REVISION TO 9/17/21 EMAIL: Updated Templates for Academic Personnel Reflecting CHANGES To New York State Legislation and Revised Language for Postdoc Housing

September 21, 2021

We have just learned that on Monday, September 6, 2021 New York's Governor Kathy Hochul designated COVID-19 an airborne infectious disease under New York State's HERO Act  (see https://research.columbia.edu/columbia-university-new-york-state-hero-act-model-plan).  This is a change from the original legislation which had indicated that the Hero Act did “not apply to the current COVID-19 pandemic.”  Thus the information and templates we distributed on Friday, September 17, 2021 needed to be modified.  We have removed the parenthetical statement  - “(It does not apply to the current COVID-19 pandemic.) and have updated all the templates on our website (https://provost.columbia.edu/content/academic-appointments) accordingly.  We ask that you use these templates immediately.

Also we have updated the paragraph that needs to be added to all offer letters for all faculty, officers of research, and officers of the libraries.  It should follow the paragraphs about the University’s mandate on COVID. 

RELEVANT PARAGRAPH:


In accordance with New York State’s HERO Act, we are providing all new employees with a copy of the prevention plan that Columbia has adopted to protect against the transmission of any airborne infectious diseases in the workplace as designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health. The plan can be found here: https://research.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/EHS/COVID-19/HeroActPlan.pdf.


For All Faculty:

“The University has announced that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all University faculty, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and students and that full vaccination should be completed as soon as possible. In addition, faculty and students will meet in person for all class sessions this fall. To enable you to comply with the vaccination mandate and teach in person, your departmental administrator will alert you once your appointment has been updated in the Human Resources system. At that time, you should reference https://covid19.columbia.edu/content/columbia-university-vaccination-attestation-tutorial to obtain the procedure for uploading your vaccination attestation. It is imperative that you follow these guidelines as soon as you are notified since proof of your vaccination will be required to give you access to the campus.

In addition, all faculty returning to campus must comply with the basic public health protocols that define Columbia’s approach to protecting the safety of the community. These include the following:

  1. Gateway testing before return, if you have not been on campus since January 2021
  2. Online Return-to-Work Training
  3. Daily symptom self-check through the ReopenCU app
  4. Participation in surveillance testing if and when the University implements an ongoing testing regimen
  5. Continued observance of all protocols including wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance when applicable.

For more information, please see the University COVID-19 website at https://covid19.columbia.edu/. Compliance with these measures is mandatory. The health of all depends upon our collective and ongoing commitment.

In accordance with New York State’s HERO Act, we are providing all new employees with a copy of the prevention plan that Columbia has adopted to protect against the transmission of any airborne infectious diseases in the workplace as designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health.  The plan can be found here: https://research.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/EHS/COVID-19/HeroActPlan.pdf.”

For All Officers of Research and Officers of the Libraries:

“The University has announced that COVID-19 vaccination will be mandatory for all University faculty, officers of research, officers of the libraries, and students and that full vaccination should be completed as soon as possible.

All officers of research and officers of the libraries returning to campus must comply with the basic public health protocols that define Columbia’s approach to protecting the safety of the community. These include the following:

  1. Gateway testing before return, if you have not been on campus since January 2021
  2. Online Return-to-Work Training
  3. Daily symptom self-check through the ReopenCU app
  4. Participation in surveillance testing if and when the University implements an ongoing testing regimen
  5. Continued observance of all protocols including wearing face coverings and maintaining physical distance when applicable.

For more information, please see the University COVID-19 website at https://covid19.columbia.edu/. Compliance with these measures is mandatory. The health of all depends upon our collective and ongoing commitment.

In accordance with New York State’s HERO Act, we are providing all new employees with a copy of the prevention plan that Columbia has adopted to protect against the transmission of any airborne infectious diseases in the workplace as designated by the New York State Commissioner of Health. The plan can be found here: https://research.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/content/EHS/COVID-19/HeroActPlan.pdf.”

Updated Housing Section for the Appointment Templates for Postdoctoral Officers of Research

Also effective immediately the section on “housing” in the appointment templates for postdoctoral officers of research needs to be updated with the following paragraph.  The templates on our website have already been updated with the new language so please access them when preparing new offer letters for your postdoctoral officers of research.

Housing

Housing is more challenging in New York City than in many other places. Accordingly, all individuals with postdoctoral appointments are encouraged to start exploring options as quickly as possible. Whether you must seek out housing on the market or have been offered one of the small number of apartments available in the Columbia Housing portfolio, please see https://research.columbia.edu/postdoctoral-housing. This site has valuable information about resources both at Columbia and externally to help you find housing that meets your needs.”

Updated Templates for Faculty and Officers of Research

Please note that all of the templates for faculty and officers of research have been tweaked to make the text more consistent. Please start using the templates currently posted on our website immediately (https://provost.columbia.edu/content/academic-appointments) and delete any versions that you previously downloaded.

Please contact one of us if you have any questions.

Carmen DeLeon and Zeid Sitnica
Assistant Provosts for Academic Appointments