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March 20, 2020

A Message from Lehman College President Daniel Lemons

Dear Lehman Community Member:

As we end this fateful week and think ahead to the weekend and next week, here are the highlights:

  • Remember that the campus is completely closed through Sunday, March 22.
  • Late this afternoon, Governor Cuomo announced that he will sign an Executive Order mandating that 100 percent of the workforce must stay home beginning Sunday, March 22 at 8 p.m., excluding those providing essential services:
  • The good news continues to come in; in response to the Governor's request for help from science faculty and graduate students to ramp up testing, I received this from the School of Natural and Social Sciences dean, Pam Mills – "I sent an email to chairs of bench science departments, including physics, and EVERYONE said they would help if needed, that they could be taught to run instruments!!" What a great response!
    • Students, faculty and staff members will not be able to come to campus while this order is in effect. This includes individual researchers. Those with highly urgent requirements to come to campus need to consult and gain approval for a planned visit to campus from their deans or supervisors. Deans and supervisors have been instructed to only approve visits that meet strict criteria for what is deemed essential.
    • Students are not permitted on campus until this order is relaxed, or we develop safe ways to facilitate essential visits.
    • The Bursar's Office will not open next week. We have determined that this will not create undue hardship near-term, and we continue to work on longer-term solutions.
    • The mailroom has been opened on a split schedule. You will be notified when a package for you is received, then as is possible within the limits of the prevailing order, you can make an appointment to pick it up.
  • Students who have been notified that they will be receiving loaner computers and iPads next week will need to wait until we work out another way they can be delivered in compliance with the Governor's order. Don't despair, we will find a way and will contact you as soon as we do. In any case we will update you early in the week.
  • As you may know, the college is making further plans to loan additional laptop computers and iPads to students as they become available. I understand that there is a significant need and we want students to complete the semester successfully in a distance learning mode. As such, we have created an online form that will allow students to be placed on a waiting list for devices. Once a device becomes available, the Office of Campus Life will contact you to arrange for you to receive it. Again, this will happen as we develop safe ways to manage the distribution process.
  • I ask faculty members to be understanding and make allowances for students who are still unable to access course materials. We will be ramping up for a couple of weeks as we improve student access.
  • Students, here's your part. If you are having difficulty accessing online materials, keep studying anyway. Use your syllabus to guide you and be an independent learner as we work to get you fully connected.

As always, the best source of information is the coronavirus website which we will keep up-to-date. Continue to send questions, comments and suggestions to covid19.taskforce@lehman.cuny.edu

Thank you for your cooperation, resilience and flexibility. Lehman College has a phenomenal staff, faculty and administration that are all working to the extreme under these increasingly stringent conditions to keep spring semester going. We are all fearful and uncertain about what lies ahead, but despite that we have behaved like the caring community we are at our core.

I hope that as you stay in much of this weekend and the coming week, you will find some silver linings in being with your loved ones. Mary and I will be having a Zoom birthday party tomorrow for our one-year-old granddaughter in Texas, joined by her cousins in Berlin and in upstate New York. I hope you can do some distance singing and conversing as well. We need to stay connected.

Daniel Lemons

Previous messages from President Lemons can be found here.