Reopening of the Eastman Campus

July 21, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

A few weeks ago, I wrote to inform you of Governor Cuomo’s approval to enter Phase 4 of New York State’s reopening plan, and the implications for Eastman.  At that time, I made you aware of the following requirements that needed to be satisfied in order for Eastman to reopen:

  • Calculations of classroom and other space occupancies presented in graphic form; 
  • An institutional plan for the distribution of cleaning supplies and PPE; 
  • An institutional plan and installation of COVID-related signage throughout ESM buildings;  
  • Confirmation that our buildings will be occupied at 50% or below our normal occupancy level; and
  • A comprehensive mechanical infrastructure restart plan and implementation.

I am pleased to announce that upon fulfilling these requirements,  Eastman was given approval today 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.

As evidence of our commitment to the recommended safety precautions, you will witness several changes once you access our buildings.  These changes include directional signage and distancing markers along with general signage as noted above; 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.

I want to offer my appreciation to the members of our facilities and housekeeping teams who worked hard over the past several weeks to help us achieve this reopening status.  I also want to thank all of our faculty and staff members for your continued patience, understanding, and flexibility as we work to reopen our school as safely as possible.  The members of the Senior Leadership Team and I will continue to provide updates as definitive decisions are made regarding the fall semester.   Finally, I am looking forward to meeting with you all in upcoming staff and faculty meetings on July 30 (Staff—10:30 AM; Faculty—2:30 PM).

Best regards,



Jamal J. Rossi

Joan and Martin Messinger Dean

Eastman School of Music