June 2021

UW Bothell Community Communications

Communications sent in June 2021:

June 30, 2021 | Back to the Workplace (B2W) – Guidelines for UW Bothell staff

Dear Colleagues,

UW Bothell has, and will always be, a place that advances knowledge, discovery and community through face-to-face interaction. We also believe that we advance our public mission and our impact best — for our students, for our employees and for the public — by being in community together.

Recent surveys suggest that the vast majority of our courses will continue to have an on-campus presence that centers the student-faculty relationship. Surveys also show that our students expect online services when off campus and in-person services while on campus. Within this context, we have been relying on new technology and tools during the COVID-19 pandemic that, when used intentionally and responsibly, can expand our reach, increase our impact and enhance flexibility for our staff.

In his June 2 message to the campus, UW Bothell Chancellor Yeigh requested that “all UW Bothell academic and administrative offices start the process of developing plans for bringing our professional and classified staff back for onsite work (and telework, where appropriate) for the autumn 2021 quarter.” Chancellor Yeigh further requested that the vice chancellors provide additional guidelines by June 30 to help you develop these B2W plans.

We are committed to providing our community with flexibility as well as being in community together on our wonderful campus. After much consultation across the tri-campus and while considering the three pillars of our current strategic plan, we have developed guidelines for a) preparing a B2W site plan and b) a trial period of hybrid telework within the UW Bothell campus context.

The main themes captured by these post-pandemic guidelines are as follows: 

  • allow for as much flexibility as possible between September 13 and September 24, 2021, for staff who are transitioning back to campus
  • set a trial period between September 25 and December 31, 2021, to evaluate the effectiveness of the following hybrid telework policies:
    • hybrid telework arrangements for eligible staff that balance offsite work up to two days per week with on-campus engagement for at least three days per week
    • telework flexibility before and after standard in-person business hours to accommodate staff with caregiving needs, transportation challenges, etc.

We write today to request that all site leaders engage their teams and develop their draft B2W site plans addressing all the issues noted in this UW Bothell Campus B2W Planning – Autumn 2021 document. The list of UW Bothell planning sites (and site leaders) is included in the planning document.

Please submit your site plan to the vice chancellor for your division or, as appropriate, to the chancellor’s chief of staff by July 31, 2021.

Once submitted, the vice chancellors will review all draft plans and will let site leaders know by August 10 if they are approved to implement and/or if changes are needed.

This is a time of uncertainty, excitement and some anxiety about what autumn quarter will look like for all of us. Some staff have been on campus for the entirety of the pandemic, others have made brief forays to campus, and others haven’t been there for months. It is a time for leaders to demonstrate patience, curiosity and flexibility as we engage in this transition together.

Thank you all for this extra effort as we prepare to be back in community on our amazing campus while also enhancing flexibility for our employees, our students and our overall community.


Scott R. James
Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management & Student Affairs

Sharon A. Jones
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs

Sean Marsh
Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement & External Relations

S. Gowri Shankar
Vice Chancellor for Planning & Administration

June 2, 2021 | Back to the workplace – planning our next steps

UW Bothell staff and faculty,

In her May 18 message, President Ana Mari Cauce encouraged all UW campuses to begin planning for a return to largely in-person instruction and operations for autumn quarter.

As she stated, “the University of Washington has, and will always be, a place that advances knowledge, discovery, and innovation through face-to-face interaction ... we also know that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us new technology and tools that, when used intentionally and responsibly, can expand our reach, increase our impact, incentivize recruitment and retention, and enhance employee flexibility in ways we had not previously considered.”

Our current telework arrangements remain effective until September 10, 2021. I also know that some staff have continued to come to campus even during remote operations to fulfill their work responsibilities — and we thank them.

I write today to request that all UW Bothell academic and administrative offices start the process of developing plans for bringing our professional and classified staff back for onsite work (and telework, where appropriate) for the autumn 2021 quarter. In developing these plans, our various academic and administrative units should use the framework provided by President Cauce’s message and the UW guidance for staff return to onsite work and telework.

The telework guidance for staff provides extensive definitions, assumptions and guidelines for planning the return to the onsite workplace. There is additional information provided by UW Human Resources on this return to onsite work and telework webpage. Taken together, these guidelines and resources will enable us to safely achieve our mission and come together in community with each other, while still providing flexibility and making use of the innovations developed during these challenging times.

It is important to note that certain functions and operations will require in-person work, including essential operations, lab operations and other work. Through the next month, we will be planning with units to clarify in-person and occasional or hybrid telework agreements as we explore ways to continue to enhance productivity and flexibility.

I have requested the vice chancellors and the Organizational Excellence & Human Resources team to work with all UW Bothell offices and their leaders to develop their unit plans for the autumn 2021 quarter by July 30, 2021. The vice chancellors will provide additional guidelines by June 30 to help all units develop their plans. 

In developing the plans, we should be guided by the latest policies approved by state and local government authorities, as well as best practices from other UW campuses. After these plans are developed, they will be reviewed for their consistency and equity across our campus; their impact on our educational mission; and their compliance with UW policies, regulations and employment contracts. Please note that all these plans require approval by the chancellor and, in some cases, by the vice president in UWHR.

Thank you for your thoughtful attention to this planning process.

Bjong Wolf Yeigh, Ph.D., F.ASME
Chancellor and Professor of Engineering