Dear faculty and staff,
I am reaching out to clarify expectations regarding absences related to COVID-19. The simple answer for the Fall 2021 semester is that we are generally treating them as we would any other absence due to an illness or an accident, as outlined in SUNY Cortland’s College Catalog.
We are committed to in-person instruction and faculty are not expected to provide online or synchronous instruction for students, regardless of whether they are missing a single class or mandated to spend time in isolation or quarantine.
If it’s a short absence, perhaps two or three days while a student is awaiting a scheduled test or results, you should treat it like a normal short-term absence.
If a student is required by the Cortland County Health Department to enter isolation or quarantine, you should treat it the way you would a lengthy student illness.
The Cortland County Health Department is in charge of contact tracing. They may reach out to you about where students were sitting on a given day to determine possible exposure.
As of this time, there is no plan to move a class online if many students are out at one time.
If you are symptomatic, or if you are in mandated isolation or quarantine and would like to temporarily teach your class online, please do so. If you are too ill, please let your department chair know so they can help make other arrangements.
In closing, I want to express my gratitude for the amazing work and tireless dedication all of you are demonstrating this semester. Please know you are deeply appreciated.
All the best,
Erik J. Bitterbaum