March 11 Harvey Mudd College Courses Moving Online

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

Harvey Mudd College, in conjunction with the other undergraduate Claremont Colleges, has decided to end in-person instruction and transition to online classes for all courses beginning at the close of business on March 13. We will be extending Spring Break for one additional week to better allow for this transition. We anticipate online courses will resume on March 30.

While there are still no cases of COVID-19 in Claremont as of the writing of this message, we are seeing more instances of community spread in California, and we know from public health authorities and epidemiologists that people who are older, who have underlying health conditions, or women who are pregnant should be limiting close contact with others.

We believe—based on the latest information available—that the best course of action is to try to limit potential exposure so that we can better protect all members of our community, particularly those who are most vulnerable right now. Transitioning a residential campus to deliver our unique education via alternative delivery formats is challenging. Please know that we have not made this decision lightly, but rather, we have used the best information available to ensure the continued health and well-being of all members of the Harvey Mudd College community. We realize there will be bumps along the way as we roll this out, and we appreciate everyone’s patience as we navigate through this extraordinary situation together.

We very strongly recommend that students who can go home over the extended Spring Break should do so and should continue their studies online from there. We guarantee that any student who does so will be able to complete the semester without returning to campus.

We will not allow any student who leaves campus for overnight trips during Spring Break to return to campus until after we are ready to resume in-person classes, except to pack their room under controlled conditions. Online courses will begin once the Spring term resumes on March 30. There will be no in-class instruction, nor will we offer in-person research, labs, or Clinic projects after March 13. These will be done virtually and online. We will continue to observe the class schedule as set, and faculty members will contact you with instructions on how to access courses online.

Students should receive a communication shortly from the Division of Student Affairs on the procedure to follow for those who choose to return home and finish the semester’s coursework as well as the procedure for staying on campus. DSA staff will assist you with making arrangements to store your belongings for the remainder of the semester. Once you have returned home, you will not be allowed to return to campus until we resume in-person instruction. The College will be providing a pro-rated refund for board to those students who decide to complete the semester from home.

We realize that returning home is not possible for some of our students, particularly many of our international students. We are committed to assisting you in whatever way possible so that you can successfully complete the semester on campus and will be offering essential services such as Student Health Services and Dining Services for the remainder of the term. Co-curricular activities will be extremely limited during this time. Students who remain on campus in the residence halls will be consolidated into fewer facilities. All College-sponsored events, parties, or social gatherings will be canceled until further notice. If you have questions or if you need assistance, please contact the Division of Student Affairs.

Faculty will not provide in-classroom instruction or in-person office hours, but will offer those virtually instead, even for students who must remain on campus. There will be no in-person meetings between faculty and students. We encourage you to look for announcements from individual faculty members about how they plan to handle office hours for their respective courses. Faculty may choose to work from their offices on campus, from home, or elsewhere depending on their circumstances. We encourage them to discuss their plans with their department chairs or with Dean of Faculty Lisa Sullivan.

Staff members will be expected to report to work in support of the academic mission of the College and to support the students who remain on campus. However, some offices—depending on their responsibilities and duties—may ask employees to work from home where possible. We encourage supervisors to work with their respective vice presidents to determine the best course of action given the needs of the College and given the staff member’s individual circumstances. We want to ensure that staff members with underlying health concerns are able to protect themselves from the potential spread of the virus. The Office of Human Resources can assist with answering questions you might have regarding telecommuting agreements and work arrangements.

Effective immediately, the Office of Admission and Financial Aid will be closed to the public but will remain available for HMC community members via card access from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday – Friday.

We also are cancelling all in-person events with more than eight participants as of March 14 until further notice, including President’s Scholars Weekend and Admitted Students Weekend as well as regional alumni events. At this point, we expect we will be forced to cancel Alumni Weekend, Presentation Days and many other events scheduled for later in the Spring semester, but we will re-evaluate this in mid-April. We will continue to provide updates on additional event cancellations and on how we plan to provide alternatives to some events via email and the Coronavirus Information website. Please continue to monitor both throughout the rest of the semester.

We will be hosting virtual meetings with students to respond to their questions and will be offering a session for parents and families as well. Information for how to access these forums is below:

3/12 at 10 a.m.
Student Forum with Dean Sullivan & Dr. G.
https://zoom.us/j/315855289
Webinar ID: 315 855 289

3/12 at 10:30 a.m.
Student Forum with Dean Sullivan & Dr. G.
https://zoom.us/j/638417002
Webinar ID: 638 417 002

3/12 at 1 p.m.
Family/Parent forum with President Klawe, Dean Sullivan & Dr. G.
https://zoom.us/j/134564485
Webinar ID: 134 564 485

In closing, we would like to thank everyone for their amazing efforts and help to ensure the College can continue to educate our students during these challenging circumstances.

Thank you,
Maria