On Monday, the CUNY Board of Trustees approved a resolution entitled “APPROVAL TO CONTINUE THE OFFERING OF ONLINE INSTRUCTION FOR THE DELIVERY OF COURSES IN DEGREE AND NON-DEGREE PROGRAMS AND THE OFFERING OF REMOTE SUPPORT SERVICES FOR THE SPRING 2021 SEMESTER.” The resolved statement reads as follows:
RESOLVED, That the Board of Trustees approves the University’s decision to extend and continue the offering of online and distance learning instructional modality for the delivery of courses in degree and non-degree programs and the offering of remote support services for the Spring Semester 2021 — with exceptions only being made for courses that cannot be effectively delivered at a distance, such as those courses which are highly experiential, or services that involve some form of tangible exchange, such as food pantries, provided they meet New York State and University guidelines for on-site instruction or delivery; and that the Chancellor shall take such actions as are reasonable and necessary to give effect to the foregoing.
This is consistent with the planning we have been doing as a campus for a mostly online Spring 2021 semester. It is hoped that we will be able to accommodate more hybrid instruction including on-campus presence, but that will depend on how the pandemic progresses over the coming months.
We are also planning on mostly online Winter and Spring semesters at this point. In the meantime, we are continuing to prepare more campus spaces for safe occupancy and once we have the materials and personnel to accommodate preparing and maintaining those spaces, we hope to open some additional buildings. However, right now, we are experiencing a worrying rise in cases of COVID among faculty, staff, and students who had been on campus, (currently totaling seven active cases), some of which have resulted in additional campus personnel being quarantined. As a result, we are currently being very cautious in not increasing the number of people coming to campus. If we were to reach a total of 34 active cases among those who have come to campus, we would have to close the campus again for a minimum of 14 days.
We will be facing a lot of unknowns as a campus in the coming weeks, with the pandemic, the election, and the federal, state, and CUNY budgets. I will keep you informed regarding campus events, and I hope that all of you are faring well during this very unusual time for CSI, for New York, and for the nation.
Best wishes to you all.
By Michael Parrish