Message to Penn Faculty and Staff Regarding University Operations

March 16, 2020

Thank you to all of you who have followed our guidance regarding remote work and engaging in good and healthy practices both in and out of the Penn environment. We are writing today to clarify Penn’s guidance in the context of the recent announcements from federal, state and city officials.

With the approval of school/center leadership, only staff who perform critical procedures or processes and are therefore essential to University operations should be coming onsite, and those staff are expected to practice social distancing and take other recommended precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19. Today’s announcement does not preclude personnel essential for University operations from coming to campus.

For those designated as essential and working on campus during this time period, recommendations precautions can be found by referring to the Workplace and Home Precautions.  

Consistent with today’s developments, the University of Pennsylvania is reinforcing the guidance issued on Friday regarding remote work until at least March 31, 2020. All staff who can work remotely are expected to do so.  We recognize that not all employees are able to work remotely. At this time, no University paid employee will be put in an unpaid status.  

Finally, the University is revising its recommendation regarding gatherings of up to 25 people. Consistent with federal guidelines, in-person gatherings should be limited to 10 people.   


Additional tools and guidelines can be found at:  

For Faculty: The Center for Resources and Strategies for Teaching Remotely

For Staff: ISC’s remote work tools website  


Supervisors should consult with Staff and Labor Relations for University employees covered by collective bargaining agreements.  



Wendell E. Pritchett, Provost

Craig R. Carnaroli, Executive Vice President