Coronavirus Update from President Dobkin

March 12, 2020

Dear Griffins,

After much consideration and information regarding the spread of COVID-19 (aka novel coronavirus), we have decided to postpone in-person instruction and campus events until at least Friday, March 27. Although our small classes and compact campus give us flexibility in responding to the outbreak, recent reports suggest that the coronavirus is likely to spread widely and rapidly, and we are increasingly concerned about the ways that our families, friends and loved ones may be affected. This decision has several implications for all members of our community.

Students should not return to campus after spring break. We recognize that, for some students, returning home for the rest of March poses undue hardship or simply isn’t possible. We will make campus accommodations available to these students, as well as assist students who need access to their belongings. Residential students will receive additional information shortly. Please be aware that on-campus services will be limited through the end of the month.

Instruction should proceed remotely, to the extent possible as determined by faculty, as of Monday, March 23. Students should expect some delays in communication from faculty as they determine how to proceed. Faculty are encouraged to use the extended break period to communicate with students and design the best possible instructional experiences given the significant constraints that we all face, with the expectation that all students will complete the spring semester. Additional resources and guidance will be forthcoming soon from Provost Tahmassebi. We hope to welcome all students back to the campus on March 27 and to resume in-person instruction on March 30, but faculty should be prepared to continue instruction remotely beyond that date if necessary.

College operations will continue. All departments remain open and employees should continue to work as scheduled. All other restrictions and program closures announced earlier this week, such as restrictions in non-essential business travel, remain in effect. At this time, we are still planning to hold events scheduled for April and beyond, though there may be restrictions regarding the size of gatherings. We will continue to update you frequently as events unfold. If you have questions, please contact the vice president who oversees the area of your concern.

We realize the anxiety and disruption caused by these changes and appreciate your patience, flexibility, and diligence in responding to this pandemic, as well as your creativity and collaboration in meeting the needs of our students. Please continue refer to the information and ongoing updates on the coronavirus webpage.


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