Return to Work Planning, Phase 2 Re-Opening and Commencement

Dear Faculty and Staff,

With COVID numbers declining and the vaccine slowly taking hold, I have called on all university staff to prepare a plan for a return to work on or about July 1. We know that predicting the exact health environment at any given time is a best guess proposition, but we must start building a plan to return to our regular work stations so we are prepared to do it right.  

We would like managers to begin coordinating the return of staff so that it is a safe, phased transition with all departments being open to serve students in-person on July 1. 

Over the next couple of weeks, departments will receive information about how to plan for this transition in a safe, phased manner. Just like we did a year ago when we suddenly moved online, we will all need to work together to identify and overcome the challenges ahead as we transition back to campus.

As the East Region moves into Phase 2 of Gov. Inslee’s “Healthy Washington Roadmap to Recovery” plan, we are modifying access to campus services, such as the PUB, URC, catering, athletics events, and more. Please visit Inside EWU for more details.

Lastly, we are continuing to evaluate our options for the possibility of some in-person Commencement ceremonies for both semester and quarter programs. I do not want to give out false hope. Concerns about the pandemic are still top of mind, as state parameters and our need to act responsibly in the community are of paramount importance. We cannot make a firm statement on commencement today but want to inform you that we are considering several possibilities and will update the campus in the next few weeks. When we announce the decision, the commencement web page will be updated with the latest information.

We will continue to update the EWU Covid-19 website at with all the latest information.

I thank you for your time, commitment, and your incredible patience as we work our way through this together and I know that we will remain Eagle Strong!

David May
Interim President
Eastern Washington University

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