I write today with enormous, ongoing gratitude for everything you’ve done—and continue to do—to get us through, and hopefully past, the health and safety challenges of late 2021 and to position us to welcome our students to campus for the spring 2022 semester. With enrollment strong, Omicron cases declining, more in-person classes set to resume, and protocols in place to safeguard the campus, we are well positioned to return from winter break and ensure that students, faculty, and staff will be able to thrive.
Once again, thank you for helping us to think through the challenges and opportunities before us, making highly useful suggestions, and preparing, as always, to put our students first.
As we approach the start of the spring semester, I want to provide some important updates regarding CUNY policies, as well as Hunter’s plans for increasing our on-campus presence.
Spring Work Schedules and Remote Work Agreements
As many of you know, we had planned to increase our on-campus staff density to 70% by the start of the semester in order to align with the Chancellor’s goal to have 70% of classes in person this spring. However, the Chancellor recently extended the current 50% in-person capacity until February 25. Therefore, in most instances, staff will maintain a three day per week in-person schedule for the month of February. There may, however, be some exceptions in offices where additional staff is required to support the increased student presence on campus. Please work with your manager to determine your schedule for February.
We are still confident that we will reach the goal of having 70% of classes in person for the spring semester. Therefore, beginning on Monday, February 28, most staff will be asked to return to campus four days per week to support our students.
CUNY will continue to implement its policy that all students taking in-person or hybrid classes, with the exception of the small number of students with medical exceptions or religious exemptions, must be vaccinated to access campus. We are fortunate that the majority of our spring students will be returning students who have already uploaded their proof of vaccination. All students must have their vaccination documentation uploaded and approved in CUNYfirst or they will be de-registered from classes by CUNY before classes begin. If they subsequently upload proof, they may register for courses up to the end of the add/drop period on February 3.
Governor Hochul also recently announced that CUNY students taking in-person or hybrid courses will be required to receive a booster shot when they are eligible. Further guidance on this policy will be forthcoming.
Additionally, we continue to encourage faculty and staff members who have been vaccinated to upload their proof of vaccination, including booster shots. CUNYfirst has recently been updated to allow for uploading proof of booster doses. We also remind all staff that if you are not vaccinated, you must continue to test weekly.
CUNY has significantly expanded its random testing program, increasing the proportion of the vaccinated population being tested each week to 20%. Please monitor your email, including your spam folder, for notifications from Cleared4. Please note: if you are selected for random testing, you will need to be tested within the week you receive the email. We want to remind you that you can go to any CUNY testing site to be tested. More information on CUNY testing locations and hours can found here. Please note that failure to comply may result in CUNY revoking your access to campus.
If you test positive at a CUNY testing site, our Coronavirus Liaison will be notified and will be in touch with instructions. If you test positive at a non-CUNY site, please write an email to COVIDhub@hunter.cuny.edu, and you will be contacted with guidance about isolation protocols.
It is important to note that if you have tested positive within the past 90 days, you will be exempt from the random testing requirement. Similarly, if you do not plan to be on campus this semester for any reason, you may be exempt. Please contact COVIDhub@hunter.cuny.edu for more information.
I look forward to seeing many of you back on campus in the coming days and weeks. Together, we will ensure a safe and successful semester for our students and the entire Hunter community.
As always, thank you for everything you do for Hunter.
Jennifer J. Raab