Update: August 20, 2020, 8:00 a.m.
As our Bengals return to campus and the residence halls this week, an excitement is in the air. Admittedly, it does not feel like a traditional move-in week, but the promise and enthusiasm of our new and returning Bengals is energizing nonetheless, and a wonderful reminder of why we do the work that we do.
As we safely return to campus over the next two weeks, please remember our mission to support and nurture our students. Educating students is our mission. And it is our responsibility to support their personal and academic growth, even in these uncertain times.
Understandably, some of us are nervous about returning to campus as we resume on-campus operations. But please know that as Return to Work plans have been reviewed and approved, representatives from Environmental Health and Safety and Human Resource Management have carefully examined each department and office plan to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps to reduce density in offices, promote social distancing, and equip spaces with the appropriate physical adjustments. While we cannot eradicate all risk in our environment, we should all be proud and grateful for the work done over the summer to prepare campus for our return and to mitigate risk using CDC guidelines, and public health and New York State guidance.
I also recognize the developments in K–12 education over the past two weeks have likely caused anxiety and concern for many members of our community wondering how to best balance work schedules on and off campus, child care, and transportation of children to and from school—while perhaps even brushing up on their fifth-grade math skills to assist with virtual learning. As a mother, I know these challenges are tough even in a normal year, let alone during a pandemic. Vice presidents, directors, and supervisors will do their best to work with employees to overcome these challenges and find the right work-life balance and schedule during this difficult period. If you have concerns, please work with your supervisor and discuss how you can best support campus operations while balancing your important life at home.
Deans, directors, and supervisors, as we resume our reimagined on-campus operations, I would ask that you please clearly post and communicate your offices hours and how members of the community can interact with your units virtually or in person, if necessary.
Individual faculty and staff members returning to campus, please be sure to watch the New York State Return to Work video and complete the accompanying acknowledgment form. Employees must also complete a COVID-19 screening questionnaire before reporting to campus each day.
As the guidance continues to evolve, please continue to monitor the Daily Bulletin and the Coronavirus website for updates and new information.
Again, I want to thank every member of the Buffalo State faculty and staff for their hard work and dedication over the past few months. If we all do our part to keep ourselves and our fellow Bengals safe, we will have a successful semester. Be well, Bengals!
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