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.
Students are strongly encouraged to continue scheduling vaccine appointments at WNY vaccination clinics. As of today, 2,676 students have self-reported, through the Daily Health Check, that they are already fully vaccinated.
Vaccinations at all sites are by APPOINTMENT ONLY.
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.
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.
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.
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
To Better Serve You
If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us:
UB Student Accounts
Contact us online
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.