The following message was sent to all UB students from Nicole Marano, associate vice president for Student Success & Support Services, on June 8, 2020:
Dear UB Students:
The President created the Campus Planning Group which has been established to advise him on the many issues that must be addressed regarding operations for the upcoming fall and spring semesters. This group and the various sub-groups are focused on ensuring UB provides all students with a comprehensive, innovative, and engaged curricular and co-curricular online experience. Students are participating on the Campus Planning sub-groups and student feedback is part of this important planning process.
Our top priority is the health and safety of our students, thus UB will operate in an online environment in the fall semester. This enhanced online experience will provide you with an additional level of flexibility in that you can best juggle the multiple demands in your life while remaining healthy and safe.
How UB Has Gathered Student Feedback:
Although we will be online, I want to assure you that the student voice has been heard and we are hard at work assessing the many successes as well as opportunities for improvement in our online delivery. Nearly 1,000 students completed the COVID-19 response survey and we are in the process of evaluating the feedback and developing an action plan to ensure a successful fall semester. Several of us have been working with the new SGA leadership team to get additional student feedback.
We also heard from a number of you that you would be interested in opportunities to meet with key leaders on campus in a town hall format to discuss the pandemic and related UB plans as well as to engage in an environment where students can share successes, concerns, or ask questions. While there have been several opportunities sponsored by the Deans and the Division of Student Success & Support Services, you also want to engage with other leaders on campus. We heard you and we will be rolling out a town hall series shortly.
Additionally, students suggested an option to access some key services on campus. Please note that this is being strategically evaluated by the Campus Planning Group and more messaging will follow.
How UB Faculty are Preparing for the Fall Semester:
Your faculty are hard at work enhancing the online curricular experience by participating in workshops focused on best practices for online education. These online best practices range from the Zoom classroom to a fully online WEB course. The CELTT team and the Office of Technology Services are collaborating with faculty and academic leadership to support these best practices and are also developing additional ways to prepare students for the online environment. UB has not just temporarily converted into an online environment but we are relying on our years of experience delivering online content and now we are well positioned to enhance the experience even more.
Student Services Will Continue to Operate Remotely for Summer and Fall:
Almost all of the student services you are accustomed to will continue to be offered via the online environment. This is true for the summer months and fall semester. This means that you are still able and encouraged to work with your academic advisors, Career & Internship Center for career coaching, Disability & Access Services for accommodations, RLB Library for library services including tutoring, writing, and math support, and the Center for Student Involvement to engage in a full menu of co-curricular opportunities. And, these are just a few of the opportunities available to students. Although the gym will remain closed, nearly all of the offices will remain open to actively support you to ensure your success. You will still be able to access the Office of Financial Aid, Office of the Bursar, Admission, and Records via online … and really any other office you would normally turn to for assistance or normal business.
UB is OPEN and is excited about our next chapter. We will continue to seek your feedback and to offer the best online curricular and co-curricular experience based on the needs for our students. More information will follow within the next several weeks about internships, experiential learning opportunities, student employment, and student organizations. Please contact the Office of the Dean in your respective school should you have specific questions related to your academic program or fall courses. Updates to the fall schedule will be available later this month.
Nicole C. Marano
Associate Vice President for Student Success & Support Services