Information for Faculty

Please check back frequently for updates and additions throughout the spring semester



Updated 3/8/2021

Can Graduate Students who are teaching person get the vaccine?

Graduate students who are teaching in person:  If you are teaching in person and wish to receive the Covid-19 vaccine, consult the Monroe County vaccine hub or the Finger Lakes vaccine hub to look for an available appointment anywhere in the state.

Updated 1/14/2021

How will scheduling work for Spring 2021 Semester?

The spring semester will be similar to the fall in that priority for in-person instruction will be given to lessons, chamber music, and large ensembles, while all other instruction will occur online.  The biggest change from the fall semester is that many online courses will now be taught in a synchronous format meaning the teacher and students will meet online at a designated time.  We know that time conflicts may present some challenges that we did not experience in the fall, and we ask instructors to consider the following points as you plan for your spring courses:


1)      There will not be as much flexibility as there was in the fall.  Students will once again balance their daily schedules between lessons, rehearsals, practice, academic classes, and personal time, and faculty should be mindful of this as they develop in-person lesson and rehearsal schedules.

2)      Students continue to have the choice to study in person or fully remote this spring.  That means applied faculty and others approved for in person instruction will still need to arrange an online option for remote learners.  Also, faculty teaching synchronous online courses will need to be mindful of students in distant time zones, making adaptations for remote students in these situations.

3)      Faculty teaching synchronous online courses must make their attendance expectations clear in their syllabus.  It is important to clearly articulate what constitutes attendance in your online course, especially when an asynchronous option is also available for remote students.  Faculty should consider what options exist for a student in Rochester who misses the synchronous course – can s/he opt for the asynchronous lecture that is available to your remote students, and will that fulfill the attendance requirement for the day?  Making expectations clear about attendance from day one is going to be critical to ensure there are no misunderstandings.


Updated 1/14/2021

Will classes continue to be held online or through what form of instruction?

Classroom-based courses will continue to be online in the spring semester, with limited exceptions, and the schedule for the spring is now available in UR Student for your review.  Instructions on viewing the course schedule in UR Student can be found here:

Updated 1/14/2021

Are there any changes to COVID-related safety for Spring Semester?

With the start the spring semester, all of our COVID safety protocols remain in effect from the fall–including distancing, masking, bell covers, and room downtime.  With COVID-19 cases on the rise nationwide, and particularly in Monroe County, we do not want to change these protocols that worked so well for us in the fall.  As case numbers decrease, which we fully expect as the vaccine becomes more widely available, we will consider modifications to policies.

In addition, we will continue our practice room sign out protocols from the fall, including the use of our student practice room monitors.  As a reminder, all of our music-making safety measures can be found here:

This spring we will continue our prohibition on audiences in keeping with the most current New York State restrictions, and will also maintain the University’s prohibition on outside visitors for the foreseeable future.


Updated 1/14/2021

What is the schedule for the Spring Semester?

The spring semester begins on Monday, February 1 and the last day of classes is Friday, May 7.  Saturday, May 8 and Sunday, May 9 are reading days, and final exams run from Monday, May 10 through Friday, May 14.  The full spring semester calendar can be found on the Registrar’s website.

Updated 1/14/2021

How will spring juries work?

As we communicated last fall when the revised spring semester dates were announced, we will not have a single week for juries this spring.  There is simply not room or time in the schedule to stop instruction for an entire week.  Instead, juries will be scheduled in the concert halls and/or possible alternative locations on evenings and weekends throughout the month of April and perhaps into early May.  A tentative schedule is currently being developed and will be shared with the department chairs in coming weeks.  We hope to have the jury schedule in place before the semester begins so that students and faculty can plan appropriately.  Since we are not cancelling classes for juries, we will make every effort to avoid conflicts between juries and regularly scheduled classes and rehearsals.)  In those cases where a conflict is unavoidable, we expect faculty will work together collaboratively to design an equitable solution so that students are not caught in the middle of a scheduling conflict that is out of their control.  While we pledge to do our best to avoid scheduling conflicts, we appreciate, in advance, everyone’s flexibility and understanding as we work through all of the challenges this semester will present.

Updated 1/15/2021

How will in-person studio classes be scheduled?

We have not yet scheduled in-person studio classes for the spring semester, but we hope to share those possible options in coming weeks.  For now, we ask that you plan for online studio class to start the semester.  When we have all of the classes, concerts, and recitals scheduled for the spring, we will communicate a process for reserving rooms for in-person studio classes.

Updated 1/15/2021

What are "Wellness" Days and how will this affect my studio classes and lessons?

There will be no spring break this term, but the University has set aside Wednesday, March 3 and Tuesday, March 30 as “wellness days.”  There will be no classes, lessons, rehearsals, concerts, or recitals on these days in order to give everyone a break from what we expect will be a grueling semester.  As always, applied faculty are expected to provide their students with 14 lessons per semester within the academic calendar.  Please plan NOW to re-schedule to alternate dates those lessons that will fall on the two Wellness Days.

Updated 1/14/2021

Will the registrar's office schedule my final exams?

The Registrar’s office will not be scheduling final exams for individual classes, so instructors should make their own arrangements for finals during the final exam period.

Updated 1/15/2021

What Orange Zone Restrictions and Contingency Planning are in effect?

As of mid-November, the Eastman and River Campuses continue to be in a New York State-designated Orange Zone.  This changes little in regard to our academic enterprise, so no modifications are needed to any of our instructional plans.  However, there are some guidelines that will be different from the fall that we wanted to call to your attention:


1)      Groups of 10 or more will not be permitted outside of the classroom.  This will largely have an impact on in-person student activities, which will be further limited from what we experienced in the fall.  We still expect to have lots of programming opportunities for students, but most will move online and those remaining in person will be smaller in scale.

2)      In-person dining is not allowed in a group setting.  The food options in the Cave, located in the basement of the main building, will remain closed, and the Dining Center in the Student Living Center will be take-out only.

Updated 1/15/2021

What is the University's plan for vaccinations?

Information about the University’s plans for vaccinating in-person instructors and faculty can be found here:  We encourage everyone to watch their email, as additional information will be communicated via the daily @Rochester email newsletter as it becomes available.

With progress being made on vaccinating our community, we want to remind everyone that receiving the vaccine does not exempt anyone from our COVID safety protocols.  Until the all clear is given by University leadership, it is our expectation that all members of the Eastman community will continue to wear a mask, maintain appropriate distancing, and adhere to all other safety protocols that have been established by Eastman and the University

Updated 1/15/2021

What is the plan for commencement?

Commencement is currently scheduled for Sunday, May 23, but details about the format of the event have not yet been determined.


Are we allowed to let students to use our studios to practice with understanding that they comply with all sanitizing guidelines?

This practice is not prohibited but times should be scheduled and documented so we can be aware of who is using the space at all times.

Is the University taking into account the most recent studies being published on the aerosol spread of the virus? (A recent study suggested 12 to 16 feet distance between people rather than 6 feet.)

Facilities is receiving updated information as it comes out, and we will be updated accordingly.

Are their specific guidelines for cleaning rooms during the gaps between lessons and rehearsals?

Classrooms will be cleaned once a day, and certain classrooms used for instruction in voice and flute will be fogged at the end of each day. A 30-minute wait between classes/rehearsals/lessons is recommended by Dr. Ralph Manchester. Cleaning information will be posted in each room, and cleaning supplies will be available in studios. For individual questions contact Kevin Gibson or Donna Brink Fox.

Where should faculty go for these 30 minutes of “vacated time” to still maintain social distancing, etc?

Faculty should use their best judgment when making this decision.  In an effort to discourage congregation, we will not be setting up lounges or seating areas for this purpose.  The Sibley Music Library is available for faculty to browse the stacks, look at periodicals or find a seat.  Neighborhood businesses such as Java’s Café or Ludwig’s are other options.

Please clarify the responsibility faculty will have for hygiene within their studios. Will they have the same responsivities in classrooms where they teach lessons?

We are asking that each pianist clean the keys before and after their playing session. And yes, they should be vacating the room during this time to allow for air flow.

Can you clarify the 50% occupancy? How will that be controlled or monitored to ensure the building/campus will be at 50% occupancy at all times?

50% occupancy will be achieved through a variety of means.   As a first step, The University continues to require the majority of employees to work remotely, by indicating that all work that can be done remotely should continue remotely for the foreseeable future, which will significantly lower our campus density.  Managers will need to work with their staff members to reduce the normal physical capacity in offices by 50% in the common areas and ensure a 6 foot distance from others. Finally, all staff members reporting to campus have been asked to notify Kevin Gibson so he can monitor numbers, providing a final level of oversight.

Will there be any objectively measured methods to screen people as they enter the campus? Non-contact thermometers, for example?

Consistent with what is being done on River Campus, we will be relying on the university’s health screening app (Dr. Chat Bot) and not checking temperatures or otherwise screening individuals.  Additionally, signage and sandwich boards will serve as a prominent reminder to the critical importance for those exhibiting symptoms to not enter our buildings.

Will we continue swiping IDs for entrance to the main building?

The policy requiring students and employees to enter the school through Lowry Hall and present their UR ID, adopted in February as a security measure, will continue.  It will not be necessary to swipe ID’s at the entrance for entry to Lowry Hall.

Who will be monitoring member of the community congregating and/or who will be ensuring that everyone follows physical distancing protocols?

The University of Rochester has rolled out the “COVID-19: Community Commitment” for students, and a similar document will be available for employees very soon.  These documents will require all members of the community to pledge that they will follow appropriate physical distancing and other COVID/PPE guidelines. There will also be a central website where community concerns can be shared, which will be rolled out shortly.

What is the process if a member of our community tests positive for COVID? How are we notified, or not, as members of the community?

Please refer to this page.

What safety precautions and changes will we see in our buildings?

Changes include directional signage and distancing markers along with general signage; the disabling of water fountains; reductions in seating in common areas; the reduction of sinks in restrooms (to promote distancing); the disabling of restroom hand dryers (replaced by touchless paper towel dispensers); and added hand sanitizer/cleaning supplies/PPE throughout our buildings. As a reminder regarding PPE, the University’s policy on face masks states:

Procedural or cloth face masks are required in all common areas (hallways, restrooms, break areas). Face masks must be worn in indoor public spaces any time there is more than one person in a given space, including times of brief interaction between co-workers or friends, and anytime another person is within six feet. Masks must be worn outdoors when 6-foot separation is not feasible. Employees working alone do not need to wear a mask.  Masks will be provided to all students, faculty and staff.

Have the elevators been taken into account regarding social distancing?

6’ social distancing and the wearing of masks is required on campus elevators as is the case in all common areas.

How should in-person meetings be conducted?

If absolutely necessary,  for in person meetings, all parties must maintain 6 ft between them and wear masks. If this cannot be done due to space constraints, the meeting should be done via zoom. All meetings should have option to participate via zoom and not require in-person attendance.

Will the University/Eastman be providing masks?

Masks will be made available on an ongoing basis as needed to all faculty, staff and students in alignment with University of Rochester guidelines.  In addition, we will be issuing cloth masks with the Eastman logo to all undergrad and graduate students and all full time faculty and staff on a one-time basis.

What kind of mechanical aspects have been done as far as air filtration? Specifically, regarding the annex?

Ventilation will be maximized where possible, as well as improved filtration where possible, with limitations due to the age of our systems. Individual concerns should be addressed to Kevin Gibson.

What sort of fogging will occur for safety?

There is an electro-static process approved by Dr. Manchester. We will use it on a limited basis for voice practice areas. In these specialty areas we are working through ensuring protecting the pianos in these places.  Each of the restrooms in the Student Living Center will be fogged twice a day as well.

Each of the restrooms in the Student Living Center will be fogged every day as well.

Could we have an update on water fountains and water bottle filling stations?

Water fountains will remain functional upon a reversal of an earlier decision to disable them.

For equipment that is not easy to clean such as control rooms- will gloves be used, or UV lights to clean those?

UV light will be implemented in some instances as a component of portable air purifiers.

Will stairwells be specific to which direction they are to be used for?

We’ve reorganized entry to the main building- similar to Kilbourn (direction signage for one way on and one way out). Bridges to Annex will be one way. We don’t currently have other accommodations in our stairwells, as for brief periods of passing this should not pose a safety risk with everyone wearing masks.

What is the policy about access to testing?

All undergraduate students living on campus this fall will be tested upon move-in. Optional testing for graduate students and off-campus undergraduates will be available at University Health Service (UHS) after August 26.  Students and employees may also take a test at any time, free of charge, at a New York State-administered testing site. See Monroe County COVID-19 Testing Informationfor details.

If a University student or employee tests positive, what happens next?

Contact tracing after any confirmed positive cases of students or employees will be done in coordination with Monroe County health officials. University Health Service (UHS) will conduct contact tracing for on-campus students, Monroe County will conduct contact tracing for students off-campus as well as for employees, and the two units will coordinate.  Contact tracers will follow tracing protocols and utilize tools developed by New York State officials.

Is the University taking into account the most recent studies being published on the aerosol spread of the virus? (A recent study suggested 12 to 16 feet distance between people rather than 6 feet.)

Facilities is receiving updated information as it comes out, and we will be updated accordingly.


Updated 11/23/2020

Will we receive information regarding the process in how the instrument office will sign out instruments? Will we be able to send students to get instruments next week?

Instrument sign outs will be as normal by visiting the Instrument Office, room 505 on the 5th floor of the Main Building.  This process will begin as soon as students are authorized to re-enter our buildings anticipated to be early in the week of the 17th.  Please direct questions to Carolyn Rivello at 274-1150.

What is the required square footage for a teaching space for teacher and student?

Distancing principles start with a minimum of 6 feet in all directions for one-on-one teaching interactions.  In plotting space within studios and classrooms, this is roughly 40 square feet per person.  Research study and professional opinion have indicated distances for some brass instruments (trombone is 6×9) and voice (12-15 linear feet) should be considered when arranging the teaching space.  Flute was also an instrument of early concern.  Several faculty are being relocated to alternate teaching spaces based on size of studio or instrument.

Will we be able to schedule live studio classes, even once or twice or month?

It is unlikely that all studios will be able to have full in person attendance because of occupancy limitations. A possible scenario is having a few students perform live in the studio class while the rest watch it remotely.  Planning for studio classes is ongoing as information is compiled on the number of students who are attending in person.

Are there guidelines for reimbursement for expenses incurred teaching/working remotely (such as telephone bills)?

Each department has an Office Supplies line in its budget that can be used. Contact Jennifer Horn for specific reimbursement questions. In addition, employees who remain working remote, will need to sign another Remote Access User Agreement and should review it for the requirements of working remotely. Specifically, items #9 and #10 address equipment & utility questions: 9. I will support the cost of Internet access from home during the time that this agreement is in place and will make sure that the service level is appropriate for the type of work being performed as well as to support the video conferencing service used by the University. In addition, I understand I am responsible for the cost of all other utilities associated with my remote work space.  10. I may be provided reasonable office supplies, as needed, in order to perform my University work. See full policy here.

Update on exceptions for online teaching?

Department chairs who submitted requests for exception were sent these decisions on Wednesday, August 5.  If you have questions or have not heard yet about your request, please contact your department chair directly.  If there is no response from your chair, reach out to Jim Doser or Donna Brink Fox.

All exceptions have been given 1 of 4 possible determinations: Immediate approval, immediate denial, possible approval, or likely denial. Those not given immediate approval or denial should be prepared to teach for first two weeks until such time as a final decision can be made. It is important for all faculty to be prepared to teach classes in an asynchronous format as conditions, state regulations and university protocols are subject to change without notice.

If we are teaching an academic course asynchronously, would it be appropriate a few weeks into the semester to poll the students to have the course held synchronously online providing the hour is agreeable to all?

Advice on this procedure is offered with the decisions made about exceptions (see above FAQ).  Some decisions indicate a 2-week period of asynchronous will be expected for courses, to allow the overall landscape of classes and other activities to settle into place.  The Academic Course Planning Committee will continue to review the requests that are now identified as “possible approval,” All changes to the initial fall schedule categories must be reviewed by Dean Fox.

If a professor does not receive an exception to the remote teaching policy, but wishes their class to still submit some recorded performances in lieu of in person work, will there be any spaces available to the students (singer and collaborative pianist) on campus to make a video recording of suitable quality?

Allocation of Eastman spaces for this type of activity is currently in progress.

Are we limited on how many students we teach a day?

Faculty who teach in their studio will organize their schedules as before, adding 30 minutes of empty room time between one-hour lessons, for air exchange.

Faculty who teach in assigned large classrooms will have similar time constraints, within the time slots assigned to them in the classroom.  No faculty member will have exclusive use of a large classroom space.

The number of students taught per day will vary by teacher and will also be impacted by the balance of in-person and online student enrollments.

In private lessons, how far should the pianist be from the singer/instrumentalist?

Information on distancing for lessons and vocal coaching is forthcoming.

What's the difference between synchronous learning and asynchronous learning?

Synchronous learning is online or distance education that happens in real time, whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction.

Examples: A Zoom class- while online and virtual learning, if occurring during one’s normal scheduled class period, with all students present together, would be synchronous learning.

How will classes be offered?

All classes will be taught online to accommodate the demands on our facilities for in-person music making. Any exceptions must be submitted by 7/7 to Jim Doser, per earlier email communication.  Determinations of whether your class will be granted an exception/can be accommodated in-person will be communicated by the Academic Affairs Office whenever scheduling arrangements are completed, a process that is expected to take a minimum of 10 days from July 7.

How will classes be scheduled?

The Registrar’s Office will be utilized for scheduling and the overall assignment plan is still being developed. We have prioritized scheduling to our available facilities in the following order: studio lessons, ensembles, studio classes, academic classes.

If a course is a hybrid course, could it currently be scheduled in REAL time, as it is currently scheduled for in booklet?

We are working through this, see priority of scheduling above.

Are lessons approved for online or in-person teaching?

Faculty have flexibility to teach in-person or online for their studio lessons. If you are a studio teacher, you must respond by July 10 to the July 6 email about studio teaching sent from Donna Brink Fox.

Who decides if courses will be offered online versus in person?

Individual schools have unique challenges, which to a degree, provided the overriding framework for the mode of delivery.  The Warner School moved all of its classes online.  Nursing courses are completely online, with the exception that certain experiences must occur in person.  The Medical School has set up a combination of online and combined online/in-person delivery.  However, a significant portion of the work must be done in person.  The College, had expressed concern about making certain enough classes were offered in-person in order for students to have a meaningful residential college experience, hence the question of who will make the determination.  Ultimately, it was decided that the College faculty would make the determination trusting that everyone is working for the good of the students.

For Eastman, even by moving lecture-type courses online, we are still working through the complexity of scheduling which is being dictated by social distancing requirements.  Performance faculty members who prefer to teach lessons online can do so—Donna Brink Fox will be collecting this information so that we can communicate to students what they can expect upon their return.  Classroom faculty who wish to teach in person can request to do so.  Accommodating the request will depend entirely on our ability to schedule it given the other demands on the facility.

Am I approved to have individual lessons in my personal studio location?

Pianos, stringed instruments, percussion, and many wind instruments can be safely distanced within the majority of the studio spaces. Based on measurements of the wind velocity and the distribution of air escaping around the mouthpiece area of the instrument, flute/piccolo instruction will need to be relocated to a larger classroom-type space. We are recommending that studio voice instruction would be relocated to classroom spaces when the faculty studio space does not include sufficient social distancing for teacher, student, and pianist to be in that room together.  This is true for vocal coachings as well.

Studio lessons - will faculty still schedule these on their own?

Our plan at this time follows this process: If faculty members are assigned times in larger instructional spaces, they would then schedule individual lesson times with their students within the given time blocks.  There may be adjustments to this proposed procedure as we confirm availability of these desired spaces. If faculty members have sufficient space in their own studios, they would schedule times in that space, considering also adding intervals of time between lessons that are greater than in previous planning of the studio schedule.

For applied lessons, what is the suggested time in between lessons?

This matter is currently under consideration.

I teach voice, vocal coaching, flute/piccolo- where will my studio lessons be held?

Some voice and vocal coaching studios may be sufficient for spacing. Individual voice, vocal coaching, and flute/piccolo faculty members will be consulted in the near future to determine if lessons should be taught in studios or classrooms.

Do fans assist with airflow, particularly in rooms without windows for studio lessons?

Fans in windows can assist with airflow in between lessons, particularly in rooms without windows. It is not recommended to have a fan on during lessons as depending on where a teacher/student is stationed, this could actually increase particle movement.

We are also looking into small air purification units for the large classrooms that may house voice/flute/piccolo.

Will faculty be offered plexi-glass barriers for their studio lessons?

Dr. Manchester has indicated minimal benefit of plexiglass barriers unless constructed from floor to ceiling in order to provide complete isolation.  Barriers of this sort would not be feasible.

Will students be permitted to remove masks when playing/performing/singing/acting in person under any circumstances?

Masks must be worn whenever making music in a room with more than one person.

"Teaching During Times of Disruption" Videos Available

Many online video tutorials are available for on “Teaching During Times of Disruption”, covering topics such as planning and preparation, troubleshooting, and managing live classroom settings. The tutorials are available in two parts; click here for a list of topics in Part 1 and click here for Part 2.

Need assistance? A schedule for ongoing Spring 2020 workshops is available on the IML home page.