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Fall 2020 Planning


SUNY Plattsburgh is preparing for the Fall 2020 semester using a deliberate, timely and thoughtful approach to organize key information, examine alternatives, and inform decision-making.

We are focused on whether we can be fully face-to-face, largely distance education or some combination. The effort is aligned with New York State, SUNY, and local governments. Most colleges are in the same posture at the moment, certainly within the system. That will lead to what work needs to be done between now and the start.

We expect to share details in June.

Five targeted working groups are gathering relevant data to envision what resuming operations will entail and require. Working groups will leverage our talent, skill, innovation and time available until Fall 2020 to support SUNY Plattsburgh’s goal to be “student first” and provide a significant educational experience.

The results from each group will be gathered and will outline further what needs to be done between now and the start to prepare for a robust fall semester.

The process embraces innovation, harnesses ingenuity and resists magical thinking. It is honest, transparent and inclusive of all stakeholders. Grounded in the reality of what is possible, it re-affirms our commitment to shared governance.

Fall 2020 Scenarios

  • Fully Face-to-Face. Return to 100 percent face-to-face instruction in Fall 2020. Residence halls open for full occupancy.
  • Blended Delivery of Education. A mixed instructional delivery model for Fall 2020 with restrictions on gathering sizes to ensure social distancing. Residence halls open for partial occupancy. Some classes/programs remain in distance education mode; other classes/programs resume face-to-face.
  • Fully Distance Education. Remain off campus with 100 percent distance learning modality for entire Fall 2020 semester. Normal operations resume in Spring 2021.

Working Groups

  1. Operational Continuity, Health and Safety. First do no harm. Includes protections, precautions, distancing, testing, tracing, etc. that needs to be in place for all campus communities (e.g. faculty, staff, students, public health/safety, etc.). Identifies supplies, procedures and related resources to support Fall 2020 scenarios.
  2. Academics and Instructional Continuity. Focus on how we will operate academically, what formats could be used, and under what constraints, including a delayed start. Key on what we do, where do we do it, and what additional professional development is needed and when. Details implications for classrooms, staffing, delivery times, etc. Considers aspects of library, technology support, program evaluation, pedagogy, and more under the three scenarios.
  3. Housing and Campus Life. Focus on where and how students live during the semester. Accounts for how many students, where and what community housing constraints may look like. Explores implications for campus life, activities, programing, athletics and related activities.
  4. Student Support and Equity. Focus on what students need to remain successful, how we support students, where that support is delivered and in what ways. Includes basic needs support (e.g. - housing, food, social, emotional, psychological, etc.) and novel retention strategies. Details elements needed to ensure inclusion and equity in all aspects of campus life and that students continue to have access to higher education.
  5. Admissions and Student Recruitment Marketing. Focus on how we maximize yield for the incoming fall class and what is needed now and over the coming months for the next class/es of Cardinals. Examines what special needs exist for domestic and international admissions, events, tactics and related student recruitment marketing under the scenarios. Focus on how we engage alumni to provide support.

The categorical groups, each chaired by a vice president, will draw content experts and ideas from a wide range of campus areas. Each group is charged with:

  • Framing Options for Each Scenario.Draw out what each possibility means and options available within the category. Include assumptions, implications and corresponding details from available data. Describe anything missing (known or unknown) and implications. Identify unintended consequences. Explore ramifications.
  • Gathering Relevant Data and Facts.Numbers, capacities, resources and more should be detailed for each scenario/possibility. Groups should seek additional information from other institutions that serve as suitable benchmarks to SUNY Plattsburgh.

Overarching Aspects

Several important factors run through the five critical areas but are not included in separate working group buckets listed above. Working groups will frame all three scenario plans while considering these elements: 

  • Financial Stability. College budget, revenues, expenses, finances.
  • Advancement. Fundraising and donor support.
  • Communications. Coordinated messaging.
  • Community. External relations and political support.
  • Strategic Planning. Long-term approaches and Middle States regional accreditation process.
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