Tomorrow’s Move to Distance Learning

Starting tomorrow morning, our campus will re-open and remain open for essential services for the remainder of Spring semester so that we can continue to serve our students. I want to thank our facilities staff for the extraordinary steps they have taken to sanitize the campus, details of which will come as a separate communication.

As previously communicated, as of tomorrow, Thursday, Mar. 19, most of our faculty and staff will be working remotely in an effort to safeguard the health and well-being of our students and employees. A small percentage of our staff, deemed essential by their supervisors, will be reporting to campus to provide critical services to students. Over the last few days, directors and managers have been reaching out to their teams to determine how to best continue operations. All employees should have been advised if they are required to report to campus and/or whether they will be telecommuting. In addition, all employees should have been advised of work schedules and limited/reduced on-campus office hours, including, staggering or rotating schedules to help promote social distancing.  

Some key points for students:

-The Library (Building 1L) will be open from 9:00am to 5:00pm ONLY to provide access to the second floor computer terminals and for broadband access. The Reference Desk will be open ONLY for the purpose of checking out laptops and calculators. The Library will be used only for computer access and is not available for study. Library reference materials should be accessed online.

Private Internet access is available through the following options:


-Altice USA and Charter Communications both announced on Friday, Mar. 13 that they would offer free broadband services to students taking online classes. 

-AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Comcast have announced additional services during the Coronavirus outbreak, such as the removal of data caps and waiver of late fees. Students should check with their individual carriers for these arrangements.

-The Child Care Center (Building 2R) and Food Pantry (in Building 1C) will remain in operation, but will be maintaining modified schedules that will be subject to change and updated regularly on the Website.

-Regularly check in and communicate with your instructors and academic advisor.

-If you need help, and don’t know who to ask, please email studentaffairs@csi.cuny.edu.

Some key points for faculty and staff:

  • During this time, it is imperative that you ensure that Human Resources has your updated contact information on file, including your home address. Please follow Human Resources guidance on how to access CUNYfirst Employee Self-Service to review and update your current information.
  • If you are working remotely, it is imperative that you work collaboratively with your departments and divisions to ensure that we are providing the best service possible. During work hours, you are expected to closely monitor and respond to emails and phone calls as appropriate.
  • Make sure you are only using your CSI email account to communicate.

For those employees without Direct Deposit, your paycheck will be mailed to your home address on file in CUNYfirst. Many offices are only offering services remotely. Please check their Websites and emails in order to avoid confusion.  

As always, the best source of information is the Coronavirus webpage on our College Website, which has the latest information, including guidance on Blackboard, technology support, and helpful contacts. This is an unprecedented situation, so there are more questions than answers; as we work through the next week or two, we will address the challenges that arise one by one. Continue to send questions, comments and suggestions to: coronavirus@csi.cuny.edu.   

Finally, I need to again offer my thanks to faculty and staff for their efforts in getting us ready for this moment. We are prepared, but despite our best efforts, I know there will be mistakes and unanticipated issues. I urge continued support and patience for one another while we work through this crisis together.

By William J. Fritz