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 hold classes in person during Phase Four of Fordham’s reopening and we have developed a comprehensive plan for successfully restarting operations on our New York campuses and welcoming students, faculty, and staff back to campus. Fordham’s movement through the phases will be coordinated with the Governor’s office in conjunction with the reopening of New York State.
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.
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?
According to the CDC Guidelines, individuals with certain conditions may have a higher risk for serious illness from a COVID-19 infection. Those conditions may include:
- Older adults (aged 65 years and older)
- People with HIV
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic lung disease
- Serious heart conditions
- Chronic kidney disease being treated with dialysis
- Severe obesity
- Being immunocompromised
Those members of the University community in a high-risk category, with household/family members in a high-risk category, or who have other personal circumstances may request an accommodation to continue to, or work remotely.
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
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.
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.
When can I resume research in my research lab?
Lead faculty/PIs were able to return to their research labs as part of Phase Two of Fordham's reopening. They will establish that proper protocols and PPE are in place before proceeding to the next stage where lab technicians, post-doctoral, post-baccalaureate, and graduate students will be invited to return.
Will the Library be open?
Fordham libraries will be open for faculty and graduate students in Phase Three and for undergraduates in Phase Four of Fordham’s reopening. 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 a digital contact tracing tool 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.
If a student tells you that they have been diagnosed with COVID-19, please ask the student if you can share that information with the University. If you get that approval, please email the information either to the dean’s office of the school in which the student is enrolled (we will then forward it on) or else directly to Maureen Keown, Director of Health Services, who will reach out to the student to check on their status and to direct the student to university resources that can offer support, as well as Dean of Students of the relevant campus and John Carroll, Associate Vice President for Security Services.
If a student is hesitant to have the information shared, then please just let them know that University Health Services is available to help them if they have questions or concerns.
What should I do when a 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.