Instructor Guidance


  • Masks are strongly recommended indoors on UAlbany’s campuses — including in classrooms, labs, studios and other instructional spaces and meeting areas — with some limited exceptions where masks are requiredReview UAlbany's mask rules for additional information.

  • Facilities staff clean and disinfect classrooms and other instructional spaces each night, and routinely disinfect high-touch or high-use public spaces throughout the day.

  • Disinfectants and sanitizer are also available at central locations adjacent to classrooms for instructors and students to wipe down surfaces as they enter the room. The risk of spreading COVID-19 through surfaces or objects is generally considered to be low, according to the CDC. 


Information for Instructors

Instructors should review ITLAL's Returning to the Classroom page, which includes suggestions for how to effectively communicate health and safety protocols to your students. 

Positive Cases 

If a student informs you that they have tested positive or suspect they have COVID-19, please adhere to the guidelines listed below. 

  •  If a student tells you they have received a positive diagnostic test result, please ask them to review and complete the Reporting Instructions for Students. If the conversation is happening via email, do not forward or include anyone else in your messages, as this is sensitive information. If there is a student in a class who tests positive, contact tracing will be conducted by the appropriate county Health Department.  

  • If, through contact tracing, anyone else is identified who may be at risk, the appropriate county Health Department or the University will notify the impacted individuals and provide further instructions. Instructors who remain at least six feet away from students in the classroom would not be at risk from a positive case, per CDC guidance. If you are not contacted after a potential exposure, you do not need to take any further action.

  • You should take no further action if you learn that a student in your class has tested positive, unless you are instructed to do so by the Office of Risk Management, the Office of Emergency Management, the Dean of the Graduate School, the Dean of Undergraduate Education, Human Resources or the appropriate county Health Department. Instructors must not mention that a student has tested positive or identify the student to the class, as this is personal health information. Only the appropriate University officials or county Health Department may discuss a positive case with anyone.

  • Instructors who develop possible COVID-19 symptoms should follow regular procedures for instructor illness. They should also stay home, contract their medical provider and get tested. They must notify the University if they test positive.  


Course and Office Hour Modalities  

  • Please use your best judgment when accommodating student absences or missed assignments. Instructors should provide appropriate and reasonable accommodations consistent with existing policies. We recommend recording your lectures in the event a student needs to be accommodated because of illness. 

  • The University is continuously monitoring the health and well-being of our campus population and, if necessary, will adjust campus operations, including course delivery, to protect the health and safety of our community. Should these changes be needed, they would be made University-wide in consultation with the New York State Education Department, as was the case in 2020, and not at the individual course level.

  • Individual classes may not change modality. Courses must be offered in the modality that has been approved by the New York State Education Department, SUNY and the appropriate UAlbany department, and in the modality for which students registered.  This means that online courses should not require students to meet in person and in-person courses should not be delivered remotely. 

  • Changing course modality may create equity and accessibility problems for our students and specific impacts include, but are not limited to, jeopardizing students’ ability to access courses, students’ grant and military benefits, and/or their visa status. 

  • Instructors may choose to hold virtual office hours in lieu of or in addition to in-person office hours. Instructors should clearly state on their syllabus how they will be holding office hours and ensure that students can participate in office hours by communicating the days, times and a Zoom link or office location with students. 


Classroom Assignments 

In alignment with campus academic scheduling guidelines, classrooms have been assigned according to the days and times, enrollment capacities, and room features requested during initial scheduling.

Instructors with questions and/or concerns about classroom assignments should work with their academic department's schedulers.