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March 16, 2020

A Message from Lehman College President Daniel Lemons

Good Morning Lehman Campus Community:

We are starting today in a different world. Yesterday, events moved at a lightning pace, leading to the closing of NYC public schools, closing of restaurants, businesses and all events, and bringing our campus staffing down to just essential persons today. These are all necessary steps, but they create many challenges for us as we strive to continue to function as a college.

There will be more communications coming today, and this will probably be the briefest, but there are two things I want to address now.

Before last night's announcement we were already far along in moving to remote operation. However, we had planned to finish the process today with staff able to be on campus to gather what was needed to work from home. Since we are not able to carry out that plan today, every supervisor/chair/director will be working with their deans and vice presidents throughout the day to accomplish this transition. I ask that all members of the faculty and staff wait to hear from their chairs/supervisors about the next steps. By the end of the day, we hope to be well on our way to operating in our new mode.

These are extraordinary times, ones that call for patience and flexibility. I will be back in touch tomorrow as we continue to respond to a rapidly changing situation. Thank you for your patience, understanding and loyalty to Lehman College.

Finally, more about the student who tested positive for COVID-19. Knowing that someone who tested positive was in class last week has added to the fear we already have about being exposed. The protocol we follow after a documented direct exposure like that is to identify all of the classes attended by the student in the past 14 days and notify all other students, faculty and staff who might have been exposed. They are advised to self-isolate until they have consulted with a medical professional for further steps. If we haven't already, we clean all areas where the student tells us they have been on campus in the past 14 days. Since almost the entire campus has already been cleaned that step is completed.

After last night's email, many students emailed with questions. We will probably not be able to answer them all because we are extremely busy managing the transition to remote operations. However, today we will put more information on the website that should answer most questions. We will not identify the student or provide other specific information, but we have contacted every person who was in the vicinity of, if not necessarily exposed to the infected individual. We are guided in these actions by the best medical advice we can get.


Daniel Lemons

Previous messages from President Lemons can be found here.