Campus Update

April 9, 2020

Dear UAlbany Community:

I hope that you are staying safe, healthy, and engaged—and that you are successfully navigating our third week of remote teaching, learning, and working. As our communities continue to struggle with the impacts of COVID-19, I wanted to share some important updates in terms of UAlbany’s response and service in the face of this crisis.

Yesterday, Governor Cuomo announced that he is commissioning UAlbany to lead the state’s research efforts, in coordination with the NYS Department of Health and Northwell Health, regarding the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on minority populations.

UAlbany’s nationally recognized research in the area of minority health disparities, public health, social welfare and emergency preparedness puts us in a strong position to carry out this critical work, and we are honored to serve in this capacity. We have already begun assembling a UAlbany team and will be working closely with the Department of Health in the development and implementation of this project.

This effort, in addition to the COVID-19 drive-through testing site that opened this week in our Colonial Quad parking lot, demonstrates how the University is leveraging both our facilities and our unique research profile to serve the greater good. I was also extremely proud of our community’s strong response when the call came for volunteers to assist at the test site. This exemplifies the Great Dane spirit that has been so moving and inspiring under these very difficult circumstances.

There are so many examples of how UAlbany is leading by putting our core priority of Engagement and Service at the forefront, including:

  • The School of Education is offering several resources to K-12 teachers as they navigate the transition to remote teaching and learning.
  • Personal protective equipment continues to be donated by our units, faculty, and our alumni to local hospitals and first responder agencies.
  • The College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity are producing face shields for distribution to health care providers using 3D printers.
  • The School of Public Health is contributing to the Department of Health-led studies examining potential drug treatments for COVID-19.
  • And, this past Saturday, we also hosted UAlbany’s 3rd Annual Big Event – virtually! We had close to 1,300 participants supporting 55 service projects.

As an engaged public research institution, there has never been a more critical time to marshal our resources and our expertise. So let me take this opportunity to thank our faculty, staff, students, alumni, our leadership team, and our COVID-19 Task Force for everything they have done to respond so effectively and show our strong commitment to our communities.

Unfortunately, many members of the Great Dane family are experiencing the direct impacts of COVID-19. Our hearts go out to all of you, your family members, and friends. We are simply heartbroken by the devastating consequences of this pandemic.

That is why, more than ever, we must remain steadfast in our commitment to staying home, staying physically distant, and doing our part to blunt the force of COVID-19.

Together, we will persevere, we will support each other, we will get through this, and we will thrive as a community.

Remember, we are the Great Danes!

¡Muchísimas gracias!


Havidán Rodríguez