May 21, 2020: Update from SMPH HR on Furloughs and Phased Return to Workplace

Additional information was released yesterday from the university Office of Human Resources (OHR) regarding UW-Madison furloughs, work-share programs, emergency leave assistance, and a phased return to the workplace. Below is some additional context for members of the SMPH community. Please continue to refer to the OHR furlough website for up-to-date information.

  • Official furlough letters: SMPH employees will be receiving a letter with furlough or Work-Share information specific to their position this week. If you did not receive this letter by Friday, May 22, please contact your supervisor or your HR representative.
  • We are awaiting details from campus about a phased return to on-site work. Chancellor Blank provided a message about this topic on Tuesday. We anticipate release of an operational plan from campus, and our own procedures in SMPH will align with this plan. In the meantime,
    • If you are currently successfully able to work remotely, you should continue to do so until further notice.
    • Please be aware that supervisors are not authorized to make wholescale changes to the current offsite work operations. As phased re-opening progresses, resumption of both research and non-research activities on campus will need to be authorized through a formal process. The details of our process in SMPH will follow instructions provided by campus leadership when that information is available.
    • Once we receive information from campus about phase 1 of the return-to-campus effort, our SMPH working group will establish and share our school’s guidelines. Work teams within SMPH are identifying how to implement the university’s phased re-open to necessary personnel in a thoughtful, deliberate, and, above all, safe way.
    • Different sets of workplace and public guidelines have been (or will be) established for Dane County and the City of Madison, UW Health, and UW–Madison. Depending on your place of residence and your role within our academic medical center, you will need to be aware of and abide by each of these differing guidelines. This can be challenging. At SMPH, we will do our best to be clear about guidelines, policies and procedures that are specific to SMPH employees and learners when they are on site in our facilities for work and learning activities.
      • UW Health issued a message yesterday about task forces that will focus on workplace locations for UW Health employees.
      • UW–Madison indicates that while the Public Health Madison & Dane County order released on May 18 does not apply to the university because UW–Madison is a unit of a state agency, the university will continue to work closely with the city and county as plans progress.


Thank you for your patience and persistence. Be safe, and be well.


Hope Broadus, JD

Associate Dean for Human Resources

School of Medicine and Public Health

University of Wisconsin-Madison