HR News

COVID-19 Testing Options Available for Employees and Their Families

Convenient access to on-demand PCR-type testing continues to be available at no cost to asymptomatic faculty and staff and their families through the University’s Testing Center. Locations and hours of operation can be found on Syracuse.edu/staysafe.

Additionally, every household in the U.S. is eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government. For more information and to submit your order, visit covidtests.gov.

Lastly, new guidance from the departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury requires group health plans, including Syracuse University’s employee health plan to cover the cost of FDA-authorized at-home COVID-19 tests during this public health emergency as of Jan. 15, 2022.

Through OptumRx, employees and their dependents who are enrolled in our health plan are eligible to be reimbursed for up to $12 toward the cost of a qualifying test purchased on or after Jan. 15 by submitting a manual claim request. Additionally, qualifying tests can be acquired at no cost from OptumRx’s initial retail preferred partners, Walmart and Rite Aid, with additional retail options expected to be added in the future. Each covered member can be reimbursed for up to eight at-home COVID-19 tests per month (without a prescription). For more information and to request a claim reimbursement visit optumrx.com/testinfo or contact OptumRx at 866.854.2945 (TTY:711).

With this new guidance having just been released, processes and coverage rules may continue to evolve. Please visit the HR website for more information as it becomes available. For any questions, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

Important Information About the Spring 2022 Semester

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Over the past month, countless members of our campus community have been hard at work planning and preparing for our students to return to campus and to begin the spring semester. Since the beginning of the pandemic, each semester has presented our community with new and different challenges—and spring 2022 will be no different. At the same time, two aspects of our planning and preparation are unchanged. We remain committed to prioritizing the health and well-being of our community, and to a decision-making process that is informed by science and the best guidance of public health experts.

There is still much we don’t know about the omicron variant. What we do know is that the omicron variant is highly infectious. At the same time, there is strong evidence to suggest that—for those fully vaccinated (including a booster shot)—the omicron variant poses a much-reduced risk to individual health as compared to prior variants of the virus. It is for this reason that we are requiring all members of our campus community to be fully vaccinated and boosted, and why we’re confident in our ability to sustain an in-person, residential learning experience throughout the spring semester.

The purpose of today’s message is to provide our community with important information necessary to inform your planning for the spring semester. This is a necessarily lengthy message. I encourage you to read it carefully, and plan accordingly. Specifically, in today’s message I will address the following:

  • Pre-Arrival Testing for Students
  • Check-In and Arrival Testing for Students
  • Enhanced Surveillance Testing
  • On Demand Testing
  • Masking Framework
  • Isolation and Quarantine Guidance and Space
  • Booster Shot Requirement
  • Flu Vaccine Requirement
  • Continued Flexibility for University Community

Pre-Arrival Testing for Students

As we announced prior to the winter break, all students, regardless of housing location, are required to provide proof of a negative COVID test, administered prior to arriving on campus. Qualifying pre-arrival tests include:

  • A PCR-type test, administered within 72 hours prior to arrival
  • An antigen-type or at-home test, administered immediately prior to travel to the Syracuse area

Any student who tests positive on pre-arrival testing should submit their test result to the Patient Portal and will be directed not to travel to campus until symptoms of illness (if any) have resolved and they have completed the required isolation period. Students who have tested positive within 90 days of the date of their arrival are exempt from the pre-arrival test requirement but must submit documentation of their prior positive status to the Barnes Center in advance of arriving on campus. If a student arrives at check-in as noncompliant with the pre-arrival testing requirement, they will be prohibited from proceeding with the move-in process.

Check-In and Arrival Testing for Students

All students, including those who live in off-campus housing, are required to participate in arrival testing upon their return to Syracuse. For students residing in campus housing, you will be tested at the Ensley Athletic Center during the check-in process. For students residing off campus, you will be directed to test at the Stadium Testing Center no later than Jan. 25. Consistent with prior policy, any student who is noncompliant with the arrival testing requirement will lose access to on-campus technology resources.

Students will receive an email message later this week providing additional details related to the pre-arrival and arrival testing requirements and the check-in and move-in process, as well as a detailed move-in schedule. Please check your email regularly and review all information carefully.

Enhanced Surveillance Testing

Given the current surge of new COVID cases locally and across the U.S., Syracuse University will continue and expand its on-campus COVID surveillance testing program for fully vaccinated individuals beginning Jan. 24. Like the fall semester, each week a group of students, faculty and staff will be selected for testing and directed to visit the Stadium Testing Center. However, given the current surge of new COVID cases stemming from the omicron variant, the number of vaccinated individuals required to test each week will be expanded to start the spring semester.

As a reminder, students, faculty and staff who access campus under a medical or religious vaccine exemption are required to participate in routine COVID surveillance testing once per week. In addition, this requirement is now also extended to any individual who is not yet fully vaccinated and boosted. Community compliance with the requirements of the surveillance testing program will be closely monitored.

On Demand Testing

High-quality, PCR-type testing on demand will continue to be available to students, faculty, staff and families of employees through the University’s Testing Center. Further, the University’s on-campus PCR testing can now be considered confirmatory for the purposes of generating an isolation order and notifying Human Resources of a positive COVID test. Testing through Friday, Jan. 14, will be available at Kimmel Dining Hall. Testing will resume at the Stadium Testing Center beginning on Sunday, Jan. 16. Please visit the Get Tested page on the Stay Safe website for testing location, hours and availability.

Masking

In accordance with the New York State public health order issued on Dec. 10, 2021, and consistent with the University’s masking framework, all members of our campus community must continue to wear a mask when indoors, and outdoors when in the presence of others. This will remain in place until, at a minimum, the statewide masking order is rescinded.

Given the highly infectious nature of the omicron variant, the University is strongly encouraging double-masking or use of a well-fitted KN95-type mask while indoors on campus. Additional masking guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is available on the CDC’s website.

Isolation and Quarantine Guidance and Space

The CDC recently issued updated guidance as it relates to quarantine and isolation time periods. Late last week, that guidance was adopted [PDF] by the Onondaga County Health Department (OCHD) following New York State’s endorsement of the revised CDC policy. As such, Syracuse University has revised its isolation and quarantine guidelines (for those who test positive and those exposed) for members of the campus community for the spring semester. The most significant change is the reduction in isolation from 10 to five days for individuals who test positive for COVID. Symptomatic individuals may need to isolate longer, depending on the progression of their symptoms. The University’s full isolation and quarantine guidance for faculty, staff and students can be found on the Stay Safe website. As a reminder, the Onondaga County Health Department is discontinuing its contact tracing; however, the University will continue to contact trace transmission that occurs involving students and classroom operations.

One potential implication of the highly infectious nature of the omicron variant is to create significantly more demand for University-provided isolation housing. Therefore, as a contingency, over winter break the University converted all rooms in both our on-campus isolation residence halls—Sky Hall 1 and Sky Hall 2—from single to double occupancy. COVID-positive students who require University-provided isolation housing will be assigned single rooms based on availability. However, if the student need for University-provided isolation housing exceeds our capacity to provide single-occupancy rooms, some students isolating in the Sky Hall buildings may be assigned to a double-occupancy room during their isolation period. Additional supportive services and resources for students in quarantine and isolation are available on the Stay Safe website.

Booster Shot Requirement

As shared on multiple occasions, all students, faculty and staff who routinely access any Syracuse University campus location or facility are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot (or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file) prior to the start of the spring semester, or as soon as they become eligible.

For individuals who are not yet eligible to receive a booster by Jan. 24, you will be required to receive a booster shot during the academic semester, within one week of becoming eligible. Students who do not comply with this requirement will not be able to access campus during the spring semester. All students, faculty and staff are required to demonstrate proof of their booster compliance. To upload your information, including your booster and vaccination documentation, follow these steps:

  • Students: Upload documentation of your COVID booster to the Patient Portal at your earliest convenience. This must be completed before your return to campus. Review step-by-step instructions for uploading proof of your COVID booster.
  • Faculty/Staff: Document your COVID vaccine series (including your booster) or apply for a medical or religious exemption in MySlice by following these detailed instructions. Faculty and staff must certify their vaccination status by Monday, Jan. 24, to avoid disciplinary action.

Flu Vaccine Requirement

All members of the campus community are expected to be vaccinated against the flu to provide additional protection against the spread of illness this winter. Under the Stay Safe Pledge, all students accessing campus are required to have the flu vaccine prior to the start of the Spring 2022 semester. If you haven’t already done so, please get a flu vaccine at your earliest convenience. Here’s how:

The only exceptions to this requirement are for those with religious or medical exemptions. Students can document their flu vaccine status (or exemption) in the Patient Portal and faculty and staff can do so by logging in to MySlice, clicking on the Employee Resources tile and then the Flu Vaccine Status tile. For individuals who receive the vaccine on campus, no further documentation is required.

Continued Flexibility for University Community

In December, supervisors were encouraged to extend flexibility to work remotely to their teams, as appropriate to their duties and departments. Originally, this was slated to remain in place until Tuesday, Jan. 18. However, given that the University has pushed back the start date of the spring semester to Monday, Jan. 24, if practical supervisors are now empowered to allow their teams to work remotely until that start date, if their positions support this kind of arrangement. Staff who have questions or concerns should reach out to their supervisors directly; supervisors with questions should contact their unit’s senior human resources business partner.

As a reminder: Staff who must be on campus to perform their duties, including but not limited to student-facing roles, food services, facilities management, public safety, parking, etc., as determined by their departments, should continue reporting to campus per their regular schedule. If you are uncertain if your position requires you to be on campus, please contact your supervisor directly to discuss.

In the days to come, you will continue to receive frequent communications from me and others addressing the most current public health guidance, policy updates and other actions proposed to safeguard health, wellness and our campus community experience. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for all the latest information about the University’s public health strategy.

We look forward to welcoming our community back to campus.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

Important Reminder to Students, Faculty and Staff: Continue to Test at Kimmel Dining Hall

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Yesterday Syracuse University announced that for the next two weeks, the Stadium Testing Center will provide access to free testing for Central New York residents. At the same time, continuing to provide quick and efficient COVID testing to members of the Syracuse University community remains one of our key public health priorities. For that reason, I’m writing to remind you that during the period we are offering testing to the public at the stadium, we will simultaneously operate the testing center at Kimmel Dining Hall for the use of Syracuse University students, faculty, staff and families.

Please note: Testing at the Kimmel Dining Hall is available to members of the Syracuse University community during the following hours, through Friday, Jan. 14.

  • Tuesday, Jan. 4: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 5: noon-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 6: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 7: 8:30-10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 8: CLOSED
  • Sunday, Jan. 9: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
  • Monday, Jan. 10: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Tuesday, Jan. 11: 10 a.m-3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Jan. 12: noon-7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Jan. 13: 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 14: 8:30-10:30 a.m.

Please continue to visit Kimmel to participate in our COVID testing. Thank you for your cooperation as we work to support our neighbors and the Central New York community.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

COVID-19 Update: Important Information About the Spring 2022 Semester

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Earlier today, you received a message from Chancellor Syverud regarding the University’s decision to delay the start of the spring semester. We are taking this action based on the counsel we’ve received from many experts, given projections that transmission of the COVID-19 virus, and in particular the omicron variant, will intensify and likely surge following the holiday break.

As we look ahead to the spring semester, we are fortunate that more than 98% of our campus community is vaccinated. At the same time, the omicron variant has proven to be highly transmissible and now accounts for 73% of COVID cases in the U.S. We experienced firsthand the highly transmissible nature of the omicron variant on campus over the past week. All this is to say that we will continue to closely monitor the pandemic conditions and remain nimble and flexible with regard to planning for the spring semester.

With that in mind, and given Chancellor Syverud’s earlier message, I am writing to share with you some additional information and other important updates that include:

  • Spring Semester Schedule
  • Booster Requirement
  • Pre-Arrival Testing Requirement

Spring Semester Schedule

As shared in the Chancellor’s message, public health experts are warning the first several weeks of January will be among the most difficult of the COVID case surge occurring now as a result of this quick spread of the omicron variant. With the semester starting later, there are additional key dates you need to be aware of, including:

  • The first day of classes will be Monday, Jan. 24, with the exception of the College of Law, which will begin its semester online on Jan. 10. Law students will receive additional information about their on-time, online start from College of Law Dean Craig M. Boise.
  • International students can begin moving into their on-campus residence halls and apartments on Thursday, Jan. 20; all other students can move in on Friday, Jan. 21.
  • Spring break will occur as scheduled from March 13-20.
  • The last day of instruction will be Wednesday, May 4.
  • Final exams will take place May 6, 9, 11 and 12.
  • Commencement 2022 will now be held on Sunday, May 15; all other activities, including Convocations, will occur that weekend as well.

We will continue to evaluate conditions in the coming weeks and communicate any additional changes should they become necessary.

Booster RequirementAs previously announced, all students, faculty and staff who routinely access any Syracuse University campus location or facility are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot (or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file) prior to the start of the spring semester. While breakthrough cases of COVID continue to occur, individuals who have received a booster of mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have significantly more antibodies than those who haven’t yet been boosted. The latest data shows the Pfizer booster provides a 25-fold increase in antibodies, while the Moderna booster provides a 37-fold increase. These increased antibody levels result in greater efficacy and a significantly reduced risk of serious illness. The decision to require boosters is informed by public health experts, the latest science and the most current data.

Given today’s announcement regarding the revised start of the spring semester to Jan. 24, 2022, we are also amending the date by which students, faculty and staff must be compliant with the booster shot requirement to Jan. 24.

For individuals who are not yet eligible to receive a booster by Jan. 24, you will be required to receive a booster shot during the academic semester, within one week of becoming eligible. Individuals who do not comply with this requirement will not be able to access campus during the spring semester. All students, faculty and staff are required to demonstrate proof of their booster compliance. To upload your information, including your booster and vaccination documentation, follow these steps:

Pre-Arrival Testing

The University previously announced all students would have to participate in arrival testing when they return to campus. The schedule for arrival testing will be revised to accommodate the delayed start of the semester. In addition, given the anticipated post-holiday surge of the omicron variant, we are also announcing that returning students will be required to demonstrate a negative COVID-19 test prior to returning to campus. We recognize that in many communities, testing options are still limited. We are currently working to determine how to best support students who may have limited testing options in their own communities, with regard to complying with this requirement. You will receive an email in early January with more information on pre-arrival testing.

The pandemic continues to challenge us as individuals and as a community. Please know that we remain focused on one thing: safeguarding the health and well-being of our campus and neighboring communities, while at the same time ensuring a robust living, learning and working experience for our students, faculty and staff. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the most up-to-date public health guidance and stay tuned for additional communications from the University.

Please stay safe this holiday season and enjoy time with your families, friends and loved ones.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

2021-22 Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days Operating Schedule

The University will be operating under its Orange Appreciation Days format for the Winter Break period beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 23, 2021, through Friday, Dec. 31, 2021, resuming normal building occupancy schedules on Monday, Jan. 3, 2022.

During the Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days period:

  • All academic and administrative buildings will be locked or closed.
  • Building temperatures will be lowered to 60 degrees unless prior arrangements have been made.

Building Access Requests:

If you require your building to be open over the Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days period, please submit a request to your building coordinator, noting the specific dates and times.

All requests should be made by 5 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021.

Note: Building access already in place for faculty and staff will be maintained, per usual, by swiping your SU I.D. card, even when buildings are locked.

Adjustments to Temperature and Lighting Requests:

Deans, directors and department heads may submit a detailed request for adjustments to temperature and lighting during the Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days period. Please review the University’s temperature guidelines. Requests must be made using the online form by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Requests will be reviewed and approved by either the vice president and chief facilities officer or the provost.

Important: Buildings Not Included in Winter Break Reduced Occupancy Schedule

The following buildings will be excluded from the temperature setback, and will remain on normal access, temperature and lighting settings:

  • Bird Library—Operating hours are listed on the Libraries website
  • Bowne Hall-Fourth Floor
  • Carmelo K. Anthony Basketball Center
  • Center for Science and Technology
  • Crouse-Hinds Hall
  • Ensley Athletic Center
  • Heroy Geology Laboratory
  • Life Sciences Complex
  • Link Hall
  • Lyman Hall-Fourth Floor
  • Manley Field House
  • Physics Building
  • Sims Hall-Department of Public Safety
  • South Campus Library Facility
  • Tennity Ice Pavilion

Additional information regarding Winter Break/Orange Appreciation Days resources and services available may be found at the following links:

Questions regarding building occupancy can be directed to Energy Systems and Sustainability Management at 315.443.1535 or energy@syr.edu.

Increased Flexibility for University Community

Dear Faculty and Staff:

With the vast majority of our students now off campus for the winter break, the University is encouraging supervisors to extend flexibility to work remotely to their teams, as appropriate to their duties and departments. This will remain in place until Jan. 18, 2022—the start of the Spring 2022 semester. This action will allow eligible employees flexibility with their work, especially at a time when new COVID infections are rising.

Here’s what this guidance means:

  • Team members who can perform their work remotely are encouraged to do so.
  • Deans, senior vice presidents and other leaders will encourage faculty and staff whose job functions do not require a physical presence on campus to conduct their business remotely.
  • Individuals who must be on campus to perform their duties, including but not limited to student-facing roles, food services, facilities management, public safety, parking, etc., as determined by their departments, should continue reporting per their regular schedule. If you are uncertain if your position requires you to be on campus, please contact your supervisor directly to discuss.
  • Research that requires faculty, staff and graduate students to be on campus, in the field or in a laboratory may continue. Similarly, studio space and work that cannot be replicated outside the studio may continue.

We are grateful to our faculty and staff, together whom played such a critical role in maintaining a robust academic and student experience this year.

I wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy and restful holiday season.

Sincerely,

Andrew R. Gordon
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

Enhanced Public Health Measures

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Like many other colleges and universities in New York and across the country, over the past 72 hours Syracuse University has experienced a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases within our campus community. We do not yet have evidence that the cause of this increase is the omicron variant. However, the confirmed presence of the highly infectious omicron variant on other college campuses in New York suggests a high likelihood that the variant is beginning to circulate in our region.

Tomorrow is the final day of our semester, and the majority of our students have already safely departed campus. However, we are cognizant that many in-person activities are planned for campus over the next week, including holiday gatherings, special programming and other events. For the safety of those who remain on campus and our neighbors, and to combat the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in our community, the University is announcing additional actions to safeguard the health and well-being of our community. Specifically, effectively immediately:

  • In-person final exams scheduled for tomorrow can continue as planned.
  • Schools, colleges, and academic and administrative units should postpone or cancel planned in-person holiday gatherings. If these events can be transitioned to a virtual format, we encourage you to consider that as an option.
  • All University-sponsored activities, such as concerts, lectures and other in-person programming should transition to a virtual format or be postponed. This guidance applies to all in-person, extracurricular events scheduled on campus between now and the start of Orange Appreciation Days on Friday, Dec. 24.
  • Research that requires faculty, staff and graduate students to be on campus, in the field or in a laboratory may continue. Similarly, studio space and work that cannot be replicated outside the studio may continue with all appropriate public health precautions in place. We urge all researchers, studio personnel and graduate students to take the necessary steps to keep themselves and those around them safe. This includes mask wearing, monitoring for symptoms, hand washing and regular testing.
  • The stadium will continue to operate in accordance with the existing guidance and protocols prescribed by New York State and the Onondaga County Health Department. Those existing local public health regulations will continue to be strictly enforced at the stadium, and any new or additional precautions contemplated for stadium events will be publicized by Syracuse University Athletics.
  • In accordance with the New York State public health order of Dec. 10, 2021, all members of our campus community must always mask when indoors, and outdoors when in the presence of others. We also encourage you to test regularly and monitor for symptoms. Any specific questions should be directed to your supervisor.

Syracuse University’s Public Health Team will continue to monitor this fluid and quickly evolving situation and communicate any additional public health actions the University may implement in the future. Please review all messages from the University carefully and continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the most up-to-date public health information.

Sincerely,
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

COVID-19 Update: Winter Break 2021 Updates and Reminders

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Tomorrow we conclude the Fall 2021 academic semester. Like many of our experiences together throughout the pandemic, this semester challenged us in new and unique ways. Also like before, as an Orange community we elevated and pushed through those challenges together. I am so grateful to everyone for your continued commitment to safeguard the health and well-being of your classmates, co-workers, teammates and friends.

As we look ahead to 2022, it’s right to do so with excitement, energy and optimism. At the same time, it is also important that we are upfront and authentic regarding the new challenges we will face together as we contemplate a return to campus after break, now navigating the rapid spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant. Those challenges will be significant and require us to remain flexible, vigilant and, above all else, require that we extend empathy and grace to each other.

Throughout the winter break, the Syracuse University Public Health Team will remain working and engaged with local, state and federal health officials to ensure our planning supports a safe return to campus for the spring semester. I’m writing today to ask that you do your part as well. Whether you’re visiting loved ones or remaining here on campus during the holiday season, commit to those behaviors that we know will keep you and those around you safe. In addition, I ask you to please pay close attention to messages that may come from the University over the winter break related to return to campus planning. The fluid and uncertain nature of the situation demands that our planning and preparation remains dynamic as well. For that reason, it is critically important that you remain connected with us over the break.

As we wrap up the final days of the fall semester, I want to reinforce important actions you must take prior to your return to campus in 2022, and updated information related to campus resources available to you through the holiday season. They include:

  • Documenting Your COVID Vaccine and Booster
  • Expanded Access to On-Campus Testing
  • Plans for Spring Semester Arrival Testing
  • Flu Vaccination Requirements

Submit Your COVID Vaccine and Booster Documentation by Jan. 18

All students, faculty and staff who routinely access any Syracuse University campus location or facility are required to receive a COVID-19 booster shot (or have an approved medical or religious exemption on file) prior to the start of the spring semester on Jan. 18, 2022, or as soon as they become eligible. Public health experts advise that receiving the booster is key to staying safe and healthy.

Additionally, all faculty and staff are required to submit documentation for review by the University to confirm vaccination compliance. To upload your information, including your booster and vaccination documentation, follow these steps:

  • Students: Upload documentation of your COVID booster and flu vaccines to the Patient Portal at your earliest convenience. Review step-by-step instructions for uploading proof of flu vaccine and recording and uploading proof of your COVID booster.
  • Faculty/Staff: Document your COVID vaccine series (including your booster) or apply for a medical or religious exemption in MySlice by following these detailed instructions. If you have not already done so, you must also attest to having received the flu vaccine (or an exemption) by Jan. 18, which you can do in MySlice by logging in to the Employee Home page, clicking “Employee Resources” and then “Flu Vaccine Status.”

Access to On-Campus Testing

To best support faculty, staff, families and students remaining on campus during winter break, we have extended access to on-campus testing through Dec. 23. The on-campus testing center will close during Orange Appreciation Days, and then reopen on Sunday, Jan. 2. Please continue to take advantage of this service, especially ahead of family gatherings this holiday season, and before you return to the office on Monday, Jan. 3. The hours are:

  • Thursday, Dec. 16: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Stadium)
  • Friday, Dec. 17: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (Stadium)
  • Saturday, Dec. 18: Closed
  • Sunday, Dec. 19: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Monday, Dec. 20: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 21: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Wednesday, Dec. 22: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Thursday, Dec. 23: 8-10 a.m. (Kimmel)
  • Friday, Dec. 24 – Saturday, Jan. 1: Closed
  • Sunday, Jan. 2: 10 a.m.-2 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Monday, Jan. 3: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Tuesday, Jan. 4: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Wednesday, Jan. 5: noon-7 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Thursday, Jan. 6: 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (Kimmel)
  • Friday, Jan. 7: 8:30-10:30 a.m. (Kimmel)
  • Saturday, Jan. 8: Closed

Student Arrival Testing

Students returning for the start of the spring semester will be required to participate in arrival testing. This includes all students (undergraduate, graduate and law), regardless of vaccination status, who access campus. Specifically:

  • Resident advisors will be required to test no later than Jan. 10.
  • Orientation leaders must test no later than Jan. 13.
  • All students living on campus must test no later than Jan. 17.
  • All students living off-campus must test no later than Jan. 21.

Arrival testing will be held at the stadium and Kimmel Hall. A full schedule of testing hours will be made available the first week of January and communicated to the community ahead of our return to campus. You can also find more information on the testing page of Syracuse.edu/staysafe.

Flu Vaccination

As a reminder, all students, faculty and staff, except those with religious or medical exemptions, are expected to be vaccinated against the flu by the start of the Spring 2022 semester. For students, this is required under the Stay Safe Pledge. If you haven’t already done so, please get a flu vaccine as soon as possible by scheduling an appointment at your doctor’s office, pharmacy or anywhere else in your community offering the vaccine. Once you received your flu shot, please take the following action:

  • Students: If you received the flu vaccine on campus, no further action is needed. If you received a flu shot off-campus, please document your flu vaccine status (or exemption) in the Patient Portal.
  • Faculty and Staff: For individuals who receive the flu vaccine on campus, no further documentation is required. Faculty and staff who did not receive the vaccine on campus can document their flu vaccine status (or exemption) by logging in to MySlice, clicking on the Employee Resources tile and then the Flu Vaccine Status tile.

You will continue to receive email reminders through winter break if you have yet to receive a flu vaccine. As always, please visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the most up-to-date public health information.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and restful holiday season.

Sincerely,
J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

Retirement Benefits for Employees Hired Beginning in January 2022

Dear Colleagues:

I am writing today to address some questions I have received about Syracuse University’s retirement benefits, specifically how future employees will be encouraged to contribute to their retirement accounts.

First, and most importantly, the forthcoming retirement changes ONLY apply to employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2022. No one currently employed at Syracuse University will be impacted by this prospective change. Here’s what the change means:

  • Beginning Jan. 1, 2022, new employees will be encouraged to contribute to their retirement.
  • This change provides an incentive for all faculty and staff to save more for a secure retirement.
  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2022, will have the ability to receive a 10% contribution from the University.
  • Employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2022, will receive an automatic 5% contribution to their retirement plan after one year of service. This does not require any employee contribution.
  • These employees can receive a dollar-for-dollar match from the University up to an additional 5% of their salary. This match enables employees to save at least 15% of their salary toward their retirement each year, subject to the IRS contribution limits.

This change is consistent with how retirement plans are administered at more than two-thirds of our peer institutions. Nevertheless, based on extensive conversations with academic leaders, faculty and staff, we made the very intentional decision not to apply this change to current employees and we have no intention to apply it to current employees in the future.

I want to extend my gratitude to the members of the Benefits Advisory Council and the Senate Committee on Services to Faculty and Staff, both of which provided invaluable feedback during the benefits planning process. Together, their input strongly informed and influenced the final design of this year’s benefits package.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me, your senior HR business partner or HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042.

Sincerely,
Andrew R. Gordon
Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resource Officer

Submitting Vaccination or Medical/Religious Exemptions Documentation

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

As announced this week, Syracuse University will require all faculty and staff to submit documented proof of vaccination status or information supporting their application for a medical or religious exemption. This process will occur electronically and the documentation provided by you will be retained in a secure and confidential electronic file that is separate from your official employment records.

The electronic form will be available on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021. We ask that you submit your documentation as soon as possible after this date to allow sufficient time for it to be approved prior to the beginning of the spring semester (Jan. 18, 2022). Detailed in this message are the processes for submitting documentation for review and verification by the University.

Submitting Proof of Vaccination (Available Monday, Dec. 13, 2021):

To submit proof of vaccinations, including the booster vaccination, please follow this process:

  • Log in to MySlice.
  • On the “Employee Home” page, select “Employee Resources.”
  • In the “Employee Resources” section, select “eForms.”
  • Once in “eForms,” click on “Human Resources.”
  • Under “Human Resources,” select the “COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form.”
  • In the “COVID Vaccination Status Form,” enter the exact dates of your vaccinations along with the type of vaccination received. (Please do not enter future dates even if you have a scheduled appointment.)
  • Upload proof of vaccination by clicking on the “Attach Proof of Vaccination” option. Acceptable forms of proof include:
    • A photo of your COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card clearly showing the dates of vaccinations
    • Record of immunization from a public health or state immunization system, such as the Excelsior Pass
    • Record of immunization from a health care provider or pharmacy
    • Medical records or other official documentation verifying vaccination status with information on the vaccine name, dates of vaccination and name of health care professional or clinic site that administered the vaccine
  • Once you’ve completed the above step, enter your preferred phone number or email address so Human Resources can contact you if there are any questions about your submission.
  • Click the check box next to attest to certifying that the information provided is accurate and complete.
  • Click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the documentation to submit your form.
  • You will receive an email to your Syracuse University account once your information has been reviewed and verified.

Submitting a Medical Exemption (Available Monday, Dec. 13, 2021):

To apply for a medical exemption, please take these steps:

  • Download and complete the top portion of the “Health Care Provider Certification of Medical Exemption from SU Employee COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement” (“Provider Certification”). This document will be available on Monday, Dec. 13, 2021.
  • Have your health care provider complete the “Provider Certification.”
  • Once complete, log in to MySlice.
  • On the “Employee Home” page, select “Employee Resources.”
  • In the “Employee Resources” section, select “eForms.”
  • Once in “eForms,” click on “Human Resources.”
  • Under “Human Resources,” select the “COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form.”
  • While in the “COVID Vaccination Status Form Section,” click on “Apply for a Medical Exemption.”
  • Click the check boxes to attest to certifying your responses.
  • Upload your completed Provider Certification.
  • Once you’ve completed the above step, enter your preferred phone number and email so someone can contact you if there are any questions about your submission.
  • Click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the application, which will automatically send your completed application to the Syracuse University Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator or their designees who will review it and engage you in an interactive process, if necessary.
  • If your application is approved, the Syracuse University ADA coordinator or their designees will record your vaccination status as compliant with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
  • If the exemption is for a limited period of time, you will be required to comply with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements at the conclusion of that time.
  • Please note that the review of your request for an exemption may take up to five to 10 working days and this review time will not extend any deadlines for complying with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
  • If you have questions or problems completing this form, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 and we will be happy to assist you.

Submitting a Religious Exemption (Available Monday, Dec. 13, 2021):

To apply for a religious exemption, please take these steps:

  •  Log in to MySlice.
  • On the “Employee Home” page, select “Employee Resources.”
  • In the “Employee Resources” section, select “eForms.”
  • Once in “eForms,” click on “Human Resources.”
  • Under “Human Resources,” select the “COVID-19 Vaccination Status Form.”
  • Once here, click on “Apply for a Religious Exemption.”
  • Click the check boxes to attest to certifying your responses.
  • Next, upload a Word document or enter your information in the eForm with your personal responses to the following questions:
    • What are the religious principles that you sincerely hold that are contrary to receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccinations? Please note that social, philosophical, political or economic views and personal preferences do not qualify as religious beliefs.
    • Do your sincerely held religious beliefs prevent you from receiving other vaccinations or taking certain medications? If not, describe the religious basis that specifically prevents you from receiving any of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
  • Enter your preferred phone number or email address in case there are any questions about your submission.
  • Click the “Submit” button at the bottom of the application.
  • If your application is approved, you will be recorded as compliant with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
  • Please note that the review of your request may take up to five to 10 working days and this review time will not extend any deadlines for complying with the COVID-19 vaccination requirements
  • If you have questions or problems completing this form, please contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 and we will be happy to assist you.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and commitment to safeguard the health and well-being of our campus community and our neighbors. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the latest public health information.

Sincerely,

Office of Human Resources