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Letter from FFECC President Sako regarding College plans for addressing COVID19 pandemic

Dear fellow members:

FFECC leadership met with College administration this morning to discuss the College’s response to the COVID19 pandemic. It is important to recognize at this point that this entire situation is in flux and anything we tell you now may change rapidly.

We were assured that no one’s schedule or pay will change because of this situation.

For all non-instructional employees, full time and part time, we were told this morning that they will continue to come to work on campus according to their normal work schedules and perform their normal job duties. As Dr. Hocoy’s letter indicated, the college is open. The intention (at this time) is that libraries, counseling centers, tutoring labs, open computer labs, etc. will remain open.

The college’s goal is to increase social distancing on-campus while accommodating our students’ educational needs. To this end a survey will be sent out later today by the Provost to all teaching faculty, asking how individual faculty members intend to help achieve this goal. We have not seen the survey document. Choices may include, but not be limited to, converting classes to an online modality if possible and appropriate, hybridizing classes, making no changes if a course cannot be taught in another modality, giving students incomplete grades, or other options. If you are proposing no change, we recommend that you provide a rationale. We understand that there are classes and labs that are difficult or impossible to put online, and college administration says that they do as well. There will be technical assistance and training available for teachers who choose to convert to another modality, and all sections of the contract regarding online teaching will be honored. When the survey comes out, individual faculty members will consult with their department chairs about their choices and the chairs will aggregate the data. If the chair has a difference of opinion with the faculty member, we encourage them to come to consensus before forwarding on to academic administration. The Provost’s office will have the final say. This process will happen very fast. Any recommendations faculty make about altering their course delivery methods will be non-precedential.

Reports in the media do not automatically reflect college decisions. The College will inform you of any decisions, not the Buffalo News or any other mainstream or social media outlets.

Discussions are ongoing about possible additional compensation if appropriate.

College administration has also discussed possible changes to the academic calendar. We will be talking with them about the possible implications of any changes.

We encourage our members to be flexible and accommodating to student needs. Please let us know if you have any issues. Thank you.

In Solidarity,

Andrew Sako


Faculty Federation of ECC

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