To: All Members of the PME Community
From: Dean Matthew Tirrell
Subject: Remote Engagement & Continuity Planning
Date: March 16, 2020
As the Dean of the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, I am the primary lead for our division’s continuity planning. If there is a situation that demands on-the-spot presence and action and I am not available, Jeffrey Hubbell as Deputy Dean has been named as my second in command. Rovana Popoff as Senior Associate Dean will be third in command until April 13th when Joshua Berg will take over as Senior Associate Dean for Administration and Operations.
Jeffrey Hubbell will chair a faculty committee on remote learning to facilitate the PME’s successful delivery of spring courses. The committee includes Paul Nealey, Jun Huang, Andrew Cleland, and Mustafa Guler. Paul Nealey and Rovana Popoff are our liaisons to the University remote learning working groups. IT Director Craig Hamill will be in charge of ensuring that faculty, who will be teaching in the spring quarter, have the appropriate computer equipment and IT support. They are all working together to share communications and coordinate activity.
Provost Lee’s 3/16 memo to faculty on planning for research outlines immediate actions for “significantly ramping down on-campus research activities.” With the immediacy of her request, all research PIs and administrative supervisors will need to identify and provide contact information (email address and mobile number) for an alternative lead or second in command; that information should be shared with Maria Rubio by end of day tomorrow. Our facilities team will continue to conduct periodic walkthroughs of our buildings and facilities and will contact the PI and second in command, if the need arises.
As shared earlier, others in leadership roles include Craig Hamill – IT Support, Matt Williams – Facilities, Tarnisha Smith (HR), Jacob Homan (Finance), Tracy Walker (Administrative Support), and Devon McPhee (Communications). For specific COVID-19 questions, you can write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
With University expectations for remote engagement and continuity planning quickly evolving, I also want to reinforce the expectation that we will all need to be flexible as we adapt to carry out the PME’s central mission of research and education. As we identify the mission essential functions (MEFs) of the PME that will ensure our on-going operation,
- We will need to be mindful not only of what we consider to be our own individual responsibilities, but also what we might be called up to do in other areas of the organization;
- We will not be able to expect the levels of support, referral, and delegation that we have been used to under normal operations;
- We all need to take the time to become familiar with on-line and other resources and to be as self-sufficient as possible.
Administrative and support areas (both central and lab-specific) will need to take the time to make information, policies, and practices relevant to their areas as transparent and accessible as possible so that others might be able to take on tasks/responsibilities where they can.
Mission Essential Functions are the limited set of PME functions that must be continued throughout a disruption of normal operations in order to fulfill the mission of the PME. Per the University’s Office of Emergency Management, MEF’s typically do not include:
- General training and exercises
- Long range planning
- Travel to conferences
- Audits and inspections
- Non-essential visitors or meetings.
Essential versus non-essential: the distinction between these categories is whether or not a function must be performed during a crisis. Essential functions are those that must be performed, even during emergencies and disruptions. If this function is not performed it will have severe negative consequences for the PME. If determined that a function must be performed during or immediately after an emergency or disruption, the function is mission essential. Functions can also be deemed essential if they are mandated by safety or a requirement such as regulation, law, executive order, court order, regulation, management priority, grant-funding contract, internal procedure, etc.
Again, for information about the public health situation related to novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and University actions to date, please visit UChicago’s coronavirus online information hub. Per University guidelines, if you need to self-isolate because you are sick or have been exposed to COVID-19, graduate students and post-docs should be in contact with their PI and/or the Dean of Students, faculty should be in contact with me or my designate, and staff should be in touch with their supervisor and/or HR Director.
Other relevant resources are below:
- CDC Guidance to Schools & Workplaces
- UChicago Dean-on-Call: The Dean-on-Call is the University official responsible for providing referrals, information, and support to students during an emergency. Students, faculty, or staff may contact the Dean-on-Call any time there is a concern or emergency in order to get advice and support. The Dean-on-Call can be reached through the UCPD dispatch at 773.702.8181 or 123 from any campus phone. The Dean-on-Call may also be reached through a direct paging system by calling 773.834.HELP (4357).
- Call 911 if you have a medical emergency: If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, notify the dispatch personnel that you have, or are being evaluated for COVID-19. If possible, put on a facemask before emergency medical services arrive.
- Student Health Service (SHS): 773.702.4156
- Nurse Advice Line (after SHS business hours): 773.702.4156
- UChicago Medicine Emergency Room: 773.702.6250
PME Facilities Contacts:
- Matt Williams, ERC Building Manager (773-673-4282)
- Paul Julson, PME Facilities Director (847) 707-0956
- Jennifer Robles, Building Technical Assistant Director (773) 569-7320
- Peter Duda, PNF Technical Director (805-636-2323
Again, I appreciate the flexibility and leadership that all of you are showing and will continue to show as we move forward to carry out the research and education of the PME.