Classes will begin as scheduled on Monday, August 31.
In-person instruction will conclude before the Thanksgiving holiday and the final three weeks of the fall semester (including final exams) will be held exclusively online.
Fall recess is canceled.
All general-purpose classrooms and shared spaces will utilize new seating plans to facilitate proper social distancing for instructors and students while they are seated. Classrooms and shared spaces with built-in furniture will be properly marked to prevent seating that does not comply with social distancing guidelines.
The college intends to prioritize on-campus instruction for courses, labs, studios, and practicums where in-person interactions and hands-on experiences are critical to student learning.
Core and signature experience courses will also be targeted and prioritized for in-person instruction, while other classes may be offered in a true hybrid format—online with supplemental in-person instruction in smaller groups.
Many classes that can be effectively delivered 100 percent online will remain remote to help reduce density on campus.
The Academic Continuity website provides specific tools and resources related to remote instruction.
Instructional Design and Training staff are holding virtual training sessions to prepare faculty for remote instruction. Sessions will continue to be added to the schedule.
The college is planning to bring employees back to campus safely and prudently. To help accomplish this task, departments have been asked to develop and submit return-to-work plans that follow a set of best-practice health guidelines. These guidelines recommend the continuation of remote work arrangements, where effective, in order to lower the density of people on campus. As a community, we also will focus on maintaining social distancing in our workspaces and we will require all employees to wear face coverings where social distancing standards cannot be met.
Prior to a department returning to campus, the return-to-work plans will be reviewed and approved by the Human Resource Management Office, the Environment Health and Safety Office, and the appropriate President’s Cabinet member. Until a department plan receives approval, employees who are working remotely should continue to do so.
Managers will consider a number of variables when determining how best to begin returning employees to campus. These variables include: what, if any, core duties have been paused due to the remote work arrangements; what, if any, duties are most efficiently and effectively performed on campus; and, the number of employees who can be onsite at any one time while ensuring appropriate social distancing.
Buffalo State employees using alternative work arrangements should continue to do so and should await further guidance from their supervisors.
Employees must follow procedures to help protect the campus community and maintain a safe workplace. These will include completing a training video and an acknowledgment form which reviews requirements of pre-screening for illness before reporting to work, and guidance while at work.
Yes. Staff who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct daily symptom monitoring:
Employees must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work.
Each employee will complete a daily COVID-19 health screening questionnaire in an online or paper form. The employee will submit the questionnaire to their supervisor at the end of each week.
Any employee who is sick will be instructed to stay home and charge the appropriate leave accruals.
COVID-19 can cause mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms may include muscle aches and pains, fatigue, decrease in appetite, or loss of taste or smell. The employee should take their temperature without taking any fever reducing medications (i.e. Tylenol or acetaminophen), consistent with CDC guidelines. If the employee’s temperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or if they have these symptoms the employee will contact their supervisor and Human Resource Management immediately. Human Resources will review the current medical state, ask questions pertaining to last day on campus, close contacts, and work location. Documentation from the employee’s medical provider will be required.
Requests to work remotely beyond the return-to-work date, including medical documentation of any underlying high-risk health issues, will be evaluated on a case-by case basis by Human Resources.
Employees with concerns about returning to campus will be assisted by the Human Resource Management (HRM) Office. The employee, supervisor and HRM will work collaboratively to seek solutions.These solutions may include schedule changes where operationally feasible, reduced work schedules or extended remote work. These situations will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to best meet the needs of both the employee and the college.
Buffalo State College has adapted a Social Distancing and Face Covering Procedure. The procedure highlights the protections that are required and implemented to ensure the health and safety of our campus community including students, faculty, staff, visitors, and contractors.
A. As recommended by the CDC all campus community members are required to:
B. Cloth face coverings should:
C. Interactions with those failing to comply should be viewed as a public health educational opportunity. Persons not wearing a face covering or maintaining social distancing should be asked to do so. Failure to comply may result in the following actions:
FMLA is administered by Human Resource Management based on the legal requirements and individual circumstances with appropriate medical documentation.
Temporary Procedure for Personnel Forms
The initiation and processing of personnel forms for appointments, leaves, separations, etc., have been updated to allow for electronic signatures and routing.
The Current Employee Change Form and the Faculty and Professional Appointment Form, both available on the Human Resource Management Office website, may be routed electronically, and in accordance with the Authorization Policy for Personnel Transactions.
Questions about the forms or process may be directed via e-mail to Jamie Warnes.
During the unprecedented health crisis caused by COVID-19, please know the NYS Employee Assistance Program (EAP) continues to be a resource for Buffalo State College employees.
EAP coordinators are working remotely and are available to provide online support and resources to employees and their families. They can help you to address emotional and mental health concerns during this very challenging time.
EAP coordinators can help identify resources to address anxiety, stress, isolation, illness, grief and loss, financial issues, job loss, child care and other issues. They have resources to help address domestic violence and suicidal ideation concerns as well.
If you are experiencing anxiety or other emotional distress during this crisis, or just want to talk, we encourage you to contact EAP online or via telephone at 1-800-822-0244. EAP services are confidential, voluntary, and free.
Buffalo State’s EAP website is a link to many useful resources pertaining to COVID-19 concerns and general wellness.
Additionally, New York State’s COVID-19 Emotional Support Helpline, at 1-844-863-9314, provides free and confidential support, helping callers experiencing increased stress and anxiety due to the COVID-19 emergency.
Please contact your supervisor or Human Resource Management at (716) 878-4822 for specific guidance regarding your personal work situation.
As students and employees return to the workplace and campus activities increase, Buffalo State will closely monitor the potential for spread of the virus and carefully watch for triggers that would prompt tighter restrictions and reductions in on-campus staffing.
PPE is equipment worn to minimize exposure to hazards that cause serious workplace injuries and illnesses. Personal protective equipment may include items such as gloves, safety glasses, respirators, or face coverings.
Social distancing is physical distancing. It means keeping space between you and other people by staying at least six feet from them; not gathering in groups; staying out of crowded places; and avoiding mass gatherings of any size.
Throughout the fall semester and until further notice, all members of the campus community will be required to wear face coverings or masks when adequate physical distancing is not feasible.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Buffalo State expects all employees to adhere to Federal, state, and local governing guidance on appropriate health and safety guidelines. Those authorities are likely to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines.
The Environmental Health and Safety Office will provide two reusable facial coverings to each campus employee.
Facial coverings will be required to be donned when social distancing measures of six feet cannot be maintained.
Informational notices and signage will be used to inform the public (students, employees, visitors, contractors, etc.) of those areas where facial coverings are required. Signs will be posted outside the building entrances. Disposable masks will be available through EH&S and the Weigel Health Center.
PPE orders will be placed by the EH&S Office and/or through the collaborative SUNY regional procurement process. Orders will be received through the college’s Central Receiving Department. EH&S will then add them to the internal PPE inventory tracking system. EH&S staff will distribute PPE for faculty and staff in response to requests from department directors and deans. For workplace modifications (i.e. sneeze guards, social distancing floor markings and hand sanitizing stations) departments will submit requests to have potential workplace modifications assessed. EH&S staff will evaluate and respond to the departmental requests.
Indoor common areas—including performance spaces, reservable spaces on campus and residential common spaces—will contain signage with instruction regarding traffic patterns, wearing masks, reducing density, and social distancing.
Screening and Testing
Staff who have been instructed to return to the workplace must conduct symptom monitoring.
Employees will self-evaluate for COVID-19-related symptoms two hours prior to reporting to work. If any symptoms are present, if the employee has been in close contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case, or if the employee has received information that they may have been exposed, then the employee should seek medical advice and not report to work.
Employees must be free of any symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 to be eligible to report to work. Each employee will complete a daily COVID-19 health screening questionnaire in an online or paper form. The employee will submit the questionnaire to their supervisor at the end of each week.
The employee should take their temperature without taking any fever reducing medications (i.e. Tylenol or acetaminophen), consistent with CDC guidelines. If the employee’s emperature is 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit or above, or if they have these symptoms the employee will contact their supervisor and Human Resource Management immediately. Human Resources will review the current medical state, ask questions pertaining to last day on campus, close contacts, and work location. Documentation from the employee’s medical provider will be required.
It is recommended employees will coordinate testing with their primary health care provider, and/or local department of health for those that are symptomatic.
If the employee is unable to test with their primary health care provider, and/or local department of health, the college has identified the Community Health Center as a vendor to conduct COVID-19 testing. Any out-of-pocket costs for the test–costs beyond those covered by the employee’s health insurance–will be paid by Buffalo State College.
If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, they must contact their supervisor and the Human Resource Management (HRM) Department. Human Resource Management will initiate contact be made by an appropriate campus tracer. Tracers will follow guidance and directives from the campus designated liaison, the Assistant Vice President for Weigel Wellness Center, in consultation with SUNY and the local department of health on next steps. HRM will notify SUNY and report the information to Facilities Management for cleaning protocols to be initiated. The close contact log will be reviewed for appropriate information.
Employees who are symptomatic will be asked to coordinate testing with their primary health care providers, and/or the local department of health. Should the employee be unable to do either the college has identified Community Health Center as a vendor to conduct COVID-19 testing.
If you are sick, please stay home and notify your supervisor of your absence per the protocols established within your department.
If you have symptoms associated with COVID-19, contact your healthcare provider for further guidance. Remaining home allows you to get well and reduces the possibility of spreading any illness to others in the campus community.
Employees will use their sick leave accruals for absences related to their own illness.
Free, confidential, short-term counseling services.
Employee Assistance Program Hotline: 1-800-822-0244 (24 hours a day, 365 days a year).
Family Justice Center SafeLine at (716) 558-SAFE (7233)
For free emotional support, consultation, and referral to a provider, call 1-844-863-9314.
No. This can only be required for areas specified by the CDC or state or local public health officials as having widespread sustained (ongoing) transmission. Individuals with medical conditions, disabilities, or other circumstances that render them vulnerable in cases of exposure should contact their department supervisor, manager, or the Human Resource Management Office to discuss their options.
If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk for COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.
You and your supervisor will determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk.
The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties and responsibilities and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
As with other forms of influenza (flu) or contagious illnesses such as colds, maintaining a reasonable distance from the person is a starting point. Do not shake hands or make other physical contact. Use a sanitary wipe after the person has left to wipe areas of your work station that the person has touched and follow good hand-washing practices. There may be situations in which a meeting can be rescheduled to a time when the person is feeling better or the business can be conducted by phone or e-mail.
The Accounts Payable Office will accept Buffalo State College Foundation and subsidiary entity payment requests three ways:
Submissions still require a completed payment request form, approval by authorized signatories, and attachment of all backup information.
For electronic payment request forms and further guidance, please visit the Accounts Payable website.
Yes. Buffalo State College has developed new procedures—consistent with guidance from SUNY System Administration—for spending controls to help mitigate the wide-ranging financial impact this situation continues to have on our campus budget.
The State of New York, SUNY System Administration and Buffalo State College recognize that there are legitimate reasons for faculty and staff to remove property from the college for work-related functions.
All Buffalo State College property—whether recorded on a departmental inventory or not—that is removed from campus by faculty or staff for work-related functions must be identified on a Loan of College Property Form.
This requirement applies to assets, such as laptop computers, that are transported back and forth on a continual basis.
All signatures are required in order for the form to be considered a valid request. It is the responsibility of the user to secure permission and signatures to take an item out in loan. Electronic signatures are permissible.
Please contact Property Control with any loan or inventory questions.
Loan forms are required to be renewed every year. An email reminder will be sent out when the user’s loan has expired. Signed original forms should be submitted to the Property Control Office.
It is the user’s responsibility to report to Property Control when a loaned asset has been returned to campus. This will remove the loan status from the user and allow for the inventory to be updated to reflect the new location of the property. If the return is not reported, then the loan status for the asset will remain with the user. This will cause inaccuracies when an audit occurs.
To reduce the spread of and exposure to COVID-19, the Copy Center will be monitored remotely with no staff on site.
Until further notice:
The campus mailroom and central receiving are currently operating under COVID-19 procedures with reduced staffing. Under these procedures, mail is received, sorted, and held at the mail room, with department representatives required to retrieve items via curbside pickup.
As employees return to campus, the mail room will phase in mail delivery while limiting personal exposure by delivering to approximately 5-10 buildings that receive the most mail. These deliveries will be made early each day to reduce exposure. Departments from other buildings will be required to continue curbside pickup at the mail room. This will be monitored and adjusted as needed to meet the needs of the campus community.
This guidance applies through April 15, 2020, and is subject to extension. It supports the continued processing of time records and payments for hourly employees (includes CSEA Hourly, UUP Hourly, student assistants, and work study):
Non-essential employees who are not in the workplace pursuant to the Governor’s direction should code timesheets as time worked. Such employees should be working from home to the greatest extent possible. Hourly employees, including CSEA hourly or UUP hourly, student assistants, and work study, may work remotely via the telecommuting program.
Essential employees not in the workplace may also work remotely via the telecommuting program. Telecommuters will treat telecommuting days like regular workdays and will be expected to maintain a regular work routine while telecommuting.
Supervisors may require telecommuters to have a set telecommuting schedule that is specified on the work plan. Telecommuters will work their entire approved workday. Supervisors will ensure work plan is followed and review and approve their timesheets.
This process is based on current guidance, applies from March 16 forward, and is subject to change at any time.
Yes. Procurement Services Office staff are working remotely until further notice.
Please refer to the Procurement Services Temporary Procedures instructions for details on how to complete purchase requisitions remotely.
All college-funded travel, both international and domestic, is generally prohibited until further notice. Limited exceptions for travel to non-affected areas (see CDC guidance) may be considered with the approval of the appropriate cabinet member.
Governor Cuomo has issued Executive Order 205, which requires individuals to quarantine for 14 days after traveling for 24 hours or longer to states that have a positive test rate for COVID-19 of higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or higher than a 10 percent positivity rate over a seven-day rolling average. The Department of Health (DOH) maintains a list of the specific states for which quarantine is required following travel for 24 hours or longer.
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