building with banner
File Photo/ Nevada Sagebrush The Joe Crowley Student Union as it stands Aug. 24, 2018.

The University of Nevada, Reno’s President Marc Johnson sent an email to the campus community implementing new procedures due to COVID-19. 

Non-essential operations and employees will no longer continue on campus as of 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18. This comes after Nevada’s Governor Steve Sisolak announced on Tuesday, March 17, the entire state will cease operations in non-essential businesses. 

“Access to campus will be available to faculty, staff and students attending to critical functions of the University who have their own building keys or cards,” the email read.

There will be no access to campus by the general public and all buildings will be closed. The following buildings will have alternate operations, according to the letter from President Johnson:

  • Joe Crowley Student Union (student computer area access only allowed in a social distance monitored area; vendors to close and no other common area access)
  • Mathewson-IGT Knowledge Center (student computer access allowed in a social distance monitored area, plus reduced physical presence for Teaching and Learning Technologies and Information Technology – these services will also be available remotely)
  • Pennington Student Achievement Center and Fitzgerald Student Services (staff already on reduced physical presence, many services available remotely already)
  • For research faculty, the University’s Research and Innovation division emailed information to its “ResearchNotes” listserv on March 7. This email, sent to faculty, students and staff directly engaged with research, included considerations for use in contingency planning, steps that can be taken now to ensure continuity of critical functions, additional safety considerations and more. The full email message is available on the University’s Novel Coronavirus Messages page.
  • Research faculty with laboratories that require in-person staffing are to use their own discretion and are asked to use CDC guidelines for social distancing, as well as cleaning and disinfecting. Environmental Health and Safety is available remotely.

In a statement sent out by the Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly on Tuesday, March 17 decisions on building closures, per institution, were approved by him.  

“Continued operations of our university police northern and southern commands, certain computer and information technology operations, and campus health services are essential and will continue,” Reilly’s statement read. “Each institution shall maintain a senior administrator on site. Other than those employees designated as essential by me, NSHE employees are directed by Governor Sisolak and the Board of Regents to stay home and practice social distancing.”

Students living in the residence halls are asked to return home immediately, according to the email sent out. Students who cannot return to their homes should meet with Residential Life to determine circumstances and needs.

University employees are advised to following issued by President Johnson: 

  • Employees working on campus should take precautions to avoid exposure and be vigilant of CDC protocols.
  • Employees who can work remotely, other than those providing minimal coverage on campus, should do so effective today.  The University has provided Guidelines for Working Remotely and Working Remotely Resources from the Office of Information Technology.
  • Employees who need not report to campus and cannot work remotely should be placed on Administrative Leave Time Off with Pay. Employees on administrative leave should enter Administrative Leave Time Off with Pay in Workday.

Additionally, student employees are advised to work remotely and will continue to receive pay.  

This is a developing story. Check back with the Nevada Sagebrush with more updates.

Andrew Mendez can be reached at or on Twitter @AMendez2000.