Fall Semester Updates

At last week’s CUNY Board of Trustees meeting, the Board granted CUNY maximum flexibility in offering a primarily online curriculum in the fall, while keeping the option open of delivering a select number of class sessions in person once Staten Island is in Phase 4 and, most importantly, if the campus has the financial resources to meet the necessary safety requirements. 

The Research Re-Entry Committee submitted their plan for the gradual resumption of research activities on campus to President Fritz and me. It will shortly be forwarded to CUNY AVP of Research Tamera Schneider for review. Once it has passed review, campus researchers with external funding will prepare their own plans to resume limited campus activity while ensuring social distancing and safe working conditions for principal investigators, graduate students, support staff, and other essential personnel. 

In the meantime, the CSI Re-Entry Committee continues to develop its plan for how and when various campus operations will resume. The Curriculum and Instruction subcommittee will be submitting a survey to those Deans and Chairs who have indicated that some portion of their instruction will need to be delivered in person. 

After a troubling decision was announced last week by ICE that foreign students would be unable to remain in the U.S. if taking an entirely online curriculum, we yesterday heard the good news that that decision has been rescinded. I would like to thank the numerous faculty and staff who offered assistance in developing ways to keep our foreign students registered, and particularly to Stephen Ferst in keeping me informed as this situation changed continually over the last several days.

The return to campus will be slow and measured, with the safety of our students, faculty, and staff a paramount consideration. In the meantime, I hope you all are having a safe and sane summer.

By J. Michael Parrish