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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information

March 20, 2020


I am sure you heard the mid-day news from Gov. Cuomo that he has signed an executive order closing non-essential businesses effective Sunday at 8:00pm. Thank you for your patience as Dr. Murabito and the executive staff determined specifically how this impacts SUNY Niagara. We have decided that no face-to-face instruction will take place on campus whatsoever. Everything must be migrated to an online format.  No academic services such as the library or ACE will be available in person. That said, personnel will be considered non-essential and will work from home.  The few exceptions to this mandate will be OIT, Facilities, and Security.

Lisa Dubuc and her team have already set up online training to help faculty teach virtually. Lab instruction, etc., will be a challenge to migrate to an online format but faculty have the week of March 23 to do so. Instruction begins again on March 30.

I ask faculty to be flexible with students, perhaps offering projects or reading assignments that you may not have previously considered.  SUNY is encouraging faculty to consider offering S/U grades even if that is not usually the case with particular courses. Guidance from SUNY regarding grading options will be posted on the website under the faculty tab.

Advanced registration will be delayed a week to allow faculty/advisors to focus on changes to instruction. Registration will begin March 30. Support staff will also work from home. Details regarding job duties will be handled with supervisors; however, phone messages must be checked remotely and calls returned as soon as possible. Mail will have to be picked up two days per week by a select individual. More on that through Human Resources.

I realize that faculty and staff may need to visit offices to pick up necessary materials to work from home. You are able to visit the campus this weekend, Saturday and Sunday from 9am-5pm ONLY. Any exceptions will have to be clearly by Security. You need to enter through the Learning Commons, sign in, go directly to your office, and leave as soon as possible. Support staff should record an away message specific to working remotely due to coronavirus. The same days and hours are available to pick up laptops from OIT. More information will be sent via System Message and on the Website. Please refer to this information frequently.

I’m sorry to say that I won’t see my colleagues for the near future. But know that we are going through this together and I’m available to communicate remotely at any time.

Best to all. Stay safe.

Lydia Ulatowski
Vice President of Academic Affairs