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Interim President Releases Message on Fall Semester Planning

Interim President Michael A. Bernstein has released a message summarizing and linking to a report based on community input regarding fall semester planning. The message reads as follows:

Coning Back Safe and StrongA few weeks ago, I invited you to share your ideas and suggestions for the Fall semester. Thank you to those who provided input. The information you shared is of critical importance as we move forward to plan for an effective, engaging, and dynamic Fall semester. While final guidance will come from the Governor and SUNY Chancellor, we have nevertheless established a foundation to make Fall 2020 as successful as possible.

We share this evaluation report that synthesizes your feedback. Over the coming weeks, we will draw on these insights, and other sources of information, to shape the decisions we are able to make at the campus level.

Here are some of the key things we learned from your input:

1. You place highest priority on the health and safety of the faculty, staff, and students.

2. Preferences for the mode of instructional delivery range from those who prefer primarily online instruction to those who want to return to face-to-face. You voiced strong commitment to ensure the continued academic success of our students. Your input emphasized the need to promote academic integrity; have time to prepare for online or hybrid instruction.

3. You expressed concerns about fostering accessible learning and teaching environments. Diversity, equity, and inclusion emerged as key, especially with regard to students’ learning environments, access to technology, and microaggressions.

4. You stressed the importance of thoughtfully planned return to work considerations. In particular, childcare issues emerged continuously as a concern. 

5. We heard your concerns about creating meaningful campus experience. You identified the following as important: internship opportunities; options for clinical and lab classes; and fostering socialization in a potentially online environment.

6. Reliable technology has been, and will likely continue to be, an area of concern.

Thank you for the time you took to share your ideas. Your feedback, concerns, and creative thinking are critical to our success.

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  • Some of the concerns people have expressed should be relieved by the latest guidance from the CDC and WHO, which now say that transmission by asymptomatic people, and from touching surfaces, is very rare. That should make reopening colleges campuses a lot less complicated.

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