Dear Faculty and Staff,
I write to you with an update on our plans for the fall semester. Mercy’s goal is to bring faculty, staff and students back to campus in a manner that incorporates health and safety measures into all areas and adheres to evolving state guidelines. Based on the comprehensive evaluation and subsequent recommendations made by Mercy’s reopening taskforce, the College is confident that it can meet guidelines recently released from New York State and public health officials to begin fall courses on September 9. Classes will be held in a combination of face-to-face, blended and online learning formats.
At Mercy, we have placed our faculty, staff and students at the center of our “OnCampus Plus” reopening plan. This approach ensures that all current and future decisions provide for the most effective teaching, working and learning experiences. A comprehensive overview of the “OnCampus Plus” plan can be found on this dedicated webpage; we will continue to update this site as details are finalized.
Key features of the OnCampus Plus plan include:
Safety and Monitoring
- Enhanced cleaning and hygiene protocols will continue to be implemented on campuses.
- Signage and other communications will guide and direct safe practices.
- On-campus safety protocols will be implemented which include required face coverings and daily self-screening questionnaires.
Academics and Academic Technology
- Reduced classroom capacity will allow for social distancing; some classes may operate in a rotation between in-person and online attendance.
- Investments in new on-campus technology will ensure maximum flexibility for teaching and learning.
- Many classes that operate on campus will also be livestreamed to allow students to log-in to classes from home if they prefer to do so. In these cases, students in the classroom and online will be together at their scheduled meeting time, with Zoom-based live lectures and interactive classroom discussions.
Return to Work
- Initial staff will return in mid-July to implement safety and operational measures to ensure that the fall term will be as seamless as possible.
- The return of faculty and staff to campus will be gradual and occur in phases.
I hope you will join me at our Town Hall this afternoon at 3:00 p.m., to hear from our task force leaders regarding the status of our reopening plan. It is important to understand that these plans may shift based on state and public heath mandates. We will continue to keep you updated over the summer on developments and decisions.
We are all eager to start the fall term and I look forward to welcoming you back soon. Thank you again for your continued understanding and patience during this unprecedented situation.
Tim Hall, President