Dear Members of the Campus Community:
I am sharing a message from SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson about the response of SUNY and its 64 campuses to the coronavirus outbreak. She outlines the steps that SUNY has been taking to draw on the advice of New York State offices and resources, and to guide actions on individual SUNY campuses. I believe you will find that actions and communication at New Paltz align closely with the Chancellor’s statements and values.
You may note her reference to students remaining on campus “to fulfill coursework that requires hands-on instruction or laboratory work.” So that we could plan our curriculum and offerings, I sought her clarification on an earlier communication that referred to on-campus lab sections. She explained to me that that language was included as guidance for at least one, and perhaps several, technology sector campuses where virtually every course is “hands-on” or a laboratory. That guidance is the basis for our decision to plan our laboratory offerings for the remainder of the semester in alternative formats.
I also want to remind our students and faculty of recent messages to students that stated: Residence halls remain open for those who choose to stay here during spring break as well as for students who wish to return for the rest of the semester. Students may live in the residence halls and take classes remotely. Remaining on or returning to campus after spring break will allow access to high-speed internet and other technological resources to access remote instruction. Students need to choose whether to continue living on campus based on what is the safest, most comfortable and practical for them.
Donald P. Christian