Roos Return

UMKC Roos Return Plan

Version May 18, 2020

The University of Missouri-Kansas City is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our UMKC community. We recognize that the threat from COVID-19 is not over and continues to affect our community in multiple ways, including how, when and where many of us are able to work. The UMKC Roos Return Plan is intended to provide a framework for a phased return to full on-site operations by the Fall 2020 term, while limiting potential exposure and opportunities for community transmission on UMKC grounds.

We also understand that we may need to move in and out of these strategies based upon our regional disease patterns; therefore, the approaches and timelines included in this plan are preliminary and may be modified as new information is available and/or be replaced with better ideas as they are identified and verified by the healthcare community.

The university has developed this plan to assist units and departments in determining which employees should return to the UMKC campus, during what timeline, and how to do so safely. The goal is to mitigate the potential for transmission of COVID-19 on our campus and in other university-owned or -managed facilities. This requires full cooperation and shared responsibility for implementing the plan from all members of the UMKC community by following its recommendations and requirements. By taking personal responsibility for safe practices, you protect your own health as well as the health of our community. As updates from our public health experts evolve, we will continue to offer guidance and make decisions with the well-being of our students, staff and faculty in mind. We appreciate your patience as we work together to keep our universities functioning during unprecedented circumstances. The latest updates can be found on the coronavirus page on the UMKC website

The current plan is based on three repopulation phases, with phase one starting approximately 14 days after Kansas City, Missouri’s stay-at home order has been lifted. The following is a conceptual approach to the return to full on-site operations. The start dates for the phases may be modified if needed:

  • Phase 1 (June 1-July 5) –- Critical Operations Approved by Campus Leadership
  • Phase 2 (July 6-August 2) –- Expanded Operations with Ongoing Restrictions Approved by Campus Leadership
  • Phase 3 (August 3-August 24) –- Return to Full On-Site Operations with Ongoing Restrictions

Until further notice, all employees will be required to work through telework arrangements except those approved to work on site. However, this plan anticipates that some number of faculty and staff will need to return to campus (either regularly or intermittently), not because of personal preference, but to effectively complete their work. Employees who were already designated as “Essential On-Campus” employees or those who have been approved to conduct essential research and have been working on site already, will continue to do so without need to seek additional approval through this process.

Phase 1

Critical operations that support the university’s core mission of research and teaching, which may include:
  • Infrastructure support teams: facilities, information services, health and safety and the police
  • Researchers and their supporting staff whose research require their physical presence to advance research goals or meet grant requirements
  • Faculty, staff and students whose work/learning requires their physical presence to complete
  • Administrative functions that are not otherwise possible if working from home
  • Limited student support services
  • Other functions approved by campus leadership

Phase 2

Expanded core operations with extensive protective measures still in place. Preparing for resumption of full on-site operations while continuing to limit exposure of returning employees and reduce potential for community transition. Phase 2 may include:
  • UMKC leadership and supporting team members
  • Academic unit leadership and their support teams
  • Select student-serving units
  • Expanded faculty and researcher presence based on educational and research needs

Phase 3

Return to full on-site operations with ongoing restrictions. This includes the repopulation of the remainder of the campus community in advance of the start of the fall 2020 semester. All community members return to campus with protective measures remaining in place to limit exposure. Phase 3 may include:
  • Faculty and staff from all remaining units
  • Student re-entry to the residence halls
  • Student re-entry to the campus

Employees may not return to work on site until they have been approved by the appropriate vice chancellor or provost. Your direct supervisor/department chair will notify you when it’s time for you to return to campus. The approval of on-site work will be made in consultation with guidance from federal, state, or local public health officials and designed to achieve important institutional objectives. This may include work that needs to happen on-site in preparation for a broader return to campus.

To request your unit/department’s return to on-site work, supervisors or department chairs are requested to work with their deans and unit leaders to complete the Roos Return Request Qualtrics survey. An initial review will be completed by members of the Campus Coronavirus Planning Team, which will then be shared with the provost or appropriate vice chancellor for a secondary review and final approval. Changes or additions to requests should be shared/communicated with Sheri Gormley in the Chancellor’s Office two weeks in advance or as early as possible to allow Campus Facilities Services, Information Technology Services and others the time to scale/staff accordingly.

As shared above, it is important to note that this plan will evolve as necessary in response to public health conditions in the Kansas City region, as well as officials such as Governor Mike Parsons, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Kansas City (Mo.) Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We fully expect that, over time, the plan will allow more and more faculty and staff to return to campus until we achieve full, in-person operations. The success of moving to full operations is based on how well UMKC can be proactive and reduce the spread of the virus in the UMKC community and the Kansas City Metro. University leaders will continue to revise this plan and communicate updates to faculty, staff and students as the COVID-19 pandemic evolves.

Roos Return Phases

Phase 1: Critical Operations Approved by Campus Leadership
Essential Workers
Campus Facilities Management
Information Technology Services
Researchers, employees and students who need to be physically present on site to effectively complete their work duties or learning
Select Athletics coaches, medical team, staff
Phase 2: Expanded Operations with Ongoing Restrictions Approved by Campus Leadership
Chancellor Office and leadership teams
Provost Office and leadership teams
Deans and leadership teams
Student Success leadership and
select team members
Student Affairs leadership and
select team members
Planning Analysis and Decision Support and select team members
Undergraduate Studies leadership team and select team members
International Affairs Leadership and select team members
Finance and Administration
Leadership and select team members
Other faculty, researchers, employees and students who need to be physically present on site to effectively complete their work duties or learning
Select Athletics coaches, medical team, staff
Phase 3: Return to Full On-Site Operations with Ongoing Restrictions
Academic unit staff and faculty
Student Success
Student Affairs
Faculty Affairs
Planning Analysis and Decision Support
Undergraduate Studies
Graduate Studies
International Affairs
Centers and Institutes
Kansas City Repertory Theatre
Strategic Marketing and Communications
External Relations and Community Engagement
Finance and Administration
UMKC Foundation
UMKC Innovation Center
Diversity and Inclusion
Human Resources

University Travel

University-related travel, both international and domestic, is suspended, effective immediately and until further notice.
CDC Travel Guidance

Roos Return Plan: Employee Responsibilities [HR 700H]

Effective Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at 12 a.m., the university will implement the following temporary measures:

    1. Employees will return to on-site work when directed to do so by their supervisors, in accordance with plans approved pursuant to I.H.ii. Employees who were approved to work on site prior to Wednesday, May 13, 2020, may continue to work on site without further approval.  Employees who have not been directed to return to on-site work will telework to the maximum extent feasible until instructed to work on-site. 
    2. The Chancellor or his designees will approve plans to return to on-site work before they are implemented. Most plans will not be implemented earlier than 14 days after any applicable “stay-at-home” order has been lifted, although approvals for earlier implementations may be granted. Plans to return to on-site work should be made in consultation with guidance from local public health officials and provide for a phased return to on-site operations, with the goal of resuming full on-site operations by the Fall 2020 term.
    3. Employees who are working on site during the period of these temporary measures:
      1. Will comply with applicable federal, state, or local public health orders related to COVID-19;
      2. Will observe the following precautionary measures:
        1. Maintain six-foot social distancing from other individuals unless performing job duties that require contact with other individuals closer than six feet.
        2. Wear a cloth mask or other face covering that covers their mouth and nose if they are unable to maintain six-foot social distancing or if otherwise required by federal, state, or local public health orders.
        3. Limit in-person meetings and group gatherings to a size that complies with federal, state, or local public health orders and allows for six-foot social distancing.
        4. Continue healthy habits.  While working on site, employees should:
          • Wash their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or if soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
          • Avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
          • Cover their coughs and sneezes with a tissue, the inside of their elbow, or something other than their hands.
          • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Avoid sharing equipment with other employees to the extent possible and take precautions such as disinfecting and hand-washing after use when such sharing is necessary.
        5. Measure their own temperature before work each day. The employee will not report to work and will notify their supervisor if they have a temperature over 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
        6. Notify their supervisor and stay home if they are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, including cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fever, chills, muscle pain, headache, and new loss of taste or smell.
        7. Notify their supervisor if they have been in close contact with an individual who tested positive for COVID-19.
      3. Employees working on site may be required to observe additional precautionary measures with approval of the Chancellor or his designees. Additional precautionary measures may be particularly appropriate for employees whose job duties make it difficult to maintain social distancing, and may include (but are not limited to) the following.
        1. Employees may be screened for symptoms of COVID-19, including measuring employees’ body temperature and asking whether they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. Screenings should be performed privately, and information about employees’ symptoms must be treated as confidential.
        2. Employees may be required to wear personal protective equipment (PPE). Employees with disabilities may request PPE-related accommodations from their university human resources office.
      4. Employees directed to return to work on site who may be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 (see information from UM System and the CDC) should notify their supervisors and their university’s human resources office to request reasonable accommodation. 
      5. If the university is notified of faculty, staff or students who are working/learning on campus who have COVID–19-like symptoms, who suspect that they have been exposed to COVID-19 or who are symptomatic and have a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 based on testing, the person receiving the notification/supervisor should notify the Student Health and Wellness Administrator at 816-235-2133 or email

Reasonable accommodations will be granted in accordance with Collected Rules and Regulations Section 600.080, Policy Related to Employees with Disabilities, and may include alternative work schedule or location, extension of telework, or enhanced precautionary measures.

Roos Return: Common Spaces

Adapted from the Safe Return KC Guide (and other sources)

The following practices are recommended for common spaces: 

Meeting Rooms:

  • Whenever possible, in-person meetings should be discontinued and replaced with virtual meetings.
  • Essential in-person meetings should be limited to employees only, and social distancing should be maintained. If possible, small, confined rooms with poor air flow should be taken offline.
  • Meetings with stakeholders should be conducted virtually at every opportunity.
  • Reduce the standard room capacity for meeting rooms and personal offices to ensure at least six feet of space between all participants. Communicate new capacity via signage and room reservation tools.
  • Remove extra chairs from rooms or place them in a corner away from the table to demonstrate and enforce proper spacing.
  • Disinfect meetings rooms, particularly frequently touched surfaces, before and after each use. Cleaning products should be provided in each room with detailed instructions.
  • Provide sanitation plans for use of common equipment such as whiteboard markers, computer input devices (keyboard, mouse), conference phones, etc.
  • Records are recommended to be kept of when, where and who attends each meeting. This will assist in contact tracing should an attendee test positive for COVID-19.

Common Areas:

  • Establish a 6-foot clearance around all front desk/reception locations, if applicable, to assist with the practice of social distancing
  • Records are recommended to be kept of all visitors entering and leaving the building to assist in contact tracing should it be necessary.
  • Consider closing or limiting access to common areas.
  • Rearrange or remove furniture in common areas where employees are likely to congregate.
  • Enforce strict social distancing protocols in all common areas.
  • Keep in mind common surfaces include door knobs, push bars, countertops, sink handles, trashcan lids, ice machine scoops, coffee urns, chair arm rests, refrigerator handles, microwave handles and buttons, vending machines and drinking fountain buttons.
  • Hand sanitizer and surface cleaning supplies should be provided in all common areas.

    Note:  This plan includes language and elements adopted by other universities, including the University of Missouri in Columbia and the Minnesota Plan.