Published May 21, 2020
Dear university community:
To begin, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you for helping make a memorable virtual commencement celebration for the University at Buffalo’s Class of 2020. Although it was not how we had envisioned recognizing our graduates at the beginning of the academic year, I was so inspired to see our campus community bringing your creative energy and innovative spirit to UB’s time-honored tradition.
On the heels of commencement, we received the news that Governor Cuomo had approved Western New York to begin Phase 1 of our region’s reopening. While the region still has health benchmarks to reach, the University at Buffalo is in parallel preparing for an eventual phased return to campus.
As we have previously communicated, we have put into place a comprehensive campus planning structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. We are intentionally preparing for the challenges that lie ahead in the domains of public health, university finances, enrollment, academic continuity, research and our overall student experience. With this planning structure as our guide, and under Provost Weber’s leadership, we are developing numerous protocols to prepare for a phased return to campus. This preparation includes a full array of measures to ensure the health and safety of every member of our campus community.
As we envision a phased return of employees to campus prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, it is my hope that such a return will begin in the very near future, including resuming research that has been put on hold. We anticipate that decisions related to the fall 2020 semester will be made and communicated to the campus community in mid- to late June. It is important to note that all determinations about a phased return of employees and the fall 2020 semester will align with the Governor’s Executive Orders—including Western New York’s progress pursuant to the state’s Phase 1-4 regional benchmarks.
Finally, I would like to recognize the resilience and adaptability of our faculty, staff and students throughout the spring semester and as we move into UB’s summer session. I would also like to acknowledge your patience and understanding as we continue to negotiate this evolving situation. Throughout, we are here to support you in your academic, research, scholarly and professional endeavors.
Satish K. Tripathi