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Leadership Messages

COVID Impacting Work and Academics: A Message from University Provost and Deans

Dear faculty, staff, and students,

As we navigate the start of the fall 2021 semester, it is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact how we study, teach, and work. As we anticipate the challenges of the upcoming semester, we want to affirm that first and foremost, we are in this together. To say that we value your contributions to the University is an understatement. You are the University. As your provost and your deans, we are committed to your health and safety, and to the many ways we work together to fulfill our collective mission to learn, discover, heal, create—and make the world ever better.

It is no surprise that these challenges have required changes to our mandates and guidelines, and that some of these changes have created some confusion about what is required of us as students, colleagues, and community members.

If you are infected with COVID-19 or are asked to quarantine because of a family member, here are the steps you should follow:

Faculty

If you receive a positive test as a result of a test completed through UHS or Employee Health at the Medical Center, contact tracing and other follow-up protocols will automatically begin. If you test positive through a test performed by your PCP, Urgent Care, or other testing facility outside of the University, please immediately contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 to self-report your case. This is a requirement of New York State reporting procedures for everyone who works, lives, or takes classes on campus. We are following the same practices as always for accommodating faculty and student illnesses that cause disruptions to class meetings. As a reminder, if the instructor is ill, they can (1) cancel and reschedule, (2) temporarily switch affected class meetings to on-line delivery, or (3) ask a colleague or TA to substitute for them. They should also notify their department chair. If an instructor is out with a prolonged illness, we will make arrangements to replace them or work through alternative coverage. Please refer to the Sick Leave Plan on the University’s Policies website for additional information.

Staff

If you receive a positive test as a result of a test completed through UHS or Employee Health at the Medical Center, contact tracing and other follow-up protocols will automatically begin. If you test positive through a test performed by your PCP, Urgent Care, or other testing facility outside of the University, please immediately contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 to self-report your case. This is a requirement of New York State reporting procedures for everyone who works, lives, or takes classes on campus. We are following the same practices as always for accommodating staff illness. Employees should contact their supervisor if they are ill. Please refer to the Sick Leave Plan on the University’s Policies website for additional information.

Students

If you receive a positive test as a result of a test completed through UHS or Employee Health at the Medical Center, contact tracing and other follow-up protocols will automatically begin. If you test positive through a test performed by your PCP, Urgent Care, or other testing facility outside of the University, please immediately contact UHS at (585) 275-2662 to self-report your case. This is a requirement of New York State reporting procedures for everyone who works, lives, or takes classes on campus. Students who will miss class due to illness are expected to make arrangements with instructors for catching up on class work they will miss. Students who are absent from class due to illness, family emergency, or other circumstances are encouraged to contact their advisor or their school’s advising services if they need assistance in communicating with their professors or making up the work they miss.

Additional information for faculty, staff, and students can be found on the How to Report Symptoms or Exposure page. If you would like to discuss your concerns with someone, there are many resources at the University available to you. Explore those resources and support services.

The University will follow the Monroe County, New York State, and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines for quarantines and isolation. Faculty and staff can find additional information in the University’s COVID-19 Resource Center, including vaccination rates and cases across campuses. The site also includes important information about vaccine requirements for students and other resources for students and families. We believe that fulfilling our mission takes collaboration, collegiality, and teamwork. Without question the pandemic has changed the ways we come together to work and study. We wish you all a safe, healthy, and productive fall semester.

Sincerely,

Sarah E. Peyre
Interim Provost

Gloria Culver
Dean, School of Arts & Sciences

Doug Guiffrida
Interim Dean, Warner School of Education

Donald Hall
Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences and Engineering

Wendi Heinzelman
Dean, Hajim School of Engineering

Kathy Rideout
Dean, School of Nursing

Jamal Rossi
Dean, Eastman School of Music

Mark B. Taubman
CEO, University of Rochester Medical Center and Dean, School of Medicine and Dentistry

Sevin Yeltekin
Dean, Simon Business School

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