Return to Onsite Operations Fall 2021 – Flexible Work Arrangements


Consistent with the direction provided by President Drake and Chancellor Gillman, UC Irvine is planning for return to in-person operations, as of Fall 2021. Administration and Senate Leadership are united that the default mode of instruction and research be in-person. This means that as an in-person institution, the University will conduct its regular business, including teaching and research, with faculty, staff, and students physically present, with flexibility in the Fall due to space limitations or public health guidelines. Fall 2021 is a transition period when campuses are re-opening and flexible work arrangements may still be needed.

Flexible Work Arrangements

Flexible work is most likely to be successful when there is a clear understanding and agreement between the academic appointee and department, program, or unit of what is expected and how responsibilities can be accomplished. Flexible work arrangements must serve the best interests of the University’s academic and programmatic needs.

Consistent with APM policies (110, 025, 671, 700), Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBAs), and other policies, academic appointees are expected to maintain a significant presence on campus in order to fulfill their obligations to students, colleagues, and the University. This guidance was undergirded by UC’s commitment to equity, especially for communities that are disparately impacted by the pandemic.

  • Fall 2021 – a period of transition
    • Faculty: in person with potential flexibility if remote instructional delivery modality is approved by department/school/senate
    • Non-faculty academics: flexible arrangement allowed
  • Winter 2022 and beyond: return to onsite operation
    • Support student learning
    • strengthen and support our innovative work

Below is UCI campus guidance for determining flexible work arrangement for academic appointees:

Faculty Non-Faculty Academic Appointees
 Fall 2021
  • Onsite
  • Period of transition, with limited flexibility depending on instructional modality approved for courses.
  • Onsite
  • Flexible work arrangement may be considered, if job duties, relevant academic/programmatic needs allow
 Winter 2022
 and beyond
  • Onsite (significant presence)
  • Onsite
  • Allows for flexible work arrangement if nature of work/operation permit

Furthermore, flexible work arrangement for non-faculty academics, if agreed to/approved by the supervisor/PI, should be documented with a Flexible Work Arrangement form (UCI-AP-FWA). The Flexible Work Arrangement form must be completed and signed by the non-faculty academic appointee and the supervisor/PI. The agreement should be for a specified timeframe with a designated end date. A copy of the form should be provided to the non-faculty academic appointee and agreement should be kept at the department level in their personnel file.

Working Overseas

As a reminder, UC Office of the President has provided updated guidance on academic appointees teleworking abroad, reflecting the narrow exception for international telework through December 31, 2021.

The following academic appointees are permitted to temporarily telework from overseas, by exceptional approval, if they are:

  1. Academic appointees (including student employees) who have a visa but are subject to a travel restriction and cannot enter the U.S;
  2. Newly appointed academic appointees (including student employees) who have been unable to obtain their visa to enter the U.S; and
  3. Current academic appointees (including student employees) who have been unable to renew their visa to enter the U.S.


Should you have additional questions, please contact your assigned academic personnel analyst.


Diane K. O’Dowd
Vice Provost for Academic Personnel

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