You may have seen the forwarded memo requiring Texas A&M University employees to undergo COVID-19 testing before returning to campus for the spring semester. I want to underscore that the requirement does apply to AgriLife employees on the Bryan-College Station campus/sites with a Texas A&M University appointment. (In Workday, these are employees in Bryan-College Station whose supervisory organization begins with “02”, designating the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.) This follows our general guidance of complying with local regulations.
If you are unsure of your appointment, please ask your HR contact or supervisor. For AgriLife employees without a Texas A&M University appointment, we do not require but do encourage COVID-19 testing after the holidays. For more information, please refer to our comprehensive guidance on this topic. Per this guidance, agency employees are encouraged to get tested if they experience COVID-19 symptoms or suspect they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.
Additionally, all employees must complete the COVID-19 online training course in TrainTraq before physically returning to the workplace in January.
You may direct any questions on this matter to Debi Fincher, director of Ethics and Compliance.
The following are updates regarding alternative work locations, emergency leave, and face-to-face events.
Alternative work locations and emergency leave
The A&M System strongly encourages members to implement temporary alternate work location arrangements (remote work) in accordance with System Regulation 33.06.01 for all employees when possible. This may involve work that is outside the employees’ primary responsibilities. Please note that it is preferred that emergency leave be reserved for those who cannot work from home. Managers are empowered to modify employee expectations and find tasks employees are capable of completing remotely.
Unit heads have the authority to approve requests for a temporary alternate work location. Beginning January 1, 2021, all employees—with the exception of college faculty—should document alternate work location (AWL) requests due to COVID-19 using the Alternate Work Location Request and Approval form. Approved forms should be maintained at the unit for reporting at a later date. Note: AWL requests for all other reasons should be submitted through normal administrative channels in accordance with agency procedures.
We advise the continuation of virtual programming whenever possible. If your group needs assistance with producing a virtual event, we recommend you contact University Center and Special Events. For individuals seeking alternative methods of delivery for traditional face-to-face meetings and educational programs, the AgriLife Digital Education unit has put together a resource on best practices and tools that are currently supported by AgriLife.
In regards to gathering limits and event approvals, please refer to local and state guidance if you are hosting anything off campus. For those on campus, please refer to the university’s policy on crowd limits. Any programming or events should follow the Texas A&M University face covering policy.
If hosting visitors at AgriLife facilities for meetings, job interviews or discussions, please have them complete the COVID-19 Screening for AgriLife Facility Visitors form. If you have questions, please contact Debi Fincher at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions regarding specific events, please contact your agency director’s office or AgriLifeEvents@ag.tamu.edu.
Thank you for your continued diligence in adapting to the challenges posed by the pandemic and for doing your part to keep our workplace as safe and healthy as possible.
Patrick J. Stover, Ph.D.
Vice Chancellor, Texas A&M AgriLife
Dean, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Director, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
Read the related message from Texas A&M University.