3/16/20 Message from AVC Alan Fish

FP&M employees:

Before I update you on specific plans for next steps for our staff, I want to share some observations on our current situation. First, we are likely closer to the beginning of our challenges than the end. It is healthy to keep that in perspective as we move through health prevention and recovery. We will get through this no matter how long it takes. We all need to stay calm and focused on doing our part to reduce the extent of this public health crisis. We all need to do what is necessary to keep yourself, those closest to you, and our community safe and healthy. Our new normal of mindfully physically distancing, staying home, and following other public health recommendations means we must change how we work, play, and live.

Too many people are focusing on what is being lost now rather than focusing on where we need to be in the future as we move through and out of this situation. Everything is different and unnatural. It’s expected; because this is an unprecedented time. Events are moving quickly. But we have a team with talent and strength who can face this and move through it successfully. We need to embrace this challenge as best we can be using our greatest asset, our people. Our whole team is prepared to listen, talk, and think through this with the entire campus and our community. Pulling together, let’s all do our part.


On Sunday, Chancellor Blank sent a COVID-19 update directing schools, colleges, and divisions to begin implementing their action plans for telecommuting and for essential on-campus staffing. 

As a result, FP&M leadership completed plans to identify which FP&M employees will telecommute, which will continue to report to work on campus, and which are designated as essential personnel. This work is being completed today.

Many employees who have already been identified for full or partial telecommuting have received verbal notifications from their supervisors and have been encouraged to begin making the transition to remote work as conditions and operations allow.

Each FP&M employee will also receive a formal notification from FP&M Human Resources to let them know whether they have been identified for telecommuting, continued on-campus work, and whether they have been designated as essential personnel for campus operations. 

FP&M Human Resources will begin sending these messages today, but due to the size and breadth of FP&M’s operations, this process will take several days to complete.

Employees who continue to work on campus are strongly encouraged to practice healthy habits: frequent handwashing, frequent cleaning of high-touch areas, social distancing, using remote/online collaboration tools as much as possible for meetings and other work, and staying home when ill.

Please be aware that these working arrangements are subject to change as guidance from both campus and local public health agencies evolves with this rapidly changing situation. We will also continue to provide you with updated information as it becomes available.

If you have immediate questions about your working status, please speak to your supervisor or manager. 

As always, you can contact chancellor@wisc.edu or visit the UW COVID-19 website for the latest information.

Thank you for your patience and hard work as we navigate this crisis together, while continuing to support campus operations at the highest possible level.

Take care,

Alan Fish
Associate Vice Chancellor (Interim)
Facilities Planning & Management

Supervisors: Please post/distribute this message for employees that do not frequent the website.