Campus Reactivation Planning Committees: Community Feedback

On April 22, President Pollack announced the formation of planning committees, with representation by faculty, students and staff, to develop recommendations for reactivating the university.

 

Research and Operations Reactivation

This committee is focusing on what we need to do to reactivate our research and related campus operations, and it will develop a plan for a phased reactivation using metrics that are consistent with federal and state guidelines, and appropriate for our campus setting.

The committee should develop a plan for a phased campus re-activation, using metrics that are consistent with federal and state recommendations, and also appropriate for our campus setting. The focus should be on operational activities, including research, but excluding classroom teaching and (undergraduate) student life activities; there are being considered separately. Recommendations should be made to the president, not later than May 15, and should address the questions below. Note that some of these questions, e.g., about policies around travel and visits to campus, are also relevant to the committee looking into re-activating the campus for teaching, so discussion between the two committees is strongly encouraged.

  1. How and when do we re-open research activities, taking into account public health criteria as noted above?
  2. How do labs and research centers operate in a safe way, e.g., with appropriate public health measures, such as testing and social distancing? How will this be monitored?
  3. When can faculty routinely occupy their offices? What accommodations will need to be made to ensure appropriate public health measures?
  4. How do we move quickly to analyze the success of remote working and continue it where it is successful, and what kinds of changes do we need to make to have this continue indefinitely (e.g., any technology issues; establishment of “hoteling” space on campus, etc.)?
  5. How and when do we transition back from remote working to in person working, and again, how do we ensure appropriate public health measures?
  6. When do we open the library? The museums?
  7. When do café’s and other campus amenities open?
  8. How and when do we make decisions about alumni events on and off campus?
  9. Once we re-open? policies do we need to put into place regarding travel by faculty and staff and/or visits to campus
  10. What changes do we need to implement social distancing, for as long as that is required, beyond those specifically identified with each activity above?

Joanne DeStefano (chair), executive vice president and chief financial officer
Christine Stallman (co-chair), chief compliance officer

Facilities

  • Rick Burgess, vice president for facilities and campus services
  • Avery August, Ph.D. ’94, professor of immunology and vice provost for academic affairs

Research and Other Academic

  • Emmanuel Giannelis, Walter R. Read Professor of Engineering, vice provost for research and vice provost for technology transfer, intellectual property and research policy
  • Chris Schaffer, associate professor of biomedical engineering and Faculty Senate representative
  • Kathryn Boor, professor of food science and Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • John Lis, professor of molecular biology and genetics
  • Barb Knuth, professor of natural resource policy and management and dean of the Graduate School
  • Jeff Pea, Ph.D. student in biomedical and biological sciences

Workforce Re-Entry

  • Mary Opperman, vice president and chief human resources officer
  • Lorin Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, professor of ambulatory and population medicine and Austin O. Hooey Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine

Student and Events

  • Pat Wynn, assistant vice president for student and campus life
  • Fred Van Sickle, vice president for alumni affairs and development
  • Simon Allen, associate vice president for asset management

Cornell Tech

  • Juliet Weissman, chief administrative officer at Cornell Tech
 

Teaching Reactivation Options

This committee is identifying various options for reactivating our campuses for in-person teaching, as well as the criteria to be used in deciding how and when to reactivate the Ithaca and Cornell Tech campuses for teaching and will use these criteria when making recommendations on the various options.

The committee should begin by identifying and formulating recommendations about the criteria to be used in making the determination about how and when to re-activate the campus for teaching (see, for example, the guidelines being developed at state, local, and national levels).

They should next identify a range of options for re-activating the campus for teaching this fall, e.g.,

  1. full re-activation in late August;
  2. delaying re-activation by one or two months;
  3. phased re-activation with students arriving in waves;
  4. re-activation only for a subset of students (e.g., seniors and/or graduate and professional students, with other undergraduates online until the spring);
  5. and so on. Note that there are variations within each of these to consider, for example, if we had a delayed start, would we get rid of the winter break and run classes through January? Or are there other academic calendar changes that should be considered (e.g. shortened semester with minimal breaks to avoid/prevent travel

The committee should then use the identified criteria and options to frame answers to the questions below, as well as any other questions that they determine are significant. They should make recommendations to the president, noting both the advantages and disadvantages of each option, not later than June 15.


Michael Kotlikoff (Chair), provost

Subcommittee on Teaching and Social Distancing

  • Lisa Nishi (subcommittee chair), associate professor of human resource studies and vice provost for undergraduate education
  • Shorna Allred, associate professor of natural resources
  • Joe Anderson ’20, undergraduate in the College of Industrial and Labor Relations
  • Rebecca Harrison ’14, Ph.D. candidate in science and technology studies
  • Lance Collins, Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering in the College of Engineering
  • Deborah Estrin, Robert V. Tishman Professor of computer science and associate dean for impact at Cornell Tech
  • David Shmoys, the Laibe/Acheson Professor of Business Management and Leadership Studies in the School of Operations Research and Information Engineering
  • Pat Wynn, assistant vice president for student and campus life
  • Kim Weeden, Jan Rock Zubrow ’77 Professor of the Social Sciences
  • Meejin Yoon, Gale and Ira Drukier Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • Charlie Van Loan, Joseph C. Ford Professor of Engineering and dean of faculty

Subcommittee on Health Considerations

  • Gary Koretzky, (subcommittee chair), professor of medicine and vice provost for academic integration
  • Frank Cantone, director of emergency management and business continuity
  • Jason Cole, associate vice president for university relations
  • Peter Frazier, associate professor of operations research and industrial engineering
  • Sharon McMullen, associate vice president of student and campus life for health and wellbeing
  • Jared Pittman, associate university counsel
  • Paul Streeter, vice president for budget and planning
  • Lorin Warnick, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’94, professor of ambulatory and population medicine and Austin O. Hooey Dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine
  • Isaac Weisfuse, adjunct professor of public health
 

Preparation for Online Teaching

This committee is considering the implications of potential scenarios in which we may need to provide all, most or many of our classes online in the fall semester and make recommendations about the best ways to manage this possibility.

The committee should consider the implications of a situation in which we need all or most of our classes online in the fall semester, and possibly the spring semester as well, and under that scenario make recommendations to the president about the following questions, not later than June 15.

  1. Should we attempt to offer all classes online, or only a restricted subset of them? If so, how would we make these decisions: as one example, would it make sense to start upper-level classes in the fall, and then defer freshmen to start in January?
  2. Would we work with faculty over the summer to enhance the quality of their offerings further or assume that faculty, having had the experience of the current semester, can do this on their own?
  3. Would we pay faculty for the extra work of converting their classes to online format over the summer?
  4. Would we temporarily eliminate large classes? (There has been some discussion that very large classes are especially ineffective in the current online format?)
  5. Would we make spring and summer offerings more robust for 2021 and beyond?
  6. What are the ADA issues we’d need to address?
  7. How would we handle technology issues? What have we learned from the current experience? For example: what do we do about students who are in very different time zones? What do we do about students who do not have reliable access to wifi? What do we do about students in China who may have VPN issues? What other issues have arisen or might arise?
  8. What would we offer to students outside of their online classes? Would there be any attempt at virtual co-curricular offerings? Would we continue to provide telehealth services? And if so, how would this be factored in tuition and fees? (If the students are not on campus, it seems unlikely that they will be willing to pay fees, but if they’re not paying fees we can’t provide things like health services.)
  9. What other changes would we implement, e.g., any changes to grading policies?
  10. Would it be feasible to have some students on campus, and others taking classes online? Would they be in the same classes?
  11. What are the financial implications? This should include a consideration of whether tuition levels should be changed.

John Siliciano ’75 (Chair), professor of law and deputy provost

  • Julia Thom-Levy, professor of physics and vice provost for academic innovation
  • Vijay Pendakur, Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students
  • Patti McClary, associate university counsel
  • Paul Streeter, vice president for budget and planning
  • David Lifka, vice president for information technology and chief information officer
  • Lisa Nishii, associate professor of human resource studies and vice provost for undergraduate education
  • Rachel Bean, professor of astronomy and senior associate dean for undergraduate education in the College of Arts and Sciences
  • Michael Thompson, associate professor of materials science and engineering and associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering
  • Steve Carvell, professor of finance and vice provost for external education strategy
  • Courtney Roby, associate professor of classics
  • Neema Kudva, associate professor of city and regional planning, associate dean of faculty in the College of Architecture, Art and Planning
  • Maria Fitzpatrick, associate professor of policy analysis and management
  • Wendy Wolford, professor of development sociology and vice provost for international affairs
  • Liel Sterling ’21, undergraduate in the College of Industrial and Labor Relations
 

Cornell faculty, staff and students are encouraged to provide suggestions or feedback on the planning process to reactivate campus. Any information submitted will be shared directly with the appropriate committee.

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