June 22 HMC Update on Fall Planning

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff,

The student newspaper posted an article Friday about Harvey Mudd’s proposed plans for fall 2020. Unfortunately, the article selectively pulls information from several draft working documents, which in turn misrepresents the planning process used at HMC.

As you recall, the HMC Board of Trustees asked us to plan for three possible scenarios this fall, with a hybrid instructional model that makes use of both in-person and online strategies to allow greater physical distancing as the primary method we were asked to explore. Many members of our community have been involved in various aspects of this planning process. The Division of Student Affairs has been working with a group of student leaders, including dorm presidents, ASHMC representatives, head mentors, proctors and Honor Board members. In addition, on the academic side, Dean of the Faculty Lisa Sullivan has assembled an academic planning committee with department chairs, FEC members, our registrar and others.  At the consortium level, a number of committees also have been meeting to develop shared plans around the academic and student life programs as well as shared services. I would like to thank all of the students, faculty and staff who have given up countless hours this summer to help us in these planning efforts.

While we have spent several weeks planning, no decisions have been made on what format instruction may take for fall 2020 or if we will be allowed to have students in residence. While we can plan for various scenarios, state and county public health officials will ultimately determine what we can and cannot do. This has made our planning efforts more challenging. While we have reviewed initial considerations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College Health Association, we have not yet received formal guidance from the state or from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Like every college and university in the country, we anticipate a very different experience for our community this academic year. We realize that you all are anxious about what the future holds. Please know that we remain committed to protecting the health and safety of all members of our community while delivering an educational program about which we can all be proud.

The HMC Board of Trustees will meet June 30 to discuss the College’s draft plans for re-opening our campus—should we be allowed to do so—and we expect to announce the board’s decision on July 1. We also plan to hold Inside Mudd Town Hall meetings with students and families July 2. We will provide additional details via separate email in the coming days on how to register for these sessions. We anticipate adding more detailed information on our preliminary plans to the College’s website.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work through this complicated planning process.