Dear Members of the CCNY Community,
We just received word from the Governor’s office and CUNY that we will be making the transition to distance learning for the remainder of the semester. Starting tomorrow, March 12th and running through March 18th, we will be in an instructional recess. During that period, faculty, staff, and students will all prepare to begin distance learning—that means developing your material for delivery online, making sure that students understand the platforms and can access your class course material. For students, that means you should pay attention to emails from your instructors that may ask you to undertake certain tasks to make sure you’re able to use the technology. For faculty, chairs and deans, that means working to make sure that everyone is able to do some form of distance learning, from full-on on-line, video conferenced instruction to more technologically simple delivery modes, like recording a lecture and emailing it to students.
It’s important to note, however, that this is not an option that you may or may not adopt. We are all mandated to move to distance learning for the rest of the semester. It will be necessary to figure out how we move forward for lab classes and studios, and that’s what we will work on, together, over the instructional recess.
During the instructional recess, campus services, like the dorms, the library and perhaps food services will remain open, and the college will remain open. Everyone on staff and faculty, barring illness or some other leave, should be available to work together so that we’re able to resume teaching on the 19th with as little disruption as possible. Researchers will also have access to their labs and studios because the instructional recess should be compatible with the continuity of our business operations. I’ll clarify what this means as time goes on—but at the moment, we are suspending classroom instruction, but maintaining other activities (consistent, of course, with the suspension of non-essential gatherings of more than 50 people, announced yesterday)
I’ll also ask, during this recess, for those of you with experience and expertise in the different modalities of distance learning identify yourself to your colleagues, your chair or to deans, and help your colleagues gear up for when we resume teaching on the 19th.
This is all new information and I anticipate having more extensive guidance for the campus soon. Things are moving very fast, and I ask for everyone to be as flexible and nimble as possible. These are not normal times, and we are not making ordinary adjustments. I’m asking our whole community to face these challenges with the bigger picture in mind: that we are a public institution, playing its role in a public health crisis, while, at the same time, delivering on our core mission. Let’s make sure that when we think back on these days, and the challenges they presented to us, we’ll be proud of how we responded. I know that we will be.