What is Dropshipping?

President Lassner highlights UH’s efforts during worldwide crisis

David Lassner: Thank you to our Kudo Regents
here and scattered across the state. Today I’ll just focus on one thing and that’s
the COVID-19 crisis that we are all in the middle of. Last meeting it was barely on our radar, and today it is all-consuming for everyone
within the University of Hawaiʻi system. It should go without saying that we’re facing
unprecedented times, medically, socially and economically
and it is incredibly dynamic. Pretty much every day we have new information,
a new wrinkle, new context, new guidance. I know that the Regents receive our regular
email updates to the UH community which go out on a regular basis, and some of you may also monitor our
COVID-19 webpage, but I’d like to step back and maybe
provide the full overview of how your administration has approached this crisis. First, the core principles that we have used. We’re committed to the safety of our students
and all of our employees and to committing the semester for our students. Second, our campus facilities are necessary
to our academic mission. Those that are essential remain open
to our students, employees. To maximize public safety
and that of our employees and students, we are closing a number of public
facing services for the duration of the crisis. It’s dynamic, but as examples:
the Waikīkī Aquarium, the Lyon Arboretum,
ʻImiloa, the Visitor Information Station. Those are all closed. We have rec centers on two campuses. Those were closed, and that gives you an example
of the tension we face. We initially wanted to keep them open
for the health of our students and employees, but we decided later that that risk was
too great as the situation escalated. Our libraries across our campuses are open. They are needed by our students and faculty, but we have restricted them to
UH students and employees only. They’re no longer open to the general public
as they usually are. This will be an ongoing program. More importantly, inside the facilities that are open, whether to students, employees or anyone, we are making changes to both the facilities’ set up and also practices to maximize social distancing in accord with the CDC guidelines for institutions of higher education. It’s a complicated situation that touches
nearly all of us in the university. Externally we have a university point of contact for
the Hawaiʻi Emergency Management Agency where we collaborate on a daily basis with all the state and county officials and the Department of Health. We also participate in all the
regular Cabinet meetings led by the governor, and typically, his entire team is engaged
in state-level considerations. We monitor on a daily basis the information
from the Centers for Disease Control
and the Hawaiʻi Department of Health, and we reach out directly
with other governmental officials as needed. The core of our program is really about an
hour phone or zoom meeting every morning with the university officers and key staff to review
the current status, respond to changing conditions. That’s where we also maximize the alignment
of practices among our ten campuses, all of which are very different. We cooperate with
numerous requests from state officials and other agencies to provide information about
our protocol, supplies, practices and economic impact. In brief, the things that we have changed
have touched everyone, most notably, UH instruction will be conducted online for the remainder of the semester. Full buildings or sections of buildings that are unnecessary during the crisis may be closed under the authority
of one of the UH officers. UH work study and other spaces are
being modified to promote social distancing. All non-essential travel,
including to neighbor islands, is now being canceled. Our residence halls are open.
We’ve been asked about this. We have identified isolation rooms
within our residence halls.
We have them at UH Hilo and UH Mānoa only. The isolation rooms will support self quarantine,
should that be necessary.
Thankfully it has not yet been. We have at least hundreds of students
for whom there is no home to go to right now, and that’s why we’ve left our residence halls open. Traditional dining services are now being phased out and replaced with to-go, grab-and-go or delivery food services across our UH campuses. All public events, that is, those that are not intended for students and employees, are canceled. While we had originally announced
this was for eight weeks in accord with CDC guidelines, I’ll leak something here,
but today we will be announcing with great sadness that our traditional commencement
ceremonies will have to be canceled this May. We are looking after the personal safety of
all of our employees and our students. Anyone that has tested positive stays home until
they’re medically cleared. Anyone directed to self quarantine by the
Department of Health or other authority may work from home for the
14 days of the quarantine period. Anyone with a household member who has tested positive or been directed to self quarantine
may also work from home. Anyone considered vulnerable, for example, with a compromised immune system,
may work from home. Anyone with a household member considered vulnerable may work from home. Anyone who returns from a location with widespread community transmission self quarantines for 14 days. In addition to the option of working from home, we are looking at alternative work spaces
on campus if that’s appropriate for the situation. Anyone who can do their
work from home may do so indefinitely during their crisis upon their request
or that of their supervisors. For all employees who are on campus,
the work spaces and practices are being changed to promote social distancing
in accord with the guidelines. These are simple principles.
They cannot possibly cover all cases and that’s what we talk about each morning to stay aligned. We are really asking our employees, their supervisors and management to utilize both common sense and
compassion for everyone in the workplace, both individuals being asked to stay home
and their colleagues in the workplace. These decisions get pushed up to a UH officer if necessary to resolve difficult situations. In general, decisions about employees working
from home or in part can be made by supervisors with their executive management in accord
with guidelines we have published. Anyone who is healthy is asked to stay out of the
workplace to mitigate workplace risks may be assigned alternate duties that can be performed
form home if their job cannot be. If their duties, if they should not be in the workplace,
they cannot do their duties from home, we cannot find other duties for them,
we will find an appropriate leave time to keep them at home, perhaps through our leave bank or other methodology. We have distributed written guidelines and a request form on these matters that are available to all employees,
supervisors and management. So that’s kind of what we’re
doing, why we’re doing it and how we’re doing it. Let me just close with some reflections. This has been all-consuming for pretty much all of us within the university over these last weeks. It is perhaps the greatest challenge for many of us professionally that we will face. It is harder than 9/11.
It is harder than the Great Recession. It is harder than the hurricane scares
and it is harder than the flood, for the disasters I’ve been through.
It’s touching everyone. It’s been hard already and it will continue to get harder as we see the impacts across our state. We will make every decision in good faith and the next
day sometimes we find that decision wasn’t the best, either because we didn’t have all
of the information or context. We ask your indulgence as we know that will happen, given the number of decisions that we’re making,
almost on an hourly basis. But we will get through it and it will be over
and we will do that together by caring for each other. There are so many positive examples
of how our teams are coming together. Our faculty have been amazing in figuring out how to offer the best education they can to our students. Short notice, new tools for many of them.
It’s an incredible daunting task. Our students lives are being turned upside down. Our instructional designers, our IT support teams,
are working around the clock
to help our faculty and our students. Our staff, managers, administrators
are keeping the trains running. Custodians stepping up to disinfect. Assistance dealing with requests
and schedules that change by the minute. Communicators trying to keep everyone
informed inside, outside the university. Parents and students now scattered across the country and around the world. We need to finish the semester unless the situation changes and we are directed to close by the governor. We want our students to continue their studies. Thousands will graduate, even
without commencements. They will move on with their lives. Others need to stay on track so they can graduate. They need their education to succeed as individuals, with their families, in their communities. The state needs our graduates to graduate
so they can advance the state. After this crisis we will be a very different place
than we were before it. Our graduates will be the cornerstone
of that new Hawaiʻi. So mahalo to our students
for taking on an unexpected challenge. To our faculty for an amazing job that they never could have expected even a month ago. To all of our employees whose commitment and hard work for this university, for our students, for each other, for the state, are making it all possible. For my colleagues. It’s an amazing leadership team. UH is one of the great universities in this world.
We will not only survive. We will succeed and we will come out of this
better than we were before. Thank you.

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