Hybrid work schedule guidelines for nonbargaining employees

Dear colleagues,
Across industries and sectors, many organizations are rethinking how and where work duties can be fulfilled without compromising excellence in the delivery of their missions. This willingness to examine existing work paradigms appears to be among the enduring byproducts of the early pandemic era. WMU leadership, too, recognizes that work schedules can be balanced to continue putting students’ needs first while potentially affording greater workplace flexibility.

In view of this and informed by lessons learned from our operations over the past two years, today we provide new guidance for hybrid work to go into effect, Wednesday, Aug. 17. As fall semester draws near, this guidance is designed to bring units and divisions into consistent alignment in the use of hybrid scheduling while still allowing flexibility to respond to temporary changes in employee circumstances through use of Telecommuting Policy provisions. 

Under this new guidance, nonbargaining employees may have the option of working remotely one day per week with supervisor approval. Below you will find the full guidelines and their foundational principles.

Please note that given this campuswide model for hybrid schedules, any needed modifications to our Telecommuting Policy will occur as part of the policy’s review process. More information about that policy will be forthcoming as it moves through the process. For now, we encourage using these hybrid work guidelines first, reserving the Telecommuting Policy for situations they do not address, such as needs that are short in duration and specific to a unique circumstance.

Guiding principles for establishing hybrid work schedules:

  • We put students first—they are at the heart of all decisions at our residential University. Sustaining a vibrant campus community that is enriched by in-person engagement is essential to student success and institutional effectiveness.
  • We are committed to creating a workplace that supports and lifts employee lives and careers.
  • We believe that in-person interaction with colleagues and constituents is critical to fostering positive work relationships, a high level of energy and collaboration.
  • Job responsibilities determine the level and approach used in providing work flexibility. We will strive for equity across the University, while providing flexibility to individual units, employees and supervisors.
  • We will meet the business needs of our constituents—students, faculty, staff, campus visitors and outside partners.

Work flexibility guidelines:

  • With appropriate approval, nonbargaining staff and administrators may have the option of remote work for up to one day per week.
  • University business hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., during which time offices will be open and maintain a consistent physical presence.
  • To aid team cohesion and collegiality, administrative leaders will identify two days on which all nonbargaining staff and administrators within an administrative unit will be expected to be working in person.  
  • A minimum of 50% of nonbargaining staff and administrators in the administrative unit must be working in person each business day.
  • If in-person obligations fall on a remote working day, employees will report to campus on that day to fulfill those obligations. In these situations, supervisors are encouraged to offer alternatives that are consistent with these guidelines and University policies.  
  • The hybrid work schedule for each employee will be approved by the immediate manager/supervisor as well as the next higher level of supervision to provide coordination and oversight of overall administrative unit staffing levels. All hybrid work schedules will be documented and kept current by the administrative unit.
  • Understanding that we deliver our mission in a dynamic environment, hybrid work schedules may be suspended in response to new or unexpected needs.

We value and appreciate all you do to advance Western. This hybrid schedule model is designed to offer you flexibility in carrying out your individual role as we collectively deliver on the University’s core educational mission. Please direct any questions you may have to your respective Cabinet member. 

Thank you,
President's Cabinet
Dr. Edward Montgomery, President
Dr. Diane Anderson, Vice President for Student Affairs
Dan Bartholomae, Director of Intercollegiate Athletics
Jeffrey Breneman, Vice President for Government Relations
Dr. Christopher Cheatham, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs
Paula M. Davis, Director of Strategic Communications
Kristen DeVries, Vice President for University Advancement
Michelle Hruska, Executive Assistant Senior to the President
Dr. Candy McCorkle, Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion
Tony Proudfoot, Vice President for Marketing and Strategic Communications
Dr. Kahler Schuemann, Chief of Staff, Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Dr. Remzi Seker, Vice President for Research and Innovation
Jan Van Der Kley, Vice President for Business and Finance, Chief Financial Officer