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Provost Releases Message to Faculty on Planning for Winter and Spring

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Michael Bernstein, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, has released a message to faculty regarding preparing for Winter and Spring 2021. The message reads as follows:

Coning Back Safe and StrongThank you all for your hard work in ensuring that this semester got off to the best possible start. Each of you plays an important part in keeping Stony Brook Strong, and I remain deeply grateful for your willingness to adapt to our necessary health and safety precautions. I write to share with you Stony Brook University’s plans for Spring semester and Winter term.

Our Spring and Winter planning builds on what we did to launch such a successful Fall semester. Because of your collaboration and care for each other, we have been able to maintain some face-to-face classes. While many courses will be offered online, we anticipate being able to increase the number of face-to-face courses in the Spring semester. These plans are contingent on the ability of our campus, region and State to continue to flatten the curve, and are subject to change if the trajectory of cases takes a turn for the worse. We will continue to share information as it becomes available, in coordination with health officials, local and state government and the State University of New York.

Exceptions are being made for courses running on the Health Sciences Center Academic (Module) Calendar. Please consult with your Department or School for more information. 

Below is a brief overview of our plans for Winter and Spring.

Winter Term
Most winter session classes will be offered online, as in years past with classes running from January 5 – 23. Some classes may be scheduled face-to-face. Winter course registration will begin on November 2.

Spring Semester
We will delay the start of the Spring semester by one week, with the term beginning on February 1. We have eliminated Spring Break to make up for this time.

Spring course registration will begin on November 2, and advising registration appointments will be available through November 20.

We anticipate a blend of face-to-face, online, and hybrid classes. Classes with enrollments above 45 students will automatically be delivered online. Generally, classes with enrollments less than 45 will be delivered face-to-face in large rooms to accommodate social distancing (unless other circumstances require online instruction). Some smaller classes may be delivered online or in a hybrid mode that blends face-to-face and online instruction. You will again have the opportunity to request exemptions from working on campus. A forthcoming email from Human Resource Services will provide more information about the request process.

During registration, students will be able to see the anticipated mode of course instruction so they can choose to enroll according to their preferences.  We will maintain the same course scheduling we used this fall semester to leave additional time between classes and allow for social distancing.

Course Listings for Spring and Winter
Please note that we have updated the modes of instruction to include the following categories:

Face-to-Face (F): Course activity is organized around scheduled in-person class meetings.

Online Synchronous (S): The course is delivered online through web-based technologies, at least some of which is during scheduled course or exam times. A synchronous course may have some asynchronous components.

Online Asynchronous (A): All course activities are conducted online with no requirements for scheduled sessions or in-person activities, including examinations. The only scheduled interactions are office hours with instructors.

Hybrid (H): In-person class meetings are mixed with synchronous and/or asynchronous online activity.

Other (O): The course has distinctive parameters that do not fit with any of the other definitions. 

If you have any questions about a particular class, please contact the department through which the class is being offered.

Next Steps
Next week, a number of communications from other leaders will follow this announcement, providing more details about the implementation of these plans to instructional faculty, staff, residential students, parents, graduate students, and health sciences faculty and staff. I appreciate your support as we continue to adapt in these challenging times.

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  • My Freshman has all on line courses,& will move home if he does not have in person classes in the Spring. He is extremely isolated& we are extremely disappointed with his experience thus far.

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