Colgate University is closely monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak. Due to the rapidly changing nature of this situation, all information below is subject to modification at any time.
The University is moving to remote learning, with classes resuming on March 30.
The guidance we are offering faculty members at this time is based on the following principles:
- Protect all community members
- Offer educational equity for all students
- Be consistent in our activity: please don’t create your own policies or develop your own standards
We are practicing social distancing. This means that:
- Any academic interactions with students must take place remotely / virtually only
- Many scheduled meetings will still be held, but all will need to be conducted online.
Regulations announced by the State of New York limit on-campus employees to only those deemed "essential." Different from what we refer to as "essential" for weather-related events, there are only a few areas that are now permitted to have a presence on campus, such as:
- Campus safety
- Residential life
Many resources for continuity of teaching can be found at:
Frequently Asked Questions
No. You are expected to continue to teach.
Remote Course Delivery
We recommend that you either teach via Zoom at the same time as your class, or be prepared to upload your content so that students may view it any time and from any location.
You may use Zoom for synchronous teaching, or Anthem to record for asynchronous content. If you will be expecting all students in your course to be available at a set time and day, you should use the assigned days and times assigned to your face-to-face course.
You may work with libraries staff to ensure that textbooks are available to students online. If an e-book version is available, as long as the usage rights allow multiple users, the libraries will make the e-book version available. If an e-book version is not available, the libraries will upload the content to Moodle, and it will be available on the Moodle page for your course.
Once courses begin, if the textbook for your course does not seem to be available, please contact:
- Kristi Mangine for Science Reserves (email@example.com), or;
- Bonnie Kupris (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Case Reserves.
If you or any of your students need additional assistance accessing the content due to disability, please contact Debbie Krahmer (email@example.com).
Contact with Students
To ensure that all students have a consistent academic experience, whether on- or off-campus, we have asked all faculty conduct office hours using Zoom or telephone. This will ensure that students experience with your courses this spring are the same regardless of location.
No. This will ensure that students' experience with your courses this spring are the same regardless of location.
Presence on Campus
Not all classrooms will have this technology. You should rely on your own computer or work with ITS.
Messages for Employees
On May 28, Vice President for Campus Safety and Environmental Health and Safety Dan Gough released a message to campus outlining the early details for employees returning to work on campus.
Dear Colgate Faculty and Staff,
I write today to provide more details and guidance with respect to how Colgate is planning to practice increased fiscal responsibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. This information goes deeper into some of the steps outlined by Vice President Hope last week, while also introducing a few additional measures designed to help minimize the potential impact of limited operations on campus.
- University credit cards: Effective Monday, March 23, the monthly credit limit for expenditures will be reduced to $1,000. Requests for a (temporary) higher limit should be emailed directly to Tom O’Neill, controller (firstname.lastname@example.org). Employees with credit card transactions more than 30 days past due have until Friday, March 27, to complete and submit reports through Concur. After that date, the accounting office will review and submit reports, charging the card holder's Banner home code. This will allow finance and administration to obtain a clearer picture of expenditures to date. It is expected that cardholders will diligently complete all future reports. Reports should be filed within 30 days of the expenditure being recorded on the credit card.
- Travel: Employees who have incurred airline charges for cancelled flights will be reimbursed. Requests should be submitted through Concur with supporting documentation from the airline or provider. If documentation cannot be obtained, complete a missing receipt affidavit describing the steps taken to seek reimbursement. University sponsored international travel is prohibited and domestic travel for faculty, staff, and students must be approved by the Executive Group (EG) of the Emergency Operation Center on a case-by-case basis through Sunday, May 10. No travel or travel-related expenses should be arranged after May 10 unless it can be cancelled without penalty. Effective immediately, all individual business-related airline and train travel must be processed through CBT, the University's preferred provider.
- Invoices/disbursement vouchers: No paper requests for payment should be submitted to accounting. Invoices/disbursement vouchers should be scanned, (cell phone pictures are acceptable) and forwarded to email@example.com. The accounting office will be notifying vendors that invoices should be sent electronically.
- New contracts: Contracts can be arranged for the fall 2020 term (e.g. guest lecturers for fall) if they can be cancelled without penalty and do not require non-refundable deposits. Force Majeure language and other necessary contracting terms can be added to contracts after discussion with the Office of Risk Management via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Overtime: Any overtime will need prior approval from your dean/VP or designee. This approval should be emailed to the controller at email@example.com (including an estimate of overtime hours approved) beforehand.
- Equipment purchases: Aside from purchases already approved to help manage the COVID-19 health crisis, any equipment purchases greater than $2,500 will need prior approval from finance and administration. Please contact John Collins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Home office: Jabber can be used for phone calls, and equipment can be borrowed from the ITS help desk. Wifi hotspots are also available from ITS. Cell phone bills, home internet bills, and ITS equipment for home offices will not be reimbursed.
- Food and entertainment: Food and entertainment expenses must be approved by your VP or their designee.
Effective immediately, we ask that departments only make essential purchases. We understand that some areas will incur unanticipated expenditures related to COVID-19, and, conversely, other areas may generate savings with the recent changes that have been implemented. This is not a time to spend unused funds just because they appear to be available.
Please also only order supplies and materials that are absolutely necessary to maintain business continuity for the remainder of the fiscal year.
Dear Colgate Staff and Faculty,
Colgate University has taken extraordinary precautions to safeguard the health and safety of faculty, staff, students, and the local community in response to the COVID-19 health crisis. While there are many questions that remain to be answered, I would like to provide more guidance and information related to the economic impact on Colgate, and what it will likely mean for our community in the months ahead.
While the full impact of COVID-19 is still unknown, the university has taken many steps that will place additional pressures on our immediate and long-term financial resources. One financial decision in particular surrounding room and board reductions, will significantly impact our revenue for the 2019-20 fiscal year. Initial estimates are for a $8.5-$10 million loss in the current fiscal year.
Like many other departments across campus, the staff in finance and administration is working diligently to find solutions to mitigate the funding gap that will result in the current year. It is important to note that the University will continue to operate and offer services to students, albeit with significant modifications. Colgate has also established plans to pay all employees through at least June 30. In order to ensure this plan's success, our campus community must rally together in support of a number of new steps to increase our fiscal prudence.
Regularly scheduled casual wage employees who can work remotely will do so and be paid for their hours. Those who cannot should consult with their supervisors about the possibility of contributing in other ways to the university’s efforts during this unusual time.
While the overall financial health of the institution is strong, a loss of this magnitude will nonetheless be difficult. The University is somewhat limited in terms of the options we have to control expenditures at this stage in the fiscal year, but there are steps we can take to help manage this financial challenge. Therefore:
- Starting today, we ask that departments only make essential purchases. We understand that some areas will incur unanticipated expenditures related to COVID-19 and conversely, other areas may generate savings with the recent changes that have been implemented. This is not a time to spend unused funds just because they appear to be available. We also encourage everyone to complete any outstanding concur reports to help with our projections.
- Any overtime will need prior approval from your Dean/VP or designee.
- University-sponsored international travel is prohibited and domestic travel for faculty, staff, and students must be approved by the Executive Group of the Emergency Operation Committee (EG) on a case-by-case basis through Sunday, May 10. No travel or travel-related expenses should be arranged for after May 10 unless it can be cancelled without penalty.
- Aside from equipment purchases already approved to help manage the COVID-19 health crisis, any equipment purchases greater than $2,500 will need prior approval from Finance and Administration.
- Only order supplies and materials that are absolutely necessary to maintain business continuity for the remainder of the fiscal year. Purchasing card limits will be lowered in order to support the University’s efforts to constrain spending during this challenging period.
- A hiring freeze for new and vacant positions is now in place until further notice. Human Resources will review all in-process searches on a case-by-case basis to determine if they should proceed.
Given the uncertain long-term impact of this COVID-19 crisis, we must plan ahead for a prolonged state of financial restraint. The 2020-21 operating budget plan also needs to be reconsidered. The FY21 budget is scheduled to be presented to the Board of Trustees in early May. A great deal of work still needs to take place but our approach will be to preserve as much capital as possible until we know our exposure to financial pressures relating to the pandemic.
One example would be the still unknown impact on the behavior of prospective students and their families in the entering class of 2024. Similarly, we are unsure how the global situation will influence the decisions or regulations associated with international students studying at Colgate. We have a significant international student population at Colgate and if the rules governing their studies in the United States are altered it could have serious financial implications.
Endowment support represents approximately 25 percent of our operating revenue. We have well thought-out guidelines in place that govern our spending each year, but recent market activity will place additional pressure on our second largest revenue stream.
These are challenging times, but I am confident we can come together and all serve as good financial stewards, by carefully managing budgets, and by modifying behavior. I thank you in advance for your understanding and assistance as we band together as a community during this remarkable time in our University’s history.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Investment Officer
Dear Colgate Faculty and Staff Colleagues:
I write to provide an update on the financial planning that we are undertaking as we continue, through our EOC and its Executive Committee, to manage the many aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the campus and local community. As can surely be imagined, the strain on our resources caused by the extraordinary steps we are taking, combined with the significant loss of revenue from the reimbursement of students’ room and board and other fees, is considerable. The operating budget we have been working under this fiscal year has fundamentally shifted.
A group of financial administrators, working directly with the EOC, are continuing to monitor the costs of our responses and the implications of the anticipated revenue losses. They are working to create plans that will allow us to maintain the safety of this community and the education of our students, as well as the continued employment of our staff colleagues.
The plans and guidelines being generated by this group will allow us to continue to employ all of the University’s full- and part-time employees through the remainder of this fiscal year, at their standard salaries and wages. In order to achieve this, however, we will be relying on all members of the community to be extremely prudent with all potential expenditures and plans. In the next day or so, we will be sending out to the campus specific new guidelines on purchases, travel expenses, credit cards, and searches. If the guidelines are zealously followed by every part of Colgate, we will be able to support our staff and colleagues throughout this period. I believe it is profoundly important that we do so.
This is not the inaugural third-century year we anticipated. It is, however, the one that we have been given. So, let us take care of each other and this University. Again, I thank you for your commitment to this important work, to your colleagues, and to our students.
Brian W. Casey
Dear Colgate Employees,
Let me begin by thanking each of you for the tremendous work you are doing on campus during this time of global uncertainty due to COVID-19. I thank you for your patience today as we work to keep our community safe and informed. Your safety and wellbeing are our highest priority.
By now you will have seen the message from President Casey. The increased risk of travel to and from campus made the decision to ask all students to leave campus by March 22 necessary. Instruction and classes will continue online.
Colgate will still operate, and employees should report for work as usual unless instructed otherwise by a supervisor.
The human resources team is working with guidance from local and national health departments to ensure that we all have safe and healthy environments in which to learn and work. We are also developing guidelines in the event that some staff members need to enter quarantine, work from home, or care for a family member.
We have tried to anticipate many of your questions by creating this FAQ.
Undoubtedly, there will need to be adjustments as this situation evolves. We will continue to send updates as new information emerges and as our strategies adjust.
Please feel free to call the human resources office at 315-228-7411, or send an email to email@example.com with your questions and concerns. We are here to support you.
These are challenging times, but I am confident that, by working together, we can continue to support and maintain a healthy campus community.
Senior Advisor to the President; Assistant Dean for Administrative Advising
Prior Communications from PDoF to Faculty
Dear Faculty Colleagues:
You will now have seen the emails from President Casey describing Colgate’s response to COVID-19, which outlines the adopted recommendations from the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC). The EOC decisions made reflect the careful work of over 50+ members across the Colgate community, informed by national and regional information with the goal of the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff, and community members. This is certainly a time of uneasiness and disquiet for all of us, and I acknowledge the concerns many of you have shared with me.
Our hope is to move to remote instruction on Monday, March 23, immediately following spring recess. This will continue through mid-April. Only the extremity of the public health emergency would lead us to take such a step in instruction, as the foundation of a Colgate education rests on face-to-face interactions between and among students, faculty, staff, and community. The underlying consideration behind this decision was driven by the recommendation for social distancing: we are minimizing physical classroom contact for several weeks after the recess as a precautionary measure.
I want to recognize that the move to remote instruction will be challenging for many of us. The University stands ready to help faculty to navigate this process and to be a thought partner in how to adjust your pedagogy. A number of staff within the Dean of the Faculty, ITS, and the Libraries have been working hard over the last few weeks to prepare to do everything possible to assist all faculty members with these efforts.
Information Technology Services (ITS) and the Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research (CLTR) have collaborated on a faculty resource page offering tools that will be useful during this time. These resources include information and suggestions about specific programs and platforms for which Colgate is offering a high-level of support. You can access the Academic Continuity During Disruption page on the CLTR webpage. Please keep in mind that this is a living document and will be expanded as we develop additional resources.
Critical academic concerns at this moment are to 1) limit the impact of emergency disruptions to students’ academic progress, and 2) maintain academic quality and rigor given the challenges of an evolving situation. Within the framework of remote instruction, faculty have flexibility in how best to deliver and complete their courses, assignments, and assessment.
Student questions will arise, if they haven’t already, and it is perfectly appropriate to let students know that you are developing a plan for the continuation of your courses. This will be an unusual semester, to be sure, and will require your patience and pedagogical creativity from students and faculty alike. I reiterate Doug Johnson’s hope from Monday’s faculty debriefing that we be kind to each other as we work through teaching and learning continuity under emergency conditions.
The next steps will include ITS and CLTR staff reaching out to chairs of departments and programs to update them on how in-person support and training will be made available to faculty. In general, in terms of my office, questions pertaining to remote instruction should be directed to Doug and Martin; Lesleigh will deal with questions pertaining to cancelling or postponing travel, cancelling or postponing invited lecturers and other public events (of any size), continuity in ongoing searches. We are all here to serve as resources for faculty: please reach out to any of us with questions not covered in the previous list. Faculty will also receive regular updates from the Office of the Provost and Dean of the Faculty, the CLTR, and ITS in the days and weeks ahead.
With gratitude and appreciation,
Tracey E. Hucks
Provost and Dean of the Faculty
Dear Chairs and Program Directors:
Thank you for your initial responses to our Google Form query for information on departmental/program interest in Zoom training. Based on these responses, we have set up a series of training sessions starting Monday, March 16 - Wednesday, March 18 every hour on the hour starting at 9 a.m. with the last session starting at 4 p.m. If you would like to meet as a department/program, we ask for your help in scheduling a session as described below.
We ask that you please share this information with your department even if you are not planning to have a departmental training session.You and your colleagues are not restricted to meeting with your department/program. Any faculty member can sign up for any session.
To schedule a departmental/program session, please:
- Present the training schedule to your department/program
- Decide on a day and time for your session
- Share this calendar with your colleagues so they may sign up individually for your pre-selected time and day. Individual registration helps us communicate smoothly.
All faculty members will need to bring their own devices. If any member of your department/program does not have a laptop computer, please request one immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you plan to create synchronous/live streaming classes, please make sure that your laptop has an integrated camera. If it does not, you can request a web camera at email@example.com. Please make these requests as soon as possible.
We are grateful for your help and patience as we move through this process.
Eddie Watkins (CLTR)
Niranjan Davray (ITS)
Dear Chairs and Program Directors:
The Center for Learning, Teaching, and Research (CLTR) and Information Technology Services (ITS) have worked diligently over the last several weeks to put together a faculty training plan as we move into remote instruction. We appreciate that this move will be difficult for many faculty members. In an effort to facilitate this move, the CLTR/ITS strategy is to begin to offer initial training sessions at the departmental/program level. Our thought behind this decision is that members of your department/program may feel more comfortable working together in a smaller group setting and will likely have ideas to share that are specific to your discipline.
While there are many tools to help facilitate remote instruction, the institution has focused its energy around the Zoom platform for live lecture capture for synchronous class sessions, multi-user teleconference, etc. and Ensemble Anthem for screen capture and webcam recordings — in addition to resources that are available through Moodle. This does not mean that you are limited to these options; rather, it means that ITS has coalesced around these tools to offer their highest level of support.
Our strategy is to begin multiple 30-minute concurrent training sessions focused specifically on Zoom starting Monday, March 16. These sessions are designed to be in-person events, but we will offer Zoom links and recordings of each. We will be reaching out to you again with a scheduling link and training location by tomorrow morning. We are aware that some of your members may be off campus during the break, and we will offer makeup sessions toward the end of the week and beyond.
At this moment, we ask that you help us by: 1) alerting your departmental/program colleagues about this plan, and 2) providing some baseline information about your departmental needs using this form.
Thank you for your patience,
Eddie Watkins (CLTR)
Niranjan Davray (ITS)