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.
- Some classes are already being taught on-line. By Monday March 16, all Brandeis classes with more than 100 students will move online. The last day of in-person instruction for all classes, regardless of size, will be March 20. The Passover and Spring Recess dates will be shifted to March 23-25, April 9-10, and April 15-16.
- All undergraduates living in on-campus housing are asked not to return to campus after March 25 and may begin moving out of their housing earlier should they wish to do so. We will allow some undergraduates, on a case-by-case basis, to remain on campus in the residence halls but they will need permission from the Department of Community Living. Examples of students for whom exceptions would be made include international students, those with ongoing on-campus jobs, those who do not have a home to go to where they would be able to continue their online classes, or for whom going home is not an option. The Department of Community Living will provide more details on this process in the coming days.
- When the March 23-25 portion of Spring Recess ends, all undergraduate and graduate classes will move online for the remainder of the academic semester. The deans of each of our schools will provide more guidance and information in the coming days with respect to transitioning to all online courses and other academic concerns.
- Students currently in study abroad programs should continue in their programs until otherwise notified.
- Faculty will make accommodations for students who leave campus prior to March 21 including for exams. Class attendance and participation policies will be revised to indicate that students’ grades will not be penalized due to the need to accommodate health needs, a student departure from campus before March 21, or the move of all academic work online.
- The Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) will support this transition to online classes. Please visit the CTL Teaching Continuity page for information about teaching and learning online.
- All student counseling and support services including the chaplaincies and Hiatt Career Center will continue to operate, although these departments may shift the way in which they deliver their services.
- Guidance for athletic events and competitions will be forthcoming, based on policy coordination with the UAA and the NCAA.
- Information on refunds for housing and meal plans will also be forthcoming in a separate communication.
- Events or meetings with more than 20 attendees, on-campus or off-campus, must be postponed, cancelled or “virtualized”. Organizers of events or meetings with fewer than 20 people should consider postponing and/or using remote technology instead.
- Information on Commencement will be provided at a later date.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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。
- 要求所有住在校内宿舍的本科生在3月25日之后不要返回校园，如果愿意，可以提前搬出宿舍。基于个案的特殊情况，我们将允许一些本科生留在校园的宿舍，但他/她们需要得到学校住宿部门（Department of Community Living）的许可。例外情况包括：国际学生、在学校有工作的学生、因故无法回家的学生等。学校住宿部门（Department of Community Living）将在未来几天提供更多细节。
- 教学中心（Center for Teaching and Learning）将为过渡到线上课程提供支持。请访问教学中心的网页（https://www.brandeis.edu/teaching/teaching-continuity.html），了解线上教学的相关信息。
- 所有的学生咨询和支持服务，包括牧师和Hiatt职业中心（Hiatt Career Center）的服务都将继续运作，尽管这些部门会调整他们提供服务的方式。