Remote Instruction Extended Through End of Semester

By President Shirley M. Collado, March 17, 2020
New target dates of Aug. 1-2 for Commencement Weekend

Dear Campus Community,

As the public health crisis around the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to have an increasing impact on our college and all of our communities, we have made the decision to extend remote instruction for faculty and students and remote work for our employees through the end of this semester.

This decision comes on the heels of important news from the state of New York disallowing gatherings of more than 50 people, as well as guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that these measures stay in place for at least the next eight weeks

For All of Our Employees

Please make sure to review yesterday’s informative email from Hayley Harris, our vice president for human resources and planning, for details about remote work. There is also a very helpful COVID-19 HR Employee Resources site that can address some particular concerns, and we will continue to keep all college employees informed as we roll out more detailed plans in the weeks and months ahead.

Staff, faculty, and student employees: feel free to connect directly with human resources should you have any specific questions or concerns, at, in addition to your area’s managers and directors, who can support you during this time.

For Our Faculty

I know so many of you have already been preparing to begin remote instruction next week, and I encourage all of you to continue to take advantage of the resources, workshops, and the help offered by your expert colleagues in making this unexpected and critical shift. I want to offer you my sincere gratitude for embracing this challenge with such diligence and creativity, and for your laser-like focus on continuing to deliver a high-quality student experience.

Please watch your inbox for an email very soon from Provost Cornish regarding your remote work and presence on campus, as we continue to prioritize the health of those who remain on our campus and the broader Ithaca and regional communities.

Also, do not hesitate to reach out directly to the provost’s office, at, and your deans and your department chairs.

For Our Students

Later today, you will receive critical information from Dr. Rosanna Ferro, vice president for student affairs and campus life, regarding important next steps. Please stay tuned for this emailed communication, as it will include information around things such as the move-out plan, how to access student services, and other relevant topics.

Please direct your questions about student affairs matters to For questions or clarifications about the academic program, please reach out to the provost’s office,

A Decision About Commencement

Finally, I want to let you know we’ve made a decision about this year’s Commencement. We are targeting August 1-2 as the new Commencement weekend on campus to celebrate our Class of 2020, with the ceremony to be held on Sunday, August 2.

Throughout this situation, college leadership has been fully committed to remaining nimble, student-centered, and deeply hopeful, particularly around our ability to offer this major moment to our graduating students and their families. Moving Commencement to later in the summer reflects our intention to be realistic and optimistic in an incredibly unpredictable time.

We are committed to supporting and creating an Ithaca Forever community, one that not only commits to student success and the student experience, but also celebrates it as our students transition to alumni.

I ask for your continued patience as we move forward through this difficult time, and your understanding that we are doing our very best to navigate the fluidity of this public health crisis in a thoughtful, intentional way.

I know that responding to this situation has required our community to have tremendous flexibility, presence of mind in the midst of uncertainty, and creative thinking about how we can do our work in new ways. You have all stepped up to support one another as people and as professionals, and I am so proud to be a part of this community.

In solidarity,

Shirley M. Collado