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Cornell leaders offer guidance on Phase 3 reopening

Provost Michael Kotlikoff and Vice President And Chief Human Resources Officer Mary Opperman sent the following message to all Ithaca and Cornell Tech faculty and staff on June 11:

Based on New York state public health requirements, today Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced that the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions, which include our campuses in Ithaca and Geneva, will be cleared for Phase 3 reopening, effective Friday, June 12. This is an encouraging development for our community and regions that enables Cornell’s own staged approach to reactivating campus facilities in a safe, responsible and legal manner. We want to emphasize that, in order to reactivate the campus in a phased and de-densified manner, faculty and staff must continue to work remotely until an approved plan is in place (see below). Moreover, even if faculty and staff are approved to return to campus, if they can work remotely then they should continue to do so.

Based on reopening guidelines provided by New York state, we expect that the Ithaca and Geneva campuses can begin to expand critical on-campus activities, including access to Cornell University Libraries in support of research and scholarship, provided that it is done in compliance with Cornell’s reactivation strategy and approvals process. As with earlier reopening benchmarks, our campuses in New York City remain on a different timetable for reactivation and are excluded from this latest guidance.

To ensure workplace health and safety as Cornell’s phased reactivation proceeds, faculty and staff must follow newly established guidelines developed by the Division of Human Resources (available here); all campus activities must adhere to health and safety standards and practices and be cleared by college and school deans or unit leads; and facilities will need to be returned to operational status.

Determinations on full campus reactivation, including guidance for the fall semester, are expected in the coming weeks. The university’s reactivation committees, comprising faculty, staff and students, are currently engaged in robust planning efforts, with reports due Monday, June 15. The recommendations from these committees will guide Cornell’s ongoing planning efforts.

As always, we are grateful for your patience and understanding as we work through many unknowns, and we remain optimistic that we’re on a path toward an eventual full campus reopening.

Media Contact

Abby Butler