The Office of the President
May 29, 2020
Dear Members of the SUNY Oswego campus community,

Well, Memorial Day has passed and with it the nation has marked a terrifying and sorrowful milestone of loss due to COVID-19.  Yet, by the incredible resiliency of the human spirit, rising in triumph over trauma, the dramatically altered spring semester of 2020 has successfully drawn to a close and ended with traditional rituals and a sense of promise for the future; seniors have virtually celebrated Torchlight and Graduation, grades are in, and planning for a fall restart is fully underway.

I am asked everyday if we will be back on campus for instruction in the fall.  And I say without any hesitation “I hope so!”  I miss all of you and of course our students so much.  But hope alone will not make this a reality.  Safety is our top priority and no plan or intention to reconvene on campus this fall can be implemented unless we focus on every detail to drastically reduce the health risks of being together for all of our students, faculty, staff and visitors.  And we have been focusing—planning and envisioning, setting up scenarios and poking holes in them, working with experts and letting science guide our protocols.

Many of you have agreed to take on significant responsibilities in this ongoing work by serving as key members of three vital groups; the COVID-19 Task Force, the Fall Academic Planning Committee, and our Health and Safety group that were formed over the past several months.  You have supplied the creativity and insight paramount to planning for a phased return of our employees this summer and our students in the fall.  We are working through many interrelated factors including but not limited to residence hall occupancy, dining operations, types/mode of academic instruction, classroom occupancy and its impact on the academic calendar, large gatherings and athletics, virus testing and tracing, personal protective equipment (PPE including cloth masks), transportation (CENTRO), cleaning and sanitizing the campus, and a review of all facilities and spaces to ensure proper physical distancing.  Embedded in our plans will also be the flexibility and adaptability to use several modalities of instruction (online and face-to-face instruction) should we need to pivot at some point during the semester.  

We are also correlating our plans with guidance and checklists from the CDC, SUNY, the CNY Regional Control group, our local health department and the Governor’s directives.  I am confident that our plans, when complete, will be comprehensive, thoroughly well-conceived and completely feasible.  But, still, we must obtain approval of our plans and our region (CNY) must be maintaining metrics to stay safely open before we will be allowed to announce a date for return in the fall.

So—stay tuned.  We will be communicating on this topic as often as we have new information to share.

As we plan for the fall, I cannot miss this additional opportunity to once again thank the entire Laker community for the deep commitment and resolve you have all demonstrated as we navigated the spring 2020 semester.  Our students had the tenacity and grit necessary to continue their path forward and our faculty and staff led with tremendous resourcefulness and great compassion in implementing an unprecedented and rapid change to remote teaching and learning.  It is through your absolutely amazing understanding and your unwavering support for our students that I am certain we will continue to adapt and, as a community, move Oswego Forward with resiliency and purpose.

I wish you a thoroughly enjoyable and productive summer.  Please stay safe and take care.

Warm regards,

Deborah F. Stanley

Office of the President
706 Culkin Hall
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