Eastman Weekly – March 16, 2020

Message from the Dean

Dear Eastman Faculty and Staff,

Given the rapidly changing environment surrounding the Coronavirus, a great deal of information is being issued daily (if not hourly) on the national, state, local, university, and school levels. It is difficult to keep up with everything and not to feel overwhelmed. I am devoting this issue of Eastman Weekly to provide the most up-to-date information we have on a variety of Eastman-specific topics. Should you have questions or concerns that have not been addressed in the following information, please direct your questions to the appropriate member of Eastman’s COVID-19 Task Force (listed at the end).

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the members of the COVID-19 Task Force and their teams for working nearly around the clock to help us deal with the challenges of the Coronavirus. I also want to thank every member of the Eastman community for your patience, understanding, and flexibility as we all prepare for a new and somewhat unfamiliar experience. While we certainly do not have all of the answers, and the potential exists that not everything will work perfectly as we launch into this new online environment, I am completely confident that every member of our community is wholly committed to doing their best—musically, academically, and also on behalf and in support of each other.


Jamal Rossi
Joan and Martin Messinger Dean

Topics covered below:

Primary Sources of Coronavirus Updates

The University of Rochester Coronavirus Update page, is the most up-to-date source of information.  It is updated regularly, and has information for faculty and staff, students and families, and contains useful resources.  Check this page daily, if not more often.

Eastman also maintains a Coronavirus Update page which provides Eastman-specific information.

Guidelines for University Community Members Who Are Concerned about Their Potential Exposure to Coronavirus

Updated guidelines for individuals who have traveled recently, are concerned about potential exposure to coronavirus, or have concerning health symptoms were issued yesterday (Sunday).  The new guidelines can be found here.

Guidelines for University Community Members Who Need to Miss Work Remotely Due to School Closings and Child Care Issues.

Updated Guidelines for staff members interested in requesting approval for remote work were issued to university employees and from ESM over the weekend.  Work with your supervisor and ESM HR according to the specific process outlined here.  Completed forms should be mailed to humanresources@esm.rochester.edu.

Status of Courses

Online classes begin Wednesday, March 18.  Students will be receiving information from faculty on how classes and lessons will be conducted online through the rest of the semester. Depending on individual classes and format, adjusting to online courses may take a few days. The website Learning During Times of Disruptionprovides excellent general information about online learning.

Faculty Support for Online Instruction

Online Learning Support Training Sessions will take place throughout the day today in Hatch Recital Hall and ​will be live streamed here with questions available through ZOOM. ​ Videos will also be published and available online.  The specific list of teaching times, topics, and support assistance is posted on the IML homepage.  Ongoing faculty support will be available on a drop-in and ZOOM basis in the IML Office and T&MP offices.

Student Support for Online Instruction

As faculty work to transition to online learning this week, we have identified some key online tools that will be used frequently for your instruction over the course of the semester and will be supported by the University.  These include:

  •  Blackboard
  •  ZOOM
  •  Box


Students already have access to Blackboard through learn.rochester.edu.  ZOOM and Box do not require an account on the part of the student; faculty will provide links to access these tools if they wish to use them.  Faculty may, however, choose to use other tools like Skype and Google Docs (as well as many other possible applications).  While these may not be directly supported by the University, students may contact IML and T&MP for advice on their use.  In coming days, we will announce virtual office hours through IML where students can come for assistance with any online learning-related issues.  In addition, students should contact the Office of Academic Affairs with any concerns about obtaining appropriate hardware and/or internet access-related concerns.

International Students

As of Monday, the International Services Office (ISO) will operate virtually, rather than seeing students in-person at College Town or their Eastman office.  They have posted a FAQ with valuable information.

Student Affairs and Residential Life

All students, those who live in the dorm and those with apartments in Rochester, are strongly encouraged to return to their permanent home address.  For the safety of all members of our campus community, all classes and lessons will be online.

Students are expected to leave the Student Living Center by March 22, 2020, and should not move into apartments or sign leases in Rochester, NY.  The Office of Residential Life will work with students to find reasonable solutions to logistical challenges and questions.  Students can contact Residential Life at reslife@esm.rochester.edu or by calling 585-274-1106 during our regular business hours. Refunds of housing and dining fees will be processed with an effective date of March 20, 2020.

If a student feels that they need to stay in the dorm, please complete this petitionby March 22, 2020 at 5:00 PM to assist us with providing necessary services.

If a student chooses to stay in Rochester, NY, they must complete the following survey by March 22 at 5:00 PM, so that Student Affairs will know who is in town and who is not, and to assist us with providing necessary services.

Eastman Community Music School (ECMS)

Given the Monroe County State of Emergency and closing of all Monroe County public schools, ECMS will transition all instruction to an online platform until further notice. ECMS is faced with a different pedagogical set of challenges than the collegiate program such as working with very young students.  Additionally, a segment of the ECMS student population does not have technological means and knowledge to follow the online instruction.  ECMS staff are working on creative solutions to provide the best learning experience for the entire community.

Lowry Hall Officers will be asking faculty, staff, students and visitors whether they have symptoms such as cough, fever, or trouble breathing.   If the answer is yes, individuals will be asked to leave the building, and directed to contact University Health Services (UHS) or their Primary Care Provider.

Eastman Campus Building Hours

Main Building, Annex, and Eastman East Wing:
Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sibley Music Library:
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 1-5 p.m.

Messinger Hall:
Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.; Saturday – Sunday, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Miller Center:
Monday – Thursday, 6:45 a.m. – 11 p.m.; Friday, 6:45 a.m. – midnight; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 1 a.m.

Lowry Hall Officers will be asking faculty, staff, students and visitors whether they have symptoms such as cough, fever, or trouble breathing.   If the answer is yes, individuals will be asked to leave the building, and directed to contact University Health Services (UHS) or their Primary Care Provider.


The following individuals are serving as the Eastman COVID-19 Task Force.  Should you have questions that have not already been answered, the following individuals are prepared to assist you.

Please keep in mind that our situation can change at any point and it is imperative that all members of the community check their emails regularly for updates.  You can find updated resources about the Coronavirus at University of Rochester’s Coronavirus Updates page.