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This message was shared with the faculty, and staff of the 10-campus University of Hawaiʻi system on March 17, 2020.

Dear UH Employees,

Governor David Ige held a press conference this afternoon to discuss the latest developments in the state’s response to the COVID-19 crisis. At the end of his remarks, the governor described the approach that the executive branch will be taking to reduce the number of state workers in offices and improve social distancing to “flatten the curve.” Ige explicitly excluded “schools” from this approach, and President David Lassner personally confirmed with the governor that this exclusion includes the University of Hawaiʻi. All employees are expected to report to work tomorrow.

We have to remain steadfast in our commitment to our students, enabling them to finish the semester and graduate if they are ready, even as we ensure the health and safety of all our employees. As announced yesterday, UH is now finalizing the details on how we will provide options for many employees to voluntarily work from home.

A number of public-facing UH services and programs have already been curtailed. As will be the case with the state executive branch agencies, UH will be asking senior leaders to identify functions that do not require employees’ physical presence on campus. Instructions will be forthcoming within 24 hours on how to provide options for those who can or should work from home or an alternate location during this difficult period. Mahalo for your patience during this unprecedented public health crisis.

University of Hawaiʻi

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