"University Announcement" Archive

Spring Semester COVID-19 Update

Dear students, faculty and staff,

We are eager to welcome you back for the spring semester. As shared in earlier messages, our goal is to begin the spring semester on campus in late January. Given continued consultation with public health officials and careful evaluation of our health protocols, we remain optimistic that it will be safe for students to return on time. The intent of this email is to inform you of factors that have influenced our current thinking and to share what we currently know about COVID-19 vaccine distribution for Wake Forest faculty, staff and students. Read more

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Juneteenth is now a University holiday

Beginning in calendar year 2021, Wake Forest University will recognize Juneteenth as a university holiday. Juneteenth honors and commemorates the freedom and emancipation of enslaved individuals and has been celebrated as a holiday by Black communities since the late 1880s.

The observance of Juneteenth as a University holiday is a small and important recognition that reflects on all aspects of Wake Forest’s history, while honoring the past and present contributions of African American communities. In To Stand With And For Humanity: Essays from the Wake Forest University Slavery, Race and Memory Project, President Hatch explains that to “acknowledge our history, accept responsibility and hold our institution accountable allows us to repair the harm and move toward a better Wake Forest.”

Wake Forest University joins the City of Winston-Salem and other higher education institutions in their recognition of Juneteenth as an official holiday. Juneteenth will be observed annually on June 19, or on the Friday before if June 19 occurs on a weekend. This summer, Juneteenth will be observed Friday, June 18, 2021. The 2021 Reynolda Campus Holiday Schedule, which includes this update, is now available on the Human Resource website.

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Update on Spring 2021

This message was sent to faculty and staff.

Dear faculty and staff colleagues,

Great to see more than 450 of you on our health/safety update yesterday. As we close a semester filled with extraordinary challenges, we want to reiterate President Hatch’s message of gratitude for your willingness to adapt to new circumstances and overcome immense obstacles. Your many contributions allowed Wake Forest to continue to fulfill its mission.

Even as we head into the holidays, we are already preparing for student arrival in January; in that spirit, we wanted to share a message that went to students today. Below, you will see that Penny Rue, Vice President for Campus Life, shared four requirements for students to access campus or other Wake Forest facilities in the spring, along with other important information.

In addition to this student communication, we’d like to share two updates for faculty and staff:

  • If you are traveling out of the country over the break, please be sure to follow the CDC travel guidelines, including testing before and after air travel back to the United States and quarantining for seven days after returning to the United States (and self-quarantining for 14 days before accessing campus or other Wake Forest facilities, if possible). The CDC also has helpful guidelines for knowing when to delay both domestic and international travel. Other Wake Forest-related information about travel can be found here.
  • With COVID-19 vaccines now being shipped throughout the country, please know that Wake Forest is engaged in dialogue with public health officials and in intensive planning for how to best handle the eventual availability of a vaccine.

Our profound thanks for all you have done in 2020, and we look forward to working with you to make 2021 another successful year for Wake Forest.


Hof Milam
Executive Vice President

Rogan Kersh

See message sent to students here »

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2021 OptumRx prescription drug changes

Wake Forest University Human Resources emailed the following message to faculty and staff who have elected to receive medical coverage through Wake Forest University for calendar year 2021; those enrolled in the medical plan for 2021 are automatically enrolled in the OptumRx prescription drug plan. 

As a reminder, we have included two important plan updates below that were communicated to you during the annual benefits enrollment period.

  1. Mail Order Program – enroll and save

Beginning January 2021, you will have the choice of utilizing the OptumRx Mail Order Program to receive your maintenance medications* or to use a retail pharmacy. The Mail Order Program allows you to receive a 90-day supply of maintenance medications at a lower copay. If you continue to receive maintenance medications at a retail pharmacy, you will pay an additional copay after two 30-day supply refills. This change does not impact non-maintenance medications.

*Maintenance medications are prescriptions that are commonly used to treat chronic or long-term conditions such as high blood pressure, asthma, heart disease, diabetes, etc.

There are three ways to enroll in the OptumRx Mail Order Program:

  1. ePrescribe: Ask your doctor to send an electronic prescription to OptumRx.
  2. Online: Visit optumrx.com and select Get Started or use the OptumRx app. From there, you can fill new prescriptions, transfer others to home delivery, and more.
  3. Phone: Call (844) 265-1875 to speak to a customer service advocate.

Once OptumRx receives your complete order for a new prescription, your medication should arrive within 10 business days. Completed refill orders should arrive in about seven business days.

  1. Formulary Change – verify prescription coverage and cost

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Reminders: Benefits, compensation and PTO

The following message is shared on behalf of Wake Forest University Human Resources; it appeared in the department’s winter break reminders email to faculty and staff.


Faculty and staff may now view their 2021 benefit elections in Workday by visiting the Benefits worklet in Workday, clicking the “Benefits Elections as of Date” in the View section and selecting Jan. 1, 2021, for the “View as of Date.”


The last 2020 pay date for non-exempt staff will be December 23 for work performed through December 25. All timecards must be approved by 3 p.m. Friday, December 18. Also, the December 23 paycheck will not have benefit premiums deducted due to having an additional 27th pay cycle this calendar year. Any NC 529 College Savings Plan or 403(b) Retirement Plan employee contributions will still be deducted as planned.

Paid time off (PTO)

All accrued but unused PTO will carry over into calendar year 2021. As leaders encourage teams to recharge this holiday season and beyond, we invite you to use this Winter Break Toolkit for successfully supporting colleagues while they take time away during winter break or when appropriate for each unit.

Please contact Wake Forest University Human Resources with any questions at askHR@nullwfu.edu or 336.758.4700.

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