COVID-19 UPDATE — Significant Changes to Classes and Operations / 布兰戴斯大学关于课程安排和运营的重大更新

March 11, 2020

Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

As we continue to monitor the coronavirus COVID-19, I am writing to provide an update on the steps the university is taking to help mitigate the impact of the virus on our community, the most vulnerable among us, and beyond.

As we try to get our arms around all the complexities of amending operations on campus, I am grateful to see the values of care and compassion in full force throughout Brandeis – from students, faculty, and staff.  Each, in their own way, has shown a willingness to assist the administration think through the many consequences of changing how we teach and learn, how we work, and how we look out for all members of the community.  I am most appreciative of the work done in recent days by the university’s COVID-19 working group, led by Provost Lisa Lynch and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration Stew Uretsky.  The group has engaged local public health leaders and state officials to inform their own daily discussions and policy recommendations to help reduce the effects of the virus on our community.

COVID-19 presents the Brandeis community with an unprecedented challenge due to daily changes in guidance from state and federal authorities and the lack of knowledge of the virus.  It is clear, however, that we must take steps to help limit the spread of the coronavirus by reducing our density of population on campus.  Doing so will reduce the risk of the spread of virus within the community, especially among those most vulnerable.  While we are not aware of any cases of COVID-19 among Brandeis students, staff, or faculty at this time, the university is taking additional safety steps because of the rapid spread of the virus in Massachusetts and Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration of emergency for the Commonwealth last evening.

While in-person instruction will be suspended as of the end of the academic day on Friday, March 20, the university will otherwise remain open for normal operations until further notice.  Faculty and staff will have access to their offices, labs, and studio spaces, and all members of the community will have access to library services (in-person and online).  In addition to Dining Services applying increased safety measures related to the coronavirus, dining facilities will remain available, but on a modified basis.

Our university administration and the deans of the academic units will be working with faculty, researchers, and staff to draw on telework to help reduce risk from exposure. I ask that all units begin planning now for working remotely and experimenting with flexible work arrangements, should that become necessary. This would include testing technical remote work capabilities and implementing flexible remote work options. I also request members of the community to increase social distancing by limiting in-person meetings and avoiding close contact.

This is a stressful time for everyone at Brandeis.  It is also understandable for our students, especially, to feel disappointment at this time. As Brandeisians, we enjoy being on campus to teach and learn together and to share the friendship, support, and particular rituals that make the Brandeis experience special. 

We should take comfort, however, in knowing that the character and strength of Brandeisians and Brandeis will help us through this period as they have in the past.  Throughout the university’s relatively short history, our students, faculty, and staff have met major challenges and succeeded by being innovative and collaborative; I have no doubt that we will do so yet again. I know that our faculty will meet the challenge of switching mid-semester to virtual teaching while continuing to provide an excellent and rigorous learning experience for their students.  I know that our staff will keep the university operating at the highest level possible to lessen the disruption that is sure to come in ways we cannot foresee. And I know that our students will apply themselves to their learning just as vigorously as they have done prior to COVID-19 and remain a supportive network for one another during this time.

We will continue to send updates regularly on these and any future steps.  Please refer to our website regarding our response to COVID-19 for up-to-date information and a list of frequently asked questions.  You can also direct questions to covid-19@brandeis.edu.  For assistance in coping with any stress you are experiencing, please review the resources available to you on the Brandeis Counseling website.   

I appreciate everyone’s patience and willingness to follow the changes in operations we have set forth, to stay true to our founding values, and to continue building a stronger Brandeis for the future.

Sincerely

Ron Liebowitz


亲爱的布兰戴斯大学社群全体成员,

我们一直在密切监控新冠病毒(COVID-19)的最新情况。我写这封邮件是向大家通报布兰戴斯大学正在采取的最新措施,我们希望通过这些措施减轻该病毒对我们学校各个群体的影响。

当我们努力地协调校园中各种复杂的运行变更工作时,我欣慰地看到布兰戴斯的学生、教师和工作人员都充分体现了关爱和同情的价值观。每个人,都以自己的方式表现出愿意协助学校管理层充分考虑更改教学、工作和关照社群成员的方式所带来的诸多后果。我由衷地感谢由教务长丽莎·林奇(Lisa Lynch)和主管财务与行政事务的执行副校长斯图·尤莱斯基(Stew Uretsky)领导的COVID-19工作小组最近所做的工作。他们与当地公共卫生领导人和马萨诸塞州官员保持密切沟通,并把获得的信息纳入工作小组的日常讨论和政策建议中,以帮助减少该病毒对我们社群的影响。

由于州和联邦政府的指导方针每天都在变化,而且人们对新冠病毒缺乏了解,这给布兰戴斯社群带来了前所未有的挑战,然而,很显然,我们必须采取措施,通过减少校园人口密度来限制新冠病毒的传播。这样做将减少病毒在社群内传播的风险,特别是对易感人群。截止到目前,我们还没有发现布兰戴斯大学的学生或教职员工中出现任何新冠病毒的病例,但由于该病毒在马萨诸塞州的迅速传播,以及州长查理·贝克(Charlie Baker)昨晚(译者注:当地时间310日)宣布马萨诸塞州进入紧急状态,我校将采取更多的安全措施。

尽管自3月20日(星期五)起将暂停面授教学,但在另行通知之前,学校将照常开放和运营。教师和工作人员可以使用他们的办公室、实验室和工作室,全体成员都可以使用图书馆服务(线上及线下)。学校食堂将采用针对新冠病毒的更安全的措施,餐饮设施将继续提供服务,但会有所调整。

布兰戴斯大学管理层和各学院的院长将与教师、研究人员和工作人员一道努力,利用远程工作来帮助减少暴露于病毒的风险。我要求所有的部门和学院现在就开始计划远程工作,并在必要时尝试灵活的工作安排。这将包括测试远程办公的技术能力和实施灵活的远程工作安排。同时,我也要求布兰戴斯大学的社群成员通过限制见面和避免亲密接触来增加社交距离。

对于布兰戴斯的每个人来说,这都是一个充满压力的时期。特别是我们的学生,在这期间感到失望也是可以理解的。作为布兰戴斯人(Brandeisians),我们享受在校园里一起参与教学、共同学习,并分享友谊、支持和那些让布兰戴斯的体验特别的仪式。

然而,我们应该感到安慰的是,布兰戴斯人(Brandeisians)和布兰戴斯的特质和力量将帮助我们度过这段时期,就像过去一样。在这所大学不算久远的历史中,我们的学生、教师和工作人员都遇到过重大挑战,并通过创新和协作取得了成功。我毫不怀疑我们将再次做到同样的事情!我相信,我们的教师们将会克服在学期中间转到线上教学的挑战,继续为学生们提供优秀且严谨的课堂体验;我相信,我们的工作人员将使学校保持在尽可能高的水准上运行,以减少必定会出现但我们无法预见具体形式的干扰;我也相信,我们的学生将会像新冠病毒爆发之前一样精力充沛地投入到学习中,并在这段时间里保持相互支持的关系。

我们将继续定期更新关于这些事项及进一步措施的最新进展。有关布兰戴斯大学针对新冠病毒的最新信息和常见问题及解答,请参阅我们的专题网页:https://www.brandeis.edu/health/coronavirus/index.html。您也可以直接把问题发到covid-19@brandeis.edu。如欲寻求应对压力的帮助,请查看布兰戴斯心理咨询中心网站上的相关资源:https://www.brandeis.edu/counseling/

我感谢每个人的耐心以及遵循我们制定的各项措施的意愿,以保持我们的创始价值观,并继续建设一个更强大的布兰戴斯的未来。

最真挚的问候,

Ron Liebowitz