Update Regarding COVID-19

Remote learning is in session.

Click here to read the most recent communication by President Jennifer J. Raab.

Click here to read the most recent communication by Dean Mary Cavanaugh

 

(Updated July 20, 2020)

 

The Silberman building is currently closed.

Throughout this public health emergency, we remain committed to our students successfully completing the spring semester and to supporting our faculty’s ongoing teaching, scholarship, and research. All in-person classes and field placements have been suspended and ongoing instruction will use remote methods.We continue to focus on the transition to remote learning and are confident that we can continue to deliver the high-quality instruction that meets our professional standards.

Graduating students, please know that we are making every effort to facilitate your timely attainment of degree requirements for spring and summer 2020. Continuing students, please know that we have created detailed remote learning plan options for you, your field instructors, and field advisors to discuss together.

 

Students

The Silberman School of Social Work has implemented a plan to address permanent or temporary modifications in MSW students’ field education through remote learning activities. These activities will be supervised by your field instructor and field advisor, and will allow for the successful completion of field education learning.

Going forward, Field Education Seminars will be conducted remotely. The content and the schedule (day and time) for the seminar remains the same as your in-person field seminar. If you do not have access to high-speed internet or a computer at home, please contact Rob Lorey, to discuss possible options.

Academic advisement will continue via phone and online options. Please contact Alicia Greene, Pam DeCuir, or Bonnie Zweig The Writing Program will remain operational and available as per the posted schedule.  However, it will be delivered fully online. To take advantage of tele-tutoring please follow these steps: Make an appointment using one of our online scheduling calendars, email your draft as a Word document a minimum of three hours prior to the appointment (please use the email address on the scheduling page), at the scheduled time, call the number listed on the scheduling page to begin. Please contact the Writing Program, if you have any questions.

Financial Aid and Scholarships will not be interrupted by the transition to remote learning.

 

Faculty

We are confident that our faculty will continue to provide students with high-quality remote instruction that meets CSWE accreditation standards and instructional hours. Faculty teaching synchronously (all students online at the time of instruction), must conform to the usual class day and time. Since some students may have difficulty accessing stable, high-speed internet and computers alternative methods should also be available for them to access needed instruction. Remote instruction plans will continue to be reviewed to ensure they address learning outcomes and meet accreditation standards.

 

Remote Teaching & Learning

Students
For the remainder of the semester, you will be learning remotely. Most, if not all, of your professors will use Blackboard to post content as well as assignments and activities. From time to time, you may meet with your professor synchronously, in real-time, using web-based meeting tools including Zoom, Collaborate Ultra and WebEx.

Faculty
For the remainder of the semester, you will be teaching your classes remotely. Please post your content – syllabus, lecture notes, slides, readings, etc. – on Blackboard. Please monitor your Hunter email for training opportunities on Collaborate Ultra, Blackboard, and VoiceThread. Asynchronous teaching means that there are no online meetings and all work is done in Blackboard. Synchronous teaching involves meeting online using a web-based meeting tool.  If you choose to run synchronous sessions, you must adhere to the same class schedule.

 

Travel Restrictions:

If faculty or staff are considering travel, domestic or international, please use the following link as a resource for the most up-to-date information on travel: https://www.cuny.edu/coronavirus/#travel

 

Support for Our Community:

During this stressful time, we want to remind you of support resources available.  For those students in need of additional support we encourage you to reach out to the Counseling and Wellness Services at Hunter College at (212) 772-4931 or by e-mail at personalcounseling@hunter.cuny.edu.

Hunter has a number of excellent resources available to staff to assist in managing these stressful times. Again, we encourage staff to reach out for confidential counseling through EAP by calling 1-888-993-7650.  Online tools are also available to you at www.deeroaks.com, login and password is CUNY.

 


 

Field Education Updates

Students

Dear Students,

As you know, we have been working to transition towards a model of remote learning for our field practicums. Many of your agencies have already been in touch with us with details about the learning plans you have jointly developed.

Graduating students, please know that we are making every effort to facilitate your timely attainment of degree requirements for spring and summer 2020.

Continuing students, please know that we have created detailed remote learning plan options for you, your field instructors, and field advisors to discuss together.

As always, we are grateful for your dedication to service and to your learning, and we know that together we can continue meeting our educational and service missions even under these continually changing and challenging circumstances.

Please continue to monitor your Hunter email for updates and further information.

Sincerely,

Dean Mary Cavanaugh, Associate Dean Carol Bennett-Speight, Dr. Caroline Gelman, MSW Program Director, Dr. Patricia Dempsey, BSW Program Director, and Jill Nawrocki, MSW, BSW Field Education Director

 

 

Field Practicum for Community Partners 

Dear Community Partners,

As we stated in our last message, we are transitioning to a model of remote learning for our field practicums.   We sincerely appreciate all your hard work creating new learning arrangements in this very challenging time during which we are trying to balance agency and student needs.

Field advisors should have already been in touch about developing specific learning plans for each of the students completing field learning in your agency.  We wanted to let you know that we have requested and are awaiting approvals from the State for reduction in hours for some of our cohorts for whom a reduction in hours is possible, and this information will be forthcoming.

If your student is a second-year full-time student who will be graduating in May or the summer of 2020, they have completed the minimum number of hours required by CSWE and NYSED.  We have informed them of this and have asked that they make arrangements with you for a proper and professional termination with your clients and the agency.   If a student is able to continue and participate in remove learning until their last day of field education (May 17, 2020), Silberman will support the decision.

As for students who choose to terminate with their field practicum, we appreciate your understanding and support. Silberman supports them to terminate with their field practicum responsibly and professionally.

In general, termination may take up to two weeks; however, we understand that it needs to be determined by each setting. We appreciate your guidance on this matter.

If your students are in the 18 months Accelerated, Advanced Standing, Union Theological Dual Degree, OYR, or Bank Street Dual Degree programs, please continue with their remote field learning assignments, as we are still waiting for information from New York State regarding reduction in hours in their field practicums.

As for the end-of-semester evaluations, additional information will be forthcoming.

As always, we are grateful for your dedication and commitment to training our students, and we are confident that we will continue this endeavor as we move ahead through these current, challenging circumstances.

We will send you more information once our plans are fully in place.

 

Dear Colleagues,

First of all, thank you for your extraordinary flexibility and efforts as we transition to a model of remote learning for our field practicums.

We know that many of you have already been working with our community partners in developing remote learning plans for our students.

As always, we are grateful for your dedication and contributions to training the next generation of social workers and know that we can count on you as we continue this endeavor even under these constantly changing and challenging circumstances.

We will send you more information once these updated plans are fully in place.

Gratefully,

Dean Mary Cavanaugh, Associate Dean Carol Bennett-Speight, Dr. Caroline Gelman, MSW Program Director, Dr. Patricia Dempsey, BSW Program Director, and Jill Nawrocki, MSW, BSW Field Education Director

 

 


 

Student Services

For students who are unable to receive assistance in person, the Writing Program provides a distance tutoring option that uses Adobe Connect to create a seamless learning experience. To take advantage of tele-tutoring, please follow these steps:

  • Make an appointment using one of our online scheduling calendars.
  • Email your draft as a Word document a minimum of three hours prior to the appointment (using the email address on the scheduling page). At this point, the tutor will send you a link for an Adobe Connect session.
  • At the scheduled time, call the number that the tutor provides you.

Please contact the Writing Program (ch552@hunter.cuny.edu) if you have any questions.

Academic Advisement remains open and available in person as indicated by the schedule found online. If you have any specific needs or concerns around advisement please reach out to Rob Lorey (rlorey@hunter.cuny.edu)

 

If you need assistance or guidance around:

  • Transition to remote learning
  • Registration
  • Degree Audit
  • Academic Issues and Concerns

Please reach out (via email) to our team:

Alicia Greene (ag4602@hunter.cuny.edu)
Pam DeCuir (pdecuir@hunter.cuny.edu)
Bonnie Zweig (bz439@hunter.cuny.edu)

Please be sure you have connectivity and appropriate equipment that supports the move to remote learning coursework. If you have any immediate issues or concerns, please reach out to:

Dr. Caroline Gelman (cgelman@hunter.cuny.edu) or Sandi McCray (smccra@hunter.cuny.edu)

If you have questions or need assistance around:

  • Licensure paperwork
  • Grade Changes
  • Documentation

Please reach out to Leslie Casanova (leslie.casanova@hunter.cuny.edu)

For Field Education inquiries, please reach out to your Field Advisor or Dr. Okuda. For general Field-related questions, please reach out to Ramona Texidor (rt1397@hunter.cuny.edu)

For any all other general inquiries or requests, please email Rob Lorey (rlorey@hunter.cuny.edu)

Please continue to monitor your @myhunter email and the Silberman SSW website for further updates and information around upcoming events (no confirmation around graduation ceremonies yet!)

 


 

Recent COVID-19 Communications

Email: 'Focus on Fall Planning' - Jennifer J. Raab (July 20, 2020)


Subject: “Focus on Fall Planning”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: July 20, 2020

Dear Hunter Faculty and Staff members,

We hope this finds you and your loved ones safe and well. As we continue to work with our “Focus on Fall Planning Committee” to prepare for the semester beginning August 2020, we wanted to share some important information and updates. We describe below how, pursuant to the CUNY Chancellor’s recent memo, we are asking faculty to transition most courses to an online format for Fall 2020. While the majority of classes will be held remotely, we also outline below our approach to planning limited in-person instruction in certain disciplines. Finally, we share our work with our committees to restart other activities on the Hunter campus such as research and creative work and to reopen certain student support areas including study and practice spaces and computer labs.

PROTECTING OUR COMMUNITY: CREATING A SAFE AND HEALTHY CAMPUS

We are grateful to our essential personnel, including our Public Safety Officers, Custodial Staff and faculty supporting animal facilities, for being on campus and maintaining critical operations since the Pause was instituted in March. As our laboratory-based researchers joined other essential personnel on site at the main 68th Street campus in the last few weeks, we have instituted a number of new safety protocols that follow the strict guidance of the New York State Department of Health. For example, we have developed increased cleaning and sanitation procedures, installed physical-distancing signage and hand sanitizers, and instituted both mandatory health trainings and daily health screenings for all campus visitors. We are continuing to work with CUNY to refine and develop new safety practices and procedures as we plan for the Fall 2020 semester. This information is posted on the College’s Focus on Fall website page. As a limited number of faculty, staff and students return this fall, we will continually update these protocols to meet the current health standards and requirements and share this information with the Hunter community.

A ROBUST FALL 2020 STUDENT BODY

We are grateful to faculty and staff who helped support Hunter’s successful summer instruction program and our donors and fundraising team for generous scholarships. Our summer enrollment has been robust—over 40% more undergraduates are taking classes in Summer 2020 than did in Summer 2019. With your help our students are “making summer count!” We are also pleased that our enrollment in all cohorts—including entering freshmen and transfer students—remains strong for Fall 2020.

ENHANCING AND REDESIGNING REMOTE INSTRUCTION

Deans, Program Directors and Chairs will be in contact with all faculty scheduled to teach in the fall to discuss moving classes scheduled on-site to a remote-learning format. As we move to increase the number of classes to be delivered remotely this fall, our priority is supporting faculty to ensure that our online instruction is of the highest quality. To that end, we ask all faculty with fall classes to take advantage of the robust set of trainings and support we have developed to help you retool and prepare for teaching remotely in the coming semester. We are offering compensation to faculty members who utilize a number of these resources and hope you will take advantage of these opportunities to develop or enhance skills in online course design and teaching. Please click here for additional information about the workshops and Virtual Ed Tech Office Hours, and contact Associate Provost Jenny Tuten with any additional questions. We also plan to reopen the Education Technology Center on campus to allow faculty to record lectures and receive on-site support from our ICIT experts. Access will be by appointment only. We will provide more information about how to utilize on-site support in the coming weeks.

We are also committed to making sure that faculty and staff have the technology needed to teach and support students remotely from their homes. Please inform your Dean, Department Chair or Program Director or connect with ICIT if you need additional hardware, software or other technology such as headphones to support your work. Please be assured that the College continues to acquire software to enhance the faculty’s ability to provide remote instruction. For example, this summer a number of classes benefited from Labster, a web-based alternative learning program for activities that would usually take place in campus science labs. We are also continuing to work with CUNY to secure system-wide licenses to an online proctoring software program. Please let us know if there are additional programs that can enhance your instruction in a particular field of study.

We are also aware that there are courses that rely on materials that students, under ordinary circumstances, would access in computer labs or other labs on campus. Please let your Dean, Department Chair or Program Director know if your students will need specific materials or software at home to participate in the learning experience and succeed in your courses. We hope to find ways to help our students access these materials, including bulk purchasing, cost reduction and/or subsidies and home delivery.

As we implement CUNY’s guidance to move classes to a remote format, we would like faculty to consider whether, and to what extent, it is appropriate to offer their particular courses or sections synchronously, asynchronously, or using a combination of the two modes of online instruction. We have asked Deans, Department Chairs and Program Directors to discuss these options with their faculty and urge you to participate in Department Meetings where these and other issues related to the transition to online learning will be discussed. Our goal is to provide students with as much information about the format of their fall classes as soon as possible.

OFFERING LIMITED ON-SITE INSTRUCTION

There is general consensus that student success may be enhanced by on-site instruction in particular areas of study. As a result, the Provost’s Office has been working with Deans and faculty leaders in three specific areas—1) the lab sciences; 2) studio art, film and performance arts; and 3) clinical training—to ascertain which courses, sections and course components faculty would like to teach fully or partially on campus. Please note there are opportunities to offer only certain sessions or sections on campus.

In addition, at the request of our Focus on Fall Planning Committee, we are investigating the possibility of offering in-person on-site instruction of one or two sessions of classes in disciplines outside the Sciences, Arts and Clinical Training. Certain professors have asked about offering their initial class on campus so faculty and students have the opportunity to meet in person before instruction is moved online. Other faculty have asked about on-site final exam sessions. We are examining the feasibility of these requests. Please talk to your Dean, Department Chair or Program Director if you would like to consider a similar option for your class or would like to participate in these discussions.

As faculty members inform us about the importance of holding certain classes or sessions on site, we are asking the Vice President for Administration Lori Mazor and her team and the Focus on Fall and Research Restart Committees to help develop plans to accommodate these limited on-site instructional opportunities to be offered on campus in a manner that meets all State and University safety guidelines. We recognize that some requests for on-site learning involve the opening of the Brookdale and Silberman campuses. We are prepared to reopen these buildings if on-site learning is scheduled and will adapt these campuses in accordance with the strict New York State health and safety protocols implemented at the 68th Street campus.

REOPENING SELECT STUDENT LEARNING AND SUPPORT SPACES

Our Focus on Fall Planning Committee and our Student Services team will make recommendations for limited reopening of select campuses to enhance student learning and support. Areas under consideration include computer labs, specifically those with specialized software, study spaces, the food pantry, music practice rooms, art studios and other areas supporting creative activity. Please let your Chair or Program Director know if you have suggestions about space that should be considered for student access in the fall. We are also examining the feasibility of reopening the Brookdale Dorms for residential use by our students. We are aware that many students would prefer to continue their education and even their online learning from a dormitory room. Please be assured that all plans to reopen select spaces will be developed by the Vice President for Administration and the Focus on Fall Planning Committee in accordance with the safety protocols issued by CUNY and New York State. Additional information will be shared with students in the coming weeks.

ACCESS TO RESEARCH SPACES

We are pleased to report that, working closely with the Research Restart Committee and the individual Hunter faculty serving as Principal Investigators, over 49 Hunter College bench and animal research laboratories have reopened. I am grateful to members of the Research Restart Committee and the Committee Chairs—Dr. Elizabeth Cohn, Associate Provost for Research, Dr. Akira Kawamura, Chair and Associate Professor of Chemistry, and Lori Mazor, Vice President of Administration—for developing the plans and processes that made it possible for Hunter researchers to resume their important work.

COMMUNITY CONSULTATION

In addition to meeting with the Focus on Fall Planning and Research Restart Committees, we are consulting with the Faculty Personnel and Budget Committee, Academic Program Directors, the Senate Administrative Committee, the Senior Administrative Leadership Team, Student Services Directors and Student Government as we develop plans for remote learning, limited return to on-site instruction and reopening of select student support areas. Once our campus planning and consultation are complete, we will submit all plans to the CUNY Central Office for final approval.

While this is not a typical summer, I hope you are finding time to relax and recharge. As always, I am grateful to each of you for all that you do on behalf of our Hunter community.

With appreciation,

Jennifer J. Raab

'CUNY Forward Reopening Plans' - Chancellor Matos Rodríguez (June 10, 2020)


Subject: “CUNY Forward Reopening Plans”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodríguez
Date: June 10, 2020

Dear CUNY Community,

As you know, New York City this week entered the first of four phases of Gov. Cuomo’s New York Forward reopening plan. I wanted to take a moment to discuss the practical ramifications of this process for the University, now and for the weeks and months to come.

In order to begin reopening, the city, as with the other regions of New York State, was required to meet seven health-related metrics involving COVID-19 hospitalizations, testing and contact tracing. The plan’s stipulated trajectory prescribes the in-person reopening of educational institutions in the fourth and final phase, but there are important exceptions that could enable other facets of the University, such as research activity, to return sooner, if the city continues to meet all metrics.

Last month, I established two task forces to provide a roadmap for the physical reopening of our campuses and on-site teaching and support services. The Academic and Student Support Task Force is chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost José Luis Cruz and the Coronavirus Planning Task Force is co-chaired by Executive Vice Chancellor and COO Hector Batista and Senior Vice Chancellor for Institutional Affairs, Strategic Advancement and Special Counsel Glenda Grace. These task forces have been hard at work developing CUNY-wide guidelines that — along with feedback received from various campus-specific groups — will help inform decision-makers as they prepare their college’s individualized, unit-level plans for reopening, which will require formal approval by the CUNY’s central administration before they can take effect.

As you know all 12 sessions of our Summer Term are being conducted by distance learning, and student support services that are currently being provided remotely — including mental health counseling; advisement; library, enrollment management, and career engagement services; student life; development; and inclusion programming — will continue to be delivered in the same way until further notice.

The safety of students, faculty and staff continues to be the primary consideration that guides all University decision-making involving the continuity of our operations. This includes decisions involving the fall semester. Because of the fluid and variable nature of the recovery and reopening efforts, no decision has been made yet about the possibility for resumption of on-campus instruction.

We understand that the uncertainty surrounding the in-person reopening of our campuses will require continued patience, but the circumstances demand a measured pace and the utmost prudence. I will continue to keep you informed of every development, and thank you for your dedication and hard work.

Before I finish, please know that I realize that the recent weeks and months have been exceptionally fraught. Just as the city was beginning to emerge from the pandemic shutdown, the murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis highlighted to all the pernicious evil of racism as well as the need for cultural and structural change in law enforcement and society. As I said, universities can be the engines of change and badly needed reforms. CUNY is committed to being one of those engines. We are proud to serve one of the country’s most diverse university communities, and I am firmly committed to building on that legacy.

Sincerely,

Felo

'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (May 1, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: May 1, 2020

To Hunter College Faculty and Staff,

I hope that this communication finds you and your families safe and healthy. We continue to be deeply thankful for all your hard work throughout the semester. We know that these times are very difficult, and your support for our community and your commitment to the Hunter mission have been nothing short of inspirational. We wanted to share some additional updates as the end of the semester draws closer.

Celebrating Our Students

During this uncertain time, it is more important than ever that we take a moment to celebrate the incredible accomplishments of our students. We are so pleased that so many of you have come together to plan recognition ceremonies for our graduates, and we have been working with chairs and program heads to provide centralized support for these events. This support includes technology and design resources and connections, where appropriate, for alumni and speaker engagement. Graduates have also been invited to walk at Commencement in January 2021 and will receive a graduation package with a cap, tassel, and Commencement program to bring the celebration into their homes.

In addition to completing their Hunter degrees, our students continue to do amazing things, and we are incredibly proud of them. As has become a trend in recent years, Hunter students continue to win prestigious scholarships. Four graduating seniors have received Fulbright Scholarships, a junior received a Barry Goldwater Scholarship, and a senior and a recent alum won Luce Scholarships. Please join me in congratulating these students, and all our students, for their incredible accomplishments.

Special COVID-19 Flexible Grading Policy / Student Discipline Resources

As a reminder, the CUNY Board of Trustees implemented a Flexible Grading Policy to provide students with maximum flexibility as they navigate the challenges associated with the University’s move to distance learning and the current crisis. Please note: This policy applies to all students and all courses at Hunter, including undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral courses. CUNY has created an FAQ to address common questions, and we encourage you to reach out to Vice President Eija Ayravainen with any additional questions you may have.

In addition, Vice President Ayravainen would like to remind faculty of student conduct standards and expectations and corresponding resources available through the Office of Student Conduct. We encourage you to review the policies and procedures that are in place to promote academic integrity and appropriate conduct. You can find more information on the Office of Student Conduct website or reach out to Vice President Ayravainen with any questions.

Summer School

We are grateful for the way so many of you have responded to my call to make this summer as productive as possible for our students. We have already seen enrollment increase by 15% compared to this point last year, and our outreach and recruitment efforts continue. We have launched a new website full of resources, including financial support, for students, and we have enhanced advising for students to help them consider how they can best use this summer to work towards their goals. We are using our new data analytic tool Hunter Navigate to help faculty plan course and section offerings that meet student needs, and we are eager to help you adapt your courses and programs for the remote summer session. Given the unique circumstances of this spring and summer, CUNY has granted campuses the ability to temporarily approve new courses for inclusion in the Pathways curriculum. We are grateful to the Senate leadership for quickly developing a process for campus approval of new courses, and we strongly encourage you to consider if any of your courses meet the Pathways criteria. Please reach out to Associate Provost Mike Steiper with any questions or for help with submitting a proposal before the May 5th deadline.

We continue to create and enhance instructional support and resources for faculty and hope you will continue to engage with these resources. Please remember we will help you update or enhance your technology, including both hardware and software, to support your remote work and instruction; please reach out to your department chair, program director, or director to make a request. In addition to the webinars and office hours many of you participated in this spring, we have created a robust training series taught by experienced instructors and staff that will help faculty adapt their courses to remote instruction. We are in the process of purchasing software that will support remote lab instruction, as well, and will share that information when it is available. All of these resources and best practices are being consolidated into an updated “Handbook for Faculty” that will be available soon for easy reference. We are also supporting faculty participation in programs run by the CUNY School of Professional Studies, with the first cohort of faculty participating this month. For more information about resources available, visit our comprehensive website for faculty, or reach out to Associate Provost Jenny Tuten.

Supporting Students

We are continuing to focus on to how to best support our students. We ask that you continue to direct students who need additional support to Student Services and to work with your department chair to help address academic issues that may arise. As a reminder, we have been able to obtain a significant number of laptops for long-term loan through private donations and an allocation from CUNY, and we have just invested in technology to help boost wireless signals for students that will be available shortly. We have recently launched a mobile distribution program through which we are bringing both food from our Food Pantry and laptops directly to students in their neighborhoods. We continue to distribute much-needed funds to students through the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund and have invested significantly in financial aid for summer school. We ask that you encourage your students who might need additional support to apply for both of these opportunities.

Looking Ahead

The Governor’s New York on PAUSE executive order continues through May 15, and we will continue to watch for guidance on when our campus will physically reopen. We are also waiting to hear from CUNY about decisions for fall instruction. Please be assured that the Hunter leadership team is making plans for various scenarios to continue learning and staying safe.

CUNY has determined that some limitations on international travel are warranted for the Fall 2020 semester. For students, many study abroad programs have been suspended, and other programs, including experiential-learning trips, will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis; Hunter is making arrangements directly with impacted students to support them as they rework their plans for the fall. For faculty and staff, international travel will be permitted except to countries identified as Level 3 or Level 4 by U.S. State Department advisories, and CUNY has granted campus Presidents the authority to grant waivers for some international travel on a case-by-case basis. We encourage you to review the full policy and to speak with your chair, program director, or director about any international travel you have planned for the Fall 2020 semester.

As you know, the economic downturn brought on by the COVID-19 crisis is significantly impacting the finances of the state and city, two of CUNY’s main funding partners, both of whom are projecting large budget deficits. The ongoing and unpredictable impact of this crisis is expected to continue through at least the next academic year; it creates uncertainty about our state funding for the new fiscal year that started April 1, 2020, and puts additional strain on Hunter’s already tight budget. So far, the COVID crisis has had an immediate and significant financial impact on the school in terms of both increased costs and decreased revenue. For example, we have committed unanticipated expenditures for technology to enable students and faculty to transition to remote instruction, heightened safety measures, supplemental cleaning materials, and refunded dorm fees. Hunter has however been allocated $19M through the Federal CARES Act, half of which will be distributed directly to students through a formula developed by CUNY; we are awaiting information from CUNY about the allocation, use, and timing of the other half of the federal funding.

In recognition of these unprecedented budget challenges, CUNY has instituted several new University-wide processes, including a freeze on all new hires and discretionary salary increases, limiting significant one-time recurring or new expenditures, and avoiding entering any new long-term contractual obligations. CUNY has also created a Vacancy Review Committee to evaluate exceptions to the salary and hiring freezes. To deal responsibly with all these challenges, we have been working closely with the Hunter leadership team including vice presidents, deans, program directors, and department chairs to evaluate and revisit many of our expenses and to plan adjustments for the Summer and Fall semesters. We meet regularly with both the College-wide Faculty, Budget and Personnel Committee and the Senate Administrative Committee. We consulted in April with the Senate Budget Committee, will meet with them again before the next Senate meeting, and will provide an update at the May 13 Senate meeting as well. We are also creating a Hunter Stakeholder Task Force consisting of a small group of faculty and staff to review the requests for personnel actions that will be submitted to CUNY and to consult on other strategic approaches to ensure that Hunter’s budget is aligned to our new reality.

Through all of this, please know that the Hunter leadership team is committed to transparency and collaboration as we move our beloved institution forward. I am confident that by working together, we will be able to weather both this economic crisis and the impact of the pandemic on our campus.

Thank you again for your continued perseverance throughout this crisis. You are an exceptional group and we are fortunate to have you in the Hunter family.

With appreciation and best wishes for a restful weekend,

Jennifer J. Raab

'Update from President Raab' - Jennifer J. Raab (April 17, 2020)


Subject: “Update from President Raab”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: April 17, 2020

Dear Students,

We hope that you had a restful and safe break. Now that we are nearing the end of the semester, we want you to start thinking seriously about plans for summer. As with everything else during our current crisis, summer needs to be reconsidered. We know now that aspects of social distancing will continue through summer 2020, and we anticipate that there will be challenges with travel, internships, and employment. Your summer plans may be changing. While summer school may not have been in the cards before, we want you to start thinking about it now, and we’re here to help.

Our current goal at Hunter is to maximize your time this summer and ensure that you stay on the path to graduation. As you can read in my Daily News piece this week, encouraging students to enroll in summer school is Hunter’s call to action for all colleges. To this end, we strongly encourage all continuing students to take at least one class this summer. We are working closely with the faculty to develop a menu of summer classes that will help you advance towards your degree. Pathways courses will be available, as well as major and minor requirements and courses in public health and policy that are especially relevant to these challenging times. Consider using the summer sessions to fulfill your Hunter Focus requirement, whether you need language courses or want to explore our certificate programs in public policy, business, and human rights.

We understand the financial stress many of you are under right now, and that is why we have a concerted drive to raise funds with the goal of providing support for any student in need. We are committed to making sure that financial need is not an obstacle for anyone to take a class this summer, and we have already begun to raise a special, dedicated fund for this effort. The application for these scholarship funds is available online (login with your NetID and password). In addition, we are continuing to provide funds for students financially impacted by the crisis through the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund. You can also still request a long-term laptop loan, and the 68th Street Food Pantry is open and stocked. Laptops are being shipped directly to students, and we are developing neighborhood-based pickup locations for both laptops and supplies from the Food Pantry that we hope to roll out in the coming weeks.

In addition to financial resources, we have created a special one-stop advising program to help you think through summer school. You can make an appointment today to get personalized advising that will help you make strong choices for this summer. We have continued to invest in our mental health and counseling programs. In addition to moving our regular operations so you can access them remotely, we have created a new coronavirus anxiety support group for students experiencing personal or academic difficulties related to the current crisis.

In the uncertain times ahead, your Hunter degree will be more important than ever. To support your future, we want to help get you to complete your education as soon as possible. Taking a few classes this summer and taking advantage of Hunter’s support services are the best way to fast-track your graduation. Despite these challenging times, we hope you will join us in turning this summer into an opportunity for academic advancement and personal success.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

'Faculty/Staff Email: 'Update from President Raab' - Jennifer J. Raab (April 16, 2020)


Subject: “Update from President Raab”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: April 16, 2020

To Hunter College Faculty and Staff:

We hope that you continue to stay healthy and safe during these uncertain times. You have all worked extraordinarily hard to move us online, and now that our transition to remote is supported and running smoothly, we ask that you turn your attention to summer 2020.

This morning, the Daily News published my call to action on summer school during coronavirus. Hunter College is leading the charge to transform the way colleges around the country think about summer school. With your help, we are ramping up to make Summer 2020 a productive time academically for all our students—an imperative at a time when they will have limited access to summer jobs, internships, and travel due to social distancing restrictions.

We need your help, efforts, and expertise to make Hunter’s ambitious summer school plans a reality. You can start by letting us know how we can help you create the best possible pedagogical experience online this summer. For this purpose we have assembled a top-notch team to coordinate our efforts, in close coordination with Provost Lon Kaufman, Vice President for Student Affairs Eija Ayravainen, and our academic deans. Assistant Dean for Student Affairs Brian Maasjo will focus on strategic outreach to students to ensure they’re getting the advising and financial support they need. Associate Provost Jenny Tuten will continue her excellent work supporting faculty as they transition instruction to online platforms; you can learn more about our available resources. From our student success office, Associate Provost Mike Steiper will utilize our various analytic tools to ensure the classes we are developing and offering meet our students’ needs and keep them on track towards their Hunter degrees.

Our aim, despite this difficult time, is to work with you to make this the most effective and enriching summer school for all our students and to provide them with much-needed resources to fast-track their education. We hope that you will join us in sounding the call for summer school. For those of you interested in getting more involved with these efforts, please contact your department chair, program head, or director to discuss how your work can fit into this broader strategic effort. Thank you again for all you have done to make this transition possible this spring and for your help as we move into summer.

With great appreciation,

Jennifer J. Raab

'Faculty/Staff Email: 'A Message From the Dean: Important Updates' - Mary Cavanuagh (April 9, 2020)


Subject: “A Message From the Dean: Important Updates”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: April 9, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I want to be certain that you are aware that this spring’s Commencement ceremonies will be postponed and that this summer’s course offerings will be conducted through remote learning.

Commencement

The Chancellor has postponed commencement ceremonies across the University. This will not impact our students’ graduation status. At the completion of the spring semester, all degrees will be conferred as scheduled. It will also not impact the official summer start date.

Understandably, graduation’s postponement is disheartening news for our students. Please know we are already in discussion regarding how to mark this significant milestone for our graduates. We welcome any suggestions that you may have. We will reach out to our graduates as well for their input as to how best to note their wonderful achievement.

Summer Course Offerings

The Chancellor has also determined that CUNY’s summer 2020 course offerings will be conducted through remote learning. We already have robust enrollment for our summer courses. We will do all that we can to ensure that faculty and students engaged in these courses are fully supported.

Resources and Supports

We are deeply committed to supporting our faculty, students, and staff during these turbulent times. I ask that you continue to direct students who may be in need of additional support and/or resources to Rob Lorey or Caroline Gelman. Of equal importance, if any faculty or staff member is in need of support and/or added resources, please reach out to Carol Bennett-Speight or to me directly and we will do all that we can for you.

Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do in service to our mission. I am sincerely grateful.

Wishing you safety and good health,

Mary

Email: 'Thank You' - Jennifer J. Raab (April 8, 2020)


Subject: “Thank You”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: April 8, 2020

Dear Hunter Faculty and Staff,

As we move into the spring recess and a break from the virtual classroom–we hope that you are keeping safe and healthy. We also want to wish those who celebrate a joyful Passover or Easter this week. Many thanks for all that you do for Hunter. During this time of reflection and gratitude, we want to thank you for dedicating yourselves to Hunter and to our students during this uniquely difficult period. You have worked tirelessly to move us to a temporarily remote University and your perseverance needs to be recognized. You have all gone above and beyond to meet the needs of our community.

With appreciation,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (April 6, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: April 6, 2020

Dear Hunter faculty and staff,

As we start another week during this unique and challenging time, we want to take a moment to say thank you again for your extraordinary work.  You have likely read the Chancellor’s late Friday announcement of two significant, central decisions for our community: commencement ceremonies across CUNY will be postponed and CUNY’s Summer 2020 course offerings will be conducted via distance education format.

Commencement

The Chancellor has postponed all commencement ceremonies across the University system. Please note this will have no impact on our students’ graduation status: at the completion of the spring semester, all degrees will be conferred as scheduled. It will also not impact the official summer start date for our full-time faculty.  While this decision was not a surprise and many of us have already begun thinking about ways to mark this important occasion for our graduates, it will still be disappointing news for many of our students who have worked so hard to reach this milestone. We turn to you to find ways to help our students celebrate this achievement; please share your ideas and suggestions with your department chair or program director.  We are also speaking directly with students and the student government to solicit their ideas on the best way to mark this occasion.

Summer 2020: Remote Instruction

The Chancellor has also determined that CUNY’s Summer 2020 course offerings will be conducted via distance education format.  As you consider what courses you can most effectively teach remotely, please also think about what support you need to make these transitions.  We are committed to supporting your work with training, resources, faculty development, and the best technology possible, including by providing laptops, monitors, software, and hardware, as we all determine what we need to effectively teach and work remotely.  Beginning next week we will offer additional information about resources available to help support you so we can offer robust, high-quality courses to our students.  This includes workshops that focus on developing or rethinking your summer courses, including redesigning courses, designing asynchronous modules, creating (text and video) accessible materials, designing interactive activities and tools, and rethinking assessments.  We are also developing a handbook that contains all the relevant resources and guidance needed to support several online platforms.

The initial guidance indicates that there may be some flexibility for courses that are not suited to remote instruction; we may be granted waivers to this policy for in-person instruction depending on the status of the COVID-19 crisis, particularly during the second summer session. Please flag any of your courses that fall into this category for further discussion with your chair.
New York State on PAUSE Executive Order
Earlier today the Governor extended his New York State on PAUSE executive order through April 29.  All non-essential personnel will continue remote work through April 29, consistent with the executive order.

Upcoming Senate Meetings

The Hunter leadership team has been working in close collaboration with the Senate Chair and Senate Administration committee.  We are currently finalizing the details for technology that will allow the Senate to move curricular proposals and other committee business forward. We are pleased that the Chair has agreed to hold two Senate meetings through remote technology this semester, on April 22 and May 13, during which I will provide a College update.  You will receive an email from the Senate shortly with more information.

Coming Soon: Guidance on Travel
Currently, all non-essential university-related international and domestic travel has been suspended through Summer 2020.  Knowing that much of the planning happens months in advance, CUNY is now considering extending that policy, which includes student credit and non-credit travel and faculty travel, for the Fall 2020 semester. CUNY has invited colleges to provide input as they develop this revised guidance; if you are engaged in planning travel for conferences or research or in creating student programs, please share your advice on this issue with your chair or program director.

Supporting Students

We are continuing to focus on to how to best support our students in this difficult time. I am meeting regularly with Student Services Vice President Eija Ayravainen and her dedicated team of mental health counselors and advisors to discuss the challenges our students are facing and the best ways to support them remotely.  I know student success is an important focus for all of us now, and I am interested in your ideas for best practices and your insights on the challenges our students are facing. We ask that you continue to direct students who need additional support to student services and to work with your department chair to help address academic issues that may arise in our unique circumstances.  In addition, recruiting season is underway, and we are committed to reaching our accepted freshman, transfer and graduate students and promoting Hunter’s resources and excellence. As always, we will ask some of you to help to recruit the best and the brightest to come to Hunter next year.

As a reminder, we have been able to obtain a significant number of laptops for long-term loan through private donations and an allocation from CUNY.  We are working on safe ways to distribute them to students, including by mail, in-person, and with the help of our GIS faculty, potentially through neighborhood mobile drop-offs.  We continue to give out funds to students through the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund and ask that you encourage your students who might need additional support to apply.

We are grateful for all you have done, and continue to do, during this difficult time.  We hope that you and your families continue to stay safe and healthy.

With appreciation,
Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Commencements and Summer Session Updates' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (April 3, 2020)


Subject: “Commencements and Summer Session Updates”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodriguez
Date: April 3, 2020

Dear CUNY community,

Just as each of us has been forced to make changes in our personal and work lives to minimize the spread of the coronavirus, the University has had to make difficult but unavoidable decisions to ensure the health and safety of everyone in our community. None has been as heart-wrenching to make as the matter of graduation.

As a lifelong educator, commencement season has always been my favorite time of year, the culmination of a lifetime of hard work and sacrifice. I began my tenure as chancellor last May, just in time to attend six CUNY graduations; as always, I was deeply moved by the excitement and emotion that were on display. So it is with a heavy heart that I announce that commencement ceremonies across the University-system will be postponed.

With all public gatherings currently prohibited and no way to know how long this will continue to be the case, colleges simply cannot begin choosing dates, even if for later than usual, securing venues and taking all the logistical steps that go into planning a successful commencement.

To be clear, this will have no impact on diplomas. At the completion of the spring semester, all degrees will be conferred as scheduled. It will also not impact the official summer start date for our full-time faculty.

We look forward to a future date when we’ll be able to celebrate in person and believe me — that will be an occasion like no other. If any group of graduates deserves a chance to mark its achievements, it is the resilient Class of 2020.

I sincerely regret the impact of these sad circumstances on our students, who have worked so hard, and overcome many obstacles to get to this point. I know this will also come as a disappointment to faculty and family members.

I have spoken to all CUNY presidents and deans, and they are exploring other ways to mark this rite of passage on their campuses. While we know that nothing can replace the pure joy of a commencement ceremony, some schools are considering alternate celebrations that fit their campus community.

I also want to share that after careful consideration and consultation, CUNY’s Summer 2020 course offerings will be exclusively conducted via distance education format. The decision is consistent with New York State Education Department (NYSED) guidance from April 2, 2020, which waives the requirement that specific courses and programs be registered for delivery via distance education. We appreciate the feedback we received from the University Faculty Senate and other academic leaders on this. For staff, current guidance regarding remote work will remain in effect consistent with the New York State on PAUSE executive order. Direction regarding the format of course offerings for Fall 2020 will be provided in the future depending on the COVID-19 emergency time frame, and once consultation with academic leaders and faculty has occurred and direction from NYSED and other accrediting bodies has been received.

CUNY continues to respond to the coronavirus by implementing measures to help our students navigate these extraordinary circumstances. Here are some steps we have taken in recent days:

  • With the support of Governor Cuomo, we have purchased 30,000 new laptops and tablets for students who need one to fully participate in distance learning. If you are a student in need of a device, please request one through your school by referring to the links provided here.
  • Because of the disruption caused by the transition to distance learning education, students will have the option to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their spring 2020 classes to Credit/No Credit grading. Read more here.
  • Dormitory Fees will be credited to continuing students –and refunded to students set to graduate– on a prorated basis from the student’s move-out date. Read more here.
  • The University will waive 25% of the Spring 2020 Student Activity Fee for students enrolled in CUNY colleges on a 15-week calendar and 50% of the fee for students enrolled on a 12-week or six-week calendar. Read more here.

Please know how much I appreciate your patience and adaptability, and all that you’re doing to keep moving forward in spite of this difficult situation. Please remain vigilant, take good care of yourselves and your families, and we will get through this public health crisis together.

Sincerely,

Felo

Email: 'A Personal Message from the Dean' - Mary Cavanuagh (March 26, 2020)


Subject: “A Personal Message from the Dean”
From: Mary Cavanaugh
Date: March 26, 2020

Dear Students,

Through this ever evolving public health crisis, we have been sending you many emails updating you about changes to your instruction and field learning. We have written to you to ensure you have the necessary hardware and software tools you needed to enter your virtual classrooms fully armed to be successful. Our goal was to be sure you had all the information you needed to be fully prepared as we moved ahead. As social work educators, the quality of your learning is of extraordinary importance to us. It would not be an understatement to say that we have worked tirelessly to ensure that your education remains of the same high quality. And through all of this, we have carried you with us every day through these turbulent times.

I wanted to reach out to you in a more personal way today to acknowledge with you how very stressful this time is. All around us fear and anxiety are high in response to the rapid escalation of COVID-19. There doesn’t seem to be an area of our lives that hasn’t been deeply affected. At the School level, I know that many of you are worried about graduating on time and wondering if there will be a graduation ceremony. There is a sadness, which I share, at our building being closed and the accompanying sadness that you feel in not sharing with your friends and colleagues the lived experience of being students together in the classroom or not gathering together throughout our building. I have heard from many of you how difficult it is for you dealing with the sudden financial impact of lost employment, children at home with you as you are trying to continue your coursework, your worry and fear about your loved others impacted by fear of the virus and/or the profound effects of it, and the challenges, sadness, and anxiety you feel yourselves.

Please reach out to us if you need support. We will do all that we can to assist you. We are right here on the other side of your laptop, tablet, or phone. I promise you we will do all we can and more to listen to and support you.

For graduating students, I want you to know we are doing everything we can to get you to graduation on time. We submitted the required paperwork to the state to receive exemptions so that you can graduate this spring. For Two Year Timeframe students, due to the current extraordinary public health crisis, we were just informed by the state that we can temporarily reduce the field work hours requirement to the minimum of 900 hours (from 1200 hours). This is wonderful news that I hope will alleviate some stress for you. We are waiting for responses on our request for a reduction in hours for our other graduating cohorts– Advanced Standing and Accelerated 18 Month students. We don’t yet know about commencement plans. But please know this, we will find a way to note your extraordinary achievement as a community as you so richly deserve. We’ll work with you about that once we have more information. As you have been seeing, things are changing very rapidly. For all other students, please know that we are working hard to ensure that your progression through the program will continue on time as well. We will do whatever is necessary as you move forward to see that not only do you graduate on time as well but that you do not experience unnecessary negative effects of this health crisis’ impact on your education. We have submitted a formal request to the state for a temporary reduction in your field work hours requirement. We are waiting for approval and will let you know as soon as we hear.

For now, I ask you to please reach out to any of us—your instructor, advisers, student services or field staff, and/or any of us in the Dean’s office— if you need any support.

Please take good care. Be safe and be well.

Dean Cavanaugh

 

Communications from March 4, 2020 to March 25, 2020)

Email: 'Further clarity on Recalibration Period for Educational Equity' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (March 25, 2020)


Subject: “Further clarity on Recalibration Period for Educational Equity”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodriguez
Date: March 25, 2020

Dear CUNY Community,

I want to take this opportunity to provide further clarity on the rationale for our decision to implement the Recalibration Period for Educational Equity, which we announced yesterday. Our primary reason for moving up some days from the Spring Recess is to give us time to get laptops and tablets into the hands of students who need them. If we did not pause, we would get too far into the semester, and students who have been without access to technology since March 19 would then have a tough time catching up and likely drop out of the semester.

The first batch of computers we purchased for our students is scheduled to arrive this weekend, and we are finalizing plans with the campuses to distribute them swiftly early next week. Each college will devise a distribution plan that is compliant with New York State on PAUSE. College presidents and deans will be in touch to communicate the procedures and schedules for distribution of this equipment.

Our plan is for a substantial number of laptops and tablets to be in the hands of students before distance learning reconvenes on April 2. The pause is to allow time for the delivery; though I recognize that it may be disruptive to our instructional momentum, it is essential to make sure thousands of our students don’t feel left out of their education. This, to me, is not a small consideration but pivotal to our commitment to equity, and to our mission of supporting all our students and making sure that we continue being an engine of upward mobility, even during these most trying of times for everyone.

The Recalibration Period can also provide faculty an opportunity to reflect on their experience during the first week of distance learning, with an eye to making adjustments when classes restart. I would hope it also affords faculty added flexibility in their personal lives as they continue to adapt to the additional responsibilities and challenges that the current situation presents in New York City and the metropolitan region.

Here is more information about the Recalibration Period:

  • All 16 colleges will be on pause in the Recalibration Period, no classes will be held, and no assignments or tests should be due during this period. These colleges are: Baruch, BMCC, Brooklyn College, Bronx Community College, City College, City Tech, College of Staten Island, Hostos, Hunter, John Jay, Lehman, Macaulay Honors, Medgar Evers, Queens College, Queensborough Community College and York College.
  • All faculty and students at these schools will be off from Friday, March 27 to Wednesday, April 1 and again from Wednesday, April 8 to Friday, April 10, for a condensed Spring Recess. Administrators and staff will continue to work as they normally would from March 27 to April 1 and during Spring Recess, albeit remotely in most cases. All local plans to reduce campus density for faculty, staff and students remain in place.
  • The only schools exempted from the Recalibration Period are professional schools and graduate schools (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, School of Labor and Urban Studies, School of Law, School of Medicine, School of Professional Studies, School of Public Health and Health Policy, and The Graduate Center) and the community colleges that operate on a different academic calendar (Guttman, Kingsborough and LaGuardia) and just recently started their Spring semester.
  • There are a few other programs exempted including Pre-K to 12 schools in our system and pre-matriculation programs like CUNY Start, Math Start, CLIP and Adult Literacy. Decisions on continuing education and graduate programs are at the discretion of school presidents and deans.
  • In recognition of the difficulty posed by these circumstances, we are enacting a flexible credit/no credit policy, under which students will have 20 days after they receive their grades to decide if they want to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their classes to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading. You can find details on the policy here.

I hope this adds clarity to my communication from yesterday. For the latest information, please visit the University’s coronavirus page, which also includes a video message from me. For student resources, tools and tips, visit our new continuity page.

I thank you again for your patience, and for understanding that what drives our decisions every day is what is best for our students and their success.

Felo

 

Faculty/Staff Email: 'Important Updated Information Regarding Chancellor’s Recalibration Period' - Mary Cavanuagh (March 25, 2020)


Subject: “Important Updated Information Regarding Chancellor’s Recalibration Period”
From: Mary Cavanaugh
Date: March 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

As you know, we received an announcement from CUNY Chancellor Matos yesterday regarding a recalibration period to begin this Friday. Thanks to the tremendous efforts of our faculty, staff and students, our transition to remote learning has overall gone quite smoothly.  Thus, we shared the concerns many of you communicated to us that a recalibration period for Silberman at this point would in fact be disruptive of learning and of the established connections needed to support our community during this challenging time.  Dean Cavanaugh, with President Raab’s full support, immediately requested a waiver (which would in effect exempt Silberman MSW students from the ‘recalibration’ in learning and allow remote learning to continue as currently implemented).

This morning, we received official notice that the request has been approved. This means that remote teaching and learning will indeed continue as planned. The schedule we are following remains the same. Spring recess will take place as originally scheduled (April 8-16).

Thank you for the dedication to your students and our profession you have demonstrated during this unprecedented challenge.  Please continue to reach out if you have any issues or concerns around managing remote teaching plans, concerns around individual students, or any other support you might need. We will continue to monitor progress and update you with all relevant information.

 

With gratitude,

Mary Cavanaugh

 

Email: 'Recalibration Period for Educational Equity' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (March 24, 2020)


Subject: “Recalibration Period for Educational Equity”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodriguez
Date: March 24, 2020

Dear CUNY Community,

The nationwide move to distance education necessitated by the coronavirus crisis has served to spotlight disparities that stratify the higher education landscape. In the days since CUNY re-opened classes under distance learning instruction, these matters of equity and access have already begun to surface on our campuses.

Motivated by these concerns, and in consultation with CUNY college presidents and deans, we have decided to institute a recalibration period beginning this Friday, March 27, through Wednesday April 1. Distance learning will resume on Thursday, April 2.

This period, which we are calling CUNY’s Recalibration Period for Educational Equity, will allow our colleges to continue their efforts to provide their students with access to the equipment they need to complete their semester requirements under these uncommon and unforeseen circumstances.

The Recalibration Period will also afford faculty time to consider ways to better support learning through, for example, the asynchronous delivery of classes and other best practices emerging across our University’s virtual classrooms. We are making this move before we get deeper into the semester, to ensure that we are upholding the University’s mission and giving each and every CUNY student an opportunity to thrive.

When we moved to distance learning, we sought to create safe conditions based on the best social distancing guidelines available at the time for students who needed computer equipment and broadband internet access to do their coursework in their campus computer labs. The fast-evolving nature of this pandemic, however, compelled Governor Cuomo to issue the New York State on PAUSE executive order, necessitating drastic density reduction measures that have effectively brought campus life to a halt.

To make sure that all students are equipped for distance learning, campuses have been purchasing and distributing additional hardware to students who need it in order to continue to fully participate in distance learning.

Now that we have had some time to identify aspects of distance learning that could stand to be improved, faculty will be able to use the Recalibration Period to fine-tune their practices, which should serve to improve educational outcomes. We’re also asking teachers to grant extra flexibility to students who might have had limited access to laptops and tablets since the rollout of distance learning on March 19. My most sincere thanks to all the faculty and staff who keep the University going while facing disruption, fatigue and anxiety in their personal lives.

The University’s previously scheduled Spring Recess will now run from Wednesday April 8 through Friday April 10, encompassing the beginning of Passover and Good Friday. For faculty, staff and students whose religious observation extends into the week of April 13, as always you have the right to request a religious exemption to observe the holiday and we will offer maximum flexibility in addressing the requests. CUNY’s guidance for religious exemptions can be found here and we will remind faculty and staff about our guidance as we get closer to that date.

The Recalibration Period for Educational Equity will be in place throughout CUNY with some important exceptions: Schools that offer programs and courses that were being taught online before the broader move to distance learning can proceed with the authorization of campus presidents and deans.

Guttman, LaGuardia and Kingsborough Community Colleges, which operate under a two-part, 18-week semester, rather than the more-common 15-week semester, will not be impacted, nor will our graduate and professional schools, which are smaller and reported less concerns with their students’ access to computers. These include the  School of Professional Studies, the Graduate Center, the School of Law, the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, the Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy and the School of Labor and Urban Studies. These schools will observe the spring recess as scheduled.

These extraordinary circumstances have prompted us to enact a flexible credit/no credit policy, under which students will have 20 days after they receive their grades to decide if they want to convert any or all of the letter grades they earn in their classes to Credit/No Credit (CR/NC) grading. The University will support students with pertinent information about the impact of CR/NC on their financial aid and academic progress.

Pending approval by the CUNY Board of Trustees, the policy will go into effect April 1, 2020 and applies to all CUNY institutions except the School of Law and the School of Medicine, which will implement their own policies. For additional details, visit the University’s comprehensive Coronavirus Updates page.

I want to close by thanking all of you for your continued perseverance in these uncertain and often troubling times. I’ve said before that CUNY is showing its resilience, and I know that will continue to be the case. As we walk together, it is equally important that we demonstrate our unfailing commitment to the imperative precepts of equity, access and opportunity for all.

Sincerely,

Felo

 

Student Email: 'Building Closure Information for Silberman SSW' - Silberman School of Social Work (March 22, 2020)


Subject: “Building Closure Information for Silberman SSW”
From: Silberman School of Social Work
Date: March 22, 2020

Dear Students,

We would like to notify you that the Silberman building will be closed beginning on Monday, March 23. The building will no longer be accessible until further notice. This will allow for the reduction of Public Safety and Facilities staff needed on site.

If you require any assistance, please reach out to Rob Lorey, Director of Student Services, at rlorey@hunter.cuny.edu

Thank you.

 

My best,
Mary Cavanuagh

 

Email: 'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 22, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 22, 2020

To the Hunter community,

We hope today’s communication finds you and your family healthy and well.  We also want to extend our gratitude to our faculty and staff who have done so much to make the incredible feat of moving our instruction online happen.  You have all gone above and beyond, and we are incredibly grateful.  As we continue this transition, we know we will encounter challenges and hiccups, and we appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we address each in turn.

You have likely seen news of Governor Cuomo’s New York State on PAUSE  executive order, and we wanted to share some updates about how Hunter is responding to the evolving COVID-19 outbreak in New York City.  Thanks to the tireless efforts of our faculty and staff, we have already moved the majority of Hunter’s operations and staff off campus, including reducing hours of operation and significantly restricting the number of staff on site.  We are continuing to scale down in-person operations, and only a very small number of essential personnel will be on campus for the foreseeable future ensuring that basic operations, such as building and lab maintenance, mail pickups, and public safety, will continue.  Essential personnel will receive direction from their supervisor or director about these limited assignments.  Accordingly, access to campus is limited to only necessary functions and for limited periods; the majority of services have transitioned online and can be accessed remotely.

The conditions in New York City continue to evolve, and we will bring you up-to-date information as we have it.  Below are some important updates before we head into the next week.  You can also check the Hunter Coronavirus website page  for regular updates, and I will continue to reach out as we receive new information.

Remote Instruction Updates 

Remote instruction has already begun, and we deeply appreciate your patience and understanding as we work through the challenges along the way. I am confident that we will be able to navigate through this difficult time and ensure all students can continue to learn.

If you are a student, please continue to check your email and Blackboard for communications from your professors about remote instruction. If you haven’t heard from your instructor, please reach out to that instructor directly.  If you don’t hear back within 24 hours, please contact the Dean of Students office, and let them know which class and section you are in so they can help troubleshoot.  Remember, some classes are synchronous and taught at the same time as usual, and others will be recorded or available for you to do at your own pace.

If you are faculty, all undergraduate students received a text message reminding them that remote classes started March 19th.  If you are faculty and you cannot get in touch with one of your students, please contact the Dean of Students office.   If you have any other difficulties, please email your chair, program director, or dean.

As we move to distance learning and remote work, we want to remind faculty, advisors, tutors, and others who have moved to online platforms that we need to continue to adhere to FERPA guidelines.   These can be found in the Faculty Handbook (pp. 16-17). Further information is available online, and questions regarding the application of this rule should be directed to the Provost’s office.

Facilities Updates 

To reduce essential personnel and ramp down in-person operations as much as possible, building hours have been adjusted, and facilities, where appropriate, have been closed; more updates are included below.  Faculty who need to access their offices to collect personal or work-related materials should let their chair, program director, or dean know so that arrangements can be made to access them.

Our 68th Street campus will remain open to ensure essential operations, but will have a limited cleaning and security staff. The Cooperman Library, which had remained open for limited hours, will now be closed.  Many thanks to our public safety staff for keeping the space open for students to access technology during this challenging last week.  Please be assured, our dedicated librarians are of course still available to support our students and faculty, and library services are available online.  For more information, please see the remote access guide, access the guide to online resources, or contact a librarian through Ask-a-Librarian. 

The Silberman campus will be closed as of Monday at 1:00pm, as will our campus at 205 Hudson Street. These closures will allow us to reduce the number of public safety and facilities staff needed on campus and to shift our resources to the 68th Street and Brookdale campuses.

The Brookdale Campus remains open for the students who have chosen to remain in the Brookdale Dormitory and on a limited basis for faculty and staff needing to access the academic buildings.  As a reminder, faculty and staff who need to access their offices should let their chair, program director, or dean know so that arrangements can be made to access them.

At this point, our 79th Street Dormitory is also open for students who have chosen to remain in residence.  Students in both dorms are reminded to maintain social distancing and sanitary practices as recommended by the CDC. 

Services and Resources 

The majority of Hunter’s services and resources have transitioned to remote already, and our goal is to provide the same high levels of support remotely throughout the semester.

We are so grateful to our alumni and donors who have contributed more than $300,000 to support long-term technology loans and emergency funding for our students. To request a long-term laptop loan, students should fill out our form.   Our laptop loan program will be moving to Student Services in 417HW, and there will be a very limited number of non-library personnel on campus Monday, March 23rd, and Tuesday, March 24th, to distribute laptops.  We are working to also implement this program by mail and to create local centers for pickup; we will share more information once it is available.

We continue to give out emergency funding through the new Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund to provide support to students who have lost wages, have unexpected medical costs, or have other financial needs related to the coronavirus crisis. Some faculty and staff have expressed interest in contributing to this fund. If you would like, you can make an online contribution; any amount is greatly appreciated.  Students are encouraged to fill out an application. Please contact the Dean of Students with any related questions.

Both our 68th Street and Brookdale food pantries remain open, and we are committed to keeping them stocked.  We are continuing to adjust the hours of operation to best meet student demand and encourage you to check the hours before visiting.

Childcare Centers remain open, with protective measures in place, in anticipation of activation for the Governor’s program to support the needs of first responders’ families. If you need to utilize our childcare services, please make an appointment ahead of time to ensure that we have sufficient staffing. Please fill out an application or send an email.   Childcare center staff should contact their supervisors on a regular basis regarding the need to report to work.

Research Updates 

All research projects must ramp down their on-site research activities and move their research activities off site.  Emergency protocols related to animal care, laboratory equipment, and research materials are being activated across Hunter. For more specific guidance and information, please see these guidelines  and contact the Provost with any questions.

Our Health and Safety 

Lastly, you may have now heard that there are several confirmed cases within our community, as well as across CUNY.  Working closely with the CUNY Central team, we are coordinating with department chairs, program directors, and deans on each case to identify individuals who, according to the Department of Health guidance, need to be notified that they might have been exposed or that they should take precautions and self-quarantine.  Through all of this, we are working to protect the privacy of the individuals who have tested positive while ensuring that we share the information needed to keep our community safe. If you hear from colleagues or students that they have tested positive, please have them contact Galia Galanksy,  Assistant Vice President of Human Resources, as soon as possible so we can work through the appropriate protocols.  

With Gratitude 

Once again, we want to give extra thanks to our dedicated facilities and public safety teams who have remained on campus to ensure that Hunter remains functional and safe. Thanks also to all of you who have either remained on campus as essential staff, finalizing the details of this transition, or supported these efforts from home. You should all feel very proud of your hard work and perseverance. I could not imagine belonging to a stronger or more supportive community during these challenging times.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'COVID-19 emergency response update' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (March 20, 2020)


Subject: “COVID-19 emergency response update”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodríguez
Date: March 20, 2020

Dear CUNY community,

As I reported to you yesterday, 95 percent of CUNY’s 50,000 course sections have been converted to distance learning instruction, and 95 percent of CUNY faculty and staff are already working remotely. It’s been inspiring to witness the resilience, fortitude and innovation that have been on display across the university in the face of this unprecedented health emergency.

Our efforts have now positioned us to fully support Governor Cuomo’s New York State on PAUSE executive order. To this end, effective Monday, March 23, all 25 CUNY campuses will expand their social distancing efforts by further reducing or modifying some of the programmatic and support services currently in place.

  • Dorms and food pantries will stay open. Students should check their campus website for pantry hours of operation.
  • Child care centers will remain open in anticipation of being activated by the Governor’s program to support the needs of first responders’ families. Child care center staff should contact their supervisors on a daily basis regarding the need to report to work.
  • Computer labs and libraries will close, except for limited times in which campuses might need to distribute loaner laptops and tablets.
  • Basic business operations will operate remotely, with limited on-campus presence permitted for mail pick-ups and other selected needs. Administrative departments such as Financial Aid, Admissions and Human Resources will continue to maintain telephone and email operations.
  • All research projects must ramp down/suspend unless they can be conducted remotely and all colleges shall activate their corresponding emergency protocols related to animal care, laboratory equipment and research materials.
  • Earlier today, we announced that all non-essential university-related international and domestic travel is indefinitely suspended at this time. This includes the suspension of all Spring 2020 and Summer 2020 study abroad programs. In terms of travel, the Department of State’s Global Health Advisory issued yesterday warns that a shutdown of international travel options is imminent, and that Americans abroad should arrange to immediately return to the U.S., or risk an indefinite stay abroad. CUNY will continue to offer rebooking support to any CUNY student or employee abroad (regardless of citizenship) who is unable to make these arrangements directly with the airline. For additional details, visit the University’s comprehensive Coronavirus Updates page.

I want to make clear that these changes do not affect the move to distance learning instruction, which started yesterday and will continue for the duration of the semester.

The very few courses that must hold in-person meetings are going to be suspended effective Monday, March 23, for the duration of the New York State on PAUSE order. This applies to all undergraduate, graduate and continuing education courses that have not yet converted to distance-learning modes. Faculty engaged in these courses are asked to continue to explore, in conversation with their students, ways in which the in-person courses can be converted to distance learning. If the course’s learning outcomes cannot ultimately be achieved via distance learning, the courses could resume once the “pause” is lifted, at which time faculty and students would work to make up for lost time. Given the circumstances, students could also opt to withdraw from the course, or receive a grade of incomplete if appropriate. For in-progress continuing education courses, colleges will communicate options available to students who decide to drop or cannot continue with coursework. The University is currently developing a refund/credit policy for these types of situations related to COVID-19.

To fill the void created by the closure of computer labs, we are in the process of finalizing a large purchase of tablets and laptops for students who need it in order to continue to fully participate in distance learning. We encourage students to take advantage of current offers by cellular carriers and internet service providers to provide free in-home broadband and mobile hotspot services. For information, visit our CUNY Continuity For Students web page.

To minimize the risk to essential staff including ITS personnel, custodians, public safety officers and facilities staff, general access to campuses will be closed to the extent possible. Some colleges may allow staff, faculty and students on campus this weekend to collect any personal or work-related materials they need. Thereafter, access to campuses will be limited except by appointment. You should contact your local campus for specific information.

Health officials have warned us that New York City is now experiencing community transmission, in which individuals who have no known contact with infected individuals are testing positive for the virus. The message to all of us now is the same: Act as if you have been exposed, stay home, and monitor for symptoms. To do our part to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, all of us should stay at home as much as possible.

I want to close by thanking all of our essential staff who have continued to report to work on a daily basis. They are selflessly navigating complicated circumstances to enable the uninterrupted continuation of our campus operations; their dedication has made it possible for CUNY students to get the services they need. We owe a debt of gratitude to each of these individuals.

Sincerely,

Felo

Faculty/Staff Email: 'Message from the Dean' - Mary Cavanaugh (March 20, 2020)


Subject: “Message from the Dean”
From: Mary Cavanaugh
Date: March 20, 2020

My dear colleagues,

On March 11, we were notified that on March 19 we would be moving fully to remote learning. In one week’s time, because of your dedicated commitment to our students and the truly tireless efforts of our staff, we moved nearly 200 courses to remote learning. It’s an extraordinary accomplishment by any measure. I have never been more proud to be a colleague of yours here at Silberman as I am now. You are an exemplar for the students we educate and train to become the next generation of practitioners, policy makers, and agents of social change.

As of March 19, we are now fully remote. However, I want to be sure that we stay connected. Early next week, I will send out an email outlining how we will move forward together as a virtual community. Please let me know if you experience any challenges as you move forward with your teaching, research, and scholarship. I would welcome as well to hear of any triumphs, great or small, that you encounter.

For now, I ask you to be safe and take good care.

 

My best,

Mary Cavanuagh

 

Email: 'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 19, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 19, 2020

To Hunter faculty and staff,

I am awestruck by how well this community has rallied together in these difficult times. I have no doubt that we have the strength, creativity, and resourcefulness to take on all the challenges ahead. Many thanks to you, our students, faculty, and staff, for your courage and tenacity as we see our way to the other side of COVID-19. While the situation is changing rapidly, we will keep bringing you up-to-date information as it comes in. You can check the Hunter Coronavirus website page  for regular updates, and I will continue to reach out as the semester unfolds.

Reminder: Remote Instruction Begins Today, March 19 

All undergraduate students received a text message reminding them that remote classes would start today, March 19th.  Students are being asked to reach out to their faculty directly if they haven’t heard from you about their courses, and then to reach out to the Dean of Students if they are unable to connect.  Faculty who cannot get in touch with one of their students should contact the Dean of Students office.   If you have any other difficulties, please email your department chair, program director, or dean.  Students were also reminded that some classes will be synchronous and taught at the same time as usual, while others will be recorded or available to complete at their own pace.

We understand that there will be many challenges in this transition, and we appreciate your flexibility and understanding.  Hunter’s administrative leadership team is continuing to work through the issues and questions as they arise, and while we may not have all the answers yet, please know that we’re working to develop solutions that will allow our students to finish the semester.

Instructional Support for Faculty  

Trainings, online resources, live webinars, and virtual office hours  have been set up for faculty in need of instructional support. Please contact your chair, dean, program director, or Associate Provost Jenny Tuten for additional support.  We would also like to remind you that it is essential that all course materials and communications be accessible to students.  The AccessABILITY office is working with students to identify their needs for remote instruction, and there are many tools available for faculty to support these students.

Emergency Support for Students  

We are so gratified to have so many generous alumni and friends who have provided resources to help us create the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund to provide support to students who have lost wages, have unexpected medical costs, or have other financial needs related to the coronavirus crisis.  Some of you have expressed interest in contributing to this fund; if you would like, you can make an online contribution ; any amount is greatly appreciated.  Please encourage any of your students who you believe have been impacted by this crisis to fill out an application.   Please contact the Dean of Students with any related questions.

Long-term technology loans are available for students, thanks to the support of several generous donors, to ensure that all students have access to remote instruction.  Students can request a long-term laptop loan using this form. 

In addition, there are a number of free or low-cost resources, including free WiFi for New York City students, currently available from providers across the city.  We are creating a consolidated list of resources on Hunter’s website, and we will continue to update it as we learn about more resources.

Library and Learning Centers 

At this time, floors 3, 6, and 7 of the Cooperman Library on the 68th Street Campus remain open on a limited basis. Students can access the space from 10:00am to 5:00pm, and desk staff will be available from 1:00 to 4:00pm for technology support.  Library staff across all our campuses are available remotely to support students and faculty; all you need are your NET ID and password, or your library barcode (found on the back of your OneCard ID) to access them. For more information, please see the remote access guide, access the guide to online resources,   or contact a librarian through Ask-a-Librarian.  

In addition, the Learning Centers have transitioned to fully remote support and will continue to offer the same high levels of support and personalized attention.  Handouts, online tutorials, interactive exercises, virtual workshops, and supplemental instruction opportunities are available remotely.  The Dolciani Mathematics Learning Center, the Rockowitz Writing Center, and the Skirball Science Learning Center are able to provide you with tutoring online and by phone.

Research Updates Coming Soon  

We will share additional guidance about the impact on Hunter research projects across campus.  Please be assured that essential staff are on campus to care for any animals and see that equipment is appropriately maintained.

With Gratitude 

We appreciate your continuing patience as we work through the challenges of this new reality together.  We want to give extra thanks again to our dedicated facilities and public safety teams, who have been working tirelessly to ensure that Hunter remains functional and safe; our essential personnel, who have been on campus the last few days finalizing the details for this transition; and our dedicated faculty and staff across the College, who continue to support our important work from the safety of their homes.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

 

Hunter College Webpage: 'CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)' - (March 19, 2020)


Webpage:CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
Date: March 19, 2020
  • Hunter’s campus is open with modified hours, and we encourage you to continue to stay safe and practice social distancing.
    • Only essential employees should report to work on campus; all other employees should work remotely.
    • The Cooperman Library will be open today from 10am to 5pm.
    • The Food Pantry is open, and we are committed to keeping it stocked.
  • Reminder: Remote instruction for most classes begins today.
    • Students, please check your email and Blackboard for information from your instructors about your courses. If you haven’t heard from an instructor, please reach out to that instructor directly and contact the Dean of Students office.
    • Faculty who need additional instructional support can review online training information or contact your chair, program director, dean, or Associate Provost for Faculty Development Jennifer Tuten.
  • President Raab, with the support of Hunter’s loyal donors and alumni, has created the Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund to support students who have lost wages, have unexpected medical costs, or have other financial needs related to the coronavirus crisis. Those interested should complete an application. Please contact the Dean of Students with related questions.
  • Long-term technology loans are available for students to ensure all have access to remote instruction while supplies last. To request a long-term laptop loan, please fill out the request form.

Email: 'Moving Forward: Update on CUNY's Coronavirus Response' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (March 16, 2020)


Subject: “Moving Forward: Update on CUNY’s Coronavirus Response”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodríguez
Date: March 16, 2020

Dear CUNY staff and faculty,

The coronavirus crisis continues to unfold rapidly, and with an unprecedented trajectory and gravity that gives a historic cast to each day. In this tumultuous and ever-changeable atmosphere, it is important to take stock of where we stand, and what this means for the University’s ongoing operations.

Tomorrow, staff will reconvene across campuses and at the Central Office to continue the important effort that we began last week, preparing our campuses to maximally transition to distance-learning and, for many, distance or flexible working modalities.

As we move forward with this critical work to preserve academic, research and business continuity, an effort that will enable CUNY’s students to fulfill their semester requirements and preserve their financial aid, each campus president and dean will determine which personnel are needed on campus to ensure that on March 19 CUNY can be fully providing distance learning and other essential campus services.

This is consistent with Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order, which defines essential personnel as “anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority, or who must be physically present to perform their job, or who is involved in the COVID-19 emergency response.”

School presidents and deans will determine which facilities on their campuses, such as libraries, research facilities and computer laboratories, are considered essential to our COVID-19 emergency response and will continue to offer services, even if on a limited basis.  All campus child care centers and food pantries will remain open.

It is important to remember that only supervisors have the authority to determine if an employee can telecommute. Therefore, it is essential that all supervisors and department heads, whether they work on the teaching or non-instructional faculty or professional staff, on a campus or at CUNY Central, maintain a steady and open line of communication with their teams to ensure that expectations are communicated in a clear manner. As circumstances are subject to change on the ground, the presidents and deans may change the composition of those employees designated essential to meet the academic and operational needs on our various campuses.

Please keep in mind that there are many employees who have been deemed essential, but whose jobs can and will be performed remotely, if so authorized by their supervisor. Our highest priority is to safeguard the health and wellbeing of all University employees while ensuring the continuity of our academic and business operations for the duration of our COVID-19 emergency response.

I have long maintained that CUNY is crucial to the city’s lifeblood, an indispensable New York City institution, and this is one unmistakable period in which my belief will be proved. In these days of anxiety and uncertainty, we are being called on, and counted on, to be more than a university. Our institution, and the services it provides, are now needed to help the city and region to pull together and pull through this crisis. As we resort to uncommon measures to protect our own heath and that of our families and friends, I thank you for your steadfast professionalism and commitment.

Sincerely,

Felo

Email: 'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 16, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 16, 2020

To the Hunter community,

 

We are incredibly grateful for the patience, empathy, and kindness of our students, faculty, and staff in these challenging times. As we take measures to safeguard your health and safety through social distancing, we want to assure you that while we may not all be together physically, Hunter College remains a strong community. We continue to respond to the minute-by-minute changes in this rapidly evolving situation, and will continue to reach out and share updates as they become available.

While most of you will be teaching, learning, and working remotely in the next few days, we want you to know that Hunter will remain open for students, faculty, and staff if you need to access technology or your offices or need a quiet place to study or work. The librariesare open with modified hours and have enhanced their ability to support you remotely. Please continue checking our websiteon the status of our facilities and resources, as we anticipate there will be changes to hours and services offered at many of them.

Transition to Remote Instruction

We are working swiftly to implement remote teaching, learning, and working for our community without compromising our commitment to excellence in education, scholarship, and research. We are grateful for the commitment of our provost, deans, department chairs, and faculty to move the significant breadth of Hunter’s coursework online so rapidly and so smoothly. We want to remind faculty of the multitude of training sessions and office hoursthat are being offered in the coming days to support this transition. Many students and faculty have already connected about plans to continue the semester, and other students will hear from their instructors in the next few days; please look for emails or Blackboard messages.

We also appreciate the flexibility and dedication of our staff, especially our critical employees who have been on campus ensuring that Hunter can remain open. Managers are working to create thoughtful remote work plans that promote the health and safety of our community and allow the majority of our employees to contribute to Hunter from home.

Important Academic Date Changes

To respond to this unexpected situation and to ease the transition to remote instruction for many of our students, CUNY has approved certain changes to our academic calendar. Please note the following:

  • Course Withdrawal Period – Last Day to Drop with a Grade of “W.” The current deadline date listed on the calendar is Wednesday, April 1, 2020. We will move that date to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22) and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020).
  • Last Day to File for Pass/No Credit/Fail Option – For eligible students who meet the requirements of our “Pass/Fail/No Credit Option” policy (go to page 5), the University will move the deadline to Thursday, May 14, 2020. This is the published “Last Day of Classes,” and before final examination week (05/16-05/22), and also prior to the “End of the Spring Term,” (05/22/2020).
  • Incomplete Grades – Students who receive an INC grades in the Spring 2020 term would generally be required to submit outstanding work, “according to a deadline established by individual colleges (go to pages 4-5)of the University but no later than the last day of the following semester.” The University will maintain the current policy to allow students to submit completed work to faculty for resolution of INC grades for courses taken in Spring 2020 through the Fall 2020 semester. We expect that this provision will address some of the issues that have arisen as a result of student placements and internships that have been interrupted by this crisis.

Hunter Is Here for You

We want to reiterate that there are many resources available to support our community during this difficult and uncertain time.

For our students, we want to remind you that we have developed a Coronavirus Emergency Assistance Fund through the support of our loyal donors and alums; if you have lost wages, have unexpected medical costs, or have any other financial needs related to the coronavirus crisis, please contact Vice President and Dean of Students Eija Ayravainen for more information.

We have begun concerted fundraising efforts to provide students in need with technology , including laptops that students can take out on a long-term loan, to ensure all have access to remote learning. We have already been able to purchase new laptops for students to borrow, and we are committed to continuing these efforts. To learn more or request a technology loan, contact Director of Student Life Miesha Smith .  Additionally, both our 68th Street campus and Brookdale campus food pantries remain open, and we are committed to keeping them stocked. The Counseling Center is open and here for you, both virtually and with some limited in-person and virtually sessions, to help you navigate this difficult time.

For faculty and staff in need of support, our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provides free, confidential counseling.

We urge all employees to set up direct deposit if you have not already done so to avoid potential delays in receiving your check.

With Gratitude

Thank you also to everyone in our community for your patience and flexibility as we transition to our new normal given the challenges of COVID-19. Special thanks go out to our facilities team and the essential personnel who are physically on campus making sure that Hunter remains open and prepared to support its students, faculty, and staff. Your dedication to the safekeeping of our community’s health and well-being is unparalleled, and we are very grateful.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Telecommuting Plans' - Chancellor Matos Rodriguez (March 15, 2020)


Subject: “Telecommuting plans”
From: Chancellor Matos Rodríguez
Date: March 15, 2020

Dear CUNY staff and faculty,

As we prepare to open another week amid the extraordinary circumstances posed by the coronavirus crisis, I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for your professionalism, and for your commitment to CUNY and its mission. Your stability and solidarity, even in these times of uncertainty, have made it possible to do the work needed to chart a course forward for the University.

I was humbled by your composure last week and this weekend in the face of the news that our offices and campuses were touched by the outbreak. I know that you are concerned for your own health and that of your loved ones, and I share these concerns with you. I understand that the sustained climate of anxiety we all must endure can weigh heavily on our minds. Yet, we have continued to do our part in ensuring the maintenance of our academic and business operations. The sense of mission and urgency was CUNY at its best; thank you.

Faculty, staff, students and administrators across the University have been hard at work, preparing for our upcoming transition to distance learning modalities. Last week, we also distributed guidelines for flexible work arrangements, and we advised all college presidents and provosts to swiftly enact these accommodations where possible. The goal will be to run our campuses under the distance learning modality with as few employees on campus as possible.

As advised in a CUNY Alert earlier this evening, only those who have been designated as essential staff need report to work on Monday, March 16, to their campuses and CUNY Central, beginning a transition to distance working for all non-essential staff. Essential staff have already been designated; however, if staff have any questions, please contact your supervisor. Please note that telecommuting is only possible with the approval of your supervisor. School presidents and deans can decide at their discretion what facilities in their campuses, such as libraries and laboratories, are essential. Dorms and food pantries will remain open.

Further, I have instructed all campuses and CUNY Central to finish their telecommuting plans as soon as possible. All supervisors should finalize establishing the structures and channels that will enable employees to do their jobs remotely, and to ensure that all hardware and software is fully functional. Supervisors should implement remote check-in plans, and all employees should be receiving details about their work schedules and other expectations of job performance for the duration of this arrangement.

These telecommuting plans should be fully activated no later Wednesday, March 18, but I have encouraged all campuses and supervisors who are ready to implement earlier to not wait until then; the sooner, the better.

Managers of CUNY staff who are not able to remotely perform all of their job duties should look for ways to minimize everyone’s potential exposure, including: where possible, combining remote and on-premises work; staggering schedules to enable employees to use public transit during off-peak times; implementing staffing rotations; condensing work weeks, with more hours but fewer days as during the summer; and, for those who are working on-site, utilizing stringent social-distance strategies.

Please be assured that I, along with my senior leadership, have been aggressively evaluating our policies and developing new protocols and processes to safeguard your health and wellbeing while we all work together to maintain CUNY’s essential services. As we continue to respond to the ever-changing developments of this pandemic, we will keep you apprised.

We are undeniably living and working in unprecedented circumstances, but it is not the first time that CUNY has wrestled with dire times. We navigated Superstorm Sandy, the September 11 attacks and other events that presented innumerable but not insurmountable challenges. Each time, we pitched in, pulled through and emerged stronger, and I have no doubt that this will again be the case. I have never been more proud to be a part of a community that is driven by a common, laudable vision.

Together, we are honoring this University’s promise to provide equal access and opportunity for all, no matter the circumstances.

Thank you for your patience and hard work.

Sincerely,

Felo

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Update on Hunter's Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 15, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 15, 2020

To the Hunter faculty and staff,

We write with an update from our last communication about flexible work arrangements for staff as we balance our commitment first to the health and safety of our community and second to ensuring our students can complete the spring semester and supporting our faculty’s research and scholarship. Our goal is to institute flexible and/or remote work schedules for as many as possible of our Hunter college staff. Please be reassured that Hunter’s leadership team has been preparing for this possibility, and we are confident we will continue to be able to provide the support needed both during our transition to remote instruction and on an ongoing basis.

Tomorrow you will hear from your supervisor or department or program leadership about creating a plan for working remotely or, if your job cannot be done remotely, about adjustments to your schedule or work environment that will facilitate social distancing. During this time of many transitions and uncertainties, there will certainly be additional challenges, and I want to personally thank you in advance for your understanding as we all work through it together.

The Hunter community is nothing if not resilient, and I know we will all rise to the challenge. You will continue to hear from us with regular updates, and I want to thank you all again for everything you’ve done for our community in these trying times.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Update on Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 12, 2020)


Subject: “Update on Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 12, 2020

To the Hunter Community,

 

I write with additional updates about Hunter’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. We all know this is a rapidly evolving and very challenging situation. Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our community, and we are simultaneously committed to ensuring our students can complete the spring semester and to supporting our faculty’s research and scholarship.

Hunter Remains Open 

As we previously announced, we are transitioning on March 19th to remote instruction. I want to reiterate that Hunter College remains open and a safe place for our community. All of our campuses and buildings are being regularly cleaned, and we have added hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes across our campuses to help you stay healthy.

We are committed to serving and supporting our community. Student Services are open for both in-person and remote advising and consultation for students; deans and faculty will be communicating with students directly about faculty advising hours and methods.

At this time, many offices and support services across campus will be open to support our community, with cleaning and other modifications as needed. This includes the cafeteria, the Food Pantry, the library, tutoring services, and the fitness center. Athletic programs will continue without spectators.

Transition to Remote Instruction 

As we make the transition to remote instruction as a community, each day will bring both new information and new questions.  We understand that this can be incredibly difficult as we all grapple with changes no one anticipated even a few days ago. We hope the following information will provide some additional clarity on how we will balance the health and safety of our community with ensuring quality instruction for our students. In addition, all students will receive an email or other communication from their instructors regarding specific plans to move their courses to remote instruction.

Please note: Classes that are taught in real time will follow previous schedules. This will ensure that students are not asked to participate in two classes at the same time. Other classes or course sessions may be taught by recorded lecture or other means that allow students and faculty the flexibility to complete at their own pace.

At this point CUNY has not determined if it will extend the semester or if any make-up classes will be required. We will keep you informed as we better understand the duration of this disruption.

In a limited number of cases, such as certain lab sciences, performing arts, and studio art courses, we will offer the option of small group, in-person learning opportunities. We will of course provide synchronous remote experiences for these same classes for students who are unable or choose not to come to campus.

We have been able to make a variety of technological toolsavailable to faculty to facilitate remote instruction. There is more information at the end of this email about specific resources for faculty as they develop their remote instructional plans.  If you have questions about access to these tools, please contact the HelpDesk.

For Staff: Planning for Flexible Work Schedules 

CUNY has now given the colleges permission to institute flexible work schedules for employees in certain situations. We have already begun conversations with Deans and Vice Presidents about various options, and we will provide you with more information very soon.

For Students: Additional Support Available 

We recognize that these are challenging times and that the uncertainty of what remote instruction will bring can be very difficult to navigate. Please know that your health and safety are at the heart of every decision we are making and that we are committed to ensuring that you are able to complete your spring coursework with minimal disruption.

We understand that many of you may lose employment or wages in the coming weeks or incur additional financial hardship. We are committed to mitigating that burden for you and to that end have created an Emergency Assistance Fund through the Hunter College Foundation using private funds to help students impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.  We encourage you to reach out to Vice President and Dean of Students Eija Ayravainento learn more or request financial support.

The transition to remote instruction will impact all students differently, and many of you might be worried about how you’ll access your courses remotely or whether you’ll have the technology you need to be successful. Campus remains open, and we have over 400 computers on campus that you can use. Please note, our enhanced cleaning procedures include regular cleaning and disinfecting of computer labs and all public, high-touch areas. In addition, our goal is to obtain additional laptops and equipment through private donations for students to use off-campus over the next several weeks. All students will shortly receive a survey about their access to technology; please complete it as soon as possible. Your responses will help inform the resources we make available in the coming days and weeks. If you anticipate you will need to utilize this program, contact VP Ayravainen.

For Faculty: Tools and Resources for Remote Instruction 

We continue to work with faculty to provide a multitude of resources to support you as you prepare your remote instructional plans. We have also created this checklistas a guide to aid in your planning and this technology FAQthat will be updated on an ongoing basis. We suggest reviewing the comprehensive overview of approved available technologies;if you need a specialized software that is not included in that list, please contact your dean.

We recommend that you go to ACERT Drop-In Office Hoursto meet with experienced online instructors and get one-on-one support for transitioning your course to remote instruction. The first session will be tomorrow, March 13th, from 10:00am to 4:00pm in 1203 Hunter East (Charlotte Frank Room). Blackboard Tutorial Sessions will be offered both in-person and virtually; information about upcoming sessionswill be posted.

Online webinars will be offered regularly in the coming days on a variety of tools and topics, including Blackboard(Fri. 3/13 at 2:30pm), Best Practices in Online Teaching(Mon. 3/16 at 11:00am) and Blackboard Collaborate(Tue. 3/17 at 3:00pm).

Our Community Values 

Hunter College affirms our longstanding institutional values and commitment to diversity and inclusion. We remind you to be aware of assumptions and prejudice that could lead to targeting or exclusion of people who have visited or are perceived to be from countries where the coronavirus has been widely reported. As we move to distance, remote, and online learning alternatives, Hunter and CUNY Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy remain in effect. If you witness or experience an incident of discrimination, harassment, or exclusion related to the coronavirus threat, please report to a Public Safety Officer if you are in immediate danger or file an online complaint on the Office for Diversity and Compliance website.

Thank You and Additional Updates 

This is a challenging time for all of us. We are incredibly grateful to our dedicated faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly to prepare for this transition and to ensure that the College can remain open and operational during this time.

We will continue to share information as it becomes available, and encourage you to check Hunter’s website for more information about resources and support that is available to you.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Email: 'Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 11, 2020)


Subject: “Hunter’s Response to Coronavirus”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 11, 2020

To the Hunter Community,

 

By now you have likely seen the Governor’s announcement and the Chancellor’s update about suspending classes for an Instructional Recess from March 12th to March 18th and the move to remote instruction beginning March 19th for all CUNY and SUNY schools. All Hunter College campuses will remain open and campus operations will continue. This includes student advising, the cafeteria, athletic facilities, the library, the AccessABILITY office, Human Resources, and ICIT.

Our number one priority is your health and safety. We are simultaneously committed to our students completing the spring semester and supporting our faculty’s research and scholarship. Working with our dedicated faculty and staff, Hunter has been making preparations in case a transition to remote instruction was necessary, and we are confident our faculty will be able to provide students with high-quality remote instruction that meets our accreditation standards. There will be many questions and updates in the coming days, and we will continue to provide updates by email and on our websiteas more information becomes available.

Instructional Recess/Suspending Classes – March 12th to 18th

From Thursday, March 12, through Wednesday, March 18, all campus-based classes will be suspended so students, faculty, and staff are able to prepare for the transition to remote instruction. However, all fully online courses will continue without interruption.

Please note: All of Hunter’s campuses will remain open,
including the main campus on 68th Street; our Brookdale health science building on 25th Street and FDR Drive; our East Harlem campus which includes the Silberman School of Social Work; the 41st Street home to our animal behavior program (i.e., our former MFA building); our two freestanding buildings on 65th Street, Parliamo Italiano and Roosevelt House; the Hunter College Campus Schools; the Belfer Research Building we share with Weill Cornell; our Studio Art MFA at 205 Hudson; and the home to our PRIDE Consortium at 36th Street.  Below is some specific guidance for our students, faculty, and staff about what to do during this Instructional Recess period.

For Students

We understand that this shift to remote instruction will impact students differently, and we are committed to making it as smooth a transition as possible. Computer labs, libraries, student union, and other spaces on campus will be open to provide additional access to technology and space for students to study both during the Instructional Recess and after.  We will do the best we can to ensure that students have access to the technology needed for remote instruction.  In addition to computer labs and space on campus, we are exploring an off-site laptop loan program as well as increasing the number of computers available on campus. Students who need additional accommodations to facilitate remote instruction should contact the AccessABILITY office as soon as possible to make appropriate arrangements.

Hunter and CUNY have been working closely to investigate the potential impact this transition could have on student financial aid regulations. At this point, Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has indicated that it will work with colleges to ensure “continued eligibility for awards under all circumstances related to the coronavirus.” We will share more information as it becomes available.

We are working to provide additional support for students. The Food Pantry will remain open, and we will continue to provide the Fresh Food Boxprogram. We are working with student government to identify additional areas where students need support.  Through the Hunter College Foundation, we have created an Emergency Assistance Fund to help students impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, including those who lost their employment or wages; please email Vice President and Dean of Students Eija Ayravainenfor more information.

For students living in student dormitories —including Brookdale and 79th Street dorms and our leased dorm rooms on 3rd Avenue and also on 92nd Street—the dorms will remain open. You will receive additional guidance from your residence hall director about proactive steps being taken in the residence halls to ensure the health and safety of our students. Please reach out to your residence hall director with any questions or concerns.

Students should continue to report to their clinical/field placements, internships, and student teaching programs unless they have been otherwise instructed. We understand that some sites have been suspended and anticipate additional disruption. Impacted students will hear directly from their deans, chairs, and program directors with more information.

For Faculty

The Instructional Recess is a time for you to prepare remote instructional plans for your courses in coordination with your department chair, program head, and dean. Please work with your chair to outline your plans for teaching remotely for the duration of the spring term and identify resources such as software that will be needed to facilitate this transition. We have created this checklistas a guide.

Remote instruction plans will be reviewed to ensure they address learning outcomes and meet accreditation standards.  We want to reiterate that there are a multitude of resources available for faculty as they consider how to teach their courses remotely. The preferred platform for teaching is Blackboard Collaborate, which meets Hunter’s privacy and security needs and is supported by ICIT. An online technology FAQis available to help prepare. To assist faculty, we will hold training sessions on each campus and share resourcesand online guides; the HelpDeskis available to provide additional technical support. If Blackboard Collaborate does not meet your academic needs, please speak with your dean about alternative products; you will need approval from your dean before using a different tool in order to ensure compliance with Hunter ICIT policies.

For Staff

During the Instructional Recess and for the remainder of the semester, Hunter will remain open with the support of our committed staff. Hunter staff will maintain their normal schedules. Those with an underlying health condition should speak with Human Resources to discuss leave options such as the Family and Medical Leave Act(FMLA).

Remote Instruction – Beginning March 19th

Beginning March 19th, instruction will move to remote instruction. Faculty will provide information to students about specific instructions for each of their courses.  Please monitor your email for specific guidance, which we will provide in the coming days and weeks.

Travel Restrictions

CUNY has suspended all international student travel and study abroad. We are currently working to identify trips that will not present a risk to student health and safety and will be seeking exceptions as appropriate. However, students who are currently abroad and not in a high-risk country are not required to return to campus. Hunter’s Study Abroad office has been in direct contact with all impacted students about their plans to return to campus or continue with their program.  Hunter-led or -sponsored faculty and staff travel is still permitted, except to level 2 and 3 countries. Please ensure department chairs and deans are aware of all such travel plans so we can best support you if conditions change.

There are currently no restrictions on Hunter-led or -sponsored travel within the United States. As a reminder, Hunter-led or -sponsored travel to both Level 2 and Level 3 countries is restricted; currently Iran, South Korea, China, and Italy are classified as Level 3 countries, and Japan is the only country classified as Level 2.   If you are returning from a Level 3 country (Iran, South Korea, China, and Italy), you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus. Similarly, if any present or upcoming visitors to campus are returning from Level 3 countries or otherwise meet the guidelines for self-quarantine, they must postpone their visit to campus until after they have completed the self-quarantine period. We will update you if the situation changes and additional restrictions are put in place.

Events and Gatherings

Events and gatherings are being evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and event guidelines have been adjusted to promote health and safety. Please contact Director of Special Events Jill Vanzinoif you have any questions about specific events. Hunter has the capacity to livestream events to reach those who are not able to attend in person; please contact the HelpDeskfor more information about livestreaming technology. In addition, venues are being cleaned regularly, hand sanitizer is available throughout campus, and catering is supplying single-serve and pre-packaged items.

Research

We are committed to ensuring continuity of our research operations and to supporting faculty and student scholarship in this challenging time. Our facilities, including our science labs, will be open to continue scholarship and research. We will be reaching out directly to researchers with additional guidance in the coming days. Please contact the Provost with any questions or concerns regarding your research.

Additional Updates

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and coordinate with all appropriate bodies. We will send email updates, and you can see all recent announcements on the Hunter website. In addition, CUNY has a Coronavirus Updateweb page, and the CDC is routinely updating their guidance.

Support for Our Community

I want to reiterate that Hunter has a number of excellent resources for faculty, staff, and students for managing under these stressful conditions. I encourage faculty and staff to reach out for free, confidential counseling through EAP. We also have resources for students through our Counseling Center.

We hope this guidance has been helpful. We will keep you updated as additional information becomes available.  We appreciate your support and cooperation during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

A Message from Chancellor Matos Rodríguez (March 11, 2020)

Read Chancellor Matos Rodríguez update here →

Email: 'A Message From Dean Cavanaugh: The Evolving Corona Virus Situation' - Mary Cavanaugh (March 10, 2020)


Subject: “A Message From Dean Cavanaugh: The Evolving Corona Virus Situation”
From: Dean Mary Cavanaugh
Date: March 10, 2020

Dear Students,Today, President Raab sent an email communication assuring the Hunter College community of her commitment to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff as we encounter the rapidly-changing situation related to COVID-19 (for more information, please access the link: https://bit.ly/2VZzaww).

I want to underscore that we here at Silberman are also deeply committed to the safety and well-being of our school community. Towards that end, we have been in close contact with the university, college, the National Association of Deans and Directors of Social Work, the New York State Association of Deans, the NYSED, and our accrediting body, CSWE.

will be receiving shortly an email from the Field Education department providing guidelines particular to your field practicums. Again, as circumstances are rapidly changing, we will continue to update you promptly.

There is currently no disruption in classes. However, we are in the process of contingency planning if, in fact, there is a disruption of in-class classroom learning and/or field placements.

We strongly encourage you to follow CDC guidelines https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html regarding COVID-19. If you are in need of additional support, please do not hesitate to reach out to your instructors, the Field Education department, field advisors, student services, and/or the Counseling and Wellness Services at (212) 772-4931 or by email at personalcounseling@hunter.cuny.edu .

Please continue to regularly check your email for updated information.

Regards,
Dean Mary Cavanaugh
Silberman School of Social Work
at Hunter College

Email: 'Coronavirus: Guidance and Plans' - Jennifer J. Raab (March 9, 2020)


Subject: “Coronavirus: Guidance and Plans”
From: Jennifer J. Raab
Date: March 9, 2020

To the Hunter Community,

As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to evolve, we want to assure you that Hunter is monitoring and responding to the current conditions. We are working hard to ensure that our community stays safe and healthy while balancing our important work of educating students, supporting faculty, and living Hunter’s motto, Mihi Cura Futuri (the care of the future is mine). I want to take a moment to thank all of you for your commitment to supporting Hunter students and helping them to complete their education.While the Center for Disease Control (CDC) notes that the risk to New Yorkers remains low, Hunter has undertaken significant efforts to proactively reduce the risk to our community and ensure we are prepared in case of a disruption to our regular operations. Below is a summary of some key policies and procedures. We encourage you to check your email and the Hunter website for additional updates. Keeping Campus Facilities Safe In accordance with best practices, we have enhanced our institutional cleaning procedures across all Hunter campuses and buildings in coordination with building-specific staff. This includes our main campus on 68th Street; our Brookdale health science building on 25th Street and FDR Drive; our Silberman School of Social Work campus in East Harlem; the 41st Street home to our animal behavior program (i.e., our former MFA building); our two freestanding buildings on 65th Street, Parliamo Italiano and Roosevelt House; and the Hunter College Campus Schools. We are coordinating with entities responsible for the maintenance of shared facilities, including the Belfer Research Building we share with Weill Cornell, our Studio Art MFA at 205 Hudson, and the home to our PRIDE Consortium at 36th Street. We will additionally be closely monitoring cleaning in our Brookdale and 79th Street dorms and our leased dorm rooms on 3rd Avenue and also on 92nd Street. We are routinely cleaning and disinfecting public, high-touch areas, including elevators, classrooms, bathrooms, locker rooms, and equipment, and we are supplying our facilities with hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes. Please look for signage and announcements on screens across these campuses and buildings with important health tips, like using a tissue or other object to push an elevator button or not touching turnstiles with ID cards.

Recommended Prevention Practices

We strongly suggest that all members of the Hunter community follow these commonsense safety precautions:

  • Wash your hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help stop the spread of germs and protect yourself against other infections.
  • Get the flu vaccine; it will not protect you from coronavirus, but will help protect you against the flu which has similar symptoms to this coronavirus.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when sneezing or coughing – do not use your hands.
  • Do not touch your face with unwashed hands.
  • Wearing a mask is not considered necessary.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Continuation of all Campus Activities

At this time, regular campus activities will proceed without interruption. This includes classes, meetings, events, admissions activities, conferences, and gatherings. This is a rapidly changing situation, and we continue to make preparations in case there is a future disruption. Please check your email and our website regularly for more information as the situation develops.

Underlying Health Conditions

If you are faculty or staff with an underlying health condition such as a compromised immune system, please speak to your Department Chair or manager and to Human Resources regarding potential eligibility for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)or reasonable accommodations to allow you to continue teaching or working.

If you are a student with an underlying health condition, such as a compromised immune system, please confer with the Office of AccessABILITYto see if you are eligible for any appropriate accommodations.

Academic Continuity in Case of Canceled On-site Classes

We have asked Deans and the Director of the Campus Schools to work with faculty and chairs to update or develop a comprehensive plan for remote instruction to ensure academic continuity in the event that we need to cancel onsite classes. We are working closely with our various accrediting bodies to ensure any remote instruction plans fulfill our accreditation requirements.

As part of this effort, we are asking all faculty to prepare to be able to teach their courses remotely if needed. The preferred platform for teaching is Blackboard Collaborate, which meets Hunter’s privacy and security needs and is supported by ICIT. To assist faculty, we will hold training sessions on each campus and share resources and online guides; the HelpDeskis available to provide additional technical support. If Blackboard Collaborate does not meet your academic needs, please speak with your Dean about alternative products; you will need approval from your Dean before using a different tool in order to ensure compliance with Hunter ICIT policies. The Provost’s office will work with faculty whose courses would not be consistent with traditional remote instruction, like labs and the performing arts. The Campus Schools has a number of embedded resources that will facilitate remote learning for students as needed; additional information will be provided to HCCS faculty by the Campus Schools leadership team.

Clinical Placements and Internships

Hunter is working with CUNY and our partners to determine how we can fulfill any student requirements for clinical placements and internships in the event of a disruption to normal activities.  The CUNY Office of Academic Affairs has asked the NYSED Office of Professions to authorize CUNY to use our campus Simulation Labs and NYSIM, as needed, as an alternative to meeting our clinical program training requirements. We will continue to update you as this process unfolds and when we get a response from NYSED.

Financial Aid

Hunter and CUNY have been working closely to investigate the potential impact that short-term and long-term school closures could have on student financial aid regulations. At this point, Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) has indicated that it will work with colleges to ensure “continued eligibility for awards under all circumstances related to the coronavirus.” We will share more information as it becomes available.

Events and Gatherings

At this point, all events and gatherings will continue as usual, including performances, partnership events, conferences, lectures, and meetings. We are closely monitoring guidelines from CUNY, New York City, New York State, and federal agencies.  However, we urge you to check our website regularly for up-to-the-minute updates. Hand sanitizer and other appropriate precautions will be made available, as well as signage to remind visitors of ways to stay healthy. Hunter has the capacity to livestream events to reach those who are not able to attend in person; please contact the HelpDesk for more information about livestreaming technology.

Travel Restrictions

Hunter-led or -sponsored travel to both Level 2 and Level 3 countries is restricted; currently only Iran, South Korea, China, and Italy are classified as Level 3 countries, and Japan is the only country classified as Level 2. There are currently no restrictions on Hunter-led or -sponsored travel within the United States. We will update you if the situation changes and additional restrictions are put in place.

If you are returning from a Level 3 country (Iran, South Korea, China, and Italy), you are required to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to class or work. Similarly, if any present or upcoming visitors to campus are returning from Level 3 countries or otherwise meet the guidelines for self-quarantine, they must postpone their visit to campus until after they have completed the self-quarantine period.

All study abroad programs have been canceled for the semester. We have asked faculty and staff to accommodate impacted students as they return to campus, including facilitating enrollment after the deadline, fast-tracking academic advising, permitting make-up exams, and extending due dates on impacted assignments and projects.  We are working to support students who were enrolled in study abroad programs that cannot be completed as planned, including coordinating with program providers, replacing course content, and facilitating credit-bearing internships.

Guidelines for Self-Quarantine

A 14-day self-quarantine must be undertaken if you:

  • Have returned from a Level 3 country (Iran, South Korea, China, and Italy)
  • Live with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus or has exhibited symptoms of the coronavirus

Faculty and staff members who fall into the above two categories and have been approved for self-quarantine will be paid their full salary for the entire self-quarantine period, and their leave accruals will not be affected.

Essential Campus Emergencies

In the event of an emergency closing or move to remote instruction, essential employees will ensure the baseline operations of the College. These employees will be notified by their manager that they are considered “essential employees” and will be asked to continue to work in the event of an emergency closing. This includes faculty and staff who maintain our research labs. Please contact the Provost with any questions or concerns regarding research labs.

Additional Updates

We will continue to monitor the evolving situation and coordinate with all appropriate bodies. We will send email updates, and you can see all recent announcements on the Hunter website. In addition, CUNY has aCoronavirus Update web page,and the CDC is routinely updating their guidance.

Support for Our Community

Hunter has a number of excellent resources for faculty, staff, and studentsfor managing under these stressful conditions. I encourage faculty and staff to reach out for free, confidential counseling through EAP. We also have resources for students through our Counseling Center.

Thank You

I would like to thank our resilient Hunter community. You have gone above and beyond to ensure our community stays safe and healthy while minimizing interruption to our academic operations. Several teams at Hunter deserve particular appreciation, including ICIT, Human Resources, Facilities, Student Services, and our academic leadership. Special thanks go out to our custodial staff who have stepped up to meet the new protocols and whose tireless efforts help keep us safe and healthy.

I hope this guidance has been helpful. We will keep you updated as additional information becomes available.

Sincerely,

Jennifer J. Raab

Chancellor Updates Students on Coronavirus (March 4, 2020)

Read Chancellor Matos Rodríguez update here →