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Potsdam Prepared: Fall 2021 Updates

Virtual Open Forums: COVID-19 Planning and Next Steps

November 2, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I continue to be proud of the extraordinary collective efforts we have undertaken to protect our campus and our community this semester. I want to reiterate what I said during the Faculty Senate meeting last week: It is because of our focus on our planning and response that we have been successful, together, as a campus.

The Emergency Response Resource Group (ERRG) remains activated, and continues to monitor the number of cases in the North Country Region and throughout our state and nation as we plan for the weeks and months ahead. We cannot let our guard down now.

As we pivot to looking at the coming months, we have recently received guidance from SUNY System Administration regarding protocols for student departure this fall, and also on requirements for the winter and spring terms. Importantly, every student who plans to go home at Thanksgiving Break for the remainder of the semester must test negative beforehand, as we have a responsibility to ensure the safety of others, not only locally but also beyond.

We would like to invite all faculty and staff to attend a virtual open forum on Tuesday, November 10, at either noon or at 4:30 p.m. We will provide more details about the fall departure and plans for the winter/spring terms. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask any questions that you may have. Links for both sessions will be sent that morning.

Please remember that our final plans for the winter and spring terms must be approved by SUNY System Administration, in consultation with our regional Public Health officials. These plans may be adjusted and modified, depending on the changing conditions of the pandemic and updated health recommendations from the experts. We look forward to sharing all of the latest information with you at our open forums next week.

We are still in need of more volunteers to assist with COVID-19 testing through the end of the semester. If you have free time and are able to pitch in, we would be grateful. To get involved, you may indicate your availability here. If you have any questions, please contact Interim Dean of Students Eric Duchscherer at

I cannot thank you enough for all that you have done to help ensure that our entire campus community remains safe.


Kristin G. Esterberg, Ph.D.