Page 29 - Campus Technology, October/November 2020
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of the decisions you build not necessarily to consen- sus, but you build to a comfort level with the plan that makes the most sense for the university. What works at UK may not work at x or y or z university, but it’s based on our circumstance, based on our intel, based on our expertise. Candidly, a president who has a pub- lic health background has been something to lean in to; that’s really helped us through this environment. And lastly, a huge assistance to us has been our healthcare campus and our colleges in the health area, and our hospitals.
CT: Are there any other unexpected advantages or factors that have made your decision-making and planning easier?
Monday: I think a number of organizations start look- ing to the bottom line or looking to a dollar, so starting early with that principle that money is going to come second, that funding is going to come second, it’s led us to stand up very detailed and aggressive plans on testing. It’s led us to stand up the UK Health Corps. We have a strong feeling that we want to build it, we want to stand it up ourselves, we don’t want to depend or wait on someone else. In incidents, you have to go on your own in some ways. You have to work within the larger system, but if we’re waiting on others, gen- erally that’s going to be a challenge. You have to be in a position to where you can aggressively move and do what you think is best for your environment. We stood up a field hospital, when we saw projections that said we were going to go over the capacity we had in our hospitals. We stood it up and then the plans changed, the models changed, and we stood it down after a month. So we’re willing to take those calculated and appropriate risks, and at the same time, if the data doesn’t hold or changes, we have to be willing to adjust or pivot based on that information as well.
CT: Earlier you mentioned one of your guiding prin- ciples is making it as easy as possible to be safe. What are some examples of how that plays out?
Monday: Moving 10,000 pieces of furniture out of our classrooms before the students return. Over-commu- nicating an expectation of “protect and respect and do your part.” And setting an expectation not of conse- quence, but an expectation of let’s work together to improve and take care of one another and to be in the
best position to get to Nov. 25 as a community. Stand- ing up our contact tracing and testing and Health Corps operation — that’s a significant decision for the institution that was going to be a logistical challenge, and one that we believe put us in the best position to understand, as people are coming back and our stu- dents from 120 counties, 50 states and about 100 countries, how do we level set and provide some assurance of where we are on the positivity rate.
CT: When you’re communicating these things to students as well as faculty and staff, how do those communications go out? Is there signage, are there e-mails, and what works the best?
Monday: Our university relations team has done an excellent job of being multimodal, and we have used video more in the last five or six months than, I would argue, we’ve used over the last few years. We record with the president almost every single Wednesday. So the president, as the chief executive, as a public health professional, as the president, has been out there and we utilize him a great deal. We also are using our stu- dent body president: Courtney Wheeler has been a very effective communicator and partner within this effort.
But it’s anything and everything: We’re using e-mail, we’re utilizing video, we’re utilizing text messaging, we’re utilizing our social media channels, we’re utilizing key influencers and word of mouth, a lot of signage. You’ll see there’s signage anywhere and everywhere on the campus utilizing the Wildcat mascot, clever strategies around campaigns and reinforcing positive behaviors. That is, of course, the four calls we’re asking is wear a mask, wash your hands, physical distance and daily screening. And that daily screening activity, every single student, faculty and staff gets a communication every morning. If they have not done it, they’ll get one in the early afternoon. The app will be launched in the coming days.
CT: What about enforcement? Say in a classroom, is the professor supposed to make sure everyone’s wearing their masks?
Monday: I’ll speak from personal experience: I just finished my third class of about 80 students that I teach in a traditional environment. First two classes we had some good conversations around expecta- tions, and I’ve had nothing but 100 percent safety and compliance with the mask requirement on the cam-

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