We are working closely with Syracuse University to monitor the novel (COVID-19) virus outbreak here on campus, domestically and abroad, and will communicate updates as we receive them. Please follow email and other communications from the university as we will continue to receive updates from Chancellor Syverud and other university officials and offices.

We are all challenged by the health emergency that has disrupted the lives of students, faculty and staff at our school, at Syracuse University, and across the world.

We at the School of Architecture will do everything possible to continue to offer a world class educational, teaching and work experience, during and after this semester. We are challenged, but we have outstanding students, faculty and staff, and we will persevere. When the immediate health emergency passes—and it will—we will continue to build the great community and school that has been, is, and will continue to be, among the very best in the world.

campus operations

Syracuse University will transition from residential to online instruction and/or other alternative (non-residential) modalities at all of its U.S.-based locations. Syracuse University will not resume residential instruction this semester. This includes centers New York City, Los Angeles and Washington, DC.

Effective immediately, the University will implement on-campus social distancing protocols:

  • Schools, colleges and units will cancel, postpone or conduct virtually any planned event where attendance will exceed 50 individuals.
  • Schools, colleges and units with plans to host an external speaker or external groups on campus should cancel, postpone or virtually conduct those events.
  • Syracuse University’s dining halls and fitness centers are closed as the result of a New York State order. Food service, in the form of take-out options from one or more Syracuse University dining centers is available to students.

As much of the University’s workforce transitions to a remote arrangement, to enhance the safety and security of the community, we will implement steps to limit access to some University buildings traditionally open to visitors and others during the workday. Specifically, many academic and administrative buildings will transition to swipe card access (SU I.D.) only. Please be advised that if you are coming to campus for any purpose and need to access your office, remember to carry your SU I.D. card.

Study Abroad

  • The Syracuse University Study Abroad Program’s in London, Madrid, Florence, Strasbourg and Santiago have suspended in person instruction for the semester. Online instruction will continue until the end of the semester.
  • Three Cities Asia: We have cancelled the Japan-based Three Cities: Asia program for Summer 2020 but will be offering an alternative based here in Syracuse this summer. More updates on this studio option is forthcoming.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the Syracuse Abroad office by phone at 315.443.3471 or by email at suabroad@syr.edu.

slocum hall operations

Following Chancellor Syverud’s announcement on Monday, March 16, that Syracuse University would not resume residential instruction this semester, and that all students in university housing should begin preparations to depart as soon as possible, the School of Architecture adjusted normal spring break hours and operations at Slocum Hall including the following:

Beginning at noon on Tuesday, March 17, access to Slocum Hall was restricted to those with valid swipe card (SU I.D.).

  • On Tuesday, March 17, the following facilities in Slocum Hall were closed until further notice: King & King Architecture Library; all shop facilities; computer labs and plot and print facilities.
  • On Tuesday, March 17, faculty began preparations for online course delivery and most staff began working from home.
  • On Tuesday, March 17, The Dean’s Office and Student Services began operating with reduced staff.

Going forward in Slocum Hall and Shaffer Art Building
At the end of normal operating on March 20, the Dean’s Office and Student Services will no longer be open in Slocum Hall but, like all School of Architecture offices, will remain open online. All staff will be working remotely and can be reached at their email addresses listed on the School of Architecture website.

Only faculty and staff using Slocum Hall to assist in the delivery of online courses will have swipe card (SU I.D.). access to Slocum Hall.

If you were unable to retrieve valuables or other items, including desk chairs, by 6pm on Sunday, March 22 they will remain safely locked in studio and will be available for retrieval when Slocum Hall reopens.

For graduate thesis students with desks in the Shaffer Art Building, please contact Lauren Mintier, School of Architecture Graduate Program Manager, at lmintier@syr.edu or Graduate Chair and Associate Professor, Brian Lonsway at blonsway@syr.edu.

Events and Public Programs: The health and safety of the entire Syracuse University School of Architecture community is our highest priority. Due to COVID-19 and related restrictions on travel and large gatherings, we regretfully announce the cancellation of the rest of the events remaining in our Spring 2020 public program. We welcome you to browse past events, available to view in our lecture archive.

Online resources for students, faculty and staff

Beginning Monday, March 23, and continuing until the end of the semester, all School of Architecture courses will be delivered online.


The School of Architecture Distance Learning Resources page, including Blackboard, downloadable software, and RemoteLab, a service that offers access to lab computers in Slocum Hall from any location on or off campus via internet connection. It is recommended that students download available software on their own computers first, as it will provide a better user experience. Please use RemoteLab as a last resort.

Attendance during Synchronous Online Sessions: Although we have shifted to online instruction, expectations regarding attendance remain the same. Your professors will do their best to find times for classes to meet with the least possible disruption to students’ schedules. Despite these efforts, there could be times when you must get up early or stay up late in order to attend class. Be sure to maintain regular contact with your instructor and check your email and Blackboard often.

Visit answers.syr.edu/display/AC/Academic+Continuity+Resources for a list of resources to help you navigate the remainder of the spring semester.

We have begun to compile a list of frequently asked questions from students. Some of the most common questions include:

Where do I access Blackboard?
Go to blackboard.syr.edu or connect through myslice.syr.edu. For either option, use your NetID and password to log in to Blackboard.

Does it matter what browser I use?
Yes, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox work best.

Why am I having difficulty logging in?
Check that you are using Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. Next, ensure you are using your NetID and password to log in. If you still have trouble, contact the ITS Help Desk at 315.443.2677 or help@syr.edu.

Why isn’t my NetID/password working?
At any time, you can visit the NetID self-service page to look up your NetID, confirm your password works or reset your password if needed. If you still can’t log in, contact the ITS Help Desk at 315.443.2677 or help@syr.edu.

How do I find my course information?
Once you log in to Blackboard, your course will be listed under My Courses on the landing page. Click on your course name to enter the course room and access material. If needed, you also will find access to Blackboard Collaborate Ultra by entering your course room for a virtual classroom.

You can find more FAQs related to Blackboard and Collaborate on Answers. We will share additional questions and answers based on student and faculty feedback.

Ensuring Online Accessibility: The Office of Disability Services (ODS) will remain operational during the suspension of residential classes. Access counselors will be available to discuss additional accommodation requests from students. For general ODS questions, visit disabilityservices.syr.edu or email disabilityservices@syr.edu.

For specific technology-related questions, please consult your school or college IT support personnel or contact the ITS Service Center.

Internet and Technology Support for Students: As many of our students depart campus and in preparation for transitioning to an online learning model, we are acutely aware that some individuals may require financial support to purchase computers/laptops for remote access and to cover internet costs. Students on Financial Aid who need to purchase computers for remote access because they don’t have one can submit a Financial Aid Appeal to cover this cost. Contact KC Woods, associate director of financial aid, at kcwoods@syr.edu or by phone at 315.4433.1513 if you have questions.


It is suggested that you bookmark the School of Architecture Online Course Delivery Guide as a reference and share with your Teaching Assistants.

Working and Teaching Remotely: The Architecture RemoteLab service offers Architecture students access to lab computers in Slocum from any location on or off campus via an Internet connection. Learn about the new RemoteLab, as well as other student resources, on Answers. Architecture faculty that need to reach the G: drive from off campus can use the ARCH Virtual Cluster.

Online Course Delivery Guide: School of Architecture faculty who have questions about transitioning in-person instruction to online teaching are encouraged to consult the School of Architecture Online Course Delivery Guide that provides consolidated information and advice for faculty on the tools and techniques available to deliver teaching and learning.

Blackboard Organizations: If you are looking for an online meeting space, Blackboard Organizations serve groups would like a space for information sharing, collaboration and communication.

Bandwidth Considerations: As you might have experienced, the online teaching experience depends on an individual’s network bandwidth, which can vary depending on the day of the week or the hour of the day. Internet service providers across the nation are experiencing slower than normal upload and download speeds. With this in mind, experiment with the time of day or day of the week you upload content. You might have better luck early on a Saturday morning or later on a Tuesday night than in the middle of a Monday afternoon.

Alternatives to Web Conferencing: With the heightened emphasis on Blackboard Learn and Blackboard Collaborate, it is important to consider the desired outcome for a given lesson and whether a live web conference is necessary to achieve it. Web conferencing can pose challenges such as coordinating students in different time zones, bandwidth issues and more. When possible, consider using tools such as pre-recorded 15-minute audio lectures, discussion boards and group forums. For more ideas, read our own iSchool’s helpful matrix of online interaction methods (both asynchronous and synchronous).

Web Work-Arounds: Depending on your students’ circumstances or location, they might encounter issues accessing certain online resources. In these situations, the ITS Service Center might be able to suggest an alternative. For example, if one of your students cannot access YouTube, the student likely could access video content on Ensemble. Please contact the ITS Service Center if you need to find a technological work-around to support student success.

Ensemble Video Recording—An Alternative to Webconferencing: As previously discussed, webconferencing can pose challenges depending on location, bandwidth constraints and other factors. If you schedule a conference outside of your assigned classroom time, you might introduce scheduling conflicts. If you are looking for an alternative to live webconferencing, ITS Online Learning Services recommends the Ensemble Video Recorder Chrome Extension as an easy way to capture short video clips and screencasts.

Training Opportunities: We will also continue to provide a range of training opportunities related to working and teaching online. You can find a schedule of upcoming Blackboard Collaborate Ultra training sessions on Answers.

Additional Online Resources:

Ensuring Online Accessibility: The Office of Disability Services (ODS) will remain operational during the suspension of residential classes. ODS will continue to support faculty in providing enhanced mitigation of course materials to students who require it. For general ODS questions, visit disabilityservices.syr.edu or email disabilityservices@syr.edu.

Creating Accessible and Inclusive Online Content: As we shift to online instruction, delivering content that is inclusively designed and accessible is essential. The Accessible Technology Toolkit on Answers and Blackboard’s free Accessibility Checklist are great resources to help faculty create inclusive online content. Blackboard Ally also is included in our learning management system and enables us to build a more inclusive online learning environment.

Faculty who have questions about transitioning in-person instruction to online teaching, contact your school/college IT department to coordinate support and training with Information Technology Services and other units. For teaching questions, the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence also is available to support. Send questions and challenges to CTLE@syr.edu. Your questions (and the ensuing solutions) will inform future updates.


Please find below a link to School of Architecture Working and Collaborating Remotely. The School of Architecture Working and Collaborating Remotely Guide includes links to online meetings, access to work computers and other useful links.

Student and Family Information

Commencement and Convocations

Because of public health guidance, we cannot and will not proceed with on-campus in-person commencement events in May, including school and college convocation ceremonies.

Visit commencement.syr.edu/commencement-postponement-faq for a list of FAQs related to Commencement postponement.

On Friday, March 27, all members of the Class of 2020 will receive a survey, soliciting input regarding several alternative Commencement ceremonies and celebrations. These alternatives will include on-campus Commencement options that would take place once public health officials agree large public gatherings are safe and appropriate.

Expanded Pass/Fail Option for Spring Semester

This message applies to undergraduate students enrolled in traditional face-to-face Syracuse University courses this semester. It does not apply to graduate students, law students, students enrolled in our world partner programs or students enrolled in University College online undergraduate courses.

For the spring 2020 semester only, undergraduate students will be permitted to choose the pass/fail grading option for any courses in which they are registered, with the exception of University College online courses.

ALL courses will meet corresponding BArch degree requirements if taken pass/fail, this includes required architecture courses. The deadline to request pass/fail grading is April 3, 2020. The decision may not be rescinded after the deadline. 

  • We foresee no NCARB/AXP implications if courses are taken pass/fail, however we encourage students to double-check the licensure requirements of the state in which they plan to take the ARE exam to ensure there are no additional academic requirements. 
  • The School of Architecture is allowing students to take studio-based courses (design studio, thesis, and thesis prep) pass/fail. If you elect to grade a studio-based course pass/fail, a passing grade will meet the grade requirement for that course. 
  • For students currently working toward a minor, any minor requirement met this semester can be taken pass/fail.
  • GPA implications: A grade of PASS functions similar to transfer credit: it is only credit, not a grade. A grade of FAIL is an F and will negatively impact your GPA as any F would.

When faculty enter grades at the end of the semester, they will enter a letter grade even if you choose pass/fail. A grade of “D” or higher will be converted into a PASS and “P” will be recorded on your transcript. A grade of F, will be an F and calculated into your semester and cumulative GPA as an F.

For more questions and answers regarding choosing the pass/fail grade option, please visit soa.syr.edu/resources/academic-advising/undergraduate/expanded-passfail-option-for-spring-2020-semester.

If you choose to change any of your classes to pass/fail, please complete the Request for Pass/Fail Grading form and email to Karen Baris at kebaris@syr.edu for processing.  If you would like to discuss this further, please send any quick questions via email kebaris@syr.edu or you are welcome to schedule a remote advising appointment through Orange SUccess. If you do this, please include in your appointment how you plan to contact me (phone or Teams).

Retrieving Belongings from University Housing

In a March 17 message to students and parents, Amanda Nicholson, interim deputy senior vice president for enrollment and the student experience, provided details to students and their families concerning the following options for retrieving belongings still in University residence halls:

  • you can register via the MySlice housing portal to come to campus and pick up your belongings by Sunday, March 22 at 9 p.m.;
  • you can have your belongings packed and shipped/stored; or
  • you can leave your belongings in your current residence hall room or South Campus apartment for pick up at a later date.

Policy on Room and Board

Syracuse University will provide a prorated reimbursement of room and board payments to students who vacate University housing. We have developed a process for students and families to request room and board refunds. To the extent there is an outstanding balance due on a student’s bursar account, the refund would be applied toward the balance first, before a refund is issued.

Food Services

As the result of a New York State order, Syracuse University closed its dining halls and fitness centers, effective 8 p.m., March 16. Food service, in the form of take-out options, is available to students. The latest information can be found by visiting the Food Services webpage.

Bookstore Convenience and Grocery Deliveries

The Syracuse University Bookstore has moved its convenience and grocery offerings online. Students can shop for food staples, snacks and pantry items on the Bookstore’s website, and staff will provide free University-area contactless delivery every Tuesday and Thursday.

Barnes Center Services

Students seeking health care and counseling services at the Barnes Center at The Arch are asked to first call 315.443.8000 to schedule an appointment. Appointments are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On-call services remain available after hours. Additionally, all counseling appointments will now be held over the phone.

Barnes Center Pharmacy

Starting Monday, March 30, in-person hours will be extended to Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Phone consultation is available by calling 315.443.5691, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.; staff will be on-call during weekends. For more information about services and hours, visit the Barnes Center website.

Free Shuttle Service

Parking and Transit Services is now providing a free shuttle service to Tops and Walgreens for students remaining on campus. This trolley loop will run daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., with the last trip from Tops and Walgreens at 7:24 p.m. Please refer to the Campus Shuttle Schedules for the full schedule.

Student Employment

In an effort to continue providing students meaningful skill-building opportunities, as well as added income, employers are encouraged to provide their student employees with remote work where possible. We understand, though, that not all positions will have remote capabilities. As such, to support students during this time, including those who can no longer work in their student employment positions, the following guidance will be followed for student employment the remainder of the semester:

  • Students who can work remotely are encouraged to do so and will be paid as usual, whether they hold Federal Work-Study (FWS) or non-FWS positions.
  • Students with FWS awards and an active job who cannot work remotely will be paid based on normally scheduled hours, up to their full award, for the remainder of the semester through May 6.
  • Students with non-FWS positions who cannot work remotely will be paid two weeks of wages, based on their scheduled weekly hours, to support them as they transition out of student employment.

For additional information or questions, visit the Cuse Works website, call 315.443.2268 or email cuseworks@syr.edu.

International Students

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Student and Exchange Visitor Program recently announced accommodations for international students studying in the United States. International students can continue their studies online and/or as distance learning in the United States or abroad without negatively impacting their student (F-1) or scholar (J-1) status. Student immigration records maintained by the Center for International Services will remain active as long as students continue to remain registered full time. Any questions or concerns regarding your status may be directed to international@syr.edu.

We are working with our schools and colleges, and with others to help accommodate the evolving needs of this important part of our campus community. Our international students continue to worry about their family, friends and loved ones from afar. The Center for International Services continues to offer care and support to these students. It can be reached by calling 315.443.2546 or email international@syr.edu.

Information for students from China

  • Returning to China at this time will not cancel your F1 visa.
  • The United States government has currently suspended entry into the United States of non-citizens who were physically present in Iran or China during the 14-day period preceding their entry or attempted entry into the United States. Once all entry suspensions are lifted, you will be able to return to the U.S. provided the travel signature on your I-20 is valid. 
  • A travel signature from a Center for International Services advisor is valid for 12 months. 
  • If you plan to leave the U.S., and you are still in Syracuse, visit the Center for International Services to have the travel signature on I-20 updated prior to leaving. 
  • If you have already left the U.S., you can request an updated travel signature be mailed to you.
  • If the travel signature on your I-20 expires before August 2020, regardless of when you leave the U.S. or where you travel to, you will need to request a travel signature to allow re-entry into the U.S. for the Fall semester. 
  • Additional information for international student travel can be found at international.syr.edu/immigration-status/travel.html.

Travel Signatures

If you are in Syracuse and need a travel signature, bring the following documents to the Center for International Services:

  • Valid passport
  • I-20 or DS-2019
  • I-94 card or copy of electronic I-94 (https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/)
  • Proof of health insurance valid for a full academic year. Health insurance coverage should include Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage; if your plan does not include this, please purchase Medical Evacuation and Repatriation coverage.

If you are outside of the Syracuse area or outside the United States and need a travel signature, please send the following information to international@syr.edu:

  • Your full name and SUID number.
  • Scans of your visa and your passport identity page, including the expiration page.
  • Proof of current health insurance.
  • Proof of medical evacuation and repatriation insurance. If you are not enrolled in Syracuse University’s Student Health Insurance Plan and if medical evacuation and repatriation is not included in your current health insurance, you can purchase medical evacuation and repatriation coverage here.
  • Your current address.
  • Your document shipping choice. Your new I-20 or DS-2019 can be sent to you by regular airmail or you can arrange for express mail. You can find Document Shipping options here.

Graduate Students

Academic Instruction and Coursework: Due to COVID-19 and social distancing protocols, all graduate-level classes will be taught online rather than in person for the remainder of the spring semester and throughout early summer sessions. For additional information regarding academic instruction at this time, please visit the Academic Continuity web page.

Research Activity: All data collection activities for non-essential human subjects research are on hold, including graduate student research. Approval to continue essential research activities must be requested by your Department Chair and Associate Dean for Research, with final approval given by the Vice President of Research. Instructions on obtaining approval, as well as the form that must be submitted, can be found on the COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers web page. All graduate students conducting research are also encouraged to seek guidance from their faculty mentors and graduate program directors for expectations within a given program.

If a graduate student has received approval to be on campus, they must adhere to on-campus social distancing protocols and follow enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures.

Expectations for Funded Graduate Students, Including Those with TAs, RAs and GAs: Graduate students funded on graduate assistantships will continue to be paid and are expected to continue performing their roles and responsibilities. With the few exceptions of essential research, graduate assistantship work must be completed remotely. If a graduate assistant is an instructor of record or leading a recitation or discussion section, the graduate student is must host their sections online. TAs who are not instructors of record or discussion leaders should nonetheless work with their faculty mentors to provide ongoing TA support remotely based on the duties of the TA assignment. The same is true for students who are working as a research assistant or in another graduate assistant role.

In general, graduate students who have departmental funding are expected to adhere to expectations based on the needs articulated by departmental leadership. Please consult with faculty mentors and graduate program directors for expectations within a given program.

For graduate students who have positions paid on an hourly basis, supervisors are strongly encouraged to provide continued access to work responsibilities and assign duties that involve working remotely.

TA Training for Online Instruction: Information Technology Services (ITS) has recorded a “live” online training session for graduate TAs. The training can be accessed online. The session provides graduate TAs with essential strategies needed to move face-to-face courses fully online, including an overview of how to use Blackboard Collaborate to host live, video-based class sessions.

In addition, extensive online resources are available for graduate students working remotely or who will need to teach online the remainder of the spring semester. TAs can also access the Rapid Online Course Development Guide.

Protocol for Thesis and Dissertation Defenses: Given current guidelines, the Graduate School will support an online/video based defense. Students must submit their requests for a change in meeting format directly to their advisor for approval. The advisor will forward the approved request to Kristina Ashley at degreecert@syr.edu. The email must clearly articulate a plan for successful web-based hosting (e.g., using Blackboard Collaborate, Microsoft Teams or Zoom) and who will be participating remotely. The Oral Chair will note the change in their Report of Exam.

If you have questions or need assistance in making arrangements for video-based conferencing for a defense meeting, please contact Associate Dean Gabby Chapman.

Summer Sessions

We have made the decision to move all residential Maymester and Summer I courses (scheduled for the Syracuse campus and at other University locations) to online delivery. Specifically, this applies to the following terms:

  • Maymester: May 11-22
  • Maymester Flex: May 11-open
  • Summer I: May 18-June 26
  • Combined Summer Session: May 18-Aug. 7

A decision about whether Summer II session will proceed as planned will be made in early May.

Of course, we encourage all our students to take summer courses when possible. Registration opens in MySlice on March 25. Students can contact their academic advisor or schedule an appointment through Orange SUccess or via email to register for summer courses. Faculty can begin requesting support to redesign their courses for online delivery by sending a request to help@syr.edu. Please indicate which term your course is scheduled to run.

Faculty and staff information

Working Remotely Extended to April 17: On Sunday, March 15, Andrew Gordon, senior vice president and chief human resources officer, announced that faculty and staff—with the exception of those deemed essential—would need to transition to remote work. We had originally designated March 30 as the date to return to normal operations. However, consistent with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on PAUSE” Executive Order, our faculty and staff will continue to work remotely through at least April 17. Any questions about changes to your remote work arrangement should be discussed with your supervisor or senior HR business partner. We will continue to monitor guidance from the state and share any new information.

Building Access: As much of the University’s workforce transitions to a remote arrangement, to enhance the safety and security of the community, we will implement steps to limit access to some University buildings traditionally open to visitors and others during the workday. Specifically, many academic and administrative buildings will transition to swipe card access (SU I.D.) only. Please be advised that if you are coming to campus for any purpose and need to access your office, remember to carry your SU I.D. card.

South Campus Access: For similar reasons, we are also taking steps to control and monitor access to South Campus. Anyone entering or exiting South Campus must do so through the welcome center located off East Colvin Street (Skytop Road from East Colvin). Employees, students and guests will be required to show or swipe their identification card at the welcome center to gain access to South Campus. This access restriction will not prevent cleared visitors, meetings, deliveries or scheduled bus service.

Guidance for Researchers: For the safety of our entire Syracuse University research community, in-person data collection activities for non-essential human subjects research must pause until further notice. From a regulatory perspective, this is considered a temporary pause in human participant research activities for those studies impacted. In addition, all non-essential campus-based research activity must pause, and essential research activities conducted in campus-based facilities scaled back to a minimum. Effective immediately, no more than two people from any lab should occupy the lab at one time. Those that remain must be conducting essential research activities only. We will provide an online portal for the disclosure and approval of essential research activities to the University available at the Office of Research website.

The University will maintain minimal access to laboratories so that essential activities, including the maintenance of live animals and plants, microbes, cell lines, and essential equipment and materials, along with any research related to COVID-19, can continue. Research and scholarship (e.g., data analysis, manuscript preparation, presentation preparations, grant proposal preparations, online discussions with students and lab staff, invention disclosure preparations, etc.) that can occur remotely should continue remotely. More information about these requirements is provided on the COVID-19 Guidance for Researchers FAQ page. Please make sure you review this guidance before you proceed with your research.

We understand the disruption and stress caused by this situation, and its adverse impact on your research. While these changes are disruptive to the normal research activities and thereby the University’s research mission, it is essential to be in compliance with federal and state laws, regulations and executive orders, as well as necessary to protect the health and wellbeing of researchers and our community in general. We also recognize the potential negative impact this pandemic may cause in the loss of research productivity. Please be assured we will work closely with leadership across the schools and colleges to minimize negative impacts, and to maximize your ability to return to fully functional research programs as quickly as possible. Please also see message from Interim Provost Liu dated March 20, 2020.

Extension of Tenure Clock in Response to COVID-19

In a message to tenure-track faculty yesterday, Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu announced, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, a temporary policy that extends the tenure clock by one year for any current tenure-track faculty member whose tenure case is scheduled to be reviewed by their department, school/college and the University in the 2020-21 academic year or later. This new policy is intended to provide flexibility for any faculty member impacted by the current COVID-19 health crisis. To learn more about the temporary policy, please read Provost Liu’s full message.

Disbursement Processing: There have been rumors that the Syracuse University Disbursements Processing Department has temporarily suspended operations. This is not the case. The Disbursements Processing Department is operating throughout the University’s temporary move to remote work. The department continues to ensure that vendors are paid for goods and services procured by University faculty, staff and students. Weekly disbursement runs will continue. The department encourages all those seeking disbursements to submit them electronically by emailing disburse@syr.edu. However, in cases where there is no other alternative, hard copy disbursements will be accepted each Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 a.m. to noon at the Comptroller’s Office at 640 Skytop Road.

Tracking COVID-19 Expenses: A MyCode has been established for Universitywide use for COVID-19 expenses incurred directly for University mission/business purposes: 609722. These are non-standard expenses occurring to maintain continuity of our mission (e.g., support online instruction or relocation of students). An additional MyCode has been established for expenses pertaining to non-mission/business purposes or external community use (including donations): 600600. These are the costs associated with supporting the local community or orders from a government entity (e.g., the purchase of materials to make masks for local hospitals or use of University facilities for public quarantine or hospital purposes).

Interim Sick Leave Policy: Faculty and staff who are directed by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to suspected COVID-19 exposure will not be required to use their personal sick leave during the self-quarantine period. We do this so that those who are directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a health care professional can do so without concern about their sick leave or pay. If you have questions about this policy, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

Expanded Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Coverage: Syracuse University, in partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, has expanded coverage for faculty and staff enrolled in its health plans to include telemedicine. Effective immediately, if a member’s health care provider, including a behavioral health provider, offers virtual (online) options for care, those services will be covered under the health plan. Effective April 1, members will also have access to MDLIVE, a national telehealth provider that provides patients with 24/7 access to a network of board-certified doctors, pediatricians and licensed therapists that can treat more than 50 non-emergency conditions, including providing behavioral health services, via a computer or mobile device. See the Office of Human Resources’ frequently asked questions for additional information.

Carebridge Resources: The Human Resources website has been updated to include supplemental resources from Carebridge to assist our faculty and staff as we all navigate the unique challenges related to COVID-19. In particular, Carebridge is providing resources to support employees and leaders in reducing the risk for illness, tending to the needs of loved ones while remaining focused and productive with work responsibilities.

Faculty and staff with questions or concerns should contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu. Faculty and staff at our abroad centers in London, Madrid, Florence, Strasbourg and Santiago can also access services through an expanded alliance with Carebridge’s international partner, Chestnut Global Partners Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Visit their website or email syr@chestnut.org to learn more.

Travel and Exposure Guidance in Returning to Main Campus: Faculty or staff who are traveling outside of the Central New York region (including Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga and Oswego counties) for personal or professional reasons should exercise caution and adhere to the advice and guidance of public health agencies including the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the NYS Public Health and Onondaga County Health Department.

Given the current situation, Syracuse University advises faculty and staff who plan to travel outside the Central New York region in the coming weeks to be aware of and adhere to the following:

  • If you travel to a country where the CDC has issued a Level-2 or higher travel advisory, you should not come to work and remain away from campus for 14 days, following their return to Central New York.
  • If you have been in close contact (6 ft.) with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should implement self-quarantine protocols immediately. You should not come to work during the period of self-quarantine (14 days).

If you become aware that you have had a proximate exposure to anyone who meets the following criteria, you should—out of an abundance of caution—not come to work and remain away from campus for 14 days following such exposure. Specifically, remain away from campus for 14 days if:

  • You have had proximate exposure to any person who has been directed by a medical professional to be tested for COVID-19, even if that person is not displaying symptoms; or
  • You have had proximate exposure to any person who has traveled to China, Iran, Japan, South Korea or Italy while COVID-19 was prevalent; or
  • You or another member of your household has traveled to any location in the United States, where State or County health officials have declared a local or regional state of emergency in response to COVID-19.

In those instances where a faculty or staff member meets any of the above criteria, or is directed for other reasons to self-isolate away from campus, the faculty or staff member should work with their supervisor to coordinate remote work arrangements in accordance with the modified Flexible Work Arrangements, if available and appropriate. For additional question, faculty and staff should contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

COVID-19 Testing: We have heard questions from some individuals about whether they should be tested for COVID-19. According to the CDC, your healthcare provider may direct and authorize you to be tested for COVID-19 if:

  • You have come within proximate contact (same classroom, office, or gatherings) of another person known to be positive; or
  • You have traveled to a country that the CDC has issued a Level 2 or Level 3 Travel Health Notice, and shows symptoms of illness; or
  • You are quarantined (mandatory or precautionary) and have shown symptoms of COVID-19 illness; or
  • You are symptomatic but have not tested positive for any other infection (flu, strep throat, etc.); or
  • The facts and circumstances warrant as determined by the treating clinician in consultation with state and local department of health officials.

Sick and Personal Leaves: The University provides paid sick and personal leaves for benefits eligible staff. It is our collective responsibility to look out for the health and well-being of our fellow community members. As such, if you’re exhibiting symptoms, consistent with the coronavirus, the flu or other respiratory illness, you should not come to work. If you have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19 or if you have recently traveled from an area with ongoing spread of COVID-19, you should not be at work and you should contact your primary care physician. The frequently asked questions supplement already published documentation regarding the University’s benefits, including paid time off (sick, personal, vacation), disability and family leaves.

Health Benefits: We have been in close contact with the University’s health benefit providers to ensure we continue to provide high quality, comprehensive coverage. Questions on coverage can be directed to our dedicated phone representatives at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (800.493.0318 or TTY: 800.662.1220) and OptumRx (866.854.2945 or TTY: 711). Additional benefit provider contact information can be found on the HR Contact website. For general benefit questions, contact the HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

For your convenience, Human Resources has developed a new COVID-19 Information webpage that highlights resources, tips, development opportunities, and operational insights. Faculty and staff are encouraged to check the webpage often as resources will be updated regularly.  If you have specific questions, do not hesitate to contact your Senior HR Business Partner. 

student resources

Remote Student Services and Activities

While residential instruction is suspended for the remainder of the semester, student services remain available.

The Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience (ESE) will be offering services online and over-the-phone during the remainder of the semester. This virtual resources page will be updated regularly with information on how to contact offices and what services are available. Additionally, departments will be scheduling virtual activities and programs to offer students opportunities to engage online. These offerings will also be highlighted on the ESE virtual resources page.

Virtual Health and Wellness Resources

The Barnes Center at The Arch has implemented additional virtual resources and services to promote mindfulness, connection, healthy activity and involvement.

Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS)

CLASS services are being moved online. This includes academic coaching, individual tutoring and academic integrity case management, including hearings. Most, if not all, regularly scheduled group tutoring will also continue online. Details are available on the CLASS website

Virtual Resources for Student Services

While residential instruction is suspended for the remainder of the semester, student services remain available. Visit the Virtual Resources web page for a summary of hours, contact information and additional support.

Writing Center Moves Online

The Writing Center has gone fully online for the remainder of the spring semester. All Writing Center appointments will take place digitally. Students, faculty and staff can continue to log into the schedule, select Face-to-Face (Spring 2020) schedule, and reserve an appointment. Rather than meet with a consultant in the Writing Center, users will now be receiving electronic feedback from consultants. Please also note that while the Writing Center is operating exclusively in an online format, appointments must be made at least 48 hours in advance. Contact Ben Erwin with any questions about Writing Center policies or procedures.

Career Services Virtual Offerings

The cancellation of on-campus classes over the next few weeks has many students questioning the ability to connect with the School of Architecture Career Services staff. We have a variety of means to connect with students as they continue through their job/internship search process. Visit
soa.syr.edu/resources/career-services/virtual-offerings for a list of resources available to students while away from campus.

Libraries’ Resources

Syracuse University Libraries buildings will be closed to all patrons until further notice and Libraries staff will have restricted access to the Libraries’ buildings and physical collections. But the Libraries’ staff remains absolutely committed to support students, faculty and staff as they transition to online learning and teaching. Visit library.syr.edu/coronavirus.php for information on accessing Libraries’ services while the buildings are closed.

Barnes Center Operating Hours

Students seeking health care and counseling services at the Barnes Center at The Arch are asked to first call 315.443.8000 to schedule an appointment. Drop-in appointments are closed at this time. All counseling appointments will be over the phone. Health Care will be hosting both remote consultation and scheduled appointments. Additionally, health and wellness resources will have varying hours. Recreation and satellite recreation facilities are closed. Please refer to the abridged schedules below for more information.

Even when off campus, Syracuse University students experiencing a mental health crisis, seeking support for sexual assault or relationship violence, or needing medical consultation can receive free confidential services 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 315.443.8000. Please note, routine consultations should hold until the next business day.

University Ombuds

In response to social distancing restrictions, the Office of the University Ombuds has successfully moved its services to remote delivery, via video or phone appointments. This move allows the office to accommodate all individuals associated with Syracuse University. Appointments may be made by emailing Ombuds@syr.edu or calling 315.443.1087. In the past, the University Ombuds Office has been focused on faculty, staff and graduate students. However, during this unsettling time, University Ombuds Neal Powless is making his office’s services available to all those associated with Syracuse University, including undergraduates, until we return to residential operations.

travel guidance

Travel advisories from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as guidance from the NYS Department of Health, are informing our decision making concerning University-sponsored travel and our recommendations to faculty, staff and students regarding personal travel at this time. Importantly, we are also working closely with leaders in the SUNY system related to coordinating travel policy guidance, given the interconnectedness of our student and faculty populations.  The University has taken the following steps regarding travel policy and recommendations.

International Travel for University Business Prohibited: Effective immediately, Syracuse University is prohibiting all university-sponsored international travel. This prohibition extends to all faculty, staff, and students. We recognize that in some extenuating circumstances, cancelling or postponing University-sponsored international travel may be highly problematic for some faculty. For that reason, faculty may pursue case-by-case appeals to the international travel prohibition to Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu directly at provost@syr.edu. Additionally, we continue to strongly discourage students, faculty and staff from personal travel to international destinations. For additional guidance, please contact Seth Tucker, director of global safety and support, at satucker@syr.edu or 315.443.1968.

Spring Break Travel Programs Canceled: The University has made the tough decision to cancel all international and domestic spring break programs. We regret the impact this will have on our community and are disappointed that this outbreak is affecting our students’ academic experiences, inside and outside the classroom, around our country and abroad.

  • Impacted students who had planned international spring break programs should contact the Syracuse Abroad office at 315.443.3471 or suabroad@syr.edu.
  • Impacted students who had planned domestic spring break programs should contact the relevant school or college program coordinator.

Reimbursement for Canceled Travel

What can I do about travel-related expenses incurred for a conference or other event that has been canceled?
You should request refunds for all expenses paid. Contact conference/event organizers for registration and deposit refunds. Contact hotels for deposit refunds. Contact the airline for airfare credit or refund.

I could not get a refund. Can I be reimbursed for conference and travel expenses for canceled events?
The University’s expense reimbursement policy covers reimbursement of trips and events that are canceled as long as appropriate receipts are submitted. Reasonable efforts should be made to request refunds prior to submitting expense reimbursement requests, particularly when the conference/event has already been canceled or likely will be canceled. Check with your department to determine if your reimbursement is subject to more strict guidelines. Specific guidance relating to charging sponsored awards is available from Sponsored Programs and Sponsored Accounting. Given the importance of tracking these costs, MyCode 609722 should be used in the chartstring when completing the appropriate reimbursement forms.

What should I do if the conference or other event has not yet been canceled?
If you/your department decide you will not attend the conference/event, then you should request refunds for any expenses already paid.

What are the fees associated with canceling a flight?
Typically, there are no fees for cancelling a flight. The fees are incurred when rebooking the flight. Many tickets are non-refundable. However, the flight can be canceled and usually the ticket is available for use one year from the date of issue. In addition, there are airline-imposed change fees for rebooking non-refundable, canceled tickets. Some airlines have been offering special accommodations for coronavirus-related cancellations, and travelers should specifically inquire. All rules associated with cancellation and fees can vary by airline and ticket class. Details should be confirmed with the particular airline.

When should I cancel my flight?
You can cancel up until the day of travel as long as you have not checked in. We recommend checking the airlines’ websites for cancellation policies as they do vary.

What should be done with a refund for canceled travel plans?
If the expense was paid for by the University or reimbursed to you by the University, then the funds should be deposited back to where the expense was charged. If the money was deposited into your account or is in the form of a check with your name, you will need to write a check payable to the University and give it to your department for deposit to the University.

What if I had personal travel plans that were canceled or disrupted due to this situation?
The University cannot reimburse you for expenses associated with personal trip cancellations or disruptions. Out of an abundance of caution, to protect your health and minimize further health risks, we ask that everyone exercise prudent judgment when making travel plans and stay abreast of current travel guidance provided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the University before departure so that you can prepare and take proper precautions.

I have additional questions. Whom can I contact?
For business travel expense reimbursement questions, contact Disbursements Processing at 315.443.2484 or disburse@syr.edu.

health and wellness

Staying Healthy

All members of our Syracuse University community are reminded of the basic measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization that we can all take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. Always wash your hands with soap and water if your hands are visibly dirty.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Health authorities call this “social distancing”—staying about 3 feet away from someone who is sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a flexed elbow or paper tissue when coughing or sneezing, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • Stay home when you are sick.

The Syracuse University campus is operating with enhanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols.

Social Distancing

Social distancing means remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others whenever possible. To reiterate our guidance from earlier in the week:

  • Schools, colleges and units will cancel, postpone or conduct virtually any planned event where attendance will exceed 50 individuals. Residential classes of 50 or more are an exception through the end of the academic day on Friday, March 13.
  • Schools, colleges and units with plans to host an external speaker or external groups on campus beginning March 10 should cancel, postpone or virtually conduct those events.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued guidance on minimizing risk, particularly through the use of social distancing. Please review their recommendations and follow accordingly

Preparedness and Response

Staying informed about travel restrictions, presumptive and confirmed cases and how to protect yourself are critical to containing the spread of coronavirus. As such, the University has launched a comprehensive awareness campaign to keep our campus community up-to-date on all coronavirus developments. This effort includes:

  • Syracuse.edu/coronavirus: This web page serves as the official source of all information regarding the novel coronavirus (COVD-19). The page will provide links to resources and be used keep the Syracuse University community informed. The page will be updated frequently, so please check in regularly.
  • Coronavirus Help Line: The University has opened a call center to assist campus community members, as well as parents, families and loved ones, in answering questions about coronavirus. You can get 24/7 help by calling 315.443.8472.

Vera House Remains Open: Our friends at Vera House—a comprehensive domestic violence, sexual assault and elder abuse service agency—remind the Syracuse University community that victim services are available despite the global pandemic. Vera House is open and available for anyone needing support. Information is available anytime 24/7 by calling 315.468.3260. Available services include, but are not limited to:

  • Remote options—including counseling, advocacy and group sessions—are available.
  • Vera House shelters are open and available for immediate safety needs.
  • If you are currently away from the Syracuse area and you need immediate help, please call the national domestic violence hotline at 1.800.799.SAFE (7233).

United Way Support Opportunities: COVID-19 has created an unprecedented time of need in our local Central New York community. I have heard from many of you asking how you can support our community despite the social distancing requirements. There are many opportunities to give back, including Syracuse University’s annual United Way of Central New York campaign. Donations can be made at any time on MySlice. Given the current immediate need, United Way of Central New York has partnered with local organizations and governments to create a COVID-19 Community Support Fund, which is designed to rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofits whose operations support vulnerable populations stressed by the outbreak. Donations can be made online at cnycf.org/covid19. United Way of Central New York is also registering volunteers and coordinating opportunities via its initiative VolunteerCNY.

What to do if you feel sick

Students exhibiting any of the coronavirus symptoms should call (not visit) the Barnes Center at The Arch at 315.443.8000 and then follow the instructions health professionals there give you. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician immediately.

Avoidance of bias and stigma

  • The U.S. Department of Education issued a letter to all institutions of higher education cautioning against the rise of bias, bullying, harassment and stereotyping directed at Chinese Americans, and more broadly individuals of Asian descent. I ask all of our community members to extend care, compassion and support to each other, and particularly to individuals who may be targeted simply because of their ethnicity or country of origin. This is a frightening time as coronavirus continues to cause uncertainty and fear for many. Our students, faculty and staff with families and loved ones at home, particularly in regions deeply impacted by this global health emergency, need our support and kindness now more than ever. To report a bias incident, visit the STOP BIAS portal or the Department of Public Safety website.
  • The University is asking all students, faculty and staff to review the CDC anti-stigma guidelines regarding coronavirus. The CDC advises that we collectively focus on the disease that is causing the problem and avoid casting blame on individuals, cultures or nationalities. For example, as we have reported on multiple occasions, if you see an individual wearing a protective mask on campus that does not mean the individual is sick, but likely taking extra precautions to protect themselves. This is common in many countries and cultures and should not be ridiculed, judged or stigmatized.

About the Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve quickly in the United States and abroad, with new information and new cases confirmed daily. Syracuse University continues to vigorously monitor and respond to these developments, in close coordination with New York State officials, the New York State Department of Health and the Onondaga County Health Department. The University also continues to review public health and travel advisory guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. State Department. In the face of this rapidly developing global health emergency, our highest priority remains the health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff.

  • The coronavirus is actually a family of viruses that affect the respiratory tract, sometimes as mild as a cold or as serious as pneumonia or severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Some coronaviruses cause mild problems like a runny nose, cough and sore throat. But a more serious coronavirus was to blame for the SARS epidemic several years ago. The recent coronavirus identified in Wuhan, China is a new virus scientists have never seen before. 
  • This new coronavirus is essentially a viral pneumonia, with symptoms that include cough, fever and breathing difficulties. For most people, COVID-19 infection will cause mild illness however, it can make some people very ill and, in some people, it can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease or diabetes) are at risk for severe disease.
  • The virus is spread from person to person through saliva or airborne when someone coughs or sneezes. Basic hygiene and prevention measures are the best defense, including frequent handwashing, avoiding touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
  • Your health care provider can order laboratory tests to determine if a coronavirus is causing symptoms. 
  • Like with any viral illness, treatment includes rest, drinking plenty of fluids, a room humidifier to ease the cough or sore throat, and over-the-counter pain or fever medications to relieve symptoms. 



This page will be updated as new information becomes available.