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University at Buffalo planning for fall semester

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Thu, May 21st 2020 05:55 pm

The University at Buffalo anticipates sharing decisions next month regarding the 2020-21 academic year, UB President Satish K. Tripathi said Tuesday in a memo to the campus community.

“We anticipate decisions regarding the fall semester will be made and communicated to the campus community in mid- to late June,” he said.

Tripathi’s memo is available here.

The reopening plan will align with Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s executive orders, including Western New York’s progress pursuant to the state’s four-phased reopening approach.

A press release said, “It will be designed to deliver the best educational and research programs possible while protecting the health and safety of the UB community amid the COVID-19 pandemic.”

UB students began studying remotely in mid-March, as the university moved to an online learning model and took other proactive measures at the onset of the pandemic.

Since then, the university has been working closely with local and state public health officials, State University of New York (SUNY) and other entities to monitor the pandemic and ensure the health and safety of UB’s three campuses.

In the memo, Tripathi said UB is also planning for a phased return of employees, many of whom have been working remotely for the past two months. As with the fall semester, these decisions will be made in concert with the governor’s office, SUNY and public health officials.

“It is my hope that such a return will begin in the very near future, including resuming research that has been put on hold,” Tripathi said.

He noted UB has put into place a comprehensive campus planning structure for the 2020-21 academic year.

“As we have previously communicated, we have put into place a comprehensive campus planning structure for the 2020-2021 academic year,” Tripathi stated in the memo. “We are intentionally preparing for the challenges that lie ahead in the domains of public health, university finances, enrollment, academic continuity, research and our overall student experience.

“With this planning structure as our guide, and under Provost (A. Scott) Weber’s leadership, we are developing numerous protocols to prepare for a phased return to campus. This preparation includes a full array of measures to ensure the health and safety of every member of our campus community.”

In March, after UB transitioned to remote instruction, the university had established health and safety protocols for students who remained on campus because they were unable to return home.

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