When the pandemic began last year, many faculty and staff members started working from home as the nation learned to navigate life during this challenging time. We deeply appreciate the commitment and dedication of every member of the Penn community in carrying out your roles and responsibilities, whether you are performing your job from home or on campus.
As we move into the second year of the pandemic, we are continuing to formulate plans for the return of those faculty and staff who have not been required to work on campus during this challenging period. These plans, as always, are guided by the best science and what is permissible by city, state, and federal guidelines. Circumstances surrounding COVID-19 transmission and the ongoing distribution of vaccines are changing rapidly, so it is still too early to decide on a date when faculty and staff will be expected to return to campus. However, we believe that the successes of Penn Cares, PennOpen Pass, and our collective efforts to adhere to health and safety guidelines have given the University a pathway to restore an in-person work environment.
To help with your planning, please know that we do not anticipate a full return to work on campus before July 2021, at the earliest. Some of you are already working on campus, and we expect to welcome more of you back over the next few months. We will continue to update you as the situation evolves, including updates for faculty members about the status of in-person classes, lab research, and summer PURM projects.
We are also developing remote work location guidelines for staff, so individual decisions about long-term continuing remote work will not be made until those University-wide plans are finalized. Please continue to refer to the Return to Campus Guide for Penn Faculty and Staff if you have any questions about current guidelines.
We are proud of Penn’s beautiful and vibrant campus in the City of Philadelphia. This beauty and excitement stems in large part from our people—the students, faculty, and staff who make Penn an institution where so many people from around the world want to work and learn. To that end, we intend to bring back faculty and staff safely so that we can continue advancing the principles that make Penn a stellar institution of higher education and one of the best large employers nationwide.
We thank you again for your extraordinary work in sustaining our campus mission. We look forward to providing more details in the months ahead about our shared return to life on campus.