I hope you enjoyed some time to relax during the break. As expected, the virus has continued to dominate our thinking and has shaped our plans. It is encouraging to know that there is a bright spot with more people receiving the vaccine, which provides hope and encouragement for the near future.
Many of you shared success stories during the Fall semester and several shared inspiring stories after the semester ended. It is with these in mind, that we planned the Spring 2021 Faculty Staff Assembly. We will hear from some of your colleagues who will provide examples of engaging and innovative teaching methods that they have used during these challenging times.
The Faculty Staff Assembly will be a virtual event beginning on Thursday, January 21 at 8:30 a.m. As always, we will introduce new faces at SUNY Broome and recognize personnel changes that have occurred. We will hear remarks from Dr. Drumm and brief updates from a few others. I am particularly excited to hear from our faculty and from our own student vocalist. A zoom link will be available prior to the event.
As you know, the semester will begin a little differently with only a limited number of course sections holding face-to-face meetings prior to February 1. These SUNY approved sections can be located here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Dc1qxGe0Rk_j7M5lSf-Gr0GUiPNBNRlmstIwbcrc4ZQ/edit#gid=0
After the first week of classes, we will hold classes in the format listed on our previously approved schedule. Although we have notified students, please feel free to reach out to your students to provide them a reminder as well. Our students have shown great resilience as we’ve had to adjust our classes at a moment’s notice throughout the last 10 months.
In order to ensure we keep our campus as safe as possible, we will be requiring students to utilize the Campus Clear app prior to coming on campus each day. Many of you have already been requiring students to show their campus clear approval (the green smiley face) prior to entering your class. This is an excellent way to keep our campus safe. Our Emergency Operations Team has already notified students of this requirement, but any reinforcement from our faculty and staff will help in this effort. Please remind students either by adding it to your syllabus or announcing it, and by providing ongoing reminders. By continuing to work together, we will reinforce safety on our campus for all.
We have some very exciting activities taking place this semester, as well. Our Middle States Self-Study team, with support and input from our entire college, has been working hard to develop a self-study draft that examines who we are as a college and how we can capitalize on our success to further improve what we do. Our team visit will take place (virtually) on March 29-31, 2021. This is a great opportunity for the college. The dedication from all of you is so clearly evident in the self-study and it is something that we can all be very proud of.
We are learning a great deal about how to support students in different formats, how to improve communication at all levels, and how to unite in a time of challenge. We will be introducing a new app for students, CircleIn, which will allow students to support each other in their courses. To learn more about the app, click on the link: http://faculty.circleinapp.com/3.
We have learned so much from the experience this last year and are becoming stronger as a result. I am looking forward to seeing you next week. I wish you a successful semester and a hopeful 2021.
Penny A. Haynes, Ed.D.
Vice President for Academic Affairs