ICYMI: GW Monitors Local Recommendations, Launches Back to Campus Initiative

The majority of university employees will continue to telework as D.C. prepares to resume activities.

COVID-19 graphic image
May 27, 2020

Members of the George Washington University community should continue to telework and engage remotely as the District of Columbia plans how it will begin to resume activities with limited reopening of some of D.C. this Friday.

Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and exercise caution in an effort to slow the spread of the virus. The GW community is urged to continue monitoring GW’s COVID-19 website and FAQs, which are frequently updated with new information.

Here are some important recent updates from GW:

  • Provost M. Brian Blake and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Mark Diaz announced today that the university has been allocated approximately $9.1 million from the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF), which includes a requirement that at least half of this funding be distributed directly to students as emergency aid for expenses related to the disruption of campus operations during the pandemic. While universities may use the other half of the funding for institutional purposes, we will distribute all $9.1 million directly to students.
  • GW leaders are closely monitoring the recommendations being made to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) regarding the phased resumption of activities throughout the District of Columbia. The majority of university employees will continue to telework and designated on-site personnel will continue to report to campus during the first stage of D.C.’s reopening. Additional personnel in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, School of Nursing, Office of the Vice President for Research and essential operations may be allowed back to campus. Find more information here.

●    Provost Blake provided an update on fall operations and budget planning during a special Faculty Senate meeting held last week. The faculty emphasized their desire for more active consultation in the process.

●      GW leaders announced details about their planning efforts for fall semester, collectively called the Back to Campus Initiative, which involves individuals and teams from across the university. The planning efforts are thorough and examine the detailed modifications necessary to resume activity on campus prioritizing safety and care.

●      University leaders announced that all non-essential GW-affiliated international travel would be suspended until further notice. Any university-affiliated travel that is believed to be essential will be subject to approval from the relevant dean or vice president. Study abroad programs and other international undergraduate student travel is considered non-essential through fall semester 2020.

●      GW staff members should have received an email on Tuesday with a link to a survey with questions about their experience transitioning to remote work and returning to campus. This feedback will provide the university’s leadership and contingency planning groups with the information needed to improve the remote experience and help the university plan for a phased reopening of our campuses. Please refer to the email for more information.

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