Phased reopening process at WSU

Dear Cougar Family:

Throughout the pandemic, much of the WSU community shifted to a remote work environment. While most were able to work from home, let’s also acknowledge those employees who continued to deliver essential services in person at our campuses and other locations. On behalf of the University, we thank everyone for their perseverance and commitment to WSU during these immensely challenging times.

As the availability and distribution of the COVID‑19 vaccine improves, we look forward to our phased reopening across the state. We will prioritize those in‑person activities that best enhance our ability to support our students, promote equity, and meet our land‑grant mission.

Though some employees already have begun transitioning back to WSU work locations, all WSU campuses, areas, and units will be expected to start the phased reopening process no later than July 12.

This does not mean that all faculty and staff will need to return to on‑site work locations full time on July 12. There still will be a need for some employees to continue working remotely for all or part of their schedules. Doing so will ensure compliance with current physical distancing guidelines and will meet the guidelines established by some areas or units within their respective plans.

Decisions about who is to work where (on‑site or remote) and when (traditional, hybrid, or flexible schedule) will be made by managers and supervisors, in conjunction with their leadership. Supervisors and employees should review the Returning to a WSU Work Location information and all employees are encouraged to participate in the appropriate training to help prepare for the transition to on‑site work. Please log in to your online learning account to access those trainings.

Until all pandemic measures have been lifted by federal, state, and local governments, we ask all supervisors to offer compassion and flexibility when making these staffing decisions.

Though most employees will be expected to be available to return to regular on‑site work starting July 12, exceptions will continue to be made if they have entered into a telework agreement in accordance with BPPM 60.34, or have obtained an approved accommodation for a disability that limits their ability to work on‑site.

As WSU prepares for a robust in‑person experience this fall, the University encourages all faculty, staff, and volunteers to get vaccinated as soon as possible to protect the health and safety of all. Decisions on the vaccination requirement for employees are still being reviewed. We appreciate your patience as we wait for confirmation on how this requirement will apply to employees. Subsequent guidance on how to submit vaccination information, exemption requests, and the appropriate secure maintenance of information will be communicated before the fall semester. Employee COVID‑19 vaccination information is available online.

Employee questions may be directed to or by calling 509‑335‑4521.

Thank you again for your resiliency and unwavering Cougar spirit.


Kirk Schulz

Elizabeth Chilton
Provost and Executive Vice President

Theresa Elliot‑Cheslek
Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer