UB has updated guidelines and requirements for the summer and fall 2022 semester, in accordance with guidance issued by SUNY. Please see the Health and Safety Guidelines for updates.
UB will be updating guidelines and requirements for the fall 2022 semester, as needed, in accordance with guidance issued by SUNY. Please regularly check the Health and Safety Guidelines for updates.
UB will be updating addtional guidelines and requirements for the summer and fall semesters, as needed, in accordance with guidance issued by SUNY. Guidelines will be adjusted based on the latest science and recommendations from health officials, and will be communicated on the COVID-19: UB Planning and Response website. Please regularly check this website for updates.
UB Vice President for Student Life Brian Hamluk announced updated guidelines for the spring 2022 semester in an email sent to all students earlier today.
Important updates include:
In an email to all students, UB Vice President for Student Life Brian Hamluk encouraged students to take action now on meeting the SUNY requirements for the start of the spring 2022 semester.
This includes complying with the new SUNY vaccine booster requirement, and submitting spring semester start-up COVID-19 test results.
With the holiday season now upon us, many UB departments and student groups are considering having parties and other end-of-the-semester events involving food. Due to the rising COVID-19 transmission rates in the surrounding community, UB officials ask that groups hosting such gatherings plan the event carefully to minimize the risks. All events at which food is served, both public and private, must be approved by UB’s Department of Environment, Health and Safety.
Hosting groups should carefully consider whether it is appropriate to hold an event this year. Some larger events held in the past may not be advisable in the same scale this year. Organizers may want to consider the possibility of rescheduling larger events to a later time.
Organizers should also consider alternative ways of holding the event. Some options include:
Where departments or groups decide to gather with food, they will be required to obtain pre-approval.
The following general guidelines will apply:
The following are recommended for the party setup and service of food:
Lastly, the group should always be within the standard occupancy designation for the space. If the event establishes planned entry and exit routes, then all attendees should follow those signs.
Following these guidelines can help to ensure a successful and safer event.
UB is strongly encouraging COVID-19 booster shots for those on campus who are eligible.
While COVID cases are rising in the area, UB’s strong adherence to a comprehensive set of health and safety measures greatly reduces the risk of infection on campus. However, data shows that protection afforded by the vaccines does decrease over time. Receiving a booster can augment immunity to a level even higher than initially following full vaccination and help to ensure the long-term safety of our campus community.
Shots are available at the New York State vaccination site in Harriman Hall on UB’s South Campus. You can also receive a booster at various local pharmacies, health departments, clinics and other locations. Visit vaccines.gov, text your zip code to 438829, or call 1-800-232-0233 to find locations near you. For additional details, check UB’s COVID-19 website.
As the semester continues, the weather turns and many of us plan to gather with family and friends for Thanksgiving, it is critical that we do all we can to protect ourselves and those around us, both on campus and off.
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber and Vice President for Health Sciences and Chair, Health and Safety Committee Michael Cain provided booster guidance for employees in a campus-wide email to all employees.
Senior Associate Vice President for Student Life Barbara Ricotta and Director, Student Health Services Susan Snyder provided booster guidance for students in a campus-wide email to all students.
UB faculty, staff and students who are required to participate in weekly COVID-19 surveillance testing are asked to take note of changes to the schedule due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday on Nov. 25.
During the week of Thanksgiving (Nov. 22-26), UB’s surveillance testing sites will be open only on that Monday and Tuesday. The sites will be closed Nov. 24-28 for the Thanksgiving holiday.
The regular weekly schedule will resume on Monday, Nov. 29. More information on weekly surveillance testing is available on UB’s COVID-19 website.
UB is phasing out the Daily Health Check, the university’s virtual COVID-19 screening tool. Beginning next week, the Daily Health Check will cease sending text message reminders, and students, faculty, staff and visitors will no longer be required to complete it. If anyone receives a text message reminding them to access the Daily Health Check, they may disregard it—no further action is needed.
This decision reflects the effectiveness of broad vaccine adoption at UB, which has the highest student vaccination rate in SUNY (99%) and a very high rate among employees (nearly 90%), as well as continuation of other science-based health and safety measures. Together, they are significantly reducing the risk of COVID-19 infection on campus.
The Daily Health Check proved an essential and successful part of UB’s ongoing health and safety campaign. Since its introduction in the late summer of 2020, it served 31,954 users, who submitted nearly 2.8 million attestations, and the screening tool contributed to UB’s low positivity rate, which continues to be among the lowest in SUNY.
Although UB will no longer offer a formal health screening or collect related data, individuals should continue to:
In addition to these measures, the university strongly encourages eligible members of the campus community to get COVID-19 booster shots. Like the initial vaccines, boosters have been fully authorized by the Food and Drug Administration, and free clinics are operating on the North, South and Downtown campuses—no appointment necessary. More information on boosters is available on UB’s COVID-19 response site.
Starting Oct. 1, UB will require proof that spectators are vaccinated against COVID-19 to be allowed into football games at UB Stadium and men’s and women’s basketball games at Alumni Arena, as well as public cultural events at Slee Hall, the Center for the Arts and Alumni Arena.
This includes the Distinguished Speakers Series and the commencement celebration honoring the Class of 2020 on Oct. 1.
A vaccination card, a photo of a vaccination card, an Excelsior Pass or a digital vaccine card are all acceptable. Attendees should be prepared to show photo ID as well.
Following CDC recommendation, the University at Buffalo (UB) utilizes a layered approach to reduce the risk of exposure to the SARS-CoV-2 virus. This layered approach includes vaccination, face covering requirements, health screening tools, hygiene, regular surveillance testing as well as ensuring appropriate building ventilation.
CDC has published updated ventilation guidance throughout the pandemic, and the university has continued to evaluate and optimize ventilation systems on our campuses based on CDC and American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) guidance.
In accordance with current CDC and ASHREA guidance, UB is not recommending the use of APUs for non-high risk, general occupied areas. However, we do recognize that some may feel an individual desire for an APU in their space. UB will not provide funding for APUs in personal spaces unless UB Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) approves the purchase.
Purchase of APU units is the responsibility of the ordering unit or the individual, and will be approved only after EH&S review and approval of the need for the unit, and with the specified documentation.
Free COVID-19 vaccines are now available to all members of the UB community at three on-campus clinics. The clinics, located on the North, South and Downtown campuses, are also providing flu vaccinations (no cost with insurance).
To receive a vaccination, students, faculty and staff must present a UB identification card. No appointments are necessary. The clinics will operate each week through Nov. 18.
The schedules are:
COVID (but not flu) vaccines are still available at the (NYS-run) Harriman Hall location.
With students arriving back on campus this week after a year-and a-half of mostly remote instruction, the University at Buffalo is well-prepared to ensure the fall semester is both safe and successful.
Updated health and safety guidelines enacted by the university, which align with the latest scientific guidance from public health experts, will minimize the spread of the coronavirus and its variants, as in-person learning activities and other aspects of campus life return to normal.
All UB students are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend classes in person and participate in on-campus activities in the fall, according to a SUNY mandate. Full approval of the vaccine was granted by the FDA on Monday, August 23.
Students who do not comply with this requirement by Aug. 30 will be dropped or resigned from all courses with an in-person component. Students should understand that being dropped or resigned from a course may impact financial aid, medical insurance eligibility, sequence of required courses and/or time to graduation.
Students are financially liable for all courses unless they have dropped or resigned by published deadlines. If you have not yet submitted proof of vaccination or are unvaccinated, please review Vaccine Non-Compliance Consequences.
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School Graham Hammill and Dean of Undergraduate Education Ann Bisantz provided classroom guidance for faculty in a campus-wide email to all instructors. This message includes information on the following:
All UB students are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to attend classes in person, pending full FDA approval of the vaccine, which we expect soon. Students who do not meet this requirement by the deadlines will be immediately resigned from all courses with an in-person instructional component and will be assigned a grade of "R" for those courses. Students are financially liable for all courses unless they have dropped or resigned by published deadlines. Visit the Student Guide Announcements Page for additional details.
It was announced on July 28, that all New York State employees will be required to get vaccinated for COVID-19 by Labor Day. State employees who do not get vaccinated will be required to be tested for COVID-19 on a weekly basis.
Vice President for Student Life Brian F. Hamluk, Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School Graham Hammill, and Dean of Undergraduate Education Ann Bisantz welcomed students back to campus this fall in a campus-wide email to students.
The email also provided resources to help students be as prepared as possible for the fall semester:
Employees returning to campus are encouraged to submit proof of their COVID-19 vaccination information and are reminded to participate in weekly surveillance testing.
UB’s health guidelines and procedures for face coverings were updated in a university-wide email from UB Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber and Vice President for Health Sciences Michael E. Cain.
Dear university community:
In accordance with updated guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Erie County Department of Health, the University at Buffalo will require all students, employees and visitors – regardless of their vaccination status – to wear face coverings while inside campus buildings, effective starting tomorrow, Aug. 3.
Face coverings: Face coverings will be required in classrooms, hallways, libraries and other common spaces, as well as UB buses and shuttles. Face coverings are not required inside personal rooms at residence halls, while eating in on-campus dining areas, when alone within personal offices or in non-public-facing personal workstations.
Outdoor settings: Vaccinated UB students and employees will not be required to wear face coverings on UB campuses. Unvaccinated individuals will be required to wear face coverings in all outdoor settings. Face coverings will be required for both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals at outdoor events or settings where large groups of people congregate, such as at on-campus football games.
Vaccination: As we safely resume in-person classes and operations for the fall semester, UB strongly urges all students and employees to get vaccinated, in compliance with state and SUNY requirements. Pending FDA full approval, vaccination will be required for all students participating in in-person classes and activities. Vaccination is required for all students residing in university housing. UB will continue to require regular testing of non-vaccinated students and employees.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, and as recommendations from federal, state and local entities potentially change, UB will adjust its health and safety guidelines accordingly.
For all updates, please refer to UB’s COVID-19 Planning and Response website.
A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Michael E. Cain
Vice President for Health Sciences
Dean, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences
UB Human Resources sent an email to all UB employees August 2 reminding employees returning to campus of their obligation to complete the Daily Health Check, UB’s COVID-19 screening tool.
Dear UB colleague,
As the university prepares for more normal operations ahead of the fall semester, employees returning to campus are reminded of their obligation to complete the Daily Health Check, UB’s COVID-19 screening tool.
All UB faculty, staff and volunteers, regardless of their vaccination status, must complete the Daily Health Check on the days that they come to campus. Employees should plan to complete their screening prior to their arrival.
With the COVID-19 pandemic entering a new stage, the Daily Health Check will be even more critical in protecting the health and safety of the campus community. Thank you for doing your part to ensure everyone’s return to campus is as smooth and as safe as possible.
For more information about the Daily Health Check, including exemptions, data privacy and more, visit the Daily Health Check webpage.
Sign up for text notifications
As a reminder, smartphone users can sign up for text notifications to make completing their Daily Health Check simpler and more convenient. To sign up for text message alerts:
Those without smartphones can directly access the tool via the web by clicking “none” within the chatbot.
J. Brice Bible, UB's vice president and chief information officer, sent a message to all UB employees on July 27 regarding technology help for their return to campus.
If you are returning to campus this summer after working remotely for an extended period, UBIT is here to help as you reconnect with your workplace technology.
Before you return to campus, we recommend scheduling time with your IT support staff so they can help reconnect any computers, monitors or peripherals that were taken home, and install any updates on machines that were powered off while you were away.
On your first day back, plan a few extra minutes in your schedule to ensure that the technology in your workspace is connected and working as expected:
If you encounter problems during this process, contact the UBIT Help Center, online at buffalo.edu/ubit/help or by phone at 716-645-3542.
Here’s to a healthy and productive fall semester.
J. Brice Bible
Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Life at UB will be much closer to normal come fall with the announcement that students who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 will no longer need to wear masks or stay physically distanced while in the classroom.
The highly anticipated change was made this week by SUNY and takes effect at UB immediately.
The latest guidance from SUNY expands on earlier announcements that lifted masking and distancing requirements for vaccinated students and employees in most indoor and outdoor campus settings, including in classrooms and studios, research labs, offices, residence halls, recreation spaces and dining areas.
However, students and employees who are not vaccinated are responsible for wearing a mask in all indoor and outdoor locations on UB’s campuses, with the exception of in their personal residence hall rooms, personal workstations or while eating in university dining areas. Physical distancing will not be required in classroom settings, but unvaccinated individuals must wear masks.
UB Associate Vice President for Human Resources Mark Coldren sent an email updating UB employees on telecommuting.
Although the pilot telecommuting program agreed to by the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations (GOER), SUNY and the bargaining units ends on July 2, 2021, UB acknowledges that certain employees may face child care, elder care and personal COVID-19-related medical concerns that make their individual return to campus challenging, Coldren wrote.
These employees may request to defer their transition back to place-based work under the New York State Pilot Telecommuting terms as they address issues limited to child care, elder care or specific COVID-19-related medical accommodations.
As stated in President Tripathi’s spring announcement to the UB community, UB is striving to get back to a fully place-based institution in anticipation of students returning for the fall semester, Coldren wrote. To meet this goal, units should continue to facilitate their return-to-campus plans to meet the goal of having employees return to campus beginning Aug.2.
On Thursday, June 24, 2021, the Office of Research and Economic Development confirmed and clarified SUNY guidance.
Published June 28, 2021
With the exception of classrooms and class-based lab settings, fully vaccinated students no longer need to wear face coverings or stay physically distanced in indoor settings (including residence halls) or outdoors. Unvaccinated students are required to wear face coverings and physically distance in all indoor and outdoor settings except when in their own residence hall room alone or with a roommate. Updated guidance from SUNY on face covering and physical distancing requirements is expected soon.
Published June 25, 2021
UB has received specific guidance from SUNY and the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations regarding our employees' return to work. These guidelines are effective immediately. They provide direction on capacity, physical distancing, masks, health screening and ventilation and air filtration.
Updated June 28; Published June 21, 2021
The University at Buffalo is aware of Governor Cuomo’s recent announcement to relax most COVID-19 restrictions in NYS after 70% of adults 18 years or older have received at least one shot (dose) of vaccine. On June 3, UB released its health and safety guidelines for the summer months, and is currently waiting for further guidance from SUNY in light of the governor’s recent announcement. Until that time, the university will continue to follow its current health and safety guidelines regarding face coverings, surveillance testing and physical distancing. The university continues to strongly urge students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Published June 16, 2021
Beginning on June 14, the surveillance testing sites on north and south campus will now be open only Monday and Tuesdays.
The hours of operations will not change – testing times and locations can be found here.
However, required weekly testing will continue for students who are on campus and have not completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series or fail to verify that they completed their primary COVID-19 vaccination series.
Students can submit vaccination documentation through the Student Health Services portal.
Published June 10, 2021
UB is updating its COVID-19 protocols in preparation for more employees returning to campus over the summer.
The rules for summer reflect revised guidance recently issued by SUNY, as the pandemic continues to evolve and colleges and universities across the state prepare for a more normal return to campus come fall.
Published June 3, 2021
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees June 3 updating summer protocols at UB.
Published June 3, 2021
The University at Buffalo is aware that SUNY has released its updated COVID-19 protocols for summer and fall 2021 semester planning. The university is currently reviewing that guidance and will communicate what this means for UB students, employees and visitors in the coming days. Until this review is completed, the university will continue to follow its current health and safety guidelines regarding face coverings, surveillance testing and physical distancing. The university will continue to strongly urge students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Published May 27, 2021
The University at Buffalo is aware of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s announcement that New York State will adopt the CDC’s latest recommendations for fully vaccinated people for most business and public settings. The university is currently reviewing these recommendations in coordination with the State University of New York. Until it receives further information, the university will continue to follow its current face covering guidelines, outlined in UB’s health and safety guidelines, which state that masks are required indoors at UB at all times. In outdoor settings on UB’s campuses, fully vaccinated people can remove their masks.
Published May 17, 2021
UB students will be required to be vaccinated for COVID-19 to attend classes in person in the fall as part of an effort to boost vaccination rates on SUNY campuses, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Monday.
Published May 11, 2021
Beginning Monday, May 17, the university will shift to a summer schedule for surveillance testing of students and employees on campus.
Testing appointments are not required and will be available as follows:
Student Union, room 210
Monday* and Wednesday: 9:00am–5:00pm
Monday*, Tuesday, and Wednesday: 9:00am–4:00pm
Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences building
Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 11:00am–1:30pm
Please note that the Greiner Hall location on the North Campus will no longer be available.
*Testing on Monday, May 31, will be suspended in observance of Memorial Day.
In an email to the campus community today, UB President Satish K. Tripathi provided an update on preparations for the fall 2021 semester, noting that UB's intention is to have employees back in person by Aug. 1 to prepare for the start of the new academic year.
Masks are optional on UB’s campuses in most settings:
Remember: There are many reasons that individuals may continue to wear a mask, including those who are:
Please be kind and respectful toward others in our UB community.
Faculty and academic support staff, see Guidance for faculty and academic support staff.
Published April 30, 2021
UB’s office of Parking and Transportation will provide free service to vaccine clinics at the KeyBank Center in downtown Buffalo or ECC North Campus in Williamsville for students unable to get there on their own. There’s also a state-operated vaccination clinic in Harriman Hall (open to walk-ins, without appointments) on UB’s South Campus, with regular UB bus service between UB campuses.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 716-645-3943.
Where can I get vaccinated?
Appointments are no longer needed at any state-run or county-run vaccination site.
Published April 21, 2021
The University at Buffalo has finalized its plans for commencement season. As was previously announced by UB President Satish K. Tripathi, UB will conduct 17 in-person commencement ceremonies and four recognition and certificate events between April 30 and May 16, with a limited number of guests allowed to attend based on capacity restrictions.
UB’s commencement plans, including protocols for guests, were approved by the New York State and Erie County health departments, and will abide by the graduation guidelines issued on April 12 by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
Commencement exercises will take place at two outdoor locations, both on the North Campus in Amherst: UB Stadium and the Furnas parking lot (located off Lee Road). All ceremonies will be live streamed.
Requirements will include mandatory mask-wearing, physical distancing and health screening, as well as proof of recent negative COVID-19 test or proof of full vaccination.
In coordination with SUNY and following a recommendation from the Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control, the University at Buffalo will pause plans to use the Johnson & Johnson single dose coronavirus vaccine at an on-campus vaccination site for students scheduled to open on Thursday in the Student Union. UB will provide more information about its plans for the on-campus vaccination site over the next few days.
The health and safety of UB students, faculty, staff and visitors remains paramount in all of the university’s plans and responses to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Published April 13, 2021
The student vaccine site will open Thursday on the North Campus. UB has 200 doses of Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine to offer and anticipates getting more from SUNY as the national supply issues with the J&J vaccine are resolved. UB will communicate the registration process this week to students.
UB is offering vaccination to all UB students as part of a SUNY program designed to vaccinate students against the coronavirus before they leave campus at the end of the spring semester.
Students — who may now receive the vaccine as eligibility expanded to anyone age 16 or over as of April 6 — will receive the J&J COVID-19 vaccine. Since the J&J vaccine requires only one dose, students can be fully vaccinated before going home for the summer next month.
Students also have the option of making an appointment at New York state vaccination sites. Information on the state-operated and other off-campus vaccination sites can be found below about making appointments at off-campus sites.
Published April 12, 2021
UB soon will begin offering vaccination to all UB students as part of a SUNY program designed to vaccinate students against the coronavirus before they leave campus at the end of the spring semester.
Students — who may now receive the vaccine as eligibility expanded to anyone age 16 or over as of April 6 — will receive the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) COVID-19 vaccine. Since the J&J vaccine requires only one dose, students can be fully vaccinated before going home for the summer next month.
Planning currently is underway to establish a vaccination site for students on UB’s North Campus. More information will be communicated to students in the coming days.
Published April 7, 2021
President Satish K. Tripathi today announced plans for the university to safely hold in-person, outdoor commencement ceremonies to honor students graduating from UB this academic year.
The ceremonies will be held April 30 through May 16 at UB Stadium and at another outdoor space on the North Campus, to be named later. Seventeen commencement ceremonies will be held over the three-week period at the two outdoor venues, with mandatory mask-wearing, physical distancing and compliance with UB’s weekly testing requirement in effect for all students, faculty and staff at all ceremonies.
A decision on whether guests will be permitted to attend the ceremonies will be made by the university at a later date, in consultation with the county and state departments of health. All ceremonies will be live streamed.
The university still intends to offer on-campus, in-person celebrations at a later date for graduates of the Class of 2020, for whom commencement ceremonies were held virtually last spring after the onset of the pandemic forced UB to transition to fully remote instruction and activities.
Per the updated NYS DOH COVID-19 vaccine program guidance, all in-person, essential staff at SUNY colleges and universities are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at any state or local health department vaccination site, effective immediately.
UB staff are advised to consult the state vaccination website for additional information about eligibility requirements, proof of eligibility and appointments at state vaccination sites.
Essential in-person staff are those who have been regularly working on UB’s campuses throughout the semester, including, for example, staff from Facilities; Libraries; IT; Residence Life; and those who are deemed by their academic or administrative units to be essential.
This week, UB researchers will begin testing wastewater from a small portion of on-campus housing for SARS-CoV-2, a pilot program designed to help mitigate the spread of the virus and protect the campus community.
The program, which will complement — not replace — the weekly surveillance testing of all members of the UB community who are on campus regularly, will provide a greater understanding of COVID-19’s presence among students living on campus.
It also could help spot emerging outbreaks and improve the university’s response to such occurrences.
Beginning next week (Feb 8.), student testing will be available in the Student Union, Greiner Hall and Allen Hall, by reservation, with appointments available Monday–Friday, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (4 p.m. at the Allen Hall location). The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences (JSMBS) is available for walk-up testing downtown.
Beginning Feb. 1, all employees who come to campus on a regular basis are expected to be tested every week (SUNY policy).
The following employees should expect to receive an invitation to register with SUNY for weekly testing:
Employees with a positive case in the past 90 days have been removed from the list for surveillance testing.
If your schedule has changed and you are working remotely, you are not expected to come in for testing.
All UB students who come to campus are expected to be tested weekly, so there will be more activity at all sites. Students are required to make a reservation for a time and location which should cut down on longer lines. Faculty and staff can get tested any time the sites are operating.
For more information about weekly testing, please see www.buffalo.edu/testing.
UB's COVID-19 surveillance testing sites in the Center for Tomorrow (North Campus) and Allen Hall (South Campus) will be closing today (Feb. 5) at 2 p.m. If you want to be tested on Friday, Allen Hall and the Center for Tomorrow will be open for testing from 11 a.m to 2 p.m. Or you can make arrangements to be tested at UB’s other testing sites.
UB President Satish K. Tripathi welcomed the campus community today in a campus-wide email to students, faculty and staff, in which he cautioned against pandemic fatigue.
“While the vaccine rollout warrants great hope for the future, we must be careful that neither undue optimism nor weariness of pandemic-related curtailments clouds our common sense. At the same time, if the pandemic has taken its toll on your psyche or otherwise overwhelmed you, please don’t hesitate to avail yourself of UB’s academic and mental health services to get the encouragement and assistance you need,” Tripathi said.
UB’s plans and health protocols for the spring semester build upon lessons learned and successes from the fall semester, with the hope that campus life will begin to return to normal next fall.
While COVID-19 remains a persistent threat locally and globally, UB leaders say the university is ready to continue providing transformative educational experiences and conducting groundbreaking research while ensuring the campus community remains safe.
The university’s plans, which are subject to change in response to new state guidelines, were developed by the 23-member Campus Planning Committee. The committee coordinated the work of several subcommittees comprising 137 members of the UB community, and included guidance from SUNY and state and local health officials.
The new SUNY mandate (Jan. 25) requiring all eligible students who live on campus, or who will be on campus regularly, to be tested every week, starting Feb. 8, was communicated today in an email to all UB students.
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees January 25 regarding the SUNY expectation that all employees who come to campus on some regular basis will be tested for COVID-19 each week.
UB will utilize the current surveillance testing process through SUNY Upstate Medical Center that we have been administering since the fall semester. Invitations to register for the weekly testing will be generated by the Daily Health Check data submitted. It is expected that all who come to campus complete a Daily Health Check when they come to campus. Individuals who work remotely do not have to come in for surveillance testing.
The University at Buffalo will implement a policy in the spring semester, required by the State University of New York, calling for all SUNY institutions to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing for the entire on-campus population
SUNY’s updated policy on surveillance testing will require UB to test all students, faculty and staff who live on campus or plan to be on campus regularly during the spring semester. UB’s spring semester starts Feb. 1 and will follow a modified in-person format using a mix of in-person and online instruction.
The health and safety of UB’s students, faculty and staff remains the university’s highest priority. Weekly coronavirus testing — in addition to UB’s other science-based health and safety protocols — will help ensure a safe, productive spring semester for the entire UB community, university officials said.
UB’s additional health and safety measures include:
Additional information is available on UB’s COVID-19 planning and response website.
UB’s intention to resume regular in-person instruction in the fall 2021 semester were communicated today in a university-wide email from UB President Satish K. Tripathi and UB Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber.
University-wide planning will follow best public health practices to ensure the health and safety of our university community. Tripathi and Weber stressed that the university needs to remain flexible and be prepared to adjust plans, as circumstances may change.
UB administrators provided an update on preparations for the upcoming spring semester in a memo to students today.
In addition, Student Life has revised the Student Guide in preparation for a return to campus this spring. The Student Guide is a resource to provide students and parents with the most up-to-date information, as it becomes available.
UB Student Life sent the following email to all UB students January 6 regarding the New Daily Health Check requirements for spring.
Know the rules for the Daily Health Check in advance of the spring semester so you can properly prepare for a safe start.
PRE-SCREEN FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR RETURN TO CAMPUS
Starting two weeks before your planned return to campus to live, work, take classes or utilize services, you must complete the Daily Health Check every day to screen for COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 history and travel history, as mandated by SUNY.
UNDERSTAND YOUR REQUIREMENTS FOR SPRING
Once the spring semester starts, the following groups will be required to complete the Daily Health Check:
Those students who are not required to complete the Daily Health Check are strongly encouraged to do so out of concern for their own health and the well-being of those around them.
BE PREPARED TO SHOW YOUR BADGE AS PROOF OF COMPLETION
Over the course of the spring semester, campus officials may ask students for proof of Daily Health Check completion. Therefore, students must be prepared to demonstrate that they have met their obligation for that day.
MAKE YOUR DAILY HEALTH CHECK MORE CONVENIENT
To assist you in meeting these obligations, the Daily Health Check offers notifications via text for smartphone users. To sign up for text message alerts:
2. Enter your 10-digit mobile phone number when prompted.
3. Click the link in a follow-up text message to verify your phone number and finish enrollment.
Those without smartphones can also directly access the tool via the web by clicking “none” within the chatbot.
For more information about the Daily Health Check, including student conduct policies, exemptions, data privacy and more, visit buffalo.edu/coronavirus/health-and-safety/health-check.
Please note: The university is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone and applying the relevant accessibility standards to ensure we provide equal access to all users. If anyone experiences difficulties while using the Daily Health Check tool, please use the following form:https://www.buffalo.edu/studentlife/student-guide/daily-health-check-students.html.
UB Office of Student Accounts sent the following email to all UB students December 31 to update UB students on important information about their UB Student Account and fee change for the spring 2021 semester.
The purpose of this communication is to update UB students on important information about your UB Student Account and fee change for the spring 2021 semester.
Parking & Transportation Fee
A 15-percent reduction in the Parking and Transportation Fee has been applied for the spring 2021 semester. This fee reduction is pending SUNY approval. The Transportation Fee ensures that services are available without interruption or reduction for students who are currently on campus as well as for students who will return to campus in the future. Service levels consistent with the fall semester will continue in the spring. Students will see the fee reduction reflected in the HUB Student Center.
Paying your Bill
As a reminder, UB now offers these options to make it easier for students and families to pay their bill:
PLEASE NOTE: Jan. 14, 2021 is the last day to enroll in UB’s 5-installment Payment Plan for spring 2021. Enrollment deadlines for the 3- and 4-installment plans are available on the Payment Plan web page.
> Learn more about UB’s Payment Plan
Expecting a Financial Aid Refund
Important Upcoming Dates
Jan. 4, 2021
First eBill emailed to students
Jan. 14, 2021
Last day to enroll in 5-installment Payment Plan for spring 2021 semester
Feb. 3, 2021
First spring bill payment due
Feb. 1, 2021
First day of classes
Feb. 8, 2021
Last day to drop/add regular (15-week) session courses without financial liability
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UB Human Resources sent the following email to all UB employees January 6 regarding the New Daily Health Check requirements for spring.
Understand your obligations regarding the Daily Health Check so you are properly prepared for a safer start to the spring semester.
PRE-SCREEN FOR TWO WEEKS BEFORE YOUR RETURN TO CAMPUS
Beginning two weeks before your planned return to campus, all faculty and staff must complete the Daily Health Check every day to screen for COVID-19 symptoms, COVID-19 history and travel history, as mandated by SUNY.
REQUIREMENTS ONCE THE SEMESTER STARTS
At this time, faculty, staff and volunteer faculty and staff who work entirely remotely are not required to complete the Daily Health Check. However, all UB faculty and staff, whether required to do so or not, are strongly encouraged to complete the Daily Health Check on the days they are working throughout the holiday season out of concern for their personal health and the health of the entire community.
MAKE YOUR DAILY HEALTH CHECK MORE CONVENIENT
To assist you in meeting your obligation, the Daily Health Check offers text notifications for smartphone users. To sign up for text message alerts:
Those without smartphones can also directly access the tool via the web by clicking “none” within the chatbot.
For more information about the Daily Health Check, including exemptions, data privacy and more, visit buffalo.edu/coronavirus/health-and-safety/health-check.
Please note: The university is committed to ensuring digital accessibility for people with disabilities. We are continually improving the user experience for everyone and applying the relevant accessibility standards to ensure we provide equal access to all users. If anyone experiences difficulties while using the Daily Health Check tool, please use the following form:www.buffalo.edu/administrative-services/forms-catalog/hr/daily-health-check-formstack.html.
UB’s plans for the spring were announced on Dec. 17 in a university-wide email from President Satish K. Tripathi and Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber.
In most cases, UB’s plans for the spring semester will mirror operations in the fall in that UB will follow a modified in-person format. That means courses will be delivered using a mix of in-person (and socially distanced) instruction, as well as online.
On November 17th, UB President Satish K. Tripathi provided an end-of-semester update to the university community.
New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo on Wednesday, Nov. 18, announced that Erie County is shifting to an ’orange’ zone cluster from yellow.
UB continues to follow New York State and SUNY guidance for higher education, and will offer in-person instruction until Nov. 24 as planned.
However, on-campus gatherings are now limited to 10 people. In addition, beginning Thursday, Nov. 19, in-person student clubs and activities will be suspended and campus dining and food service operations will offer takeout service only.
The University at Buffalo is closely monitoring an increase in COVID-19 cases among the UB community, which mirrors the uptick seen across Erie County, where UB’s three campuses are located.
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees November 10 regarding the testing of in-person faculty and staff:
As you may know, parts of Erie County have shown recent increases in COVID-19 positivity rates, cases and hospital admissions, meeting the metrics for a “yellow zone” designation by New York State.
As a result, UB is now required to conduct COVID-19 weekly testing of at least 20% of our in-person employees.
Those faculty and staff members affected by this requirement will be notified in a separate email with further details about registration and testing options. To ensure the process is as quick and convenient as possible, walk-in testing is being made available on North, South and Downtown campuses. Employee testing will start tomorrow, Nov. 11, so please be on the watch for additional communications that describe how best to participate in the process.
These continue to be challenging and fluid times, so thank you once again for your ongoing cooperation.
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
The University at Buffalo is aware that the Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has designated parts of Western New York as a precautionary “yellow zone” area, and we are monitoring the situation very closely.
At this time, we are not expecting the yellow zone designation to have a major impact on UB operations because the university is already testing on average thousands of people per week through our random surveillance program and our mandatory pre-Thanksgiving testing of on-campus students.
In addition, the university’s health and safety guidelines currently address all of the applicable yellow zone restrictions being implemented in Western New York, with the exception that UB will now limit large gatherings to 25 people instead of 50 and will maintain a four-person-to-a-table maximum in dining areas, in accordance with the new guidance.
We will remain vigilant in our efforts to curb the spread of the virus through rigorous on-campus testing and by reinforcing the need for all students, faculty and staff to follow UB’s health guidelines at all times, including the required wearing of face coverings, indoors and outdoors, on our campuses and the need to maintain physical distancing.
The university will continue to work closely with state and county public health officials to monitor and respond to the current increase of coronavirus positivity rates in Western New York. The health and safety of students, faculty, staff and visitors to the university is our highest priority.
The University at Buffalo has been planning for the spring 2021 semester for several weeks and will be prepared to implement all aspects of SUNY’s reopening guidance for the spring semester, including:
In addition, UB will provide students with regular updates about UB’s plans for the spring semester, including providing information about the format of students’ individual courses prior to starting the spring semester.
“The health and safety of UB’s students, faculty and staff remains of the utmost importance as we conclude a successful fall semester and plan for a safe and productive spring semester,” said UB President Satish K. Tripathi.
The university will release full details about the implementation of its plans for the spring semester prior to the end of the fall semester.
On October 12th, UB President Satish K. Tripathi provided a financial update to the university community.
On September 29th, Interim VP for Student Life Christina Hernandez sent an email to students on the uniform SUNY-wide sanctions for COVID-19 health and safety violations and non-compliance.
Dean of Students Barbara Ricotta provided Important information for off-campus students.
As part of UB’s comprehensive efforts to monitor and prevent the spread of COVID-19, the university has established a phone line for students who have tested positive for the virus. With this phone line, students can report their positive test and receive assistance as needed.
Reachable at 716-645-1400, the phone line extends support to all UB students, including those living off and on campus. The phone line is not a medical helpline. Phone line staff are trained to assure confidentiality.
“We understand that students will have many questions and concerns as a result of a positive COVID-19 test result,” says Christina Hernandez, interim vice president for student life. “Phone line staff will provide students with important information regarding health, housing and academic resources. As necessary, students will be referred to UB Health Services or their primary care provider for medical care.”
Faculty and staff who are contacted by students who have tested positive for COVID-19 should direct students to the phone line, where they can report their positive test and receive assistance as needed.
The phone line is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Callers will be asked to leave a message when calling outside of these hours.
As UB continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, protecting the health and safety of the university community remains paramount.
UB President Satish K. Tripathi informed the campus community via email Tuesday night that 22 students living off-campus are in isolation after having tested positive for COVID-19.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases within the UB community, including employees, to 27.
The university has reached out to all students who tested positive to offer its support, and to monitor their recovery.
Only those students and employees who have fully recovered and received approval from the Erie County Department of Health may resume normal campus activities. Additionally, UB is working with the health department to help with contact tracing.
In the interest of transparency and awareness, UB is posting data about known positive cases of COVID-19 on UB’s COVID-19 Planning and Response website.
"Given the significant disruptions that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused at universities across the country, let me take this opportunity to reiterate what I stressed on the first day of class: Each of us must adhere to UB’s health and safety protocols. To protect our health, and that of our friends, colleagues and neighbors, we must, without exception, follow the guidelines," Tripathi said.
As part of the next step in the university’s Health and Safety Guidelines, UB will soon begin random COVID-19 surveillance testing of students, faculty and staff using their saliva.
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees August 19 regarding the daily health screening tool:
This message is for all employees to help clarify the introduction of the new daily health attestation process. Previously, individuals were asked to use an online form for daily attestation of health provided by the Office of Human Resources. This was a temporary process to be used until UB could introduce the ongoing tool. The new tool, Daily Health Check, was introduced on Monday, August 17. (https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/bulletins/announcement-host.host.html/content/shared/university/news/ub-reporter-articles/stories/2020/08/chatbot.detail.html).
The initial communication identified that all individuals must complete the Daily Health Check every day, whether they are working or not. This practice facilitates a comprehensive set of health data to assist in campus actions and decision making. However, to comply with relevant NYS laws, this requirement is revised as follows:
All employees are required to complete the attestation every day they are working – whether on campus or working remotely. Additionally, while not required, all individuals are strongly encouraged to complete the attestation on days they do not work. Daily attestation will greatly enhance the University’s goal of comprehensive data collection to accurately monitor COVID prevalence and transmission.
The goal of the Daily Health Check is to be able to collect critical data for all members of the UB community. Comprehensive daily participation by all members of the campus community including students, faculty, staff, and affiliates* creates the best data source to help direct campus response and better protect everyone.
In the initial release of the Daily Health Check, individuals are not currently asked to submit their name during the attestation process – this is different than what folks have been doing over the summer. Instead, upon completion of the process, users receive a notification badge for that day. Individuals were initially asked to print out a copy or save a screenshot of this badge. This is no longer required. By coming to campus, you are verifying that you completed the Daily Health Check and you have attested, to the best of your knowledge, that you do not have COVID-19 infection or exposure.
In certain unique situations such as entering a lab with specialized PPE protocols or in a situation where social distancing is challenging on our campus, individuals may be asked to show proof of Daily Health Check completion.
Individuals that complete a health attestation for other organizations every day such as hospitals, health care facilities etc., are not required to show proof but are asked to participate in UB’s Daily Health Check.
Messages for direction and action are an integral part of the Daily Health Check tool. Several of these messages will continue to be revised for clarity during this initial phase of implementation. Revisions will include:
In the upcoming technology update of Daily Health Check, all users will be asked to provide personal identification details for authentication purposes upon initial log in. This will then enable the tool to send individual text message reminders to you for daily attestation. The following information will be asked for authentication purposes:
After the first time, users will no longer be asked to provide this level of detail. Only thefirst three letters of your last name as well as year of your birth details will be required.
We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work through how best to build for the UB community an effective screening and tracing process that takes into account the many variables inherent in a large university. Please continue to check the UB planning and response pages for more information:https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/dashboard.html
*Affiliates includes RF, State, UBF employees, adjunct faculty, volunteers, vendors, visitors and invited guests to campus.
UB has launched an important new tool as part of its comprehensive Health and Safety Guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 on campus. The Daily Health Check is a virtual screener based on the latest scientific research that uses advanced chatbot technology to detect potential cases of COVID-19 infection early and provide users with need-to-know information tailored to their situation.
Beginning this week, all UB faculty, staff and students are required to complete the Daily Health Check every day, whether or not they plan to visit campus, including on weekends and holidays. Additionally, visitors to campus who are otherwise not affiliated with UB will also be required to complete the virtual screener prior to their visit.
Every year, in the late weeks of summer, our university eagerly anticipates the start of a new academic year. As we prepare for this most unusual semester, we’re especially excited to welcome our students this fall. Our students have shown incredible resilience and grit, and this year, “UB pride” takes on a new meaning.
This semester will be different, but key aspects of the UB experience remain the same. Your health and safety are our highest priorities. You will receive a world-class educational experience, no matter your location. You will pursue opportunities for personal and professional growth and receive our full support as you take on new challenges. You will find an unwavering sense of community and commitment, built around shared daily experiences only possible at UB. Our faculty, staff and administration have been working hard to develop creative solutions that enable us to deliver on these commitments to you.
Remember, we are here for you! The UB community is strong, smart and determined. We will get through this time together, because together, we are UB.
So you can be as prepared as possible we have gathered some information and resources on:
As we prepare for the upcoming academic year, we are mindful of the many sacrifices our students and their families make for a successful higher education experience. We realize that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on our students and their families financially. UB’s leadership is focused on keeping the cost of a UB education as affordable as possible.
Below is a summary of SUNY’s current approved tuition and fees:
The Mid-American Conference (MAC) has announced the postponement of all scheduled fall contests, as well as MAC championships, due to continuing concerns related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
In the MAC statement, UB President Satish K. Tripathi, who also serves as chair of the MAC Council of Presidents, said "This decision is in the best interest of all Mid-American Conference student-athletes, athletics departments and university communities. The Council of Presidents has always maintained that the health, safety and well-being of everyone within our conference, especially our student-athletes, is our top priority."
"Personally, I feel for all of our student-athletes and staff who have been affected by this decision," said UB Athletics Director Mark Alnutt. "They have prepared very hard for their respective fall sport seasons, doing so by adhering to the very strict health and safety guidelines that we have in place. I'm so proud of how they represent UB and the Mid-American Conference."
UB’s plans for the fall have been amended based on final guidance from the Governor and SUNY Chancellor. The UB plan was created with the health and well-being of all members of the campus community as the foremost priority. “Through our comprehensive planning process, we are planning for every eventuality—from a distance education model to a residential, campus-based experience in a less dense and safe environment, to a potential full return to conventional campus operations.”
J. Brice Bible, UB's vice president and chief information officer, sent a message to all faculty, staff and TAs and GAs on August 4th regarding teaching resources available to support course planning and delivery.
In his message, Bible said that in preparation for the Fall semester, educational design and technology support staff from across UB have been working to develop several new resources and trainings to support them in their course planning and delivery.
Introducing UB Teach Anywhere
UB Teach Anywhere is a new website with curated resources for UB faculty to successfully design and deliver their courses. Use it to explore delivery methods (remote, hybrid, etc.) and find recommendations for technology, accessibility and inclusivity, test monitoring and academic integrity, and more. Learn more about this website.
Classroom upgrades: recording, livestreaming and conferencing
UB instructors can now invite virtual guests to in-person classes using Zoom or Webex in most UB classrooms. These classrooms also now feature the ability for faculty to record or livestream their lectures using the included Panopto software. Learn more about recent classroom upgrades.
Fall 2020 scheduled classroom open the week of August 3rd.
Training sessions on teaching technology
To help faculty take advantage of available resources, a series of training sessions are being offered during August 2020.
Student Life provided important updates on campus housing in a message to students.
The full message is available on the Campus Living website.
UB’s health guidelines and procedures for the fall were announced today in a university-wide email from UB Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber and Vice President for Health Sciences Michael E. Cain.
These guidelines will be implemented across the campus community and will allow UB to continue delivering excellent educational experiences and research programs while protecting the health and safety of the university community.
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees July 15 regarding the Daily Health Verification Form.
"The Daily Health Verification Form has been updated on our website and is now available. As a reminder, in order to ensure the safety and public health of the UB campus and community, employees will be required to attest daily that they are free of COVID 19 symptom(s) before reporting to work on-campus," Codren said.
Mark Coldren, UB's associate vice president for human resources, sent an email to all UB employees June 16 regarding planning employees' safe return to campus.
UB’s plans for the fall were announced today in a university-wide email from UB President Satish K. Tripathi and UB Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs A. Scott Weber.
The University at Buffalo is planning to return to campus this fall, offering educational and research programs under a “modified in-person” format.
While final guidance will come from the Governor and SUNY Chancellor, the university will offer a mix of in-person and online instruction, while protecting the health and safety of the campus community.
Tripathi and Weber stressed that this decision will preserve UB’s mission as a place-based, public research institution, while providing the needed flexibility to continue caring for the campus community and providing the best possible educational experience for UB students
Interim Vice President for Student Life Christina R. Hernandez provided information on fall semester preparations in a memo to students and parents.
"In light of the recent announcement by President Tripathi and Provost Weber communicating that we will return to campus in a modified, in-person capacity, I continue to be optimistic that we can create a vibrant campus experience this fall. Student Life is committed to providing the best possible resources to support students’ academic setting," Hernandez said.
Student Life has created a Student Guide in preparation for a return to campus this fall that will keep students and parents informed on the most up-to-date information, as it becomes available.
Now that Western New York has entered Phase 2 of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s reopening process amid the COVID-19 pandemic, UB is actively planning and preparing for a phased return of employees to campus. The emphasis will be on ensuring the health and well-being of everyone on campus.
This approach is in line with the “Ramp-up Plan for Research” that the university recently started to facilitate the reopening of labs and research work at UB.
Additional information on UB employees’ safe return to campus, including health guidelines, is available on a new webpage on the Administrative Services Gateway website. Updates will also be provided regularly on the university’s COVID-19 website, which is being transitioned to include information on UB’s fall planning efforts.
The overall goal for UB will be to have a low density of people on campus, with as many employees as possible working remotely on any given work day. Units will be permitted to have a maximum of 50% of employees working on site. Plans must also follow all guidelines provided by Environment, Health and Safety, and the Campus Planning Operations Committee.
UB’s plans for returning employees to campus will adhere to any guidelines set forth by the governor and SUNY.
The university anticipates that decisions related to the fall 2020 semester will be made and communicated to the campus community in mid- to late June, UB President Satish K. Tripathi said this morning in a memo to faculty, staff and students.
Tripathi added that UB envisions a phased return of employees to campus prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year. Further, he stated, "it is my hope that such a return will begin in the very near future, including resuming research that has been put on hold."
Tripathi stressed that all determinations about a phased return of employees and the fall 2020 semester will align with Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s Executive Orders — including Western New York’s progress pursuant to the state’s Phase 1-4 regional benchmarks.
The president's memo also notes that under Provost A. Scott Weber’s leadership, UB is developing numerous protocols to prepare for the fall. "This preparation includes a full array of measures to ensure the health and safety of every member of our campus community," Tripathi stated.
In light of the ongoing threat of the global pandemic of COVID-19, the university is cancelling UB-administered study abroad programs for Fall 2020.
The cancellation affects programs with start dates from August through November 2020 and is based on a careful assessment of current and future risks from the pandemic in countries where UB administers programs. The health and safety of students remains UB’s highest priority.
The threat of a recurrence of COVID-19 outbreaks this fall remains a serious concern. At this time, the U.S. Department of State continues to list a global health advisory (Level 4: Do Not Travel) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains its Warning Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel, and thus international travel remains heavily restricted. Consulates serving our region remain closed, which impedes students’ ability to apply for visas to undertake their programs abroad.
This cancellation decision pertains to both conventional UB-administered credit-bearing programs and non-credit experiential learning trips, including those for service, clinical and internship experiences. Students who have applied for such programs and trips through the Office of International Education have been notified.
The university is currently evaluating several instructional scenarios for its home campus in Buffalo this fall, ranging from a full return to on-campus instruction, to continuing distance learning, to modified in-person instruction in a safe campus environment.
Questions may be directed to Mary Odrzywolski, Director of Study Abroad Programs, at email@example.com. Should conditions allow, UB plans to resume study abroad programs in the winter session in January 2021.
In order to advance UB's academic and research mission during COVID-19, the university will create a framework of university-wide committees that will develop plans for a variety of short- and long-term scenarios, UB Provost A. Scott Weber wrote in an email to the campus community.
The committees are composed of faculty, staff, students and senior administrators.
“In these challenging and uncertain times, campus wide engagement, planning and prudent stewardship of our resources are critical to ensure that we continue to advance our research, education and engagement mission and rise among the ranks of the top public research universities in the nation,” Weber wrote.