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Message from the President

Dear Campus Community:

I am pleased to announce that our plan for the fall has been approved by SUNY administration. SUNY has thoroughly vetted our proposal, which is based on public health metrics and our own unique circumstances and proximity to the densely populated areas of New York City and Westchester, which have both been severely affected by the pandemic.

I invite you to review this website, which distills our fall plan into the most important and pertinent topics. This website will be the first place to look for information.

You can also download the full plan, which was developed by a dedicated cross-campus committee of faculty and staff with expertise in public health, safety, remote learning, and a wide range of student services.

To summarize, we are putting the safety of the entire community, including faculty, staff, and students as our top priority. As per the Governor’s appropriately stringent guidelines, we need to lower the density on campus to mitigate the risk of spreading the virus. To do this, we needed to put forth action steps on how we will monitor the situation and institute new health, safety, and social distancing procedures and policies for facilities, employees, and students.

While we can’t control this virus, we can control our response to the threat it poses. We will all have to play an active role in keeping ourselves and community members safe, whether that role is on campus or off.

To that end, for the safety of the entire community, all students will take some or all classes remotely, depending on the learning outcomes of the course. Faculty compiled a list of classes requiring in-person instruction for students to stay on track and graduate on time and roughly a quarter of students are enrolled in those classes that will use in-person instruction.

This means less than 1,000 students will be invited to live on campus, which includes those unable to commute to in-person classes and those with pre-approved special circumstances, who may or may not be enrolled in in-person classes.

We understand this may be disappointing for many. Regardless of course delivery, we’re committed to providing a rigorous and rewarding academic experience. While we had limited time to prepare for remote instruction in the spring, this summer our faculty members have had training and time to reimagine and redesign their courses for a more dynamic and engaging remote delivery, keeping in mind student feedback.

As public health experts are predicting a second wave of infections in the winter, all in-person instruction will conclude by Thanksgiving, at which time all courses will continue remotely until the end of the semester.

We understand that this has been a very difficult time for so many of our students. We recognize that COVID has had a greater impact on already disadvantaged communities, many of whom are dealing with economic hardships, food insecurity, and homelessness.

As you may have seen, we will be receiving an additional $100,000 for our Make an Impact fund to help eligible students going through economic hardship. This is in addition to the CARES funding that has been distributed. Please visit our Emergency Grants page for information on applying for emergency funds.

We are sure that you have many questions related to the fall and beyond. The situation is fluid, but the task force will continue to meet, pivot when appropriate, and make decisions about the spring as soon as we can.

 

Stay safe,

Dennis Craig
Interim President