COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Information

Since this is a rapidly evolving situation, updates will be made to this site as more information becomes available. To date there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the University community. Alfred University will be reassessing our policies and recommendations relative to the coronavirus as updates on the situation are released by the CDC. The virus is being tracked by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Locally, we are working with local health officials to ensure we are aware of changing conditions and guidance.

Email Your Questions/Concerns Regarding our Response to COVID-19

We are #SaxonStrong

 

Alfred University's Response to COVID-19 As of March 16:

  • We are moving to an online format for classes effective immediately for the remainder of the semester.
  • All students must move out of their residence hall rooms by Sunday, March 22. Detailed instructions on this process are noted below under "How do I get my belongings from campus before March 22?"
  • We recommend practicing "social distancing" - maintain space between individuals and limit physical contact.
  • Graduate students will generally be permitted to remain on campus given the help they provide with our instructional and research activities.
  • The University has suspended all events and visits to campus. These include Hot Dog Day, Honors Convocation, Spring Family Weekend, accepted student visits, career fairs, concerts, and lectures. Interviews of candidates for the provost’s position are being suspended for two months. This will ensure unnecessary exposures and continued focus on our response to the current public health situation.
  • The status of events scheduled for later in the spring and over the summer— Commencement; June alumni reunion; the MostArts Festival in July; summer camps—remains undecided. The University will make decisions about those events as the status of the COVID-19 situation warrants.
  • The deadline for course withdrawal has been pushed back to April 9.
  • The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Cohen Gallery and Fosdick-Nelson Gallery will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
  • Our libraries will be closed for the remainder of the semester beginning Wednesday, March 18, so that our libraries staff can assist with the delivery of our online course offerings. Online libraries support, services and resources will remain available to our students, faculty and staff. Please email them with questions.
  • Work out facilities, such as the Lebohner swimming pool, fitness center and the Joyce & Walton Center, will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
  • Alfred University remains open and day-to-day administrative operations will continue through the remainder of the semester.
  • University-sponsored domestic and international travel is prohibited indefinitely for Alfred University faculty, staff, and students.

Wednesday, March 25
Monday, March 23
Saturday, March 21
Thursday, March 19
Wednesday, March 18
Tuesday, March 17
Monday, March 16
Thursday, March 12
Monday, March 9
Monday, March 2

Wednesday, March 25

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to mitigate the effect of the virus on our campus and in the local community.

Our diligence includes following all federal, state, and local health care policies related to controlling COVID-19. The White House Coronavirus Task Force announced last evening that it is recommending that people traveling from and/or through the New York City metro area should self-quarantine for 14 days to ensure that they do not pass on the virus in the areas to which they are traveling. Alfred University is requiring anyone who has traveled or is traveling to our campus from the New York City metro Area to abide by the White House’s self-quarantine recommendation.

Our policy will remain in effect until we receive guidance directing otherwise from state and national health agencies. Our University has established quarantine areas on campus for anyone to whom this guidance applies, and any visitors must contact the Wellness Center before they arrive on campus. The phone number for the Wellness Center is 607-871-2400.

Please be reminded that all members of our Alfred University community—students, faculty, and staff—who have traveled since March 1 and returned to campus are required to complete the online travel documentation survey. Any residential student who has been approved to remain on campus or approved for a late departure must complete this form.

We continue to urge members of our University community to maintain social distancing and appropriate personal hygiene practices. There is a small number of students who remain on our campus to whom we are providing room and board. The University has taken steps to ensure that providing meals to these students is done in a manner that meets their needs and promotes their safety and well-being.

For those students remaining on campus, boxed meals are offered at Powell Café, pickup only. Beginning tomorrow (Thursday, March 26), meals can be picked up at the Powell Café between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Lunch and dinner, and the next day’s breakfast will be available for pickup during those times. Yesterday, the remaining on-campus students received a survey to determine how many have refrigerators and microwaves needed to keep meals cold and heat them up. This survey is also assisting our Residence Life staff with determining our on-campus students’ housing needs and how best to meet them.

Students who do not have a meal plan can purchase meals with cash or a credit/debit card. Please contact John Dietrich, director of food services, at Powell Café (607-871-2248) for more information.

Our meal policy helps promote social distancing, which is key to our efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We urge all members of the Alfred University community to keep this practice in mind. By embracing personal responsibility, we can make a meaningful impact on the broader battle against COVID-19.

University employees who remain on campus to perform essential duties, as well as any students who remain on campus or live off campus and have chosen to stay in Alfred, have an obligation to maintain prudent social distancing practices. Please be mindful that we share a relatively small space with local residents, many of them elderly, and that we must be sensitive to their concerns.

Another item of note: our University has updated its list of contacts on our website. Please use this list to reach out to us as we continue to work from our off-campus locations.

In closing, please join me in thanking the essential staff who have remained working on campus. Please also join me in expressing sincere gratitude for the patience and understanding that all members of the Alfred University community have shown during this difficult time. The departure of students from our campus over the weekend was calm and orderly. The resilience being displayed by our students, faculty, and staff as we have moved so quickly over the last two weeks toward an online learning model has been nothing short of remarkable. So, too, has been fortitude shown by so many of our faculty and staff with their transition, since this Monday, to working from home.

Let’s keep bringing the light during this challenging time.

Fiat Inspiration!
Mark

Monday, March 23

A friend sent me the below links over the weekend. They focus on a prediction of the pattern that the COVID-19 outbreak is likely to take in the United States made by Michael Levitt, a biophysics faculty member at Stanford University and a Nobel laureate.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/why-nobel-laureate-predicts-quicker-210318391.html

https://csblab.github.io/novoCoronavirus-Analysis/

Reading the analysis brought to mind the scene in the movie Castaway, where Tom Hanks has built an improvised raft on which he is seeking to get beyond the surrounding reef and its associated crashing waves on the island where he has been for so long marooned. According to Levitt’s analysis, getting through the next two months is key for our country. The waves associated with the reef that we are seeking to get beyond are still cresting and will be punishing over the coming weeks. If we continue to practice effective social distancing and personal hygiene, however, we will eventually break through to smoother water. 

Fiat resilience, safe practices, and smoother water!
Mark

P.S. Please feel free to follow me on TikTok. Links to two of my latest TikTok posts come from a run earlier today on the winter wonderland that was our campus https://vm.tiktok.com/sxPNB4/ and https://vm.tiktok.com/sxaXTS/.

Saturday, March 21

This past week’s decision to suspend all in-person, on-campus instruction and to move to an online learning model for the remainder of the Spring semester was made with the health and well-being of our students, faculty, staff, and the local community in mind, and was guided by recommendations and input provided by world, federal, state, and local health agencies.

The change in our educational model on account of the COVID-19 outbreak has been sudden and significant. That said, I could not be prouder of nor more grateful for the willingness of our students, faculty, and staff to make that adaptation.

This past week, we also announced a plan for facilitating our students’ safe and orderly departure from campus. Normally, picking up personal belongings is a relatively routine matter. During these difficult times, however, when social distancing is such a pivotal weapon in the battle against COVID-19, it represents much more of a challenge. I am pleased to relay that, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our residence life staff and the patience and understanding of our students and their families, we are meeting that challenge.

The days and weeks ahead carry with them much uncertainty. The safety measures we are taking will help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 and ease that uncertainty. Working together, making measured decisions, and exhibiting continued patience and resilience will help bring us through these trying times and reflect well on the treasured intersection, Alfred University, that forever unites us.

Fiat grit!
Mark

Thursday, March 19

We hosted our second webinar session this afternoon to address concerns and answer questions about Alfred University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. Thank you to all those who participated in today’s webinar and/or supplied questions/comments beforehand. Effectively responding to an incident of growing magnitude such as COVID-19 requires gathering as much information as possible on a daily basis and remaining engaged with all who are impacted by it.

For those who wish to view today’s webinar session, there is a video link available. In addition, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions on the COVID-19 informational page on our website. Please visit the page for the most up-to-date information on Alfred University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

In the meanwhile Fiat #AlfredUniversitySafe&Strong!
Mark

P.S. Check out my latest TikTok posts about Alfred University at https://vm.tiktok.com/seK32m/ and https://vm.tiktok.com/.sdRCmC/. Talk about a kid with a new toy!

Wednesday, March 18

During this growing COVID-19 outbreak, we realize the importance of regularly communicating with and directly addressing the concerns of our University community members. To that end, we scheduled two live online webinars this week, in which I and other members of the University’s senior management team can provide you relevant updates about our University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak and answer your questions. The first session was held Tuesday; the second will be held at 1 p.m. tomorrow.

To register for tomorrow’s webinar, please send an email to alfredalert@alfred.edu, asking that you be included in the question-and-answer session. The deadline for registering is 11 a.m. tomorrow. After you have registered, you will receive a return email inviting you to participate and including instructions for joining the webinar.

Please join us tomorrow if you can. One of the most effective ways to respond to the COVID-19 crisis is to gather (virtually) and address your questions and concerns. The answers to your submitted questions—outlined in the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on our COVID-19 web page —are an integral part of our efforts to keep our University community informed.

Our two biggest near-term priorities in light of the COVID-19 challenge are to:

  • Ensure the health and well-being of all of our community members by getting our students successfully moved back home by this Sunday while being mindful of needing to accommodate certain limited exceptions/extensions where public policies and logistical and humanitarian constraints preclude such a timely move; and
  • Rapidly shifting toward an online learning model to ensure the successful ongoing education of our students.

In the face of the tremendous and life-threatening problems that suddenly developed for the crew of the Apollo 13 lunar mission in 1970 after an oxygen tank on the spacecraft ruptured, Gene Kranz, the National Aeronautic and Space Agency (NASA) flight director and manager, exhorted his team to focus on what was working and then to “keep working the problem.” While we have been heartened by the willingness, alacrity, resilience, and creativity that our faculty, staff, and students have displayed so far in beginning to convert to an online model across the wide range of our educational offerings, we realize that a lot more remains to be done.

Fiat Let’s Keep Working the Problem!
Mark

P.S. The extent to which our faculty, staff, and students have been raising their online game has inspired me to do likewise. Thanks to some great coaching earlier this week by Chaz Bruce ’08, a wonderful alumnus who has over three million TikTok followers and is one of the top influencers in all of upstate New York, I have been learning to develop content for this rapidly growing social media platform. Please check out https://vm.tiktok.com/pTTdT5/ for my latest creation.

Tuesday, March 17

With Alfred University’s suspension of in-person classes, and our move to online instruction as of yesterday in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, I would like to express my profound gratitude and relay my pride in the patience, understanding, creativity, and resilience that has been exhibited—by faculty and staff, students and parents, and members of the local community—as we have begun navigating these fast-moving and significantly uncharted waters.

These are trying times, and there is no single right answer to the problems associated with COVID-19. Effectively solving the problems, and developing plans that best promote the health and well-being of everyone in the Alfred University community, is contingent upon your continued involvement, support, flexibility, and innovativeness moving forward.

With that said, I wish to reiterate some actions we are taking to facilitate the safe and efficient departure of students from our campus, the effective implementation of online instruction, and a maintained flow of information on our response to the COVID-19 outbreak:

  • As of 5 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, students will not be permitted to remain in on-campus housing. Students must make plans to retrieve their personal items and return to their permanent address. In order to facilitate the orderly retrieval of belongings and exit from campus, we ask students to schedule their departure in advance. Exceptions to remain in our residence halls will be made for truly unique circumstances where students cannot return to their permanent residence. To schedule your departure from your residence hall, to submit a petition to remain on campus after March 22, and for more information on Office of Residence Life policies and recommendations as they relate to the COVID-19 response, please visit the COVID-19 page of our website.
  • We are discussing with our food service provider, AU Fresh, what meal options will be offered on campus next week and beyond. Currently, grab-and-go box-style meals are available in the Powell Campus Center. These meals will continue to be provided at least through this Sunday.
  • Professors began online instruction for most students this week. All courses are scheduled to be conducted fully online by Monday, March 23. Students’ instructors are the best source of information about administration of their course work.
  • Barnes & Noble and VitalSource are offering free eTextbooks to Alfred University students for the remainder of the semester. Please visit our website for more information.
  • Earlier today, we conducted a live question-and-answer webinar with faculty, staff, students, and family members on our University’s response to COVID-19. Video of the webinar can be viewed here, and a list of frequently-asked questions (FAQs), as well as the associated answers, is available on our website. A second live webinar is scheduled for this Thursday.

Our University’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak has been and will continue to be made with recommendations and information provided by world, national, state, and local health officials. Each decision we make will have our Alfred University community members’ safety and well-being first and foremost on our minds. We also will be mindful of fostering the ongoing educational success of our students. 

On this, the feast day of the patron saint of engineers and more broadly our University, here is hoping that:

The road rises up to meet us,
The wind is always at our backs,
The sun shines warmly upon our faces,
The rain falls softly on our fields,
And until we meet again,
That we stay in the palm of God’s hands.

Stay safe, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, and Fiat Lux!
Mark

Monday, March 16

For the past several weeks, we at Alfred University have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak. The decisions we have made have been guided by recommendations from world, national, state, and local health organizations, with the well-being of our students, staff, and faculty foremost in our minds while also taking into account our students’ academic and ultimate professional success.

Heeding recommendations from health professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO), and acknowledging that the outbreak will worsen in the coming weeks, Alfred University will provide all instruction online for the remainder of the Spring semester. Faculty will be contacting students to provide information on how online instruction will be provided and how curricula has changed.

Originally, we had planned for students to return to campus on Sunday, March 22, and resume in-person instruction on Monday, March 23. While we have chosen instead to offer virtual instruction, we do expect that some students will be arriving on campus this week. Undergraduate students will be allowed to gather their belongings, after which they will be asked to return home. Exceptions will be made on a case-by-case basis where students are unable to depart. Please look for a follow up email in this regard with more details. Graduate students generally will be permitted to remain on campus given the help that they provide with our instructional and research activities.

Other items of note regarding the University’s response to COVID-19:

  • The University has suspended all visits to campus. These include accepted student visits, career fairs, concerts, and lectures. Interviews of candidates for the provost’s position are being suspended for two months. This will ensure unnecessary exposures and continued focus on our response to the current public health situation.
  • The status of events scheduled for later in the spring and over the summer—May honors convocation and commencement; June alumni reunion; the MostArts Festival in July; summer camps—remains undecided. The University will make decisions about those events as the status of the COVID-19 situation warrants.
  • The deadline for course withdrawal has been pushed back to April 9.
  • Students will be given the opportunity to return to campus to retrieve their belongings. Students who do not wish to take their belongings home may opt to contact one of the local storage facilities.
  • The Alfred Ceramic Art Museum, Cohen Gallery, and Fosdick-Nelson Gallery will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
  • Our libraries will be closed for the remainder of the semester beginning Wednesday, March 18, so that our libraries staff can assist with the delivery of our online course offerings. Online libraries support, services, and resources will remain available to our students, faculty, and staff. Please email us your questions.
  • Work out facilities, such as the Lebohner swimming pool, fitness center and the Joyce & Walton Center, will be closed for the remainder of the semester.
  • Alfred University remains open, and day-to-day administrative operations will continue through the remainder of the semester.
  • There are bound to be rumors relative to the COVID-19 outbreak and incidental exposures to the virus. Please be assured that Alfred University is following New York State Department of Health guidelines and will continue to monitor as appropriate.

These have been, and continue to be, trying times—for our University, and for the world we live in. It is important to note that, as the COVID-19 crisis has evolved, we have erred on the side of caution, eschewing rash action for deliberation. We firmly believe the decisions we make today, and will make in the days and weeks ahead, will best protect our students and their families, our faculty and staff and their loved ones, and the citizens of the communities surrounding our campus.

Please visit our website regularly for updates and additional information about COVID-19.

Fiat Resilience!
Mark

Thursday, March 12

Our University is continuing to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, across the United States, and locally. We have been following the latest guidance surrounding the virus, mindful of our responsibility above all to promote the health and well-being of all those in our University community.

Our senior management team met this morning and we have decided that Alfred University will resume in-person classes for our main campus on Monday, March 23, with students returning to campus Sunday, March 22. We believe this is the best course of action to promote the safety of the Alfred University community. Our decisions are guided by information and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), and state and local health departments.

We realize that this action may create some hardships. For example, prior to Spring Break, we offered students for whom returning home would be difficult the option to stay in our on-campus student housing. We are extending that offer through March 22, upon application to the Residence Life office.

We are also allowing students to return to campus prior to March 22, if it is absolutely necessary for them to do so. Returning students, whether on March 22 or before, are requested to self-certify that they do not have any coronavirus symptoms and have not traveled to high-risk areas--either domestic or international--during the break. Please submit the form by 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 13th.

For students who have traveled to high-risk areas during Spring Break, we ask that you self-quarantine at home for at least 14 days before returning to campus. Our faculty will work with you virtually so you do not fall behind with your coursework. For those students who visited high-risk areas but not have the option to return home, please contact Del Rey Honeycutt for additional options.

At the same time, we recognize that some students are concerned about returning to campus due to health reasons. We will provide such students the opportunity to remain at home. Our faculty will work with them online and for as long as necessary with regards to their coursework.

Faculty, staff and graduate assistants are expected to be present on campus next week. While in-person classes will not resume until March 23, students should be aware that our faculty will be in touch regarding coursework assignments to be completed next week on an online basis.

For faculty and staff who have traveled to high-risk areas during the break we ask that you self-quarantine for at least 14 days. Sick and /or personal paid time off may be available to cover the quarantine period; please contact the HR office for further information. Faculty and staff are encouraged to use telemedicine whenever possible to avoid visits to doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, and urgent care facilities. It is our hope that COVID-19 testing procedures will have been made available to area health care professionals by the time classes resume on March 23.

University-sponsored domestic and international travel is prohibited through May 1 for Alfred University faculty, staff, and students. With regard to Alfred University-hosted co-curricular events—such as on-campus dinners, lectures, conferences, and speeches—those events are canceled until April 1. Any exceptions to the foregoing travel prohibition and event cancellation must be requested, based on essential importance to our University, and approved by our Cabinet.

Furthermore, we strongly recommend that students, faculty, and staff restrict personal travel during this time. If you do travel, we require that you register your travel, whether personal or for business, using our online form. At this time, the period for which we are requesting this information is March 1-22.

Any and all decisions we make relative to the COVID-19 outbreak are being made with the safety and well-being of our faculty, staff, and students in mind and with guidance from federal, state, and local health officials monitoring the COVID-19. Our senior management team will continue to meet regularly over the coming days and weeks to assess whether additional measures are warranted. Whatever we decide, we will continue to communicate our decisions to you in this rapidly changing situation. Please visit our website regularly for updates and additional information about COVID-19.

Fiat Continued Safety and Well-being!
Mark

Monday, March 9

As the COVID-19/coronavirus situation continues to evolve around the world and in the United States, so, too, are the policies and recommendations we are putting forth to maintain a safe environment at our University.

It is helpful to all of us to educate ourselves on the coronavirus—the origins of COVID-19; the symptomology; precautions that can be taken to prevent contracting or spreading the virus; what should be done if you suspect you or someone you know may be affected by the virus.

What is COVID-19, or coronavirus?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated COVID-19) is a respiratory disease caused by a novel coronavirus first detected in China but which has now been detected in nearly 90 locations internationally, including the United States.

What are the COVID-19 symptoms?

According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus—fever, cough, difficulty breathing—are similar to the flu and may appear two to 14 days after exposure. If you develop symptoms consistent with the flu or are concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19:

  • Students: Contact our Interim Dean of Students and Director of the Wellness Center, Del Rey Honeycutt. Del Rey will connect you with a health care professional who will determine the need for further testing and treatment.
  • Faculty and staff: Seek medical care from your health care provider; self-isolate and work from home.

What precautions can be taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19?

Public health officials recommend the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue properly in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work, and school.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and do not travel or report to work.
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

Alfred University also recommends faculty, staff and students practice “social distancing”— maintaining space between individuals and limiting physical contact (such as by shaking hands).

What travel restrictions are in place at Alfred University?

Alfred University is following all local, state, and national guidelines from the CDC and other official public health organizations with regard to travel guidelines. Our University is reviewing the status for various countries and states daily. We are not currently canceling University-sponsored domestic travel. However, any University-sponsored international travel to a country that has declared a level 3 or level 4 COVID-19 status will be canceled. We strongly discourage personal travel to a country that has declared a level 3 or level 4 COVID-19 status. Anyone returning from a country designated at level 3 or 4 status will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to our campus.

List of the CDC-designated states and countries currently listed as high-risk areas

List of the New York State Department of Health-designated states and countries currently listed as high-risk areas

The University is considering restricting travel to conferences and meetings at which there will be more than 50 people in attendance. While no such restriction is currently in place, such a policy may be announced in the near future, based on new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and/or the New York State Department of Health. As such, please continue to review all official university communications on the topic.

It is important to note that any student who experiences symptoms of coronavirus must self-quarantine, and will not be penalized for missing class(es).

Alfred University will be reassessing our policies and recommendations relative to the coronavirus as updates on the situation are released by the CDC.

Fiat Lux!
Mark

Monday, March 2

As the COVID-19/coronavirus situation continues to unfold across the globe, this note is to let you know about the preparations we are making and policies we are implementing to maintain a safe environment at our University.

During Spring Break (March 8-15), we will make on-campus housing available, free of charge, to students affected by coronavirus-related emergency declarations. International students whose home countries have been identified as “Do not Travel” areas by the U.S. State Department, and domestic students who are unable to travel home or are concerned about traveling home because of declarations of public health states of emergency in their hometown or state, are welcome to remain in our residence halls over Spring Break. Please contact Vicki Gebel, director of Residence Life for an on-line link to request on-campus Spring Break accommodations.

Our University is reviewing the status for various countries and states daily. We are not currently canceling University-sponsored domestic travel. However, any international travel to a country that has declared a level 3 or level 4 COVID-19 status will be canceled. Anyone returning from a country designated at level 3 or 4 status will be expected to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to our campus.

The coronavirus situation is a continually evolving one, and we expect to see more countries added to the “no travel” list as the weeks progress, and will watch the status of our domestic front as well; we will continue to update the policy and the affected areas as warranted.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC)-designated states and countries currently listed as high-risk areas

New York State Department of Health-designated states and countries currently listed as high risk areas

It is of utmost importance that all members of our campus community take the proper steps and preventive measures to ensure that any impact of the coronavirus on our campus is mitigated. This includes practicing safe hygiene—covering your mouth when sneezing/coughing; washing hands thoroughly with soap and/or applying hand sanitizer; and taking maximum advantage of sick leave available to faculty and administrative staff if flu-like symptoms develop. Additionally, any faculty or staff members experiencing a fever must stay home, and may only return to work after they have been fever-free for 48 hours.

We encourage all faculty, staff, and students to get a flu shot. It won’t prevent contracting COVID-19, but it will reduce weakening of the immunological system. Flu vaccines are available at Wegman’s and Walmart in Hornell. We are determining whether and when we can administer the flu vaccine on campus and will provide updates if that option becomes available. We strongly recommend students who do go home for Spring Break to get a flu shot while they are home.

We also encourage faculty and staff to take advantage of the Telemedicine program offered by Alfred University’s health insurance provider, Univera. For more information about the program, procedures, and co-pays please contact Mark Guinan, head of our Human Resources department.

If you have questions about our University’s general policies with respect to the coronavirus outbreak please contact Michael Kozlowski, executive director of Marketing, Communication, and Government Relations.

For any questions related to returning to campus from an affected area or self-isolation durations and procedures please contact Del Rey Honeycutt, director of the Wellness Center and interim dean of students.

We want to ensure that we keep Alfred University a safe environment for all our students, faculty and staff. With some common sense procedures and the cooperation of all of us we are confident we can. We will communicate further as developments warrant.

Fiat Precautions and Safety!
Mark

Dining Hours of Operation Beginning Thursday, March 26 - Take-out Only

Meal Pick-Up Powell Cafe
11 AM - 2 PM

Lunch and dinner and the next day's breakfast will be available during these times.

Students who do not have a meal plan can purchase meals with a cash or a credit/debit card. Please contact John Dietrich, director of food services, at Powell Cafe 607-871-2248 for more information.

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Free e-TEXTBOOKS Available to AU Students for Remainder of Semester

Beginning today and through the remainder of the Spring 2020 term, VitalSource will offer free access to eTextbooks for students at Barnes & Noble Education (BNED) campuses that have closed due to COVID-19.

Who is eligible for the VitalSource Helps program?

Students meeting the following criteria are eligible to access free ebooks as part of VitalSource Helps:

  1. Attend a 2-year or 4-year institution on a semester academic calendar. Here is a complete list of eligible institutions.
  2. Be enrolled in course(s) that began prior to March 16, 2020
  3. Use an institution-provided email address

How do students access VitalSource Helps content?

To get started, students should visit bookshelf.vitalsource.com. Before students can begin searching for and reading ebooks, they will need to log-in or create a Bookshelf account with their institution-provided email address.

It is important to note that, while students at your institution may use Bookshelf today as part of an Inclusive Access program, they may access content via an LMS integration that does not require an email address, or their account may be linked to their personal email address. To access VitalSource Helps content, students must use their institution-provided email address.

For students accessing Bookshelf for the first time:

Create a Bookshelf account
Once students create an account with an institution-provided email address, they should login and click on the “Explore” tab in the upper left corner of the screen.

For students with existing Bookshelf accounts linked to their institution-provided email address:

Students with existing Bookshelf accounts linked to their institution-provided email address will see a new tab called “Explore” when they login. This tab provides access to the freely-available ebooks.

If you haven't linked your existing Bookshelf account to your institution email, be sure to do so to access VitalSource Helps ebooks.

How long is the VitalSource Helps program available?

We and the publishers are offering free access to ebooks through May 25, 2020 to ensure affected students are able to use required learning materials through final exams. Once the free access period ends, students will maintain access to their Bookshelf account. However, ebooks provided during the VitalSource Helps program will no longer appear.

How many titles may be accessed for free as part of the VitalSource Helps ebook program?

Users may add up to seven titles to their account for free. There is a “counter” in the lower left corner of the Bookshelf screen to help users keep track of the number of books accessed.

What type of content is available as part of the VitalSource Helps ebook program?

VitalSource, publishers, and resellers have worked together to make tens of thousands of ebooks available to allow students to find their required learning materials. Students may access up to seven titles.

Custom content, interactive content, and content used for assessment is not included. Commonly assigned materials from publishers, often referred to as “courseware” (like Pearson’s MyLab, Cengage MindTap, WileyPlus, etc.) are not included in this program.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding our COVID-19 Response

General Questions
Student Questions
Faculty/Staff Questions

General Questions

--What is the University doing to protect the campus community?
The health and well-being of our community is at the forefront of our decision making. We will continue to make informed decisions based on the latest science and what is best to protect the health of all members of our community while sustaining the University's central operations in support of our teaching and research mission.

--Are campus events canceled?
Alfred University-hosted events - such as on-campus dinners, lectures, conferences, and speeches - are canceled until the end of the semester. This includes Honors Convocation, Hot Dog Day and Spring Family Weekend.

--What is the plan for Commencement (graduation)?
We are currently considering options for Commencement with safety as the top priority. We have not made any final decisions to date.

--Are visitors allowed on campus?
Academic or event-related visits to campus are no longer allowed, except for students returning to gather their belongings

--What is the University doing to support the mental health of students, faculty and staff during this stressful time?
We understand that these developments may cause concern, stress or anxiety. The Wellness Center provides services to students only. Counseling may still be offered utilizing an online platform for students who are located in New York only due to licensing restrictions. If you reside in New York and have not been seen this semester, contact the Wellness Center at 607-871-2400 to schedule a consult by phone. For students who were already seeking services, regardless of the state you reside, please contact your counselor via email for next steps or call the Wellness Center at 607-871-2400.

For staff/ faculty, the University offers an EAP option or you can contact your insurance company for provider options.

--Are interested students and their families able to make admissions visits? Will the University still be having Open House events?
We have made the difficult decision to cancel our March and April Accepted Student Days; the May Open House is tentative at this time. Our admissions office is also developing new ways to interact virtually with new and prospective students in order to answer their questions and showcase all the things that make Alfred University a wonderful place to live and learn.

--Has the University changed the way it is admitting undergraduate students due to the COVID-19 issue?
We are still actively accepting, reviewing applications and enrolling students for the upcoming fall semester.

--Will summer camps still be held on campus?
Decisions have yet to be made with respect to summer camps, workshops and events.

--Will Summer Term still be held?
Summer Term is now open for registration. We offer a mix of online and in-person classes.

--Allegany County has declared a state of emergency. How does that affect us?
The State of Emergency will allow the county to share resources more efficiently and better respond to the rapidly evolving pandemic of novel coronavirus, or COVID-19. A declaration of a state of emergency does not directly affect Alfred University operations.

--What should I do if I have additional questions or concerns?
Email any additional questions or concerns and the appropriate person will respond.

Student Questions

--Will I be getting a tuition refund now that we have shifted to online classes?
Tuition refunds will not be issued due to courses going online. The online transition is an effort to allow students to complete their curriculum without getting behind.

--Will I receive a refund for room & board now that we shifted to online classes?
The university is still working on the details. We will post updates as they become available.

--Does moving online affect the academic calendar?
We have moved the Withdraw date from March 26 to April 9. We will also be moving the advising period later in the semester.

--I don’t have access to reliable wifi? What am I supposed to do?
Information Technology Services is developing alternatives and workarounds for these students

--How am I going to complete (x) courses that require off site to graduate (internships, practicum, clinical, certification hours, co-ops, etc.)?
We are paying special attention to student teaching, internship hours, etc. We continue to work on these to ensure arrangements will meet all credentialing and degree requirements.

--How will hands-on studio instruction that relies on hands-on access to facilities an equipment be achieved now that we are moving online?
The studios of the School of Art and Design and Performing Arts are closed and will not be available to support studio work. Instructors will connect with their students online and rely on what is possible with the resources available and accessible to the students. It is expected that in most cases there will be a shift toward theory, history and critical thinking with research carried out in the form of reading and writing.

--Am I going to be able to graduate?
Yes, you will graduate on schedule as long as you pass your courses this semester and are on track to graduate. We are paying special attention to student teaching, internship hours, etc. We continue to work on these to ensure arrangements will meet all credentialing and degree requirements.

--Will graduating seniors need to repeat or do additional coursework?
No – this will not be necessary

--Will classes shift to pass/fail instead of grades?
No

-- Will I still be able to receive tutoring or disability services?
The Center for Academic Success (CAS) will be using Microsoft Teams to provide academic support and disability services for the remainder of the semester. Changes, updates and access procedures for various services may be viewed on the CAS website.

--I have a package/mail in the University Mailroom. How do I get it?
We will work with you to route your packages home.

  • The US Postal Service (USPS) is continuing to allow forwarding at this point in time. Any packages received through the USPS will be forwarded on to your permanent address on file beginning on Monday, March 23 if they are not picked up before. Please make sure that the mailroom has your correct permanent address on file.
  • UPS and FedEx will not allow us to forward packages due to the large volume of requests they are receiving. You can use the Click-n-Ship option through the US Postal Service to forward packages that were originally sent via UPS or FedEx. You would simply need to track the package to obtain the weight information and then follow the Click-n-Ship process on the USPS website. You can then email the labels and we will forward the packages. Please note, there will be shipping costs for this option. Any packages that we have not received labels for will be returned to sender on Friday, March 27.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please call the mailroom at 607-871-2666.

Faculty/Staff Questions

--If we go online, will I lose my job or get laid off?
While it is possible that we will have to make some changes to schedules and in some cases job duties we are striving to keep regular employees working through this emergency.

--Can I work from home?
Not every job can be performed remotely, but we are looking at all alternatives.

--Why do the faculty get to choose to teach online and I have to come to campus to do my job?
The university is made up of many different types of jobs that have different kinds of constraints. We are looking at many possible ways of getting the jobs done and if possible we will try to accommodate persons whose jobs allow them to be done remotely but not every job can be done that way and it may not be possible to allow for remote work if the person’s job can only be done from the campus.

--If my job doesn't’t allow me to work from home, will there be flextime options?
All options including flex time are being considered.

--Can I be temporarily assigned to other tasks if my regular job is not needed with students off-campus?
We will continue to explore all options during this time and appreciate the flexibility and interest in this option.

--If we are laid off/lose our jobs, will we be eligible for unemployment benefits? Will I lose my medical benefits?
You will be eligible for NYS Unemployment benefits if you are laid off for lack of work. We will consider all options to allow employees to receive unemployment benefits and maintain their health benefits through time worked during the emergency.

--My child’s school is closed. Can I stay home to care for him/her?
We want to be flexible to the extent possible while ensuring the viability of the institution. Please contact your supervisor and work with HR. Some ideas may include alternating days home with a child, private childcare (as some during the summer months), alternative work schedules, etc.

--I’m a faculty member who has never taught online. Can teaching evaluations from this semester be excluded from my tenure package?
Please discuss with your Department Chair/Dean.

--Do we have the staff/resources to put appropriate and safe hygiene/ cleaning protocols in place?
We have staff that are trained in safe disinfection techniques and they have the tools to perform these duties as needed.

--How will we logistically accomplish social distancing?
We will do this by keeping meetings limited to a small group of people, working with virtual meeting software, spreading out in offices where possible, etc., we are facing unknown challenges and will be making decisions based on the most up to date information we have available. Suggestions are welcome as we do not have all the answers, and this will be a team effort.

--My child/spouse/parent has a cold. Am I allowed to work?
Unless the Dr. suspects the illness is the COVID-19 virus, you are allowed to work.

--What do I do if a student, staff or faculty member seems to be ill and is on-campus?
Please contact the HR Department so that we can follow the guidelines we have been given by the NYS Department of Health.

--What should I do if I begin to experience symptoms?
Contact your health provider and follow their medical advice. If you are directed by your health care team to self-quarantine, you are required to report this to your supervisor or department chair as well as Human Resources.

Prevention

Public health officials recommend the following steps to prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses, including influenza and COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol)
  • Cough into your elbow or a tissue and not your hands. Dispose of the tissue properly
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work and school
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • If you are sick, stay home and do not travel or report to work
  • Practice healthy habits: Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids and eat nutritious food

Alfred University also recommends faculty, staff and students practice “social distancing”— maintaining space between individuals and limiting physical contact (such as by shaking hands).

According to the CDC, symptoms of coronavirus may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure:

  • fever
  • cough
  • difficulty breathing
  • similar to the flu

Faculty & Staff:

Seek medical care from your health care provider; self-isolate and work from home if able.

We encourage all faculty, staff and students to get a flu shot. It won’t prevent contracting COVID-19, but it will reduce weakening of the immunological system. Flu vaccines are available at Wegman’s and Walmart in Hornell. We are determining whether and when we can administer the flu vaccine on campus and will provide updates if that option becomes available.

We also encourage faculty and staff to take advantage of the Telemedicine program offered by Alfred University’s health insurance provider, Univera. For more information about the program, procedures, and co-pays please contact Mark Guinan, head of our Human Resources department.