COVID-19 Update: Campus Building Access Procedures

April 13, 2020

Dear Deans,

Let me start by expressing my appreciation for how you and your faculty and staff have handled the abrupt closure of campus. As you can imagine, every time someone accesses a building, we are expending significant resources—from coordination with Facilities Management and escorts by Pitt police to additional cleaning. Building access has been limited to those with a truly essential need related to teaching, critical research, or significant personal hardship.

As faculty prepare for summer teaching and research in remote mode, they will understandably have things that they need retrieve from their offices. My office has been working with Facilities Management on a procedure to allow faculty members brief access to their offices during the week of April 19 in order to retrieve essential materials for (1) summer session teaching; (2) early fall teaching; or (3) summer research. We envision that faculty members who need access will be assigned a brief time slot to enter their offices (accompanied by campus police) to retrieve essential materials. We are carefully planning this effort to minimize the number of people in proximity to each other at any given time and we will ask that no one linger any longer than necessary.

Please appoint a representative of your school as the point person for this effort. That person should contact Dan Fisher from Facilities Management (; phone: 412-812-1005) to work on developing a schedule for each building. Your school’s point person should also coordinate with department chairs, who can help identify faculty who need access and communicate about access. Please stress to your school representative that access must be limited to those with a critical need as described above. Dan will work with your school representative to develop a schedule that accommodates as many faculty members as possible. To facilitate this, a list of personnel needing access should be submitted to him no later than end of day Wednesday, April 15, to allow Facilities Management time to put together a schedule and coordinate with police. Facilities Management will also seek to provide access for graduate students and staff members with a critical need for essential materials, on a limited basis.

Dan will be able to indicate whether the particular building is subject to a “soft” or a “hard” close. The process being developed will only apply to buildings with a hard close, as faculty members are currently able to arrange brief access to “soft” closed buildings (generally buildings that house essential research activities). (A list of buildings subject to a soft close is here.)

This is a work in progress: Facilities Management hopes to develop an access schedule for each building next week. I very much appreciate your cooperation as we try to respond to faculty needs.


Ann E. Cudd
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Professor of Philosophy
University of Pittsburgh