe down items before and after use.
  • Lactation rooms will be open for limited booking.

What building services will not be available?

  • Booking conference, team rooms, and event spaces are not available.  Please contact CPO for special requests.
  • Shower and meditation rooms will be closed.
  • While the library space will be closed, their services are available virtually. For any requests or services please click here.

Can I get IT help?

The HKS IT team is currently providing remote support to all members of our community—faculty members, staff, students, and fellows alike. Contact the HKS IT Service Center at 617-495-3375 or ithelp@hks.harvard.eduwith your technology-related questions and support issues. Many issues can be resolved by phone, email, or using HKS IT's remote support tools to connect to your device. The HKS IT Service Center is open Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST (by phone and email), and Saturday to Sunday, 12 to 4 p.m. EST (by phone only), excluding Harvard University holidays. The walk-up location at Belfer G-6 will continue to be closed for IT help due to safety reasons.

What do I do if I am on campus and need IT help onsite?

Since many questions and issues can be resolved by phone, email or using HKS IT's remote support tools to connect to your device, contact the HKS IT Service Center at 617-495-3375 or ithelp@hks.harvard.edu. If the issue still cannot be resolved, a team member from the HKS IT Service Center will be dispatched to help based on prioritization Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.

If I have a hardware issue with my HKS-issued computer, what are my options?

The HKS IT Service Center can facilitate the hardware repair and provide you with a loaner laptop that you can use in the meantime. Contact the HKS IT Service Center at 617-495-3375 or ithelp@hks.harvard.edu with your issue so that we can attempt to resolve the issue. After exhausting all possible options and determining that the issue is hardware-related, we will schedule a time with you for the dropoff of your computer at HKS and pickup of a loaner laptop, if requested and subject to availability, for your temporary use. All dropoffs and pickups Monday to Friday, 9 a.m. to 5p.m. EST, will take place at the HKS IT Service Center walk-up location at Belfer G-6 by appointment only. Dropoffs and pickups outside of these hours will take place at the Security Office at Wexner 101.

Where can I get more information about IT services and resources that are available to me?

Read more about HKS IT Service Center and access its self-help resources (HarvardKey required).

Can I park on campus?

  • Rates and new parking options are available on the Harvard Transportation website
  • Employees who extended their annual parking permits should continue using their current hang tag and designated parking locations. Your parking access will be extended into the fall. Please continue to properly display your permit. Click here for information about credits, extensions, and renewals.
  • If you have canceled your annual parking permit this spring, you will need to reapply when you return to campus. Click here for more details.
  • Parking rules continue to apply and signage regarding reserved spaces, fire lanes, and disability parking much be observed. View a map of Harvard parking locations: printable map or interactive map. Please refer to the University's website for additional transportation guidance.

Can a group of employees choose to get together, with proper social distancing and masks, to have a work meeting off campus?  What about faculty meeting in person, and off-campus with students, staff, or other affiliates?

At this time we cannot allow employees to meet in person, off campus to do work.  We do not have the means to perform contact tracing for any off-campus meeting and it is possible that some staff or faculty members may feel pressured to travel (especially on public transportation) and don’t feel comfortable speaking up.  Similarly, faculty should not be meeting in person with students, staff, or other affiliates off campus for school matters. We continue to work hard in collaboration with the University to build capabilities to support different ways of working during the pandemic and we will share those with you as they become available.

Who do I reach out to if I have questions or concerns?

Please reach out to Arthi Kasetty or Pam Cozza.

Staying healthy

What information will we get if another community member tests positive?

The university posts daily testing updates  with numbers of positive COVID-19 cases across Harvard.  Because many individuals have affiliations with multiple units within the university. a decision was made to only report at the University level.  Names of individuals who test positive are not released for privacy reasons.  If you have been on campus recently with someone who subsequently tested positive for COVID-19, you will only be contacted if you have been determined to be a Close Contact.  As long as you followed all proper protocols such as keeping at least 6 feet apart and wearing masks, you would not be considered a Close Contact.  If, for some reason, you are considered a Close Contact, you would hear from the University contact tracers generally within 24 hours of the identification of the positive case.  

Can I wear a double mask, with one of them being a surgical mask?  Can I use an N-95 mask?

You may wear two masks if you would like, as long as one of the masks is a surgical mask.  An N-95 or cloth mask can be your second mask if you choose to wear two.  While there is evidence that double-masking can provide enhanced protection, it is also harder to breath, which can reduce consistent wearing.  Wearing a mask consistently is essential.  Importantly, if you lower your mask to eat or drink (in spaces where that is allowed) you should replace your mask before talking or engaging in any activities other than eating or drinking, such as texting or doing work.  Additional Harvard guidance regarding masks can be found  here.

What should I do if I suspect that I have been infected with the COVID-19 virus, or if I came in contact with someone who has tested positive?

Please refer to this guidance: https://huhs.harvard.edu/sites/default/files/Self-Isolation_Guidance.pdf

The rapidly changing nature of this public health emergency raises questions and anxieties, here are some things you can do:

  • If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, contact your primary care provider and also let HUHS know (healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu) so we can advise you. Please do not go to a medical office or emergency room without calling first.
  • If you think you may have had an exposure but no symptoms, please review and follow HUHS’ guidance to determine whether you should self-isolate.
  • Even if HUHS is not your healthcare provider: Please notify us via email if you are tested for COVID-19 (healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu), so we can continue to assess the impact on our community.
  • It is essential that we all practice and promote good, basic hygiene: wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow; avoid close contact with those who are sick; stay home when you are sick; and take any other precautions required by your job.
  • Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Review information and resources to manage fear and anxiety.
  • For students with the Student Health Insurance Plan, we have implemented temporary benefit changes in response to COVID-19. Please review our FAQs.

 

Returning to campus (through late August)

What if my role is required on-campus, and I am not at high risk of serious illness due to my age or an underlying health condition, but am fearful of catching the virus if I return to work?

It is important to stress the safety protocols that have been established by the University and HKS for safe return to campus based on public health guidelines. Some of the new practices include testing and compliance protocols, contact tracing policies, gatherings, face coverings, and social distancing. 

If you remain concerned about returning to campus, consult with your senior HR consultant on temporary job modifications (such as a change of schedule, location, or duties) that could be made to further reduce your exposure and risk at work. You may wish to change your commuting method or the timing of your commute.

However, if you and your department are unable to come up with a mutually agreeable modification of your on-campus work, you have these options:

  • Use personal days or vacation days to maintain your pay while taking time off;
  • Voluntarily reduce your time commitment;
  • Apply for an unpaid personal leave of absence, subject to manager approval. Please be aware of the effect taking an unpaid leave can have on your benefits if you exercise this option;
  • Once these benefits have been exhausted, you may need to get a different job that permits remote work.

If my role is required on campus but I am at higher risk for complications from COVID-19 due to my age and/or underlying health condition, can I continue to work remotely?

 HKS is committed to working with staff to develop reasonable accommodations, formally under the Americans with Disabilities Act (the ADA), or less formally, as job modifications to reduce exposure and risk for those with greater risk of serious illness from COVID-19. In doing so, our aim is to keep all members of our community as safe as possible, while:

  • Providing essential or required services;
  • Sustaining the research enterprise;
  • Supporting students and academic programs;
  • Resuming full operations when conditions permit.

If you’ve been advised to return to campus and you remain concerned about doing so, consult with your senior HR consultant on temporary job modifications (such as a change of schedule, location, or duties) that could be made to further reduce your exposure and risk at work. You will be required to provide documentation of the preexisting health condition. You may wish to change your commuting method or the timing of your commute.

One option may be a temporary job modification. For example, you could be re-located to a more physically isolated workspace with minimal exposure to others, assigned to a small team with fewer coworkers, moved from front-of-house or front office operations to back-of-house or back office operations. You may be able to change your schedule so that you work fewer days per week on campus or change your hours so that you are not commuting when streets and public transportation are more crowded. You may decide to begin driving to work. Note that we plan to have free or reimbursed parking available to those staff required to be on campus by their manager.

However, if you and your department are unable to come up with a mutually agreeable modification of your on-campus work, you have these options:

  • Use personal days or vacation days to maintain your pay while taking time off;
  • Voluntarily reduce your time commitment;
  • Apply for an unpaid personal leave of absence, subject to manager approval. Please be aware of the effect taking an unpaid leave can have on your benefits if you exercise this option.

Once these benefits have been exhausted, you may need to get a different job that permits remote work. To learn more about the option to request a formal disability accommodation under the ADA, please consult the Reasonable Accommodations Fact Sheet .

What if my role is required to be on-campus, but I am living with or providing care to a higher risk individual?

If you’ve been directed to return to campus and you remain concerned, consult with your senior HR consultant who will review options with you for your specific situation.

Following are a list of options:

  • If appropriate, a temporary job modification may be considered;
  • Use personal days or vacation days to maintain your pay while taking time off;
  • Voluntarily reduce your time commitment;
  • Apply for an unpaid personal leave of absence, subject to manager approval. Please be aware of the effect taking an unpaid leave can have on your benefits if you exercise this option;
  • Once these benefits have been exhausted, you may need to get a different job that permits remote work.

What if my role is required to be on-campus, but I am currently working out of state?

HKS is currently operating in a modified manner resulting from restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The goal is to provide a 30-day notice when possible for those positions that may require a combination of on-site and remote work.

If you are not able to return to campus, you have the following options:

  • Use personal days or vacation days to maintain your pay while taking time off for hours required to be on campus;
  • Voluntarily reduce your time commitment;
  • Apply for an unpaid personal leave of absence, subject to manager approval. Please be aware of the effect taking an unpaid leave can have on your benefits if you exercise this option;
  • Once these benefits have been exhausted, you may need to get a different job that permits remote work.

What happens if my role is required on-campus, but I cannot return to campus due to childcare demands?

HKS recognizes that school/childcare center closures and lack of other childcare is a major stressor for working parents. Please review the University resources and supports  that may be of help are summarized here. If none of these solutions work for you or your family, please contact your Senior HR Consultant about options such as:

  • The new University dependent well care days
  • Reducing your time commitment or using paid time off;
  • Altering your regular work hours so that you may share childcare responsibilities with others when they are not working;
  • Taking a leave of absence;
  • Once these benefits have been exhausted, you may need to get a different job that permits remote work.

What happens if an employee comes to campus without following established testing and safety protocols?

Harvard has developed requirements for safe return to on-campus work, including evolving testing protocols. All faculty and staff are expected to comply fully with these requirements, as well as related workplace policies, and any official Harvard public health or safety guidance. Access to campus is dependent upon the norms and expectations for keeping HKS healthy.  Employees who are in clear violation of these workplace policies may have their access to the HKS campus or its buildings revoked, and/or be subjected to other disciplinary actions.

Further details about returning to campus can be found on KNet (HarvardKey required to login). 

Working remotely

Can a group of employees choose to get together, with proper social distancing and masks, to have a work meeting off campus? What about faculty meeting in person, and off campus with students, staff or other affiliates?

At this time we cannot allow employees to meet in person off campus to do work.  We do not have the means to perform contact tracing for any off-campus meeting and it is possible that some staff or faculty members may feel pressured to travel (especially on public transportation) and don’t feel comfortable speaking up.  We continue to work hard in collaboration with the University to build capabilities to support different ways of working during the pandemic and we will share those with you as they become available.

Will the campus buildings be open during our remote work-only period? 

The Kennedy School campus is open for limited student activities and classes, as well as for employees who are required to be on campus for critical work as well as other pre-approved work arrangements and ad-hoc visits. No other visitors are allowed in the buildings at this time.

How long will I be expected to work remotely?

Most of the HKS community will continue to work remotely through the spring semester, except for critical work, those supporting on-campus activities, and other pre-approved work arrangements as noted above.

If I cannot do my job remotely, will I still be paid?

Harvard University has issued guidance on pay continuity. The University has announced that for those employees who are covered under the Emergency Excused Absence policy, a temporary pay supplement is available. Since the effects of the virus cannot be fully foreseen, this and other policies will be revisited on a periodic basis.

I am a union employee. How will I be affected by remote work?

You should talk with your manager to determine if the functions in your job may be performed remotely. If some or all of the functions of your job cannot be performed remotely, see the previous question about pay continuity.

Will the University reimburse or subsidize costs associated with working from home, e.g. Wi-Fi, cell phone usage, office equipment, or other office supplies?

Please see the Guidelines for Purchases of Supplies and Equipment During COVID-19 document from the HKS Office of Finance on their KNet Page.

I need help with my HKS-issued computer, laptop or other technology, what should I do?

HKS IT Service Center continues to support HKS faculty and staff during COVID-19.  Technology-related questions and issues can be addressed by phone (617-495-DESK) or email (ithelp@hks.harvard.edu).  For more information and hours of operation, please refer to the IT KNET page.

Can staff and faculty travel for Harvard business?

All University-related travel, both international and domestic, is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time.  Personal travel, both international and domestic, is also strongly discouraged.  If you must travel, make sure you are aware of and adhere to restrictions for your destination and place of return.  Review Harvard Global Support Services' (GSS) international travel guidance and visit the Harvard University travel guidance page

Do we still honor flex schedules during this 100% remote work environment?

Yes, if the business needs can support the flex work arrangement and pending your manager’s approval.

Will the maximum vacation balance policy change due to COVID-19?

At this time, the maximum vacation balance policy will not change. Staff are encouraged to use vacation and personal time.

Are staff still able to apply for Short Term Disability or Family Medical Leave?

Yes, please contact your senior HR consultant to review the information and applicable processes.

If I have returned to campus and require regular testing, what do I do if I test positive for COVID-19? 

If your test results are positive, HUHS will promptly contact you to discuss what it means to be positive and explain next steps, including a move to isolation and follow-up by a trained HUHS contact tracer.  More information about testing can be found on the Harvard website.  If you are unable to work, sick time should be recorded in PeopleSoft. 

What if I am contacted by HUHS or an official public health contact tracer to inform me that I am a close contact?

You should follow instructions from the contact tracer.  If you were contacted by a public health contract tracer and not HUHS, and you have been coming to campus, please inform Beth Banks and she can help coordinate when it is safe for you to return to campus.

Do I need to provide a doctor’s note stating I have COVID-19 or when I am able to return to work?

In general, written medical documentation will not be required unless you have been away from work for substantial amount of time and may need short-term disability. If your test result came from Harvard testing, HUHS will let you know when you may return to campus. 

What if I do not have enough sick time?

As indicated in the Enhanced Workplace Policies on HARVie, employees may use up to 14 unearned sick days (i.e. they may accrue negative sick leave balances of up to 14 days) for illness, to meet self-isolation or quarantine requirements. Harvard reserves the right to recoup this time from the final paycheck of employees who terminate before they rebuild their accrued sick time.

What happens if I need to take care of a dependent?

According to the Enhanced Workplace Policies, employees may exceed the regular limits on the use of family and dependent care sick time (normally up to 12 days per year for staff), plus they may take an additional 14 days of ‘unearned’ sick time if needed to care for dependents or immediate family or household members who are ill, or who are required to isolate or quarantine due to exposure.

Employees who need to actively care for well dependents or household members whose schooling or care arrangements have been disrupted, may use an Emergency Excused Absence for Dependent Well Care. This is temporary paid time off benefit is provided to help reduce family stress during the pandemic. The benefit is up to 10 days of paid time that may be used if needed between September 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020.  Another 10 days is available to use if needed between January 1 and June 30, 2021.

 For more information and tips, visit the Harvard University remote work site.

Return to campus checklist

  • Review the norms and expectations for keeping HKS healthy.
  • Complete a one time, state mandated mandatory online COVID-19 training.
  • If you are not already in the regular viral testing cadence, Baseline viral testing should be completed with a negative result received PRIOR to your first day on campus.  However, if you are staff and you will be on campus <4 hours your first week back, you may wait to take your baseline test your first day on campus. Continuing with regular viral testing (Weekly for faculty and staff, 2x week for students/CAs)  is essential and more testing information is available here.
  • Complete Crimson Clear daily BEFORE arriving at the Wexner entrance, which are the only two entrances open for central quad access.
  • Wear appropriate, general use surgical mask. If you do not have one, they will be available at entrances and are required on the Central Quad.  Consistency of masks and appropriate mask wearing will help ensure our safe environment, in addition to physical distancing and good hygiene.

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