04/01/2020 COVID-19 Staff Forum | CC Transcription (unformatted)
12:01:37 ¬ª All right. Good afternoon.
12:01:41 Welcome and thank you all for being here our third digital staff forum
12:01:47 Q and A. My name is Adam Howell.
12:01:51 I'm the chair for the 2019-2020
12:01:54 term as well as the -- on the employee assembly.
12:01:58 Now, I'm not going to take too much time this morning talking because I want us to get
12:02:03 to as many questions as we possibly can but really thrilled
12:02:07 we're able to have this forum today as you all know and experience, the
12:02:10 situation that we're all in is changing rapidly day-to-day.
12:02:14 In fact, I feel we're all living a lifetime every week
12:02:18 that goes by. So it's so great that we're able to do this. I want to thank
12:02:23 our panelists for giving us this time because I know how
12:02:27 busy university leadership is right now during this incredibly stressful time. Again,
12:02:32 I also want to especially give a shout out and thank you to our incredible staff.
12:02:40 Throughout this entire situation I've seen nothing but a constant stream of positive
12:02:44 and inspiring stores about our staff pitching in,
12:02:49 helping out the community, doing things above and beyond and
12:02:57 it shows the measure of character around spirit that the staff and community at Cornell really
12:03:02 And I just want to say to you all that -- that you are
12:03:07 you're doing so many great things out there and I want to thank you and that you are being thought of during
12:03:12 this trying time as well. The employee
12:03:16 Assembly we're still fulfilling our roles we're here
12:03:20 to support the wider staff community in whatever which that we can. And this
12:03:25 forum is a representation of that and I'm grateful that we have this
12:03:29 opportunity. Thank you to the amazing staff community that is doing so much during this time. I want to mention that,
12:03:33 again, we have our executive
12:03:38 vice chair who's going to be helping us moderate questions today as well as our
12:03:43 employee welfare committee chair who's going to be helping her out. So thank you to both of you.
12:03:48 And at this time I'm just going to turn it over to our panel to introduce themselves,
12:03:54 do some brief introductions then we'll get started with questions. So
12:03:59 Mary, if you want to go ahead, you have the floor.
12:04:03 ¬ª Thank you so much Adam and thank you
12:04:09 to the EA for hosting these forums. I hope that people are finding them helpful
12:04:13 and we're appreciative of the chance to hear from all of you
12:04:18 so thank you very much to the EA. I'll echo Adam's thanks to all of you.
12:04:22 I know these are difficult times and what I've found in the last week is people are beginning
12:04:24 to find their way in their work that is remote.
12:04:28 And that's been extremely
12:04:33 helpful. I think people are finding getting back to some of the things that they know they need to get done.
12:04:39 For our staff who are on campus we thank you so much. We know that you're
12:04:44 your work is essential to us getting our students
12:04:49 fed and our online instruction started and keeping
12:04:53 the campus safe and functioning. So thank you to all of you as well. I'd
12:04:57 also like to thank my colleagues who have joined us here today. It's very
12:05:02 helpful to have them answer a lot of the questions that I just can't answer.
12:05:07 I'll take just a minute before we get started. I have
12:05:11 a few remarks and I'm going to turn
12:05:18 it over afterwards. I think you although I'm the head
12:05:22 of human resources privileged to have that rolled and to support all of you.
12:05:27 It is here at my house, I don't know how it is at your house, the sun is out. So if you
12:05:33 at the end of this if the sun is still out please go outside and put your face
12:05:37 in the sun and take a deep breath because there's nothing quite
12:05:42 as comforting as remembering that everything change
12:05:47 s weather changes as well. And things progress and move forward.
12:05:52 So this is the third open forum we've had. And I will
12:05:57 say I appreciate so many of you reaching out to me before and after these
12:06:01 forums. And what I would say is one of the questions that I'm hearing are falling into
12:06:06 2 categories. The first is about health and safety, how do I keep myself and my family
12:06:10 safe and protect ourselves from getting sick.
12:06:14 And the second one is what's going to happen to my job,
12:06:18 do I have security, what can I rely
12:06:22 on? And these are both understandable broad questions.
12:06:26 It's also understandable that when our answers,
12:06:31 and we try very hard to be honest with all of you and tell you what we know and what
12:06:35 we don't know. And when our answers are not absolute some of you are
12:06:37 just --
12:06:41 [inaudible] fact that you share that disappointment with me. So today
12:06:46 we have health and safety experts with us to help provide additional
12:06:50 information about what is known about how this virus travels. We also understand
12:06:55 that you're concerned about
12:07:01 workers on campus that are supporting our students. We've gotten questions just about your
12:07:05 own movement going to the grocery store doing other things. So we will try
12:07:09 as best we can to tell you what we know in those areas.
12:07:14 We also understand that you have questions about your own job security.
12:07:19 And a lot of questions have come up since the memo that was sent
12:07:26 by the provost and executive vice president came out on Monday and what it means
12:07:29 for all of of you inspect I'm grateful that our --
12:07:33 is able to be with us today. To review
12:07:38 some of the actions we've taken. We felt it was very important
12:07:43 to begin immediately to control costs through these measures. I understand that seeing these
12:07:45 measures may create more anxiety for some of you.
12:07:49 However, the leadership team is doing everything we can at this time to control
12:07:55 costs that we can control. So that we can continue to
12:07:59 employ as many of our staff as possible. We simply cannot say that
12:08:03 these measures will be sufficient to stave off
12:08:08 any future changes and we need to be honest [inaudible]
12:08:12 situation will last but they're good solid measures and they will
12:08:16 go a long way in helping us address what we know to be a financial
12:08:21 stress intention in the future. We do not know
12:08:25 how the virus -- the progression of this virus will impact our core missions
12:08:28 of teaching research and service in the near term.
12:08:32 But we do know that the sooner we reduce our future costs the more
12:08:37 resources we will have to protect our workforce and our students in the future.
12:08:41 We're also looking very carefully at the financial relief that may be available to
12:08:46 use through the federal government. We have a committee that's
12:08:50 standing up to try to understand what the support may be out there.
12:08:55 I want to acknowledge that I recognize that this is a very unsettling time,
12:09:00 and it's normal and understandable to want concrete and reassuing answers.
12:09:05 We're giving you the information we have recognizng that saying
12:09:08 we don't have all the answers may not be fully reassuring.
12:09:12 But we have made a commitment to be as transparent
12:09:18 as we can be even when the information we are sharing is evolving. So thank you, again
12:09:22 for being with us. I hope you continue to tend to yourselves and those in your
12:09:24 family and friend circles.
12:09:28 Please use the support resources we're posting on our HR web page.
12:09:33 And also on the university's micro site.
12:09:37 The web page with HR support is
12:09:42 HR dot Cornell dot
12:09:46 edu slash Covid-19 workplace guidance. We encourage you
12:09:51 to look at it and watch some of the videos
12:09:56 and take care of yourselves. And continue to let me know if you have questions.
12:10:00 And now let me turn this over
12:10:04 to Joanne DeStefano.
12:10:08 ¬ª Thank you, Mary and thank you
12:10:13 to the EA for allowing me to talk today. This is my first time
12:10:17 attending one of these sessions. I'm incredibly
12:10:20 impressed we've got over 100 people watching right now.
12:10:24 That's amazing. I'm even more impressed with how well everyone has adjust
12:10:28 ed to the new mode of remote work. It's just been amazing
12:10:33 that work has been able to continue as if we were in our offices. What I want
12:10:37 to do today is just spend a few minutes talking about the Ithaca campus
12:10:41 budget. To give you all some context, on why we made the decisions we made,
12:10:47 so if you start from what our budget is in
12:10:51 Ithaca we have a $2.5 billion budget.
12:10:56 Resources that support the 2.5 come from tuition, gifts, research,
12:11:03 state appropriations, housing, dinng and various other revenue
12:11:08 activities. We're projecting right now
12:11:12 through the June 30th year end if we don't take any actions
12:11:16 at all we could see a $45 million loss to the Ithaca campus only.
12:11:22 About half of that loss is a result of the significant
12:11:27 reduction in our housing and dinng operations.
12:11:31 We've had to return revenue back to the students who left campus.
12:11:36 The rest of the loss is mainly due to lost
12:11:40 revenues across the rest of the university. Right now we're assuing that well not
12:11:46 resume full operations for the summer. We're hopeful
12:11:51 that maybe early July we could get
12:11:55 back and that other activities may be able to come back. Also as we're watching
12:12:03 the job loses across America we're making assumptions
12:12:07 that our financial need for our students is going to increase significantly. And right now
12:12:12 we're projecting about a $30 million increase in financial aid next fiscal year.
12:12:17 We also expect some state appropriation
12:12:22 cuts. For the fall we're planning full operations, however, we are
12:12:28 expecting a decline in our international students. So when you add everything together, and again,
12:12:33 with no actions taken, we could see
12:12:39 a hundred million dollars deficit for fiscal year 2021. Which then brings
12:12:44 me to the memo
12:12:48 that the provost and I sent out to the campus community earlier this week.
12:12:52 As mentioned multiple times we really value our employees and as a result
12:12:57 we looked for actions that we could take to preserve as absolute many jobs as possible.
12:13:02 For instance, [inaudible] receivng
12:13:06 your salary increase every year but by freezng salary
12:13:10 we can save the university budget $20 million just by that one action alone.
12:13:15 And we've been watching over the past several years our head count growing, and it has
12:13:18 consistently grown.
12:13:22 And if we can hold vacant positions
12:13:27 and be smart about not hirng new staff and
12:13:31 finding new ways to repurpose as many people as possible, we will save jobs.
12:13:40 What's mind bogglng to me is we spend over $40 million a year in travel.
12:13:45 I know much of it can't be avoided, you know, we have our
12:13:49 campuses in New York City and there's sponsored research travel and others but even if we cut this number
12:13:53 in half that's a $20 million savings a year. And again, if doesn't impact anybody's jobs.
12:14:00 We're asking everything to put a strict discipline in place to force each person to
12:14:05 think twice about their every day spend, even if you have
12:14:10 the money within your budgets,
12:14:14 our university dollars are very precious. And we need to
12:14:19 always ask you know, one thing I always hear is we need food
12:14:23 for meetings otherwise nobody will come to the meetings, have we tried not
12:14:27 having any food? If we reduced spending every dollar
12:14:32 that we reduce spending will help save a job. And you know, people really need to eat maybe you can swap
12:14:36 who brings in the food for the meeting each day or you could cook. I don't cook but somebody could cook for me.
12:14:42 We also spend hundreds of millions of dollars
12:14:46 on capital spending -- will be talking next will be reviewing every single project
12:14:51 to determine the necessity of the project. We want to be smart. I think that's the theme
12:14:55 that we're trying to say, is we want to be smart about every single
12:15:00 dollar we spend at the university. And every wise dollar spent
12:15:04 will help us come out of this. So to summarize,
12:15:10 the actions that were taken earlier this week are a way to cut costs
12:15:14 to help solve our projected budget issues with minimal staff disruption. Thank you
12:15:19 for allowing me to at least share where I think our financials are
12:15:24 going and now I'd like to turn it over to Rick
12:15:29 ¬ª Thanks, and greetings to all. Appreciate you being here
12:15:34 and appreciated the EA for setting this up. So just
12:15:38 as last time, our priorites are to maintain safety, security on campus
12:15:40 and to keep essentials --
12:15:44 essential functions going on campus. So I want to really just give
12:15:49 a shout out to all the folks that are doing particularly folks on the FCS team. We have
12:15:55 you know, there are still students that are living onboard campus
12:15:59 -- listen to me my Navy talk coming back out, still living on campus, not onboard, sorry.
12:16:05 We still have students living on campus. We have some essential research that is continuing. We have some
12:16:12 faculty who are still transitioning to get ready for the online
12:16:17 instruction. So from FCS we have police officers that are -- that are still
12:16:21 patrolling we have building care personnel, maintenance personnel, we have folks
12:16:26 from utilites ensuring that we have heat and light and water. And
12:16:27 maintain all that.
12:16:31 We have transportation personnel that are coming in.
12:16:36 Our people providing essential services have gotten appropriate training from
12:16:41 EH and S. So my thanks for being very responsive on that making
12:16:45 sure we have the right procedures that's correct we know how to use the personal protective equipment
12:16:50 PPE properly and helped us develop appropriate protocols and procedures to follow. So thank you for that.
12:16:58 Last time I touched base a little bit on there were some questions about the mail. We have been
12:17:02 engaged with the local post master and made some changes to mail delivery. So
12:17:08 pretty much all the letter mail is coming to transportation. We have the east
12:17:12 campus service center that's out by the orchards out
12:17:17 that pay Palm Road and then our transportation folks are distribut
12:17:21 ng from there and in coordination with the various units on campus. So if you have not
12:17:28 straightened out your mail delivery on the letter mail
12:17:32 -- transportation can help you with that. And we'll make those adjustments.
12:17:38 So transportation while I'm talking about it has also been asked to develop the capability to move
12:17:46 students if there are 6 students that need to go to the clinic and back. So
12:17:51 as we don't overoverburden
12:17:55 -- ambulance with those type transports and that keeps their capacity
12:17:59 for the higher priority emergency transports. On the utility side last week we
12:18:05 -- we conducted or executed a limited
12:18:09 load shed on the steam system so we reduced the am of steam
12:18:14 that we're putting out to campus. Many of the buildings are either not occupied or minimally
12:18:19 And in order to save energy since we have fewer people on campus we've reduced the amount of steam
12:18:20 that we're pumping out.
12:18:24 So our estimates of energy
12:18:28 savings are somewhere about 30% mark already.
12:18:33 So it -- at least we're not heating empty buildings and presering our money there.
12:18:37 We've also done some fume hood hibernation. So if a laboratory is not in use,
12:18:42 we go through some procedures to secure
12:18:46 those fume hoods. We've done a number of them. That really happens
12:18:51 on the request of building coordinators. So if there are building coordinatrs out there in our
12:18:55 listening audience if you have labs as we sort things out of what's going to continue,
12:19:00 what's not going to continue and faculty, you know, finish out whatever they're doing to
12:19:06 be able to instruct online, if there are additional fume hoods that can be
12:19:10 placed in hibernation we want to continue to do that so we're not wasing energy.
12:19:17 Last Friday we got revised instruction from the governor's office and we've been
12:19:23 aBLIEJed now to pretty much wrap up all the construction we had
12:19:27 going on. Has been previous considered an essential function and that guidance
12:19:33 was further refined. So if the project is considered essential, work
12:19:37 can continue. So that really has resulted
12:19:42 in us buttoning pretty much everything up. We're going to try to get some permission
12:19:46 if we can to keep going. We are already experiencng some supply
12:19:50 chain disruptions. So we'll see how that goes. We don't want
12:19:54 to put people at risk but at the same time we would
12:19:58 definitely prefer to keep some of these projects rolling.
12:20:02 And speaking of projects as Joanne,
12:20:07 mentioned we spend millions and millions of dollars on various capital projects.
12:20:11 So we are now going to conduct a comprehensive success am of
12:20:15 those projects. The ones that makes sense that we absolutely should proceed on we're going
12:20:20 to once we can clear the work
12:20:24 stoppage that's been put out by the governor. We're mindful and
12:20:28 continue to do things like make payroll and that kind of stuff.
12:20:32 We don't want to commit a bunch of money to capital projects that we may need
12:20:35 in the near term for operational reasons.
12:20:39 So although we are fairly limited in operatng status
12:20:44 in supporting essential functions only at this point, we really want to look down the road and
12:20:49 we're going to be standing up planning teams to think through and start planning out
12:20:54 how do we get back to full operation [inaudible] not
12:20:58 like we have a crystal ball here.
12:21:03 So it's more scenario-based planning but we can plan out what we will
12:21:07 do once we get that word. So that's sort of the wrap up as I see it in
12:21:13 campus services. Let me just close by saying that I am tremendously
12:21:17 impressed at the dedication of our Cornell community. We've got all sort of folks on staff who have
12:21:22 come in, continued to provide the necessary
12:21:26 support for essential functions. And many, many
12:21:31 others who are looking for ways to support our local community during a very trying time. So
12:21:35 tremendously impressed by that and really proud to be part of organization.
12:21:41 With that I will pass the baton to my
12:21:47 colleague Ryan Lombardi.
12:21:51 ¬ª Hi everyone. It's great to be with you once again. My
12:21:55 comments will be brief here first and most importantly just want to reiterate what everyone has
12:22:00 said which is a really resounding thank you and express my sincere
12:22:04 gratitude. You're just incredible, doing incredible work supporting our campus, supporting our communities,
12:22:10 ing our students. A number of students still remain here in Ithaca and on
12:22:15 campus and many of our teams are supporting those folks. Most notably probably are din
12:22:19 ng employees as well as our health employees, some of
12:22:20 our housing folks.
12:22:22 Really appreciate all that you're doing to keep --
12:22:45 If you didn't read yesterday the efforts that a number of the team in Cornell
12:22:49 dinng did to put together the food pantry in partnership with
12:22:55 the greater Ithaca activity center delivered
12:22:58 food yesterday to over 120
12:23:03 local citizens who otherwise would not have that that opportunity. The spirit of community is incredible. And again I thank you. I appreciate you.
12:23:07 And sending lots of love to everyone.
12:23:10 Next up is my colleague Joe Malina.
12:23:14 ¬ª Thank you very much, Ryan and let me add my thanks to all of you for the
12:23:19 enormous flexibility that you are all generaing during this
12:23:24 truy difficult time. I just want to touch
12:23:29 on a few things and then I'll pass it over
12:23:34 to frank Cantone. My division of university relations, a couple of main components just wanted to address
12:23:38 some of our core areas of focus and some of them address
12:23:43 specific questions that I know have come our way. First on communications, I hope that
12:23:49 you're finding our dedicated website which is accessible
12:23:53 from the Cornell dot edu main page,
12:23:58 the big space up top that has an FAQ that's being update
12:24:02 multiple times each day. It's also where you can find every communication
12:24:06 not just to our employees but to students as well just in case you're interested about
12:24:11 what's being said to whom. And of course there will be as we've continued
12:24:15 to see each week a need for broad messages such as the one that went out
12:24:21 on Monday from the provost and
12:24:26 Talking a little bit about community relation and a few people have
12:24:30 asked what can I do to help? We've seen enormous expressions of willingness to engage,
12:24:36 to help empathy, compassion, we are so thrilled with those
12:24:39 expressions. There's a terrific website on the --
12:24:43 excuse me a web page on the HR website
12:24:49 it's the HR Covid-19 workforce guidelines. And included there is a terrific
12:24:53 summary of community resources which has specific information of where you might be able to lend some time
12:24:57 or some support.
12:25:01 And of course, Gary Stuart who runs our office of community relations,
12:25:06 he's made clear that anyone can reach out to him.
12:25:10 As long as I guess it's not 2,500
12:25:15 people at once but please send Gary an email and he'd be able
12:25:19 to help direct you. His ID is
12:25:20 GJS 28 at Cornell dot edu.
12:25:24 Finally, there have been some references to our efforts
12:25:28 in DC in Albany, just to reassure
12:25:33 everyone that we are very engaged with lawmakers not only throughout New York but thought the country
12:25:37 to make sure that Cornell's needs, needs of our employees, the needs of our students,
12:25:43 the needs of our community are being addressed in what's already been
12:25:48 3 aid packets out of DC. We expect there will be a 4th one that will be developed over the coming
12:25:53 weeks. There are working groups already focusing
12:25:57 on what's already been enacted to make sure that we are in a position to take full advantage.
12:26:01 A lot of the details admittedly still need
12:26:06 to be ironed out through regulations but we are very much focusing on this and working to make sure that clarity
12:26:13 is brought forward as soon as possible. Stayed-wide
12:26:18 Rick mentioned the governor's orders. I do recognize that in what originally was put out there didn't
12:26:23 mention with specificity higher education but
12:26:27 working with our Albany office as well as with our leadership of our state-wide
12:26:30 university private university association.
12:26:34 There have been very specific conversations with senior members of the
12:26:39 Cuomo administration where we have been able to build out specific guidance with regard to
12:26:45 universites and colleges and that has been reflected in the messages
12:26:49 that we've been putting forward. So with that, just also a shout out to the EA,
12:26:55 to -- and our office of the Assemblies for all of this wonderful work. These are
12:26:59 really times where it's clear that the work
12:27:04 that the EA does truly is of enormous value so thank you to all involved. And with
12:27:08 that frank Cantone.
12:27:11 ¬ª Hi, good afternoon everyone.
12:27:15 I think it's really important that we stay connect even if it's in our new normal
12:27:20 digital world. But I just want to acknowledge that our small team here in
12:27:24 emergency management working with our many partners across campus including Cornell health,
12:27:28 [inaudible] services, student campus life, university relations,
12:27:33 HR and many others to help plan for where we are now
12:27:37 in the last couple months and also respond to keep people safe and healthy
12:27:43 as well as keep the campus operational. And also shout out to many, many
12:27:47 staff and students who donated a lot of
12:27:51 personal protective equipment from the laboratoies on campus.
12:27:54 We've gotten feedback from --
12:27:59 that what we have provided has been a godsend
12:28:04 for the entire county. Also we sent a lot of supplies down to our colleagues
12:28:09 and they're much appreciated for what we could provide. So I'll turn it over
12:28:13 to Dr. Ann Jones.
12:28:17 ¬ª Thank you, frank. And yes,
12:28:23 the partnership has been amazing. And I too would add that the messages of gratitude coming to
12:28:27 the health center from
12:28:31 the students who are receiving care and from all of you sending messages in
12:28:38 support of our staff have been amazing. So much thanks,
12:28:43 and much gratitude back to everyone. I know that there have been
12:28:48 many questions coming in around a couple of health
12:28:52 topics. So wanted to take an opportunity to cover them just
12:28:57 briefly. In the health arena here. And there's also been evoling literature
12:29:02 on the topics of -- of what we know about the virus,
12:29:07 what we know about Coronavirus. And what is being learned in the sciences,
12:29:14 in the basic science literature as well as the public health and the medical
12:29:18 Probably the most common question that's coming up right now is this question of
12:29:23 transmission. And how long is the virus
12:29:27 able to live on surfaces outside the human body.
12:29:31 So there was a -- there was a study that was done
12:29:36 in the national Institutes of Health that was
12:29:40 published which was the most recent literature on this topic. And it
12:29:45 summarized as follows. They did a very specification study that was looking under
12:29:51 very specific circumstances how long was this
12:29:55 novel Coronavirus living on particular surfaces, not every surface was studied in this
12:29:59 study, but particular ones were.
12:30:03 And the summary of the literature was that this novel
12:30:07 Coronavirus can live up to 4 hours on copper,
12:30:12 up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to 4 days on plastic and stainless steel,
12:30:18 but that the virus was much reduced after 72-hour window.
12:30:24 So this brings up a lot of questions we know about what does this mean for groceries,
12:30:28 should we clean our grocerys, what does this mean
12:30:32 for coming home if you do go outside? What does this mean
12:30:38 for mail as has been mentioned. And in general I think that what it means is that taking
12:30:43 precautions and taking reasonable
12:30:48 precautions of -- for yourselves are
12:30:50 the most reasonable thing to do.
12:30:54 What we still know is that the transmission is still person-to-person
12:30:58 via respiratory droplets. And so it's about
12:31:02 the transmission of those respiratory droplets. That's why social
12:31:07 distancng is still very important. And why it's important to
12:31:11 continue to practice social distanceng as a public health
12:31:16 measure. And also then to take -- to take the actions that we can of our own
12:31:21 selves to protect ourselves no matter what surfaces we may be
12:31:25 touching. So for example, staying home if you're sick,
12:31:30 and thereby removing yourself from any possibling
12:31:35 -- possible exposure that other people could have. Avoid
12:31:38 ing contact with people who are sick, so therefore protecting yourself.
12:31:42 Avoiding, if you do come in contact with anything then
12:31:46 avoiding touching your eyes or touching your face or touching
12:31:50 yourself in any way that hand hygiene is so important, so focussing on hand hygiene,
12:31:56 washing with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand
12:32:01 sanitizer is so important. And then -- and then
12:32:06 -- and then really focussing on again the social distancng measures. The more that we can all stay home,
12:32:11 unless we absolutely need to go out, the better. The last thing,
12:32:17 the last very common question that we've been getting is: What is the difference between
12:32:22 social distanng quarentine and isolation? Those are
12:32:27 terms that have in many ways
12:32:32 begun to be used interchangeably, but I'll just say briefly, social
12:32:36 distancng is the measure that we should all be doing right now regardless of whether we're sick or healthy,
12:32:41 that's the idea of staying 6 feet away from another person no matter where
12:32:46 you are around then staying home if you possibly can. Quarentine is
12:32:50 something different. Quarentine is the action of
12:32:54 -- of keeping people who are well away from
12:32:59 anybody else so that they don't get sick. This is for people who may have been
12:33:03 exposed or come in contact with the virus.
12:33:07 That is different from isolation. Isolation is used when
12:33:11 someone gets sick to separate from anyone else
12:33:12 who --
12:33:16 and avoid transmission of the virus. Each of these
12:33:21 strateges are used with partnership with public health entities,
12:33:25 with medical practices. And if you ever did have to come in
12:33:30 or become veil waited for Coronavirus one or more of these strateg
12:33:34 es may be used. So any way, just those
12:33:38 common questions have been coming up. Hopefully that helps with
12:33:43 knowledge out there. And with that, eye hand it back over to Mary.
12:33:53 ¬ª I'm going to turn this back for question, I think
12:33:55 that's where we are now is that right?
12:33:55 ¬ª Yes.
12:33:59 ¬ª Thank you, Mary. I'm going to begin with a question
12:34:04 that we received via the chat. Can the provost email
12:34:09 on Monday indicated that the salary increases related to faculty
12:34:14 promotions are excluded from the freeze --
12:34:20 ¬ª I'll give that a shot. So while we did -- while we did
12:34:25 basically exempt most salary changed there is a
12:34:32 -- a step agreement for most promotions from
12:34:36 assistant to tenured from associate to full. Those are the
12:34:42 opportunities in line with the academic ladder. And so
12:34:46 for now, it really
12:34:50 is important that we continue those because they are
12:34:57 long-standing understandings as people move through the ladder. It's quite different than
12:35:02 the way we do changes in pay and promotion for staff which is much more
12:35:10 ¬ª Thank you. Given that normal parking
12:35:14 enforcement besides handicapped spots and fire lanes are not currently being enforce
12:35:18 d can the university suspend payroll deductions for employee parking passes until
12:35:23 the work from home orders are lifted while the transportation office currently allows for
12:35:27 users to mail back their passes to stop payroll
12:35:31 deductions which seems like an unnecessary burden on both staff and transportation
12:35:36 employees on a case by case rather than a blanket suspension?
12:35:42 ¬ª This is Rick. I'll take that one. You know,
12:35:44 I will be frank that we've had higher priority issues to deal with.
12:35:48 Just in terms of
12:35:53 with the duration of this remote work thing seeming
12:35:57 to stretch out. We're going to have to pick this up.
12:36:01 So I'm -- I'm happy to take a look at it. I don't know what the answer is right now. We have part of the process, the whole
12:36:08 payroll piece gets done with others but we'll take a look at this thing and
12:36:10 figure out something that works.
12:36:14 I agree that it doesn't make sense to pay for something that you know,
12:36:18 we're not even using because you're sitting at home.
12:36:23 And this applies to pretty much everybody that's got a paid parking permit. We'll take a look
12:36:24 at this one.
12:36:26 ¬ª Thank you.
12:36:30 How much in savings have been realized in the past 3 weeks in reduction of utilites
12:36:35 demand and steam load shed have is there [indiscernible] retain
12:36:39 a portion of these cost savings?
12:36:46 ¬ª It's about 30% in terms of usage. It's kind of
12:36:50 complicated and I'm not going to try to do public math on that.
12:36:55 I think we could realize a little bit more if we do some more of the [inaudible] which, you know,
12:37:00 I don't initiate those. Those are initiated out of the units.
12:37:04 Moving to a 4-day work week, you know, you start to get into space use,
12:37:09 constraints, and competition, you know, there are some
12:37:15 that I've heard say in gest that nobody wants to have classes except Tuesday,
12:37:19 Wednesday and Thursday, you know, so we'd have a 3-day work week.
12:37:23 I'm not in charge of that. I'm trying to keep the facilities that we've got and
12:37:28 that really goes from the academic mission is where we start and then we figure out what
12:37:31 we need to do to support that.
12:37:34 ¬ª Let me jump in here, Rick.
12:37:38 I'm going to take what I think is the question behind the question which is how are we thinking differently
12:37:42 about the efficient use of
12:37:46 energy and space. And I do think we're learning some things about remote work.
12:37:53 That we may be able to leverage as we move back into full operations.
12:37:59 But keep in mind that as we do that, there are certain things we do
12:38:03 that are actually 24/7. When the students are with us they're here all the time. Around
12:38:11 and we have research that runs all the time. So we -- I think this has -- this experience has taught us that we can
12:38:15 think differently about how we -- how
12:38:20 we operate and that may well include more conversation about
12:38:27 alternative or remote work. But as is the case for absolutely
12:38:31 every organization that does this, we do it consistent with
12:38:32 our commitment to our core mission.
12:38:39 ¬ª Thank you.
12:38:43 What is the likelihood that we're going to see staff cuts and lost jobs due to this?
12:38:49 ¬ª Yep, I understand that question and so I'm going to --
12:38:53 I'll try to do a better job of saying what we know. You know, what we know is
12:38:57 that we're working very hard right now. To address what we need --
12:39:02 believe will be the short falls. We don't know how long this will last,
12:39:07 we don't know what the impact of the virus will be on our long-term financial situation.
12:39:13 So I appreciate the question, but it would be irresponsible
12:39:17 of anybody to tell you with certainty about what impact this
12:39:19 may have on jobs.
12:39:23 What I can say is what the executive vice president said, we are all working very,
12:39:28 very hard to -- in our commitment
12:39:32 to our workforce. You all can participate in that by helping us look
12:39:35 at spend and giving --
12:39:39 and suggesting through your managers ways to do thing more efficiently. And that is
12:39:46 an honest answer for where we are today. And we'll continue to share information as we have it.
12:39:53 That's -- that's the best I can do. And the question keeps coming up because I think people want
12:39:58 an absolute answer to the question which is completely understandable,
12:40:03 but I've made a promise to be as transparent as I can be to you. And that includes
12:40:08 telling you what we know today even if it isn't the answer you were hoping for.
12:40:13 ¬ª Thank you.
12:40:17 Will L tip rates change for fiscal year'21
12:40:21 or will there be a university-wide reduction in fiscal
12:40:26 '21 budgets?
12:40:30 ¬ª I can try that one. So we went to the board of trustees in January for our
12:40:35 endowment pay out rates which is I think what they're asking about. And we have been
12:40:40 paying out more than we should. And so we had a plan to continue to
12:40:45 reduce the pay out over the next several years down
12:40:50 to approximately a 5% pay out. So that has already been
12:40:55 approved and units should mainly be aware of it. What the implications are
12:41:01 of the investment portfolio where all our modelling or
12:41:05 pay out is at a 61/2% positive return, right now we're looking
12:41:10 at a potential
12:41:15 81/2% negative return for this next year. So there will be an impact going forward. Right now we're thinking
12:41:19 it might be -- it will -- we calculate on a 7-year average.
12:41:23 So we'll take a couple years before we actually see thethe --
12:41:29 the reduction in the pay out piece and yes there will be budget adjustments.
12:41:31 We're trying to figure that out now.
12:41:35 ¬ª Another question, I believe that you would be appropriate
12:41:40 to answer: Could you kindly share the priority list of re coup
12:41:45 ing revenue? [Indiscernible] fall in this
12:41:49 ¬ª So I'm not sure I understand the question of
12:41:54 recouping revenues. So you know, we have --
12:42:00 we have our enrollment and as soon as NCRE is built we'll be able to add more students. And
12:42:05 so that will increase our tuition
12:42:09 Financial aid is an expense that will grow depending
12:42:13 on the economy. And then you know, federal appropriations, research dollars,
12:42:19 gifts as soon as we're able to go back out and try to get as much as we can, we will be
12:42:23 -- we will be trying to maintain or revenue sources.
12:42:28 ¬ª Thank you.
12:42:32 This feels a lot like if not worse than the resection of 2008,
12:42:37 is there talk of an early retirement incentive as there was
12:42:38 in 2009?
12:42:42 ¬ª So I'll take that one. TheThe -- there are some differencedifferences, it does feel
12:42:47 that way. I think as individuals as we look at some -- at this, but there are differences.
12:42:52 One of the -- one of the differences that -- that we are
12:42:57 trying to employ is we're tying to make our
12:42:59 changes as soon as possible.
12:43:03 So that's why the Monday letter was so important. As it relates to
12:43:08 early retirement incentives or other incentives
12:43:12 we're not talking anything off the table but I have to tell you those programs are very expensive.
12:43:16 And so when we look at a --
12:43:23 at a -- drop in revenue we need
12:43:28 to calculate and balance the cost of -- with the other pressures that we have on us.
12:43:33 So we're not saying no and we're not advancng it as a yes. Right now we have everything
12:43:36 in the --
12:43:40 in the tool kit and we're weighing the pros and
12:43:42 cons of all of them.
12:43:46 ¬ª Thank you.
12:43:50 If student enrollment is likely to decline then why not reduce financial aid
12:43:55 rather than increasing it by another 30 million?
12:43:59 ¬ª So one of the core principles of Cornell University is
12:44:03 -- blinded mission. So we don't know what the financial needs. If we wanted
12:44:08 to reduce financial aid the only way we could do that is look at
12:44:13 people's ability to pay as they're applying and accept the people that can pay. And that just goes against one of the
12:44:19 principles that we don't want to change at this point in time.
12:44:27 ¬ª Thank you.
12:44:31 All of our funds are from grants which will expire within the next 2 years, how
12:44:36 do we reconcile reduced spending with funds that will be lost if not spent?
12:44:43 ¬ª My recommendation is to spend your grant funds first, and
12:44:47 then your general -- as long as they're legitimate expenses
12:44:52 that can go against the grants we want all restricted funds dollars spent first
12:44:58 so that it frees up unrestrict dollars that can help with the university budget
12:45:00 ¬ª Thank you.
12:45:04 What advice would you give to staff members who have been deemed essential
12:45:08 who have compromised immune systems
12:45:12 [indiscernible] assistance staff members can access?
12:45:16 ¬ª Thanks for asking the question. If you are in a situation where
12:45:20 you are in a medically compromised situation and you and your doctor
12:45:25 do not feel that you should be working, there are -- there are programs to help you, please
12:45:27 contact the medical leave administration area.
12:45:32 ¬ª Thank you.
12:45:35 Several units have discussed mental health and the need --
12:45:39 the need for RX. There seems
12:45:44 to be a collective thought that getting outside is important [indiscernible] how are we addressing visitor safety?
12:45:52 ¬ª Well, I could address that because we've made clear in as many
12:45:57 of our conversations -- I first want to echo the basic observation
12:46:01 that Mary touched on earlier which is absolutely we want everyone to get outside.
12:46:06 It's critical for wellness partnership went out for a walk earlier today and it made a big difference.
12:46:12 Certainly with regard to the botanic gardens with regard
12:46:17 to a lot of our wonderful areas for recreation and wellness around us,
12:46:23 it's really just incumbent on individuals to practice those 6 feet separations.
12:46:29 We have all experienced individuals that we encounter
12:46:34 who aren't but we as individuals have that opportunity to make
12:46:38 a detour making sure we look both ways if we're crossing streets at the time.
12:46:43 But it really comes down to our greatest tool
12:46:47 to get us back to normalcy as soon as possible which is to enable
12:46:51 the progression of the virus to happen
12:46:55 as swiftly as possible with an eye toward flattening that curve. We try
12:46:58 to emphasize that in all of our communications.
12:47:02 ¬ª Thank you.
12:47:06 It was helpful to know some of the thinking around summer planning given the recent mention
12:47:10 of July 12th as the earliest of oncampus classes I know we don't know
12:47:15 specifics of fall but can you share thoughts of what is being discussed for potential fall implications?
12:47:24 So I'll start and maybe others can jump in. One of the
12:47:30 -- the deans meeting with the provost
12:47:35 and I on a regular basis to do contingency planning for the academic enterprise. And
12:47:40 I think the person who asked the question acknowledges we just don't know. And so
12:47:45 we don't want to not do planning and be caught
12:47:50 off guard. On the other hand I think we're trying to weigh multiple
12:47:54 factors as we do those contingency plans. So
12:47:59 the deans and the provost team are actually looking at ways we might
12:48:04 move forward if the summer comes and we're still not
12:48:09 in a position where we can offer things on campus. Joel, did you want to add?
12:48:12 ¬ª No, that's exactly what I would have touched on, Mary.
12:48:13 Thank you.
12:48:17 ¬ª Thank you.
12:48:21 What do you know about the current confirmed cases of
12:48:28 Covid in [indiscernible]?
12:48:33 ¬ª I can take that but
12:48:37 obviously deferring to Ann and
12:48:43 Frank the Thompkins County health
12:48:47 department has a website where they keep track of the county-wide confirmed cases. We have
12:48:51 as part of that landing page on our Covid-19 website toward the bottom
12:48:56 we are keeping a tally of
12:49:01 Ithaca campus faculty students and staff by number that are
12:49:05 have tested positive.
12:49:10 Recognizng that this is not always an exact science, our goal is to try
12:49:15 to be as transparent as possible with the information that we have access to.
12:49:20 I do need to underscore there are significant and really critical privacy
12:49:24 concerns at play. As a result,
12:49:29 we are not in a position to be communicatecommunicating specifics in terms of who, what,
12:49:33 where or when, but we do want to be sure the community is
12:49:38 able to see the progression. I don't know, Ann, if there's more
12:49:38 you would add.
12:49:42 ¬ª Yeah, really to echo that
12:49:47 and emphasize the transparency on both of those web sites, and especially
12:49:57 on thompkins County health Department, there is a grade and I'm looking
12:49:59 at it right now that has [inaudible]
12:50:03 factors total number of people tested for Covid-19 of those how many are pending,
12:50:07 how many are positive, how many have been coming back negative, and
12:50:11 then how many people have recovered.
12:50:12 As well as a count of how many people who are hospitalized.
12:50:16 And so those are important
12:50:21 numbers. To date on what's being reported on website now the number
12:50:25 of positive cases in the county is 76. And so
12:50:28 the --
12:50:32 that website is actually wherewhere
12:50:36 -- where we are getting that information. And that is being
12:50:39 placed on their transparently for the community.
12:50:45 ¬ª Thank you.
12:50:49 Are current jobs posted on workday still moving forward or are they
12:50:51 also being frozen?
12:50:54 ¬ª Yep. So we've asked each --
12:50:58 each unit college unit to look at the positions that they have posted. And
12:51:02 to take down those that they feel temporarily
12:51:07 cancan -- can delay, or
12:51:12 they can reassign the work to someone else. And so those are all being looked at and they are
12:51:17 they are most of them actually are come down. So there are a few
12:51:22 positions that there's been an
12:51:27 agreement need to continue, but for the most part --
12:51:31 [inaudible] down. Last count I think something like
12:51:32 75 or 80% of them had been pulled down.
12:51:44 ¬ª Now, that
12:51:49 provost or the executive vice president [indiscernible] obtain approval, is there a dollar threshold for
12:51:52 those purchases requiring approval?
12:51:59 Bill -- the university
12:52:04 comptroller is meeting with all the college business officers and administrative finance group on Monday and they're going
12:52:07 to work through a process so more information will be coming out on that.
12:52:13 ¬ª Thank you.
12:52:18 Follow-up to the faculty promotion raise question could
12:52:22 faculty voluntarily give up a raise for time being to help out with costs while still obtaining appropriate promotions,
12:52:27 is that something that could be asked of faculty considering this issue?
12:52:31 ¬ª So everyone has given if you look at the Monday letter, you'll see that
12:52:35 we have a --
12:52:39 some individuals have already voluntarily reduced their salaries for 6 months.
12:52:45 And we've made that option open to anyone who
12:52:46 would like to do so.
12:52:50 And that includes any faculty
12:52:54 as well. So there's -- that's an open invitation to anyone who would like
12:52:58 to do that to help us with our operatng costs issues.
12:53:03 ¬ª Thank you.
12:53:07 There are concerns and stress happening around our ability to be productive while dealing with the reality
12:53:12 of our current situation. What would you say to folks who are struggling to balance
12:53:13 deadlines and mental health?
12:53:17 ¬ª Yeah. So thanks for asking that question. I think there's actually a lot that goes into
12:53:21 that. So some of it is as
12:53:27 simple but complicated as you're -- all of a sudden you're home and you don have the normal
12:53:33 way that you get things done, and you're trying to figure out how to do things in a different way.
12:53:38 And we did a -- we did a panel about that and we'll
12:53:43 do some more follow-up. There's great resources, by the way about this
12:53:44 on the HR website.
12:53:48 But the other thing that was recognized there, and I just want to say
12:53:53 we're thinking about it as well as you know, people who have children, the
12:53:57 day care centers are for the most part closed the schools
12:54:02 are closed, they're feeling a great deal of pressure within their -- to balance
12:54:05 a whole lot of things that are kind of right in front of them now. And we know that.
12:54:09 So what I would say is use good -- my
12:54:14 good practical advice is, talk to your supervisor about when
12:54:18 you can get your work done. Make sure you understand the deliverables that are in front of you,
12:54:23 be open an honest about the struggles that you have in terms of what's happening in your home,
12:54:26 and develop a go forward plan that agreeable to you and your supervisor.
12:54:34 ¬ª Thank you.
12:54:38 Which jobs are still going to be continued recruited for are the provost searchs
12:54:40 for college deans continuing?
12:54:44 ¬ª So there are certain jobs that we will continue. So for example,
12:54:49 a great example is if we need a dean we need
12:54:51 to complete that dean search.
12:54:53 There are other jobs that --
12:54:57 that are quite unique in their skill sets.
12:55:01 We can't obviously move somebody into the role
12:55:04 and those will continue as well.
12:55:08 There's no single pathway to answer this question. We're trying to go position by position. And
12:55:13 have a conversation about all of them and figure out which ones to move forward.
12:55:17 I will say in this regard, and I do want to just go back to
12:55:22 my acknowledgment that when you ask an absolute question and I don't give you an absolute answer,
12:55:27 I want to acknowledge that that doesn't feel satisfying, but it's -- but I also feel that
12:55:33 I have a great deal of regard for all of you, and your ability to
12:55:38 manage what can sometimes feel like less than concrete answers.
12:55:42 And so I'm going to give you the honest answers that I have
12:55:46 them even if they're not in an absolute form. So we're going through each
12:55:49 job. We're trying to figure out which ones absolutely have to continue.
12:55:53 We're talking about whether there's other ways to continue them, but there's no single pathway
12:55:58 to say this type of job will be filled and this type of job won't be opinion
12:56:03 I sat in on a dean's meeting on Monday and every dean, every vice president,
12:56:09 and every vice provost on this campus is really being thoughtful about how to
12:56:14 take this guidance and do their part in figuring out how we can
12:56:17 capture some savings in these early days.
12:56:25 ¬ª Thank you.
12:56:29 As we identified departmental funds that will no longer be used for fiscal year'20,
12:56:34 student recognition events what is the best way to let the university know how much
12:56:39 money we can roll back into the larger university budget?
12:56:43 ¬ª Well, my suggestion would be to talk to the university budget office,
12:56:49 positivell happly take any call
12:56:51 that somebody's returning some funds to help the university budget.
12:56:55 ¬ª Thank you.
12:56:59 The university has a
12:57:18 sizable [inaudible] the donors are understand the understanding that we will
12:57:22 never use their funds for anything else. It would require
12:57:25 board approval.
12:57:28 It could be an option but it should be a very last option because that means
12:57:33 we have not been able to figure out problem solving for ourselves and that would
12:57:37 just be a stopgap. And the more you take out of the endowment
12:57:42 the longer the pain will be for the university because so many of our funds
12:57:46 so many of our programs are funded from the endowment including financial aid.
12:57:58 ¬ª Thank you.
12:58:03 All right. Regarding budget specifically expenses will schools be required
12:58:07 to reduce or pair back the spend on major events like orientation first year family weekend,
12:58:12 et cetera, some of these events could produce a significant cost
12:58:16 ¬ª So each -- I'm going to actually have Ryan talk about the Cornell
12:58:21 -- the student specific ones, but each of the colleges
12:58:26 and units are looking at exactly that, event that is we've always held, are
12:58:29 we still holding them, if we are holding them can we hold them in a different way.
12:58:35 ¬ª And I'll just jump in there
12:58:39 we will be certainly at these kind of university-wide student type events
12:58:44 orientation, family weekend that we've mentioned we'll be taking a very close look at those and doing
12:58:48 everything we can to reduce or eliminate a lot of spend that does happen there.
12:59:09 ¬ª I think that's going to have to be our last question. We're at time but I just want
12:59:10 to --
12:59:15 just want to wrap up by saying thank you also much for being here
12:59:20 today. We absolutely appreciate it. We know how busy you are. This is this is so helpful and
12:59:22 so useful for everybody who's able to join us.
12:59:26 So once again, thank you, thank you,
12:59:34 Hei Hei, thank you for helping settle this
12:59:38 up. Again really pressure your time. We hope everybody stays healthy, happy and able to weather this
12:59:40 , you know, as we move forward.
12:59:42 So --
12:59:44 ¬ª Can I just --
12:59:45 ¬ª [Multiple speakers].
12:59:49 ¬ª Sorry. Can I just say two things? First of all I've been notic
12:59:53 ng as things come through questions that we've answered now multiple times coming
12:59:58 back through again. So one strategy that you can use because I know sometimes
13:00:03 when either your joining late or maybe there's you know, maybe there's something that
13:00:08 you were thinking about when the question was answered, these are all recorded
13:00:12 and available and you might want to go back and watch these first to see
13:00:18 whether or not maybe the answer to your question is already there. So that's one thing.
13:00:23 The other thing is that I didn't start with this, but I want to end with it, please keep our
13:00:27 health care
13:00:30 workers and --
13:00:34 while Cornell medicine and all across New York in your heart and
13:00:38 in your thoughts. They're getting to a very difficult time. They're working
13:00:43 without you know, just constant
13:00:48 ly they're really in the thick of it. And it's
13:00:50 -- we couldn't be prouder of them, but they --
13:00:54 they're also really, really
13:00:55 on the front lines of all of this.
13:00:59 And they're remarkable people and so
13:01:04 how ever do you that whether it's a wish or a prayer or a thought keep them all in your
13:01:05 hearts and in your thoughts. Thank you.
13:01:10 ¬ª Thank you, everybody.
13:01:11 Take care.
13:01:13 ¬ª Thank you, good afternoon.