Message from the Dean

Dear Eastman Students,

In line with many other universities around the country, and in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the university has announced that students are being asked not to return to campus from spring break (unless no other options exist for them), and that we will transition to fully online delivery of classes effective Wednesday, March 18.

President Mangelsdorf’s message was meant for the broad university audience, knowing that each school has its own unique academic requirements and programs. As such, I’m writing to address how these new guidelines will affect the Eastman Community. The information below is intended to provide greater clarification and guidance as we work through many major issues in the coming days. It does not answer every possible question, because we are still working through many issues. For now, I offer my thanks for your patience and assistance as we work through this.

Monday, March 16 and Tuesday, March 17:

Eastman School of Music will be closed to accommodate the transition to online and remote learning. All instruction and performances are canceled for these two days.
The Student Living Center and student dining services will continue to remain open and operational.

Effective Wednesday, March 18:

Dorms and Apartments
Students are strongly encouraged not to return to campus following spring break. Students who live in the Student Living Center may remain on campus but will need to contact Dr. Bones in Student Affairs for approval. All requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis, recognizing that some students are unable to return home or have other mitigating circumstances.
Students living off-campus are also strongly encouraged not to return to Rochester following spring break.
Students who are granted permission to remain on campus will be able to use their dining plans. Students living off-campus will be able to use their commuter dining plans.
Students who return home will have their room and board charges pro-rated.
Specific information about collecting personal belongings from the Student Living Center will be communicated from the Office of Student Affairs on Thursday.
Students should not make any plans to sign off-campus leases for the fall 2020 semester without being released from their housing requirements.

All academic classes will move online; students are expected to participate during their regularly scheduled class times, as they would with an in-person class. (If a class is held at 2:00 PM EDT on Tuesday and Thursdays, this will be the time the online class will convene.) Further details and technical guidance information will be forthcoming.
Private lessons, similarly, will be conducted online. Further details and technical guidance are being developed and will be forthcoming.
All public performances, events, and rehearsals, including large and small ensembles, chamber music performances, and the opera, are canceled for the remainder of the semester. This includes all visiting guest artist appearances. An exception for degree-required recitals will be forthcoming.
Lowry Hall and the Annex will remain open, but with limited hours (exact times TBA).

You can find updated resources about the Coronavirus on the University of Rochester dedicated website, and information specific to our Eastman community on our website, with an Eastman-specific dedicated site to come.

For questions and assistance:

Student questions about housing, dining, and residence life should be directed to the Office of Student Affairs / 585-274-1106
Student questions about academics, curriculum, and coursework should be directed to the Office of Academic Affairs / 585-274-1020
If you need technical support for online lessons and classes, please start here.
University Counseling Center (UCC) will remain open throughout the semester / (585-275-3113)

It is vital that all members of the community check their University email regularly for updates. The decision to move to online instruction is very recent, and many members of the Eastman faculty and staff are working hard to address currently unanswered questions, and to prepare for a positive learning experience come next Wednesday.

Please know that the supportive resources of the University remain active through the remainder of the semester. Do not hesitate to reach out to UCC if you would like to talk to someone, and you are encouraged to file a CARE report ( if you have concerns about yourself or others in the community.

While there is little doubt that this is a challenging and disruptive situation, the level of thought and cooperation demonstrated already between so many people across the university exemplifies the spirit of community that remains at the heart of Eastman. Please be assured that the top priority of the faculty and staff is our students. We recognize, in particular, how difficult this will be for those students preparing to graduate. This is not how you imagined, or we desired, for you to conclude your Eastman experience. Toward that end, I am calling on every one of us to work together as we strive to create the best possible experience and highest level of safety for our entire community, regardless of this difficult time.

Sincerely yours,
Jamal Rossi

Jamal J. Rossi
Joan and Martin Messinger Dean
Eastman School of Music

Eastman School of Music | University of Rochester | 26 Gibbs Street | Rochester, NY 14604