COVID-19 Information for Faculty and Staff

Updated May 21, 2020

The School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences cares deeply about you, your health and your ability to manage your professional and personal obligations.  To support you as we work together though these unprecedented events, we will provide updates to this page on a regular basis. Please check back daily.

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UB COVID-19 Updates

Latest on coronavirus
CDC Travel Advisories

CDC Travel Advisories are being updated and changed frequently. Travelers should visit the CDC's advisories website for the latest notices.

View the latest CDC Travel Advisories

If you are feeling stress, the UB Employee Assistance Program has information on stress management.

Visit UB's Human Resources COVID-19 information page for answers to frequently asked questions regarding procedures and processes.

May 21: Campus Planning Update

Dear university community:

To begin, I would like to offer my heartfelt thanks to all of you for helping make a memorable virtual commencement celebration for the University at Buffalo’s Class of 2020. Although it was not how we had envisioned recognizing our graduates at the beginning of the academic year, I was so inspired to see our campus community bringing your creative energy and innovative spirit to UB’s time-honored tradition.

On the heels of commencement, we received the news that Governor Cuomo had approved Western New York to begin Phase 1 of our region’s reopening. While the region still has health benchmarks to reach, the University at Buffalo is in parallel preparing for an eventual phased return to campus.

As we have previously communicated, we have put into place a comprehensive campus planning structure for the 2020-2021 academic year. We are intentionally preparing for the challenges that lie ahead in the domains of public health, university finances, enrollment, academic continuity, research and our overall student experience. With this planning structure as our guide, and under Provost Weber’s leadership, we are developing numerous protocols to prepare for a phased return to campus. This preparation includes a full array of measures to ensure the health and safety of every member of our campus community.

As we envision a phased return of employees to campus prior to the start of the 2020-2021 academic year, it is my hope that such a return will begin in the very near future, including resuming research that has been put on hold. We anticipate that decisions related to the fall 2020 semester will be made and communicated to the campus community in mid- to late June. It is important to note that all determinations about a phased return of employees and the fall 2020 semester will align with the Governor’s Executive Orders—including Western New York’s progress pursuant to the state’s Phase 1-4 regional benchmarks.

Finally, I would like to recognize the resilience and adaptability of our faculty, staff and students throughout the spring semester and as we move into UB’s summer session. I would also like to acknowledge your patience and understanding as we continue to negotiate this evolving situation. Throughout, we are here to support you in your academic, research, scholarly and professional endeavors.
 
Sincerely,

Satish K. Tripathi
President

Extension of non-essential workers working remotely until May 28th

This message is to communicate to the UB community that the governor’s directive advising all non-essential employees to stay at home and work remotely will continue through May 28th. The extension, announced this morning, comes as five regions of upstate New York can begin reopening because they have met criteria laid out by the governor's office.

When there is a change in the governor’s directive, UB will provide a planned and phased approach for any changes in operations, services and the return of non-essential employees to the campus. Until then, non-essential employees must continue to work remotely. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  Again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues who continue to work on campus each day to maintain the operations of the university.

Mark Coldren
UB Human Resources

Working remotely to remain in effect for non-essential employees

This message is to remind the UB community of the governor’s directive advising all non-essential employees to stay at home and work remotely until further notice is given by the university.

If there is a change in the governor’s directive, you will receive official notification from the university indicating a date when non-essential employees can return to the campus. Until then, non-essential employees must continue to work remotely. 

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  Again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues who continue to work on campus each day to maintain the operations of the university.

Thanks,

Mark Coldren

Associate Vice President, Human Resources

April 23: Key information for all employees at UB

In response to the continuing COVID-19 public health emergency, Governor Cuomo has extended to May 15 the directive indicating that all non-essential state employees in all New York State agencies and public authorities are not to report to work.

As a reminder, non-essential employees are defined as anyone who does not need to be physically present to perform job functions, or who are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency/institution during the state’s emergency response.

Essential employees continue to be defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency/institution, or who must be physically present to perform their job; and those involved in the COVID-19 emergency response, and individuals who are currently providing a vital service for students who returned to campus and who are enrolled via distance learning.  Once again, I would like to express the gratitude of the entire UB community to all of our essential colleagues for their efforts to maintain the operations of the University every day.

Please also note that state-funded student workers are still operating under the governor’s executive order, which provides direction on pay, working from home, and reporting to work only if deemed essential.  Supervisors of student employees should continue to submit timesheets for work up until May 15.  Federal Work Study students should also continue to be paid until the identified funding is depleted.  If any department has questions regarding FWS student funding, please contact the Financial Aid Office.

Included with the governor’s May 15 extension is a host of tools for campuses to use, including but not limited to:

1. The ability to work remotely.

2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.

3. Continuation of pay for full-time and part-time employees currently through May 15 for anyone not working or not assigned to work.

4. Continuation of pay for any employee quarantined up to 14 days.

In compliance with the State Executive Order for face coverings, UB’s Environment Health & Safety team is currently facilitating the distribution of masks for all essential employees.  In anticipation of non-essential employees returning to UB campuses, we will need to prepare for resources and materials, per State guidance and mandates.  To be more efficient and effective in this transition, all Personal Protective Equipment and disinfectant materials will be sourced centrally for the entire University.  This would include face coverings and disinfectant cleaning materials such as Clorox wipes and hand sanitizer. Centralizing this process will enable consistent, compliance-based and cost effective purchasing to be accomplished.  Individual units should not initiate purchasing transactions for any of these items.  Acquisition, storage and distribution will be managed centrally. More information about this process will provided as plans are developed for the return of non-essential employees to campus. 

If you have questions about any of these matters, please contact me at mcoldren@buffalo.edu or 645-8155.

Thanks and be well.

Mark Coldren

Associate Vice President, Human Resources

April 13: Update on the use of face coverings at UB

In accordance with the recent Executive Order issued by Governor Cuomo (4/12/20) and guidance provided by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) regarding the voluntary use of face coverings, UB intends to supply our essential employees with suitable face covering materials for use in the workplace.  As was shared previously, we are working to have these materials to be distributed with area supervisors as soon as they are sourced and available.

It is important to note that the use of a face covering is not intended to protect the wearer from exposure to the virus.  Face coverings are a physical barrier intended to stop the spread of respiratory droplets from the wearer into the environment.  While proper social distancing protocols are the best method against transmission, the use of face coverings is an important tool to help prevent the spread of the virus because individuals can be contagious before they develop symptoms of the viral infection, or may not be aware they are infectious.  Higher levels of respiratory protection (N95 masks or other filtering-type respirators) are in short supply and are being reserved for use by medical professionals and first responders.  NYS and the CDC is not recommending these types of respirators for general use face coverings in the workplace or in public settings.

Essential employees are now required to wear a face covering only in situations where they are interacting with a customer, or where they are unable to maintain proper social distancing.  For other job activities where essential workers are able to properly social distance, the face coverings being supplied are for voluntary use.  Supplies of manufactured surgical masks may be prioritized for use by customer interacting personnel. 

The face covering being supplied to employees may vary depending on what is readily available.  Options supplied may include:    

  • Level 1 Surgical Masks                             
  • Manufactured Cloth Masks
  • Homemade Cloth Masks
  • Scarfs

*The CDC provides guidance for those wishing to make their own face covering

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Some work activities require the use of a higher level of respiratory protection.  If an individual is performing a work activity which they believe may require additional respiratory protection, they should contact their supervisor for guidance.  Supervisors may consult with EH&S to determine the most appropriate respiratory protection for such activities. 

For additional information University Facilities has created a helpful video for essential employees:

https://buffalo.box.com/s/4f1nj7s9x5s141mib6928ypi6r0irq2p

We know that these are challenging and fluid times. Please know that everyone’s health and safety is our top priority.  Thank you for your continued support and cooperation to help us conserve higher levels of respiratory protection for medical professionals and first responders.  This guideline is designed to be consistent with local, state, SUNY and federal guidelines so we can continue to protect the well-being of the entire campus community.  Again, many thanks to all of our essential colleagues for all that they are doing for our campus community.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

April 13: Confirmation from SUNY and GOER for April 29th

UB received confirmation in response to the continuing public health emergency for the COVID-19 virus, that the Governor extended his directive for all non-essential State employees for New York State’s agencies and public authorities in every county, to not report to work until April 29th.  

Essential employees continue to be defined as anyone whose job function is essential to the effective operation of their agency or authority, or who must be physically present to perform their job, those involved in the COVID-19 emergency response, and individuals who are currently providing a vital service for students who returned to campus and are undergoing distance learning.  I know that the entire UB community joins me in appreciation for all our essential colleagues are doing to maintain the operations of the University every day.

As a reminder, non-essential employees are defined as anyone who does not need to be physically present to perform job functions, or they are not required to meet the core function and programs of their agency during this emergency response.

State part time and student workers are still operating under the Governor’s executive order which includes receiving pay, potential working from home, and reporting to work only if deemed essential.  With this extension comes a host of tools for campuses to use including, but are not limited to:

1. The ability to work remotely.

2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.

3. Continuation of pay for full-time and part-time employees currently through April 29, 2020 for anyone not working or not assigned to work.

4. Continuation of pay for any employee quarantined up to 14 days.

Thanks.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

April 8 Message from the Provost: Research and Graduate Education Programs

Colleagues:

Because of the extraordinary ongoing efforts of our faculty and staff, we are successfully delivering our spring courses through remote instruction and continuing to address related challenges as they arise. However, we realize that the effort to transition to remote instruction – as well as limited access to labs, archives, studios, and field and clinical locations – have disrupted faculty, postdoctoral, and graduate student research and scholarship. In addition, the COVID-19 situation is posing unique challenges and causing anxiety for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars who are preparing to enter a disrupted job market. 

As a public research university, it is important that UB focus attention on the challenges that our faculty, research staff, postdocs, and graduate students are experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 disruption. To that end, I am forming a Research and Graduate Education Task Force, which will be led by Vice President for Research and Economic Development Venu Govindaraju and Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School Graham Hammill.  This task force will be charged with delivering recommendations by May 8, 2020 on issues that include:

  • Ensuring that research and scholarship across the university continues to the greatest extent possible while safeguarding the health of the campus community
  • Understanding the impacts on maintaining laboratory research if we experience a prolonged restriction to research facilities 
  • Sustaining future research and scholarship opportunities by facilitating and helping faculty maintain successful grant and fellowship applications
  • Preparing TAs to balance instruction in this new environment with the need to maintain progress on their research and dissertations
  • Considering opportunities for maintaining retention and completion in graduate degree programs
  • Understanding and mitigating the impact of the COVID-19 situation on the future careers of graduate students and postdocs when there are likely to be hiring pauses across the economy, including in higher education 
  • Understanding the unique needs of international students and providing accommodations to the best of our ability

Now more than ever, it is critical for faculty, postdocs and graduate students to utilize available technology to maintain close working relationships so that, as a campus community, we can continue the significant progress we have made in increasing grant applications, scholarly productivity, clinical care, and research impact. Even in the face of the current challenges, I know that we all share the goal of sustaining this strong research momentum by reopening our research facilities and reengaging in our scholarship as soon as possible. We will do so but must maintain our first priority, which is to protect the health and well-being of all members of the campus community. I look forward to the recommendations of the Research and Graduate Education Task Force to insure that we do everything we can to meet your needs.

Thanks to all of you for your continued efforts to sustain your scholarly activity during this challenging time.

Sincerely,

A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

April 6: Update about UB’s Spring 2020 Commencement and Summer Session

Dear university community:

After much deliberation, we have determined that the University at Buffalo will hold our spring 2020 commencement ceremonies in a virtual environment this May. As with all decisions we have made during these uncertain times, the health and well-being of our entire UB community is our guidepost and our priority.

The planning for our virtual commencement exercises has begun, and further information about our graduates’ ceremonies will be communicated by their schools. At this point, we remain optimistic that we also will be able to recognize and celebrate UB’s Class of 2020 during an on-campus celebration sometime later in the year. 

Regarding our summer session: To the greatest extent possible, UB will maintain a distance-learning platform throughout the entirety of the 2020 summer session. Please stay posted for additional details.

Clearly, this is not the semester any of us had envisioned. From the first report of a “pneumonia of unknown cause” to the more-than 130,000 cases of COVID-19 in New York State, the pandemic has tested resolve, tapped reserves and toppled expectations.

And yet, at the same time, this crisis has shown UB at our very best—our resilience, our creativity, our innovation, our adaptability.

As I write to you, clinicians around the world are turning to international treatment guidelines co-authored by a UB faculty member. Our faculty and health care partners are launching a clinical trial into a potential treatment. Our staff has mobilized to collect and deliver desperately needed laboratory supplies for local testing. Our alumni, friends and university community are supporting an emergency fund for students with limited access to food, housing, technology and other resources.

And, across the disciplines, our faculty have transitioned to a remote-learning model, ensuring that our students continue to receive the world-class education that will prepare them to lead in complex times.

Although this public health crisis has profoundly altered our lives, I am heartened to see our university community responding to adversity with great intellect, resourcefulness and humanity. As we navigate our ever-changing situation, it is important not to lose sight of one critical fact: The University at Buffalo—whether through our research, our academic programs or our public-service mission—has always been focused on solving society’s most vexing problems. From our founding nearly 175 years ago, we have harnessed our intellect and our creative energy to tackle societal challenges here in Western New York, across New York State and around the world. We will continue do so because this is who we are as a university community.

As we look hopefully toward a brighter future, let me reiterate how appreciative I am of the incredible work and accomplishments of our faculty, students and staff.

Our embrace of diverse perspectives, our evidenced-based quest for answers, our commitment to positively impact the communities we serve and our sense of purpose are what bind us as a university community. This is UB. Together, we are UB.

To our entire university community, near and far, please accept my best wishes for your good health and well-being. As always, we are here to support you in all of your endeavors

Sincerely,
Satish K. Tripathi
President

April 6: The use of face coverings on campus

On April 4 the CDC recommended that, in addition to maintaining 6-feet social distancing, the use of face coverings can help prevent spread of the coronavirus by people who have the virus but who have yet to show symptoms. Based on these new guidelines, we would like to update our recommended safety measures for essential personnel who are still working on UB’s campuses.

It is important to remember that social distancing is still the primary way to slow the spread of COVID-19,  and should be maintained regardless of whether a person is wearing a mask or face covering. If social distancing is not an option or is not feasible, essential staff members are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings when they are in close proximity of other individuals or when providing customer services. Essential staff members are not required to wear face coverings in situations when they are working alone in an area where they are isolated from other staff.

Currently, commercial masks are in short supply and UB may not be able to provide you with a commercial mask at this time.  The university is attempting to obtain a supply of masks and as they become available, we will attempt to provide you with one.

Essential staff are welcome to wear a face covering they bring from home. Face coverings from home may include such items as cloth masks, surgical masks, shop/carpenter masks, bandanas, scarfs, etc.  CDC guidance for making your own face covering is available here. Cloth face coverings can be laundered at home and used multiple times.  UB encourages their re-use, unless the user suspects their face covering has been contaminated.

If an employee brings an N95 respirator from home, they must report their intent to use the equipment to their supervisor.  Because N95 respirators are tight-fitting, filtering face-pieces, their use requires UB to maintain compliance with the OSHA respiratory protection standard. Therefore, the employee may be required to read OSHA appendix D regarding the voluntary use of respirators, and sign off that they have read and understood the material.  Your supervisor will assist you with this task.

Individuals who work in patient-care situations or areas of special risk (Dental Clinics, Student Health Services, LAF, and University Police) should continue to wear personal proactive equipment as prescribed by their departmental manager.  If anyone has questions, please contact your direct supervisor or you can reach out to Mark Coldren in Human Resources at 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu.  Thanks very much – be safe and well.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

March 30 Message from Provost: Academic Updates

Colleagues:

As we begin our second week of remote learning and university activity, I would like to take a moment to thank you for your efforts and share a few academic updates. Because of the extraordinary efforts of our faculty and staff, we have transitioned nearly all of our spring courses to a remote learning format and successfully completed the first week of remote instruction. 

Academic Affairs Policy Updates

We all understand that challenges will arise and there will be an increase in requests from students for accommodations; we will continue to work as a university to address the challenges and opportunities presented to us in these extraordinary times. To address some of these challenges, we have introduced temporary policy changes and resources including:

  • Extending the deadline by which students can resign to the last day of exams
  • Extending the deadline by which students can petition to be graded S/U to the last day of exams and temporarily suspending the minimum number of S/U credits for students per semester
  • Allowing public thesis and dissertation defenses to be held remotely
  • Launching a webpage hosted by Academic Affairs  to provide up-to-date information to students about resources and policy changes
  • Moving tutoring and advising to remote delivery
  • Conducting regular surveys of instructors and students to identify challenges. These will be shared with the appropriate office in an effort to ensure instruction goes as smoothly as possible

Academic Integrity

Maintaining academic integrity is critical to our ability to deliver an education to our students that is recognized around the world for its excellence and rigor. Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Graham Hammill, will share strategies and resources for maintaining academic integrity in a remote learning format. In addition, the Academic Integrity website offers tips on safeguarding integrity in an online format.

Planning for Summer Session

Our goal is to return to in-person learning as soon as state and county guidelines permit. In the meantime, we ask instructors teaching this summer to be prudent and flexible in planning for summer courses, which will likely need to be delivered via a remote learning format. We will make a decision regarding the first summer session by April 9 and the second summer session in early May.

Faculty Research/Tenure and Promotion

The COVID-19 situation has likely disrupted laboratory based research and caused anxiety about tenure and promotion processes, especially for our pre-tenure faculty. We will reopen our labs as soon as possible, while maintaining our first priority, which is to protect you and your students’ well-being.   For the remainder of this academic year, the tenure and promotion process, including the work of the President’s Review Board, is continuing on a remote basis. We are coordinating with SUNY and others regarding offering tenure clock stoppages. While we will be conducting spring 2020 course evaluations to capture what should be interesting student feedback, the results from the student evaluations will not be used in future faculty tenure and promotion processes.

In these challenging times, I have been inspired by the way that you are sharing best practices and learning from one another as you navigate a space that is new to many of us.   I also have been motivated by your innovation as you try new techniques to maintain relationships with your students, a fundamental element of great teaching. While UB will always be a place where faculty and students gather to learn and discover, the events of the past several weeks and weeks to come will spur many of us on to innovate beyond what we thought possible a few short weeks ago. Your efforts will benefit students for generations to come.    

In gratitude,

A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo
562 Capen Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260
716-645-2992
ubprovost@buffalo.edu

March 30: Update from UB Human Resources

In response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Governor extended his directive for all non-essential State employees for New York State’s agencies and public authorities in every county, to continue to work remotely until April 15th

With this directive, UB essential employees will continue to follow their assigned work schedules to ensure we are providing vital services for our students, distance learning, and campus-wide essential operations. 

Please know, that this extension includes New York State funded and Federal Work-study student workers. 

As a reminder, employee guidance shared previously will continue. This includes:

  1. The ability to work remotely.
  2. The ability to redeploy staff and provide alternate assignments.
  3. Continuation of pay full-time and part-time employees currently through April 15, 2020.

If anyone has questions, please contact Mark Coldren in the Office of Human Resources at 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu.  Thank you.

March 23 Message from the Provost: UB Transitions to Remote Learning

Colleagues:

Today, as we to transition to remote learning for the rest of the semester, I wanted to take a moment to recognize the tremendous efforts of UB faculty who have been the innovators and drivers of this remarkable transition. As a campus community, we have succeeded in moving more than 99% of our classes and the vast majority of our labs to a remote learning format more quickly and efficiently than any of us would have thought possible.

I would also like to thank UB staff, in particular those across UB’s IT landscape and the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI), for their tremendous support in making this unprecedented change. Since we announced that we were transitioning to remote learning, faculty across the university have worked with staff in central UBIT, their unit Nodes, CEI, the libraries, and others to move approximately 4,000 courses to remote learning format.  As classes get underway this week, UB’s academic support offices are available to help:

  • Zoom is now available in UBlearns so all faculty have access to both Zoom and Webex from within UBlearns.
  • UBIT plans to offer webinars this week for faculty on using Zoom.
  • A “Teaching Community of Practice” is now live in UBlearns for faculty to share best remote teaching practices with each other.
  • CEI will continue working remotely with faculty and offering online training resources.
  • UBIT is providing support for faculty this week through their help desk or through department Nodes.
  • Research administration and support infrastructure is essentially 100% operational with employees working remotely.

As our remote classes get underway today, we should expect challenges as faculty, students and staff adjust to this massive change in our educational delivery.  Your flexibility and understanding will be critical as we work together to be successful.

Finally, while classrooms will be available for faculty to record lectures and research deemed essential continues in our labs, if you are able to work from home, please do so.  It is important to keep the number of people on campus to a minimum to protect the health and safety of the entire community.

Recently, I was asked by someone from outside the UB community what I had learned since taking the position of Provost.  Without hesitation, I replied that I had been humbled and deeply gratified by the tremendous spirit of cooperation that you, as faculty and staff, have demonstrated in achieving our common purpose of transitioning to remote learning within 10 days. Together we will ensure that we are continuing to deliver the very best education possible to our students in these extraordinary times.

With gratitude,

A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs
Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering
University at Buffalo
562 Capen Hall
Buffalo, New York 14260
716-645-2992

March 22: Requests for the donation of UB supplies

In light of the recent announcement that ECMC, Kaleida Health, Erie County Department of Health and other community organizations are turning to the public for help in securing personal protective equipment (PPE) and other critical supplies, UB has been evaluating, on a case-by-case basis, the potential for providing resources during the current health crisis. In order to respond to these requests efficiently and within state and SUNY guidelines, we ask that any requests be forwarded to UB’s Emergency Management department at emergencymanagement@buffalo.edu.  They will work with affected departments to assess the university’s inventory and determine the level of support that can be provided.

If you are contacted by a local organization asking for UB to donate PPE and other critical supplies, please:

  • Forward those requests directly to UB’s Emergency Management department (emergencymanagement@buffalo.edu). If it is deemed that UB is a good source for these supplies, they will contact the requesting organization directly and make an official offer. Please do not reach out directly to Erie County, Kaleida Health, or ECMC. 
  • If anyone within the university community is in need of PPE or other critical supplies, please send your requests to UB’s Emergency Management department (emergencymanagement@buffalo.edu).

We want to thank the university community for their help during this time. Following these practices will allow us to support our WNY community in the most thoughtful, and efficient manner.

Thank you,

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources

March 21: Message from Mark Coldren: Update for UB Employees on Essential vs. non-Essential

Hello everyone.  I would first like to express a great deal of thanks to everyone for their patience, diligence, concern, and compliance with all of our institution’s efforts this past week in the face of a rapidly changing and evolving situation.  On March 20th, the governor issued an executive order mandating that all employees from “non-essential businesses” stay home beginning March 22nd.  This message is to reinforce that UB is still operating under guidance from the governor issued on March 17th regarding essential and non-essential employees at SUNY institutions.

According to this guidance, the essential employee designation includes those employees whose worksite presence is necessary to the continued operation of the university, who are integrally involved in the COVID-19 response effort, or those who must be present at the workplace in order to carry out their work-related duties and responsibilities.  Under this guidance, essential employees include:

  • Faculty members who need to access offices to teach remotely
  • On-campus housing employees
  • Food service employees
  • Facilities employees

All non-essential SUNY employees have been assigned to perform their work-related duties and responsibilities from alternate work locations, via telecommuting.  Non-essential status may change at the discretion of management; accordingly, employees should contact their supervisor daily to confirm their status.  As the operational needs of the COVID-19 response change, management may modify specific job functions and/or work locations.  For more information, please refer to UB’s March 17 memo “Information for Employees Regarding COVID-19.”

I encourage all non-essential employees working remotely to stay in regular contact with your supervisors and your co-workers via phone/Webex/Zoom/text, etc.  It is very important for us to stay connected as a community.  I know we all have a special appreciation for UB’s essential employees as they continue to support our students and University’s operations moving forward.  Please continue to monitor information on UB’s web site focused on COVID-19.  Thank you very much.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
120 Crofts Hall
Buffalo, NY  14260-7022
(716) 645-8155 (direct)
(607) 280-7752 (cell)

 

March 20: State Direct Deposit Advice and Live Paycheck Delivery Update

Good afternoon,

This message is for state employees – including student employees -- who receive direct deposit advices/stubs or ‘live’ paychecks. We ask that you please share this email with all state employees in your area who receive direct deposit advices/stubs or ‘live’ checks.

We have just learned that the Office of the New York State Comptroller (OSC) in Albany plans to mail direct deposit advices/stubs to the address on the advice, starting with the paycheck dated April 1, 2020. This is a new announcement from OSC since we previously shared that they will be sending live paychecks to the address on the paycheck, starting the week of March 23, 2020. We do not know how long they plan to do so at this time.

If you receive direct deposit advices or live paychecks, you should verify that the address on your advice or paycheck is correct by looking at a previous advice or pay stub. If the address is correct, no further action is needed. If the address is incorrect, please contact your payroll expert with the correct address information as soon as possible. State payroll experts include:

You can also sign up for direct deposit now which would avoid the risk of your branch bank not being open during this time. State employees keep in mind that as an added measure of security, all new enrollment requests (and requests for changes to direct deposit) need to include a copy of your official UB Card with your request form. If you are a new employee and do not have your ID card yet, your hiring department can attach your completed direct deposit form to the new employee hiring paperwork (ePTF). You can download the form and learn how to submit your completed paperwork on the form webpage.

We also highly recommend opting out of paper advices/pay stubs. OSC has implemented NYS Payroll Online, a service that allows you to view and update your employee payroll information and opt out of receiving paper pay stubs. It also gives you greater control in managing your tax withholdings. Log in through NYS Payroll Online. View step-by-step instructions and learn how you can go paperless.

Thank you,

Dana Moore
Manager, State Payroll and Appointment Processing
UB Human Resources

March 19 Message from President Tripathi: UB Community: Working Together in Support of Our Mission

Dear university community:

These are anxious times. With each passing day, we sense the increasing gravity of the unprecedented circumstances we face. We also recognize that, to overcome these challenges, our university community will need to work together, support one another and treat everyone we encounter with dignity, respect and compassion. And our students, faculty and staff are doing just that.

Across the disciplines, our faculty are innovating to ensure that our students meet their academic requirements, and that our research advances.  Across our enterprise, our staff are working with faculty and helping our students acclimate to a distance-learning environment. We are all adjusting to a new—albeit temporary—reality. That we continue to uphold our mission and vision of excellence under such trying circumstances is nothing short of inspiring.

On Monday, March 23rd, the University at Buffalo transitions to a distance-learning model. Admittedly, these are not ideal conditions. But, together, we are pressing forward. And I am so confident in each and every one of you. Thanks to your flexibility and creativity, our students will receive the exceptional education they deserve, our faculty will pursue their transformative research and scholarship, and our staff will excel in their professional pursuits. In this spirit of innovation, UB will continue to have a positive impact on the many communities we serve, near and far.

We all appreciate how challenging this has been—for UB, for our region, for our nation and for our world. But in times of adversity, our great university never fails to demonstrate great resourcefulness, resilience and character.

As always, we are here to support you in your academic, research, scholarly and professional endeavors.

With my heartfelt thanks and my best wishes for your health and well-being,

Satish K. Tripathi
President

March 18: University library services available virtually

Dear UB Colleagues,

As the University at Buffalo continues to carefully monitor the COVID-19 situation, please know that UB Libraries plan to continue our work and our staff will be available to you while working remotely.

We are working closely with university officials on the shared goal of lowering the number and proximity of people on campus and accordingly have adjusted the Libraries’ hours of operation. As a reminder, always check the Libraries website for the latest information about our hours and services as this unique situation continues to unfold.

The Libraries are committed to providing you with expert help and services under these special circumstances. Included below are the current hours of operation for all UB Libraries and essential information on how to access our many resources.

Thank you for your patience as we strive to provide the best level of service during this time.

Evviva Weinraub Lajoie
Vice Provost for University Libraries

Library Hours:

  • Oscar A. Silverman Library: 
    March 16-20, 2020, open Monday - Friday 9am-5pm
    Closed Saturday, March 21 and Sunday, March 22, 2020
    Beginning March 23, 2020, Silverman will be open Monday - Friday, 10am to 4pm
  • Beginning March 18, 2020, the following Libraries are closed until further notice:
    • Architecture & Planning Library (Abbott Hall)
    • Charles B. Sears Law Library
    • Health Sciences Library (Abbott Hall)
    • Libraries Annex
    • Lockwood Memorial Library
    • Music Library
    • Special Collections (University Archives, Poetry Collection, History of Medicine, Rare & Special Books)
  • Medical School Library: Beginning March 17, 2020 there will be no librarian staffing the library until further notice. The space remains open to authorized users only.

Remote Resources:

March 18 Message from the Provost: NYS DOH Guidance on COVID-19

General School COVID-19 Information

March 27 Update from Dean O'Donnell

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We have completed Week One of distance learning and all feedback indicates it has been a great success!  This week was also Week One with almost all SPPS faculty and staff working remotely all or most of the time. My sincere thanks for your diligent efforts and creative approaches in delivering high quality educational experiences to our students as well as the substantial efforts of those responsible for ensuring the continuity of our school-wide academic and research operations. I realize implementing these new initiatives meant many additional hours of work, which may have meant time missed with those you care about.  I truly appreciate your efforts and dedication to ensuring the success of the school.

It is difficult to predict how long the current situation will persist.  From what we have been able to accomplish in such a short time, I am certain that we will be able to see things through to a post-COVID-19 time. 

Please continue to check our Faculty/Staff COVID-19 information page for regular updates: http://pharmacy.buffalo.edu/information-for-faculty-staff/covid-19-information-fac-staff.html

I will continue to update you periodically, but please let me know if you have concerns or questions. 

Have a good weekend and stay safe and healthy.

James M. O’Donnell
Professor and Dean

March 27: Message from Kristin Gniazdowski: Campus Mail, Delivery and Operational Updates

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

I hope you are all well and adjusting to our new way of working.  Please find updated information below:

Campus Mail & UPS/FedEx Delivery:

  1. UB Campus Mail: New Process Beginning March 31, 2020
    1. UB Campus Mail will deliver all inbound and inter-campus mail once per week on Tuesdays until further notice. 
    2. This will be delivered to 243 Pharmacy Building.  This is a swipe card secured space; please bring your UB ID card for access.  
  2. UB Campus Mail: Outgoing Mail/Postage:
    1. Please place any interoffice and outgoing in the appropriate bin in 243 Pharmacy Building. 
      1. Please Note: Appropriate postage or campus mail service request form for metered mail must be affixed to outgoing mail; if postage/form is not affixed, mail will not be sent. 
    2. SPPS Pick Up Day: Once a week on Tuesdays.
  3. UPS and FedEx: 
    1. UPS/Fed Ex Delivery:
      1. Fed EX/UPS deliveries are the responsibility of the individual faculty or staff member who placed the order.
      2. If there is a planned delivery for an item already purchased, please make the appropriate arrangements to secure delivery.
      3. Fed EX/UPS personnel do not have access to 243 Pharmacy Building to leave packages.
      4. In the event delivery is missed in Pharmacy Building, signage will be placed on Parker Lot entry doors to direct Fed Ex and UPS to redirect undeliverable packages to Helm Warehouse. 
    2. Securing Deliveries at Helm Warehouse:
      1. Please track your shipments and call Helm Warehouse directly to verify your package is there and available for pickup. 
      2. Contact information for Helm Warehouse is below:
        Helm Warehouse (Central Receiving)
        Service Center Rd, UB North Campus
        (716) 645-5271
      3. Please bring your University ID for pick up. 
      4. At this time, Helm will not be delivering packages to departments.

Building/Suite Access:

  1. Single point of entry will continue via the Parker Lot doors.  All other building access points will be swipe card entry only. 
  2. All Suites on 1st and 2nd Floors will be closed with swipe access only effective Monday, March 30th.
  3. If anyone has instructed students/others to drop off forms, etc, please let them know the suites will not be accessible.

Reduced Building Staffing for Offices of Resource Management, Information Technology, Research Administration, and Facilities:

  1. Effective Monday, March 30th, staffing will transition to as needed basis only. All staff can be reached via e-mail, phone, and are available for meetings via Zoom or WebEx. 
  2. Information Technology:
    1. Please send all IT requests to pharm-repair@buffalo.edu.
    2. Urgent IT needs can be facilitated via a scheduled appointment, please e-mail: pharm-repair@buffalo.edu.
  3. Facilities Concerns: 
    1. For urgent facilities concerns, please contact University Facilities at 645-2025  
    2. For all other facilities concerns/requests, please e-mail Cindy Konovitz: cfk@buffalo.edu.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.

Take care,

Kristin Gniazdowski
Associate Dean for Resource Management
Chief Business Officer
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
162 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214
camp@buffalo.edu
716-645-2095
716-829-6091 (f)

March 21 Message from Kristin Gniazdowski: Important School Update

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I write to you to today to inform you that an SPPS employee has notified us that they are in contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. This SPPS member is now self-quarantining. Directly impacted individuals have been notified.

Based on N.Y. State Department of Health protocols, there is not any other action needed at this time by SPPS or UB. But, we do want to provide you with access to the Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) Frequently Asked Questions webpage for appropriate guidance:

http://www2.erie.gov/health/index.php?q=frequently-asked-questions-and-answers-about-covid-19-coronavirus as well as the ECDOH general COVID-19 website: http://www2.erie.gov/health/coronavirus

Your health and safety is of utmost importance to us.  We will continue to provide you with necessary updates.  We ask you to please review the ECDOH information above as well as both past and future guidance provided by the Governor and University leadership.

Please also continue to refer to the SPPS COVID-19 website for school specific information:  http://pharmacy.buffalo.edu/information-for-faculty-staff/covid-19-information-fac-staff.html

These are truly unprecedented events and we will get through this together. Stay well.

Regards,

Kristin Gniazdowski
Associate Dean for Resource Management
Chief Business Officer
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
162 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214
camp@buffalo.edu
716-645-2095
716-829-6091 (f)

March 20: Update from the Dean: COVID-19 WNY Community Spread

As we end the this week, I wanted to reach out to you to let you know, above all else, your health and safety is of utmost importance.  Susan Snyder, Director, UB Health Services, provided me with the current information below pertaining to our Western New York area and associated best public health practices. Please read and share pertinent information as needed.

I wish you and your families a restful weekend as we prepare for the launch of our distance education on Monday. Thank you for all you do.

James O’Donnell, PhD
Professor and Dean

“Western New York is now experiencing community spread of COVID-19.  This means that we have illness spreading from person to person.  Everyone should practice social distancing and good hygiene. Follow public health recommendations to avoid the spread of respiratory illnesses—namely, social distancing; avoiding close contact with sick individuals; frequent hand-washing lasting 20 seconds; covering your cough or sneezing into a tissue; cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched objects and surfaces; avoiding touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands; and going out only when necessary.

Erie County Department of Health has asked that all Western New York residents monitor their own health for symptoms of COVID-19.  If you develop symptoms, call your health care provider. Do not go to the office before calling - that will further spread the infection. Students who are not feeling well are encouraged to consult with their family physician or UB Student Health Services<https://www.buffalo.edu/studentlife/who-we-are/departments/health.html>, where the staff is prepared to answer questions and provide support. Individuals with questions related to local health department guidelines should call the Erie County Department of Health helpline at 716-858-2929.

Always follow the guidance from your local health department.  The local health department will conduct contact tracing.  If you are identified as a close contact of an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, a health department official will provide guidance on the precautions you should follow.  UB has published a bulletin explaining contact tracing at https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/bulletins.html

March 20: Important Building and Operations Update for SPPS Faculty and Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff,

I hope all are staying well and adjusting to their new alternate work locations. Please see the information below regarding important operational and building access updates for the offices of Resource Management; Research Administration, Information Technology, Facilities Operations beginning on Monday March 23, 2020:

Office of Resource Management:

The Office of Resource Management will be working remotely and general office hours will be observed. We will be available via phone, e-mail and meetings via teleconference, web ex and zoom. 

All operational items falling under this area will continue business as usual.

We will also maintain a building presence during the following days and times:

  • Tuesday – Rachel – hours of 10-3
  • Wednesday – Kristin –  hours of 10-3
  • Thursday – Rachel – hours 10-3

Michelle Grasso is working remotely and will also be stopping in at the office on an as needed basis. 

Office of Research Administration:

Diane Fisher is working remotely and can be reached dfisher3@buffalo.edu is available e-mail, and meetings via teleconference, web ex and zoom if needed.

Office of Information Technology:

The Office of Information Technology will be working remotely beginning Monday, March 23rd.  IT office will maintain a building presence on an as needed basis and will be available to assist with IT needs via a scheduled appointment.

  • ALL requests for IT support need to be sent to pharm-repair@buffalo.edu; please do not e-mail individual IT staff members directly
  • There is no ability to do home service for IT needs

Building and Operations:

  • Cindy Konovitz will be working remotely beginning Monday March 23rd.  She will be available via phone 645-3002, e-mail (cfk@buffalo.edu);   Cindy will maintain a building presence on Monday and Friday during the hours of 10-3.
  • If you have a facilities concern or need – please e-mail cfk@buffalo.edu
  • Beginning Monday March 23rd, access to Pharmacy building will be directed to a single point of entry at the Parker Lot doors.  Swipe entry to office suites and elevators will remain unlocked during normal business hours.

Campus Mail

  • Campus Mail is operating business as usual.
  • Beginning on Monday March 23rd, a swipe card access campus mail drop off location has been established in 243 Pharmacy Building.  Faculty/staff will need to use UB Card to access room.
  • Mail sort will still occur on daily basis.  Individual pieces of mail will not be triaged centrally. Departments will need to make accommodations for the triaging and sorting of their Departmental mail.
  • Only Campus Mail package delivery will be available in 243 Pharmacy Building. It is the responsibility of the individual/department to pick up their respective packages.

Fed Ex/UPS Deliveries

For previously purchased items, these Fed EX/UPS deliveries are the responsibility of the individual faculty or staff member who placed the order

If there is a planned delivery for an item already purchased, please make the appropriate arrangements to secure delivery.

For new purchases, please work with respective procurement contact to discuss delivery options (campus/home address).

Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

Regards,
Kristin Gniazdowski
Associate Dean for Resource Management
Chief Business Officer
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
162 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214
camp@buffalo.edu
716-645-2095
716-829-6091 (f)

March 13 Message from the Dean: Distance Learning and COVID-19 Update

Dear Faculty and Staff:

I wanted to update you on the recent COVID-19 announcements from UB and SUNY regarding initiation of distance learning and how the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is moving forward during the spring 2020 semester.

I have convened a COVID-19 Preparation and Response Committee to assist in implementing these new directives. The committee is moving quickly to identify means by which we can modify course delivery and assessment, with the goal of providing our students information by Thursday, March 19, 2020.  The committee is also providing strategic guidance regarding how we will support our day-to-day operations.

I want to reinforce that the current plan is that the campus will remain open and all normal business operations will continue.  The Pharmacy Building will remain open, all professional obligations of faculty and staff remain unaffected, and all campus offices will remain open to facilitate and support our work.  That said, please do not hesitate to contact your supervisor if you require an accommodation. 

Attached is Provost Weber’s March 11 announcement regarding our transition to these new distance-learning directives. His statements offer concise direction on many business and operational issues and I encourage you to review them.  We will share updated information with you as soon it becomes available.

I sincerely appreciate all you are doing to ensure the success of our students while dealing with your own stress and personal challenges.  I have been impressed with the creativity and flexibility with which all have responded to the present challenge.  Your continued help is appreciated as we work through these unprecedented events together. 

Sincerely,
James O’Donnell, PhD
Dean and Professor

March 11 Message from the Dean: Statement on Distance Learning Faculty and Staff

This is the only information available at this time regarding UB’s move to distance learning.  https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/bulletins.html

It is important to note that the university and school are not closing.  Also, over the next several days, we will determine how best to deliver instruction that is not amenable to remote learning, such as labs and skills teaching.

We anticipate that experiential education will continue in an uninterrupted manner.

I appreciate your patience.

James M O’Donnell, PhD
Dean and Professor
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
The State University of New York
285 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214-8033
jod@buffalo.edu

Guidance on Temporary Work Assignments/Telecommuting

April 6: UB Wi-Fi access expanded into Furnas, Parker and Greiner parking lots

To help support UB students and employees without adequate internet connections at home to practice social distancing, two student lots and one faculty/staff lot now have access to fast, secure UB Wi-Fi.

In a recent survey of approximately 2,800 UB students, nearly 15% indicated that their internet at home is not adequate for completing school work remotely. This Wi-Fi expansion is intended as another option for members of the UB community without access to high-quality internet, in addition to free internet and wireless hotspot offers from internet providers.

March 20: Message on Connecting to HUB Remotely

Attached is documentation on how you can access HUB remotely.  There are 3 different scenarios – using a UB owned laptop and RSA, using a UB owned laptop and DUO, and using your own personal computer and DUO.  

If you have any questions or issues connecting please email hubmail@buffalo.edu and we will respond to you in as timely a fashion as we can. 

March 20 Message from Chief Information Officer: Zoom video conferencing now available at UB

Dear UB students, faculty and staff,

At the request of many UB community members, I am excited to announce that UBIT has added Zoom to our portfolio of supported video and audio conferencing tools.

Zoom was selected for its simplicity and reliability, not to mention consistency across devices for a seamless user experience.

Zoom provides remote conferencing services using cloud computing. It offers communications software that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration. Zoom is easy to use, and I hope you’ll find it very effective for hosting office hours, meetings or group assignments.

To learn more and get started using Zoom, visit buffalo.edu/ubit/zoom

UBIT will continue to provide full support for Webex’s conferencing and collaboration tools. Please do not feel obligated to switch to Zoom if you are already comfortable with Webex’s features and functionality.    

Zoom is now integrated for use within UB Learns. We’ll email you next week regarding Zoom training to ensure you are comfortable using the platform.

If you have any questions about Zoom, please contact the UBIT Help Center (buffalo.edu/ubit/help) at 716-645-3542.

Regards, 

J. Brice Bible 
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

March 19: Online Meetings with Fortinet VPN and Zoom

Dear faculty and staff for those that would like to use for online meetings,

I have included (below) a great getting started guide created by the folks at the medical school. Again please use whichever platform you are most comfortable using. Below you will also find UB’s zoom information page located at:

http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit/zoom

The university has started to deploy a secondary vpn to alleviate capacity issues with the Cisco AnyConnect client. It is called the Fortinet VPN, we have begun to install it on any windows 10 laptop that has been connected to the UB network. OSX users you will need to install and configure the software manually.  Some of you have already noticed it on your desktop.  Both vpn clients can be installed at the same time but only one can be running. The instructions and client downloads for the Fortinet client are at the following location:

http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit/service-guides/connecting/vpn/computer.html

Please be aware that you will need DUO verify the connection.   As a note it is not necessary to be continually connected to either VPN to check email, use WebEx, use Zoom, or record with Ponopto. For those windows users that need the new Fortinet client and it has not been deployed we will need to schedule a quick remote installation so that I can deploy the software.  

Adalberto De La Rosa
Director of Information Technology
School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences University at Buffalo
156 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214-8033
Tel: 716-645-2259
Fax: 716-645-3688

March 18: Research Foundation Employee COVID and Telecommuting FAQs.

March 17 Message from Kristin Gniazdowski: SPPS Guidance: Facilitating Temporary Alternate Work Assignments and Scheduling Form

Dear Faculty and Staff,

As a follow up to Mark Coldren’s, March 17 e-mail below, SPPS is supportive of establishing emergency alternate work locations allowing employees to telecommute. This provides employees with flexibility for unique situations and to allow for decreased campus density. 

To assist with this, the school has developed a scheduling form to identify those requiring an alternate work location.  The SPPSD form is noted below and then process is as follows:

  1. Employee will complete
  2. Form will be sent to the employee’s supervisor for review and approval
  3. Employees will then receive confirmation of alternate work location approval Office of Resource Management

We request all employees complete this form as soon as possible.  After receipt of your form, please know it may take up to 24 hours to receive a response.  If you had previously submitted a PDF form to your supervisor, we ask that you please complete the form at the link provided and resubmit.

Alternate Work Arrangement Form: https://pharmacy.buffalo.edu/information-for-faculty-staff/faculty-portal-pw/request-for-alternate-work-arrangement.html

(please note: this form replaces the form noted below in the Coldren email)

As stated above, this process will help us identify employees, work with supervisors to obtain approval and document these arrangements for University Human Resources as an auditable record of employee work as required per SUNY guidelines. These directives may be updated by UB Human Resources and we will be working with them closely regarding future direction.

IT Guidelines

Please note that alternate work locations must comply with University IT Security Guidelines.  Requirements can be found here: http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit/policies/guidance-documents/desktops-laptops-mobile.html. If you have questions regarding these requirements or are in need of technology support, please send an e-mail message to:  pharm-repair@buffalo.edu.  SPPS Information Technology Office will assist where able however please note there is a very limited supply of equipment for loan.

We will update all faculty and staff as more information becomes available.

If you have any questions, please contact Rachel Poole (repoole@buffalo.edu) or I (camp@buffalo.edu).

Regards,
Kristin Gniazdowski
Associate Dean for Resource Management
Chief Business Officer
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
162 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214
camp@buffalo.edu
716-645-2095
716-829-6091 (f)

March 17 Message from UB Human Resources: UB Guidance and Facilitating Temporary Alternate Work Assignments

In this continuing evolving situation, UB is taking proactive and prudent measures to ensure the health and safety of the UB community in accordance with the guidance provided by Federal and State governments, including the SUNY Chancellor, SUNY Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Erie County Department of Health. It is important that you review UB’s COVID-19 website to receive the latest information and guidance from the University (https://www.buffalo.edu/coronavirus/).

While we understand that the novel coronavirus is creating anxiety and uncertainty, we must follow university policies and practices regarding health and safety issues including the approval of alternate work locations.

University Guidance

  1. Students, faculty and staff are cautioned against making judgments regarding a fellow student or colleague’s health. If you see someone who is clearly ill, encourage them to contact their health care provider or UB’s Student Health Services.
  2. Faculty and staff who are not feeling well are asked to stay home and consult their health care provider as needed. Please notify your supervisor that you will be absent.
  3. If faculty or staff are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, such as fever, cough and/or shortness of breath, contact your health care provider. Be sure to call ahead and tell your provider about any travel and symptoms you are experiencing. Faculty or staff must notify their supervisor and then Mark Coldren, associate vice president for human resources, at (716) 645-8155 or mcoldren@buffalo.edu to ensure that the University takes appropriate preventive actions. 
  4. In the event that the Erie County Health Department determines an employee meets the criteria for possible infection, local and state health authorities will work with the university to determine appropriate steps. Information about an individual’s medical condition is confidential, and should be disclosed only to HR, supervisors, medical and safety personnel and others with a need to know.
  5. If you voluntarily disclose that you have a specific medical condition or disability that puts you at increased risk for COVID-19, or that you are living with someone with such a condition or disability, the department will keep this information confidential.  Your supervisor will consult with their unit HR manager to determine the type of assistance that will be needed to mitigate your risk. The appropriate response will depend upon your job duties, responsibilities, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Temporary Alternate Work Assignments

By direction from the NYS Governor’s office, effective March 17, 2020 and until further notice, all non-essential SUNY employees shall be assigned to perform their work-related duties and responsibilities from alternate work locations, via telecommuting. This telecommuting assignment is part of a telecommuting pilot program, recently negotiated by New York State and the CSEA, PEF and UUP labor organizations.  Both the telecommuting assignment and the telecommuting program apply to all SUNY employees, including M/C designated employees.

The Essential employee designation includes those employees whose worksite presence is necessary to the continued operation of the University, who are integrally involved in the COVID-19 response effort, or those who must be present at the workplace in order to carry out their work-related duties and responsibilities.  Non-essential status may change at the discretion of management; accordingly, employees should contact their supervisor daily to confirm their status.  As the operational needs of the COVID-19 response change, management may modify specific job functions and/or work locations.

All telecommuters will be required to submit a work plan that includes hours worked and work completed. Employees must treat a telecommuting day as a regular workday in which the employee must maintain a regular work routine. More information about this policy as well as necessary forms will be provided as soon as possible.  Employees will be required to complete the UB Temporary Alternate Work Assignment form (attached to this email).**  Completed forms will require unit leadership signatures and then should be submitted to the Office of Human Resources.  If you have any questions, please contact Mark Coldren at mcoldren@buffalo.edu, or 645-8155, or the HR Service Center at 645-7777. Thank you.

Mark Coldren
Associate Vice President, Human Resources
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
120 Crofts Hall
Buffalo, NY  14260-7022
(716) 645-8155 (direct)
(607) 280-7752 (cell)

**SPPS Faculty and Staff: Please do not use the UB HR form, use this online form sent from Kristin Gniazdowski.

Guidance on Students, Exams and Advising

April 27: Top Student Concerns About Distance Learning

I am attaching an infographic that was put together by the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI).

It shows the top concerns that students are reporting with distance learning across disciplines. Many of the concerns listed have come up in the class Zoom calls with the PharmD students.

Please take a look at it and consider printing it as a reminder of what students are concerned about at this time.

Jaime Maerten-Rivera, Ph.D.
Director of Assessment

April 8: Mid-term check-in

Dear Faculty Advisors,

Thank you for your continued participation in advising and providing assistance to students virtually. Mid-term grading for our students is complete. Advisors can view mid-semester grades in EAB for each student (under the “Class Info” tab) and discuss student academic progress. As a reminder, please use EAB for documenting meetings. It may also be helpful to update your availability in the system for students to make appointments with you. Also, be sure to discuss their CPD plan.

It is the student’s responsibility to reach out to their advisor, but please let them know you are here for them. Students may need tips for bringing up their grades or referrals to university resources. Please refer to the Faculty Advising Resources, located on the Information for Faculty and Staff webpage (login > Faculty Advising Resources > Academic Resources).

Virtual Advising - for Advisors

If students are in serious academic trouble due to extenuating circumstances or if there is a situation of concern, contact Professor Karl Fiebelkorn.

Thank you,
SPPS Advising

March 31: Message sent to students about ExamSoft issues and troubleshooting

We have had 2 online exams using ExamSoft. We would like to bring attention to an issue.

You may receive a message at the beginning stating that you need a code to resume. If you receive this message, Examplify is having difficulty detecting your camera and/or microphone.You can troubleshoot this on your own by following these steps:

  1. You can troubleshoot this on your own by following these steps:
    1. Restart your computer. Make sure that your camera is not covered and that you are in a well-lit area. Also, when you open Examplify, be sure that you face is visible in the area captured by the camera.
    2. The link below provides additional steps to follow if the camera is not being detected. These steps are different for Windows and Mac computers.
      https://examsoft.force.com/emcommunity/s/topic/0TO2J000000A3feWAC/cameramicrophone-rights-examid?tabset-83ab6=2
  2. If these steps do not work and you need to contact someone at UB for support, please use the numbers that the instructor provided to you. Please keep calling the numbers on the list until you are able to reach someone. We are unable to check voicemails so do not leave a message.

Thank you for your patience as we navigate this new system.

Jaime Maerten-Rivera, Ph.D.
Director of Assessment

March 30: Important Procedures and Documents on the Use of ExamSoft Secured Exams (ExamID and ExamMonitor)

I am attaching two documents related to ExamSoft online exams.

  1. The form Exam Information for Students should be filled out with the appropriate course and exam name and the individuals who will provide proctor/support for the exam. Please note that Jaime Maerten-Rivera, Jean Costanzo, and Kelly Sustakoski are pre-filled. We are available to support, but please confirm by sending the date/time of the exam to us ahead of time. Also, please stress to the students that they should not leave a voicemail but should continue to call if they have issues until someone is able to answer the phone.
  2. The Online Proctor Information provides information for the course coordinator/proctors regarding forwarding office phones, basic troubleshooting, and ExamSoft Support contact information.

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Jaime

March 27: EAB Updates: Functionality and COVID-19 Resources

Colleagues,

In light of recent events, we have been busy updating the system and EAB has been adding functionality in an effort to support the current situation that colleges and universities are finding themselves.

A few updates;

  • Availability now has the ability to include a URL or phone number.
  • UB’s time zone is now displayed throughout the system, particularly highlighted in scheduling areas, so that students across the country have a clear understanding of the time their appointment is for.
  • Text message reminders will be turned on for 30 minutes prior to the appointment. When we are able to return “back to normal”, this will be adjusted to 1 hour.
    • Students have the option to “opt out” of receiving these by replying “STOP”.
    • If students do not have a cell phone in the system, it will go to their UB email address.
  • Adjustments have been made to remove the physical address from our EAB locations in order to encourage virtual connections.
  • Additionally, “online”, “phone” or “virtual” has been added to appointment reasons throughout the system so that it is clear to students when selecting appointments that these will be remote/distance appointments.
    • The language used is dependent on how each office is communicating with their student(s).
  • A new folder has been created in the UB Box folder called “A New Virtual Environment” where I’ve been collecting information from EAB and sharing tutorials we’ve developed.
  • The student mobile app, Navigate, is still moving forward.
    • In an effort to simplify everyone’s experience with EAB – we will slowly be moving toward calling the Student Success Portal/SSC/SSC Campus à Navigate.
    • You can use navigate@buffalo.edu in place of sscsupport@buffalo.edu.

Additionally, EAB has an entire area in the Help Center dedicated to COVID-19 resources (linked). Log into EAB first before clicking the link.

Thank you, Jessica Julicher

March 25: Faculty Advisor Availability – Updated for Remote Advising

Dear Faculty Advisors,

As a follow-up, the Dean has asked faculty advisors to please prioritize spring faculty/student advising appointments remotely and to inquire about student health and well-being by offering a face to face connection.

Here are guiding questions:

  • What will you do if you feel sick?
  • What do you like about your online class? What are you struggling with?
  • What are you worried about?
  • Given these new circumstances, have you been finding that you are not able to concentrate on your studies?

Review UB Counseling Services information here: https://www.buffalo.edu/studentlife/who-we-are/departments/counseling/covid-19.html

Please add instructions for advisees to connect with you. Login to EAB.

Login: https://buffalo.campus.eab.com

  1. Add Special Instructions.
    1. Click on Availabilities
    2. Click Edit
    3. Enter Special Instructions for Students. Go ahead and insert your Personal Meeting ID, Skype ID, your personal Webex room URL…). There is now a line for adding a URL. See also: Using Virtual Tools with EAB Appointments. You may also include a personal note of encouragement during this stressful time.
  2. Message Students - let students know you’ve updated your availability/instructions.
    1. Click on the Upcoming Appointments tab
    2. Checkmark the students
    3. Select Actions > Send Message
  3. Document Meeting.

See Faculty Portal including Instructions for Completing Appointment Report.

Your time is appreciated.  Let us know if you have questions.

Thanks,
Christine

March 25: Important Procedures and Documents on the Use of ExamSoft Secured Exams (ExamID and ExamMonitor)

I am attaching two (2) documents to this e-mail pertaining to ExamSoft Secured Exams:

1. UB Student Information for ExamSoft Secured (ExamID and ExamMonitor) Exam:

  • This document was e-mailed to all students through the listservs.
  • It should also be reviewed by faculty administering an ExamSoft Secured Exam and posted on UB Learns for any course administering this type of exam.

2. UB Instructor Steps to Follow for ExamSoft Secured Exam:

  • Instructors should read over these steps
  • Please contact me about 1 week prior to your exam so that we can set up a proctor/support plan for your online exam

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me. I appreciate your flexibility and patience as we move to an online testing environment. 

Jaime Maerten-Rivera, Ph.D.

March 23: Accessibility Resources/Accomodations

March 23 Message from Christine Stumm: Syllabi, Course Capture and Remaining Exams

Dear Faculty,

I’ve compiled some information on this Google Docs spreadsheet. Please review and make additional changes or email me. Please notify your students directly with any changes on instructions – the best method is through UBLearns (Announcements).

This information will also be retained on the COVID-19 Information for Faculty and Staff webpage.

  • Classroom recording (lecture in an empty room)
    • Faculty are permitted to come to UB and record in the classrooms. Any changes, please contact me and I will submit the request.
    • You may edit the classroom recording (or create a video) using Panopto.
    • You and the students can access it on UBLearns (on the left: “Classroom Recordings”). If you cannot see it, try using a different web browser.
  • Instructions for checking your classroom recording status:
  1. Sign in to Panopto
  2. Click Browse and search for the course folder (you can enter “PHM530” and see the current folder, and any existing past folders).
  3. Open the current folder
  4. Click the box next to Show scheduled recordings
  5. Hover over a recording and click the Settings button

If Webcast = Yes, then you know the session will be a live stream as well as recording.  If Webcast = No, then it will not be live streamed.

Thanks,
Christine

March 22: Distance Learning Resources from AccessPharmacy

March 19: Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

MEMORANDUM

To:    Chief Academic Officers, Campus Disability Services Officers, Campus EIT Officers
From:    Tod A. Laursen, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor
Subject:    Guidance and Resources for Students with Disabilities

As you work on your academic continuity plans, I am writing today regarding accommodations for students with disabilities; a population which may increase in size given transitions to online or remote instruction, increasing numbers of students with health challenges, etc.

I know you are aware that the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the NYS Human Rights Law still apply. Our responsibilities to provide individual academic adjustments or modifications remain unchanged. Nazely Kurkjian, System Coordinator of Disability, Diversity, and Nontraditional Student Services has worked in cooperation with the Office of General Counsel, to prepare the following guidance and resources. Note that in addition to the information below, there will be a related webinar (repeated over two days) as part of the SUNY Remote Teaching Clinic (link), found under the Technical Training Tab, called Planning for Digital Accessibility in Remote Teaching, March 19 and 24.

  • Institutions may see an increase in accommodation requests overall, particularly chronic health and mental health (link) disability accommodation requests. People with serious chronic health conditions (link) are at a higher risk of getting sick from COVID-19.  Maximum flexibility for campus community members with immunocompromised disabilities students is strongly encouraged.
  • Students who utilize assistive technologies (e.g., text-to-speech software) may only have access to these technologies at the physical campus. Therefore, campuses may need to consider how those students can use such assistive technology remotely. There may be alternative software or other technologies available on the student’s home device to provide equivalent access but this will require dedicated conversations to assess.
  • Transitioning to online or other forms of remote instruction may change the accommodation plans for students with disabilities. Some accommodations faculty used before may no longer apply, and some accommodations not considered previously may need to be considered now.

While students are not required to disclose their disability to the institution, students should be provided contact information for your campus Accessibility/Disability Services office and offered the opportunity to update their accommodation plan as needed. To that end, students may have difficulty obtaining documentation from secondary institutions and/or medical providers at this time. As such, campuses are encouraged create mechanisms to permit students to receive accommodations when documentation of the disability is not readily available. Offices should also permit students to send pictures of their documentation. Ultimately, these offices can conduct the interactive process with students through teleconferencing solutions.

As you explore different types of distance/remote technologies, please consider the following:

Teleconferencing/Lecture Capturing Technologies

Not all teleconferencing software is accessible to individuals with disabilities. To make sure students can fully engage in the online learning environment:

  • Identify the accessibility barriers for the product of your choosing and limit interactions of inaccessible features;
  • Provide accessibility features and resources to enable using the product independently;
  • Establish responsibility for quickly addressing equal access needs, such as closed or live captioning. Consider using Microsoft Office PowerPoint with the Presentation Translator Plug-in (link), or Google Slides with live captions (link); and
  • As screen sharing occurs, audio description (link) is needed to provide the important visual content to people who are blind or visually impaired.

Additional third party or open-source digital learning technologies used to facilitate instruction, such as polling software, must also be evaluated for accessibility. If the required technology is inaccessible to users with disabilities, work closely with your campus disability services office to create equally effective access for the known barriers.

Digital Content

As various types of content are uploaded to the Learning Management Systems (LMS), establish a plan to prioritize making course materials and related technologies accessible to all learners. It is recommended to use the following hierarchy:

  • Content for registered students with disabilities;
  • Large enrollment courses; and
  • Required courses.

There are numerous free or campus-sponsored tools to enhance the inclusiveness of the course. Here are some basic universal design tips:

  • If you post a PDF, make sure it is searchable text and not just an image;
  • If you post a PowerPoint (link) presentation, use larger size fonts and high-contrast color schemes.  Avoid the use of color or animation to convey information;
  • If you post a video, check and see if it has intelligible captions. At minimum, use automatic caption features (e.g., YouTube (link)) and improve accuracy as needed;
  • If you post audio, also share a written transcript. The Google Docs Voice Typing feature (link) creates a transcript for you;
  • If you post photographs, graphs or other media, add alternative text (link) to describe the image and its context;
  • If you are a campus that uses accessibility tools in your LMS, leverage them; and
  • If you use a new technology for engagement/discussion, check with your campus disability services office to be sure all your students can use it.

Online Exams/Quizzes

For courses moved online, the process for scheduling and delivering exams and quizzes may change. As campuses plan to deliver exams online, ensure that assistive technologies (e.g., screen reader, text-to-speech) are not blocked from taking exams remotely. While proctoring/testing systems allow for exam security, they may pose barriers to students with disabilities.

To extend time on exams and quizzes, most, if not all, LMS have built-in features to accomplish this. However, you may need to extend the time manually for the individual student for each exam and quiz.

  • New! Ally software (link) is an accessibility tool for courses that provides faculty with user-friendly feedback on the accessibility of their content. Ally is now available to all campuses at no cost through June 30th of this year; your campus Chief Information Officer has been sent the Participating Institution Agreement (PIA) to setup Ally.
  • SUNY’s Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility guidance and free, unlimited user access to self-paced online accessibility training through Deque University may accessed by logging into SUNY Blue. Visit blue.suny.edu (link) and enter your campus credentials. Navigate to Enterprise Projects > SUNY EIT Accessibility. If your campus does not have a Deque University administrator, contact your campus EIT Accessibility Officer.
  • Check out 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course (PDF) (link).
  • For individuals who have a chronic illness, please feel free to share this resource to speak with others who understand this time of heightened stress: Beyond My Battle Support Group (link).

Questions should be directed to Nazely Kurkjian at: Nazely.Kurkjian@suny.edu. Please share this and notice of the related Remote Teaching Clinic (link) with all faculty and relevant staff.

March 18 Detailed Information: UB Academic Resources and Directions to Meet Course Access Deadlines and Post Spring Break Deadlines

Dear UB Faculty:

As our university transitions to a primarily distance learning format for the remainder of the semester starting on March 23, all of you have been making an enormous effort to undertake training, move your courses online, and respond to student concerns. We very much appreciate your dedication to continuing to deliver high quality education to all of our students.

In support of your efforts, we are writing to share important dates, guidelines and information about campus resources that are available to you.

  • Course Access Communication by 3/19
    All instructors are required to notify students by Thursday, March 19 regarding how to access course content remotely and how any campus-based requirements will be addressed for the remainder of the spring semester.

Final grades should not be assigned based solely upon work done to date.  Similarly, instructors are cautioned against granting Incomplete grades as an alternative to providing the remainder of their course content through alternate methods this semester. 

  • Revised Syllabi Distributed Week of 3/23
    As courses move to remote delivery, syllabi are likely to change, though learning outcomes should remain the same. Instructors are responsible for providing all students with revised syllabi with clear class expectations and instructions for how the stated learning outcomes will continue to be met.  Please consider starting a UB Learns section for this and other course communications so that they are easy for students to locate among their many emails. The frequency of communication is unknown in an emergency; UB Learns will provide continuity for your students.
  • Synchronous / Asynchronous Classes
    It is strongly recommended that course content be delivered asynchronously. To minimize potential conflicts for students, course content that is delivered synchronously should maintain the current course schedule. However, you should be flexible and not penalize students who cannot participate due to time zone differences, poor internet access, or similar factors.
  • Classroom spaces available for recording

UB’s classrooms are still available to use for recording your class. Consider using the classroom you were already scheduled to use during your regular class time to record your lecture. Find out if your classroom has Panopto for recording.  

Panopto can also be used to record and caption lectures on your personal device. Learn more through videos and instructions at buffalo.edu/ubit/panopto.

If the classroom or other space does not have a camera, UBIT has a limited number of web cameras available on loan. Stop by Baldy 200f between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to check one out if available.

Faculty who need to request a centrally scheduled classroom to record lectures may utilize the UB Space Request System (log on using your UBIT credentials minus the @buffalo.edu; e.g., jsmith). Customer guides are located on the left hand side.

If you have difficulty accessing the system, email ubspacerequest@buffalo.edu for assistance.  Reservations should be submitted as far in advance as possible, as the system will not allow reservations to be made less than 24 hours in advance. If it is less than 24 hours in advance, please email ubsched@buffalo.edu and requests will be handled on a first come first served basis. Please be advised UBIT support may not be available at all times requested.

  • Conferencing Tools for Remote Office Hours and Meetings – Webex and Zoom

To facilitate holding remote office hours and meetings, we suggest trying Webex or Zoom. At the request of many UB faculty, UBIT has acquired an enterprise license for Zoom. Within the next few days, it will be accessible using UBITName credentials and protected by Duo two-step verification. We will send you an update at that time.

UBIT will continue to provide full support for Webex’s conferencing and collaboration tools. If you are already comfortable with Webex’s features and functionality, please continue to use it.

  • Grading and Assessing Students

There are many available options for remote testing, but please remember that changes to assignments, testing formats, and grading policies should be noted in an updated syllabus and shared with students. Faculty who wish to utilize fee-for-service tools (such as Proctor U) that have not been approved through the university fee approval process must also provide a no-cost alternative method to all students.

Some options for remote testing require students to use web cameras for exam proctoring. Instructors should be prepared to accommodate students who do not have access to web cameras.

Further resources for grading and assessing students can be found at Grading and Assessing Students in Virtual Environments

  • Online Instructor Training (CEI and UBIT)

The Center for Educational Innovation is partnering with UBIT and University Libraries in offering digital Emergency Online Course Building Sessions. Please register here to participate in this online format.

In addition, recorded trainings on how to transition your course online are available on the Center for Educational Innovation’s website. You can also find a recording of UBIT’s recent Panopto training session at buffalo.edu/ubit/panopto.

Resources on teaching beyond the classroom can be found on CEI’s website at http://www.buffalo.edu/ubcei/teachingbeyond.html. You can also contact your departmental IT support for assistance.

 

  • Request Assistance with Technology or Software

For assistance with UB Learns (Blackboard) or transitioning your course online, contact the Center for Educational Innovation.

For assistance with technology tools, such as Webex or Panopto, contact the UBIT Help Center. Please take note of the new support hours. 

For assistance with your UB-owned devices, please contact your departmental IT support.

We will send further guidance as more information becomes available.  In the interim, if you have additional questions related to your course delivery, please reach out to the Undergraduate or Graduate Associate Dean in your school or college.  Academic Affairs is holding regular discussions with the Associate Deans to address concerns as they arise.

Please know that Academic Affairs, Faculty Affairs and UBIT care deeply about your needs and are working very hard to address them during what we hope will be a short-term disruption to university operations. Working together, we will get through this challenging time.

Sincerely,

J. Brice Bible
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

Bob Granfield
Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs

Graham Hammill
Vice Provost for Academic Affairs

March 18: Implications for Students

Dear All,

Thank you for your gracious and collegial flexibility in meeting current challenges posed by these uncertain times. 

As we push to go online, there are some concerns to be mindful of.  Some of these points have been raised during conference call discussions among the Associate Deans (Undergrad and Grad).

  • Some off campus students may have limited access to high speed internet.  Some may be in a rural home (with DSL access).  Some may be in a multiple person family, where the parent(s) and other siblings need to work online.  Family members may be sharing computers, laptops and ipads.
  • Degradation in internet speeds may occur at “prime times”.  (My retired husband has noticed this in our area.)
  • Some students are quite anxious about their courses and other life stressors.
  • Financial stresses may be anxiety provoking for students.  Parent(s) may be unexpectedly furloughed.  Ditto for working students.
  • Health stresses (physical, mental, emotional)  -  Student may have relatives / friends become ill ( and may not survive).
  • Students may have additional family responsibilities while living at home (child care duties, assisting siblings with home schooling, etc).
  • Many students have gone home.  Home, in some cases, means that they are in a *different time zone*.
  • UB will still maintain dormitories and student services for students who cannot return home.  The university is encouraging students to not return to the campuses.  (Yes, there are discussions about refunding dorm costs … The university is figuring out what is / is not “refundable”.  I only have passing knowledge of these plans.)
  • At the *undergrad* level, there is discussion of possibly moving to an S/U grading system.  (S = C or better; U=C- or worse).  Neither S or U impacts GPA.  If students elect an S/U option, they could “recover” their grade if needed for grad school, etc.  Instructors would submit the earned letter grade (A-F), and the system would convert it to S/U.

I will update as more information becomes available.  We are living in rapidly and highly dynamic times.

Be safe. Be well.

Kathleen MK Boje, RPh, PhD
Associate Dean, Academic Affairs|Associate Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences
283 Pharmacy Building, Buffalo, NY 14214-8033
UB Phone: (716)645-4829 | Fax: (716)829-6568
boje@buffalo.edu

March 17: Information for Use of Exam ID and Exam Monitor in ExamSoft

We are in the process of preparing ExamSoft to be used with Exam ID and Exam Monitor for online exams. In addition to faculty learning how to use these tools, students will need to set up their computers and complete a mock exam before being able to take an exam. Our plan is to provide students with the information and guidance to set this up during the week of March 23-27. Therefore, exams using Exam ID and Exam Monitor will need to be rescheduled beginning on March 30. The exam schedule for the semester is attached for you to consider as you reschedule exams. Please update Christine Stumm (crm23@buffalo.edu) if you change the date of an exam so she can update the schedule.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Jaime

March 17: Exam Rescheduling

Here is a Google Doc for course coordinators to update so that everyone is aware of the new dates as they become available. Please make a note in column A to indicate you've made a change (or acknowledge no change).

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mvCl-P66fLKLw5TV86CDquYqEdix_xTsKYF5v7Z1Tco/edit?usp=sharing

March 16: Faculty Advising Availability

Students may complete their advising requirement remotely (via phone, Webex*, Skype or even Messenger or FaceTime). I have added the Location to your availability: Pharmacy Virtual Meeting. Please make any other adjustments to your availability. Login to the EAB Student Success Portal

Availability:

Please note that the system will not allow students to schedule a meeting during a time they are registered for a class. Refer to block schedules found on the Faculty and Student Portals (attached for your convenience).

Add “Special Instructions for Student,” including how to reach you at their scheduled time. Example: “Once you make an appointment, I'll reply with an email that has a link to a Webex personal conference room. We'll be able to chat and share documents in that space. Please enable your web cam and mic for this meeting. Also, please email me your Spring CPD plan update and your grades to date.”

Document:

  1. From your Staff Home page, click on the Upcoming Appointments tab.
  2. Select the check box of the student(s) you met with (you can do a mass update).  
  3. Click Actions and select Add Appointment Summary. An Appointment Report box will display.
  4. Fill out the Appointment Report. See Instructions for Completing the Appointment Report
  1. From your Staff Home page, use the Quick Search at the top right of the page by clicking on the magnifying glass.
  2. Enter the student’s name, person number or UBITName and click on the student. The student’s profile will display.
  3. To the right, under the Staff Alerts area click on Report on Appointment.
    - If you Report on Appointment and it was a drop-in, a meeting will be added to your Outlook calendar. You can disregard that. The student does NOT get notified.
  4. Fill out the Appointment Report. 

If you need assistance, please let me know. I will notify the students.

Thanks,
Christine
crm23@buffalo.edu

*If you have Webex meetings installed and integrated into your Outlook, when you open up a requested advisor appointment, you have the option to click on the “Add Webex Meeting”.  This will then create a Webex meeting and should send the link to Webex back to the student.

For more information on WebEx, see: http://www.buffalo.edu/ubit/service-guides/conference/webex.html

Online Teaching/Conferencing Resources

April 2: Important Zoom changes: default settings for passwords and screen sharing

Dear UB students, faculty and staff,

Based on feedback from educators and members of the UB community, the default settings on your UB Zoom account are changing effective today, April 2, 2020. These changes are designed to improve the experience and security of hosting meetings and classes using Zoom.

  • New: Passwords required by default for participants joining all new UB Zoom meetings

By default, scheduled and Personal Zoom room meetings are assigned a random password. To edit this password, follow the instructions on the Zoom support pages.

Meetings that were scheduled prior to today may not require a password.  We encourage you to resend future Zoom meetings to include this password.

  • New: Only hosts can share their screen by default

When you schedule and host meetings, your participants will not be able to share their screens until you give them permission to do so as host. Visit the UBIT website for step-by-step instructions on managing your meetings’ screen sharing settings.

  • Strongly encouraged: faculty/instructors initiate all course/class Zoom invitations from within UB Learns, not via separate email invitation
  • Security reminder: Don’t click untrusted links in the chat window

As with emails you receive, avoid clicking links in the chat window unless you know explicitly what they are and who is providing them. Malicious links could lead to your device or account being compromised and personal information stolen.

For more security tips when using Zoom, visit buffalo.edu/ubit/services/zoom/security.html

Get help with Zoom at UB

For more information on using your UB Zoom account to host and participate in online meetings, visit buffalo.edu/ubit/zoom.

Zoom offers 24/7 support by phone at 1-888-799-8854, or email support@zoom.us.

Regards,

J. Brice Bible
Vice President and Chief Information Officer

March 31: Maintaining Academic Integrity in Remote Learning

Academic integrity is among the most important values here at UB. How to maintain academic integrity in a remote learning environment is one of the most significant challenges we currently face.

There are a number of technological solutions that the university provides through Blackboard. LockDown Browser prevents students from accessing material on their device as they are taking an exam. Respondus Monitor expands the capabilities of Lockdown Browser by allowing instructors to proctor exams through students’ webcams. For more information, see the UBIT Respondus Assessment Tools webpage, and “Preparing an Exam for Use with Respondus Monitor and Lockdown Browser,” available on YouTube. Some schools and departments provide instructors with unique platforms that proctor exams with the assistance of artificial intelligence.

While helpful in many circumstances, these options have limitations. More importantly, they will not work for students who do not have access to web cams and other technology. UB and our partners do offer a variety of technology resources for students:

For students who are unable to fulfill their technology needs using these resources, instructors are responsible for providing alternatives for evaluating student learning that are fair and that ensure that students are being held accountable to the principles of academic integrity. Instructors are cautioned against granting these students Incomplete grades rather than exploring alternative methods for evaluating student learning.

Best practices in course design include developing exams where cheating is not possible, for example, exams that are open book, project based, or rely on applied learning. The Office of Academic Integrity has resources and tips for instructors on its Academic Integrity and COVID-19 for Faculty and Staff webpage.

Over the next three weeks, the Office of Academic Integrity and the Office of Educational Effectiveness, in partnership with the Center for Educational Innovation, will offer workshops for instructors to develop alternative exams and engage in other strategies that minimize the potential for academic dishonesty in remote learning. Topics include “Student learning and Assessment in Virtual Environments – Strategies and Methods” (March 31) and “Maintaining Academic Integrity in the Online Environment” (April 2), among others. All instructors are invited to participate, both to learn from others and share their expertise.

Thanks to all of you for your continuing efforts to assure that our students receive a high-quality education in a remote learning environment. To support your efforts, we will continue to develop resources, offer workshops and share best practices as challenges and needs arise.

March 20: Message from Albanese and Doloresco: Best practices for delivering course material on-line

Hi all, wanted to pass along some quick tips for online course delivery that you may not be aware of:

Course Introduction
Be sure to post and/or email students with the highlights of the changes made to the course, specifically the schedule, assignments, quizzes/exams, grading schema.

Course Organization
1.    Organize course content making it easy to follow/navigate (for example on UBlearns, label items/folders in order (step 1, step 2, etc) and physically put them in order). Also chunk it by session so students know what is to be accomplished session to session or week to week.
2.    Ensure your updated schedule matches the folders/items in UBlearns now.
3.    Aesthetics are important
    a.    Be consistent with file names, fonts, colors
    b.    Use white space to chunk instructions so it’s easier to read
    c.    Underline or otherwise highlight key information, such as due dates
4.    Consider sending out a weekly reminder (for example on Friday) for what is expected the following week.

Instructional Design

5.    If you are recording videos asynchronously, consider chunking them into ~10min increments by topic/lecture objective.
    a.    Avoid videos longer than 20 minutes.

Assignments
6.    Avoid using email for assignment submissions, instead utilize UBlearns functionality.
7.    Post rubrics for grading transparency
8.    If using UBLearns (or any other non-Examsoft method) to deliver quizzes, give students extra time to account for students with accessibility issues.

Good luck everyone!
Nicole & Fred

Includes resources for grading and assessing, alternative assessment methods, and links to the Academic Integrity pages.

Guidance on Research

April 3: COVID-19 Impact on Research

Hi all:

FYI, per this past Thursday’s ADR/OVPRED call, below is the site we put together as a COVID-19 resource page as it relates to research and sponsored projects. There is also a link to this page from the SPS main site located between the giant yellow COVID-19 box and the “SPS fisherman” picture.

http://www.buffalo.edu/research/events-announcements/covid-19-impact-research.html

Let me know if you have any questions.

Jeffrey Schieder, CRA
Director, Pre Award
Sponsored Projects Services
Jeffrey.Schieder@buffalo.edu
716-645-4408

March 23 Message from Kristin Gniazdowski: Closing All Non-Essential Research Labs

Dear Colleagues,

As per the guidance from the March 20th e-mail from the Vice President for Research, all SPPS research that requires the in person use of on-campus facilities shall go into hibernation mode. In summary, as of the close of business on Monday, March 23rd, all SPPS research labs are now closed for in person research activities except for those conducting “essential research”.  A copy of the message is included below.   

As per this e-mail: “Essential research is defined as research that, if halted or put in hibernation mode, could result in,

  • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects (consistent with the Guidance on Human Subjects Research circulated earlier this week: https://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/research/pdf/Compliance/GuidanceforResearchers-HumanSubjects.pdf)
  • Endangerment to animal subjects or pose unreasonable risk to animal subjects;
  • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
  • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment or other catastrophic loss.”

If principal investigators feel that a component of their research is defined as “essential” as per the definition above please provide the following information:

  1. a brief justification in relation to the above definitions
  2. a list names of personnel working in your laboratories who will be on site
  3. room numbers and location(s) of where the research would take place
  4. the expected duration 

Please send your response to me directly at (camp@buffalo.edu) with the information requested. A list of the ramp down checklist by EH & S is also attached for your reference.

Our priority is the health, safety and wellbeing of all members of our SPPS community. Please contact me with any questions or concerns that you may have.

Regards,

Kristin Gniazdowski
Associate Dean for Resource Management
Chief Business Officer
School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences
University at Buffalo
162 Pharmacy Building
Buffalo, NY 14214
camp@buffalo.edu
716-645-2095
716-829-6091 (f)

March 21: Update on Resarch at UB

Colleagues:

We are pleased to inform you that UB’s research administration and support infrastructure is 100% operational with employees working remotely from home.

However, while staff is equipped and prepared to work remotely, quality service remains a priority.  Due to the current situation, staff may have staggered schedules or other extraordinary circumstances impacting their ability to be fully functional during traditional business hours. We anticipate response times may be delayed and strongly recommend that deadline materials be submitted early.

As you know, our priority is – and always will be – the health and wellbeing of all members of our UB community. While we have received helpful guidance from SUNY and colleagues at other universities, there remains a level of uncertainty among our faculty regarding essential and non-essential personnel in labs. We would like to clarify this by first noting that all work that can occur remotely, should occur remotely to ensure the continuity of our research mission.

With that in mind, please note the following:

  • Non-essential research and scholarship that requires the in person use of on-campus facilities shall go into hibernation mode
  • Essential research is defined below as research that, if halted or put in hibernation mode, could result in:
    • Endangerment to human subjects or pose unreasonable risk to human subjects (consistent with the Guidance on Human Subjects Research circulated earlier this week: https://www.buffalo.edu/content/dam/www/research/pdf/Compliance/GuidanceforResearchers-HumanSubjects.pdf)
    • Endangerment to animal subjects or pose unreasonable risk to animal subjects;
    • Loss of experiments or data that will be impossible to replicate; and/or
    • Loss of instrumentation, infrastructure, and/or an unsafe/unsecured laboratory environment or other catastrophic loss.

As of the close of business on Monday, March 23rd, UB’s research labs are closed for activities except for essential research.   Please know that this has been a difficult decision and not one that has been easily or lightly made. The situation will be continually evaluated but is not expected to change in the next six weeks.

In the interim, all UB laboratories MUST employ safety practices below.  See SUNY guidelines at https://www.rfsuny.org/media/rfsuny/documents/covid-19/COVID-19-Guidance.pdf

  • Faculty, students and staff employ social distancing
  • Rearrange schedules to reduce density
  • Minimize the number of people in each lab.
  • Minimize in person meetings by utilizing  video- or tele-conferences
  • Reduce the number of days each researcher must be on campus by conducting remotely activities that do not require presents in a lab, such as data analysis, literature search, writing, or research meetings
  • Be mindful that regular cleaning chemicals may not be applicable for certain labs. Please consult with your campus EHS officer and/or biosafety officer for appropriate cleaning procedures and materials

Colleagues, these are challenging times. We understand these measures are not ideal; however, they are necessary at this time.  Please contact Venu at VPR@buffalo.research.edu if you have specific questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Venu
Venu Govindaraju
Vice President for Research and Economic Development

Scott
A. Scott Weber
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs

March 19: SUNY-RF Guidance for Sponsored Programs and Research Activities Related to COVID-19

March 17 Message from Comparative Medicine and Laboratory Animal Facilities

March 16 Message: IRB Guidance Regarding COVID-19