Message from President Kolison - September 2, 2021

September 2, 2021

Dear Fredonia community:

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone had a wonderful week and enjoyed our late-summer weather. It is time for another update, and I have several items to share. 

COVID -19 Infection Dashboard 
We are again submitting information daily to SUNY for the SUNY COVID-19 dashboard. As of the first day of classes this semester, we have reported a total of 20 cases among our faculty, staff, and students.  At least three of those cases have returned to normal activities. 

This should remind us that the danger of COVID-19 is still with us.  As individuals, and as a community, we must do our part to minimize the spread of this disease. Please remain vigilant against COVID-19. 

Facial coverings 
Facial coverings, when worn properly, can be very effective in providing protection against COVID-19.  Yes, there are some inconveniences associated with wearing facial coverings. I would argue, however, that those inconveniences are minor relative to being infected with COVID-19.  Hence, I want to remind everyone that we have a facial covering policy in place.  We require that masks be worn inside all buildings on campus for everyone, regardless of vaccination status. That includes in lecture halls for class for faculty/staff and students. The only exceptions are in personal living spaces, during indoor eating/drinking, and when you are alone in your individual workspace. When someone comes into your workspace, kindly put on a mask for the duration of that visit.

Vaccination requirement 
A big thank you to all students who have submitted their vaccination records. Let me address directly the students who have not yet submitted their records, or haven't been vaccinated yet. 

Students must submit proof of a full vaccine series or have an approved exemption by September 27. That means a student has received at least one dose of a single-dose vaccine series, or at least a second dose of a two-dose series by that date. It also means any exemption must be approved by September 27. If you request an exemption on September 26, it is too late. Exemption requests take several days to be reviewed. 

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines both require two doses administered three weeks apart. So if you plan on getting Pfizer or Moderna, you must have your first shot administered by tomorrow, September 3, in order to receive the second dose by September 27. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is administered in one dose, so you must have that completed by September 27. 

After September 27, per SUNY requirements, any student who has not shown that they have completed a full vaccine series, or been granted an exemption, will be unenrolled and will no longer have access to any in-person campus activities or services.  In addition, students should be aware that the SUNY tuition and fee refund policy remains in effect for any student who refuses to receive a vaccine and is not approved for an exemption. 

Telecommuting
Employees, an updated SUNY telecommuting policy is forthcoming, and we will roll it out over the next couple of weeks. Please watch your email for further details. 

Something to celebrate 
I wish to point out that I am very proud of this remarkable university and its improvement in regional rankings by the publication “Washington Monthly". Fredonia jumped almost 20 places to 63rd in the Northeast in the category “Best Bang for the Buck Colleges,” which the publication ranks according to how well institutions help non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices. The list is created by isolating the social mobility metrics from the main rankings of four-year institutions. This is tremendous! It is a testament to the quality of work done by our faculty and staff and to the hard work put in by our students to achieve their degrees!  Congratulations to everyone at SUNY Fredonia for this achievement.

Thank you for taking the time to read my weekly messages. I hope you have an enjoyable, and safe, weekend. I will have another message for you next week.

Warmest regards,

Dr. K

Stephen H. Kolison, Jr., Ph.D.
President and Professor