HR News

1,600 Doses of Vaccine Now Available–Register Today!

Dear Faculty and Staff Colleagues:

On Wednesday, April 7, Syracuse University will begin administering the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccination on campus to interested students, faculty and staff. We have received an initial allotment of 1,600 doses from New York State and Onondaga County. We expect to receive more doses in the coming days and weeks and will notify our community as they become available.

Pre-Register for On-Campus Vaccination Appointments: For faculty and staff interested in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine on campus, we ask that you complete this form at your earliest convenience. Barnes Center staff will begin contacting students, faculty and staff who pre-registered to receive a vaccination through the University to schedule their appointment. This notification will be done via text or email. Important request: We ask that you keep your cell phones and devices on hand so the Barnes Center staff can easily reach you.

You will receive frequent updates from the Public Health Team about vaccine availability as we continue to receive additional doses. Please be sure to register as soon as possible. A widely vaccinated community is key to preventing the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Sincerely,
Syracuse University Public Health Team

Public Health Advisory: COVID-19 Cases on the Rise

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

Over the last several days, our campus surveillance testing has identified a very significant and troubling increase in the number of positive COVID-19 cases among our students. This afternoon, we will report 44 new COVID infections on the COVID dashboard. Based on case investigations and timing, the data strongly suggests that the current surge of infection largely stems from off-campus parties and gatherings that occurred last weekend.

Our public health professionals are extremely concerned with the current situation. Yesterday alone, we moved more students into isolation housing than was typical of an entire week during the fall semester. If this pace and scale of new infection continue, the University will have no choice but to implement additional and likely dramatic preventative actions, designed to break the current chain of transmission and spread among our student population. I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that all members of our community act now to undercut the current outbreak. Specifically:

1.   Stay Vigilant: Follow these simple steps: 1) Wear your mask, always! 2) Keep your distance. 3) Do not gather in groups larger than 10. 4) Avoid travel outside of Central New York. 5) Monitor your symptoms and stay home if you feel ill. 6) Participate in testing and contact tracing procedures immediately and honestly. 7) Adhere to all directives from state and local authorities and the University. These actions are simple and selfless and keep you and those around you safe.

2.   Get Vaccinated ASAP: As of Tuesday, April 6, all individuals living in New York over the age of 16 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. Put simply, vaccination is the best protection against the spread of COVID-19. A widely vaccinated community safeguards the health, wellness and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and helps our University return to more normal operations. Please visit the New York State COVID-19 vaccine website or the Onondaga County COVID-19 vaccine website to schedule your appointment at your earliest convenience when you are eligible. Important reminder: Many of our students, faculty and staff are likely eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination right now due to other eligibility categories, such as preexisting conditions. Please review all other eligibility categories to determine if you can schedule your appointment ahead of the April 6 vaccination expansion.

3.   Sign Up on the Vaccination Waitlist: As a reminder, Onondaga County occasionally has extra doses available during their clinic days. For that reason, the county has created a waitlist for individuals to sign up to be notified on short notice, if/when extra vaccine is available. Those who sign up on the waitlist will receive an email notifying them of extra doses and allowing them to register for an appointment. If you are interested in being included on the county’s vaccine waitlist, visit the county’s Extra Dose Vaccine Waiting List page.

The University has petitioned New York State to allow us to hold on-campus vaccination clinics to expedite the vaccination of our community, including students. We are currently awaiting a response from New York State. Until then, securing vaccination appointments through the state and county, combined with good public health behaviors, is the most immediate path to address our current situation.

I appreciate that for many of us, watching or reading the news is generating a sense of relief and optimism that the end of the pandemic is in sight. While I share that optimism, the fact is that COVID remains a real and present risk to our staff, faculty and students. Please do everything in your power to keep yourself, those around you and the broader Central New York community safe and healthy.

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

Update on Syracuse University Employee Eligibility for COVID-19 Vaccine

Dear Faculty and Staff:

We are writing to share important information related to COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and access. Under current New York State guidelines, most all Syracuse University employees (who live and work in New York State) are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This includes all faculty and staff working in-person on campus, as well as those working remotely because they are not vaccinated but who plan to return to work in-person once vaccinated.

Additionally, both the Onondaga County and New York State Fairgrounds COVID vaccination sites report having available appointments for eligible individuals. The county and state websites update regularly so please check often until you can confirm an appointment.

We strongly encourage any Syracuse University employee who intends to be vaccinated to make an appointment as soon as possible. Like the flu and other communicable diseases, vaccination is the best protection against the spread of COVID-19. A widely vaccinated community safeguards the health, wellness and safety of our students, faculty and staff, and helps the University return to more normal operations.

Vaccination Instructions and Next Steps

Please follow these simple steps to coordinate your COVID vaccine:

  • Make an appointment: Visit the New York State COVID-19 vaccine website or the Onondaga County COVID-19 vaccine website to identify an available time that works for you.
  • Complete the two forms provided in your confirmation email: After you schedule your appointment, you will receive a confirmation email. This email will contain links to two forms: 1) a screening and consent form that will need to be printed and completed and 2) a form attesting to your eligibility status. The attestation form will provide a “Submission ID,” which you can show on your phone when you arrive at the vaccine clinic.
  • Provide proof of eligibility upon arrival: Please bring with you proof of employment, such as your SU I.D. card and paystub. You should also bring with you your driver’s license or government-issued identification card.
  • Bring your insurance card: You will be asked for insurance information, but the vaccine is free and there will never be a charge to you. This information is for administrative use only. You do not need to have insurance to get the vaccine.

Please note: the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines both require a second dose, which will be scheduled during your appointment for the first dose. The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine requires only one dose.

In addition, we strongly encourage you to closely review all other eligibility categories for your family and dependents who may currently qualify for the vaccine.

We appreciate your ongoing commitment to our community’s health and wish you well as you pursue your COVID-19 vaccination.

Sincerely,

Syracuse University Public Health Team

Fall 2021 Semester Update

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

The midpoint of the semester is fast approaching. Saturday was the first day of spring, bringing a sense of renewal and optimism. All of us need that, perhaps now more than ever. This has been an exceptionally challenging academic year. Beyond our campus, the personal losses and suffering have been especially painful. Through all of this, I have found comfort and hope from all of you. Since our return to campus in August of 2020, our Orange family has responded with grit, grace and greatness. That is why we are here today, and why I have great confidence in our future.

Planning for the Fall

Monday, Aug. 30, will be the first day of classes for the Fall 2021 semester. With wide distribution of vaccines and progress toward achieving herd immunity, we are planning for a fully in-person semester this fall. The University will remain vigilant and cautious as always, follow all the best public health guidance and continue to take care of those who remain at risk. We will do everything possible to support our international students in making their way to campus.

The fall semester will provide a robust academic and co-curricular in-person experience for our students, faculty and staff. It’s too soon to know exactly what conditions with COVID-19 will be like six months from now. But with improving conditions around the region and country, and continued optimism among federal, state and local officials, Syracuse University is planning for a return to more normal operations this fall.

Remaining Vigilant Today

Our enthusiasm is tempered by the reality of where we are today. The pandemic isn’t over. Like so many other universities, Syracuse has recently experienced a spike in positive COVID-19 cases. As a result, the Public Health Team has implemented new measures to mitigate the spread beyond what has already occurred. While our numbers remain manageable, and compared to other universities relatively low, we know how quickly things can change. Please remain vigilant, continue to follow the Stay Safe Pledge and adhere to all public health guidance.

Thank you for your continued cooperation, resilience and commitment to each other. Our community has shown what is possible in the face of adversity. Your actions every day remind me of what it means to be Orange.

Sincerely,

Chancellor Kent Syverud

Syracuse University Sponsored Identity Protection Services Available

To help provide peace of mind to our community, the University has engaged IdentityForce, a leader in the identity protection industry, to provide services to faculty and benefits-eligible staff. Beginning March 19, 2021, eligible faculty and staff will have free access to IdentityForce’s UltraSecure Plus identity protection, credit services, and recovery services for the next twelve months. Visit the HR Identity Protection Services webpage for more information and how to enroll. For any questions, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 or IdentityForce Member Services at 877.694.3367.

Public Health Advisory: New Action Required to Combat Spike in COVID-19 Cases

Dear Students, Families, Faculty and Staff:

A short time ago, the University’s COVID dashboard was updated to reflect the 20 new COVID-19 infections we have confirmed in the past 24 hours. All these new COVID-19 cases are among students. As Vice Chancellor J. Michael Haynie shared in a message earlier today, the Public Health Team is concerned about this emerging cluster of infection, particularly given that most of those who have tested positive over the past week reside in North Campus residence halls.

It is critically important that we act quickly and decisively to undercut further spread of the virus within our residence halls, and more broadly across our campus community. For that reason, effective beginning at 9 p.m. today, the University will implement the following temporary actions to curb further spread of the virus on our campus:

·       Until further notice, all in-person dining on campus, including the Schine Student Center, will move to grab and go service only.

·       Access to public lounges in DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls is temporarily suspended.

·       The University will distribute a supply of disposal paper masks to all residents of DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls. Until further notice, any individual living or working in DellPlain, Shaw and Booth halls will be required to adhere to a double-masking policy while in those buildings. The only exception to this policy applies to students when they are in their own rooms.

·       Until further notice, all residents living in North Campus residence halls will be required to participate in COVID-19 testing twice a week. The COVID Program Management Office will contact all impacted students and provide a testing schedule applicable to your specific residence hall.

While we are optimistic these actions will help stem the spread of the virus, additional public health measures may be required if these initial actions prove inadequate to break the current chain of transmission. As soon as the data indicates that the current cluster of on-campus infection is controlled, these measures will be rescinded.

Finally, please hold yourself and those around you accountable. We cannot stress enough the importance of compliance with public health guidelines. If you have questions, concerns or information that could inform the Public Health Team’s response, do not hesitate to contact the COVID Program Management Office at 315.443.6180 or sucovid@syr.edu.

Sincerely,

Syracuse University Public Health Team

2021 Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act Report

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Every year, we release an informational report on drug and alcohol policy and services. This report is required of all universities, in compliance with the Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act, and to give campus community members information about substance use and abuse, and institutional policies and programs in place to provide intervention and support.

We hope you will take time to review this report because we believe that information, education and personal awareness are powerful tools to ensure your health and safety and that of others on campus.

The 2021 edition of the Syracuse University Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act Report is now available online.

To request a print copy of the Syracuse University Drug Free Schools and Campuses Act Report, please contact Risk Management and Regulatory Compliance at riskadmin@syr.edu or 315.443.4011. Once you submit your request, your print copy will be delivered within 10 days.

Thank you for your cooperation as we strive to make Syracuse University a safe and healthy place for living, learning and working.

Sincerely,

Anthony Callisto Jr.
Senior Vice President and Chief Law Enforcement Officer
Campus Safety and Emergency Services

University to Offer IdentityForce Identity Protection to Faculty and Benefits-Eligible Staff

Dear Faculty and Staff:

As a follow up to the message we shared earlier this week regarding fraudulent unemployment benefit claims filed on behalf of New York State residents, we are writing today to share more information about identity protection services.

To help provide peace of mind to our community, the University has engaged IdentityForce, a leader in the identity protection industry, to provide services to faculty and benefits-eligible staff. Beginning Friday, March 19, eligible faculty and staff will have one year of free access to IdentityForce’s identity protection (including fraud, change of address and dark web monitoring); credit services (including credit freeze and reporting assistance, credit bureau monitoring, and monthly credit reports and scores); and recovery services (including white-glove remediation assistance and up to $1 million of identity theft insurance). Employees will also have free coverage for their children and the option to purchase additional coverage for themselves and one other adult at a reduced price.

Next week, you will receive a welcome email from IdentityForce that includes a link to access its secure portal so you can activate the coverage and begin using its services. Enrolling in these services is optional. When you activate the coverage, you will decide the level of information you wish to provide to IdentityForce. No personally identifiable information will be provided to IdentityForce by Syracuse University. You will also receive a brief survey from the Office of Human Resources that will ask you if you want to elect additional coverage for yourself or another adult. If you complete this survey, the Office of Human Resources will transmit that information to IdentityForce on your behalf.

Please contact HR Shared Services (HRservice@syr.edu or 315.443.4042) with any questions about this new benefit.

Sincerely,

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

Steve Bennett
Senior Vice President for Academic Operations and International Programs and Chief of Staff to the Provost

Additional Guidance on Vaccine Eligibility

Dear Members of the Syracuse University Community:

I am writing as a follow up to the message I shared Tuesday regarding New York State’s expansion of vaccine eligibility. We have secured further guidance from the state’s Department of Health related to those who may be newly eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine beginning on Wednesday, March 17. The news is positive for our campus community.

Beginning March 17, all Syracuse University employees who are currently required to perform their job in person and on campus will be eligible for vaccination in the category of: “In-person College Faculty or Essential In-person Staff.” The guidance also extends eligibility to some student workers who have public-facing and in-person roles (i.e., residence hall advisors). At this time, employees who are working fully remotely do not yet qualify as eligible based on this new guidance.

For those Syracuse University employees eligible beginning March 17, please note the following:

  • You can pursue a vaccination appointment by registering at either the Onondaga County (OnCenter) or New York State (Fairgrounds) vaccination sites.
  • You are not eligible to pursue an appointment prior to March 17. Be advised that if you do register for an appointment prior to March 17, you may be turned away from the vaccination site.
  • In addition to scheduling an appointment online, appointments can be scheduled by calling the state’s hotline at 1.833.697.4829.
  • Employees will be required to show proof of eligible employment, and should bring with them their Syracuse University I.D., insurance card and a pay stub.

We remain in close contact with state, county and local officials and will share any additional updates related to this newly expanded eligibility. Please continue to visit Syracuse.edu/staysafe for the latest information about the University’s COVID-19 response.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Haynie
Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation

Message From Chancellor Kent Syverud

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:

Today you received a message from University Trustees Richard Alexander and Jeffrey Scruggs, co-leads of the Board of Trustees Special Committee on University Climate, Diversity and Inclusion. The committee has completed its comprehensive review and delivered its final report and recommendations [PDF] to advance the University’s goals in diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility.

I appreciate the committee’s work and am most grateful for the students, faculty, staff, alumni and independent experts who shared their experiences, counsel and wisdom. These recommendations are a direct result of our community’s willingness to participate honestly and constructively.

The committee has given us several tangible actions that will serve to position all of our students, faculty and staff for success, regardless of their race, background, religion or life experiences. Implementation of some recommendations is already underway, with the rest to be fulfilled promptly.

The committee’s work is one piece of the University’s larger effort to foster an inclusive and respectful campus environment for everyone. The delivery of this report follows the completion of former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s independent review of the Department of Public Safety (DPS) and framework for a DPS Community Review Board. Still forthcoming are the results and insights from the campus climate pulse survey that was conducted by Dr. Damon Williams. All this work will inform the creation of a Universitywide strategic plan focused on advancing our goals relative to diversity, inclusion, equity and accessibility.

As I shared with our community last week, there is no endpoint to this work. We aspire to be the example of a University that is welcoming to all. I am confident that the commitment and collective efforts of every corner of our community will get us there.

Sincerely,
Chancellor Kent Syverud