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Faculty and Staff Information

Fall 2020 Calendar, Academic Strategy/Contingency Subcommittee Report and FAQ (June 23)

This message from Interim Vice Chancellor and Provost John Liu contains the following updates:

  • Additional details on the Fall 2020 modified calendar;
  • A link to the report of the Academic Strategy/Contingency Subcommittee; and
  • An update on panel discussions with faculty and frequently asked questions

Read full update here

Coronavirus Update: Revised Travel Policy for Faculty and Staff (June 12)

We recognize and appreciate that the current travel limitations and prohibitions have created challenges for some members of our community. As Central New York and other regions across the United States and around the world begin to ease COVID-19-related restrictions, effective immediately, Syracuse University will revise existing limitations and prohibitions on University-sponsored faculty and staff travel. Read full update here

Coronavirus Update: Health and Safety Update (June 6)

As we continue to refine and advance our comprehensive framework to ensure Syracuse University is fully equipped and prepared to safely resume campus operations, we would like to share answers to the most frequently asked health and safety questions related to:

  • Masks & Face Coverings
  • COVID Testing, Screening and Surveillance
  • Facilities Considerations & Revisions
  • Health Promotion & Prevention
  • Teaching & Learning

See complete list of FAQs here

Previous Updates

Online Courses for Fall 2020 and Faculty Intellectual Property (June 5)
Coronavirus Update: Return to Work, Health and Safety, Course Preparation and More (June 3)
Important Update on Return to Campus Plan for Faculty and Staff (June 1) 
Academic Affairs Update: Fall Calendar, Course Development Stipends, Resuming Research Activity (May 29)
Important Update About the Return to Campus Plan for Faculty and Staff (May 21)
Fall Semester to Follow Accelerated Academic Calendar (May 20)
Fall 2020 Planning (May 13)


The University continues evaluating the health situation and University practices to ensure that we are supporting faculty and staff during these challenging times. We have identified a set of frequently asked questions regarding return to campus.

Campus/Building Access: At this time, only individuals who have been deemed essential personnel or designated for Phase I return to campus should be accessing buildings and facilities on our campus. For information about access to laboratories, visit the Return to Campus Research page.

Faculty Resources:

Solutions for Working Remotely: Information Technology Services (ITS) is working with partners across campus to ease the transition to teaching, studying and working online. For example, the new Remote Desktop Services (RDS) provides remote access to a Windows 10 operating system complete with University-licensed software applications. This service is intended for Syracuse University students, faculty and staff who have a stable broadband internet connection but do not have a pre-existing method for working remotely. You can learn about the new Remote Desktop Services, as well as other remote access solutions, on Answers.

Blackboard Organizations: If you are looking for an online meeting space, Blackboard Organizations serve groups would like a space for information sharing, collaboration and communication.

Training Opportunities: We will also continue to provide a range of training opportunities related to working and teaching online. You can find a schedule of upcoming Blackboard Collaborate Ultra training sessions on Answers.

IT Security Awareness: The changes in work structure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic have created more opportunities for hackers and phishers to access the personal data of our students, faculty, staff and alumni. Please be even more vigilant than usual in identifying phishing emails, scams and attempts to gain access to home-based systems. The ITS Information Security Department has some security guidelines to help you keep your home computer, personal data and the data of the University safe from hackers. If you have any questions or feel that you have been the victim of a scam or phishing attack, please contact the Information Security department at itsecurity@syr.edu.

Teaching Support: For faculty in need of teaching support, including course design, contact the Center for Teaching and Learning at CTLE@syr.edu.

Interim Sick Leave Policy: Faculty and staff who are directed by a health care professional to self-quarantine due to suspected COVID-19 exposure will not be required to use their personal sick leave during the self-quarantine period. We do this so that those who are directed to self-isolate or quarantine by a health care professional can do so without concern about their sick leave or pay. If you have questions about this policy, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

Expanded Excellus BlueCross BlueShield Coverage: Syracuse University, in partnership with Excellus BlueCross BlueShield, has expanded coverage for faculty and staff enrolled in its health plans to include telemedicine. Effective immediately, if a member’s health care provider, including a behavioral health provider, offers virtual (online) options for care, those services will be covered under the health plan. Effective April 1, members have access to MDLIVE, a national telehealth provider that provides patients with 24/7 access to a network of board-certified doctors, pediatricians and licensed therapists that can treat more than 50 non-emergency conditions, including providing behavioral health services, via a computer or mobile device. See the Office of Human Resources’ frequently asked questions for additional information.

Questions on coverage can be directed to our dedicated phone representatives at Excellus BlueCross BlueShield (800.493.0318 or TTY: 800.662.1220) and OptumRx (866.854.2945 or TTY: 711). Additional benefit provider contact information can be found on the HR Contact website. For general benefit questions, contact the HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or hrservice@syr.edu.

Wellness Resources and Opportunities: Faculty and staff are encouraged to remain aware of and engage in Wellness Initiative offerings as their schedules allow. 

Carebridge Resources: The Human Resources website has been updated to include supplemental resources from Carebridge to assist our faculty and staff as we all navigate the unique challenges related to COVID-19. In particular, Carebridge is providing resources to support employees and leaders in reducing the risk for illness, tending to the needs of loved ones while remaining focused and productive with work responsibilities.

Library Resources: Syracuse University Libraries has recently added two important online subscriptions: The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Access is available to all students, faculty and staff with a valid Syracuse University NetID and @syr.edu email address, from which you can establish an online account. Instructions and additional information are provided on news.syr.edu.

United Way Support Opportunities: COVID-19 has created an unprecedented time of need in our local Central New York community. I have heard from many of you asking how you can support our community despite the social distancing requirements. There are many opportunities to give back, including Syracuse University’s annual United Way of Central New York campaign. Donations can be made at any time on MySlice. Given the current immediate need, United Way of Central New York has partnered with local organizations and governments to create a COVID-19 Community Support Fund, which is designed to rapidly deploy flexible resources to nonprofits whose operations support vulnerable populations stressed by the outbreak. Donations can be made online at www.cnycf.org/covid19. United Way of Central New York is also registering volunteers and coordinating opportunities via its initiative VolunteerCNY.

Testing for COVID-19:

  • The Onondaga County Department of Health is the lead agency managing COVID-19 testing locally.
  • Anyone can now get tested for COVID-19, even if you have no symptoms. Walk-up and drive-thru testing is available every Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m-5 p.m. at Syracuse Community Health Center at 819 South Salina Street in Syracuse.
  • Testing is also available at primary care offices, call for details.
  • Mobile clinic locations are announced as they become available. Register here.

Online Teaching Support: Faculty who have questions about transitioning in-person instruction to online teaching, contact your school/college IT department to coordinate support and training with Information Technology Services and other units, and the Center for Teaching and Learning for teaching support.

Resources for Faculty and Staff