Administration & Finance COVID-19 Information
Answers to a range of questions related to campus operations. Check back often, as we make regular updates.
Welcome Back, Cardinals
As you prepare for the start of Fall 2020, please remember the following:
- All NYS Employees must complete the NYS COVID-19 Training Video. Request the password from your supervisor.
- The FAQ about Return to On-Campus Work is available to you anytime. Don't see your question? Email OCHS
- Need signage for your area? We have a collection of Print Your Own COVID-19 Signage here. Office signs can be customized with contact information when downloaded. Remember to only use these approved signs on campus spaces. Don't see what you need? Email OCHS
We’ve assembled the following information to answer your questions about our campus' operations.
Keeping Our Campus Clean- Updated August 20
Classrooms, offices and common areas are cleaned nightly utilizing one or a combination of two methods.
Hand Cleaning with a Commercial Disinfectant
Hand cleaning is occurring with the commercial disinfectant, ChemiCenter II #5 bathroom cleaner and disinfectant
This product is applied via spray bottle and is applied directly and wiped with a paper towel. Applied to all hard surfaces including but not limited to teaching stations, tables, desks, hard chairs and door knobs.
Electronics such as keyboards, mouse are wiped with a rag containing the product.
Electrostatic disinfection is performed with a battery powered hand held sprayer. This technology utilizes a dilution of BRUTAB 6S disinfectant tablets. Applied to all touch surfaces including but not limited to doorknobs, teaching stations, keyboards & mouse, desks, seating, tables and all hard surfaces.
Both products used are highly effective, safe and commonly used to disinfect hospitals and commercial buildings.
Once cleaned, blue painters tape is placed across the doorknob indicating the space has been cleaned.
Bathrooms are cleaned one or more times a day based on usage. Due to the frequency of cleaning and use, blue painters tape is not used on bathroom doorknobs.
Cleaning Supplies Availability & Restocking
Cleaning supplies (bucket with disinfectant, gloves, and paper towels) available in the lobby area on each floor of our buildings. You can use these supplies to clean your work area as needed. We ask that you return the cleaning supplies to the lobby for the next person to use after you are done. When supplies need to be restocked, please submit a Work Order through ReADY Request under Custodial or contact Maintenance and Operations help desk at 518-564-5044.
Please note that regular cleanings by janitorial staff will continue as usual.
Although every effort has been made to assess and modify campus workspaces to meet physical distancing requirements, there are some workstations on campus that must be shared due to location, equipment, power or connectivity issues. Although routine scheduled electrostatic disinfection will still occur, if you are assigned to work at one of these stations, it will be your responsibility to clean and disinfect shared equipment to your satisfaction before using. While the incidence of surface and/or fomite (object) transmission of the COVID-19 virus is extremely low, we appreciate your part in our efforts to break the chain of infection at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Self-Service cleaning supplies (bucket with disinfectant, gloves, and paper towels) will be available in the area. NEVER SPRAY DISINFECTANT DIRECTLY ON ELECTRONIC EQUIPMENT OF ANY KIND.
- Gloves are not required but are available at each cleaning station for those who wish to wear them.
- Spray disinfectant onto a paper towel to dampen, taking care to avoid spray getting into eyes or on your face covering. Wipe down mouse, keyboard, or desktop.
- When finished, throw away the paper towel (and gloves if used) and return supplies to the cleaning station.
- Wash hands and/or use hand sanitizer.
As always, try not to touch your face and keep your face covering handy. No one method will protect you from this virus — be greedy and use them all to protect our Cardinal family!
Air Circulation & Ventilation
Health and safety of our faculty, staff and students is priority number 1. This is not new.
Maintenance and Operations has consistently adhered to required preventative maintenance measures and routine inspections. However, during this heightened concern for our health, it is understandable that many have questions regarding the air quality within our facilities. We have reviewed building maintenance guidance from experts in the field to ensure we are taking every advantage to make our buildings as safe as possible.
As standard practice, all campus units are checked daily to ensure they are functioning properly. These checks are performed visually on location by our Central Heating Plant (CHP) operators. Along with these checks, the CHP watch engineer monitors our Building Management System 24/7. This system provides us with the ability to see and make changes to room set points, modulate damper positions, increase or decrease air flows, manipulate space temperatures, activate/deactivate air handlers and equipment, etc. The system also alerts us of issues through alarms.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, commonly known as MERV, is a measurement scale designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to report the effectiveness of air filters. The only filters that can make claim that they can capture >99.9% of particles in the 0.3 to 1 Micron range are HEPA filters. These are classified as MERV 17 or higher. Most code-compliant commercial buildings (gym, malls, etc.) use MERV-8 filters. Roughly half of our academic and residence halls buildings have air filters that are MERV 13 rated. We are in the process of upgrading all air filters to MERV 13.
Summary of enhanced measures for building services operation to ensure the safety of our faculty, staff and students.;
- Replace central outdoor air and extract air filters monthly. Air pre-filters are routinely replaced quarterly but proactively, we have moved up the frequency to a monthly change.
- Increase building ventilation using outdoor air by adjusting our mechanical system
- Switch air handling units with recirculation to 100% outdoor air when possible and reducing indoor air circulation as much as possible
- Increase ventilation speed at least 2 hours before the building usage time and switch
to lower speed 2 hours after the building usage time
At nights and weekends, maintain constant ventilation
- Employees can open windows when available when they are in their offices. Make sure to close your window when you leave your office.
- Keep restroom exhaust in operation 24/7
- Operate fans continuously
- Maintain heating, cooling and humidification systems to support occupants as well as assets in the buildings
Identifying a Clean Room
You will notice strips of tape across doorknobs on campus. Although simple, this important measure will help keep our campus clean and safe, promote transparency, and ensure our janitorial staff focuses their efforts on areas of greatest use.
How does it do this? If you enter a room with a strip of tape on the door, discard the strip of tape. This helps our janitorial staff identify the rooms that have been in use and need to be cleaned. As remote work increases, the rooms not in use also increases.
So remember: A room with tape on the doorknob has been cleaned. A room without tape on the doorknob will need to be cleaned.
Mail Center - Updated August 17
Mail Delivery Resumes
Campus mail services are restored. Please have your mail inboxes and outboxes in close proximity to your door or outside your door, where possible. Mail will be picked up accordingly.
Questions or concerns? Please contact Bill Circelli at (518) 564-5016.
Building Access & Occupancy – Updated August 17
Building AccessBuildings will be open according to standard hours of operation beginning August 17.
Room OccupancyMeeting room and classroom occupancy are adjusted to accommodate social distancing. See the Classroom and Large Room Adjusted Capacity below. This list is not all inclusive of every space on campus.
Updated June 10Federal Work Study is a key program to supporting our students. FWS positions should be posted through the Career Service Center and do not required additional approvals.
Only critical student positions will be considered and require Vice President approval. A department must submit a pre-recruitment form with the requisite information to support student temporary employee. Contact HRS with any questions at [email protected].
Events and Gatherings – Updated July 20
A gathering refers to a planned or spontaneous event, indoors or outdoors, with a small number of people participating or a large number of people in attendance such as a student club meeting, welcome events, conference or sporting event.
The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading.
All college-sponsored events on- or off-campus, planned or spontaneous, must adhere to the campus social distancing and face covering policy.
When at all possible, gatherings should be held outdoors. Whether the event or gathering is indoors or outdoors, face coverings are required, with the only exception being IF the event or gathering is outdoors AND there is designated seating which provides for 6 feet of social distance while seated. Since the length of time in a space also impacts likelihood of transmission, indoor events will have a length limitation for health and safety concerns as well as sanitation needs. In general, a time limit of one hour is recommended for indoor events. If the event organizer feels their event should last longer than one hour, the Operational Continuity, Health and Safety Workgroup will review the individual Safety Plan for the event. These limits may change as necessary throughout the year.
Adhere to the New York state and North Country gathering maximum participants at the time of the event. The number of allowable attendees may change between organizing an event and the event date. Keep this in mind. As of July 8, 2020 the maximum gathering number is 50. If social distancing cannot be maintained, the event should be cancelled or rescheduled.
The risk of COVID-19 spreading at events and gatherings increases as follows:
- Lowest risk: Virtual-only activities, events, and gatherings.
- More risk: Smaller outdoor and in-person gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart, wear cloth face coverings, do not share objects, and come from the same local area (e.g., community, town, city or county).
- Higher risk: Medium-sized in-person gatherings that are adapted to allow individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and with attendees coming from outside the local area.
- Highest risk: Large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.
Food at Events & Gatherings
To ensure the safety of our students, staff, and faculty, catering will not be offering buffet options at events and gatherings until further notice. All events must be served by our catering team, or have items delivered to the event by the catering department. Items that are delivered will be individually packaged for each event attendee.
Visitors & Vendors On Campus – Added July 29
Visitors On Campus
At this time, the campus is not receiving visitors who are not invited by a specific campus community member/department. All visitors must complete the health screening before visiting campus
Vendors On Campus
Vendors and contractors with an active contract are allowed to come to campus if:
- They are invited by the department;
- The department provides them the health screening form (print version); and
- the vendor returns the completed form to the department.
If all answers are “no”, the vendor can come to campus as scheduled.
If an answer is “yes”, the vendor/contractor cannot come on campus and will notify the department.
Sales meetings are not permitted.
Restrictions Updated August 4
All campus sponsored or funded travel is restricted for Fall 2020. No out-of-state travel is permitted at this time. In-state travel is restricted to critical operational travel only.
Critical operational travel includes travel for:
- Course Instruction
- Health and Safety, or
- To meet contractual or legal obligations.
Travelers must submit a travel authorization with a justification of the need and receive approval by their respective Vice President or designee before going on any state-funded or sponsored travel.
No determination has been made on travel after Fall 2020 at this time and no travel authorizations should be submitted at this time.
Vehicle Use – Added July 29
Third-Party Organizations, Lessees and Permittees – Added July 30
The following guidelines outline the steps that third-party permittees and lessees (“Third Parties”) must take to return to operations on SUNY Plattsburgh’s campus. These guidelines do not cover campus affiliates (i.e., CAS, RF, Alumni Association, Foundation), or contractors (i.e., Follett, Chartwell’s).
Steps to Return to On-Campus
In order to be eligible to return to campus operations Third Parties must take the following steps:
- Must have a current, signed revocable permit, lease agreement, or equivalent on file and comply with all terms in that agreement.
- Must review the college’s Social Distancing and Face Covering Policy and ensure that all employees, clients, and visitors, on campus premises comply with all expectations, including the need to wear face masks, and maintain social distancing of six feet or more.
- Must review and comply with the NYS Office-Based Work Guidelines for Employers and Employees.
- As buildings remain locked, must make arrangements to provide authorized employees or volunteers with building access. If keys are needed, must submit a key request to the designated contact (see below).
- Must make any modifications needed to ensure social distancing. If renovations are needed, must submit the request to the college’s facilities department. All modifications will be made at Third Parties sole expense.
- Must communicate expectations that no visitors are permitted in campus buildings until authorized by the college.
- Must complete and return the attached form at least ten (10) business days in advance of the return date.
Failure to comply with these guidelines may result in the removal of authorization to be on campus property and termination of the applicable agreement.
Questions about these guidelines should be directed to Sean Dermody, Assistant VP for Administration and Finance, and designated contact at 518-564-2539.
Human Resource Services
Hiring on Pause Updated Aug 20
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in severe financial consequences to New York State that demand prompt action.
SUNY has provided guidance stating that colleges are to take steps to reduce spending. Immediate actions that we are taking:
- All recruitments and hiring are put on PAUSE until further notice. This means that no salary offers will be extended to candidates without the president’s authorization.
Hiring & Salary Program - Updated Aug 20
We have instituted a hiring and salary program for non-teaching positions. All non-teaching positions will need to be reviewed by the respective vice president, cabinet and the president in advance of any recruitment activity. Our goal is to ensure campus resources for positions are managed in a fair and consistent manner and in alignment with our priorities.
- Hiring and Salary Program for Non-Teaching Positions
- Classification Assessment Proposal
- Pre-Recruitment Form
Sick, Stay Home
Any employee who is sick should STAY HOME. Any employee experiencing the following symptoms:
- Shortness of Breath
- Respiratory infection/distress
should report that information immediately to their supervisor and Human Resource Services (HRS) at [email protected].
HRS is required to obtain additional information from the person experiencing symptoms that may be COVID-related, and submit that information to SUNY.
Human Resource Services will notify facility janitorial staff so they can clean and disinfect the suspect work area.
SBE Faculty Share Ways to Stay Productive
Two School of Business and Economics faculty members — Wanda Haby, lecturer in supply chain management and international business, and Cristian Balan, coordinator of the Center for Cybersecurity and Technology — suggest several ways to make work and studies productive.
New York on Pause and Beyond - Aug 20
Restoring full campus operations is dependent upon our region meeting certain criteria. As we transition our employees back to campus, those that remain at an alternative location do not need to renew their previously existing Temporary Work Agreements. Supervisors are expected to continue making weekly reports of employees at alternate work locations.
We have received news from the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations that the statewide telecommuting pilot program has been extended through October 2, 2020. However, as offices are approved to reopen, employees can be brought back to work on campus prior to that date.
In an effort to clarify the term “essential” for the purposes of the COVID-19 situation, a chart has been created to help with this designation and can be found here: Supervisor’s Guide to Employee Designation
Any changes in employee designation should be reported directly to Sarah Reyell in Human Resource Services via email at [email protected]. Changes will prompt an updated notification to the impacted employee and their supervisor via email by the end of each day.
Spending Restrictions Updated August 4
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in severe financial consequences to New York State that demand prompt action.
SUNY has provided guidance stating that colleges are to take steps to reduce spending. In addition, recent budget restrictions require additional action. Therefore, the following purchase restrictions will be in place until further notice.
- All non-critical expenditures are suspended. If there is a critical expenditure, it will need to be submitted on a purchase requisition and approved as outlined below.
- Critical expenditures include the following:
- Health or Safety
- Fall Course Delivery
Priority will also be given to purchases necessary to fulfill contractual obligations; comply with legal, regulatory, or accreditation mandates; and support critical physical and information technology infrastructure.
- A requisition must be used for all expenses effective immediately.
- A new purchase requisition has been developed that allows departments to identify the expenditure type and to include a written justification for the need.
- This directive includes all P-Card and T-Card expenses. As such, the dollar limits for these cards have been reduced to $1.00.
- Purchase and Payments should follow these procedures:
- Requisitions for new services or goods must be approved as follows:
- Purchases valued at $5,000 or less require approval of the Department Chairperson or Director.
- Purchases valued between $5,000.01 and $10,000.00 also require approval of the Dean or designee.
- Purchases valued above $10,000 also require the approval of the Divisional Vice President or designee.
- Vice Presidents and Deans may require additional approvals for their divisions/schools above these levels.
- Once approvals are obtained, the completed purchase requisitions should be submitted to [email protected] for the final approval.
- Administration and Finance will review all purchase requests for criticality, appropriateness and necessity of expense, and reasonableness of price.
- Requisitions for new ongoing/recurring monthly expenses should be prepared for the anticipated total amount through the end of the fall semester and appropriate signatures obtained, the requisition should be forwarded to the Office of the Vice President of Administration and Finance for review and approval.
- Invoices for services or goods already received should be processed as follows:
- If the invoice is for goods and services under an existing contract or purchase order, invoices are to be submitted to Accounts Payable.
- If the invoice is not supported by an existing contract or purchase order, a requisition must accompany the invoice, and submitted to the Office of the Vice President of Administration and Finance for approval.
- In order to ensure purchases are expedited, please be sure to include documentation supporting costs (e.g. invoice, quotes, price list, etc.) with your requisition.
- Ongoing requisitions and contracts should be prepared for six months only (through December 31).
Obtaining Office Supplies Updated August 4
In order to minimize the amount of office supplies purchased by the campus, the College will expand its office supplies to go program for the purchase of routine office supplies used by campus departments. Further details will be provided soon.
In the meantime, employees needing office supplies can pick up any of the following items at the warehouse in the Service Building:
- Binder clips (Small, Medium, and Large)
- File folders
- Note pads (8’’ x 11’’)
- Paper clips
- Pencils (Mechanical)
- Post-it notes
- Printer paper (8" x 11" and 11" x 17")
Effective with paychecks dated April 1, 2020, direct deposit advices (pay stubs) were mailed directly to employees from the Office of State Comptroller. This is to reduce employee interactions on payday.
If you received your payroll advice and thought you had opted out of the paper version, it means that you did not. Please take a moment to do so now through NYS Payroll Online. Instructions below. This will save the campus money in postage and processing costs.
As previously announced, actual paychecks are also directly mailed to employees from the Office of State Comptroller. Employees should verify that their mailing address is current by using the SUNY HR Self Service.
Return to On-Campus Work Plan – Updated June 15
About The Plan
We have developed a COVID-19 Return to On-Campus Work Plan to phase in the return of staff over many weeks in a coordinated process. Our plan will ensure appropriate social distancing and availability of PPE, as well as the ability to modify our work spaces.
We greatly appreciate the questions and feedback received since sharing our campus plan. Your input is critical in ensuring the health and safety of our campus community as we implement our phased return to campus. We have been working diligently to respond to any questions and concerns shared. As such, we are capturing the questions and answers, which can be found below.
Read the FAQ (updated July 9)
When a department returns to work depends on workspace accommodations and business continuity needs, we have developed a list of phased dates by department. These dates are guidelines only.
These decisions, once approved, will be communicated to you through your respective manager/supervisor.
Department Head Responsibilities Updated July 9
The first step in preparing our work environments for your return to campus is an assessment of work spaces. Departments heads will receive guidance on how to assess the environment within the week. The second will be ensuring social distancing in common areas is adequately marked and posted.
The phased return to on-campus work plan will follow these steps:
Step 1: Manager completes Social Distancing Assessment and Modification Request Form.
Step 2: Manager sends Return to On-Campus Work Employee Questionnaire to their employees.
Step 3: Manager submits both the Social Distancing Assessment and Employee Questionnaires to their supervisor. It goes up the hierarchy through their respective vice president and the Operational Continuity Health and Safety Team.
Step 4: Human Resource Services notifies supervisor of status for all employees based on results of completed Employee Questionnaires.
Step 5: Operational Continuity Health and Safety Team notifies vice president, supervisor and manager of return to on-campus work date and shares password for New York State Return to Work video.
Step 6: Manager notifies employees on date to return to on-campus work.
Step 7: Employee watches New York State Return to Work video.
Step 8: Employee returns to on-campus work.
Any questions regarding the return to on-campus work plan should be sent to the Operations Continuity Health and Safety Team.
Daily Health Screening Responsibilities Updated July 13
Daily Health Screening
Employees should complete the health screening form before reporting to work. This online form is to be completed by the employee only.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the form go?
A copy of results are emailed to the person completing the form and their supervisor.
Who receives the submission of the form, Supervisor and employee?
The employee and supervisor receives the completed form after submission via an email from "[email protected]".
Is it secured?
Yes, this form requires CAS authentication.
Is there a paper version of the form?
Yes. See below to print the paper form.
Additional Resources Updated July 7
NYS Return to Work video (password shared upon approval for on-campus work)
Return to ON Campus Work Frequently Asked Questions (updated July 9th)
Steps to Research ReStart
When To Complete the ReStart Process
Now that the campus is open, faculty engaged in their usual research activity need not utilize the Return to On Campus Research form (exceptions noted below).
Exceptions (those that should submit said form if they haven't already done so) are:
- Any researcher who thinks they or their research staff should be deemed "essential" if the Governor again requires all non-essential employees to work remotely. If there is another "NYS on Pause" situation, it will be easier to deem a group of people essential in the first instance rather than attempt to bring them back to campus after having been sent home.
- Those with external funding that runs through the Research Foundation that do not already have a COVID plan on file.
- Those researchers who require COVID-related building modifications or customized COVID safety plans due to the unique nature of their research.
Sponsored Research and Programs and Academic Affairs have developed the following process to ensure we meet Research Foundation and campus requirements. If you have already completed a previous iteration of the process you are not required to repeat any steps already completed.
Note: SUNY Employees who are on RF payroll only during the summer should use the SUNY version of the daily screening form.
All Investigators must complete the following Steps:
Step 1: Complete SUNY Plattsburgh — Return to On Campus Research Form
Step 2: Attach a Safety Plan (template follows the approval section of the above form)
Step 3: Complete Social Distancing Assessment and Modification Form (even if no modifications are necessary)
Investigators are responsible for routing the form to their dean (following the order of approvals). The dean will route the form to the Office of Sponsored Research who will route the form to the VP Admin & Finance/RF Operations Manager.
Once approved, the following needs to occur:
Step 4: Everyone must watch the NY State video before returning to on-campus research (password shared upon approval to return to on-campus research)
Step 5: *DAILY* employees returning to campus must complete the appropriate COVID-19 health screening form.
Resources & Health Screening Forms Updated July 7
NYS Return to Work video (password shared upon approval to return to on-campus research)
Student Financial Services
Crediting Student Fees
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SUNY Plattsburgh transitioned all Spring 2020 classes to distance learning and required most students to vacate the residence halls after spring break. Student Financial Services is currently in the process of crediting eligible fees (e.g. room, meals) on spring bills for affected students. Learn more about how we are crediting students as a result of COVID-19.