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COVID-19 Updates: Stay Informed

COVID-19 Response: Internal Update 3-18-2020

March 18, 2020

Campus Community –

Please see below some important information as it pertains to COVID-19 and its impact on campus operations.

Note that information about submitting employee timesheets was sent in yesterday’s COVID-19 Response: Internal Update 3-17-20. Please follow the instructions and timeline so that the university can process payroll for our employees.

Free HR Webinar

The Kepro Employee Assistance Program will hold a free, confidential webinar through the Employee Assistance Program titled “Keep Calm and Carry on – Maintaining Your Composure Amidst the Pandemic Panic.”

The webinar will cover:

  • Strategies to tackle feelings of anxiety and stress;
  • Practical techniques for working from home;
  • Ways to address signs of panic in the workplace; and
  • When to reach out for further help and support.

The webinar will be held Friday, March 20 from 10-11 a.m. It will also be recorded and made available at a later date.

How to Access: Visit the EAP website. Enter your code: SOUTHDAKOTA and look for online seminars in the lower left-hand corner of this homepage or you can search for them by title.

Available anytime, any day, the EAP is a free, confidential program to help you balance your work, family and personal life.

Contact EAP toll free at 1-800-713-6288 or visit online at

Human Resources Updates, Q&A
The Office of Human Resources is continuing to provide resources and answers to questions they receive. The Employee/HR Information link on the COVID-19 Response page continues to be updated as information becomes available.

If you still have questions, please contact Linda VanMaanen at 605-688-4128.

Please note the following:

  • Salary Policy – As was shared yesterday in the Tuesday edition of the Monday Morning Message, the governor and South Dakota Legislature approved a 2% salary policy for state employees. Salary policy will be distributed following standard protocols. More details will be forthcoming. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please call Human Resources at 605-688-4128.
  • Annual Benefits Enrollment – Annual benefits enrollment will be held from April 29 thru noon May 13. All state benefit eligible employees will need to complete annual enrollment, even if you plan to opt out of the state’s health plan. Annual enrollment is your one chance to make changes to your benefits elections for coverage dates July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Exception is made for those qualified family status changes throughout the year. More information will be coming from the state Bureau of Human Resources.
  • SDSU Annual Benefits Fair cancelled – For those employees who have scheduled individual SDRS Retirement sessions, SDRS has agreed to keep those sessions by phone (1-888-605-7377). SDRS will be able to answer any question or concerns and also do retirement calculations. Human Resources will be sending out an email to those employees who are signed up for the sessions as reminders of the scheduled time. As always, anyone who has questions can also contact SDRS directly. Please go to the HR InsideState page for vendor information.
  • Wellness Points – The April 1 deadline for wellness points is fast approaching. To earn the FY21 incentive, employees and their covered spouses need to complete the online health assessment, get a health screening and earn 100 wellness points. Not completing these qualifications means the employee and their family will be defaulted to the high deductible health plan and not eligible to receive any state contribution to your Health Savings Account.

​​Log into to complete the steps. Please call Linda VanMaanen at 605-688-4128 if you need assistance.

Purchasing Update
The Purchasing Office is available to process purchase requests and purchase orders following existing purchasing policies and procedures during this disruption of business operations. The staff is deployed with the tools they need for continuity of services. Please note:

  • If your department requestor is working remotely, our office will process purchase orders containing all required information.
    • Written quotes should be obtained from a vendor via email so they can be forwarded to your requestor. If approvals can’t be done through SDezbuy or email, use DocuSign.
  • If your department requestor is unable to work remotely, our office is able to process a requisition ON BEHALF of the requestor using the same process requirements stated above.
    • All quotes or any other required documentation will need to be emailed to the Purchasing Office, instead of your requestor, along with your ship to address, funding source and email\DocuSign department approval. A contact name and number are required for communication purposes.
  • Use of procurement cards are still available to departments for authorized purchases of supplies and materials up to $1,000 per transaction following purchasing and procurement card policies and procedures. Note: computer software and hardware cannot be purchased using a procurement card. If it is deemed necessary to use a procurement card for these IT related items, you will need to contact Purchasing for guidance on a case-by-case basis. If necessary, approvals of a limit increase can be obtained by contacting the Purchasing office.

Departments should continue to use your department/office ship to address so if questions arise due to deliveries being diverted to Facilities and Services, they will know who to call concerning the shipment.

If you have questions or need help, please contact:

Research and Sponsored Projects
Certain federal agencies have released guidance on the submission and management of federal awards impacted by COVID-19. The following page has been added to the COVI19 Response Page and will be updated accordingly.

Student Information
The Office of Academic Affairs has created a robust communications webpage for students addressing moving classes online. The page is posted within the COVID-19 Response Page.

IT Phone Information
Information about phone usage from IT:

  • Long distance – If you forward your office phone to a non-Brookings number (landline, mobile, etc.) long distance charges will be incurred on your office phone.
  • Voicemail – If you have a voicemail package added to your phone package and are trying to access your voicemail, please follow the following instructions:
    • From on-campus phone:
      • Dial 692-8500 or *98,
      • Enter your 7-digit Mailbox Number or press #,
      • Enter your Password, then #
    • From an off-campus phone:
      • Dial 692-8500,
      • Enter your 10-digit Mailbox Number,
      • Enter your Password, then #.

Available Hours – The supervisor of overtime eligible staff will need to inform the employee of the hours they need to be answering their phone.

Third-party Contractual Work – If there is any contractual work that an employee is required to complete while working from home or an alternate location, and that work requires a campus phone number to complete that work, the employee’s supervisor will need to contact the Support Desk.

Social Media Campaign

To share with the campus community and most importantly, our students, that we are ready to begin online-learning with them Monday, University Marketing and Communications is launching, with the help of faculty and staff, a social media campaign.

We would like our faculty and staff to create brief (30-40 second) videos about their commitment to our students, their safety and their education. You can do this from your phone. Share something unique you plan to do with your online class, what your new normal looks like and stories of positivity. Encourage your students to do the same.

To participate, use the hashtags #HereForSDSYou and #StayHealthyJacks, and tag the main SDSU social media accounts on Facebook (@SouthDakotaStateUniversity) and Twitter (@SDState). We encourage those posting to use their college accounts, or professional (personal) accounts if they are comfortable. We will repost our favorites.

Check out the SDSU Facebook and Twitter accounts to see a couple that have been posted already.

If you want to record a video, but want us to post it to the main SDSU account instead, you can submit your files via Box to Heidi Kronaizl. Please record using landscape mode, versus portrait mode.

Thank you for your participation. We want our students to know that we are #HereForSDSYou and #StayHealthyJacks!

Thank you for your continued attention to these important messages during such an unprecedented time. The university remains committed to its core values that include being people centered. We consider the safety and well-being of our employees paramount as we continue to operate and service our community.

COVID-19 is a global concern and our primary focus is preventing its spread. Please note that SDSU’s nondiscrimination policies are in effect and that harassment and discrimination against anyone—either in person or virtually—will not be tolerated.

The Office of Title IX/EO remains open to address any allegations that arise. As always, complaints can be reported online or via email. Individuals can also call 605-688-4128.

For well-being purposes, meetings with Title IX/EO staff will likely be conducted via Zoom or telephone.


COVID-19 Response Team