April 23 HMC COVID-19 Community Update

Dear Faculty, Staff and Students,

We wanted to update you following Tuesday’s meeting of the Compensation and Personnel Planning Committee (CPPC) of the Harvey Mudd College Board of Trustees. After careful review and discussion, the CPPC has approved recommending to the Budget and Financial Planning Committee (BFPC) of the board that the College freeze faculty and staff salaries for next fiscal year. We anticipate the BFPC will recommend this approach to the full board for approval at its May 16 meeting. In addition, Dean of the Faculty Lisa Sullivan and I have both agreed to voluntary pay cuts for next fiscal year.

We realize this decision may cause financial hardships for some members of our community—particularly those whose spouses, partners or family members have recently lost their jobs because of the pandemic. Our goal throughout this process has been to try to preserve employment for all members of our community through the current academic year and as long as we are able. Freezing salary at the FY19-20 levels will help the College reduce costs for next fiscal year to help address the uncertainty we are facing.

In addition, in preparation for its upcoming meeting, the BFPC has asked the Cabinet to provide budget models that anticipate three possible scenarios:

  1. in-person classes beginning in the fall (relatively back to normal),
  2. students return in the fall, but we employ a hybrid instructional model that makes use of both in-person and online strategies to allow greater physical distancing, and
  3. offering courses online only.

As we have said in the past, our strong preference is that we re-open the campus this fall, and we anticipate being asked by government and public health officials to maintain some form of physical distancing. We continue to discuss what that might look like and hope to seek further feedback as we get more guidance from state and county leaders and public health officials.

We realize this is an incredibly stressful time for everyone in our community, and we greatly appreciate your patience and support as we navigate through these unprecedented and challenging decisions.

Sincerely,

Maria Klawe, president
Lisa Sullivan, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty