Notifications and Updates for Faculty and Staff / March 19

To: Paul Smith’s College faculty and staff
Delivered: March 19, 2020



  • We fully recognize the impact and stress that abrupt changes forced upon us are creating for our students and their families. We are doing everything we can to avoid adding to that pressure by making decisions as quickly as possible and communicating frequently.
  • Understandably, there has been general concern about how we will deliver a meaningful Paul Smith’s education through online learning. We recognize that the hands-on approach to learning that we are so proud of can be challenging to adapt. Please be assured that faculty are reshaping the curriculum with some inspired ideas for remote learning. A detailed update will be shared by the Provost tomorrow.
  • The decision to shift classes to an online format was not made lightly. We are responding to a global pandemic health crisis and must take this action for the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff.
  • If you are uncertain or concerned about having reliable internet connectivity, your local service provider is likely able to help. Nearly 200 companies have signed the Keep America Connected Pledge promising that for 60 days they’ll open Wi-Fi hotspots, maintain service for people who can’t pay their bills because of the crisis, and waive late fees. We recognize that this is not a solution for everyone or for the long term, and are continuing to work on ways that PSC can help people stay connected.
  • Please contact Diana Lyng-Gliddi if you need individual assistance with eBook selections to replace physical textbooks. The providers for this service are and Diana is also maintaining a list of eBooks available through the PSC library.


  • Faculty are encouraged to join the new Faculty Peer Group: Online Teaching in MS Teams to help share tips and resources and ask questions. This will supplement the Canvas Faculty Learning Center.
  • Important reminder: all material needs to be organized in Canvas. If you use external tools, make sure you include the link in Canvas. We CAN NOT make our students scramble around trying to find things.
  • A recorded Microsoft webinar “Online classes & lectures with all your students” can be viewed at this link.


  • Due to a server reconfiguration, ability to login to PSC campus computers will be down between 5:30 and 5:45 today. Please contact Andrew Relyea with any questions or concerns.
  • The Staff Council meeting scheduled for 3/26 from 3:00 – 4:00pm will be held virtually using MS Teams. There will not be an in-person meeting.
  • Sodexo Dining Services is offering a “free food giveaway” in the Dining Hall from 1:00 – 4:00pm on Friday to distribute surplus foods. Also, a limited amount of surplus beer and cider will be sold at cost. An attendant will monitor the dining hall to maintain strict social distancing. No more than 10 people will be allowed in the dining hall at any given time. Please bring your own bags or boxes and do not take more than you need.
  • Library Services
    • The library staff will be working remotely Mondays – Fridays from 8:00am – 5:00pm to help support the transition to online learning.
    • Please be patient as we all navigate this situation. We are here to help you in any way we can. For any questions, please check out our new Online Resources FAQ.
    • Available services include:
      • Virtual reference sessions and research help, bookable via Starfish. These can be for any help you might need in terms of materials and information, please use them! We want to help you!
      • Screencast tutorials available on the library website and in Canvas (link to the tutorial in Canvas Commons)
      • eBook and digital journal lending
      • Interlibrary Loan to access digital materials our library doesn’t own
    • Unfortunately, we will have to suspend the following library services:
      • Use of the library building
      • In-person reference
      • Lending of physical materials
      • Physical Course Reserves
      • Physical interlibrary loans
      • Weekend hours
    • Regarding materials that you may currently have checked out, please return them if you are able. If you are on campus, we will be here through this Friday at 4:30pm. If you are on campus after this week you can leave materials in the book drop-off in the library foyer.
  • HEOP will not be requiring a campus visit as part of the HEOP application process
  • Efforts are underway to reschedule the Natural Science Seminar Series with speakers for the Fall semester.
  • A number of people have expressed offers to spend time with fellow Smitties to maintain bonds during this time. We all must be appropriately cautious and avoid in-person contacts wherever possible. Clubs, teams, and other groups are encouraged to help one another through virtual meetings and social media.

Key Contacts

Student Health Services
Abigail Fontaine, RN, BSN, Director
(518) 327-6349

Housing & Residence Life
Lou Kaminski, Director
(518) 327-6488

Campus Safety
Holly Parker, Director
(518) 327-6300

Emergency Management
Teresa Gay, Compliance Coordinator
(518) 327-6451