As classes at most CUNY colleges begin, the issue on many of our minds is the reopening of schools, colleges and CUNY. The CUNY administration recently announced that 96 percent of classes this fall will be conducted remotely and that the University's goal is to have no more than 10 percent of CUNY employees on campus at any one time, although the number may go as high as 25 percent. Many PSC members were relieved to hear that news, especially after we had spent months reconfiguring our classes and other responsibilities for distance technology. Some faculty and staff whose research requires access to a lab feel an understandable urgency about being able to return to campus, and others point out that their disciplines require students to complete hands-on training in order to receive certification. All of us are eager to support our students and keep them engaged with their courses.
The PSC leadership understands the urgency of time-sensitive research grants and wholly supports the concern for research, teaching and student progress. We are aware that some colleges have developed plans for reopening specifically for research purposes. But if even one PSC member, CUNY employee or CUNY student is on campus, the building in which they are located must be safe. CUNY cannot risk a surge in COVID-19.