Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,
We are writing to give you information about our plans for the spring semester regarding instruction as well as residential life.
As many of you may be aware, COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles County have reached near-record levels and continue to increase at an alarming rate. December 5th saw the largest number of new cases to date, with 8,948 testing positive. Effective today, the county is implementing a regional stay at home order which closes sector operations except for critical infrastructure and retail. Because of the significant rise in cases, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) has indicated that it is unlikely that higher education institutions will be able to bring students back to campus for some time. Once certain health benchmarks have been reached, a small number of colleges will receive permission to open though a waiver program to which HMC will apply. The program will accept up to 10 campuses, and these colleges will have no more than 500 students in residence.
The requirements of the waiver program mirror the HMC “Stay Safe at Mudd” policies including limiting the ability of students to leave campus. This pilot program will allow campuses to open once the county has a case rate of 10 or fewer new cases per 100,000 people per day. HMC will apply for the waiver when it is announced, and we will continue to communicate with our community on the status of our application. Over the last few months, with the help of students, staff, and faculty, we continued to update our opening plans and added twice a week testing protocols for members of our community. We have met with county officials and believe that Mudd is ready to bring back our students as soon as we are allowed to do so.
Given the current situation, we, along with the rest of the Claremont Colleges, expect to begin the spring semester on January 25th in a remote learning environment. Whether we are operating remotely or in person, our week-long spring break will be held March 8 – 12, 2021.
We understand that there are many students who have signed up to live on campus for the spring semester. We will continue with the process of assigning room assignments and will notify students as soon as we find out about the status of our application to the county. Due to this change, we will not include room and board charges on student bills until we can confirm whether we can have students on campus.
We remain committed to working to bring students back to campus as soon as we are able and as soon as it is safe to do so. The efforts of our entire community to ensure the success of this past semester are greatly appreciated, and we have no doubt that the same will be true in the spring. We know that these efforts have been difficult for all of us, and we hope that you all get a chance to recharge in the coming weeks.
As always, be safe and make choices that keep others safe.
Maria Klawe, President
Karen Angemi, Director of the President’s Office and Secretary to the Board of Trustees
Thyra Briggs, Vice President for Admission and Financial Aid
Andrew Dorantes, Vice President for Administration and Finance/Treasurer
Anna Gonzalez, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Timothy Hussey, Chief Communications Officer and Assistant Secretary to the Board
Hieu Nguyen, Vice President for Advancement
Lisa Sullivan, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty
Joseph Vaughan, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Computing and Information Services