A Message from President Thomas J. LeBlanc: Checking in

April 20, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Around this time in April, we are always busy: sprinting toward the finish line of the spring semester, juggling our many end-of-year projects or preparing finals. And that is just a “normal” spring. I know this year many of you are taking on even more responsibilities, and doing so in the face of uncertainty and other challenges, so I thought it important to take a moment to check in.

You have read a lot from the university these past few weeks about the importance of safety, which is always our priority and is critical in times of crisis. All of you have directly supported our safety efforts. Of course, our health care providers remain on the front lines, at great cost to themselves and their families, to expertly care for their patients. Our designated on-site employees have been here on campus supporting our students and keeping our physical campus running. And the rest of us have done what we can by staying home, running GW’s virtual operations to fulfill our academic and research missions.

While your safety continues to be our foremost consideration, as this prolonged crisis takes a toll on us in many ways, I also want to let you know that we are committed to your and your families’ well-being.

We have support available for benefits-eligible faculty and staff members, including Resources for Living, a GW-sponsored employee assistance program, and waived costs for medical virtual visits for those covered on GW medical plans. Additionally, Pandemic Time is a temporary paid-time-off option to support staff affected by COVID-19, and we recently announced adjustments to annual leave carry over that will provide you more flexibility to take time off later in the year. (But I encourage you to take time off now if you need it.)

The Benefits website also includes various virtual resources on financial well-being, supporting at-home children and more. GW’s COVID-19 website and our live information line at 1-855-GWU-INFO (855-498-4636) can help if you are not finding what you need.

Finally, I hope that you will have some opportunities these next few weeks to check in on each other outside of the official business of your meetings, or to send someone a Positive Vibe for a job well done. We often do not know what our colleagues may be experiencing outside of work, and the small gesture of reaching out can make a big difference. Even when we are spread apart, we are all still contributing to the collective strength and care of our GW community.

Sincerely,

Thomas J. LeBlanc