March 9 HMC Community Update on Novel Coronavirus

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

Issues regarding COVID-19 continue to evolve. More states are reporting growing numbers of cases, and large events are being canceled around the country. Colleges are preparing for potential impacts to their communities, and some located in areas with greater numbers of cases have already decided to shift to online course delivery or alternative methods of instruction. It is important to note that as of writing this message, there is no known case in the City of Claremont or at The Claremont Colleges. 

We continue to update Coronavirus Information.

Community Meetings

Our thanks to the faculty and staff who attended the information sessions late last week. Dean of Faculty Lisa Sullivan and Dean of Students Anna Gonzalez will hold additional online sessions on Wednesday and Thursday primarily to convey updated information to our students. The dates and times will be shared Tuesday.

Spring Break

The Hoch-Shanahan Dining Hall will be open during Spring Break for lunch and dinner. The Café will also be open limited hours. Details are in the March 5 update from Anna Gonzalez. If you are planning to travel over Spring Break, please review the section on travel below.

Admission and Financial Aid

The Office of Admission and Financial Aid has canceled both our President’s Scholars and Admitted Students programs that were originally scheduled for April 4-6. These two events normally bring about 600 people to campus, and recommendations regarding the novel Coronavirus recommend that large events such as these be avoided at this time. The Office of Admission and Financial Aid is busy planning alternative ways to connect with our admitted students and will be turning to many members of the HMC community for ideas in the coming weeks. We also have canceled all campus visits including information sessions, tours and overnight visits until further notice.

Academic Continuity

The College is monitoring the COVID-19 situation carefully and preparing for a transition from on-site instruction to online delivery of courses. A few things you should know:

  • This week a small number of courses will test online delivery modalities so that we have an opportunity to troubleshoot our technologies before any urgent need arises.
  • The Faculty Executive Committee, Department Chairs Committee and Dean of the Faculty are working together with the Registrar, the Director of Educational Accessibility, and others to determine guidelines for course and grade delivery should we need to work online.

We’ll release details as we develop them, but have made the following decisions:

  • We are committed to ensuring that all students who are enrolled in a course have, to the best of our ability, the capacity to complete the course within the timeframe of our regular term, even if we switch to online delivery of courses.
  • We expect that students and faculty, in the case of such a shift, will continue to make use of the regular schedule of course meetings as a default structure.
  • We will modify campus policies regarding grading, course dropping and withdrawals if it becomes necessary.

College and Personal Travel

We strongly encourage students, faculty and staff to consider the risks when planning any travel, including domestic travel, in the near future. To enable students to stay on campus through Spring Break, we are providing dining services on campus, and meal plans will continue during the break.  If you plan to travel for any reason, please register your plans via the Harvey Mudd College Travel Form. Doing so will allow us to better support our community.

At the moment, we have made the following determinations regarding travel:

  • All College-sponsored travel both domestic and international has been canceled indefinitely, including clinic, research and conference travel
  • We are not currently asking you to curtail travel for personal reasons, but please be advised that if you are exposed to COVID-19, or if you end up in a location of particular concern, you will be required to make your own arrangements to complete the CDC-recommended 14-day period of self-quarantine before returning to campus. We encourage students who decide to leave for spring break to consider bringing essential items with them in case their return to campus is delayed.

We appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate this rapidly changing situation together. Our primary concerns are for the health and safety of our HMC community as well as that of our sister colleges and the residents of the City of Claremont.

If you have any questions, we encourage you to review the information and announcements posted on the College’s Coronavirus information website or to contact the Dean of Students, the Dean of the Faculty or your supervisor or vice president.

Thank you,

Lisa Sullivan
Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty

Anna Gonzalez
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students

Thyra Briggs
Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid