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Coronavirus

We continue to vigilantly monitor and respond to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on the Utica College community as developments change and new information and guidance is made available.

Utica College Travel Survey 

A Video Message from President Casamento


From Utica College President Laura Casamento:

March 25, 2020

As the College continues to pursue its mission under these extremely challenging circumstances, I wanted to offer a brief update on some of the key initiatives we are undertaking in response to this unfolding national crisis.

  • We continue to work closely with our faculty and student life staff to identify issues students are having with the transition to online instruction, as well as any personal hardships they may be facing. Fortunately, as the days go by, reports of new concerns are becoming fewer and fewer, and the ones we’re encountering are being successfully addressed. My great thanks to faculty, staff, and students for their tremendous patience and resiliency.
  • As previously shared, advising and registration for summer and fall courses will begin on April 6 as scheduled, only in the virtual environment. Students can refer to the communication from Provost Pfannestiel earlier this afternoon for specific details and guidance.
  • Our student affairs professionals have worked incredibly diligently to ensure the continuity of important services like student health services, counseling, career and professional development, Title IX, and the Bias Response and Reporting Network. Please refer to the communication sent today by Dean of Students Tim Ecklund for specific information about access to these services.
  • We are determined that this year’s Commencement will be held in person, albeit at a later date. There is no appropriate substitute for this ceremony of recognition, and it is imperative that we do this for our students and their families. We are targeting the first half of August, but of course this remains tentative. We will continue to update you as plans develop.
  • In place of the previously planned April 2 Day of Giving, The Office of Advancement will engage alumni and friends in a targeted fundraising initiative focused on supporting students and areas of the College most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. This is an essential component in our response to the current crisis, and I encourage everyone to lend their support.
  • Finally, we are carefully reviewing details of the stimulus bill passed by Congress early this morning as it relates to relief for higher education institutions and students. I will share more details once we have a better sense of what the legislation contains.

As always, I am grateful for your continued support and cooperation during these difficult times. Stay well and keep your spirits up – we will get through this together.

Sincerely,
Laura Casamento
President

These pages will be updated continually, please check back later as more information may be added.

Student 

Faculty / Staff

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Utica College is committed to ensuring that all students receive the education they are entitled to. Whether you leave the campus or remain, your faculty and academic administrators will work to ensure that you are able to achieve the learning and meet the goals for the courses you are in. 

Are all classes going online?

Yes. There will be no face-to-face instruction until further notice. If you remain in the area, or on campus, your class instruction will still be remote.

How are online classes taught?

Faculty members are working with members of the College’s staff to implement a number of different ways of delivering instruction remotely, including the College’s Engage system, Zoom lectures, recorded videos, and other options. The faculty member for each class you are in will be letting you know how they will be handling distance instruction.

Many online courses will be taught in Engage. To access Engage, visit: https://engage.utica.edu/learn/. The format of online courses can vary. For specific course questions, please speak with your instructor.

I’m having trouble with Engage, who should I contact?

Students should contact their instructor for specific course questions. Any questions regarding Engage can be directed to Engage Technical Support at 866-264-1537 or by e-mail at utica@support.edu.help.

I need help navigating and understanding my courses on Engage, is someone available to help me? 

Yes. The Center for Student Success is open and a Success Coach is available to help you. Please email studentsuccess@utica.edu or call 315-792-3179.

I am not on campus and I do not have access to the internet, where can I find internet access?

Internet access is commonly available at public libraries, though access to public facilities may be limited in your area. If you cannot access the internet due to special circumstances, please contact the Center for Student Success at studentsuccess@utica.edu or call 315-792-3179. 

Free temporary internet access is being offered by Charter Communications. Please see the details here and information on how to sign up: https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more

As a reminder, please be aware of your surroundings and use caution when accessing public internet access.

Can I withdraw from an on-ground course being taught online? 

Yes. Students can withdraw from an on-ground course being taught online. To withdraw you must email studentsuccess@utica.edu from your UC email account. The Center for Student Success will then follow up with the student and guide you through the withdrawal process. 

Please refer to the Academic Calendar online for more information on deadlines. https://www.utica.edu/directory/registrar/academic-calendar-and-deadlines

What happens with my tuition if I withdraw? 

We will not be refunding room, board or tuition. We are continuing our operations. All campus offices will be open and support will be continued.

Students are required to consult with their Financial Aid Counselor prior to withdrawing from a course or for the semester. Financial Aid Counselors are available in person and accessible remotely. Please call 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu with any questions.

If I get sick, what is the policy for taking an Incomplete?

For information regarding an Incomplete grades, please speak with your Professor, Academic Advisor and/or Success Coach. Information regarding Incompletes can be found online at: https://www.utica.edu/academic/registrar/Incomplete_Contract_January_2020.pdf

I need help with managing my time, getting organized, and study habits for online courses, where can I get help?

The Center for Student Success, Tutoring Services in the Learning Commons, the Office of Learning Services, and Opportunity Programs and are all open and staff members are accessible remotely. You are also encouraged to speak with your instructors about course questions. 

To make an appointment with a support staff member, please call the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.

How can I be successful in an online course?

For each course, follow the guidance and instructions from your Professors. Just like on-ground courses, online courses require dedicated time management, discipline and organization. It is important that you follow the syllabus and complete assignments, quizzes, exams, etc… on time. Please pay special attention to the Professors attendance policy and plan ahead. 

If you need help organizing your online coursework please reach out to the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.

I am in a Lab, Clinical, Physical Education, Student Teaching, Internship and/or Field Work course, how does this work? 

Follow the guidance and instructions from your Professor.

I currently have accommodations for my on-ground courses, how can I have the same accommodations in an online format?

The Office of Learning Services is open and available to assist students. As a reminder, please contact your Professor for any course concerns. Please contact the Office of Learning Services at 315-792-3032 or jcborner@utica.edu with additional questions.

How can I get tutoring help?

All drop-in and by appointment tutoring has been moved online and will continue to be available as usual.  Writing and subject tutors can be located at www.utica.edu/tutoring.  Scroll down to the “Search for Drop-In Tutoring by Subject” tab to look up tutors’ hours and email addresses.  Send an email to your tutor during their drop-in hours, asking them to invite you to their virtual Google Hangouts tutoring session.  Your tutor will email you back with the Google Hangouts information, and you can then begin your online tutoring session. If you have any questions, contact Lena Moser, Director of Tutoring Services, at tutoring@utica.edu

Are Professors holding office hours on campus?

Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, students no longer have access to campus. However, you can still reach out to your professors by email and phone - find their contact information on our directory page.

Is the Library open? I need help with research, writing, and citations. Is someone available?

Students are no longer able to access campus, and the library is closed to visitors. However, personal library assistance is still available by phone and email. Visit the library site for more information.

I am planning to graduate this semester. What do I need to do and I have questions regarding commencement?

On the recommendation of public health authorities and infectious disease experts, who are cautioning that it will be at least six to eight weeks before the current COVID-19 situation begins to subside, we are postponing all in-person graduation events, including Commencement. Creative conversations are already in motion to consider a number of alternative methods for celebrating the graduating class. These include a virtual event in May and a possible in-person celebration at Homecoming. We will be reaching out to students, faculty, and staff for input and feedback.  Once a decision is made, it will be communicated accordingly.  It will also be found online at: www.utica.edu/commencement.

Course Registration for Fall 2020 opens April 6. How do I get advised? 

Students should be in contact with their Faculty Academic Advisor and Success Coach. More information will be sent via UC email. For specific questions, please contact the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.

I am in the Academic Recovery Program. How do I continue to participate?

The Academic Recovery Program is still taking place and all information will be uploaded to Engage and available remotely. Students should contact their Academic Recovery Mentor and schedule biweekly meetings individually. Meetings will take place virtually.  For specific questions, please contact the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu 

Are all classes going online?

All classes will resume in an online format on Monday, March 23 through the end of the spring semester. Faculty will be regularly communicating with the students in their classes with specific instructions.
 

How are online classes taught?

Faculty members are working with members of the College’s staff to implement a number of different ways of delivering instruction remotely, including the College’s Engage system, Zoom lectures, recorded videos, and other options. The faculty member for each class you are in will be letting you know how they will be handling distance instruction.

Many online courses will be taught in Engage. To access Engage, visit: https://engage.utica.edu/learn/. The format of online courses can vary. For specific course questions, please speak with your instructor.


I’m having trouble with Engage, who should I contact?

Students should contact their instructor for specific course questions. Any questions regarding Engage can be directed to Engage Technical Support at 866-264-1537 or by the 24/7 support site at https://eduhelp.wpengine.com/ or utica@support.edu.help.


I need help navigating and understanding my courses on Engage, is someone available to help me?

Yes. The Center for Student Success is open and a Success Coach is available to help you. Please email studentsuccess@utica.edu or call 315-792-3179.


I am not on campus and I do not have access to the internet, where can I find internet access?

Internet access is commonly available at public libraries, though access to public facilities may be limited in your area. If you cannot access the internet due to special circumstances, please contact the Center for Student Success at studentsuccess@utica.edu or call 315-792-3179. 

As a reminder, please be aware of your surroundings and use caution when accessing public internet access.

Free temporary internet access is being offered by Charter Communications: Please see the details here and information on how to sign up. https://corporate.charter.com/newsroom/charter-to-offer-free-access-to-spectrum-broadband-and-wifi-for-60-days-for-new-K12-and-college-student-households-and-more


Can I withdraw from an on-ground course being taught online?

Yes. Students can withdraw from an on-ground course being taught online. To withdraw you must email studentsuccess@utica.edu from your UC email account. The Center for Student Success will then follow up with the student and guide you through the withdrawal process.

Please refer to the Academic Calendar online for more information on deadlines.


If I get sick, what is the policy for taking an Incomplete?

For information regarding Incomplete grades, please speak with your Professor, Academic Advisor and/or Success Coach. Information regarding Incompletes can be found online.


I need help with managing my time, getting organized, and study habits for online courses, where can I get help?

The Center for Student Success, Tutoring Services in the Learning Commons, the Office of Learning Services, and Opportunity Programs are all available to help you. Staff members are prepared to support your learning remotely. You are also encouraged to speak with your instructors about specific course questions.

To make an appointment with a support staff member, please call the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.


How can I be successful in an online course?

For each course, follow the guidance and instructions from your Professors. Just like on-ground courses, online courses require dedicated time management, discipline and organization. It is important that you follow the syllabus and complete assignments, quizzes, exams, etc… on time. Please pay special attention to the Professors attendance policy and plan ahead.

If you need help organizing your online coursework, please reach out to the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.


What about my clinical?

Students need to contact your professor for clinical guidelines and plans.


What about internships?

We would ask that as students go out to their internships, that they have that communication with their employers. We anticipate students who are staying and have the ability to go out on those internships should do business as usual until further advised. If an employer says they are no longer continuing an internship, the employer needs to contact Utica College and let the institution know the internship has been suspended.


Will tutoring services still be available?

All drop-in and by appointment tutoring has been moved online and will continue to be available as usual.  Writing and subject tutors can be located at www.utica.edu/tutoring.  Scroll down to the “Search for Drop-In Tutoring by Subject” tab to look up tutors’ hours and email addresses.  Send an email to your tutor during their drop-in hours, asking them to invite you to their virtual Google Hangouts tutoring session.  Your tutor will email you back with the Google Hangouts information, and you can then begin your online tutoring session. If you have any questions, contact Lena Moser, Director of Tutoring Services, at tutoring@utica.edu.


How do I complete my field work?

If you do not live or reside near your field work site, you will need to make alternate arrangements with your professor and site supervisor.


Will offices on campus still be open and functioning?

Yes, they will. Staff will schedule meetings via phone, Google Hangouts, Zoom or other means so that you can interact with them and have face to face contact in this interim period.

Per the guidance from the CDC and Oneida County Department of Health, we are closing Gannett Library and Clark Athletic Center until further notice. We are doing this, out of an abundance of caution, so that we can thoroughly clean and sanitize all touch point surfaces in these facilities, as they normally have higher amounts of traffic by members outside of the UC community. The Library and Learning Commons remain fully accessible online at utica.edu/library.


Will students who live off campus still be able to use the Frank E. Gannett Memorial Library?

No. Per the guidance from the CDC and Oneida County Department of Health, we are closing Gannett Library and Clark Athletic Center until further notice. We are doing this, out of an abundance of caution, so that we can thoroughly clean and sanitize all touch point surfaces in these facilities, as they normally have higher amounts of traffic by members outside of the UC community. The Library and Learning Commons remain fully accessible online at utica.edu/library.

Students who remain on campus living in the residence halls will have access to campus resources after March 13. There will be times when campus facilities may need to close for cleaning; so it’s best to connect the office before you go there.  Specifically, the Library staff is working and will support students, faculty and staff via phone, virtual meetings and email. https://www.utica.edu/directory/library.

Utica College is committed to ensuring that all students receive the education they are entitled to. Your faculty and academic administrators will work to ensure that you are able to achieve the learning objectives and meet the goals for the courses you are enrolled.


I am in a Lab, Clinical, Physical Education, Student Teaching, Internship and/or Field Work course, how does this work?

Follow the guidance and instructions from your Professor.


I currently have accommodations for my on-ground courses, how can I have the same accommodations in an online format?

The Office of Learning Services is open and available to assist students. As a reminder, please contact your Professor for any course concerns. Please contact the Office of Learning Services at 315-792-3032 or jcborner@utica.edu with additional questions.


How can I get tutoring help?

All drop-in and by appointment tutoring has been moved online and will continue to be available as usual.  Writing and subject tutors can be located at utica.edu/tutoring.  Scroll down to the “Search for Drop-In Tutoring by Subject” tab to look up tutors’ hours and email addresses.  Send an email to your tutor during their drop-in hours, asking them to invite you to their virtual Google Hangouts tutoring session.  Your tutor will email you back with the Google Hangouts information, and you can then begin your online tutoring session.  If you have any questions, contact Lena Moser, Director of Tutoring Services, at tutoring@utica.edu


Are Professors holding office hours on campus?

Unfortunately, under the current circumstances, students no longer have access to campus. However, you can still reach out to your professors by email and phone - find their contact information on our directory page.


Is the Library open? I need help with research, writing, and citations. Is someone available?

While the Library is closed, Librarians are available to assist you. Please visit utica.edu/directory/library.

Writing tutors are also available through utica.edu/tutoring.  Scroll down to the “Search for Drop-In Tutoring by Subject” tab to look up writing tutors’ hours.


Course Registration for Fall 2020 opens April 6. How do I get advised?

Students should be in contact with their Faculty Academic Advisor and Success Coach. More information will be sent via UC email. For specific questions, please contact the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.


I am in the Academic Recovery Program. How do I continue to participate?

The Academic Recovery Program is still taking place and all information will be uploaded to Engage and available remotely. Students should contact their Academic Recovery Mentor and schedule biweekly meetings individually. Meetings will take place virtually.  For specific questions, please contact the Center for Student Success at 315-792-3179 or email studentsuccess@utica.edu.


What effect will moving classes to online instruction impact Title IX and bias reporting? 

It will have zero effect. The resources and procedures supporting processes like Title IX and bias reporting processes are unaffected by the health and safety measures we’ve taken. The Title IX Coordinator and all of the members of the Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN) will continue to be physically on campus on a daily basis. This is because we fully recognize that issues of discrimination, bias, harassment, and threatening behavior can occur anywhere, in person or online.


Will I be charged room and board if I don’t remain on campus in the residence hall?

We will soon begin processing room and board reimbursements for residential students. We will be issuing reimbursements solely through direct deposit, as our ability to print and mail checks is limited by the restrictions in place. Students who are not already registered for direct deposit are strongly encouraged to do so as soon as possible, but no later than Friday, March 20, 2020. To register, log onto bannerweb.utica.edu and click in the following sequence: Student Services > Student Account > Access My Account > Enroll in Direct Deposit.


How are student workers affected?

If you elect to remain on campus during spring break, you are permitted to continue working as normal, as the College will still be in operation.  However, only essential offices are open; so you should connect with your supervisor for remote opportunities as many staff may be working from home.

If you are a commuter or if you return home, you will not be able to come to campus to work until at least April 10.  However, communicate with your supervisor, as every effort should be made to provide you with work that can be completed remotely.  Remote supervision and communication is possible using e-mail, phone, video chats, etc.  You will complete timesheets as you normally would for remote work. 

As soon as possible, please communicate with your supervisor to determine employment arrangements based on the two scenarios identified above. I recognize that many of you rely on your campus employment paycheck for important and critical living expenses, and I want this to be a time of minimal disruption to the campus employment program.
 

What is happening with athletics?

Spring semester athletic trips are canceled. The NCAA has also suspended the Spring season. Additional guidance is forthcoming regarding eligibility from the NCAA which will be shared with athletes as soon as we get it.


If I am on a different site than the Utica campus, will I receive communications?

All Utica College sites – the Utica campus, as well as the Syracuse and Florida ABSN sites, are each being sent updates and communications pertinent to their individual site.
 

With the Governor’s announcement prohibiting gatherings of more than 10 people, what does that mean for Commencement?

On the recommendation of public health authorities and infectious disease experts, who are cautioning that it will be at least six to eight weeks before the current COVID-19 situation begins to subside, we are postponing all in-person graduation events, including Commencement. Creative conversations are already in motion to consider a number of alternative methods for celebrating the graduating class. These include a virtual event in May and a possible in-person celebration at Homecoming. We will be reaching out to students, faculty, and staff for input and feedback.


What if this situation is causing me financial hardship?

Please contact the Dean of Students Tim Ecklund by emailing trecklun@utica.edu 


My student organization had a trip planned. How do we go about getting a refund?

Please work with Dean of Students Tim Ecklund, on this. You can contact him directly at trecklun@utica.edu.


What if, for personal reasons, you can’t go home?

The College will work with you to secure a place to stay as we have spaces available. Please see SLCE or contact Scott Nonemaker, Executive Director at scnonema@utica.edu.


Where do I direct questions?

For academic concerns, if you have a question regarding a specific course, contact your faculty member. If you have broader academic questions or concerns, email provost@utica.edu.

All other student concerns, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at trecklun@utica.edu.

If you have questions about a travel matter or any other safety matter, email emermgt@utica.edu.

This section of frequently asked questions is meant to respond to the inquiries we have been receiving over the past several days.Please note that it will be updated as new information becomes available.

Please keep in mind that all decisions are being made for the sole purpose of keeping our entire community safe. At this time, students will continue their studies after Spring Break in an online format until the end of the semester.

  • Governor Cuomo has ordered that all employers providing non-essential services cease in-person operations and require all employees to work fully remotely. Colleges and universities are not included in the Governor’s category of essential services; however, certain auxiliary services like campus safety, facilities, and dining services as well as residential area coordinators are exempted. Therefore, until further notice, all faculty and staff other than those listed above will be performing their duties remotely unless explicitly instructed otherwise.
  • Please be reminded that any Utica College employee who will be on campus must wear their College I.D. at all times.  In addition, all employees are reminded to record (both on phones and in emails) appropriate away messages if they are not working. If an employee is working remotely, proper forwarding must be put in place to support ongoing communication needs.
  • New York State has required all health plans to fully cover the cost of COVID-19 testing with no member share, even for participants with a deductible. In addition, employees who are on Utica College’s health insurance plan are encouraged to take advantage of Telemedicine to help alleviate hospital visits for non-emergent issues.  The following link brings you the Excellus landing page for MD Live, the Excellus telemedicine system: https://members.mdlive.com/excellus/landing_home

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

Travel

Note:  All college-sponsored domestic travel has been suspended.

I have a vacation planned away from the area. What happens now?

Any member of the Utica College community who is traveling outside of the region (currently defined as Oneida County, all contiguous counties, as well as Montgomery, Fulton, and Onondaga Counties) is required to let the Office of Emergency Management know by emailing emermgt@utica.edu.  Also note that there may be travel bans to certain areas, and you will most likely be required to quarantine before coming back to the College for any reason. Check the CDC’s Traveler’s Health Notices for the latest guidance and recommendations for each location to which you will travel. 

Please remember that our latest decision to transfer all in-person instruction to an online format was done for the safety of our entire community.  We urge employees to take this into consideration when making plans to leave the area.

What can I do to make sure it is physically safe for me to travel?

Employees should check themselves for symptoms of acute respiratory illness before starting travel, and notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick.

I have a spouse that is traveling outside of the area. Should I report that as well?

Yes, please do.

If our position requires travel, should we make arrangements to do our job without travel?

Yes.

If a faculty or staff member has to leave the region, do they have to self-report it and self- quarantine?

If a staff member has to leave the region at this point, for any reason, they need to contact the Office of Emergency Management at emermgt@utica.edu as soon as possible and be prepared to self-quarantine.

I have a spouse that is traveling outside of the area. Should I report that as well?

Yes, please do.

Being Sick

If I’m feeling sick, what symptoms should cause me to stay home?

Any employee who has symptoms of acute respiratory illness should stay home and not come to work until they are free of fever (100.4° F [37.8° C] or greater using an oral thermometer), signs of a fever, and any other symptoms for at least 24 hours, without the use of fever-reducing or other symptom-altering medicines (e.g. cough suppressants). Employees should notify their supervisor and stay home if they are sick, and also see a healthcare provider for testing.  It is important to call the healthcare facility ahead of time to let them know a test may be needed.

What should I do if I become sick during my work day?

The CDC recommends that employees who appear to have acute respiratory illness symptoms (i.e. cough, shortness of breath) upon arrival to work, or who become sick during the day, should be separated from other employees and be sent home immediately. You should notify your supervisor immediately if you become sick and be prepared to be sent home.  

Do I have to let people know if I have contracted COVID-19?

If you are confirmed to have COVID-19, you should notify your supervisor.  The College should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but will maintain confidentiality. If you believe you were exposed to a co-worker with confirmed COVID-19, you should refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of your potential exposure.  Also, please remember that you should not discuss the health conditions of other people in the workplace without their permission.

What do I do if I have a sick family member at home who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 or is suspected to be infected?

Employees who are well but who have a sick family member at home with COVID-19 should notify their supervisor and refer to CDC guidance for how to conduct a risk assessment of their potential exposure. You should be prepared to work from home (see “Telecommuting” section, below).

What if I have an underlying health condition that might make me more vulnerable?

If you have a concern about an underlying health condition that might make you more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19, Utica College may give you the option to conduct your work from home. Please notify your supervisor to discuss alternative work options, such as working from home.

Time off for Illness

Will I be paid if I have a confirmed case of COVID-19?

Yes.  Any employee who is confirmed to have contracted COVID-19, who is sent home because they are suspected to be infected, or who is on a College-required quarantine will be paid through an emergency Sick Leave bank. This bank is being created by the College for the sole purpose of assisting employees who are dealing with the virus.  As of right now, the maximum number of days an employee can access through the bank is 14 days, however this may be revisited as the situation develops.

To access the emergency Sick Leave bank, please contact your supervisor and the Office of Human Resources at (315) 792-3276. You will be asked for medical documentation of the confirmed diagnosis.  

Staff who are sick but are not confirmed to have the virus will access their regular Sick Leave banks.  You can call the Office of Human Resources if you need to know your current sick leave balance.  

Following is a link to the College’s Sick Leave policy (for eligible employees):

https://www.utica.edu/hr/media/Sick%20Leave%20Program%20for%20Staff.pdf

Will I be paid if I need to care for a family member with a confirmed case of COVID-I9?

Yes.  If you have a member of your household with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you will be able to access the emergency Sick Leave bank as outlined above.  Please note that documentation will be required.

Telecommuting: 

Following are rules, tips, and FAQs related to Working from Home (Telecommuting) 

If you are an employee who is working from home:

  1. It is vital that you maintain constant communication with your immediate supervisor, as you would during a work day on campus.  In fact, it is likely that your supervisor will look to schedule regular, virtual meeting to check in on work progress. Please make sure to attend these and all other virtual meetings.  If you are unable to attend, contact your supervisor or the meeting organizer as soon as possible. 
  2. If you are working from home but need to come to campus, you must have your on-campus presence approved by your supervisor and must contact the Office of Emergency Management (emergmgt@utica.edu) to let them know of your arrival (date/time).  Also be prepared to tell the Office of Emergency Management where you have been.
  3. You are required to work during your normal work hours, unless a modification has been approved by your supervisor.  Please submit time sheets or compensated absence reports on time and through Banner, as you would if you were in the office.  
  4. You will need to forward your work phone to the phone you will be using at your home location.  Away messages should not be necessary unless you are truly unable to work. Following is the link to the resource page created by IITS that includes a wealth of information and instructions, including information on how to forward phones and emails: https://www.utica.edu/academic/iits/resources.cfm

    Please remember that there are others in your work area and throughout the College who are relying on you to continue your work.  Make sure to communicate regularly with others as needed.

Tips for a Successful Telecommuting Experience

Set a Designated Work Area

Though this may seem trivial, choosing a spot in your home that is designated for working from home is an important step you can take to set yourself up for success. Choose a spot that you can work from every day that you are working from home. Try to stay away from working in your bed or on the couch, as these areas are associated with relaxation in your brain, which could negatively impact your productivity.

Test Your Connections and Communications 

Make sure that your communication method of choice functions properly before you consistently telecommute.  If any issues arise, please contact the Help Desk at https://www.utica.edu/academic/iits/compuserservices/ticketing.cfm or (315) 792-3115.  Also, be sure to let your supervisor know that you are experiencing issues and let them know when issues are resolved. 

In addition, any concerns about information security should be immediately reported to the Help Desk. 

Dress Like You are Going to Work in the Office

The way you dress has been proven to affect you psychologically. This means that although it may sound like a great idea to work from home in your pajamas, in reality, it isn’t. While you do not need to dress up in business formal attire if you are working from home, you should take time to follow your daily routine for preparing for work. Remember that you are likely going to have video conversations with students and/or faculty and staff (or external parties), just as you would be meeting with them face to face.

Avoid Distractions and Stay on Task 

One big challenge of telecommuting is accountability. Without co-workers or supervisors nearby, it is easy to become distracted and fall behind on work. Remember that working from home is a privilege for most, and that it will become apparent if you are not putting in the same effort into your work at home as you did in the office.

Stay focused on work throughout the day to maintain consistent productivity. Avoid online distractions as well. Limit the time spent on email, social media and websites unrelated to work. Set a timer on your phone or computer if necessary.

Evaluate Yourself Periodically

To ensure that telecommuting is working for you, be sure to conduct self-assessments periodically. Things to include in your assessment could include the following:

  • What is working as far as your hours?
  • What are you accomplishing in the office versus out of the office?
  • Are you meeting all of your deadlines?
  • Are you feeling connected with your co-workers?

Remember to Take Breaks When You Need To

Just like you are encouraged to take breaks while you’re in the office, remember to allow yourself time throughout the day for quick breaks and for a lunch break.

Before you take an hour or more out of your day, though, make sure to communicate and check with your supervisor so that you remain compliant with Utica College’s policies.

Frequently Asked Questions on Telecommuting

Am I able to work from home, if needed?

At this time, all essential employees (unless already on a telecommuting/alternative work arrangement) are to report to work at their regular location, as scheduled.  If you believe you have a reason to work from home (e.g. you are not feeling well, you are feeling well but believe you have been exposed, you are caring for someone who is not feeling well, etc.), please work with your supervisor to make sure you have the proper access and that you have communication systems in place to support working from home.  Also, please be reminded that working from home is limited to business and health reasons. 

Is the College ready if most employees need to work from home?

Yes.  The IITS department has worked to make sure that all employees will have VPN capability to access work remotely.  Again, if this need arises, employees will need to work directly with their supervisor to ensure a smooth transition to remote work (see the “Test Your Connections and Communications” section above for information link).

If I need to work from home, what can I take with me from my office?

You should talk with your supervisor prior to taking any documents, files, and any College-owned equipment and devices home from the office.

If I have to work from home, how do I record my time?

If you are an employee who reports time, you will log into Banner and record time (either via Time Sheet or Compensated Absence Report) in the same way you would if you were in the office.  Make sure you work with your supervisor ahead of time if work hours need to change for any reason, and notify them of any time away from work.

Other General Questions: 

If I am on a different site than the Utica campus, will I receive communications?

All Utica College sites – the Utica campus, as well as the Syracuse and Florida ABSN sites, are receiving updates and communications pertinent to the individual site.

With the Governor’s announcement prohibiting gatherings of a certain size, what does that mean for Commencement?

On the recommendation of public health authorities and infectious disease experts, who are cautioning that it will be at least six to eight weeks before the current COVID-19 situation begins to subside, we are postponing all in-person graduation events, including Commencement. Creative conversations are already in motion to consider a number of alternative methods for celebrating the graduating class. These include a virtual event in May and a possible in-person celebration at Homecoming. We will be reaching out to students, faculty, and staff for input and feedback.

If I have medical appointments outside the region, what should you do?

Please contact emergmgt@utica.edu for guidance.

Will offices on campus still be open and functioning?

Faculty and staff will not be allowed on campus effective March 23, 2020.  Any exceptions for essential personnel will be communicated directly by the respective vice presidents.  In addition, any Utica College employee who will be on campus must wear their College I.D. at all times. It will be required to enter into all buildings.

If you have any questions, please reach out to your immediate supervisor, or the Office of Human Resources at hr@utica.edu or (315) 792-3276.

What is the novel (new) coronavirus?

Human coronaviruses are common throughout the world. Seven different known coronaviruses can infect people and make them sick. Some were identified many years ago and some more recently.

What are the signs and symptoms of the coronavirus?

Symptoms are similar to other respiratory viruses. If you have these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you have this new virus! Unless you have recently traveled to Wuhan, China or have been around someone ill with this new virus, your risk of getting sick is near zero.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever (may not always be present)
  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Other early symptoms to look for include:

  • Chills
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Runny nose

What You Can Do

Again, if you have not traveled to China, Iran, Italy, South Korea, or Japan and you have not been in contact with a person known or suspected to have the illness, there is no reason to be concerned at this time. Review the CDC travel alerts for coronavirus for more information. 

If you have traveled recently to any of the areas of concern, or have had close contact with someone who has been confirmed with, or is being evaluated for the coronavirus, you should:

  • Monitor your health for 14 days, from the day you first traveled or had close contact with someone ill with this new coronavirus. Watch for signs and symptoms listed above.
  • Call your doctor, urgent care or hospital BEFORE going. They will give you instructions.
  • If you have symptoms, stay away from other people until you receive instructions.

Health Guidelines and Resources

    While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19 infection, the best method of protection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyday preventive actions in order to help prevent the spread of respiratory viruses.

    • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol if soap and water are not available.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home and do not travel or go to work or school when you are sick.
    • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze then throw the tissue in the trash. Then wash your hands with soap and water.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    The American College Health Association has prepared guidelines to help college health staff and campus administrators prepare for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and related issues on their campuses.

    ACHA COVID-19 GUIDELINES

    In response to concerns regarding students who are impacted by the coronavirus, either because they are returning from study-abroad programs or in the event of campus emergencies or closures, the NYS Education Department (NYSED) offers the following guidance.

    State and Federal Advisories and Protocol


    NYSED Regulatory and Programmatic Guidance

    To help students already enrolled at the institution who are impacted by the emergency (e.g., students returning from study-abroad programs, all current students impacted by a campus emergency/closure in NYS, etc.), institutions that wish to offer current courses/programs online that are not currently registered with NYSED in the distance education format are granted temporary approval for the Spring 2020 academic term. Extension of this time frame will be monitored depending on the emergency time frame.

    • Institutions may consider exceptions to their published policies on granting course extensions/incompletes and extend the deadline for incompletes to be resolved, but should be mindful of possible impact on student financial aid eligibility.
    • Institutions may consider flexibility regarding withdrawal and refund policies but should be mindful of possible impact on student financial aid eligibility.
    • Institutions may consider options for substitution of credit bearing courses for credit-bearing experiential programs (i.e., study-abroad programs).
    • Institutions may consider assisting students in finding comparable courses at other institutions where necessary and practicable and may allow exceptions to their published policies on transfer credit and residency requirements.
    • Programs and support services provided to all students, including those returning from studying abroad, should continue to meet program registration standards, while also noting the flexibility and provisions offered herein.
    • Professional licensure or certification clinical experience courses must meet regulatory requirements. If present emergency circumstances create challenges associated with meeting clinical experience requirements, institutions should contact NYSED concerning appropriate alternatives to meet requirements, such as clinical simulation options.
    • If the State or local government in NYS temporarily closes an institution due to a disaster (including an epidemic), section 52.2(c)(4) of the Regulations of the Commissioner of Education provides regulatory relief concerning the granting of a semester hour of credit for fewer hours of instruction. The regulations and application form can be found at: http://www.nysed.gov/college-university-evaluation/regulatory-relief-temporary-closureinstitution-due-disaster
    • Institutions should consult with their accrediting agencies for additional guidance.
    • Institutions should notify NYSED at OCUEINFO@nysed.gov regarding any decisions to temporarily close any NYS campuses.


    Agency Contact Information

    • Questions should be directed to the appropriate office at NYSED as noted below:
      • Academic programs that lead to professional licensure: Office of Professional Education Program Review (PEPR) at: OPPROGS@nysed.gov
      • All other academic programs, including teacher education: Office of College and University Evaluation (OCUE) at: OCUEINFO@nysed.gov
    • SUNY and CUNY institutions should contact their respective System Administration for additional guidance.
    • Questions about financial aid issues:
    Author: Office of Postsecondary Education
    Subject: Guidance for interruptions of study related to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    This electronic announcement addresses concerns expressed by higher education leaders regarding how they should comply with Title IV, Higher Education Act (HEA) policies for students whose activities are impacted by Coronavirus (COVID-19), either directly because the student is ill or quarantined, or indirectly because the student was recalled from travel-abroad experiences, can no longer participate in internships or clinical rotations, or attends a campus that temporarily suspended operations. This information provides flexibilities for schools that are working to help students complete the term in which they are currently enrolled.

    These instructions do not contemplate accommodations for students who have not yet enrolled or whose term has not yet begun, with certain exceptions. We will continue to monitor the situation and make a later determination of what accommodations may be necessary should longer-term interruptions become likely. We will continue to provide updates to this information as appropriate.

    We encourage institutions to visit the Department’s Coronavirus webpage, https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus?src=feature, on this topic frequently, as we will post updates as they become available. In addition, the Department’s webpage has links to guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including for how Institutions of Higher Education should manage human health risks associated with Coronavirus.

    We address five potential student and campus scenarios: that may prompt an institution to have questions about how to comply with Title IV, HEA requirements if the Coronavirus impacts a student or a campus:

    • A student was enrolled or was supposed to begin a travel-abroad experience and either the student has been called back to the U.S. or was never able to begin the travel abroad experience;

    • A student was enrolled in a program and met the requirements for full-time enrollment; however, due to the COVID-19, one or more classes – such as an internship, a clinical rotation, student teaching or fieldwork – have been cancelled and now the student has fallen below the 12 credit hour minimum and is no longer considered to be a full-time student;

    • A student is quarantined and misses class or a student is incapacitated due to COVID-19 illness;

    • A campus temporarily stops offering ground-based classes in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19;

    • A foreign school that serves U.S. students who participate in title IV programs temporarily suspends operations due to COVID-19.

    We offer information below about options we are making available to institutions under our current statutory authority to provide as much flexibility as possible so that you can continue to serve students. In some instances, we have been asked to consider providing flexibilities that are beyond our statutory authority. As a result, we cannot provide those flexibilities. If you have questions about the information provided in this electronic announcement, or you are encountering a scenario that we have not addressed, please email the Department at COVID-19@ed.gov.

    We recommend that institutions document, as contemporaneously as possible, any actions taken as a result of COVID-19, including those actions described in this document.

    Accommodating Students Whose Enrollment is Disrupted by Coronavirus
    Our goal is to work with institutions and find ways to enable you to accommodate students and help them continue their education despite interruptions caused by COVID-19. For many institutions, online education will provide a viable option for continuing to teach students through COVID-19-related interruptions. In some instances, students enrolled in ground-based programs at campuses that must temporarily close could participate in distance education for a period of time and then resume ground-based attendance when the campus reopens. In other instances, an institution may provide online learning opportunities for a student who was recalled from a travel-abroad program but the student is too late into the semester to enroll in other classes offered by the home campus, or the student who arrived in a foreign country intending to complete a travel abroad experience finds that the program has now been cancelled or temporarily suspended. We are providing the following flexibilities to institutions to help them understand what options they can make available to students and remain in compliance with Title IV requirements.

    Approval to Offer Distance Education
    The Department is providing broad approval to institutions to use online technologies to accommodate students on a temporary basis, without going through the regular approval process of the Department in the event that an institution is otherwise required to seek Departmental approval for the use or expansion of distance learning programs. This flexibility only applies to a program during a payment period that overlaps the date of this electronic announcement or the following payment period. If an institution chooses to continue offering a new program or use distance education in a manner requiring the Department’s approval after that point, it must seek approval under the Department’s normal process.

    We are also permitting accreditors to waive their distance education review requirements for institutions working to accommodate students whose enrollment is otherwise interrupted as a result of COVID-19. We currently are limiting that permission to distance learning opportunities developed for the purpose of serving students who were already in attendance, but whose attendance was interrupted by COVID-19. Please note that this flexibility is not available for clock-hour courses that lead to licensure if the licensure body will not accept distance learning courses or hours or give credit for them toward the number of hours a student must complete.

    We want to make clear to institutions that for Title IV, HEA purposes, distance learning does not require the use of sophisticated learning management systems or online platforms, though accreditors may have additional standards included in their review of distance learning programs. We are, however, permitting accreditors to waive those standards for schools implementing distance learning programs solely for the purpose of allowing currently enrolled students to complete a term that is interrupted by COVID-19 closures. To meet the Department’s requirements for providing distance education, an institution must communicate to students through one of several types of technology – including email – described under 34 CFR § 600.2, and instructors must initiate substantive communication with students, either individually or collectively, on a regular basis. In other words, an instructor could use email to provide instructional materials to students enrolled in his or her class, use chat features to communicate with students, set up conference calls to facilitate group conversations, engage in email exchanges or require students to submit work electronically that the instructor will evaluate.

    Institutions may provide distance learning temporarily to accommodate students as a result of a COVID-19 interruption, including in cases where students began attendance in classes offered in a brick-and-mortar setting but were transitioned to a distance education format in the middle of the term. In these cases, we will accept the accreditation and state authorization of the institution for the programs in which those students were enrolled prior to the interruption due to COVID-19 to enable students to complete the current term.

    Institutions may also enter into temporary consortium agreements with other institutions so that students can complete courses at other institutions but be awarded credit by their home institution. In addition, in instances where accrediting agencies require students to complete a final number or percentage of credits in residence at the institution, accrediting agencies may waive that requirement for students impacted by COVID-19 without objection by the Department.

    The Department will permit students who wish to take an approved leave of absence for COVID-19-related concerns or limitations (such as interruption of a travel-abroad program), to take such leave, even if the student notifies the institution in writing after the approved leave of absence has begun. In such a case, the institution may retain those Title IV funds to apply when the student continues enrollment. If the student does not return to complete their program within 180 days, the school would then be expected to perform the Return of Title IV funds calculation based on the date on which the leave-of-absence began. Note that in term-based programs, if a student takes an approved leave of absence from a term-based program, the institution must ensure that the student is permitted to complete the coursework he or she began prior to the leave of absence.

    Finally, because we understand that some students may have been recalled from travel abroad programs or canceled-out of experiential learning opportunities after the semester began, institutions may offer courses to those students on a schedule that would otherwise be considered a non-standard term, if doing so enables those students to complete the term. These flexibilities will also be provided to institutions, or their additional locations or programs, that must temporarily close as a result of COVID-19.

    Foreign Schools
    We cannot extend flexibility regarding the use of distance learning to foreign schools since the Higher Education Act does not permit foreign schools to provide distance learning to U.S. students who participate in Title IV, HEA programs. We continue to consider if there are any other flexibilities we could extend to foreign schools that temporarily close due to COVID-19.

    Federal Work Study (FWS)
    Federal law includes a provision allowing an institution to make FWS payments under certain limited circumstances to disaster-affected students who are unable to continue working. Given the unique nature of this situation, it is unlikely that an entire region would be declared a Federal disaster area, yet to students enrolled at a campus that must close temporarily, the loss of this important form of financial aid can be devastating. The impact may be magnified if the institution accommodates students by providing alternative instructional opportunities and the student is required to continue paying tuition, but the student loses FWS as an important part of their financial aid award. For students enrolled and performing FWS at a campus that must close due to COVID-19, or for a FWS student who is employed by an employer that closes as a result of COVID-19, the institution may continue paying the student Federal work-study wages during that closure if it occurred after the beginning of the term, the institution is continuing to pay its other employees (including faculty and staff), and the institution continues to meet its institutional wage share requirement. Students who were prevented from beginning a term at the institution as a result of a COVID-19-related disruption would not be eligible for Federal Student Aid for that term, and therefore could not be paid FWS wages for hours they did not work. Graduate students who are paid FWS wages on salary may continue to be paid for the remainder of the term if the institution is also paying its faculty and staff during that period. In these instances, institutions should document (as contemporaneously as feasible) that the COVID-19 disruption was the reason the student received FWS funds without documentation of hours worked.

    Length of Academic Year
    The Department is authorized under 34 CFR § 668.3 to approve a reduced academic year. If at any point an institution determines it will close as the result of a campus health emergency, it may contact the School Participation team to request a temporary reduction in the length of its academic year.

    Professional Judgement
    Financial aid administrators (FAA) have statutory authority to use professional judgement to make adjustments on a case-by-case basis to the cost of attendance or to the data elements used in calculating the EFC to reflect a student’s special circumstances. The use of professional judgement where students and/or their families have been affected by COVID-19 is permitted, such as in the case where an employer closes for a period of time as a result of COVID-19. In making professional judgement determinations, FAAs must obtain documentation and retain it in each student’s file. This documentation must substantiate the reason for any adjustment. Institutions are reminded that, regardless of how broadly an event may affect its student population, professional judgement determinations must be made and documented on a case-by-case basis.

    Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP)
    An institution’s SAP appeal policy (34 CFR § 668.34(a)(9)) must, among other things, describe the basis on which a student may file an appeal: the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student, or other special circumstances. Circumstances related to an outbreak of COVID-19, including, but not limited to, the illness of a student or family member, compliance with a quarantine period, or the general disruption resulting from such an outbreak may form the basis of a student’s SAP appeal even if not specifically articulated in the institution’s SAP policy.

    Students Who Did Not Begin Attendance
    We are aware that many U.S. students enrolled in eligible foreign institutions and in study abroad programs offered by domestic institutions have already been affected by local outbreaks of COVID-19 and the measures taken by institutions in response. Of immediate concern are those students who travelled to overseas destinations but were unable to begin classes due to school closures. There may also be instances where students at domestic institutions are similarly affected and unable to begin classes. Because these students did not begin attendance in a payment period or period of enrollment, 34 CFR § 668.21 (rather than Return of Title IV Funds) applies. In such a situation, the institution must return all Title IV grant funds disbursed for the payment period or period of enrollment and all Direct Loan funds that were credited to the student’s account at the institution for that period. The institution must also return Direct Loan funds in the amount of payments made directly by or on behalf of the student to the institution for the period, up to the total amount of the loan funds disbursed. The institution is not responsible for returning Direct Loan funds that were disbursed directly to the student in the form of a credit balance as long as the institution was not aware that the student would not attend prior to the disbursement, and students will be able to repay those funds as a part of their educational loans. In these circumstances, institutions are permitted, but not required, to return all of a student’s Direct Loan funds, including the amount comprising the credit balance.

    Normally institutions, once aware that a student will not begin or has not begun attendance, must notify the loan servicer which results in issuance of a final demand letter to the borrower. However, we have determined that in the case where a student was unable to begin attendance due to a COVID-19-related school closure, the provisions of 34 CFR § 668.21(a)(2)(ii), requiring the institution to notify the servicer of that student’s failure to begin attendance, do not apply because the option for the student to begin attendance did not exist. Accordingly, the institution should not notify the servicer that the student did not begin attendance. He or she will be permitted to repay any Direct Loan funds received under the terms of the promissory note. This will also prevent a student from being required to enter repayment within six months of withdrawing if the student withdrew as a result of a Coronavirus-related interruption.

    Enrollment Status Changes
    We do not have the authority to waive the requirement to award or disburse Title IV funds based on a student’s actual enrollment status. For example, assuming an institution defines full-time enrollment as 12 credit hours, when a full-time student enrolled for 12 credit hours drops or withdraws from three credits, that student is now enrolled at three-quarter time status. However, we remind institutions that for Direct Loans, the institution must only confirm at least half-time enrollment status as of the time of disbursement. It is not necessary to recalculate a student’s Direct Loan eligibility based on changes in enrollment status that occur after the institution originates a Direct Loan. For enrollment status changes that occur after an institution’s established Pell Grant recalculation (census) date, we do not require recalculation. Note that the student must have begun attendance in all courses comprising the enrollment status on which the Pell Grant payment was based.

    Return of Title IV Funds
    Even in the case of a disruption from COVID-19, an institution must return any Title IV funds for which it is responsible in accordance with the provisions of 34 CFR § 668.22 when a student withdraws. Currently, we do not have the authority to waive the statutory requirement for the return of unearned Title IV funds in the case where a student (who receives Title IV assistance) withdraws from an institution during a payment period or period of enrollment after having begun attendance. However, the guidance provided below explains the requirements for performing Return of Title IV Funds calculations in situations where an institution has temporarily ceased operations as a result of a COVID-19 disruption.

    Definition of a Withdrawal Date
    If an institution ceases operation during a payment period and fails to reopen by the end of that payment period, its students are considered no longer in attendance and must be considered withdrawn for that payment period or period of enrollment, and would be subject to Return of Title IV funds requirements. Similarly, if an institution closes and subsequently reopens during a payment period, any students who began attendance during that payment period but failed to return when the institution reopens must be considered withdrawn for that payment period. If the institution is required to take attendance, the withdrawal date is the last day of documented attendance prior to the closure. If the institution is not required to take attendance, the institution can use any applicable option under 34 CFR § 668.22(c), including the midpoint of the payment period or period of enrollment under 34 CFR § 668.2(c)(1)(iii) or, because the closure was a circumstance that the student could not control under 34 CFR § 668.22(c)(1)(iv), the date that the institution ceased operation. When determining the number of days in the payment period or period of enrollment (the denominator of the calculation), the institution should include all the days that the student was scheduled to attend during that period on the date of the withdrawal. For a clock-hour program, an institution should not include as “scheduled hours” any hours on days that it was closed.

    Date of Determination and Timeframes for Returns
    Normally,if a student does not provide notification to an institution of his/her withdrawal, the date of determination that the student has withdrawn is the date that the institution becomes aware that the student ceased attendance. This is, in most cases when an institution closes for reasons beyond its control, the date of the closure. Therefore, the timeframes for completing Return of Title IV Funds calculations and making the appropriate returns or post-withdrawal disbursements begin on that date (e.g. 30 days to perform the calculation, 45 days to return the funds, etc.).

    Reentering the Same Payment Period
    If an institution that has closed subsequently reopens during the same payment period or period of enrollment, and permits students to continue coursework that they were taking at the time of the closure, students that return to class at that time are considered to have reentered the same period and retain eligibility for Title IV aid that they were otherwise eligible to receive before the closure. If a student in this situation subsequently withdraws, the institution must exclude the number of days that it was closed (if the closure was for at least five consecutive days, in combination with weekends or other scheduled breaks) from both the number of days the student completed and the total number of days in the payment period or period of enrollment. If the institution altered the number of days in the payment period or period of enrollment following the closure (e.g. if it adds days to the term to make up for the time when it was closed), the institution should use the new number of days in the student’s Return of Title IV funds calculation.

    NSLDS Enrollment Reporting
    In general, when a student withdraws during a payment period, the effective date for the withdrawn (‘W’) status for enrollment reporting purposes is the withdrawal date used by the institution in accordance with 34 CFR § 668.22(b) or (c). However, notwithstanding the requirement that the institution perform a Return of Title IV funds calculation for students when an institution unexpectedly ceases operation during a payment period and fails to reopen during that payment period, we permit an institution to defer reporting an affected student’s enrollment status as “withdrawn” in these circumstances when the institution has a reasonable expectation that—

    1. The institution will reopen at the start of a payment period that begins no later than 90 days following the closure; and

    2. The student will resume attendance when the institution reopens.

    In these cases, the institution should continue reporting the most recent enrollment status that it reported for the affected student prior to the closure. If the student does not resume attendance as expected, the institution must change the student’s enrollment status to “withdrawn” using the student’s actual withdrawal date as the enrollment status effective date.

    While the coronavirus threat to the American public remains low, we encourage school communities to take all steps to ensure the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff. We established the website, https://www.ed.gov/coronavirus?src=feature, to provide general information and guidance for school communities, including links to information posted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. We appreciate your cooperation and welcome any additional questions at COVID-19@ed.gov.

    Previous College Communications

    March 27, 2020

    Dear UC students,

    This past week we have seen the resiliency of our Utica College community in adapting to online learning due to the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. I want to thank you again for your remarkable understanding and flexibility, and I also want to remind you that your faculty and I, as well as many others, are here to support you in any way we can.

    While some of you have already reached out, I’d like to put forth an opportunity for any of you with questions to ask them and hopefully get the answers you seek. That’s why on Monday, March 30 at 4:00 p.m. I’ll be hosting a virtual Q&A for students via Webex. You can access this session by visiting utica.edu/online-learning-questions. You can submit your questions realtime via chat, or, if you aren’t able to log in for the live session, you can submit questions ahead of time at this same site. We’ll post a recording of the session afterwards so everyone can participate.

    There is no prepared presentation. Rather, I’m here to answer questions and address concerns you might have related to your online classes, advising and registration, or any other issue involved with your virtual learning experience.

    I’m so proud of the incredible work you have shown throughout this academic year, but most notable in this time of turbulence. I look forward to connecting with you next week. In the meantime, I hope you stay well and remain in good spirits.

    Sincerely,
    Todd Pfannestiel
    Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

    March 25, 2020

    Good afternoon, UC students.

    Thank you again for your great effort and strong spirit as we temporarily continue your Utica College learning experience in a virtual environment. I know your faculty appreciate your work and attention to detail as they spend many hours preparing the best learning experience for you.

    While this disruption has created challenges, we also work to maintain as much of the regular rhythm to your semester as possible. Thus, I write today to remind you that we already look forward to the Fall 2020 term, and wish to remind you about pre-registration for both the Summer and Fall terms. The course schedules are already available on the Utica College website, and registration for ground students begins on April 6.

    As you prepare to schedule courses, you should be in touch with faculty advisers and success coaches. For some, this contact may have already occurred, or will occur in the coming week. Watch for your faculty adviser to engage with you in any variety of virtual formats to discuss your degree requirements and learn about your course interests. Also, do not forget that some faculty may use your Navigate system to share notes with you. Success Coaches are also available to assist in this process as you build your schedules. Beginning April 13, they will proactively reach out to all students who have not yet registered or have not completed a full schedule.

    To assist in the registration process for this cycle only, we are providing generic PINs directly to students in order to expedite your registration when your time to schedule arrives. To register for the Summer 2020 term, please use the PIN 202050. To register for the Fall 2020 term, please use the PIN 202080.

    It’s during difficult times such as these that looking forward to an exciting future helps. So please spend time thinking about the exciting classes you can take in the Summer and Fall, and let us assist in making those schedules a reality. Don’t delay in this important process.


    Sincerely,
    Todd Pfannestiel
    Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

    Dear Utica College Student,

    As we kick off the week moving to online classes, I want to share with you our plans to continue to meet your student needs outside the classroom. Utica College is known for providing a vibrant student experience and we want this to continue in our new virtual campus community.

    Click on this link to find information on the Dean of Students, Campus Safety, Counseling Center, Health Center, the Center for Career and Professional Development, Student Conduct, Title IX, Bias Response and Reporting Network, Behavioral Intervention Team, New Student Programs, Student Government and Student Living and College Engagement (SLCE).

    We are all here to serve you and make the best out of the situation we are in. Also, please continue to keep you, your families, and our communities safe by practicing social distancing and good hygiene such as handwashing, and quarantining if you have any of the symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone that does. Be safe and be well!

    Timothy Ecklund, PhD
    Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students and Campus Life

    March 25, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    As the College continues to pursue its mission under these extremely challenging circumstances, I wanted to offer a brief update on some of the key initiatives we are undertaking in response to this unfolding national crisis.

    • We continue to work closely with our faculty and student life staff to identify issues students are having with the transition to online instruction, as well as any personal hardships they may be facing. Fortunately, as the days go by, reports of new concerns are becoming fewer and fewer, and the ones we’re encountering are being successfully addressed. My great thanks to faculty, staff, and students for their tremendous patience and resiliency.
    • As previously shared, advising and registration for summer and fall courses will begin on April 6 as scheduled, only in the virtual environment. Students can refer to the communication from Provost Pfannestiel earlier this afternoon for specific details and guidance.
    • Our student affairs professionals have worked incredibly diligently to ensure the continuity of important services like student health services, counseling, career and professional development, Title IX, and the Bias Response and Reporting Network. Please refer to the communication sent today by Dean of Students Tim Ecklund for specific information about access to these services.
    • We are determined that this year’s Commencement will be held in person, albeit at a later date. There is no appropriate substitute for this ceremony of recognition, and it is imperative that we do this for our students and their families. We are targeting the first half of August, but of course this remains tentative. We will continue to update you as plans develop.
    • In place of the previously planned April 2 Day of Giving, The Office of Advancement will engage alumni and friends in a targeted fundraising initiative focused on supporting students and areas of the College most severely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. This is an essential component in our response to the current crisis, and I encourage everyone to lend their support.
    • Finally, we are carefully reviewing details of the stimulus bill passed by Congress early this morning as it relates to relief for higher education institutions and students. I will share more details once we have a better sense of what the legislation contains.

    As always, I am grateful for your continued support and cooperation during these difficult times. Stay well and keep your spirits up – we will get through this together.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 23, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    For tens of millions of Americans under stay-at-home orders as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to rapidly unfold, today marked the start of a temporary new normal. For us here at UC, that includes resuming all in-person classes in the online environment.

    Our primary focus remains on protecting the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff. We are also fully engaged with meeting the challenges of this crisis from an operational standpoint, concentrating our efforts on several key areas that are critical to fulfilling our mission and maintaining our strength as an institution.

    • Maintaining our commitment to academic quality and student success. With our move from in-person to online instruction, we must ensure that our students successfully complete the spring semester and have a positive experience doing so. Our faculty and staff are working hard to maintain the highest academic quality though this transition, and we are confident that our students will be well served by these efforts. This includes a sharp focus on promptly assisting students who experience challenges, such as web connectivity and other technology issues, time management, or personal hardships related to the crisis.
    • Planning for the fall semester. Equally important is our effort to register our students for courses in the fall term. We are working to provide resources to support our faculty in virtual advising, and making the advising process for our students, faculty, and success coaches as seamless as possible. Additional information is soon forthcoming.
    • Bringing in the next class. While our enrollment efforts, like academic instruction, have moved to a virtual environment, our admissions team is pressing forward in the face of unprecedented challenges, adapting to this new market environment with ingenuity and determination. These are indeed uncharted waters for every institution, but we are continuing to vigorously make the case for choosing UC.
    • Pulling together as a community. As our classmates, colleagues, and coworkers struggle to cope with the profound disruption and isolation brought about by this health and economic crisis, we must make every effort to provide comfort and support. It is incumbent upon each one of us to find ways of reaching out to one another in these difficult days and of keeping UC close, even if it must be done from a distance.

    These are, unquestionably, uniquely challenging times. But if we rely on our considerable strengths as an institution – our robust sense of community, our long experience in online learning, our history of innovation and responsiveness – we will come through this crisis stronger than before.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Students,

    Welcome back, virtually, from Spring Break. As we resume instruction tomorrow, I write to you on behalf of your faculty, President Casamento, myself, and the entire UC team to thank you in advance for the effort you will put forth in the coming weeks to continue your learning in a virtual environment and reach a successful conclusion to the Spring term. While many of you have participated in an online course before, we also realize this will be a new experience for everyone as we adjust to a temporary new norm. When we began the Spring term, no one could have imagined we would be attempting to wrap it up in this fashion; yet here we find ourselves.

    As you complete your coursework in the coming weeks, please remember that your faculty, the entire UC family, and I are here to support you. Whatever questions or concerns you have, don't hesitate to contact your faculty and success coaches; I assure you we will resolve them. With all we have faced thus far, nothing is insurmountable at this juncture. We know you face a new norm at home as well, whether that be employment or additional responsibilities in support of your families. We can work with you to balance your education with those responsibilities. In fact, that is why our students are the very definition of Utica College--you are Pioneers because of your commitment to yourselves, your families, and your future. Together, we'll work to ensure that your education continues successfully in support of all of those commitments.

    On behalf of the entire Utica College family, we couldn't be more proud of our students, especially at this challenging time. With sincere thanks and best wishes--please stay safe and healthy,

    Todd

    Dr. Todd Pfannestiel
    Provost & Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

    March 21, 2020

    Dear Student,

    I wanted to take a moment to share with you my thoughts on the challenges facing us as a result of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

    I am certain that, in recent weeks, your life has been disrupted in any number of ways. Let me say, first of all, that I hope you and your loved ones are staying safe and well in these difficult days. As you work through the many complexities that this pandemic is presenting for families across the nation, please know that you can rely on our continued support in the weeks and months ahead.

    As you know, as part of our response to the emerging COVID-19 crisis, we have transitioned all campus-based classes to fully online instruction for the remainder of the Spring semester. Our remarkable faculty and professional staff have made this conversion in a matter of days, and I am extremely proud of what they’ve accomplished in such a short time.

    Of course, this necessary transition would not be possible without the substantial institutional investment we have made in our online learning platform over the past fifteen years. There’s no question the confidence our online students have placed in us and the valuable feedback you have provided over the years have helped make us a leader in distance learning. This experience allows us to better serve the needs of all of our students in these challenging times.

    I speak for everyone at the College when I say that we greatly value our partnership with online learners, and that we are grateful for the opportunity to help you achieve your life goals. Rest assured, with continued vigilance, we will come through this crisis together as a community, and we will be the stronger for it.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 20, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    I have only a few updates to share with you today, which, at least on some level, is comforting.

    • To begin, please be advised that, as we anticipated, Governor Cuomo has ordered that all employers providing non-essential services cease in-person operations and require all employees to work fully remotely. Colleges and universities are not included in the Governor’s category of essential services; however, certain auxiliary services like campus safety, facilities, and dining services as well as residential area coordinators are exempted. Therefore, until further notice, all faculty and staff other than those listed above will be performing their duties remotely unless explicitly instructed otherwise.
    • Provost Pfannestiel and Deans Aaronson, Barker, and Hallock remain in regular communication with our faculty, in close coordination with our Center for Innovative Learning, Instructional Design, and IITS teams, to ensure the shift to online classes is as seamless as possible. Professors are actively engaging with the students in their classes to provide specific guidance and instruction in preparation for classes resuming this Monday. Meanwhile, staff in the Library and Learning Commons, Learning Services, Counseling Services, Center for Student Success, Center for Career and Professional Development, Registrar, and many other areas have spent enormous time and energy this week preparing so that we are ready to fully serve and support students throughout this period. As I fully expected, our long history of online instruction, coupled with the incredible dedication and truly “all-hands-on-deck” approach that our faculty and staff have brought to this challenge, is paying great dividends.
    • Registration for Summer ’20 and Fall ’20 classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, April 6. By and large, the registration process will continue business as usual. The only modification is that all faculty advising, meetings with student success coaches, and course registration will take place in the virtual environment. Specific details and instructions, including information about registration PINs, will be communicated directly to students and advisors as we get closer to registration week.

    I would also like to take a moment to address a couple of common questions and concerns that members of the UC Community have shared with me over the past couple of days. As you might imagine, most of the questions people are continually asking begin with the word that’s on all of our minds: When? For example, a popular question is:

    When will students be able to return to campus to retrieve belongings from the residence halls?

    We, of course, don’t know the answer to the broader question of when we will return to the normalcy of campus life. We can only rely on the guidance of health experts, and in the meantime we must follow, to the letter, the government and public health directives that everyone is operating under. We are making plans for students to return to retrieve their belongings. We are planning around a target date of mid-May, but understand this is simply a hopeful estimate at this point.

    Until then, I ask that you continue to be patient and that you maintain perspective during these challenging times. All belongings in the residence halls are secured. Campus Safety is monitoring the entrances to campus and all individual facilities on a 24/7 basis.

    What should I do if I show symptoms of COVID-19 and/or receive a confirmed diagnosis?

    While we have been tremendously fortunate that there have been no presumptive cases of COVID-19 thus far among the Utica College community, we are not naïve as to how this health crisis in unfolding across the world and nation, including in our own respective backyards. Should you become sick, you must first prioritize your personal health and safety. I encourage you to follow the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/if-you-are-sick/index.html. So that we can continue to monitor and protect the health and safety of all members of the UC community, it is very important that you also e-mail emermgt@utica.edu in the event you experience symptoms or believe you have possibly been exposed.

    In closing, I want to acknowledge the many students, faculty, staff, and parents who have contacted me directly to share words of encouragement as well as thoughtful questions and concerns. I remain very grateful for the support you continue to show me and, more importantly, the support you have shown one another.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 18, 2020

    Dear Colleagues:

    Earlier this afternoon, Governor Cuomo issued an executive order requiring all employers, including colleges and universities, to immediately reduce on-site staff in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To that end, I am writing to offer clarification on the important matter of what individuals and areas will have physical access to campus, including Clark City Center, after the College temporarily moves fully to remote operations beginning Monday, March 23.

    Faculty

    Faculty members who are using technology-equipped classrooms and other resources physically on campus to prepare their courses for online instruction have until Sunday, March 22 to complete this work. If there is a challenge related to lack of physical access to campus that prohibits you from completing the transition of your course to an online format by Monday, I ask that you please convey that to your dean. Exceptional circumstances will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. Please understand, however, that we anticipate a time in the near future, and possibly before Monday, when further government directives and other circumstances beyond our control will dictate that we completely end physical access to campus. Please prepare accordingly. The Provost and School Deans will continue to provide specific instruction and further guidance as it relates to online academic delivery.

    Academic Operations

    The Center for Innovative Learning, Instructional Design, Library, and IITS will likewise fully move to remote operations, beginning Monday, March 23. Staff members in these areas should communicate directly with their supervisors for specific direction.

    Professional Staff

    Only those employees required to maintain critical on-site College operations, including mailroom, payroll, and enrollment operations/essential admissions staff, are permitted on campus. All others should expect to work remotely until further notice unless explicitly told otherwise by their vice president.

    Campus Safety and Facilities Management

    All Campus Safety and Facilities Management personnel are to continue to report to campus as normal until advised otherwise by Director of Emergency Management Shad Crowe and Vice President for College Infrastructure Matthew Carr, respectively.

    I encourage everyone to refer to the Office of Human Resources e-mail message of March 16 regarding “Tips for Telecommuting.” In addition, please continue to regularly consult utica.edu/coronavirus for updates and guidance, including information about native Banner access, VPN, and other resources for remote academic and administrative activity. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your supervisor for clear direction, and know that sharing your concerns through social media is not the quickest path toward clarification or resolution.

    The challenges brought on by the coronavirus crisis remain unpredictable and disruptive to an almost unprecedented degree. During these extraordinary and unsettled times, however, I have the highest confidence that we will maintain the exceptional quality and continuity of our academic instruction, support services, and business operations. Our students expect nothing less of us.

    I cannot fully capture how grateful I am for your patience, flexibility, and, most especially, your resiliency and resolve on behalf of our students and the institution.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 17, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    Earlier this morning, public health authorities confirmed the first positive case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Oneida County.

    We have been vigorously planning for this inevitability for the past two months. Be assured that we are well prepared to meet the long-range challenge of this global crisis, as it affects the Utica College community. For the moment, however, we are focused on the immediate priorities at hand.

    To that end, we must take the following actions in response to the emerging developments and the wide-sweeping impact.  

    • Our highest priority, particularly in light of strong signals of a potential government ban on domestic travel, is ensuring that students who are still on campus return home safely in the upcoming days. We have individually contacted each of them, and we are providing support in every way we can, including transportation assistance.
    • As communicated yesterday, we have moved all academic instruction to an entirely online format through the end of the spring semester. Classes will resume on Monday, March 23. Faculty will be regularly communicating with the students in their classes with specific instructions.
    • On the recommendation of public health authorities and infectious disease experts, who are cautioning that it will be at least six to eight weeks before the current COVID-19 situation begins to subside, we are postponing all in-person graduation events, including Commencement. Creative conversations are already in motion to consider a number of alternative methods for celebrating the graduating class. These include a virtual event in May and a possible in-person celebration at Homecoming. We will be reaching out to students, faculty, and staff for input and feedback.
    • Effective Monday, March 23, no faculty or staff members are permitted to enter campus. Should anyone require access to campus, they should e-mail emermgt@utica.edu or call Campus Safety at (315) 792-3046. Any exceptions for essential personnel will be communicated directly by the respective vice presidents.
    • We will soon begin processing room and board reimbursements for residential students. We will be issuing reimbursements solely through direct deposit, as our ability to print and mail checks is limited by the restrictions in place. Students who are not already registered for direct deposit are strongly encouraged to do so by the end of this week. To register, log onto bannerweb.utica.edu and click in the follow sequence: Student Services > Student Account > Access My Account > Enroll in Direct Deposit.
    • In order to mitigate the financial impact that Utica College, like every institution and business in all economic sectors, will face in the aftermath of this health crisis, we are enacting an immediate hiring freeze and placing a hold on non-essential spending.

    I understand that you have many questions during these unsettling times. We are working quickly to address all of the short- and longer-term issues this situation is causing. In the meantime, I continue to ask for your patience, understanding, and flexibility.

    Provost Pfannestiel said it best yesterday when he explained to our faculty, “We must prepare the best we can for an immediate future that seems to change daily.”

    I will continue to keep you informed as we do just that.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 17, 2020

    Dear Students and Parents:

    Over the past two months, I have made a series of very difficult decisions to protect the Utica College community from the rapidly escalating coronavirus health crisis that has now reached the stage of pandemic and caused national, state, and local state of emergency declarations. The consequences of these decisions are not lost on me. In fact, they’ve broken my heart.

    Since news of the coronavirus and its worldwide impact first emerged, and especially through the more recent guidance to colleges and universities to suspend residential instruction, I’ve committed to doing everything possible to provide a safe environment for students with concerns about returning home. As long as students believed the UC campus was the safest place for them to be, I was committed to making that option available.

    Yesterday was a turning point. The heightened restrictions enacted by federal, state, and local authorities unfortunately forced our hand. These restrictions make it impossible for us to provide essential on-campus services like dining, counseling, and health services, leaving no other choice but to close the residence halls. I recognize that this may represent a significant hardship for some students. We are reaching out to each affected student to determine what assistance and support we can provide in ensuring their safe return home.

    Please understand that these recent decisions, as is often the case in times of large-scale crisis, were made for us, not by us. At the same time, we can’t lose sight of the larger picture. The world’s leading public health authorities and infectious disease experts have been adamant that the coronavirus crisis demands an “all-country approach.” This is a very serious situation. We need to do our part. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for your understanding, resiliency, cooperation, and support.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 16, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    Over the past several weeks, we have closely monitored the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as it affects students, faculty, and staff as well as the surrounding community. This evening, it is with great regret that I must inform you of the following developments in this emerging situation.

    • We will be closing all residence halls, effective Wednesday, March 18 at 6:00 p.m. Despite our best efforts to provide residential services for those students who have remained on campus, new and heightened restrictions enacted today by federal, state, and local authorities have made it impossible for us to continue to do so. We recognize that this may represent a significant hardship for some of these students, and we are reaching out to those students affected to determine what assistance and support we can provide in ensuring their safe return home.
    • In-person classes are suspended for the rest of the spring semester. All classes will resume in an online format on Monday, March 23, as previously communicated. We will secure our residential students’ belongings and make arrangements for students to return to campus to collect their possessions when it is safe for them to do so. Information on refunds for room and board expenses will be forthcoming.
    • Professional staff should continue to consult with their supervisors for instructions on how to proceed with their remote work situations. Previous advisories on telecommuting remain in effect.

    While there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of COVID-19 among the Utica College community, the developing crisis in the broader community and across the nation has made it necessary for us to act decisively. We are taking these difficult measures under the guidance of public health authorities and infectious disease experts and in consultation with our emergency management personnel, academic leadership, and representatives of student government.

    As always, we will do what is necessary to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the surrounding community. With continued vigilance, we will make it through these difficult days together. Thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 16, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    We continue to vigilantly monitor and respond to the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and its impact on the Utica College community as developments change and new information and guidance is made available.

    As I have shared in my previous communications, we are in daily communication with state and local public health authorities, and we are leaning heavily on their best advice, counsel, and direction as well as the expertise of the leading physicians and infectious disease specialists.

    As we take the necessary steps to protect our students, faculty, and staff, we understand the gravity of the situation and that, whether at the campus, local, or even the global level, we are all in this together. This is why at every step over the past several weeks we have coordinated our response and resources with the larger-scale efforts involving federal, state, and local public health agencies and health care providers.

    One example of this collaboration is the community-based COVID-19 sampling station that will open later this morning at the vacant Burrstone House. While there have been no cases of coronavirus confirmed in Oneida County as of yet, this initiative addresses a critical preventative need in our surrounding community.

    The sampling station, which will be operated by the Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) and Mohawk Valley Health System (MVHS), will provide drive-through evaluation and testing for patients with a doctor’s order. Given its close proximity to the MVHS St. Luke’s Medical Campus, Burrstone House provides an ideal non-hospital screening location that will help prevent hospital overcrowding. We are also working with OCHD and MVHS to arrange for isolation spaces and other screening measures at Burrstone House.

    We will do our part in working together through this global issue. I remain grateful for your patience, cooperation, and support.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 15, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    I am writing to share the latest information regarding the College’s response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

    • First, I want to update you on the Utica College employee who self-disclosed to the College on Thursday that s/he/they was potentially exposed to a person who has tested positive for novel coronavirus. This employee continues to show no symptoms, is in self-isolation, is not presumed to have been infected, and remains in regular contact with our Office of Emergency Management. We will notify you if this situation changes.
    • Effective this evening at 7:00 p.m. and until further notice, the only students permitted on campus are those who have already notified the College that they will be remaining in the residence halls while in-person classes are suspended.
    • We have provided information regarding online learning technology resources for students, faculty, and staff on the Coronavirus Precautionary Information and Updates page, which is immediately accessible from the top bar of the homepage and all other pages. This information will be updated regularly.

    I encourage you to continue consulting utica.edu/coronavirus for the latest information and guidance. I remain grateful for your patience, cooperation, and support.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 15, 2020

    Dear Students:

    We are in the midst of a worldwide pandemic and national state of emergency. The reality and weight of these words are not lost on me. I know they are not lost on you.

    Like you, I have many questions, one in particular that I’ve asked myself repeatedly over the past week: When will we get back to the routine of our normal lives? Of course, not even the public health authorities and infectious disease experts can say for certain. (Trust me; I’ve asked our microbiology faculty dozens of times over the past week). What we can do in the face of this uncertainty, and what we will do, is continue to exercise caution and patience, support one another, and do our best to alleviate each other’s concerns.

    Along these lines, I hope you will attend a special meeting this afternoon with Dean of Students Tim Ecklund and Executive Director for Student Living and College Engagement Scott Nonemaker. The meeting will take place at 2:00 p.m. in the Dome.

    While I’m not able to join you, I want to share answers to several questions that students sent me through e-mail or text message over the past forty-eight hours.

    Are students permitted to leave campus? If so, do they need to receive permission?

    Based on the best guidance we have from public health experts, we strongly encourage you to leave campus only in the event of an emergency. We understand students may need to leave campus to buy certain allergy-safe food items, medicine, and other items, commute to work, and go to medical appointments. To the fullest extent possible, we encourage you to purchase items online (or by phone) and have them mailed to you on campus or delivered to the Welcome Center. We will continue to work with students and do whatever we can to address individual circumstances and needs. Please continue to notify Dean Ecklund and the Office of Campus Safety of any specific concerns.

    Will the mailroom remain open?

    Yes. You can send and receive packages and other mail as you normally would. It’s important to note here that even while we have temporarily moved to conducting certain administrative and business operations remotely, we are continuing to deliver services, while simultaneously prioritizing the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff.

    What effect will moving classes to online instruction impact Title IX and bias reporting?

    It will have zero effect. The resources and procedures supporting processes like Title IX and bias reporting processes are unaffected by the health and safety measures we’ve taken. The Title IX Coordinator and all of the members of the Bias Response and Referral Network (BRRN) will continue to be physically on campus on a daily basis. This is because we fully recognize that issues of discrimination, bias, harassment, and threatening behavior can occur anywhere, in person or online.

    Is the campus closed?

    The UC campus is here for one reason: to serve students. Even amid the current concerns surrounding COVID-19, we recognize this campus is, for a variety of reasons, the safest place for many of our students to be. If we have only one student on campus, we will not “close.” We will continue to provide necessary services, including student health and counseling.

    How and why is the College restricting and monitoring access to campus?

    For the past several weeks, we have been working in close consultation and coordination with federal, state, and local authorities. Our actions are guided by the best information and advice we have available, realizing that restrictions and impacts are changing daily. With regard to campus access, government and public health officials have advised us to take every measure possible to limit, control, and monitor who is on campus. As I previous communicated, we have canceled public events, prohibited guests in the residence halls, and limited all other visitors to essential service providers, among other preemptive measures. In addition, in order to monitor and mitigate the risk of exposure, we are asking everyone to individually swipe into all buildings and refrain from holding doors for other individuals. Beginning this evening at 7:00 p.m., we are closing the Champlin Avenue entrance/exit in order to limit access to campus; at that time both entrances to campus will be monitored 24/7 by Campus Safety. We have taken these measures so that we can provide the best data possible to government and public health officials, as necessary.

    In closing, let me say again that I understand the uneasiness, frustration, and inconvenience that this situation is causing everyone. Suffice to say, this is not how any of us envisioned spending our Spring Break. I promise you that, with continued vigilance, and a fair amount of patience, we will return to the normalcy of campus life in due time.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 14, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    I am writing to update you on the actions we are taking to monitor and protect the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff in light of the worldwide coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and growing concerns of a local outbreak. If you have not already done so, I encourage you to bookmark and regularly consult the website we have developed to keep you informed of the latest information and guidance, utica.edu/coronavirus.

    • I shared yesterday that a Utica College employee self-disclosed to the College that s/he/they was potentially exposed to a person who has tested positive for novel coronavirus. This employee is in self-isolation, has not displayed any symptoms, is not presumed to have been infected, and remains in regular contact with our Office of Emergency Management.
    • All residential students, including RAs, who are able to travel home safely and have appropriate means of regularly accessing online instruction and assignments, are encouraged to do so by no later than tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. Students should be certain to take all textbooks, course materials, and other critical items with them when departing campus.
    • Residence halls will remain open and dining options will be made available for students who have concerns about leaving campus or have other unique circumstances or hardships.
    • All in-person classes will resume on Monday, March 23 in an online environment. I want to thank our faculty, Center for Innovative Learning personnel, instructional designers, and IITS team for how well this transition has gone. They are working through remaining specific details. Students, if you have not heard yet from all of your professors, please sit tight. You will be receiving specific instructions in the days ahead.
    • I understand that students – both those remaining in the residence halls and those who have returned home – will continue to have many questions, including about the availability of academic and non-academic services. We will be communicating directly to you in the days ahead.
    • Faculty will continue to have access to campus during spring break. Until further notice, only professional staff members in the following areas will have access to campus: Campus Safety, Academic Affairs, Dining Services, Student Life and Enrollment Management, Student Health Center, Facilities Management, Financial Affairs, Gannett Library, IITS, Center for Innovative Learning, and Instructional Design. All professional staff members, including staff in these areas, should consult with their supervisor and/or respective vice president and are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@utica.edu with any questions or concerns.
    • All campus buildings are under 24/7 credentialed access control. In order to monitor and mitigate, to the extent possible, the risk of exposure, we are asking everyone to individually swipe into all buildings and refrain from holding doors for other individuals. Beginning Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m., we are closing the Champlin Avenue entrance/exit in order to limit access to campus; at that time both entrances to campus will be monitored 24/7 by Campus Safety. We have taken these measures so that we can provide the best data possible to government and public health officials, as necessary.
    • Per the guidance from the CDC and Oneida County Department of Health, we are closing Gannett Library and Clark Athletic Center until further notice. We are doing this, out of an abundance of caution, so that we can thoroughly clean and sanitize all touch point surfaces in these facilities, as they normally have the highest amounts of traffic by members outside of the UC community. The library basement, including all computer labs, will remain open and accessible via the main building entrance. The Library and Learning Commons remain fully accessible online at utica.edu/library
    • Any student who is facing a financial, emotional, or other personal hardship or food insecurity is strongly encouraged to contact Dean of Students Tim Ecklund at trecklun@utica.edu so that we can provide support and assistance on an individual basis.

    I cannot stress enough that even while there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus among the Utica College community, this is a very serious and rapidly changing situation.

    During these extraordinary and unsettled times, I want to assure you that the College’s leadership, faculty and staff, and student government representatives, are fully committed to doing everything we can to maintain a learning, living, and working environment that is as normal as reasonably possible. I remain grateful for your patience, cooperation, and support.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 13, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    Last evening, a Utica College employee self-disclosed to the College that s/he/they has had high-risk exposure to the coronavirus. This employee is in self-isolation, has not tested positive, and is not presumed to have been infected.

    We know from all accounts, however, that the likelihood of confirmed cases in close vicinity to Utica College is very high, if not inevitable. The College has been actively preparing for this scenario for several weeks, and for the safety of all students, faculty, and staff we are adjusting our protocols as outlined below. I understand this is a change from what I communicated as recently as last evening, but the rapidly changing circumstances require these expanded measures.

    • All residential students, including RAs, who are able to travel home safely and have appropriate means of regularly accessing online instruction and assignments, are encouraged to do so by no later than Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m. Students should be certain to take all textbooks, course materials, and other critical items with them before they depart campus.
    • No visitors will be permitted on campus after 5:00 p.m. today with the exception of family or friends who are assisting students with leaving residence halls. These guests will not be permitted past Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m.
    • Residence halls will remain open and dining options will be made available for all students who have concerns about leaving campus or have other unique circumstances or hardships.
    • If you need to remain in the residence halls, you are required to submit a new information form, regardless of whether you have previously completed the form. I understand this is an inconvenience, but we need the most up-to-date information to ensure everyone’s safety. The new form is available at https://forms.gle/TMd3XbNRFZoQs5Cx7.
    • All students who remain on campus are strongly encouraged to stay on campus as much as possible, and are reminded to practice personal preventive health measures. Students who have specific concerns or circumstances should notify the Office of Emergency Management by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu and appropriate accommodations will be made.
    • All other students, including students who commute to campus, are prohibited from coming on campus, effective this evening at 5:00 p.m. Commuter students who have unique circumstances that require them to stay or come onto campus should e-mail emermgt@utica.edu and considerations will be made on a case-by-case basis.
    • All in-person classes will be held online beginning on Monday, March 23. We anticipate resuming in-person classes on Monday, April 13. We will continue to monitor the situation, and we will regularly update all members of the UC community of any changes.
    • Effective Saturday, March 14 at 9:00 a.m., employee access to campus will be restricted to faculty and personnel in the following areas: Academic Affairs, Emergency Management, Campus Safety, Dining Services, Student Life and Enrollment Management, the Student Health Center, Facilities Management, Gannett Library, IITS, the Center for Innovative Learning, and Instructional Design. All professional staff members, including staff in these areas, should consult with their supervisor and are encouraged to contact the Office of Human Resources at hr@utica.edu with any questions or concerns.
    • Beginning Sunday, March 15 at 7:00 p.m., we are closing the Champlin Avenue entrance/exit in order to limit access to campus.
    • Beginning today at 5:00 p.m., access to the Clark City Center is limited to employees.
    • Student employees should contact their supervisors regarding opportunities for remote employment.
    • The on-campus course withdrawal deadline is extended from March 30 to April 13.

    Lastly, I strongly encourage any student who is facing a financial or other personal hardship or food insecurity to contact Dean of Students Tim Ecklund at trecklun@utica.edu so that we can provide support and assistance on an individual basis. Please do not hesitate to ask for help if you need it.

    I know that these necessary changes and additional measures may cause some concern. There is no question but that this ongoing public health challenge is both unpredictable and unsettling. I can only assure you that as we continue to respond to this very fluid situation we will do so out of an abundance of caution with the safety and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff as our primary focus. 

    Thank you, as always, for your patience and cooperation.


    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    March 12, 2020

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    We continue to vigorously respond to the rapidly evolving situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19) with the best information we have available and with the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization, U.S. Department of State, the New York State Governor’s Office, New York State and Oneida County Departments of Health, and other public health experts and local authorities. As we do, we will continue to provide the UC community with regular information and updates.

    Over the past 48 hours, I have held open meetings and Q&A sessions with students, faculty, and staff. I have also received a large number of e-mail, phone, and text messages with additional questions. Frequently asked questions will be compiled along with answers and explanations and published at utica.edu/coronavirus. I encourage everyone to regularly consult the website. The information posted there, including the latest protocols, will be regularly updated as new information and guidance becomes available. As this situation is fluid, please understand that all guidance communicated to the UC community is subject to change.

    Following is a high-level summary of the measures currently in place, including several that have been undertaken since my communication of March 11. Please note the immediate region is defined as of Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego, Oswego, Lewis, Fulton, Montgomery, Hamilton, and Onondaga Counties. We are closely following today’s report of the confirmed case in Herkimer County. Due to the vast geographic region of Herkimer County, until we have more precise information, we are not yet including Herkimer County in the travel restrictions.

    • Effective Monday, March 23, the College will transition all on-campus, in-person classes to online instruction. We anticipate resuming in-person classes on Monday, April 13, and we will re-evaluate as we get closer to that date. (Refer to the earlier communications of March 11 and March 12 for specific details about academic delivery, clinical experiences, and internships.)
    • All residential students are strongly encouraged to remain on campus and all commuter students to remain in the region during this time.
      • All residence halls will remain open, dining options will be made available, and student employment will continue for students who elect to remain on campus.
      • If your best or only access to online learning is through the computer labs, network connections, or other resources available on campus, you should remain on campus in lieu of returning home for spring break. Students who are remaining on campus should complete the following form: https://forms.gle/zY6czqQj33dcz7pV6.
      • Students should be certain to take all textbooks, course materials, and other critical items with them if they choose to depart campus for spring break.
      • No guests will be permitted in the residence halls, beginning on Saturday morning at 10:00 a.m. until in-person classes resume.
      • Students who travel outside of the region will not be permitted back on campus and ID access will be suspended until in-person classes resume.
    • Faculty and staff who are traveling outside of this region must notify the Office of Emergency Management. You may do so by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu.
    • If you are in close contact with anyone who has spent time in an area(s) that has been impacted by a coronavirus outbreak, we request that you self-disclose this information to the Office of Emergency Management. You may do so by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu.
    • All non-essential College-sponsored domestic travel is suspended until further notice. Exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis. College-sponsored international travel is suspended through at least July 31.
    • Effective Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m., we are transitioning to 24/7 credential-access into all campus buildings. Campus Safety will monitor access to Alumni Hall. In order to monitor and mitigate, to the extent possible, the risk of exposure, we are asking everyone to individually swipe into all buildings and refrain from holding doors for other individuals.
    • Per the directive of the Governor’s Office, effective immediately, all public gatherings of 500 individuals or more, are suspended until further notice.
    • Effective immediately, the spring athletics season is suspended until further notice.

    While, as of this communication, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus among the Utica College community, it is important to understand that these measures are being taken solely for the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as the surrounding community. We are responding vigorously in order to mitigate the threat as much as possible. I understand the uneasiness, frustration, and inconvenience that this situation is causing. These are very serious and unprecedented times. We will get through this, but we need to get through it together.

    I remain grateful for your patience and cooperation.


    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Students:

    I hope you will make every effort to join me, as well as the members of my Cabinet, this afternoon for an important meeting and Q&A session. This meeting will be held in the Strebel Auditorium, beginning at 2:30 p.m.

    In the meantime, I would like to provide answers to several of the most common questions I have received since my communication of last evening.

    Students who travel outside of the region will not be permitted back on campus until at least Friday, April 10. How is “region” defined?

    The parameters are subject to change, however, until further notice and on the guidance of state and local public health officials, the College is defining the surrounding region as follows: Oneida, Herkimer, Madison, Otsego, Oswego, Lewis, Fulton, Montgomery, Hamilton and Onondaga Counties.

    If you leave the region without notifying the College and return to campus prior to April 10, you will be suspended and will be subject to the possibility of expulsion. You may do so by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu. Please understand we have made this decision solely with your safety and the safety of the UC community in mind.
     

    May I continue to attend my internship site during and following spring break?

    Students may continue to travel to internship sites within this region, pending the approval of the internship site.
     

    May I continue my clinical experience during and following spring break?

    Per the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the protocols of our clinical partners, students who travel outside of the region, will not be permitted to continue their clinical experiences.
     

    Are guests permitted in the residence halls?

    Through at least Friday, April 10, no guests will be permitted in the residence halls. Students who remain in the residence halls are encouraged to meet with guests elsewhere on campus and are free to come and go on campus, provided they comply with the College’s restrictions against traveling outside of the region.
     

    If I do not elect to remain on campus for spring break and while in-person classes are suspended, will I receive a room and board refund for the time I am gone?

    The College will not be charging any residential students for room and board during the week of spring break. All residential students are strongly encouraged to remain on campus in lieu of traveling home or elsewhere for spring break. The residence halls will remain open, and dining options will continue during and beyond spring break. As such, students who voluntarily decide to leave campus will not receive refunds during any period of time when in-person classes are suspended.
     

    Will there be any restrictions on student organization programming while in-person classes are suspended?

    For students who are remaining on campus, the answer is no. Student organization activities and events will continue as normal, unless event organizers determine otherwise. This situation will be monitored and reviewed on a daily basis.
     

    What is the likelihood that the suspension of in-person classes will be extended beyond April 10?

    Our intention is to resume in-person classes on Monday, April 13. With that said, these are, in many ways, unprecedented times, and this is a rapidly evolving and highly fluid situation. We are in constant communication with public health officials, and all measures we take are guided solely by their expertise and guidance.

    Before I close, let me reiterate that we will continue to act with an abundance of caution, and the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our highest priority. I understand the uneasiness, frustration, and inconvenience this situation is causing. Understand that this is a shared struggle. This is a very serious situation, and one that no community can dismiss or take lightly. We’ll get through this, but we need to get through this together. I need your understanding, patience, and cooperation, and if you have concerns, I need to continue to hear them.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    I am writing to update you on additional preemptive measures that the College is taking to inform, protect, and support students, faculty, and staff, as well as the surrounding community, in light of growing concerns over the coronavirus (COVID-19).

    As of this communication, there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus among the Utica College community. However, in effort to further prevent spread of the virus and reduce the risk to the UC community, the College is taking the following expanded measures.

    • Effective Monday, March 23, the College will transition all on-campus, in-person classes to online instruction. Students involved in clinical experiences will be contacted by their department with guidance. Additional information and guidance will be provided to students and faculty. Courses for ABSN students and students enrolled in fully online programs will continue as normal.
    • The Campus Emergency Management Team (CEMT) is meeting on a daily basis and will continue to actively monitor the situation regarding the coronavirus. The CEMT, in close consultation and coordination with state and local public health officials, will reassess the risk posed to the UC community and the surrounding region. We anticipate resuming inperson classes on Monday, April 13, and we will reevaluate as we get closer to that date. We will continue to update the UC community of any new developments or schedule changes.
    • We strongly encourage all residential students to remain on campus and all commuter students to remain in the region during this time.
    • All residence halls will remain open, dining options will be made available, and student employment will continue for students who elect to remain on campus. If your best or only access to online learning is through the computer labs, network connections, or other resources available on campus, you should remain on campus in lieu of returning home for spring break. Students who are remaining on campus should complete the following form: https://forms.gle/zY6czqQj33dcz7pV6. Guests will not be allowed in the residence halls.
    • Residential students who voluntarily leave campus for spring break will not be permitted to return to campus and ID access will be suspended until in-person classes resume. Students should be certain to take all textbooks, course materials, and other critical items with them if they choose to depart campus for spring break.
    • All commuter students must notify the College by Friday, March 13 at 5:00 p.m. if they are traveling outside of the region during spring break. They may do so by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu. Commuter students who are remaining in the area will be permitted to access campus resources, including designated classrooms, computer labs, and the library, to facilitate their online studies. Those with commuter meal plans will be able to access dining services. Any commuter student who leaves the region during spring break will not be permitted to return to campus and ID access will be suspended until in-person classes resume.
    • Tutoring and related support services will be available to all students at utica.edu/tutoring.
    • All College-sponsored spring break trips, including spring break athletic trips, have been canceled.
    • The on-campus Accepted Student Days scheduled for Saturday, March 28 and Saturday, April 4 will be shifted to virtual settings. On-campus Accepted Student Days will be rescheduled for Saturday, April 18 and Sunday, April 26. All other on-campus events will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
    • All College offices will remain open, and staff will continue to report to work as regularly scheduled. Faculty will continue to have access to campus. Faculty and staff who are planning to travel outside of the region are reminded to email emermgt@utica.edu to ensure proper protocols are followed.
    • We anticipate holding Commencement ceremonies, as planned and scheduled.

    I encourage everyone to continue to consult the Coronavirus Precautionary Information and Updates section of our website, which is immediately accessible from the top bar of the utica.edu homepage.

    We will continue to respond to this situation in an open, cautious, and planful way, with the safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our primary focus. I thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation as we approach these fluid circumstances together.


    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    I am writing to update you on some protocol changes and other important planning measures we are implementing in light of growing concerns around the coronavirus.

    International Travel

    After careful consideration, effective immediately, the College is suspending all international travel through at least July 31. This decision is based on guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), U.S. Department of State, New York Department of Health, and other government and public health agencies. We will be contacting those affected to provide further details.

    In addition, we have suspended our study abroad program in Prague, Czech Republic, where we currently have one student studying. The Provost’s office and the Office of International Education are in communication with this student as well as officials from our partner university to make arrangements for the student’s safe return home.

    I realize that this decision will cause significant disappointment; I share that disappointment with you. Please understand that this decision was made to ensure the safety of our students, faculty, and staff.

    Contingency Planning

    As I communicated yesterday, all residence halls will remain open during spring break and dining options will be made available for any students who are concerned about traveling home.

    As we continue to actively monitor the spread of coronavirus and the associated risk to the UC community, discussions continue with faculty regarding the possibility of suspending in-person classes and moving all courses to a fully online environment. At this time, we are not suspending in-person classes. However, in light of the possibility, students should make important note of the following:

    • So that you are fully prepared for this scenario, be certain to take all textbooks and other critical course materials with you if you decide to leave campus for spring break.
    • If your best or only access to online learning is through the computer labs, network connections, or other resources available on campus, we strongly recommend that you remain on campus in lieu of returning home for spring break.

    On-Campus Events and College-Related Public Events

    I have received numerous inquiries about whether we are planning to cancel, limit, or otherwise modify on-campus events or other large gatherings, such as athletics events, that involve members of the UC community. The Oneida County Department of Health is not recommending we take these steps at this time, and we are following their guidance on this issue. We will continue to closely monitor this fluid situation and respond as circumstances warrant, mindful of Governor Cuomo’s recommendation earlier today to “look at the specifics, look at the map and calibrate our response to the place.”

    As the Governor reiterated today, for regions like Oneida County where there are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus, the threat of an outbreak remains low. Nevertheless, we will continue to aggressively plan for a variety of scenarios, including potential academic and business disruptions.

    I encourage everyone to continue to consult the Coronavirus Precautionary Information and Updates section of our website, which is immediately accessible from top bar of the utica.edu homepage.

    Let me close by assuring you that we will continue to respond to this situation in an open, cautious, and planful way, with the safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our primary focus. I thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Members of the Utica College Community:

    As reports of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in New York and elsewhere in the United States continue to grow, Utica College is aggressively monitoring and responding to the risk of the virus spreading to the UC community.

    As of this communication there are no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus among the Utica College community.

    Nevertheless, on the latest recommendation and guidance of the U.S. Department of State, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), World Health Organization (WHO), New York State and Florida Departments of Health, and Oneida County Department of Health, the College is implementing the following precautionary and preventative measures, effective immediately. 

    • All residence halls will remain open throughout spring break, and dining options will be made available, for any students who are concerned about traveling home. Students who are interested in remaining on campus during spring break, should notify the Office of Student Life and College Engagement by completing the following form: https://forms.gle/zY6czqQj33dcz7pV6. If you have already received permission from SLCE, or if you are a member of an in-season athletics team, you do not need to complete this form.
    • The College is evaluating on a case-by-case basis all College-sponsored travel, including spring break trips. Decisions will be communicated directly to the advisors of affected groups. An important reminder: all students, faculty, and staff embarking on College-sponsored travel are required to notify the College in advance of the trip by e-mailing emermgt@utica.edu.
    • So that the College can monitor travel for potential exposure to the virus and reduce the exposure risk to the UC community, we are requiring all students, faculty, and staff traveling during spring break to complete a travel survey. A link to the survey is available at the top of this page and here. Anyone planning to travel should monitor travel restrictions as they are fluid and subject to change.

    Additionally, the following measures, which were previously communicated, remain in effect.

    • All College-sponsored travel to the countries on the CDC’s list of countries impacted by a coronavirus outbreak (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea) is suspended until further notice. Faculty who have a compelling and urgent need to travel internationally, regardless of destination, are required to inform the Provost. Students and staff who have a compelling and urgent need to travel internationally should e-mail emermgt@utica.edu. Those who intend on traveling overseas should be aware that they may be subject to government quarantine upon returning to the United States.
    • Our study abroad program in Italy is suspended. The two UC students studying in Florence, Italy have safely returned to the U.S. They have not displayed any symptoms of the coronavirus, and they are home with their families while completing the CDCadvised 14-day symptom-monitoring period. The College does not currently have any students, faculty, or staff in the other countries on the CDC’s advisory list. We have developed plans, should they be needed, for other countries or regions in which UC students are currently studying that are not on the CDC advisory list.
    • The Provost’s office is evaluating upcoming international and domestic field experiences in regards to associated government warnings and restrictions.
    • The College is requiring that any employee experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing, persistent cough) refrain from coming to work until the symptoms have resolved. Supervisors are asked to send employees home if they are exhibiting symptoms. Any questions regarding use, availability, and documentation of leave time should be directed to the Office of Human Resources.
    • Students who are experiencing any of these symptoms should refrain from attending class, limit their contact with others, and contact the Student Health Center and/or visit their primary care provider or urgent care center.
    • Regardless of travel, everyone is reminded to practice personal preventative health measures. These measure include washing your hands frequently and meticulously; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoiding contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms; and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available).

    There is, understandably, a high level of concern and uncertainty around this fluid and rapidly evolving situation. Beyond the measures we have already taken, the Campus Emergency Management Team (CEMT), working in close consultation and coordination with state and local public health agencies as well as the infectious disease experts on our own campus, are actively developing additional protocols and contingency plans in the event of a larger-scale threat to our community.

    As we continue to monitor the latest developments, I encourage everyone to regularly consult the CDC website (cdc.gov) for updates and important information and visit this page for updates regarding the College’s protocols and travel restrictions.

    I thank you for your continued understanding and cooperation.

     

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

    Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff:

    Utica College is actively monitoring the developments around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in close consultation with the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local public health agencies as well as the infectious disease experts on our own faculty.

    The spread of the coronavirus is understandably on our minds, especially with the reports this week of the first confirmed case in New York state and the high probability that we will see an increase in cases in the United States.

    At this time, there are no confirmed or suspected cases of the virus in Oneida County or in the vicinities of our ABSN sites in Syracuse, St. Petersburg, FL, and Miramar, FL. Nevertheless, as we have shared in previous communications, the College, under the direction of the Office of Emergency Management, has been moving rapidly over the past six weeks to keep pace with the situation and develop comprehensive response plans in the event of a coronavirus threat to the UC community.

    The College has taken the following precautionary measures related to the coronavirus.

    • On the recommendation of the CDC and the New York State Department of Health, Utica College is are suspending until further notice all College-sponsored travel to the countries on the CDC’s list of countries impacted by a coronavirus outbreak (China, Iran, Italy, Japan, and South Korea). The College will continue to follow government and public health agency recommendations with respect to international travel, and will amend this suspension as appropriate.
    • Also in line with the suggestions of public health officials, effective immediately, we are requiring all students, faculty, and staff who are traveling internationally, regardless of destination, to inform the Office of Emergency Management of their travel plans. You may do so by e-mailing smcrowe@utica.edu or calling (315) 792-3472. Those who intend on traveling overseas should be aware that they may be subject to government quarantine upon returning to the United States.
    • It is worth noting that as of this writing, there are no recommendations from the CDC or other agencies to limit or restrict domestic travel.
    • Utica College has suspended our study abroad program in Italy. The College has been in regular contact with the two UC students studying in Florence, Italy this semester as well as their families. These students have not displayed any symptoms of the coronavirus, nor are there reasons to suspect they have had contact with anyone infected with the virus. Upon their arrival back to the United States, they will return home with their families through the conclusion of spring break. The College does not currently have any students, faculty, or staff in the other countries on the CDC’s advisory list.
    • The College has developed plans, should they be needed, for other countries or regions in which UC students are currently studying that are not on the CDC advisory list, and our Office of Emergency Management is closely monitoring information, guidance, and direction that is released several times a day by the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO).
    • The Office of International Education is currently working to make accommodations for international students who may be unable to travel home. Additional information will be provided to affected students.
    • The Office of the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs is evaluating alternative spring break programs and other upcoming international and domestic field experiences in regards to associated government warnings and restrictions. Decisions involving these programs will be communicated directly to the program organizer and participants.   
    • The College is requiring that any employee experiencing symptoms of acute respiratory illness (e.g. fever, difficulty breathing, persistent cough) refrain from coming to work until the symptoms have resolved. Supervisors are asked to send employees home if they are exhibiting symptoms. Any questions regarding use, availability, and documentation of leave time should be directed to the Office of Human Resources. 
    • Students who are experiencing any of these symptoms should refrain from going to class, limit their contact with others, and contact the Student Health Center and/or visit their primary care provider or urgent care center.
    • Regardless of travel, everyone is reminded to practice personal preventative health measures. These include washing your hands frequently and meticulously; avoiding touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands; avoiding contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms; and covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available). Everyone is also encouraged to regularly consult the CDC website (cdc.gov) for update and important information.

    Beyond these precautionary measures, the Office of Emergency Management, working closely with our government and public health partners, is actively contingency planning for potential large-scale academic and business disruptions in the event the virus spreads closer to one or more of our campus locations. This planning is guided and informed by response plans created during the SARS and H1N1 Influenza and outbreaks. Fortunately, large-scale responses were not needed in those instances, and we are hopeful the same will be true with respect to the coronavirus. Nevertheless, we will continue to plan, monitor, and respond out of an abundance of caution and with the safety of our students, faculty, and staff as our highest priority.  

    Sincerely,
    Laura Casamento
    President

     

    Utica College continues to proactively monitor and assess the spread of the Coronavirus as it relates to the health and well-being of our campus community. We remain in contact with County, State, and National health agencies.

    Currently, there are no known cases of COVID-19 in New York State.

    With that said, as the level of concern grows, it is important that we remain vigilant and plan for any changes in the prevalence of the illness in the U.S.
    The health and well-being of our students, faculty, and staff remains our highest priority as we work together to understand the potential implications of
    the virus.

    The College has established protocols in place to address communicable diseases in the event of an outbreak. COVID-19 precautionary measures remain the same as flu prevention. While there is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19, these simple steps can help stop the spread of this and other respiratory viruses:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    Please remember this may be a difficult time for some members of our international community who are from affected countries. Please continue to be
    mindful and compassionate as they deal with uncertainties about family members in their home countries.

    We continue to encourage all UC community members to take precautions and exercise good preventative health practices, especially as you consider making plans to travel during spring break. To learn more about these practices and for updates about information, protocols, and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health visit:
    https://www.health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/coronavirus/.

    As information develops, we will continue to update the Utica College community.

    Shad M. Crowe
    Director of Emergency Management
    smcrowe@utica.edu  

    Due to recent news reports regarding the ongoing outbreak of a respiratory illness identified as "Novel Coronavirus", Utica College shares the following
    information in collaboration with the Oneida County Department of Health.

    What You Need to Know:

    • There are NO cases of "Novel Coronavirus" in NY State.
    • If you have not traveled to China or have not been in contact with a person known or suspected to have the illness, there is no reason to be concerned at this time.
    • This is an evolving situation. The CDC coronavirus website (listed below) is the best source of up to the minute information.
    • If needed, updates specific to Oneida County will be posted on the Oneida County Department of Health website: OCGOV.net/health
    • While CDC considers this a serious public health concern, based on current information, the immediate health risk to the general public in the United States is considered low at this time.
    • Symptoms are similar to flu-like symptoms and include:
      • Fever (may not always be present)
      • Coughing
      • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Precautions:
      • Wash hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
      • If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer.
      • Avoid contact with sick people and stay home if you are sick.


    Contact Numbers:

    If you need to make an appointment with Utica College Health Services, please call 315-792-3094.

    For further information the visit the Oneida County Health Department website: OCGOV.net/health or call (315) 798-5747.

    Additional Resources:



    Shad M. Crowe
    Director of Emergency Management
    smcrowe@utica.edu
    p: (315) 792-3472

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