The Implementation Committees

The process of carrying out recommendations set forth in the reopening reports is underway.  Eight implementation committees have been assembled for this purpose. This Chronicle Article gives an overview. Questions or concerns about plans for F20 can be posted below and will be forwarded to the right implementation group(s). All comments anonymous.

The Implementation Committees (Details Below)

Communication and Community Relations
Facilities/Supply Chain
Faculty/Staff Guidance
Health Considerations
Student Life

The Behavioral Compact

The Actual Compact
General Expectations and Perspectives

Communication and Community Relations

Co-Leads: Joel Malina , Jason Cole
Liaison with New York State: Charlie Kruzansky 
Communications Coordination; COVID Site Updates: Melissa Shaffmaster 
Liaison with Tompkins County:  Gary Stewart
Public Health Campaign Identity and Execution:  Shane Trost 

The Committee on Communications and Community Relations (“communications committee”) is charged with coordinating internal communications and messaging needs for each of the other seven implementation committees, including by providing timely updates to the university’s COVID-19 website with inputs from each of the implementation committees and other university stakeholders. In addition, the communications committee will develop a comprehensive public health campaign to influence behavioral change among faculty, staff and students to reinforce the social norms necessary to maintain a safe, reactivated campus. The communications committee will also manage external relationships with the broader Tompkins County community and the State of New York to address concerns from our broader community and elected officials.

Facilities/Supply Chain

Lead: Rick Burgess
Campus Movement: Bridgette Brady
Procurement and Distribution of PPE:  Spring Buck
Space Alterations and Tent Sites: Erik Eshelman
Access Control: Peggy Matta
Cleaning and Disinfection: Bob Pils
Indoor Space: Margaret Carney
Outdoor Space: Juliet Parsons

The Facilities/Supply Chain committee (“facilities”) is charged with procuring and distributing personal protective equipment (PPE); site preparation, including space alterations to ensure physical distancing in classrooms, cleaning and disinfecting office, class and lab spaces, and access control; identifying sites for tents to host physically distant, outdoor activities; and developing plans to provide safe movement around campus and within campus facilities.

Faculty/Staff Guidance

Lead: Mary Opperman
Workplace Guidance:  Alan Bishop
Remote Work:  Linda Croll Howell
Regulatory Compliance; Daily Check and Accommodations:   Betsy Schrier

The Faculty and Staff Guidance committee is responsible for developing workforce guidance, including leave policies, return to campus staging, policies for faculty and staff to receive annual flu shots, and remote work policies. The committee is also charged with regulatory compliance including workplace accommodations and developing, maintaining and enforcing compliance with the university’s daily check system.

Health Considerations

Lead: Gary Koretzky
Modeling: Peter Frazier
Travel and Visitors: Kevin Hallock
Daily Check Tool: Kristin Hopkins
Testing Program: Kim Potter
Dashboard: Isaac Weisfuse

The Health Considerations committee is charged with continuing to develop and executing surveillance testing protocols with Cayuga Medical Center. The committee will also work to implement the daily check tool for students and integrate health assessment and testing data into a dashboard to monitor early warning signs for increased prevalence of COVID-19 within the campus community. All of this data will be used to inform inputs to continually revise and update the predictive models developed by the committee. Finally, the committee is charged with developing travel and visitor policies for members of our community and the public.


Lead: Wendy Wolford
Belonging and Engagement: Brandon Lanners, Gustavo Flores-Macias
International Travel: Christine Potter
Study Away: Cindy Tarter
Immigration: Laura Taylor

The International committee is charged with managing immigration and international travel issues associated with government restrictions on travel and visas. The committee is also responsible for managing study abroad programs and programming for belonging and engagement, especially for first year student.


Co-Lead: Emmanuel Giannelis
Co-Lead: Mark Hurwitz
Lab Safety Protocols: Alexis Brubaker, Ezra Delaney, Mark Hurwitz, Josh Turse
Undergraduate Research: Laurel Southard

The Research committee is charged with developing and overseeing lab safety protocols and undergraduate research.

Student Life

Lead: Ryan Lombardi
Greek Life, Orientation, Student Orgs: Jenny Loeffelman
Student Life: Sharon McMullen
Behavioral Compact Implementation and Enforcement: Vijay Pendakur
Move-In, Housing, Dining, Quarantine: Pat Wynn

The Student Life committee is charged with developing protocols for student health, including: contract tracing; individual medical and mental health; student flu shots; and accommodations for individuals who may fall ill. The committee is also responsible for developing processes and procedures for move-in, housing, dining, off-campus housing and for providing quarantine space. In addition, the committee will examine protocols for Greek life, and creating experiences and programming for orientation, student organizations, and student leader training. Finally, the committee is responsible for developing a student behavioral compact and mechanisms to enforce protocols established by the compact.


Lead: Lisa Nishii
Course Roster and Scheduling: Rhonda Kitch, David Shmoys
Teaching Modalities and Technology: Dave Lifka, Julia Thom-Levy
Academic Advising and Policies: Carol Grumbach, Miranda Swanson

The Teaching and Advising committee is charged with examining and developing teaching modalities support in-person and online learning, including classroom technology. The committee is also responsible for developing a revised course roster and schedule and for revising academic policies and advising.
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5 thoughts on “The Implementation Committees

  1. Our Cornell Community really needs some answers about our testing capacity. Much of the variance in outcome of the model was dependent on efficacy of frequent and fast testing. To date we have received no data to indicate that level of testing is possible.

  2. Dear Charles, I write to you in your position as Dean of Faculty, to report my anger about the back-pedaling on guaranteed student quarantine housing announced last week. This was supposed to be the first step in our safe return to campus plan, as developed by Cornell. To start off already increasing exposure to the Cornell community by telling students to just quarantine themselves is insanity. This was not included in any model, and undermines the feasibility of the plan as a whole.

    Second, this policy is blatantly biased. The fact that students with resources will more easily return is blatantly anti-equity, and should not be left to stand. Telling poor students (many underrepresented) “you can apply for emergency housing” does not make any of this equitable. Students with lower SES, many underrepresented, have to jump hoops, and justify themselves. That is demeaning. Just terrible. And this right at the time when Cornell claims to be “taking steps” to increase equity… this is the most tone-deaf policy I have seen the university adopt during my entire career at Cornell. It is shameful.

    Our department is meeting to discuss this on Tuesday, and we will be sending you a report of our stand as a group. In the meantime, please count me as an individual faculty who is very concerned about the decisions made by our administration, the lack of clarity, and that the safety and equity of our campus is clearly not the driving force in these decisions. If Cornell cannot follow the re-opening plan as prescribed, in a safe and equitable manner, then I believe the plan needs to be reconsidered in its entirety.

    Thank you for taking my opinion to our campus leadership.
    Kelly Zamudio (EEB)

  3. It would be good to know the status of the testing, whether the current plan is to use saliva (too many false negatives?), or deep nasal (difficult to impossible to handle the logistics of swabbing 3000+ people per day, even before passing to the pooled testing).
    The simulations done here were extremely sensitive to the assumption that everyone on campus would be tested every five days (the number of cases goes up by over 40% just from moving to every seven days, and every two weeks would be untenable).
    I know that some tests have been done on campus (via Cayuga Medical Center) over the summer, but can’t see how we can ramp up to 3000+ / day by the end of Aug without already being at half-speed by now.
    Also Tompkins county has averaged roughly 1 positive test per day through Jun and Jul, but with the ‘nominal’ values of the simulation parameters we’re expecting more than 10x that within the campus community during the three months Sep-Nov — Are we psychologically ready for that?
    I haven’t been able to get answers …

  4. The email sent to students regarding Cornell’s inability to provide quarantine rooms to students coming to Cornell from the states on NY State’s quarantine list is confusing and makes it sound as though these students should find their own accommodations for quarantining in NY State before coming to campus. From the remarks, Ryan Lombardi made on a Friday Zoom meeting with students and parents, he indicated that Cornell preferred that students from these states remain at home, take classes online, and come to Cornell after their state was removed from NY State’s list. There seems to be a great deal of confusion about this. Cornell needs to clearly tell these students to stay away. This would go along way toward relieving some of the concerns of faculty, staff, and residents about an explosions of Covid from these students who might come back, be infected, and not quarantine. On a related note, what does the behavioral contract actually say and how will it be enforced, particularly in relationship to social gatherings and parties on and off campus.

  5. Greetings,
    Thank you to everyone working hard to get this right.
    I see that David Skorton has an opinion piece out today in the Washington Post about a Covid Recovery plan in his role as president and chief executive of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). The AAMC’s plan, The Way Forward, is posted on their website. Seeing David’s contribution in the WP prompts me to wonder whether any of the committees checked in with the former Cornell president in the course of their work. If so, did he agree to confer?

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