Thursday, July 9, 2020

Dear UNT faculty and staff,

As our university moves toward the fall semester and many of our students return to UNT, I know that many of you are struggling with difficult decisions about your children's education needs and caring for family members during these difficult times. I want to ensure each of you that our university will continue to be flexible and supportive of our faculty and staff.

Area school districts, for example, are communicating with families now regarding plans for the fall, and some are asking for quick decisions. In an effort to be supportive of our faculty and staff while still maintaining business continuity at UNT, our Human Resources team developed guidelines for working with your supervisor if you are facing these challenges. Here are a few of the options for consideration:

  • Part- or Full-Time Telecommuting: Telecommuting for all or a portion of days/times.
  • Flexible Work Schedule: Hours could be shifted to start earlier or end later or hours can be split into two parts during the day.
  • Compressed Work Week: The number of days worked per week could be reduced with more hours worked each day.
  • Reduction in the Percent of Workload: A voluntary reduction in the percent FTE may be appropriate. For example reducing from a 100% time appointment to a 75% time appointment. Under this arrangement, it also may be possible for two employees in the same area with the same or similar roles to job share, if appropriate.
  • Leave: Leave would be the last option if another solution to allow the employee to work cannot be developed. However, this could be used in conjunction with part-time work hours until the employee exhausts applicable leave.

Please consider your options and work with your supervisor to determine the best solution for you, but understand that some positions will not allow for flexible work arrangements. We must be able to maintain business continuity for the sake of our university mission. I am encouraging leaders at all levels to understand the needs of our community members and to think creatively about how the work of our university can be accomplished while faculty and staff care for their children and families.

These are tough times and information available to us is constantly evolving. We all are having to make difficult decisions, often quickly, that will have lasting impacts on our families and lives. Our faculty and staff are the backbone of our university, and we will continue to support you as we work through these challenges together.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk
UNT President