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community, and making sure that we are achieving those principles of easy to be safe and showing that UK cares. This is all at no cost to our students; the university is paying for those costs and will manage those costs as we go through this process.
And our eyes are on phase three. I had a conversa- tion with the start team this morning, we’re looking at some other strategies, we’re meeting with some of our faculty who are doing some testing on wastewa- ter and some grants and contracts. So we’re having a conversation about that, and that being an indicator of additional areas that we may need to test as we walk through the coming days.
CT: Do you have any advice for other universities that are working through these issues?
Monday: Over-communicate. Have the right people around the table and then if you’re not sure, add oth- ers. Work it on a daily basis, and process it in a big table environment.
We’ve used this process now for other things: We’re using it as we look at, and as we attack and as we improve on, our diversity, equity and inclusion efforts on the campus. We’re using a similar struc- ture and model — different people but similar struc- ture and model — to solve these gigantic challenges.
You cannot say how important communication is, having the right people at the table. Lean in to what you already have: Lean in to the faculty who are doing the research, lean in to the faculty who are the experts when it comes to the pandemic or virus containment strategies, and so on. Lean in to the health environment if you have a health system. Having that hospital and that health system is a critical component of our ability.
And you have to structure in a way where informa- tion flows. Typically in higher education we have a challenge where we set up a blue-ribbon committee of 25 people, or 20 people, or 15 people, based on position, and we produce reports. That doesn’t work. This has to be a living, breathing incident response system that can move and make decisions within hours, rather than days or weeks. It has to be a struc- ture that can support differences of opinion, and can support moving the information up to the president or the appropriate level of decision-making, providing him or her with all the situational awareness, so the best decision can be made, and then it can be imple- mented in a very quick and timely manner.
CT: It’s so interesting that you mentioned applying the same decision-making structure to other chal- lenges. Once the pandemic is over, what parts of your incident response system might carry on into a more general “challenge management” system?
Monday: On DE&I efforts we’re setting up right now, we have six work streams and 17 projects in our phase one of changing the culture at the University of Kentucky, overcoming 400 years of challenge in America related to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts.
To your earlier question on the pandemic, we had over 500 people nominate themselves or others to serve on one of those teams. I would anticipate that other large goals and objectives of the university, it’s not going to be the identical structure but it’s going to be a similar structure, because we have proven and we believe that it works. It doesn’t mean that we are 100 percent confident we’re going to make it to Nov. 25. We aren’t. We’re 100 percent confident, though, that we have a structure that’s going to pro- vide the situational awareness and the intelligence to the decision-makers to make the best decision, that allows it to be easy to be safe, and shows that UK cares. If we have to adjust, if we have to pivot, we have a process in place to support that and to implement it.
This interview was originally fea- tured on the Campus Technology Insider podcast. Listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Ama- zon Music, Spotify or Stitcher, or at

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