BINGHAMTON, NY – After initially saying it would wait to suspend in-person classes until there was a confirmed coronavirus case in Broome County, Binghamton University was overruled by Governor Cuomo today who ordered all SUNY schools to switch to online instruction by next Thursday.
Cuomo made the announcement in order to to minimize face-to-face interaction.
In a message from BU President Harvey Stenger, all classes will go online by March 19th, and all seminars and conferences scheduled after that are to be cancelled.
Internships, clinical work, dining halls, and research labs will remain open.
The dorms will remain open as well and students will have the choice of staying on campus or returning to their hometowns.
Center for Learning and Teaching Executive Director James Pitarresi says the university will launch a “pilot program” to teach professors how to instruct in this new way.
“I’m sure there will be some students and faculty that it’ll be a more difficult transition. We all understand it’s not ideal. This is a unique situation. I’m hoping that we can get through this and look back on it and say “you know, we made a lot of good decisions, and we really put out a high quality product,” says Pitarresi.
The Governor also announced 2 weeks of paid leave for state workers who may be quarantined.
The state now has 216 confirmed cases, the closest in the Hudson Valley county of Ulster.