Published March 4, 2020
Dear campus community:
As the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff are paramount, I would like to take this opportunity to communicate with you regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and the measures our university is taking to protect the well-being of all members of our community.
To begin, since the start of the spring 2020 semester, the University at Buffalo has been actively monitoring developments related to COVID-19 and is following the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the New York State Department of Health and the Erie County Department of Health.
To ensure preparedness for any potential event in this evolving situation, I have established the following committee and working groups to maintain continuity among our academic, research and business operations:
COVID-19 Advisory Committee
The COVID-19 Advisory Committee, chaired by Beth Del Genio, Chief of Staff to the President, and Joseph Balthasar, Pharmaceutical Sciences Professor and Executive Director, Research Initiatives, is comprised of faculty, students and staff across our university community. The purpose of the advisory committee is to provide perspective and advice regarding UB’s readiness during this evolving situation.
COVID-19 Task Force
The COVID-19 Task Force, chaired by Beth Del Genio, Chief of Staff to the President, and John DellaContrada, Vice President for University Communications, has been activated since January 2020 and has been tasked with identifying immediate areas of concern regarding campus readiness. This includes developing and activating a communication plan to facilitate the delivery of accurate, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 to our university community.
Academic Working Group
The Academic Working Group has been charged by A. Scott Weber, Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs, to coordinate issues related to academic continuity, enrollment management, international education and alternate forms of course instruction.
Research Working Group
The Research Working Group, chaired by Venu Govindaraju, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, is working to ensure the continuity of our research program and identify issues and concerns to minimize any potential disruption.
Operations Continuity Working Group
The Operations Continuity Working Group, chaired by Laura Hubbard, Vice President for Finance and Administration, is responsible for maintaining continuity in UB’s business services, internal audit, human resources and facilities.
Student Life Working Group
The Student Life Working Group, chaired by Christina Hernandez, Interim Vice President for Student Life, is focused on the health and well-being of our students.
Incident Management Group
The Incident Management Group, led by Laura Hubbard, Vice President for Finance and Administration, is a broad cross-sectional team charged with planning for any possible disruption to university operations.
I encourage every member of our campus community to stay informed about COVID-19. To that end, UB has developed a COVID-19 website to provide factual information from authoritative sources such as the CDC, the New York State Department of Health and the Erie County Department of Health.
I would like to stress that we update this site continuously, so please check it for important updates from the CDC, the state and county health departments, and SUNY.
As soon as new information becomes available, we will inform our campus community.
Satish K. Tripathi