Coronavirus and Continuity of Instruction: A Letter from the Interim Provost to Faculty

Dear Graduate Center Faculty Colleagues,

I’m writing to let you know of our plans for maintaining instruction at The Graduate Center even if we must close due to the spread of the coronavirus.

As you know, there is much uncertainty about what the coronavirus will bring; much remains unknown and unpredictable, but we are planning for the possibility that The Graduate Center could be closed for the semester or for some part of it. If this does happen, it could occur suddenly so it’s important for us to be ready to shift classes online.

There is much to prepare for in contemplating moving from in-person classes to online variants. One issue concerns the choice of platform. Among other programs, we will have access to Webex, which experienced users have reported to be easy to use and high quality. We will set up workshops and tutorial sessions for those who want guidance in using the programs.

Above all, we plan to be highly flexible in working with you to sustain Graduate Center teaching even if we need to close down. You may choose your own platform, your own way of teaching (synchronous or asynchronous), and whether you plan to meet digitally each week or to rely in part on research assignments to substitute for some class sessions. We want instruction to proceed on a high level, and are confident this can be done. It would be enormously helpful to our students and to The Graduate Center as an institution if we can successfully complete the semester. This would let our students keep advancing to their degrees and would avoid serious problems related to financial aid and other issues. If for any reason you do not believe you could teach a course online, please let me know and we will discuss your situation with you.

We know there are many other issues beyond the instructional ones if The Graduate Center is forced to close. We don’t have answers to all of the questions confronting us, but will communicate what we learn. Above all we are committed to the health and safety of the entire Graduate Center community. For updates on the CUNY response to COVID-19 check  


Julia Wrigley
Interim Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs

Submitted on: MAR 9, 2020

Category: Provost's Office