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Human Resources Issues Message on Appointment Clock Extension
May 19, 2020

Human Resource Services has issued a message concerning a clock extension for continuing and permanent appointment. The message reads as follows:

Coronavirus UpdateWe are pleased to inform you that, as a result of a change to the SUNY Board of Trustees policies, the State University of New York (SUNY) and United University Professions (UUP) were able to proceed with an agreement that recognizes the potential impact of COVID-19 on the tenure and permanent appointment processes.

In summary, for  academic rank employees (tenure track) there is an automatic tenure clock stop of one year without change in title or full time equivalent (FTE). Academic employees who wish to opt out of the extension may request to do so. Additionally, anyone who taught in Spring 2020 will have the option of not including student or peer evaluations in their dossier, and can add an explanation of the impact of COVID on their work.

Professional employees may request to stop the permanent appointment clock for up to six months by the traditional method of moving to a qualified professional title.

For more detailed information refer to the procedures outlined below.

Academic Rank Procedure

Eligibility
As of May 6, 2020, employees in academic rank titles who have not yet achieved continuing appointment and who are not currently under review, will receive an automatic one year extension of their clock. Those who wish to remain on their current schedule may  request to opt out of the automatic tenure clock stop.

Employees who have already been provided with a notice of non-renewal are not eligible to submit an opt out request.

Procedure
East Campus Faculty no action is required for those who wish to accept the extension. Those who would like to opt out of the extension must submit a written request to their Department Chair, with a copy to the Dean’s Office ( Karen.Wilk@stonybrook.edu ) at least four months prior to the commencement of the review process.

The Dean’s Office will review requests to determine eligibility, and notify the employee and Chair in writing.

West Campus Faculty should refer to the information provided by the Provost Office via email and located on the Provost Office website: Accounting for COVID-19 in the Academic Review Process

Professional Rank Procedure

Eligibility
Employees who are eligible for permanent appointment and are within two years of their permanent appointment eligibility date, as of the date of their request, may request an extension by switching to a qualified professional title.

Employees who have already been provided with a notice of non-renewal are not eligible to submit a request for extension.

Procedure
There is no action needed for professional employees who wish to remain on their current schedule towards consideration of permanent appointment.

Employees who would like to request an extension of the permanent appointment clock must submit a written request to their supervisor with a copy to Human Resource Services, State Appointments ( HRS_State_Appointments@stonybrook.edu ).

The written request must include the employee's request to move to a qualified professional title and the duration of the qualified professional title change, not to exceed six months. Written requests must be submitted to HRS by December 31, 2020, close of business.

Human Resource Services will review requests to determine eligibility, and notify the employee, Supervisor, and Vice Presidential Coordinator in writing.

Questions related to these provisions should be emailed to:

East Campus Faculty:  Karen.Wilk@stonybrook.edu
West Campus Faculty:  Surita.Bhatia@stonybrook.edu
Professional Employees:  HRS_State_Appointments@stonybrook.edu


 

Interim President Bernstein Issues Guidance on Return-to-Workplace Issues
May 14, 2020

Interim President Michael A. Bernstein has has issued a communication providing preliminary information and guidance on issues surrounding an eventual return to the workplace. The message reads as follows:

It has been over two months since the New York State Governor issued a stay at home order in response to the COVID-19 emergency. I thank everyone for their tireless efforts in facilitating this challenging transition to the remote work format. I also express my deepest gratitude to our University’s first responders, health care workers, and facilities personnel, all of whom have continued to provide essential services throughout this crisis.

As we wait for Suffolk County to reach the New York State reopening benchmarks, we are assessing possible plans for the safe return to our campuses for those who have been working off-site. In developing a course of action, the health and safety of all our colleagues continue to be our highest priority. With that in mind, we will take the following steps:

  • A careful prioritization of the positions that may first return to the workplace, including those staff, faculty, and students directly supporting the research effort and the allied health programs;
  • A phased, incremental approach for returning employees, allowing for continued telework and staggered schedules, when appropriate, to maintain reduced density on campus;
  • A willingness, when circumstances change, to modify protocols as necessary.

We will also deploy the following on-site practices:

  • The implementation of proper social distancing measures (at least six feet apart) in workspaces;
  • Regular cleaning and decontamination of facilities and workstations;
  • A ready supply of hand sanitizer and cleaning/disinfectant products in appropriate locations;
  • The requirement to wear face coverings (which will be provided) when adequate social distancing is not possible;
  • Directional guidance on safe foot traffic within offices, elevators, stairwells, and other shared spaces;
  • Effective tools to conduct daily monitoring of employees’ temperatures and other relevant symptoms.

I recognize that transitioning back to our campuses may require significant changes in various personal and home arrangements. We will, therefore, strive to provide timely updates and notice regarding return to work decisions. You may also regularly refer to the FAQ page on the University’s new Coming Back Safe and Strong   website.


  Interim President Bernstein Seeks Input on Fall Semester Planning
May 11, 2020

Interim President Michael A. Bernstein has issued a message to faculty and staff soliciting input on issues surrounding the Fall 2020 semester. The message reads as follows:

I write concerning the planning process for Fall semester. Clearly, we have many variables to consider in our decision-making. Ultimate choices about the Fall will not be made until June 30 at the latest, as we still lack full information as to what a safe, productive campus environment will look like. We are working hard, especially with our infectious diseases experts in the health sciences, to gather and refine as much relevant data as possible.

Along with other members of the senior leadership team, and in full collaboration with President-Designate McInnis, I am eager to learn what issues you believe need to be considered as we step toward a decision about the Fall term. We have already identified a series of principles (about which more below) to frame our thinking, and we welcome your input and advice.

The health and well-being of our community, our pursuit of adequate, reliable testing for the COVID-19 virus and its antibodies, and the establishment of effective social distancing protocols must stand at the center of any actions we take. We are, as well, always dedicated to continuing our excellence in education, research, scholarship, and art-making; promoting an accessible academic environment for everyone; maintaining the success and upward social mobility of our students; fostering and ensuring diversity, equity, and inclusion; embracing the traditions and wisdom of shared governance practices; and cultivating a vibrant and nurturing institutional culture. In addition to these core values, we must (to my mind) consider the following operational realities:

  • The challenges of ensuring staff, faculty, and student access to safe workspaces and residence halls, and to necessary information technology;
  • The obligation of facilitating the continued success of Stony Brook University Hospital and of Stony Brook Medicine in serving all our patients;
  • The interruptions, occasioned by the emergency, in our scholarship, research, and art-making missions – and the imperatives of recovering from them;
  • The need to reconfigure our student success and retention efforts in light of social distancing practices;
  • The increased demand for instructional training and support in a new and rapidly evolving teaching environment;
  • The continuing impact of the pandemic on enrollment trends and on course modalities;
  • The potential obstacles now facing our international students with respect to visa processing and travel;
  • The financial and budgetary implications of our plans, especially given the fact that revenues are, and will continue to be, considerably reduced and costs are high and rising;
  • The expectation that many of our facilities will be physically reconfigured in conformity with infection control protocols;
  • The requirement that all our decisions be aligned with policy guidance from SUNY and Executive Orders from the Governor of the State of New York.

Please give these matters some thought. If you wish, please click  here  to share your ideas and suggestions.

I am very grateful for your input and help.


 

Interim President Bernstein Issues Update on Fall Semester Planning
May 6, 2020

Interim President Michael A. Bernstein has issued a message to colleagues concerning academic plans for the Fall Semester. The message reads as follows:

First, I want to thank you for all your hard work. This semester has been perhaps the most difficult any of us has ever experienced, and I am deeply grateful for all you have done to support our students. You have gone above and beyond in continuing to carry out our academic and research missions, all while dealing with myriad challenges, including personal health concerns, child care and family care issues, financial burdens, and high levels of daily stress and anxiety.

As we look toward the fall semester, we are faced with significant uncertainty about our academic calendar and the modalities of course delivery. We are not alone in this position — every other US university or college is attempting to make the right decisions, given the particularities of place and community. While we do not yet have all the information needed to make these decisions, we are considering all options that will help us to preserve the integrity of our academic programs and of our research, scholarship, and art-making mission — all while protecting the safety of our students, staff, and faculty. Rest assured we will make the most data-driven and careful decisions possible, in as timely a manner as possible.

In the meantime, I reach out to you with a request. Recognizing that we will not be able to formalize decisions about fall semester until later in June, I ask you to consider creating an alternative syllabus for your courses that would enable you to teach online, if necessary. Please be mindful that we may need to teach some courses entirely online, and we may also need to adapt many courses to short periods of online instruction if there are COVID-19 and/or flu outbreaks on our campus during the fall semester.

Many of you have already been advised by your Deans to begin scenario planning for fall. I emphasize that we hope to not need to use these syllabi. And yet, we want to be sure that the work of mounting an online course is, if needed, available to you and your Deans, as soon as possible.  All these steps will assure an uninterrupted, high quality educational experience for our students.

Our colleagues at The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) are prepared to support your efforts. If you would benefit from their assistance, please consider signing up for one of the many courses they offer or take advantage of their self-help resources. You may learn more  here. The CELT leadership and staff have been remarkably forthcoming in their commitment to supporting you, and I encourage you to reach out to them, especially if your course(s) might be improved with the input of online learning experts.

As classes come to an end, I encourage you to take the time to rest, and to take care of yourselves. The resources listed below offer some support as we all attempt to do what’s best for our families, our students, our communities, and our state.

I can never thank you enough for your dedication, commitment, and courage.  I wish you and your loved ones safety and health!

Employee Assistance Program (EAP) : The EAP offers assistance with work and personal problems:  https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/eap/

Specific resources for coronavirus information and support can be found here:
https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/eap/news/coronavirus.html

This includes   free emotional support  through the NYC COVID Worker Care Network, open to any essential worker in New York. This is a mutual aid network of >1000 mental health workers, spiritual care providers, and community builders. The group facilitates individual support, support groups, and stress-reduction training. Sign-up through the website at   www.nyccovidcare.org/request .  Follow the Network at   https://www.facebook.com/NYCCOVIDCare/  for updates or @nyccovidcare on Instagram + Twitter. Reach out to   nyccovidcare@gmail.com  with any questions.

Association for Mental Health and Wellness (MHAW)  is open for calls M-F, 9:00am - 5:00pm at 631-471-7242, ext. 2, or via email at   helpline@mhaw.org .  MHAW has also expanded the hours for its   Peer Support Line  and online   Peer Support Groups . Additional COVID-19-related resources can be found on the   Mental Health Helpline web page .

NYS COVID-19 Emotional Support Hotline  at 1-844-863-9314 provides free and confidential support and is staffed by volunteers, including mental health professionals, who have received training in crisis counseling.

NYSHIP and the Empire Plan’s Resources for “Coronavirus and Your Mental Health” 
https://www.achievesolutions.net/achievesolutions/en/empireplan/Topic.do?centerId=42&topicId=108

For immediate crisis counseling, an option is to call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration’s Disaster Distress Helpline, 1-800-985-5990, a 24/7, 365 days a year, national hotline that is tool-free, multilingual, and confidential.

HR Hotline
We remind faculty and staff that HR has set up a phone line, 631-632-5000, if you have workplace questions such as concerns about being in the workplace, procedures to follow if you believe you have been exposed, preventative or mandated quarantine, assignment of alternate work locations and duties, and use of accruals and leaves. Additional information may be found here:   https://news.stonybrook.edu/university/university-announces-covid-19-telephone-information-line-for-employees/ .


 

Dean of Students Issues Coronavirus Update
May 6, 2020

Rick Gatteau, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, has issued an update to students regarding various issues related to the coronavirus crisis. The message reads as follows:

I hope that you and your loved ones are safe and healthy. We’re approaching the end of a very challenging semester, where we have faced many unprecedented circumstances.  I am very proud of your positive attitude and resilience, and know that by leaning on each other, our Stony Brook community will continue to remain strong.  As we approach final exams, please read the important reminders below:  

Stress and Finals
The end of the semester is often a stressful time under normal circumstances, and this semester has proven anything but normal.  However, please keep in mind that although studying is extremely important, so is taking breaks and making sure you get enough hours of sleep. Check SBEngaged and the Corq app to find virtual events to help you relax and destress during finals. Take advantage of the good weather and go for a stroll around your neighborhood if possible - just don’t forget to be safe, wear a face covering, and keep your social distance.  

We are here to help you end this semester successfully.  If you need to talk to someone, Counseling and Psychological Services ( CAPS ) is available to speak with you confidentially, anytime, day or night. Just call (631) 632-6720 to talk with a counselor about anything on your mind. Also, Let’s Talk offers you a chance to have a brief, informal and confidential talk with a counselor virtually. Fill out this form to reserve your time slot. You can also reach out to the Student Support Team at student_supportteam@stonybrook.edu if you need help or advice managing a challenge you are facing.  

Student Emergency Support Fund
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some students are facing unexpected financial burdens or crises that could be adversely impacting their ability to succeed academically. To help these students, Stony Brook has set up the Student Emergency Support Fund.  This fund was made possible through the generosity of donors in our community who love our Seawolves!  If you are in need of emergency financial assistance, please submit an application . Our Student Emergency Support Fund team will review all applications and follow-up with you.

Summer and Fall Classes
As you already know, Interim Provost Minghua Zhang announced that all classes during Summer Sessions I and II will be offered online only in order to prioritize the safety of our community by minimizing on-campus density. 

For fall 2020, as mentioned in President-Elect Maurie McInnis and Interim President Michael Bernstein’s message to the campus, the University is actively planning campus and classroom scenarios that will minimize the disruption to your education and ensure our entire community’s safety, health, and well-being.  As this is an evolving situation, it is currently too early to make final decisions. When decisions are made, they will be communicated to you via your Stony Brook email address.  

Making The Most of Your Summer
In spite of these unprecedented times, it is important you give thought and planning to your summer. Consider ways to give your summer purpose, even if your original plans for an internship or job have been halted due to COVID-19.  

Employers are still hiring.  The Career Center has created a list of job and internship search resources for students and alumni to find companies that are hiring for jobs and internships, remote job opportunities, and other important job search information.

Take time for your personal and professional development.  Develop new skills, work on how to present yourself, maintain, and develop new networking contacts. Start by taking the time to review your resume, go over your Handshake and LinkedIn profiles, and practice your interviewing skills. You can also research online resources to earn new credentials, read more about your chosen industry in books and digital publications, and find professional associations to join. 

Don’t forget that you can still meet with a Career Coach virtually by participating in our meetups (group appointments), drop-ins , and appointments .  The Career Center and our employee partners are also offering virtual workshops and events through the end of the semester. 

Keeping Yourself and Others Safe
On April 15, New York State issued an Executive Order requiring all people in New York to wear coverings or masks in public to help prevent the spread of the virus to others. This means that you must wear a face covering or mask that covers your nose and mouth whenever you are in public spaces, on and off campus. If you don’t currently have a face covering, several online retailers have them available for purchase. In addition, you can make your own using this guidance from the Centers for Disease Control. For more information on how to safely wear and care for face coverings and masks, please visit Care and Use of Face Coverings and Masks for COVID-19

Please remember that even when wearing a face covering or mask, you are expected to still follow social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet apart (1.8m).  

Please continue to take the following steps to protect yourself and others: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue away, and then wash your hands.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects or surfaces such as keyboards and doorknobs.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • If you feel sick, stay home, remain in your room, and separate yourself from others. Seek non-urgent care by contacting your doctor or Student Health Services at (631) 632-6740 if you develop fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. 

Although these are difficult times for all of us, I am confident that our Stony Brook community will persevere and thrive. Seawolves are determined and hard working, and the courage and grit we possess is what makes Stony Brook such an incredible place.


 

University Extends Deadline for Pass/No Credit Option
May 1, 2020

Charles L. Robbins, Vice Provost, Undergraduate Education and. Dean, Undergraduate Colleges, has issued a message extending the deadline to elect the Pass/No Credit option. The message reads as follows:

In response to ongoing discussions with students and shared governance bodies, we are extending the Pass/No Credit (P/NC) deadline to Wednesday, June 3rd at 11:59 PM. To select the P/NC option between now and May 20th, continue following the existing protocol on SOLAR. An updated process will be shared at a later time should you choose this option after May 20th.


  

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This site last updated June 3, 2020.