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HR update, March 18, 2020

To keep communication as clear as possible, and archive it for later use, the Office of Human Resources will be sending out periodic updates using this format.

If you have information that you would like to disseminate to all employees, please send that to and we will coordinate adding the information to a future HR update.

For now, we would ask that you limit any mass communications to avoid confusion.

Facilities cleaning measures

As you might have noticed, our fantastic custodial crew has been hard at work doing everything within their power to keep our campus as clean and safe as possible.  

As campus activities shift, the custodial staff will be deep cleaning areas that are not currently being used as well as more frequent cleaning of the shared spaces that are in use.  

Please express your gratitude to our hard-working crew for all they are doing, and of course feel free to share concerns if there is an area where additional attention is needed.

Voicemail reminder

As some employees are temporarily telecommuting, we thought a few reminders might be helpful, particularly as it relates to voice mail.  

  • Forwarding your phone to an off-campus number requires ITS assistance and we have hardware limits that will not allow for a large number of community members to use this without disruption to overall service. Requests for forwarding to an off campus number are only available through a Cabinet member request so that these can be prioritized.
  • We encourage those community members who are telecommuting to leave a voice mail message similar to the following:  “Due to COVID 19 issues, I am working remotely.  Please consider emailing me at or leaving a short message.  I will check voice mail periodically and will be in touch as soon as possible.”
  • Voicemail messages can be retrieved remotely by calling 794-7700 and entering your passcode.  The default passcode is 77+your extension.

Recreation options

While campus workout locations are closed, the slough path and Paul V.  Olsen track remain open!  The CDC recommends outdoor walking as a safe way to exercise. The daffodils are about to bloom – don’t miss it.  

Campus-wide drill canceled

The previously scheduled full-scale exercise scheduled for Monday, April 20, has been canceled. The Office of Public Safety will have updates if a reschedule is possible.

Thoughts on working from home

Kent Barnds has graciously agreed to let us repost a social media post from earlier this week with thoughts for those working from home.


First, thank you for your support, patience and cooperation over the course of the past few days as I’ve worked with fellow Cabinet members to chart new territory. You’ve demonstrated uncommon understanding and I am very grateful to each of you. Thank you.

I also want to thank you for already getting creative and preparing new and different ways to approach our collective work. Your ingenuity and willingness to do different makes me very proud. You have my full gratitude.

If you are anything like me, you might be struggling with routine right now and getting into a work rhythm. Uncertainty, concern for the safety of our students and family members and lots and lots of interruptions have me off my game. And, a new work environment is likely to further complicate this. So, I thought I might offer a couple of thoughts for you (and me).

1. Establish a routine immediately that is as close to your typical workday as possible. If you work out in the morning, work out. If you enjoy a cup of coffee before work, have that cup of coffee. If you usually catch up with a couple of colleagues each morning as part of your daily routine, schedule a call or Zoom or check in by phone. Don’t let this disruption change your routine and what you do to be energized.

2. Approach work from a distance in the way you do going to the office. Get up. Shower. Get dressed for work. Find a home office in which to work. We need full and complete engagement from everyone through this crisis. This is not a snow day.

3. Make a daily list of what you plan to accomplish and add three additional things to your initial list each day. Without interruptions, you will be more productive. But, you must have goal-focused work. This daily list is also a good tool to share with your supervisor, too.

4. Approach this time as an opportunity to do something that never gets above number five on your to-do list. Now is our chance to get ahead in prospect development, student recruitment, a deferred project, customized outreach and thank yous. We have an amazing opportunity to out-hustle others and I know we can do it.

5. Believe it or not, this is a wonderful opportunity for collaboration; take advantage of it. People are not traveling or vacationing and should be available in different ways for collaboration. Let’s work together.

I am writing this while on the elliptical this morning as part of sticking to my routine and maintaining my health. I hope you will find safe and productive ways to take care of yourself, too.

Please know I am here for any of your questions and am happy to hop on the phone, etc. Our work and our efforts are going to be critically important to how well the college makes it through this crisis.

I am proud of you and know that everyone will respond in a creative, sensitive and innovative ways.

Thanks for all you do.



Watch out for email scams

Cybercriminals are exploiting the coronavirus outbreak through a variety of phishing campaigns.  These schemes are meant to steal valuable financial or personal information or introduce malware into Augustana’s computer networks.

 Hackers are sending malicious email seemingly from trusted sources, such as the U.S. Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), or they are doctoring e-mail messages to appear to be internal, according to cybersecurity firms monitoring the attempts.  Please be extremely vigilant in the coming days and if something appears to be “fishy” err on the side of caution.

Office of Human Resources
639 38th St.
Rock Island, Ill., 61201

Phone: 309-794-7352

Fax: 309-794-8962