Caring for the most vulnerable was a top priority

face shields and masks

Purdue acted quickly to develop a plan to mitigate the spread of the highly contagious virus for protecting employees as well as students, especially the most vulnerable to COVID-19. Nearly 70% of all staff was moved to full or partial remote status, accelerating efforts to gauge the long-term benefits of some staff permanently working remotely and of recruiting talent that may be unable to relocate to West Lafayette.

On any given day, more than 4,700 of 7,000 employees are fully remote or in a combined, hybrid remote status, while another 2,200 come to campus to perform their duties.

  • Through an aggressive campuswide de-densification plan, employees were able to stay healthy and safe by working from home during the pandemic. This also was done to accommodate the many employees who have medical vulnerabilities or were more susceptible to serious outcomes of COVID-19.
  • Faculty and staff were asked to self-assess and self-report their vulnerability level, with appropriate and necessary accommodations made to allow job duties and responsibilities to continue to be performed in a safe manner.
  • Remote employees were supported in obtaining necessary home-office equipment.
  • A training curriculum was established to assist supervisors and employees in developing remote working strategies and tactics.
  • Flexible work arrangements were not only allowed but encouraged to help support employees who needed to care for children or others as child care centers and local schools closed in response to the pandemic.



Purdue rapidly produced more than 76,500 pieces of critical PPE items to protect individuals:

  • N-95 compliant reusable masks
  • First responder equipment adapters
  • Ventilator filters and components
  • Production tools and filters
  • Face shields
  • Foot covers
  • Surgical caps
  • Splash glasses
  • Isolation gowns