Updates on campus operations and services

October 19, 2022

President's Office Email Header - Fall 2022

Dear GC faculty and staff,

It has been great to see so many of you in recent weeks as we’ve recommenced in-person classes, seminars, and public programming. Meeting the new students, reconnecting with colleagues, and experiencing art and live music have re-energized our wonderful space.

Returning has come with challenges, too, as we re-establish daily rhythms, manage COVID-related policies and protocols, and learn and adapt to changes in staffing and processes. To address some of the questions we’ve been hearing, we’ve prepared the FAQ below, containing updates on what’s happening and what you can expect in the weeks ahead regarding:

  • the migration of email to Microsoft Outlook 365
  • resolving issues with purchasing and reimbursements
  • campus visitors and event planning
  • food services at the GC

If you have specific questions on any of these topics, please reach out to the contacts in those operational areas. Thanks for reading.


Robin L. Garrell, President
Steve Everett, Provost and Senior Vice President
Brian A. Peterson, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration

Email migration to Microsoft Outlook 365

Q.: I’m a consortial faculty member. How will I be impacted by the email migration to Microsoft Outlook 365 on November 1?

A. The Graduate Center is part of the CUNY-wide email migration to Microsoft Outlook 365. As part of this migration, the current process redirecting your “@gc.cuny.edu” email traffic to another CUNY campus or external inbox will cease on November 1.

For various professional reasons, many of you have expressed interest in maintaining your @gc.cuny.edu email address. This is possible. We can establish a CUNYFirst GC employee record for you as a “person of interest,” which will enable you to continue to send and receive messages from your GC account. Please reach out to Steven Wong at swong@gc.cuny.edu to confirm that you wish to maintain your @gc email.

Starting November 1, your @gc email and home campus email will funnel into one mailbox on the CUNY 365 cloud. With Outlook 365, you will be able to create folders and message rules to separate inbound email messages automatically. You will also be able to choose the email address you want to appear when composing or replying to messages.

Information about the migration and instructions that explain how to set up your CUNY 365 account can be found here. We’ll also prepare a demonstration video and host several virtual sessions where you can see the process demonstrated and ask questions.

Resolving issues with purchasing and reimbursements

Q. I’ve experienced delays in receiving reimbursements. Why?

A. Purchasing and payment processes have changed in two ways. First, throughout CUNY, non-tax levy purchasing, and payment processes have ben migrated into CUNYfirst. Second, the Graduate Center has moved to a shared services model with the University Budget Office (UBO) for Accounts Payable. This does not change how you submit your payment requests but does change how they are processed. Our business office is working closely with the programs, centers, and institutes that have a significant number of transactions to address questions about the new workflow.

Unfortunately, we have experienced significant staff turnover across administrative offices that has resulted in unanticipated delays in processing some payment requests. We are actively working to replace personnel and are also looking closely at the chain of CUNYfirst reviewers and authorized approvers to ensure that payment requests can be routed through the system in a timely manner.

We recognize that people may need to refamiliarize themselves with processes that were routine before the pandemic. We encourage everyone to review the Making a Purchase section of the Business Office Resources Hub. We’ve offered training sessions on travel & expense reimbursements and accounts payable and will announce additional sessions shortly.

Q. What should I do if I’ve been tracking a particular purchase or reimbursement request and it seems to be hung up somewhere? How long should I wait and whom should I contact?

A. If an invoice/reimbursement request/payment request, etc. has been submitted and payment has not been received within 10 days, you should reach out to Angella Bowley for the status. If you have not heard from Angella in 48 hours, please contact Althea Harewood at aharewood@gc.cuny.edu.

The liaison in the Graduate Center Business Office for all Accounts Payable matters is Angella Bowley, who can be reached via email at abowley@gc.cuny.edu.

If you are following up on Purchasing questions and have not received a response within 48 hours, please contact Ron Paynter at rpaynter@gc.cuny.edu.

After taking these steps, if you have not received any responses from the Business Office within 4 business days, please reach out to Kenneth Tirino at ktirino@gc.cuny.edu.

Q. What types of credit cards does the Graduate Center offer?

A: The Graduate Center provides two types of credit cards:

  • A New York State Purchasing Card (P-Card). P-Cards are used for small-dollar, discretionary, non-travel related expenditures under certain circumstances on behalf of CUNY. There are 10 designated P-Card holders at the Graduate Center and the ASRC who have the authority to make one-time/emergency purchases with this card.
  • A New York State Travel Card (T-Card), which is used by tax-levy employees to pay for travel expenses when traveling on official state business.

More information about Credit Cards can be found here and on the Corporate Credit Card Guidelines site.

Campus visitors and event planning

Q. What are the current building entry policies?

A. The CUNY Visitor Policy requires all visitors to CUNY campuses to provide proof that they are either fully vaccinated or have had a negative COVID-19 molecular (PCR) test performed by an accredited lab no more than 7 days prior to the visit. The GC’s Building Entry Policy provides campus-specific information for those coming to the GC and a Building Entry Matrix that provides a summary of the type of identification and proof of vaccination that visitors must present when entering the building.

Q. How do I plan a public event for my unit (program, center, institute, or department)?

A. The campus unit sponsoring the event needs to do the following:

Include in all event invitations and promotional materials information about the campus building access policy.

If you intend to use one of the GC public spaces (e.g., Skylight Room, Elebash Recital Hall, James Gallery, etc.), you must reserve the space through room reservations.

At least five days prior to the scheduled event date, send notification of the event to John Flaherty at jflaherty@gc.cuny.edu and Diane Rosenblum at drosenblum@gc.cuny.edu with the following information:

  • Event name
  • Date of the event, including the scheduled start and end times
  • Location of the event
  • Expected number of attendees

Please send your confirmed guest list to John and Diane no later than 4 p.m. the day prior to the event.

For events that will bring more than 25 non-CUNY participants to campus, the sponsor of the event needs to be prepared to assist with screening the non-CUNY attendees. Please contact our COVID-19 Campus Coordinator Daniela Verdejo Salazar via reactivation@gc.cuny.edu if you have questions about current building entry policies.

Q. What are the protocols for events in which food and/or beverages will be provided?

A. Until further notice, please use only Blake and Todd or Relish for catering services. These two companies are the only ones currently approved for on-campus catering services, as they are able to comply with our disposal of food waste and clean-up regulations. The regulations require them to take all event food waste with them for proper disposal.

If an approved catering company is hired to bring in food:

  • Notify the Office of Facilities about your event at least two weeks prior to the event date by sending an email to facilities@gc.cuny.edu.
  • Let the Office of Facilities know who your caterer is and who will be the program point of contact for the event. Also, please discuss your plans for catering and the expectations regarding management of food and clean up at the conclusion of the event.
  • Please make necessary arrangements for event representatives to be on site one hour before your scheduled start time to meet your caterer.
  • Facilities should be contacted at the conclusion of the event to ensure that removal of food waste and clean up took place, and that the room has either been returned to the original setup or has been set up for the next scheduled event in the room.

If a catering company is not used, departments or administrative offices having small parties or gathering in their areas and lounges (25 people or less) should do the following:

  • Notify the Office of Facilities about your event at least two weeks prior to the event date by sending an email to facilities@gc.cuny.edu.
  • Let the Office of Facilities know who the program point of contact for the event will be. Also, please discuss your plans for the disposal of food waste and clean up at the conclusion of the event.
  • Facilities will provide trash bags and cans for the disposal of food waste and event garbage. It is the responsibility of the unit hosting the event to utilize the bags. Pantries should be used for recycling.

Food services at the GC

Q. When will there be food for purchase at the GC?

A. We are excited to share that additional vending machines will be coming online in early November. Located in the Foundation Lounge, which is on the first floor directly across from the Segal Theatre, they will include options to purchase hot beverages and pre-packaged sandwiches. The Foundation Lounge will reopen as a space where students, faculty, and staff can sit and relax while on campus. The COVID-19 testing site will be relocated to Café 365.

We are also continuing to explore options to bring grab-and-go and other catering options to the GC.