Required Face Coverings and Restrictions on End-of-Year Spending

Mandatory face coverings

Effective, Saturday, April 18, 2020, in accordance with Executive Order 20-24 of the state of Rhode Island, all employees must, “… wear cloth face coverings unless an employee can easily, continuously, and measurably maintain at least six (6) feet of distance from other employees for the duration of his or her work (e.g., solo office) or unless doing so would damage the employee’s health.” All such employees must wear face coverings in any entry, exit and common areas including, but not limited to: check-in, registration, reception, hallways, bathrooms, breakrooms, time clock areas, elevators, stairways, etc.

If an employee needs a face covering while at work, please contact your supervisor and a face covering will be provided to you at no cost. The University has a supply of face masks and there are many community members that have been sewing face coverings to support our employees. The University expects employees to wear their face covering at all times while working on campus unless doing so would damage their health.

Restrictions on spending for the remainder of the fiscal year, through June 30, 2020

It is common for colleges/areas/departments to make end-of-year purchases, using what would otherwise be unspent budget funds. However, given the public health crisis and substantial financial uncertainty that exists right now, this practice must be halted for the remainder of this fiscal year (FY 20).

The current crisis requires each of us to be especially responsible fiscal citizens at this time. Therefore, effective immediately, Friday, April 17, 2020, no end-of-year purchase requests should be submitted between now and June 30, 2020, except for those few purchases deemed “mission critical.” Purchases deemed “mission critical” must meet one or more of the following criteria:

  • the item(s) to be purchased are immediately necessary for the normal operations of the unit — delaying such purchases would compromise the current functioning and responsibilities of the unit.
  • the item(s) to be purchased are necessary for those individuals to carry out their professional responsibilities — failure to make such timely purchases will prevent these individuals from performing critical work.
  • purchases funded by external grants are governed by other regulations and are not subject to this restriction.
  • start-up funds also may be spent at the discretion of the researcher as they are set aside for the researcher specifically to enable them to carry out their professional responsibilities.

Any requisition submitted to Purchasing must include a short, compelling rationale that describes how the purchase fits one or more of the criteria for a “mission critical” purchase.

We have full confidence in your leadership and judgement as Vice Presidents, Deans, Directors, and Chairs to strictly manage your areas and enforce this mandate at this time.

Thank you for all you are doing during this unprecedented and challenging time.