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HR update March 23, 2020

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

President’s message to employees

Dear colleagues,

We are living through a moment in world history, and a moment in Augustana's history books also. While I'm sorry you have to deal with so many deep concerns, I want to provide reassurance that the college will weather this storm. Our strong financial position and prudent decision-making will sustain us.

We also find strength in the dedication and commitment of our faculty, staff and administrators. Your adaptiveness, your creative problem-solving and your desire to answer the call to serve our students gives me a sense of pride that mere words cannot express. You, along with our students, are the heart and soul of this special campus community.

At this moment, I want to encourage those who can to work from home. We also will look for ways in the future to reassign work and find creative solutions for keeping employees busy. And to those who are worried about furloughs and layoffs, I want you not to worry. With the board of trustees approval, we have committed to no layoffs or furloughs in the immediate future. And our employees will be paid.

We anticipate news from public health officials and elected leaders will continue to evolve. In the event that more updates are needed, I ask that you watch your email for updates from the Office of Human Resources and/or your supervisor. 

Let us continue to hold one another up, and keep foremost in our thoughts and our prayers the health and safety of our entire Augustana College community of students, employees, parents and alumni around the globe. 


President Steve Bahls 

Illinois stay at home order

With the message from Illinois Governor, JB Pritzker, the college will follow the Illinois Stay at Home Order. That means that beginning  March 21, at 5 p.m. through April 7, only a very few employees will be asked to report to work in order to keep critical functions of the college running. For those employees who have already begun telecommuting, that will continue. We are also encouraging employees and supervisors to ensure that all individuals who can perform their work from home begin to do so immediately.

Employees in the following areas will be hearing from their supervisors regarding their work schedules during this period, which will include a rotation of work responsibilities:

  • Custodial staff
  • Dining services
  • Information Technology Services
  • Office of International Student & Scholar Services
  • Public Safety
  • Residential Life
  • WVIK
  • Other employees may be called in as needed for special needs

Employees should not report to work until they have talked with their supervisor about the need to report to work.

We understand that some employees will be unable to work from home. The college had made 10 days of paid COVID leave available to all employees during the COVID pandemic.

Employees who are unable to telecommute may use this COVID leave to cover their absence over the next two weeks, and during the pandemic. Those employees who continue to work, whether remotely or on-site, will be paid, and the COVID leave will be available to them for future use if necessary. Further details on the COVID leave policy will be available in the coming days

Employees who were not scheduled to work due to the college’s normal spring break should talk with their supervisor about their return to work on March 30. If a return to work is not possible through an on site rotation or through remote work, then COVID leave may be used as outlined in the policy. 

MD live and Wellness Clinic update

We are happy to report that MD Live continues to be available to employees on the Augustana health plan.  For the immediate future, the co-pay for using this service will be waived. As a reminder, MD Live is available to both medical and mental health issues. 

The Wellness Clinic located at the City Hall continues to operate without cost for all Augustana employees even if they are not on the Augustana Health Plan.  Prior to visiting the clinic, it’s best to call ahead with symptoms and get an appointment to maintain social distancing.  Employees should access the clinic through the east entrance where there is signage including the Augustana logo.  

Student communication on credit for room and board

As you continue to answer questions from students and parents, below is the message sent to this group on Friday.  

Dear students,
Thank you for your patience as we worked out this new credit policy for room and board charges for the remainder of the semester.
Please read it carefully; your parents also will receive this information. We realize you will have questions: Send them to
Many of you had followup questions to yesterday's information about housing. We answered all that we could but if you are still unsure about anything, please contact for clarification.

Retirement savings resources

During this time of economic uncertainty, our colleagues at TIAA have provided some resources for questions they are receiving.

·TIAA overall market commentary – This is good page to post for those looking for updated market commentary.

·TIAA - how to weather stock market volatility article.

·Diversification – This is a video about the importance of diversification during any market, that is relevant today.  

·Investing for long term goals – Video about staying focused on the long term goals of your retirement strategy.

Virtual Offices & Co-Workers

We hope you are enjoying these pictures as much as we are.  We hope they add a bit of joy as so many are working remotely.

Putting names and faces together is always a challenge so keep those pictures coming and if at all possible, put yourself in the picture as well.  We’re hearing that your new co-workers might be a bit challenging - so we welcome those pictures of pets, kids and spouses that might be part of your temporary work location!

Please send photos (horizontal) to


Amanda getting kissed by her fluffy dog.
Amanda Spurgeon (digital content specialist, c&m) showing her new co-worker around the office.
Karen Peterson, using a long table with laptop on it with window view
Karen Peterson (associate director of development and engagement) continues to connect with alumni donors
Kristina Hein using her sewing station as a desk. Kitty climbing over it blocking her computer.
Kristina Hein ( advancement services coordinator, advancement) turned her sewing station into her new desk. Clearly her kitty is wondering what's going on mom!?
Wendy Kelley at the home office with dual monitors and lap shade in corner.
Wendy Kelley ( associate director of admissions) is gearing up to connect with student virtually.
Danielle Roman posing near her laptop in blue and gold.
Danielle Roman (ticket office manger, Brunner Theater) staying true to her blue and gold.
Dual monitors, mouse, Augustana scarf
Jacob Bobbitt (controller, business office) isn't going to skip a beat with his dual monitors set up.

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

Phone: 309-794-7352

Fax: 309-794-8962