Staff planning for spring 2021 Memo


Nov. 24, 2020


Dear ALM members and HR leads,

As NC State prepares for the spring semester, the university continues working with state and local health officials, and the UNC System, to monitor pandemic conditions and make decisions to protect the safety of the university community.

We share concerns about the current trends regarding COVID-19 cases in our state and nation. We will continue to watch them closely. Based on pandemic-related conditions following winter break, and the advice of health officials, the university will be prepared to make appropriate changes to spring plans.

It is important and prudent that we continue planning for a successful spring semester. Our goal for the spring is to build upon what we have learned so we can safely and methodically return to a more vibrant community that best serves our students and allows NC State to continue to achieve our critical academic, research and outreach mission. This approach includes a measured increase in the number of students, faculty and staff returning to campus. Again, these plans will be subject to adjustment based on health and safety conditions during the spring semester.

NC State units and offices are directed to prepare or update their plans for safely and effectively providing regular in-person hours of operation for the spring 2021 semester. Many units, such as critical services and student-facing services, have already finished or nearly completed this type of continuity planning.

Please visit the Pack Planning spring workforce and operations plans webpage to complete and/or submit your unit’s Spring 2021 Pack Ready Refresh Plan. The site includes a step-by-step process guide, a plan template and several additional helpful resources. Key steps and dates include the following:

  • Completed plans must be submitted through the webpage no later than Dec. 11, 2020.
  • Once submitted, plans will be routed to the appropriate vice chancellor, vice provost or dean for approval.
  • Departments and units should prepare appropriate spring staffing communications for employees to be delivered on or before Dec. 18, 2020.

Units should aim to create flexible staffing plans based on operational needs, gradually bringing back employees throughout the spring in a manner that keeps offices open while following health and safety protocols. This phased approach will help ensure a safe, healthy and effective workplace. Other items to keep in mind include the following:

  • In addition to individuals already working on campus, units should determine who needs to return in order to ensure effective on-campus services.
  • Plans can include rotating or staggered in-office schedules and other measures that ensure physical distancing and safe operations.
  • Each department must adhere to university health and safety requirements, policies and guidelines that have been developed for the pandemic, including NC State’s community standards.

NC State’s Department of Emergency Management and Mission Continuity will provide virtual training and guidance on spring planning at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020. This training will provide attendees opportunities to ask questions specific to their unit plans. Please register or submit questions for the training here. Following the event, the training will also be posted on the Pack Planning spring workforce and operations plans page.

Please forward this communication to anyone else in your college or unit who you think should receive and review this information. Any questions regarding planning efforts or requests for assistance should be directed to Emergency Management and Mission Continuity ( or Dr. Amy Orders (

We are committed to doing all we can to help ensure a safe and productive work environment. Thank you for your attention to this important planning issue and for your ongoing commitment to NC State.

Warwick Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost
Charles Maimone, Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration