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HR update March 24, 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.

College policy on COVID leave

As announced on Friday, the college will be implementing paid leave available during the COVID 19 pandemic. The policy is below and will soon be housed on the HR Website as well.  Please reach out to your supervisor or a member of the Office of Human Resources with questions.

Augustana Interim COVID 19 Leave Policy

As part of the college’s response to the COVID 19 pandemic, many employees have been directed not to report to the workplace to facilitate social distancing and help minimize the spread of the disease.  This policy establishes standards for continued pay and leave usage during this period, recognizing that not all employees may perform their work remotely. The overarching goal is to keep our campus community and wider community safe and healthy, while enabling as much of our mission-related activities to continue as possible.

 Employees who are working remotely will continue to receive work assignments from their supervisor and hourly employees must report daily hours worked.  The work assignments may vary during this time period and may also include new duties. 

Some employees will be required to perform their assigned duties on-site to maintain operations.   Employees directed to work onsite must follow guidelines for social distancing and should report hours worked on site following the college’s normal procedures.  Work schedules may be varied and may include new duties. 

This policy applies to all college employees, with the exception of student employees.

This policy provides the following:

A. COVID-19 Leave

Up to 80 hours of COVID-19 leave (prorated by % FTE) has been made available to employees unable to perform their assigned duties.

B. COVID-19 Leave Use

I.  Employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties during the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible to use COVID-19 leave. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • employees who are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the inability to work remotely (telecommute or telework) – whether partially or fully 
  • employees who must self-quarantine, self-isolate, or have an illness
  • employees who must care for an immediate family member, or child/elder care due to school/day care closures.

II.  In instances where employees are unable to perform their assigned duties due to the type of work they perform (meaning the work cannot be performed remotely) but are assigned other duties that CAN be performed remotely, cannot refuse a reassignment of duties in order to take COVID-19 leave.

III.  Employees may use COVID-19 leave prior to using any other accrued leave categories.

IV.  COVID-19 leave use, including a determination that an employee is unable to perform their assigned duties, is subject to final approval by the Office of Human Resources

V.  COVID-19 leave use, including a determination that an employee is unable to perform their assigned duties, is subject to final approval by the Office of Human Resources.

VI.  There is no entitlement to the COVID-19 leave after the conclusion of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency.

VII.  COVID-19 leave does not accrue and may not be rolled-over or combined into other types of leave.

C.  Reporting COVID leave usage

Employees should report any regular time worked, either remotely or on-campus using normal reporting procedures. The college will, by default, use COVID leave to supplement any regularly scheduled hours. An employee may request the substitution of vacation time, unpaid time, or other leaves. If no request is made, COVID leave will be applied to cover an employee’s absence up to their regularly scheduled work hours.



Checking in with student workers

Several offices have reported super positive feedback as they check-in with student workers.  If you have a moment, we highly encourage this activity.  A short phone call or email just asking how they are doing and letting them know you miss having them on campus would be great. 

Genesis EAP remains available to all employees and family members

There are no right answers on how to cope with the COVID 19 pandemic. Please remember the Genesis EAP benefit is available to all employees and their family members.  This free counseling service is best utilized by phone during this period of social distancing.  You can schedule an appointment by calling 1-800-475-1641.  

Recipe inspiration from Augustana Dining

Our colleagues in Augustana Dining are at it again.  They are busy making available some of the favorites from our campus community so you can try them at home.  Or better yet, your bored “home co-workers” can join in the fun.  Try out this version of the always popular Augustana Chocolate Chip Cookies.  And if you’re brave enough to share your “nailed it or failed it” pictures, we’ll share them in a future edition of HR update.


How to scan a document from home

Many of us have had to adjust to our new work environments and miss the resources in the office. Here is a useful tip on how to scan from the comfort of your own home.

iPhone users: go to "notes" and open a new slide then hit the camera button. It will ask if you want to scan a document. Lay out the pages you need to scan. Once scanned it will save them all as a PDF file. 



Even more temporary workspace pictures

Thank you SO much to everyone sending us their photos. We are enjoying getting a glimpse into your new office space. Please continue sharing your new office and co-workers!

Please send photos (horizontal) to

President Bahls sitting in his office chair behind his desk. Photos on the wall and a lamp in the corner.
President Bahls in his home away from home office. On the wall you will see a few of his mentors over the years.
Wes Brooks sitting behind desk with 2 laptops in front of him
Dr. Wes Brooks (Dean and Vice President of student life) making sure he doesn't skip a beat while working from home to ensure our students on campus are still being taken care of.
Man in the corner on computer and laptop on a desk. 3 small potted plants on the table in front of the window.
Carrie Hough (associate professor in Sociology) shows off how she and her new co-worker are staying zen.
Megan Christensen (manager of grants and corporate relations, Advancement)
Megan Christensen (manager of grants and corporate relations, Advancement) enjoys the sunshine from her new office.
Tia Fuhr shows laptop with blue flowers in a vase
Tia Fuhr (assistant director of student life and leadership, Dean of Students) welcomes us into her new "normal".
Bettina Bolger (executive assistant) shows the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion department never stops.
Kitchen table with flowers and laptop
Judy Scarpinato (director, donor relations and stewardship, Advancement) gets this whole area to herself!
Herb in the radio studio
Herb Trix (news director) still hard at work in the WVIK studio keeping us all up to date on the COVID-19 news.

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

Phone: 309-794-7352

Fax: 309-794-8962