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COVID-19 Community Response Plan


Return to Work

Planning and Protocol for All Employees


All supervisors were sent a Supervisor Return to Campus Planning Checklist and Flowchart to plan for the return of faculty and staff to campus. Contemplated topics included:

  • Communicating the return to campus
  • Reviewing remote work requests
  • Anticipating and responding to employee concerns and accommodation requests
  • Ensuring a healthy work environment and reminder of COVID-19 protocols
  • Sharing updates on the campus experience
  • Welcoming employees back to campus

For questions, please contact Human Resources at 310.506.4397.

Remote Work in Fiscal Year 22

Staff eligible to regularly work remotely during any portion of their normally scheduled shift should submit a Remote Work Request (in accordance with Section 16 of the University Policy Manual) and receive approvals prior to continuing remote work after July 31, 2021. Faculty members should look to their school to confirm teaching expectations for the fall term. Remote Work Requests must be in place by August 31, 2021; there is an intentional grace period built into this process.

COVID-19 Leaves

Due to the ongoing and varying needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaves may still be available to employees, whether at the worksite or working remotely. For more information, please reference the Staff COVID-19 Leaves Policy and Faculty COVID-19 Leaves Policy and contact Human Resources at 310.506.4397 with any questions.

Dress Code

Workplace attire should be appropriate for each department (such as business attire for administrative roles) beginning August 16, 2021 as students return to campus. Personal appearance and professional attire is necessary to fulfill the mission of the University. Each employee is responsible for conveying a professional image to all Pepperdine community members through his or her contact with others. Supervisors are to ensure that employee attire is appropriate for the given position and is neat, clean, modest, safe, and in good repair. All employees are expected to exercise appropriate hygiene and respect the reasonable sensibilities of coworkers.

Shared Supplies

Departments may use shared supplies (such as coffee makers, copiers, and staplers) without restriction.

Occupancy or Capacity Limits

There are no longer occupancy or capacity limits (including workspaces, classrooms, elevators, break rooms, and conference rooms).

Break Rooms

Employees may use break rooms without restriction (there are no capacity limits).


All restrooms are open, regularly cleaned, and available for use.

Conference Rooms

Employees may use conference rooms for meetings, and there are no capacity limits.

Air Purifiers

Employees could potentially bring personal air purifiers to their workspaces. However, due to the possibility of electrical surges (similar to issues surrounding space heaters), approval from their supervisor and Facilities Services (310.506.4101) is required in advance.


Parking passes from 2019 will remain valid through August 31, 2021. As of fall 2021, community members can register their vehicle(s) with the Department of Public Safety to receive a 2021-2022 parking permit.

Building and Office Access

Employees who need to reactivate their intellikeys should contact Facilities Services at 310.506.4101 to make an appointment with Geoff Desmond, locksmith.

Office Equipment

Employees should bring back University office equipment to their workplace, including any computers, monitors, desktop printers, chairs, office supplies, etc., unless they have received approval to keep this equipment at home as part of their Remote Work Request.

COVID-19 Technology Stipend

The COVID-19 Technology Stipend concluded on July 31, 2021, and will be automatically discontinued for all participants. Requests for telecommunications allowance for fiscal year 2022 will follow standard processes.

Remain Respectful

While many people are excited to return to campus and see one another after many months apart, please recognize that people have different perspectives, needs, and concerns returning to community. Because hugs and other physical contact are uncomfortable and unwelcome by some, please consider others and how you approach them.

Business and Personal Travel

The CDC recommends people postpone travel until they are fully vaccinated. Currently, people who are fully vaccinated do not have any travel quarantine requirements. People who are unvaccinated do not have travel quarantine requirements for domestic travel, but must quarantine for seven days following international travel. Further details are available on the CDC website. Please consult with your supervisor.

Expense Optimization Guidelines

Effective August 1, 2021, all Expense Optimization Guidelines have been lifted, including the process for requesting hiring exceptions. Each area will be held accountable for meeting its budget, which will be regularly reviewed by Finance.


The vanpool program will resume as of August 2021 for full-time faculty or staff who commute five days a week to the Malibu campus. For more information on the vanpool program, please review the current routes and the associated monthly costs and the vanpool rider guidelines. 

Eligible employees interested in our vanpool benefit should contact Human Resources at 310.506.4397 for more information.

Additional Information

The University will continue to regularly communicate updates and modify guidelines in response to the fluidity of the pandemic. Employees can view additional details and continue to find the most up-to-date information on Pepperdine's COVID-19 Planning and Preparedness website. For questions and concerns, please reach out to:

  • Your supervisor
  • Human Resources (310.506.4397)
  • Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Line (310.506.8111)
  • Pepperdine's COVID-19 Information Email

Center for the Arts

The Lisa Smith Wengler Center for the Arts plans to resume live performances and exhibitions during the fall 2021 term. Consistent with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health higher education guidance, all staff and patrons will be required to wear face coverings while indoors. Paid professional artists will be required to wear face coverings at all times except when performing a task that cannot feasibly be done while wearing a mask.

The Seaver College Fine Arts division also plans to resume live performances during the fall 2021 term. Consistent with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health higher education guidance, indoor performances by students that cannot feasibly be done while wearing a face covering are permitted as long as all performers who are not fully vaccinated and any crew members working closely with others are tested at least once before the production, and then two times per week for duration of the production. The Seaver College Fine Arts Division is working closely with the Center for the Arts and the University to resume live performances while meeting current state and county public health guidance.

Face coverings are currently required indoors at all times, including during performing arts classes. Groups of students studying/practicing singing, drama, dance, etc. will need to do so with a face covering unless the activity is occurring outdoors. Generally, wind instruments cannot be practiced indoors at this time due to the need to remove face coverings while practicing. Exceptions can apply for individuals practicing alone in a studio or rehearsal room.

Additionally, the Center for the Arts is continuing to engage with donors and constituents by hosting recordings of past performances, posting podcasts, and other virtual offerings. For more information, visit the Center for the Arts website at arts.pepperdine.edu or call the Center for the Arts at 310.506.4522.

For questions, please contact the COVID-19 Information Line at covid19info@pepperdine.edu or 310.506.8111.



Shuttles will operate at full capacity, and all passengers will be required to wear a face covering, per Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines. As an added layer of protection, plexiglass partitions are installed between the driver and the passengers on all shuttles.


Fitness Rooms/Gyms

Campus Recreation is following applicable Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidance regarding fitness facilities, including requiring masks at all times while indoors. Through August 30, 2021, the Firestone Fieldhouse (FFH) weight room will be open for limited hours, and reservations will be required. On August 30, 2021, the FFH weight room will resume normal operations and will not require any reservations. All other on-campus indoor fitness facilities will reopen on August 23, 2021. Face coverings are required to be worn at all times within such facilities. Group Fitness classes will resume at the Group Fitness Studio and The Cage on August 30, 2021. The Cage will resume open fitness hours on September 7, 2021; as it is an outdoor facility, masks will be recommended but not required at this location. Patrons are responsible for cleaning the equipment they utilize after each use.

Students, faculty, and staff may use certain outdoor fitness areas throughout campus, including:

  • The intramural field across from the Facilities Services office
  • Stotsenberg Track (when not in use by student-athletes pursuant to NCAA and state guidelines)
  • Alumni Park
  • The Crest Tennis Courts adjacent to the John Tyler Drive entrance
  • The Hike to the Cross 


HVAC Systems

To ensure each campus building is appropriately equipped and prepared for a return to in-person instruction and on-ground operations, we have worked to establish and confirm that the HVAC system for every academic and administrative space meets or exceeds Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Los Angeles County Department of Public Health; and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineer’s COVID-19-related guidance. With respect to indoor air quality and ventilation, the University has taken additional steps, including working closely with a mechanical engineer and an industrial hygienist, to evaluate its building systems and ensure they are appropriately outfitted to facilitate the safe return of its campus community. All of the HVAC systems for campus were surveyed and recommendations for improving ventilation and/or filtration have been implemented.

“Ventilation” consists of the delivery of clean air and the filtration and removal of contaminants from the air.  Across our campuses, academic and administrative buildings are classified as “well ventilated” based on meeting or exceeding the following criteria set forth by the governing bodies mentioned above:

  • Properly operating mechanical ventilation system
  • The system’s ability to incorporate outside air
  • Functioning restroom exhaust
  • Increased filtration to the highest level possible in each system

While public health and industry guidance allow for differences between various buildings, our buildings meet a higher standard than many other academic institutions or buildings. Nearly all of our University buildings have MERV-13 filters in place. For the purposes of mitigating COVID-19 transmission, the State of California considers recirculated building air that passes through a MERV-13 filter to be "clean air." All academic buildings have MERV-13 filtration in place. Additionally, in compliance with Los Angeles County Department of Public Health guidelines, HVAC systems will be on two hours prior to the start of the business day to ensure multiple exchanges of interior air prior to occupancy.

Learn more about on-campus HVAC systems with an overview of HVAC system ventilation and filtration.