April 27, 2021
To Faculty and Staff:
Our planning for summer and Fall of 2021 is well underway. Although COVID requirements continue to be updated by both NY State and SUNY, we are
happy to report that we expect that nearly all students will have an on-campus face to face presence
in the fall term. SUNY intends to allow for in-person instruction in Fall 2021 and
has explicitly permitted campuses to return to a traditional calendar. Barring unforeseen
conditions, the University’s uniform COVID compliance and guidance for campuses will
sunset at the end of the Spring 2021 term. As we noted in an earlier message:
We expect SUNY to authorize a return to on-campus instruction and, pending such authorization,
we are offering a range of face-to-face courses along with remote synchronous, traditional
online and hybrid courses for the fall. The Provost and Registrar have built an academic
schedule that will be implemented if health guidelines continue to require 6 feet
of distancing in higher education classroom settings. On-campus courses will initially
be offered as alternating on an A/B week basis. Students will alternate weeks between
face-to-face classes and live-streamed classes throughout the semester. For example,
for any given class, a student will physically be in a classroom for one week of classes,
and then receive the course via a live-stream the next week.
With SUNY authorization, and in the event that distancing requirements are reduced as they have been in the K-12 educational setting, the College will convert all A/B designated courses to fully campus-based instruction.
This would eliminate alternating weeks and will require students to be on campus for
in-person instruction every week. Students will be expected to be actively engaged
in all classes.
We also anticipate a significant number of on-campus classes during our summer sessions.
SUNY is in conversation with campus health directors and infectious disease experts regarding the extent of testing required to ensure campuses remain safe.
We expect a face mask requirement both in classrooms and out of classrooms will remain
in place. The evidence is clear: masks have proven highly effective in preventing the transmission of COVID. Thanks
to high levels of student and staff cooperation, our testing program has also been
effective. Our rate of positive tests remains very low and far below both the regional
and SUNY-wide levels. This is particularly impressive given that COVID was quite prevalent
on Long Island. The extent of testing for Fall 2021 is still under evaluation.
SUNY and NYS’s present telecommuting policy expires on July 2, 2021. I anticipate
that many employees will be returning to campus at or prior to that date. We are exploring options to selectively permit remote work on a case-by-case basis
consistent with the College’s needs. As a reminder, Long Island is fortunate to have a number of vaccination sights that
are serving thousands of people. Vaccination opportunities are now open to the entire
SUNY community. We urge you to get vaccinated now if you have not done so already to protect yourself
and others as we return to our normal operations. No one department or functional
area can ensure continuous compliance with common sense health practices to limit the spread
of COVID-19. It is incumbent upon every member of the campus community to play their
part in our return to normal operations.
We will maintain a rigorous schedule of cleaning and sanitation in the months ahead.
Additional details will be provided as we approach the summer and fall semester. Please
continue to check The COVID Hub for the most up-to-date information.