We anticipate an exciting Fall 2020 return to Slocum. We will return, as stated in Chancellor Syverud’s message, in full compliance with public health guidance including following social distancing and density best practices.

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.

campus operations

Syracuse University is eager and excited to welcome students, faculty and staff back to campus in just a few short months for the start of the Fall 2020 semester. Subject to continuing and further guidance from New York State and public health officials, we are planning for residential instruction this fall. Although unorthodox, we plan to follow an accelerated academic calendar. Doing so allows the University to provide in-person instruction in a way that safeguards the health and safety of all members of our campus and the Central New York community.

The Fall 2020 semester is expected to follow this schedule:

  • Monday, Aug. 24: Residential instruction will begin (students living in on-campus housing will receive notification of their move-in date).
  • Tuesday, Nov. 24: Residential instruction will conclude.
  • Wednesday, Nov. 25: The in-person instructional semester will conclude, and students depart for Thanksgiving break (students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving break).
  • Monday, Nov. 30-Wednesday, Dec. 9: Review sessions, reading days and final exams will be administered virtually.

In order to fulfill academic requirements and comply with public health guidance, this schedule will likely necessitate some additional Friday classes and some classes being held on weekends. We will be asking faculty to revise teaching plans accordingly, as well as to be prepared to transition to online teaching for anyone whose learning might be disrupted. We also plan to offer most of our in-person classes simultaneously in an online format to accommodate the individual health circumstances of our students and faculty.

This schedule, coupled with changes to our facilities to meet social distancing and physical density best practices, reduces the risks and exposures associated with travel to and from campus, and prepares us for the possibility of a second wave of COVID-19 cases. The Fall 2020 Open Working Group—consisting of deans, associate deans, faculty and staff—has been working to ensure every aspect of the University is prepared when students return to campus in August. This schedule has been strongly recommended by the Public Health and Emergency Management Subcommittee of the Working Group. As details of plans are finalized, we will regularly engage with and update our community. The first update will come next week. As we have done from the beginning, all decisions will be informed by guidance from state and public health officials and will prioritize the safety and well-being of our campus community.

This fall, Syracuse University will continue to deliver on its mission to provide a distinctive and rigorous academic experience to all our students. We appreciate your continued patience, flexibility and understanding as we work to provide a safe and productive fall semester for everyone.

Governor Announces New York Forward: Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced “New York Forward,” his plan for reopening New York state. Gov. Cuomo reiterated that decisions about which regions to reopen and how to do so will be based on the 12-point plan that includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance about the hospitalization rate, precautions to protect employees and consumers, health and testing capacity, and other key measures. Visit the governor’s website with more details on the 12-point plan.

As much of the University’s workforce works remotely, 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.

Fall Study Abroad: At this time, the University remains hopeful that students planning to travel abroad in the fall, to their chosen destinations, are able to do so. Staff members in the Syracuse Abroad office are developing robust and academically engaging programs at each of the University’s center locations in alignment with public health counsel in the respective countries. The team is also preparing to address any health concerns and respond to national guidelines at each center, as the global health emergency evolves. Additional supports, particularly in relation to housing and academic continuity in Syracuse, will be in place should students’ study abroad plans change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. If students have questions about their current travel plans or the University supports in place in the event of disruption to study abroad, contact suabroad@syr.edu.

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

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.

Online resources for students, faculty and staff


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.

Online Learning Environment Support: In preparation of end-of-semester planning, faculty members are encouraged to reach out to the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), the Center for Online and Digital Learning and Information Technology Services for support related to topics such as engaging online learners, reworking an exam for the online environment or transforming capstone projects to virtual experiences. The CTLE will provide consultations for the pedagogies and course plans and can be reached at CTLE@syr.edu. Faculty can also contact help@syr.edu for assistance.

Adapting Hands-on Courses to Online: So many of our faculty are doing extraordinary work—under difficult circumstances—adapting their courses to a remote-learning format. Hands-on courses, in particular, can be challenging to modify for the online environment. Teams with the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence, the Center for Online and Digital Learning, and Information Technology Services can support and assist faculty in developing ways to implement hands-on courses. Contact help@syr.edu for assistance.

Summer Online Course Development: For faculty members planning their summer courses, a template is available with best practices built in. To tour the template, please follow instructions on Answers to search for the “Summer 2020 Example Course Template” Organization and enroll. Once inside, you’ll see an announcement with instructions on how to have it applied to your course. For additional support in creating a great summer learning experience, send an email to help@syr.edu, and identify your question as summer 2020. Emails identified in this way are routed to a support team, including staff from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence (CTLE), the Center for Online and Digital Learning and ITS. The team member best qualified to support you will respond to your email within 48 hours. If you are beginning to think about the fall and have questions or would like support, team members in CTLE are available to help. Please contact the CTLE at CTLE@syr.edu.

Summer Course Checklist: For faculty members planning their summer courses, a new checklist is available from the Center for Teaching and Learning Excellence. Guided by the question “What do I want my students to remember from this course in five years?” the checklist includes course objectives, assessments, assignments and weekly modules to maximize online learning during the condensed summer semester.

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

In his message from April 8, Chancellor Syverud announces that fall Commencement 2020 will be held in Syracuse University’s stadium, after the roof replacement project is complete and once health officials advise large gatherings are once again safe.

By June 1, Chancellor Syverud anticipates being able to share more details about the fall Commencement.

Retrieving Student Belongings

Dear Parents and Families:

I recognize many of you, and your students, are anxious to return to campus to retrieve belongings from residence halls. And although phase one of the reopening of New York state is now underway, at this time, our campus remains closed to all individuals (including the vast majority of our faculty and staff), with the exception of essential employees.

Phase one of the reopening does not include higher education, and as such, I respectfully ask that you please refrain from coming to campus until public health officials deem it safe to do so. Once we receive guidance from public health experts that it’s safe for you to return to campus to gather your students’ items, we will notify you immediately.

This continues to be a difficult time for all of us, and I realize you want nothing more than to help your student regain some semblance of normalcy. But for your safety, the safety of your student and the well-being of our entire campus and Central New York communities, please help us in our continued efforts to follow social distancing guidelines and travel restrictions. We appreciate your support.

If you have questions or concerns about your specific circumstances, please let me know, and I’ll be happy to assist or connect you with the appropriate person.

Missy Mathis-Hanlon
Director, Parent and Family Services

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.

Student Financial Support

We recognize that some students and their families may be experiencing unusual financial hardship or changes in their financial situation due to COVID-19. We want to remind students that appeals can be submitted to the Office of Financial Aid by emailing finmail@syr.edu or calling 315.443.1513. Additionally, students can access this list of emergency resources related to food and personal care items, payment options for student loans or credits cards, utilities and other expenses compiled by the Office of Financial Literacy.

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.

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
  • Summer II (June 29-Aug. 7)

As detailed in a message from University Registrar Siham Doughman, the University is moving all previously scheduled residential courses to online delivery for the Summer Session II term, which runs from June 29-Aug. 7. For students planning to take summer courses who haven’t already contacted their academic advisor, please schedule an appointment through Orange SUccess or via email.

Of course, we encourage all our students to take summer courses when possible. Registration opened 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

Reutrn to Campus Plan

A cross-functional working group of deans, faculty and staff is working to develop and implement a comprehensive plan for returning our workforce to campus over the coming weeks and months.

To promote social distancing, reduce campus density and ensure the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE) and testing capabilities, faculty and staff will return to campus using a phased approach.

In anticipation of clearance from state and local health officials to resume campus operations, deans, senior vice presidents and other leaders have assigned faculty and staff from each of their respective schools, colleges and units to one of four campus return phases. Some of the factors used by leaders to make these assignments included the nature of employees’ job duties, seating arrangements and the ability to successfully perform work remotely.

Please note: Our phases are subject to change as we continue to monitor public health guidance, campus density, employee health and the effectiveness of social distancing in the workplace.

Phase Zero: Essential personnel only on campus. We have been in this phase since March 16.

Phase One (tentatively planned for no earlier than June 1): About 30 percent of faculty and staff will return to campus. This will primarily include all essential personnel, plus additional identified research faculty and staff needing to continue their research in on-campus laboratories.

Phase Two: An additional 10-15 percent of faculty and staff will return in Phase Two, about two weeks after the successful implementation of Phase One. This will allow time for adequate monitoring of the health and safety of our campus.

Phase Three: An additional 10-15 percent of faculty and staff will return in Phase Three, about two weeks after the successful implementation of Phase Two.

Phase Four: An additional 25 percent of faculty and staff will return in Phase Four, about two weeks after the successful implementation of Phase Three.

Continued Remote Working: If employees can remain fully productive at home, supervisors are strongly encouraged to continue to arrange for faculty and staff to work remotely for the next couple months to maintain reduced campus density.

Fall 2020 Return: Additionally, about 15-20 percent of faculty will not return to campus until the Fall 2020 semester begins.

As soon as the University receives approval from New York State and local government public health authorities, we will communicate with deans and other senior leaders, who will advise you of your likely return date or continued remote or flexible work arrangement.

What Faculty and Staff Can Expect Next

Next week, we will have an informational hub and comprehensive list of frequently asked questions go live on the Office of Human Resources’ website, hr.syr.edu. There, you will find useful information about returning to campus, including:

  • new cleaning, safety and social distancing protocols;
  • guidance on personal protective equipment (e.g., face masks or coverings) and other public health measures;
  • options for flexible, remote, staggered and alternate-day work arrangements that will help departments adequately social distance in the workplace; and
  • what will be required of each and every one of us to keep our campus safe as we prepare to bring additional faculty and staff members back to campus, and especially as we look toward welcoming our students back for the Fall 2020 semester.

Thank you for your continued understanding and patience as we work to balance our desire to welcome back our faculty and staff in a way that protects the well-being of our entire campus community. We will provide you additional guidance and updates by email as more information becomes available.

Professors Classified as Essential Workers for Testing: Gov. Cuomo recently announced that pharmacies will be authorized to administer COVID-19 tests and that priority for testing would be given to essential workers. The list of essential workers includes, amongst others, professors. We will continue to monitor public health updates and share relevant information with you as it becomes available.

Building Access: Building access remains limited to essential business only. All other use of University space is strictly prohibited through at least May 15. The following provides guidance regarding such access:

  • Faculty and staff who have been deemed “essential” have access to the buildings and University-owned properties in which their duties must be performed.
  • Essential faculty or staff working with others on campus should maintain safe social distancing of at least six feet. Meetings should be conducted online if possible.
  • Non-essential faculty and staff who need to access their office or other University space to retrieve items needed for remote work must notify their supervisor of the date, time and purpose of their visit to such space prior to the visit. Supervisors should determine appropriate alternatives when possible.
  • Campus recreation facilities, gymnasiums and fields are closed.

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.

Vacation Policy During Remote Work: In response to COVID-19, most of the University’s faculty and staff have transitioned to working remotely instead of reporting to the University campus. While balancing work and work breaks, we encourage benefits-eligible staff to utilize their accrued vacation time prior to the end of the current fiscal year, as it cannot be carried over. Staff should work directly with their supervisor to schedule time off from work to relax, refresh and reset. Union employees should also refer to the terms of the applicable collective bargaining agreement for additional information regarding the use of vacation time.

Parking Credit Forthcoming: In a message to faculty and staff with permits, the Office of Parking and Transit Services announced it will apply a credit for unused permit periods for staff and faculty working remotely. When normal business operations resume, and faculty and staff return to campus (or upon the July 31 expiration of permits), Parking and Transit Services will calculate the value of permits during the unused period and apply a credit toward the 2020-21 parking permit fee.

Materials Distribution and Mail Services: The team in Materials Distribution and Mail Services continues to provide a critical service to the University community. The office, which is located at Hawkins Warehouse (1600 Jamesville Ave.), is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday for mail/package pickup and drop-off and email/regular mail distribution. To continue receiving mail/package delivery, schedule pickups or put a hold on all mail and packages until further notice, email mailsrvc@syr.edu or call 315.443.2803. To make materials distribution arrangements, email materials@syr.edu or call 315.443.2446.

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.

Expanded Telemedicine Coverage through MDLIVE: As of April 1, faculty and staff enrolled in the University’s medical plans have access to MDLIVE, a national telemedicine provider that gives patients 24/7 access to a network of board-certified doctors and licensed therapists for non-emergency health concerns. Additional information on MDLIVE can be found here.

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.

The pandemic has created an extraordinary number of simultaneous stressors. To help cope, consider joining one or more of the new virtual support groups or live and on-demand webinars offered by Carebridge, our Faculty and Staff Assistance Program. Groups are focused around topics like resilience, mental health and staying focused in a highly stimulated world.

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.

Virtual Professional Development Opportunities: Professional development opportunities are now offered virtually, making it easier than ever to squeeze some learning into your day. In May, sessions will be held on the Jeanne Clery Disclosure Act, project management, pronouns and preferred names, the performance partnership process and more. View the schedule of upcoming opportunities for staff members or supervisors for registration details.

Stay Well While Working Remotely: A new list of wellness resources and information on wellness.syr.edu provides tools and suggestions that can help you relieve stress and anxiety, be more active and breathe a little deeper during this period of uncertainty.

COVID-19 Information for Families with Children: Human Resources (HR) continues to aggregate helpful information on its website to support faculty and staff from across the University. Recently, HR partnered with Carebridge, the University’s faculty and staff assistance program, to develop resources, tips and suggestions on how to talk with children about the pandemic, activities to keep children active while home, how to balance work and family, and so much more. Visit the new HR web page to learn more.

Faculty/Staff Notification of COVID-19 Diagnosis: For reasons of prevention and public health, if you—or a faculty or staff member reporting to you (with their approval)—test positive for COVID-19, we ask that you please notify HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042. Such a notification will allow us to coordinate more expeditiously with the local public health authority (e.g. Onondaga County Health Department) and identify/notify other individuals who may have been exposed given the positive test of a co-worker. Any faculty or staff member who tests positive for COVID-19 should consult a physician related to the decision to return to work and provide evidence of that consultation (in the form of a physician’s note, etc.) to HR before resuming their duties.

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.

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.

Virtual Professional Development: Being cooped up can be a time to focus on your personal and career development. Why not spend the time enhancing or developing new business, technology-related and creative skills through expert-led course videos using LinkedIn Learning. Choose from more than 4,000 on-demand courses as diverse as communication, customer service, management, personal development, time management and mindfulness. Stay engaged, productive and looking toward the future. Visit linkedinlearning.syr.edu and log in using your NetID and password. The Office of Human Resources website has all the information you need to get started.

student resources

Managing Online Learning

For students who need assistance managing their time with classes, coursework and studying, the Center for Learning and Student Success (CLASS) offers personal guidance to help students adjust to the online learning environment. Students can sign up for a 60-minute “Managing Online Learning” session with a peer tutor or coach.

Virtual Engagement Opportunities and Resources

As a reminder, through the remainder of the semester, our Orange community will continue to come together virtually through activities, services and events. Students can find ways to connect via online resources like the Wellness Portal for health and well-being options, the Cuse Activities portal for student activities and organization information, and the University Events Calendar for virtual events. Students can also connect to services through the Division of Enrollment and the Student Experience, Hendricks Chapel and the Center for Learning and Student Success.

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 Support Available for All Students, Faculty and Staff

Writing Center appointments will take place digitally. Students, faculty and staff can continue to log into the schedule, select “Face-to-Face” 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 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.

Syracuse University Libraries has recently added two important online subscriptions: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Access is available to all students, faculty and staff with a valid Syracuse University NetID and @syr.edu email address, from which you can establish an online account. Instructions and additional information are provided on news.syr.edu.

Other Library Resources: A reminder that any New York state resident may open a free account at the New York Public Library, which would enable you to check out ebooks and other electronic resources. In addition, you may consider an account at Archive.org, an online nonprofit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites and more.

Free eBook Access

The Syracuse University Bookstore and its eBook partner, RedShelf, are teaming up to provide free eBook access to students.

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.

The Barnes Center at The Arch is now offering Zoom appointments for counseling, nutrition counseling and psychiatry services. Students can meet one-on-one with a counselor through a confidential, personalized Zoom invitation. To schedule an appointment, students should call the Barnes Center at 315.443.8000. The counseling team has also relaunched group therapy via Zoom for existing groups and will announce new group options soon on the Barnes Center website and @BeWellSU.

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.

Financial Literacy Resources

The Office of Financial Literacy is offering virtual appointments with Smart Money Coaches, providing students with assistance related to understanding their current financial situation; helping to set goals; and discussing topics like credit cards and scores, banking, investment basics, and paychecks and taxes. To make an appointment, email the Office of Financial Literacy. The office has also compiled a list of emergency resources for students seeking support related to food and personal care items, payment options for student loans or credits cards, utilities and other expenses.

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.

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.

Protecting Your Face: Effective immediately and until further notice, in compliance with Gov. Cuomo’s Executive Order, all students, faculty and staff currently working or living on campus are required to wear a face mask when out in public or when social distancing is not possible. Employees working alone in their offices and students who are alone in a room do not need to wear masks, but anytime someone is on campus and within six feet of another person, a mask (either cloth or surgical) must be worn. For individuals who need a mask, here’s how you can obtain one:

Social Distancing Vigilance: In recent days, elected officials—including at the local, state and federal levels—have expressed cautious optimism that the actions taken to curb the spread of COVID-19 appear to be having a positive impact on flattening the curve. This represents important and positive progress. However, to preserve this progress we must continue to adhere to social distancing restrictions still in place under Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “New York State on Pause” Executive Order, as well as related directives from Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon. These include:

  • wearing a mask or face covering when in public;
  • staying home as much as possible;
  • maintaining six feet between yourself and others; and
  • avoiding congregating in or attending social gatherings.

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.

New Online Resources: The Burton Blatt Institute’s Office of Interdisciplinary Programs and Outreach (OIPO) has established the OIPO New York State COVID-19 Online Resources web page that gathers and organizes Syracuse, Central New York and New York State COVID-19-related links of relevance to both disabled people and nondisabled individuals and families. In addition, Diane Wiener, research professor and associate director of OIOP, has curated a broad set of wellness, creativity and advocacy resources of interest during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Syracuse Responds Fund: You can continue to help our students facing financial hardships in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic by making a gift to the Syracuse Responds Fund to support remote-learning technology needs; lost jobs and wages; travel and transportation costs; and room, board and living expenses.

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).

Hendricks Chapel: The chaplains and staff of Hendricks Chapel are available to provide religious and spiritual care and support for the campus community. For a list of services and programs being offered online by Chaplaincies, Religious Life Groups and the Office of the Dean, please visit the Hendricks Chapel online resources page or contact Alex Snow at adsnow@syr.edu. The weekly Sunday evening “Music and Message” series, featuring student performers and remarks from Dean Brian Konkol, will return on April 5. Those seeking to access the Hendricks Chapel Food Pantry may contact Syeisha Byrd at 315.706.4526 or smbyrd@syr.edu. For general information or questions, please contact chapel@syr.edu or 315.443.2901.

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.

Community Assistance Portal: Syracuse University is committed to support the Central New York community as it responds to the COVID-19 health emergency. Faculty, staff and students are looking for ways to get involved and often are also being asked by others how the University can help. To that end, we have formalized a process to receive, prioritize and coordinate COVID-19 community assistance initiatives across the University. If you have an idea or would like to offer assistance to the community—or if you have been approached by a community member, organization or a governmental entity for assistance—please let us know by completing this newly created form. In response, a member of the Community Engagement team will follow up with you directly to discuss your idea, offer or request.

Positivity and Well-Being Resources: While we cannot control the uncertainty and fear that COVID-19 has brought to so many of our lives, we do have control over our inner state and how we react. To that end, the Office of Human Resources has compiled a list of well-being and positivity tips, ways to demonstrate compassion in action, and reminders to foster civility and respect toward our fellow human beings, now more than ever.

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.

Testing for COVID-19

We have received many questions related to testing for COVID-19. Here is what you need to know:

  • The Onondaga County Department of Health is the lead agency managing COVID-19 testing locally.
  • If you develop symptoms such as fever, cough and/or difficulty breathing, and have been in close contact with a person known to have COVID-19, stay home and call your doctor. If you are older, have severe underlying medical conditions or are immunocompromised, call your doctor early, even if your illness is mild. Your doctor will determine if you have signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and order the test if needed. Only patients with a referral will be tested. In an emergency, call 911.
  • If you do not have a doctor and have questions, symptoms or may have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, call Upstate University Hospital’s Triage Line at 315.464.3979 and you will be advised about testing. The line is open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. each day.
  • If you are tested for COVID-19, you will be notified of negative test results by the office that administered the test. By emergency order, anyone who is tested must self-quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

COVID-19 Archiving

The University Archives is documenting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Syracuse University. In particular, the archives wants to collect and preserve the personal responses of students, faculty and staff. Items sought include journal and diary entries, emails, photographs, videos, audio recordings, social media posts and other digital documentation. More information is available in this SU News story.

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.