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Interim Provost Issues Guidance to Faculty on Student Accommodations

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Coming Back Safe and StrongFotis Sotiropoulos, interim provost and senior vice president for Academic Affairs, has issued guidance to faculty concerning the accommodation of students who may need to participate remotely. The message reads as follows:

Dear Colleagues,

As we begin the spring semester, I want to remind you that students enrolled in in-person classes may have to participate remotely for portions of their courses. Periodically throughout the semester, students may need to quarantine, or participate remotely if they feel ill or have been exposed to the virus.

When these situations arise, please be prepared to be flexible to accommodate your students and facilitate their learning to the extent possible. If you need help designing or offering these accommodations, the Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is available to assist you. Additionally, the Student Accessibility Service Center (SASC) has resources to help you reach all learners, regardless of their abilities. Accommodations should be outlined in your syllabi, in accordance with university policy. Exceptions to this may apply. Please contact your Department or School if you have questions.

Students may need to quarantine as part of the University’s contact-tracing process, which helps to break the chain of transmission and limit infections. Because of this process, no faculty or staff need to take action related to possible cases or exposures. In fact, patient privacy rights prevent other University employees from sharing this information. Instead, encourage efforts to protect yourselves and each other by wearing masks, maintaining social distancing, washing your hands, and logging how you feel daily in the CampusClear app.

Through the contact-tracing process, the University team seeks to determine many factors, including: who has been within six feet of the positive individual for at least 10 minutes, and who has been near the positive individual over the 48 hours before they tested positive or became symptomatic. Tracers then notify those individuals who may have been exposed and tell them to stay home or in quarantine for 10 days, unless they are deemed essential, in which case other guidance is advised. Individuals who test positive may not return to University activities until they are released by Student Health Services, the Health Information Line and/or Suffolk County Department of Health. This is in accordance with State Department of Health guidelines on contact tracing, isolation and quarantine, and close or proximate contacts, as well as with SBU’s protocols. For more information on this process, please contact Marisa Bisiani, Assistant Vice President for Student Health & Wellness.

Thank you all for your continued dedication to supporting our students and their learning experience during these challenging times. Your efforts are a significant part of the reason why Stony Brook had such a successful fall semester, and I am confident that each of you will help us to be successful again.


Fotis Sotiropoulos
SUNY Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Dean of Engineering and Applied Sciences

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