Dear Members of the City College Community,
We are now on the verge of relaunching instructional activity on a fully online basis. At the same time, your offices should have completed the task of designating as many people as possible for working off-campus and telecommuting. As you’ll see from a memo that will come out today, we are making specific designations for essential and non-essential staff, with the goal of moving everyone who can execute their work functions to a telecommute format as possible.
As we cross into this new territory, I wanted to make a few announcements and reiterate some things that I’ve already put into circulation.
- Students are under no circumstances to be asked to come to campus. Even an invitation from a faculty or staff member can be viewed as a requirement. ;Even if you have not figured out how to conduct your lab or studio on-line, you cannot ask students to come to campus. Students, you should feel no obligation to comply with a request to come to campus.
- The campus remains open to students who want to use select facilities such as the food pantry.
- We are opening the library, but shutting down reference and circulation services, so students may use the spaces but should not expect to interact with any librarians.
- It is incumbent on all of us to make telecommuting possible for as many people as possible, and that means creatively thinking about how you can use technology to execute essential tasks like student advising, registration and the like.
- Anyone who is working from home should make arrangements to have their office phone transferred to a home or cell line during business hours, and we must all be truly focused on checking email and answering voice mail messages frequently.
- If supervisors have not already worked out explicit telecommuting work arrangements with employees, you must have these in place by tomorrow. We want to make sure that we understand how services are being delivered, and we want to continue to develop innovative ways to move more and more of our activity to a distance profile.
- If you are designated as essential staff and wish to drive in, we are making arrangements to provide you with parking spaces. Guidance on this matter will be forthcoming soon.
A more general note: we are now pretty clearly moving to a new stage in this epidemic. It will soon not be possible to keep track of every person in our orbit—on campus or off—who has been exposed to the virus. We now need to assume that a general policy of maintaining distance from everyone, rather than attempting to pinpoint specific areas of danger, is the only way to flatten the curve of this contagion.
I will use every bit of latitude I am afforded to make this possible, but we also have obligations to our students and to our community. I am depending on all of you to both recognize the gravity of this crisis and to figure out how we can continue to serve our students and our mission.