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Fordham Forward FAQs for Faculty

When do classes begin?
Classes begin August 26 for undergraduates. Fordham's graduate schools may have different start dates. Please see Academic Calendars

Will my classes be held in person?
Faculty will be allowed to conduct in-person classes during Phase Four of New York State's reopening. New York City entered Phase Four on July 20. Undergraduate students are being welcomed back to campus for in-person courses while many graduate students will continue to learn remotely to accommodate the needs of adult students, as well as international students. For more information, please see FAQs for Students and Families.

Faculty will be asked to specify the modality in which they prefer to teach their courses this fall--in-person, online, or a hybrid of the two. Chairs and program directors will work with deans to determine which courses should be prioritized for in-person teaching in order to best serve our students. Classrooms will be assigned to support those course sections that will make maximum use of on-ground facilities. Academic Records will post the modality of all courses so that students can consider changing their registration to better align with their own plans and preferences.

In order to be prepared for whatever the fall may hold, nearly every course at Fordham will adopt a flexible hybrid learning environment. This means that courses will have both synchronous and asynchronous elements. If a resurgence of the virus necessitates that Fordham suspend all face-to-face instruction for a period, the asynchronous portions of courses would be unaffected, while the synchronous portions would continue via videoconferencing technology with minimal disruption.

Learn more about flexible hybrid learning.

How is the academic calendar affected?

The semester schedule has not changed. However, the University will break at Thanksgiving, and undergraduate students will not return to campus physically until the spring semester begins. Remaining fall classes, reading days, and final exams will be held remotely. 

If I am in a high-risk category or I care for someone that is in a high-risk category, must I hold my class in-person?Employees whose age or health condition falls within one of the CDC High Risk Categories and People Who Need to Take Extra Precautions or who have other personal circumstances may seek a workplace adjustment through the COVID-19 Temporary Accommodation process. 

Learn about requesting an accommodation.

How is Fordham enacting social distancing measures in classrooms?
The judicious and safe use of learning spaces (classrooms, studios, teaching labs, etc.) requires attention to social distancing standards and other health and safety policies and protocols. The flexible hybrid learning environment plays a critical role in de-densifying classroom occupancy on campus. Other measures to reduce the density in classrooms include:

  • Reducing seating capacity within each classroom to approximately one-third of its original value, as dictated by the 6-foot social distance standard
  • Identify and assess non-academic space and possible off-campus space for repurposing as temporary classrooms to support the academic mission
  • Adjust the quantity and placement of furniture (desks, podia, etc.) to achieve social distancing standard in each classroom
  • Upgrade, as needed, the technology in classrooms and learning spaces to ensure academic readiness for flexible hybrid pedagogy

Learn more about reducing density in learning spaces.

Will my students and I be required to wear face coverings?
Yes, all University staff, faculty, students, and visitors are required to wear a face-covering when in public spaces which includes hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounge areas, dining spaces, event spaces, classrooms, laboratories, libraries, shared offices, and conference rooms.

Will I be provided with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)?
The University will distribute reusable/washable face coverings to all employees and students on Fordham campuses. Visitors should bring their own face coverings when visiting Fordham campuses, but Public Safety will have a supply of disposable face coverings for anyone in need. Other PPE will be provided as needed for specific areas and modes of work. Gloves are being supplied to public safety, custodial services, library services, and health services. Hand sanitizer stations and wipes dispensers will be deployed around campus. 

Learn more about the distribution of PPE.

Where can I find assistance in developing hybrid courses?
Some departments have already begun to lay plans for developing the asynchronous portions of multi-section courses collaboratively so that students enrolled in all sections of these courses will benefit from high-quality, team-taught content. Because creating videos and presentations, designing digital interactive experiences, and moderating online discussions are unfamiliar practices for many instructors, Fordham will provide substantially expanded pedagogical and technical support to all who teach.

Learn more about available teaching resources.

When can I resume research in my research lab?
All faculty, students, and staff, who have been screened through the VitalCheck program are allowed to return to their research labs as part of Phase Four of New York State's reopening plan. New York City entered Phase Four on July 20. 

Learn more about research continuity.

Will the Library be open?
Fordham libraries will be open for faculty and graduate students in advance of the start of classes. Six-foot distancing protocols will be facilitated by removing tables and chairs. Group study rooms, elevators, lavatories, staff rooms, and lobbies will have signs indicating maximum capacity.

What should I do upon learning that a student has been diagnosed with COVID-19?
Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for an amount of time prescribed by the NYS Department of Health or their physician. In coordination with the NYC and NYS contact tracing programs, Fordham will implement its contact tracing program to assist personnel in the notification of members of the Fordham community who have been exposed to an individual who has tested positive while on campus. Close contacts to the infected individual will be directed to quarantine themselves so as to prevent further spread.

What should I do when an undergraduate student who isn’t attending class or completing assignments doesn’t respond to repeated outreach?
Please share that information with the relevant class dean and Dean of Student Support and Success. In some cases, these are students with whom we have worked and we may be aware of the larger context, or other faculty may have shared similar information. The deans will follow up with the student by email and/or by phone. They may also contact other faculty who have the student in class, to see if there’s a larger pattern. As needed, they will work with the Office of the Dean of Students on further outreach (which may include contacting family members) and referrals to CPS or other offices at the university.

What should I do upon learning of a student's financial, housing, or other needs?
A variety of funds are available for students who are experiencing emergency financial hardship. Please reach out to the dean's office of the student’s school about the need who will serve as the liaison with the Financial Aid office and/or with the committee managing Student Emergency Funding.