Updates and Resources

The College of Human Ecology is working in concert with university leadership to monitor the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and provide guidance and resources for students, faculty and staff within the college.

The health, safety and well-being of our community is our highest priority. 

As new information becomes available it will be shared on the university's Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resources and Updates website

A dedicated hotline has been created to connect members of our community with campus resources. It can be reached by calling 607-255-0101 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Message from Dean Dunifon, March 17, 2020

Dear College of Human Ecology faculty and staff,

I am writing in follow up to the recent messages from President Pollack and other University leaders concerning social distancing policies in response to the coronavirus pandemic. This is a difficult time for all of us, but I am confident that we will all continue to ensure our health, safety and well-being and that of our broader community.

Working remotely: Vice President Opperman sent an email to all Cornell employees on Friday referencing the COVID-19: Employee Guidance site that will answer many of your questions. Department managers are working with staff to ensure that we are able to transition to remote work for those whose jobs allow for this. The same is needed for faculty as well. Some information on how to set up to work remotely can be found here: https://it.cornell.edu/faculty-staff-students/tools-working-remotely. The College CIT unit also created an online FAQ about working remotely, which can be accessed here:http://remote.human.cornell.edu/remote-work-faq/

Working remotely, or working generally, is obviously more of a challenge now that the schools are closed, so we will all need to be sensitive to that. Staff should be in contact with their supervisors to determine next steps in moving to remote work as soon as possible and by March 20.

Research: The recent messages from the Provost and Vice Provost for Research announces the suspension of all in-person human subjects research, among other things. The Provost has issued a directive suspending human participant research that involves bringing participants to the Cornell Campus by the end of the day on March 18. We urge all CHE investigators to consider immediately ceasing to bring study participants to campus, rather than waiting for the deadline. Taking this action right away supports efforts to mitigate the outbreak and to reduce risks to both the research staff and to study participants. Please note that this restriction refers only to in-person contact; no restrictions are placed on studies conducted by telephone, Zoom, etc. If you are able to move research to a virtual mode, but you do not have IRB approval to do so, please be sure to seek guidance from the IRB for approvals that may be needed.

Research Services provides guidance and updates regarding continuity planning for researchers on their website, including information about town hall meetings beginning today. In addition, this message from the Dean of the Graduate School provides detail for graduate students.

Teaching: The CTI is providing resources for remote  teaching and class administration and multiple webinars this week on these topics: Strategies for Moving Online, Getting Started in Canvas, Using Zoom for Online Teaching, Using Panopto for Creating and Sharing Video Online, Polling for Online Classes, Designing Remote Assessment. The three-week pause in teaching, which started Friday at 5pm, means that instructors should not be assigning any work during this time. This is needed so that students can make a transition away from campus and faculty can transition to remote instruction. Additionally, students are under great stress right now, and the pause is intended to help alleviate that. Guidance on how this impacts the academic calendar will be shared at a later date.

Faculty should run-through remote teaching now to identify their needs. As mentioned above, the CTI has established some excellent resources on their website and will be holding webinars to help with the transition. If you have specific questions that are not answered by the resources provided, please reach out to your department chair who will help to determine the best course of action. Identifying issues now will allow us to provide the support necessary to begin distance learning successfully by April 6.

Please continue reporting concerns about students via humec_students@cornell.edu or https://data.arts.cornell.edu/faculty/sit/index.cfm. The link is also available in the HELP section of CANVAS. Please continue checking https://teaching.cornell.edu/ and https://www.cornell.edu/coronavirus/ for continually updated information and resources. Students with questions about returning from study abroad or Human Ecology Exchange programs should be directed to Deanne Maxwell (dhm8@cornell.edu).

Up-to-Date Information: Additional social distancing measures and resources for our community are evolving quickly, and I urge you to check the University’s COVID-19 website often for the latest updates and resources. The statements and news section of this site is particularly helpful as it also organizes the latest university messages by audience – students, faculty and staff. 

Please know we are here to support each other, and we are working hard to ensure that you have the most accurate and useful information to prioritize your health as well as the health of the community. You can help by taking the precautions and sharing the latest information with those who might not have it or are confused about what sources to trust.

Finally, and most importantly, please take care. Thank all of you for your commitment, concerns and resilience throughout this challenging time. I know that our students appreciate the support and strength that you have shown in the face of uncertainty. 


Rachel Dunifon