Published: May 25, 2022

Provost Russell Moore and Chief Operating Officer Patrick O’Rourke on Wednesday announced a number of updates to the campus operating model, which are outlined below and include work modality standards for student- and public-facing offices and the units that support them, academic instruction guidance, COVID-related requirements and other topics. 

Please bookmark this page for future reference, and discuss these changes with your supervisor or department chair to discuss how to best implement them in your units.

On this page

Guiding principles and work modalities

The guiding principles around hybrid and remote work developed by the campus remain a key driver in all of the decisions we make in relation to the university’s operating model.

Definitions of the work modalities of on-campus, hybrid and remote remain the same and are listed on the Human Resources website

Faculty standards of practice 

Academic instruction

  • Instruction is primarily in-person.
  • The academic calendar is finalized to allow for planning and consistency.
  • Academic Affairs will disseminate a new edition of academic instruction guidance that addresses work modality standards for faculty and GPTI/TAs in regard to curricular planning and teaching assignments.

Research, scholarship and creative work 

Subject to any operational needs of the unit, individual faculty may continue to conduct research, scholarship and creative work in the modality they see fit, as long as attendant student and trainee mentorship objectives can be met. 

Office hours, out-of-classroom teaching and faculty service

Individual faculty and GPTIs may conduct office hours in the modality they see fit. TAs should consult with the instructor of record on the modality of their office hours.

Individual faculty may conduct out-of-classroom teaching in the modality they see fit, following best pedagogical practices.

Based on operational needs, the pertinent level of administration (whether departments/programs, colleges/schools or Academic Affairs) determines the modality of faculty service activities, such as committee work.

Faculty working fully remote

A faculty member who is working fully remote (including  research and creative work, teaching, and service) must have written approval from their chair/director and their dean. Approvals are to be archived in the dean’s office and a copy maintained in the department/program (if applicable). A copy of the approval will also be sent to the Office of Faculty Affairs to be included in the faculty member’s personnel file.

Staff standards of practice

Student- and public-facing offices must have continuous in-person presence during CU Boulder operating hours. Units providing support services to public-facing offices, such as Facilities Management, must have an in-person presence to meet the needs during CU Boulder operating hours. 

Non-public facing offices may work in hybrid or remote formats as long as business needs are met during the hours of operation.

Fully remote positions need to be reviewed and approved by the university officer who is the division or department head. Additional review and support can be elevated to the chief operating officer and/or provost as needed.

Public-facing offices/departments

CU Boulder is a public university that is open to all people to visit or conduct business. 

Public-facing includes offices or units that work directly with people (inclusive of but not limited to students, employees, families, guests, donors, etc.) on either an appointment or walk-in basis. In order to support our residential academic and research missions, the majority of the university and its functions are public facing.

Public-facing offices need to be open and provide services in person at minimum during standard business hours of the university (8 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the academic year; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the summer). 

  • If an office or unit has a reception area, that area must have someone present unless there is another method by which a visitor can announce their presence (bell/buzzer).
  • Individual departments may have administrative time the first hour of the day and not have open doors, but phones, chats and emails should be available for support.
  • Summer 2022 flexibility: To meet the requirement of in-person operations, student- and public-facing offices may collaborate with one another and use shared space to ensure constituents who walk up to request services are welcomed and can have their concerns/questions addressed.
  • For fall 2022 and beyond: If a university officer decides to consolidate space on a permanent basis, they must notify the Office of Space Optimization to inform them of the consolidation.
  • Units with employees in similar roles may authorize different work modalities from one another so long as the service expectations defined above are met.

Public health

We will implement a framework for public health and COVID-19 decision-making that follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance. CU Boulder’s COVID-19 vaccine and booster requirements will remain in place, with follow-up information forthcoming as the fall semester nears.

OIT major projects

Our campus is making a number of significant changes to create a hybrid-smart IT environment for CU Boulder. These changes will modernize our IT services in a cost-effective way and protect our campus from heightened security threats. 

Human Resources support, reporting requirements

Divisions and departments must report the number of employees working in each of the modalities. Human Resources will provide tools to assess the appropriate work modality for positions. Human Resources will follow up with unit senior HR partners with more information about completing this exercise.

Staff who are designated as hybrid, and faculty and staff who are remote, must have a working agreement that is reviewed and approved annually or semi-annually and kept on file by the departments. The DocuSign Hybrid and Remote work agreements are available on the HR website.

Furniture return requirements

The university’s standards around equipment, furniture and supplies remain the same. 

Human Resources will also be implementing new Furniture Return or Purchase Requirements over the summer for employees who took home university furniture for their home offices during the pandemic. 

  • All university furniture (desks, chairs, bookcases, etc.) must be returned to campus no later than Dec. 31, 2022. 
  • More information, including an Intent to Return or Purchase Form, will be communicated to campus over the summer.