President's update on COVID-19

September 25, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for everything you have done and will continue to do to advance and strengthen our institution. This is especially critical given that we are still in the middle of a pandemic that has affected the entire UAlbany family.

In these uncertain times, it is important that we provide accurate information regarding COVID-19 and where we stand as an institution. Unfortunately, many of you recently received a resolution from UUP indicating that “more than 100 UAlbany students have tested positive for COVID 19 in the past two weeks, surpassing the threshold set by the Governor to trigger a “pause” in in-person instruction and activities…” This is simply incorrect. As our dashboard clearly shows, we have not surpassed this threshold. If that had been the case, we would have already transitioned to fully remote education.

While there has been a tremendous amount of discussion about the 100-case threshold, please know that we are strictly following the parameters set forth by the state and SUNY in reporting COVID-19 cases. Moreover, we have been very transparent about providing extensive data and information on our dashboard, which is updated on a daily basis.

It is also important to highlight that we remain committed to the terms and conditions of our negotiated agreements, as well as the Pilot Telecommuting Agreement. If you have any concerns or questions in this area, please contact the Office of Employee Relations at 518-437-4700 or [email protected].

As you know, the planning, oversight, and delivery of the University’s academic programs are institutional responsibilities—derived directly from our core mission—that must be developed in coordination with the provost, deans, department chairs, and the faculty. The Provost will continue to work with the schools and colleges as we plan for our spring semester.

My leadership team and I have regularly communicated with the University community and have provided extensive information about the proactive planning, strategies, and actions that we have taken to protect the health and safety of our campus community.
It is essential that we continue with these communications, which also support our decision-making processes.

Let me reassure you that we are closely monitoring the data, and our decisions will be made in close consultation with Albany County, SUNY, and NYSDOH, as should be the case when dealing with a public health issue of this nature. We also have truly outstanding and dedicated administrators, faculty and staff who have been working tirelessly since the spring with a primary focus on the health and safety of our campus community.

Kevin Wilcox, our Campus COVID-19 Safety Officer, will continue to keep the University community informed regarding this pandemic and our institutional preparedness and response efforts. For additional information, please visit our COVID-19 website.

Again, thank you for all that you do for our institution, our communities, and especially for our students. Please stay safe and healthy—and let us continue to move forward together as One UAlbany.


Signature of Havidan Rodriguez

Havidán Rodríguez