Information for Faculty

Please check back frequently for updates and additions throughout the summer months.



Updated 07/01/2020

Will Fall Classes Start on time?

The fall semester will begin in Rochester on Wednesday, August 26.  In order to complete the required number of days for the fall semester (a requirement of accreditation and financial aid regulations) we will:

  1. eliminate Fall Break;
  2. complete the on-campus instructional portion of fall semester on November 25 before Thanksgiving; and
  3. everyone will finish the semester online with 2 weeks of course-related activity after Thanksgiving, including exams.

Updated 07/21/2020

When will the campus reopen?

Eastman was given approval to reopen all campus building with the exception of the Student Living Center, which is expected to be approved to reopen in the next 2-3 weeks.

For our faculty and staff members, the reopening of the campus means:

  • Faculty members will be able to use their offices/studios providing they have completed the one-time, required COVID-19 training available on MyPath, and the Dr. Chat Bot health screening every day prior to coming to campus.  In addition to these requirements, faculty members accessing our facilities are asked to provide notification to Kevin Gibson as he is responsible for monitoring building density levels.  In-person teaching continues to be prohibited because we are not yet able to accommodate student access.
  • Staff members currently working from home should continue to do so.  Information regarding the return of all university staff members to campus is being developed by Human Resources and will be provided as soon as it becomes available.  In the meantime, staff members may come to campus and access their offices if needed, however day-to-day work should still take place remotely.  Coming onto campus requires the completion of the one-time, required COVID-19 training available on MyPath, and the Dr. Chat Bot health screening every day prior to coming to campus.  Additionally, staff members are asked to provide notification to Kevin Gibson.

Are we planning to have our student workers continue their work as planned this fall?

We are moving forward with student workers assisting individual offices. Guidance will be forthcoming to managers regarding hiring as well as specific protocols for social distancing and changes to any current physical locations.


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.

Updated 08/06/2020

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.

Updated 07/21/2020

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.

Updated 07/28/2020

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.

Updated 07/29/2020

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.

Updated 07/29/2020

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 designated flute and voice studios. 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 every day as well.

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

All older water fountains have been disabled. There are a few bottle-fill stations that will be retained for safely filling bottles.

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.


Updated 08/06/2020

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.

Updated 08/06/2020

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.

Updated 08/06/2020

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.

Updated 08/06/2020

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.

Updated 08/06/2020

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

Information on distancing for lessons and vocal coaching is forthcoming.

Updated 08/06/2020

What guidelines are in place for rehearsals and ensembles?

See full guidelines here.


What are the Remote Recital Protocols for Fall 2020?

Please click to see the complete list of Remote Recital Protocols for Fall 2020 in this post.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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

This matter is currently under consideration.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

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.

Updated 07/07/2020

Will we have audiences for our performances this fall?

Members of the ESM/UR community who complete their daily Dr. Chat Bot screening and are cleared will be authorized, in reduced seating capacity, to attend performances. The university is restricting non-essential visitors from campus for the fall semester.  This means that non-ESM/UR community members would not attend performances.

Updated 07/28/2020

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

Masks must be worn at all times, and may only be removed by wind players when they are actively playing their instrument.  Vocalists may sometimes (in limited circumstances) remove their masks during private lessons when other safety enhancements are provided.  Flute players will require special safety protocol to be determined.

Updated 07/08/2020

"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.