ITHACA, N.Y. –– Ithaca College will not be bringing students back to campus for the remainder of the semester according to an announcement from President Shirley Collado on Tuesday.

“As the public health crisis around the coronavirus, COVID-19, continues to have an increasing impact on our college and all of our communities, we have made the decision to extend remote instruction for faculty and students and remote work for our employees through the end of this semester,” she said in a message to the campus community.

Administrators cite Governor Andrew Cuomo’s decision to restrict gatherings of more than 50 people, as well as guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that these measures stay in place for at least the next eight weeks, as the reason for the new measure. The college had originally planned to restart in-person classes on Monday, April 6.

In addition, IC has set a target date for commencement of Saturday, Aug. 1, in light of recent policy changes.

“Moving commencement to later in the summer reflects our intention to be realistic and optimistic in an incredibly unpredictable time,” Collado said.

Faculty and staff are being asked to stay off campus effective Tuesday, March 17, unless they have been designated as essential personnel and have supervisory and VP/Dean approval to do so.

For employees who cannot typically work remotely, IC will be completing an assessment over the next few days to determine options. The college has considered asking these employees to engage in professional development activities or work on long-term projects. Others may be reassigned to duties that can be performed remotely.

“Our plan is for all regular, benefits-eligible employees, including exempt and non-exempt, both full-time and part-time status, to continue to receive their regular pay during this period of remote instruction currently scheduled through April 5,” Collado said in an earlier statement this week.

In addition, the college is completing an assessment of student employee positions and will be in touch directly with student employees with more information.

President Collado thanked the campus community for their support during uncertain times.

“I know that responding to this situation has required our community to have tremendous flexibility, presence of mind in the midst of uncertainty, and creative thinking about how we can do our work in new ways,” she said. “You have all stepped up to support one another as people and as professionals, and I am so proud to be a part of this community.”

Anna Lamb

Anna Lamb is a reporter for the Ithaca Voice. Questions? Story tips? Contact her at alamb@ithacavoice.com