Reopening Campus Fall 2020

President Zupan has announced Alfred University is planning to reopen campus and welcome students back for our Fall 2020 semester with an experience designed for living, learning, and working together safely. We are planning for classes to begin August 24th.

Letter from President Zupan

Our University is planning to reopen our campus this summer in time for the beginning of Fall semester classes on August 24, 2020. Our reopening plan will continue to be mindful of federal, state, and local health guidelines, and places the highest priority on the safety and well-being of our students, staff, and faculty, as well as those who live and work in the Alfred area. The details of the plan provided on the pages that follow represent our commitment to a safe campus environment when students, staff, and faculty return for the Fall semester.

The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented challenges on our University. In late March, we were forced to pivot to a virtual model of instruction, with all but the most essential of employees working from home. Every member of the Alfred University community—students and parents, staff and faculty, and our Board of Trustees—rose to the occasion and helped us successfully make the pivot.

Now, with the return of students to campus in August, we face additional challenges. They include implementing ongoing safety protocols: regular health screening, promotion of social distancing measures, provision of personal protective equipment, and enhanced daily cleaning and sanitation across campus. Our plan for the Fall, which is comprehensive and has benefited from the input of a broad spectrum of our University community, addresses challenges such as these. (Of course, we will continue to update our plan in response to further federal, state, and local health policy guidance.)

Over the last few months, as we set out to design what the Fall semester at Alfred will look like, three important objectives guided our planning. First, we have to make our environment as safe as possible to protect our students, staff, and faculty. Second, we must provide a learning experience that is typically Alfred—immersive, experiential, and based on collaboration between students, faculty, and staff, in spite of the overarching need for social distancing. Third, it has to be inspiring, exceptional, and fun, the principal hallmarks by which our alumni remember their experience here. Failing to achieve any of these objectives will be failing our students.

So, as we ready for the return of students to the magical valley that is Alfred University, we do so with the confidence that we can promote a safe environment on our campus and in the local community. Furthermore, the resilience, resourcefulness, and resolve that our students, staff, and faculty have shown in the face of unprecedented adversity gives us the assurance that we will continue to find ways to create a transformative education that is at the heart of Alfred University’s mission while emerging from the COVID-19 challenge an even stronger institution.


What will Fall 2020 Look Like?

Many experiences will look and feel different. Each of us will need to follow new safety precautions to ensure we keep our campus and the local community as safe and healthy as possible. At the same time - we will ensure you are able to take advantage of all life at Alfred University has to offer.

We recognize our nation will continue to face COVID-19 for the foreseeable future. As a result, we need to assess and address a wide range of risks and solutions for the Fall semester. We are examining the way we teach, schedule classes, coordinate housing and dining and the ways we work in our magical valley.

President Zupan called for the created of a Campus Reopening Implementation Team to oversee our efforts. There are four working groups supporting the team's efforts by focusing on specific areas: Academic Affairs, Campus Life, Operations, and Communication.

In implementing its reopening plan, Alfred University will comply with all Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.


In response to COVID-19, Alfred University assembled four cross-functional teams to develop comprehensive plans designed to address and mitigate the risks associated with COVID-19 for our students, faculty, and staff. The four teams, and their members, are:

Academic Affairs

  • Beth Ann Dobie          Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs (team leader)
  • Gerar Edizel                  Dean, School of Art and Design
  • Gabrielle Gaustad       Dean, School of Engineering
  • Mark Lewis                   Dean, College of Business
  • Brian Sullivan              Dean, Libraries
  • David Toot                 Dean, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

The Academic Affairs Team has two subcommittees: Research and Faculty Online Development.

Campus Life

  • Kimberly Guyer           Vice President, Student Affairs (team leader)
  • Steve Byrne                  Professor, Associate Professor, Counseling
  • Jean Cardinale            Professor, Biology
  • Tricia Debertolis          Associate Dean, Center for Student Involvement
  • John Dietrich               Director, Contracted Dining Services
  • Del Rey Honeycutt     Interim Dean of Students, Director of the Wellness Center
  • Jess Middaugh            Director of Public Safety
  • Nadine Shardlow        Executive Director, HEOP and Center for Advising
  • Paul Vecchio                Athletic Director

Operations

  • Jamie Babcock              Executive Director, Capital Projects/Facilities Operations (team leader)
  • Melissa Badeau                Director, Office of Procurement Services
  • Marcy Bradley                   Director, Barnes & Noble Bookstore
  • Thomas George                Manager of Network Services
  • Mark Guinan                      Director of Human Resources
  • Tim Heckman                    Asst. Director, Capital Projects/Facilities Operations
  • Amy Jacobson                   Director of Gift Planning
  • Kayleigh Jones                  Generalist, Human Resources
  • Lou Lichtman                    Professor, Professor, Psychology
  • Walter McConnell            Professor, Ceramics
  • Adrian Morling                 Manager, Administrative Programming
  • Cindy Mullen                    Director, Budget/Planning/Assessment
  • Michele Romanchock   Director of Libraries

Communications

  • Michael Kozlowski      Executive Director, Marketing, Communication and Government Relations (team leader)
  • Jodi Bailey                    Director, Marketing
  • Lynn O’Connell            Professor, Psychology
  • Allen Grove                   Professor, English
  • Mark Whitehouse       Director, Communication

In addition to the faculty and staff listed above, the teams also benefited from the participation of a number of students: Carson Grover, Bradley Keough, Keshell Scipio, and Talulla Torthe.

The teams identified above also referred to and applied relevant elements of the following materials:

  • CDC Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers Responding to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), May 2020
  • CDC guidance for Cleaning and Disinfection for Community Facilities
  • (Community, Work and School)
  • CDC Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education
  • CDC guidance for cleaning and disinfecting a building or facility if someone is sick
  • All current COVID-19 guidance issued by the New York Department of Health
  • US Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for cleaners effective against COVID-19
  • Allegany County Department of Health recommendations and procedures for contract tracing and reporting
  • Classes begin August 24 (as scheduled)
  • The October two-day break (October 12–13) will be eliminated
  • In-person class activities will conclude on Wednesday, November 25 at noon prior to
  • Thanksgiving, and students will not return to campus after the holiday
  • The in-person exam period is scheduled for November 20 to noon on November 25, including Saturday
  • Final grades will be due December 7
  • The week following Thanksgiving (November 30–December 4) may be used by instructors to wrap up classes
  • Classes meeting on Fridays will have one session to make up which will be scheduled at the instructors’ discretion
  • Study Abroad opportunities are being postponed until the Spring semester
  • Wherever possible, online learning options will be available for international students who cannot travel to campus

2020-2021 Academic Calendar

Alfred University’s planning for the Fall includes the following elements:

  • Course offerings are being designed so as to maximize our students’ in person experience while maintaining overall safety. Courses will be accessible to students who are required to isolate or quarantine
  • Online courses are being developed to reduce density on campus and to serve our international students
  • Labs will be in person, although in smaller cohorts; we expect that there will be an online component
  • For our School of Art and Design and the Performing Arts Division, studios will be conducted in person. However, reduced number of students will be allowed in each space based on social distancing guidelines. This may require some courses use a hybrid model (with some on-line course delivery); students will be informed prior to the first day of class if their class has a hybrid model and when to report to class.
  • Room occupancy will be limited outside of class time and student use will require prior, electronic reservation and check in; art history (and some music) and theory courses will be online
  • Alfred University, New York City (AU-NYC) will deliver all courses online for the Fall semester
  • In the Inamori School of Engineering, the first-year experience course will be conducted in a hybrid mode; there will be some level of online course delivery

We are planning a combination of in-class, hybrid, and online courses. The decisions regarding mode of delivery for specific courses and sections will be made based on a number of factors, including student needs, enrollment, learning outcomes, curricular cohesion, and the availability of requisite studios, labs, and classrooms, appropriately modified for social distancing.

The full course breakdown and schedule will be shared with faculty sometime in mid-July and sent to our students in early August.

Arts (Including Performing Arts)

  • As with classes in other disciplines, class sizes will be determined based on room sizes to ensure adequate social distancing
  • For performance training, individual instruction and review will be employed where necessary; in other cases, more protective PPE (face shields and gloves) will be required
  • More frequent cleaning and sanitation schedules will be implemented where necessary
  • Students meeting for critiques will be limited in number to maintain social distancing
  • Disinfectant spray bottles, paper towels and disposable wipes will be available
  • throughout Arts and ceramics art spaces for use in between regular cleaning schedules; disciplines will be free to develop case-specific solutions for periodic cleaning and sanitizing the areas in which they meet and rehearse

Face Coverings/Masks

  • Students will be asked and reminded throughout the summer to bring face coverings/masks with them as they will be required to wear them any time that they are on campus and within six feet of others
  • Students must wear face coverings/masks whenever they are in an academic or administrative building
  • Students, staff and faculty will be required to wear face coverings/masks whenever they are on campus and not able to maintain six feet of social distance; in addition, faculty are required to wear a face coverings/masks while teaching all in-person classes
  • PPE for all faculty and staff will be provided by the University

Gloves

  • Per the current guidance, gloves are only required for healthcare and those who are in high-risk areas; based on those guidelines, we will not be providing gloves for day-to-day use

Other Personal Protection

  • As indicated elsewhere in this plan, signs will be posted throughout the campus to promote:
    • Social distancing requirements when waiting in lines
    • Frequent hand washing generally and in bathrooms
    • The frequent use of sanitizer stations
  • Touchless hand sanitizer stations will be available in common areas throughout the campus.
  • Point-to-point contact prevention shields will be installed in areas that require direct, face-to-face interaction within six feet of social distance (i.e., at service desks, dining facilities, check-out counters, campus mailroom, etc.)

Effective communication with our students, parents, employees, and community will require dissemination of frequent, useful information relating to our planned reopening this Fall. To that end, the communication plan (launched in late May) will adhere to an aggressive schedule throughout the summer.

In addition, all the information conveyed via email will also be posted on all Alfred University social media platforms, on our Reopening Campus Fall 2020 webpage, included in Alfred Today, and sent to regional media outlets.

Once classes have started, the commitment to communication becomes even more critical to ensure that we are operating safely and successfully. Our communication schedule will include the following, at a minimum:

May

  • Message 1 (Week of May 24)
    Fiat Safe Returns; announcement that Alfred University's Fall semester classes will begin on August 24

June

  • Message 1 (Week of June 15)
    New York Forward Reopening Task Force higher education reopening guidance
    (screening, testing, dorms, distancing, etc.)
  • Message 2 (Week of June 21)
    Academic Calendar Schedule Updates
  • Message 3 (Week of June 28)
    Employee return to the work site plan - specific messaging to our faculty and staff about when and how to return to work
  • Message 4 (Week of June 28)
    Employees return to the work site - updates on faculty and staff return to work

July

  • Message 1 (Week of July 6)
    Expected New York State formal approval to reopen campus
  • Deans' First Email (end of week of July 20)
    To be sent to students in each Deans' college/school with specific updates/guidelines relevant to their college/school/program
  • Message 2 (Week of July 13)
    "Safe Reopening" updates/guidelines
  • Message 3 (beginning of week of July 20)
    Academic Calendar Reminders/Other Updates
  • Message 4 (Week of July 28)
    Responsibility of students to adhere to our University's health and hygiene policies

August

  • Message 1 (Week of August 3)
    Watch Your Mail - Reopening Box/"Looking forward to seeing you on campus"
  • Message 2 (Week of August 3)
    Reminders/"Don't come to campus without..."
  • Deans' Second Email (Week of August 10th)
    To be sent to students in Deans' Colleges/Schools; maintaining the connection/Zoom call invitations and scheduling
  • Message 3 (Arrival throughout August)
    Welcome box; includes president's welcome note, self-screening requirements and instructions, swag item
  • Message 4 (Week of August 10th)
    Alfred University's expectations for students; reminder of University's health and hygiene responsibilities

During the fall semester, weekly COVID-19 updates will be emailed to students, faculty and staff, and will be posted on the University’s websites www.alfred.edu and my.alfred.edu, Alfred Today, ENews, Facebook, Instagram and other Social Media platforms.

Finally the Alfred web site COVID-19 page will be modified to include a “dashboard” that publishes daily data relating to test volumes, positive test results, and COVID-19 information from Allegany County Health Department.

 

If a “spike” in COVID cases occurs at any time during the fall semester on campus, or in the region or state, Alfred University may be required to close its campus and send students, faculty, and staff home. We expect that the Allegany County Health Department and/or the New York State Department of Health will be the source of any information relating to the need to vacate the campus. Such a situation would result in Alfred University taking the following steps:

  • Whoever is the recipient of the information will immediately convey it to the president
  • The president will notify the Cabinet that closure or other action is required
  • The president will notify our Board of Trustees of campus closure and the status of the vacating process
  • The Cabinet will inform all faculty and staff in their respective departments of the need to close our campus
  • The Communication Department will immediately issue a RAVE alert notifying all recipients that our campus is being closed and students are being sent home
  • The Communication Department will also use all other available channels (email, social media, alert on www.alfred.edu and my.alfred.edu) to disseminate information regarding the campus closure with instructions for next steps and timing
  • Residence Life is developing a plan for the orderly departure of students from campus
  • Academic Affairs will have contingency plans in place for moving to remote instruction if necessary
  • Parents will be provided with specific instructions for student departure
  • As in the case of the campus closure in March 2020, Alfred University will make provisions for any student who is unable to leave campus

Assuming the increase in cases does not require closure, any actions the University takes will result in a notification process similar to that identified above.

August 1
July 24

July 13

July  10
July 9
July 3

June 23

August 1

As we approach the date for the return of our students to Alfred University’s magical valley, more detailed information regarding the schedule of those returns has been finalized.  We apologize for the delay in providing you with this information.  However, COVID-19 has continued to create new travel restrictions.   

During the last two weeks, 14 more states, along with Washington DC and Puerto Rico, have been added to New York’s travel advisory list, increasing the number of students who must be quarantined. Students from out of state should check New York’s travel advisory list regularly in case their state gets added to the list so they can make proper plans to quarantine. 

We have heard from many of you that a later arrival date may be more convenient and, as a result, have revised our student arrival plans to accommodate these requests. As a consequence, we also have revised our plans for course delivery for the first two weeks of classes as well. During that period of time, all courses will be offered online.  

Regarding new and returning students: 

  • Please remember to bring face masks or face coverings and a thermometer (to be used for your daily health screenings)
  • Move in schedule for new and returning students:
    • Move In Group 1--International students and out-of-state students from locations on New York State’s travel advisory list returning on August 5 or August 7 
      • 14-day quarantine is required; students may do so in their assigned room on campus at no added cost, except those students who have an assigned room in Openhym who arrive before August 18; these students will have to quarantine in temporary space until Openhym is ready for occupancy  
      • We ask that you click on this link to let us know what day and time of day you will arrive to campus; this “reservation” will promote greater health protection, order and efficiency for the move in process. Unless otherwise contacted by Residence Life, your selected arrival date and time is guaranteed
    • Move In Group 2--New York State residents and students from areas not on the travel advisory list return between August 21 – August 23 
      • No quarantine is required 
      • Students will move into their assigned rooms 
      • We ask that you click on this link to let us know what day and time you will arrive to campus this “reservation” will promote greater health protection, order and efficiency for the move in process. Unless otherwise contacted by Residence Life, your selected arrival date and time is guaranteed 
      • Students who are living in Openhym are advised to select the later dates, as Openhym is on track to be finished just before move-in
    • All other studentsThose students from U.S. states appearing on the New York travel advisory list (these students must return to New York to quarantine off campus before moving into assigned rooms) 
      • 14-day quarantine is required  
      • Students must quarantine off-campus in New York with family or friends, or in a NYS hotel/Airbnb/VRBO 
      • If a student quarantines off-campus they can move into their assigned room following their 14-day quarantine period on August 21, 22 or 23, and will be required to provide certification of their compliance with the quarantine requirement 
      • We ask that you click on this link to let us know what day and time of day you will arrive to campus; this “reservation” will promote greater health protection, order and efficiency for the move in process. Unless otherwise contacted by Residence Life, your selected arrival date and time is guaranteed
  • If you must quarantine upon arrival in New York, the state guidance requires that you not go out in public or outside your place of residence during the two-week quarantine period 
  • Once you arrive to campus, follow the signs to the McLane Center parking lot (Visitor Center) where you will receive a health screening by our Wellness Center staff 
  • Students who pass the health screening will enter the Joyce & Walton Center to receive their room key. First year students and new transfer students will also have your ID photo taken 
  • You will then go to your residence hall and move into your designated room  
  • You will be allowed to have one other person assist you with your move. That individual must also have been screened by our staff before accompanying the student on campus 
  • Residence Life staff will be available during move in to answer any questions  
  • Due to the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 conditions later in the fall, we ask all students to be prepared to move out of the residence halls at the end of the semester, making it possible for us to clean the halls thoroughly in preparation for the start of the Spring semester; as a result we suggest that you bring to campus only the necessities and supplies you will need for the Fall semester 
  • We also ask everyone who must quarantine on campus to pack and bring a separate bag filled with essential items you will need for 14 days. This bag should contain bedding, toiletries, some small comforts from home, laptop, phone and chargers, and enough clothing for two weeks 
  • During quarantine for those who must do so, meals will be delivered to all students in their residence halls 
  • For those students who quarantine on campus (Group 1), compliance with the quarantine provision requires them to remain in their residence halls, and to follow all social distancing, facial covering and cleanliness requirements for the greater health and safety of all residents, faculty, and staff  
  • All students traveling from international locations and New York travel advisory states must file a travel advisory form with the New York health department before arriving in New York

All of us at Alfred University are looking forward to seeing you on campus and in classes soon. We will continue to focus all our energies on protecting the bubble throughout the semester, but we need your help in doing so. Please keep in mind that you share this important responsibility, and can do your part by maintaining social distancing, washing your hands frequently with soap, and wearing your mask.  Together we can make this semester at Alfred University safe, educational, and fulfilling for all.

July 24

The addition of 10 new states to the New York State Travel Advisory List has caused us to have to reevaluate our reopening plans, and more specifically, our move in dates. We ask for your patience and understanding as we are working diligently to finalize these plans and expect to be able to give you full details at the end of next week.

Please know that we continue to plan to have in-person classes, and everyone’s health and safety remain our priority. We understand that many of you were hoping to move-in at a later date in August, and we can tell you that we are working toward accommodating that goal. Please be aware that many airlines are offering changes to travel plans at no cost as well as refunds in the event that you need to change your flights. Shuttle schedules will be adjusted to assist you in getting to campus. We’re also working to arrange for transportation from New York City because the standard buses that students take are not currently running.

To answer questions you may have about our reopening plans and what we are doing to promote a safe campus this Fall due to COVID-19, Mark Zupan, Alfred University President, Dr. Kimberly Guyer, Vice President of Student Affairs and other members of our Student Affairs team will be hosting two additional Zoom meetings next week.

We understand this is time sensitive and that some of you had plans to begin arriving on campus as early as August 5th. Our Office of Residence Life will be reaching out to those students who were scheduled to arrive on August 5th and 7th immediately to communicate how you are impacted, and we will continue to be in touch with each individual student through email and personal phone calls as soon as the details are finalized.

Meeting ID: 970 8904 1421
Password: 164054

Meeting ID: 942 4350 8037
Password: 469091

You may submit questions ahead of the Zoom meetings to alfredalert@alfred.edu. Please be sure to submit your questions by 4 p.m. the day prior to the Zoom meeting you are participating in.

We will be recording the meetings for those that are not able to attend. If you have questions or would like further information, please contact alfredalert@alfred.edu.

We look forward to meeting with you next week.

Dr. Kimberly Guyer
Vice President, Student Affairs

July 13

Beginning today, (Monday, July 13), Alfred University will begin welcoming some employees back to campus so as to prepare for the upcoming Fall 2020 semester. Due to COVID, all but essential staff and faculty have been working from home since late March.

To make COVID mitigation efforts most effective, we have put in place a number of policies and guidelines for employees to follow. We all share in the responsibility to abide by the guidelines outlined in our Reopening Plan in order to best protect the health and safety of our University and surrounding community. They include: practicing social distancing, wearing a mask or face covering whenever social distancing is not possible, routine hand washing, participating in safety training, and completing daily health screenings.

Approximately 50 of the University’s facilities and technical staff are returning to campus first, taking steps to accommodate required safety measures. Physical Plant employees will undergo initial training—following federal Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines—on cleaning and disinfecting buildings on campus; keeping proper records of cleaning; the use, distribution, and storage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and maintenance of handwashing and sanitizing stations.

Throughout the coming weeks, facilities staff will be installing hand-sanitizing stations at critical locations, along with COVID-related signage noting social distancing requirements, the need to wear masks/face coverings, and directional traffic flow.

All employees returning to campus are required to complete a training program developed by our Office of Human Resources. The program will be followed by series of questions to determine employees’ understanding of required safety measures. Returning employees are also required to undergo an initial health screening as well as a daily screenings. Our Information Technologies staff has developed a web-based application that can be used to complete the daily screenings.

Our University is providing all employees with reusable masks, which staff and faculty are required to clean regularly and must be worn when six-foot social distancing cannot be maintained. Employees returning to campus will be able to pick up their masks at the University Bookstore located in the Powell Campus Center.

Fall 2020 semester classes are set to begin on August 24.  Students, who will begin arriving on campus on a staggered schedule in early August, are required to follow the same health and safety guidelines as staff and faculty. By committing to carrying out our shared duties and responsibilities, we can achieve our goal of providing the safest possible living, learning, and working environment on our campus.

Effective communication continues to play a key role in our efforts promote the health and well-being of our community. Please look for regular emails and visit the Reopening Campus Fall 2020 website for the latest updates.

July 10

Thank you to everyone who has submitted follow-up questions and comments regarding the move-in information sent recently. We have made some revisions based on that feedback. Below is an updated schedule for your arrival on campus and an explanation of which groups may be required to quarantine upon arriving. Please keep in mind that these dates were selected based on guidance from the New York State Department of Health, to ensure students have time to quarantine, while starting in-person classes on time, and to promote effective social distancing during the move-in process.

  • August 5, 7, and 10 – All international and domestic students from New York-designated travel advisory* states
  • August 10, 12, and 14 – Students from other states that are not included in New York’s travel advisory, and students from New York City, Mid-Hudson and Long Island Regions
  • August 17 – RAs and Fall Sport Athletes who did not arrive on the previous dates
  • August 18 –Winter and Spring Sport Athletes who did not arrive on the previous dates
  • August 19 – New York Capital Region, Central New York, Mohawk Valley and North Country Regions
  • August 20 – New York Finger Lakes and Southern Tier Regions
  • August 21 – Western New York Region

Students coming from international locations and areas included in the New York State Department of Health travel advisory* list will be required to quarantine for 14 days upon arrival to campus. Instructions related to quarantine will be provided to these students when they arrive.

In adherence to health and safety protocols, the Office of Residence Life will assign two-hour windows for students to arrive on these designated days, and will notify students in an email of their assigned day and window of time for move-in. Residence Life will also work with the students who cannot make their assigned date/time, but we encourage you to arrive during the assigned times. If the date and time assigned are not feasible for you and your family, please contact the Office of Residence Life for assistance.  A representative will contact you to discuss your options.

Students also will receive an email on July 15 from the Director of our Wellness Center, Del Rey Honeycutt, with a link to a health screening survey.  This survey must be submitted prior to your arrival.

Our complete Plan to Reopen Campus for Fall 2020 and our Reopening Website are available online as of this week.  Two Zoom meetings have been scheduled for next week with Alfred University President Mark Zupan and our Student Affairs staff to answer any questions returning students and their families may have (we have had similar meetings already for new students and their families). Email invitations have already been sent to returning students.  If you are unable to participate in the Zoom meetings, please feel free to email any questions you may have about move-in.

We look forward to welcoming you and are working diligently to create a campus environment that meets the highest standards for protecting the health and well-being of the University and local communities.

* Please note that the list of New York travel advisory states may change based on New York State Department of Health guidelines.  As they do, we will notify affected students.

June 9

With the calendar turning from June to July and August fast approaching, Alfred University continues its preparations for welcoming students to campus for the 2020-21 academic year, with Fall 2020 semester classes set to begin August 24.  Staff began returning to campus this week and we have created a plan for students’ arrival during the month of August.

Regular communications with the University community are key as we continue to meet the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve our goal of creating the safest possible learning, living, and working environment on our campus.

Today, we launched our Reopening Campus Fall 2020 website, which provides another vehicle of communication to the University and local communities. The website contains a link to our Reopening Plan, information for students and their families, as well as staff and faculty; steps we are taking to maximize safety across campus and in the local community; information on athletics (including the status of Fall sports schedules) and athletics facilities; and guidelines for visitors. Frequently asked questions (FAQs) will be posted to the site soon.

Two weeks ago, we began distributing email updates on the status of our Reopening Plan, which was submitted last Friday to the New York State Department of Health for approval. The plan is comprehensive and meets the State’s reopening guidelines for institutions of higher education. Among the information contained in our plan:

  • Fall 2020 academic calendar updates – The two-day Fall Semester break in October has been eliminated to allow on-campus instruction (including in-person final exams) to conclude by Wednesday, November 25, before Thanksgiving
  • Students will arrive in August on a staggered schedule and will undergo an immediate health screening.  International students and students arriving from other states deemed by New York State to be high risk will be required to quarantine. Two residence halls will be designated for use for quarantine and isolation
  • Classes – A mix of in-person and online coursework will provide our students the experience of learning in the classroom, lab, and studio while also promoting health and safety
  • Personal protection guidelines – Requirements for utilizing Personal Protective Equipment (masks/face coverings), practicing personal hygiene, and abiding by social distancing measures. Students will be required to bring masks/face coverings and thermometers
  • Campus safeguards – In addition to screening students once they arrive on campus in August, all students, staff, and faculty will be required to undergo daily symptoms screening throughout the semester. Classrooms and common spaces, including dining facilities, will be remodeled to provide for social distancing
  • Our Communication Plan – This will include weekly COVID-19 updates emailed and posted to the University website (including my.alfred.edu and Alfred Today) as well as social media platforms; and a “dashboard” on our COVID-19 web page that will provide daily data relating to test volumes, positive test results, and COVID-19 information from the Allegany County Health Department

We encourage students and parents, staff, and faculty to visit our reopening website regularly for the latest updates. We all share in the responsibility of protecting the health and well-being of students, faculty, and staff, as well as those who live and work in the local community. Those responsibilities can be best met by learning and following the guidance contained in our Reopening Plan.

July 3

As we announced last week, Alfred University will be distributing regular email updates on our plan to reopen our campus. In our initial Reopening Campus Fall 2020 email last Tuesday, we noted New York State’s promulgation of guidelines that institutions of higher education must follow to reopen.

Today, Alfred University will be submitting its reopening plan to the New York State Department of Health. We feel confident that New York State will approve our plan and that we will be welcoming students back to campus for beginning of the Fall semester on August 24.

To view the New York State guidelines for higher education, visit the New York Forward website for Phase Four industries and click on Higher Education/View Summary Guidelines.

Also today, we announce that Alfred University will begin the process of bringing faculty and staff back to campus next week. Since late March, all but essential employees have been working from home.

Facilities and maintenance crews—with the primary responsibility of preparing our campus for the safe return of other staff and faculty and, ultimately, students—will begin returning to campus next week. These workers will deep clean and disinfect academic and administrative buildings and assess all building systems, including heating, ventilation, and air conditioning. In addition, they will install hand sanitizing stations and post signage and graphics across campus promoting required safety measures, including social distancing, pedestrian traffic flow patterns, and access points for all buildings.

In the ensuing weeks throughout the summer, other staff needed to support our reopening plan will return as well. All employees will be screened for COVID-19 symptoms prior to returning to campus, with daily screenings to follow. Prior to returning, all employees also will be asked to review an electronic educational document regarding the promotion of safety on our campus. A schedule for the continued, phased-in return of staff required to prepare for students’ arrival in August will be announced in mid-July.

The last several weeks have presented us with unprecedented challenges. Our reopening plan is comprehensive and places the highest priority on protecting the health and well-being of all members of the Alfred University and our local community. Please remember to look for regular updates on our progress as we implement our plan, along with other important details about what you can do to help us create the safest possible environment for our students, staff, faculty, and local community members.

June 23

Throughout the summer, Alfred University will be distributing email announcements regarding our plans to reopen. Today (June 23), we are pleased to announce that on Saturday, June 20, New York State published guidance for colleges and universities to reopen for the fall 2020 semester.

Alfred University will submit its reopening plan to the state by July 3. We expect New York State will approve our plan, which fully meets the required guidelines announced Saturday. Our compliance with these guidelines confirms our intention to welcome students back to campus for the beginning of fall semester classes on August 24, with the semester scheduled to conclude on November 25.

Additional details regarding the University’s academic calendar will be announced in an email later. Please look for regular announcements updating our progress in implementing our reopening plan, along with other important details about what you can do to help us meet state guidance for promoting the health and well-being of our campus and the local community.

We have worked hard on our reopening plan, in pursuit of our commitment to create the safest possible environment on our campus. In order to ensure our commitment is met, all members of the Alfred University community—students, faculty, and staff—must fulfill the University’s expectations of them, which include  practicing social distancing, completing daily health screenings, wearing protective face coverings when required, and washing hands thoroughly and frequently.

The last several months have been difficult and all of us have worked hard to meet the challenges put before us: adapting to a virtual teaching model, working from home, and following safe practices in the communities we call home. We very much look forward to the safe return of students, faculty, and staff to Alfred University. Only by working together and supporting each other by following prescribed guidelines can we be successful in creating a healthy campus environment.