Faculty and Staff - March 6, 2021

Dear Colleagues:

Over the last year and even at the town hall just last week, I have reiterated that changing circumstances impact our decision-making. I am writing today to share guidance we have received on our back-to-work plans, as you may have seen referenced in Governor McMaster’s latest executive order.

Late Friday the Department of Administration sent word that state agencies must immediately expedite the transition back to normal operations. While we heard your concerns during the town hall on returning to Phase 3 too quickly, this is a decision we no longer control. Our plan to return to normal operations must be submitted by Wednesday, and the expectation is that most all state workers, regardless of care-giving responsibilities for school-age children or for vulnerable adults, must be back in the workplace full time very soon.

Our return-to-work plan will address the Department of Administration’s suggestion on how to handle a request for a short delay for some workers impacted by in-person learning plans of the schools. But our initial reading of the guidance makes clear that continued work from home, on a formal or informal basis, will not be an option for the vast majority of Winthrop employees moving forward.

Now more than ever, as state employees, you must think through vaccination plans and options for your particular family situation. Hopefully, you have already scheduled your vaccine shot. If not, please take advantage of our two Winthrop Days at the Rock Hill Community Vaccination Clinic on March 16 and 18 by registering before the deadline of March 10. See more information in the emails from HRHelp on Friday.

I anticipate more information will be forthcoming as our leadership prepares to meet the requirements associated with the Governor's order. I will keep you apprised of developments. I know this is not the news you wanted to hear but rest assured that we will keep your concerns top of mind as we move forward in our planning as required by the State.


George W. Hynd
Interim President