Information for Staff

Staff members are vital to Harvey Mudd’s mission. As the College works to provide an outstanding educational experience in unprecedented conditions, we are committed to protecting the health and safety of all members of our community. The responses listed below to the questions raised at the staff town hall meetings reflect preliminary responses provided at the town hall with some modifications based on review of additional information, including the budget models prepared for the Trustee Budget Committee. Health measures are based on best practices and may need to be adapted as guidance from state and county public health officials and the status of the pandemic evolves. We will keep the community informed of any updates.

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Academic Calendar

Q: Will Commencement be live streamed this year, as in the past?

A: Yes. Our Office of Communications and Marketing will provide additional details to families via email in advance of the ceremonies.

Q: USC, Chapman University and CMC are having in-person graduations, and CMC has announced that students are invited back to stay in the dorms. Why isn’t Mudd doing this?

A: That’s for June 2022. For May 2021 for the class of 2021, it will be students only, no guests, and the students must adhere to LA county and state travel restrictions, which may be difficult for some students who aren’t vaccinated yet. That’s why our students voted to postpone until spring 2022. We all prefer being able to have as normal a celebration as possible, with their families and other guests in attendance in person.

Q: For the classes of 2020, 2021, 2022, will there be one big ceremony or individual celebrations?

A: We haven’t completely decided. We’ve discussed a number of options and have been and will remain in contact with the student leaders for those classes as we continue to make plans. Right now, we plan to hold Commencement for the class of 2022 separately in the spring semester as normally scheduled.

Q: When do you expect to announce a date for 2022 commencement for classes of 2020 and 2021?

A: We’re hoping to announce in early fall as soon as we get the green light from the state and county.

Q: Will Commencement be virtual this year?

A: The classes of 2020 and 2021 have surveyed their classes and determined that each class would prefer an in-person commencement. We will plan for this some time during spring semester 2022 some time between Family Weekend and Alumni Weekend. We do plan to have celebratory events with the Class of 2021 and faculty, departments, Maria, etc., in May, but that will not serve as commencement.

Q: Are the two commencements (2020 and 2021) happening together or separately?

A: We are working on that now. Some students would like it separate and some would like it together. It will happen on the same day. We would prefer to have them together given that we will only have around 200 students in each class and not all will be able to come. We also will need to follow whatever protocols may still be in place for events at that time.

Q: Are our decisions about opening and other requirements based on county or state requirements?

A: Our decisions are based on requirements from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

Q: Is there a timeline for when we’ll know about returning to campus in the fall?

A: LACDPH has told us that barring any additional surges in cases, they expect we will be allowed to have students in residence on campus this fall. We are waiting to receive additional protocols to learn what additional safety measures will be required.

Q: Is there any expectation of coming announcements from LA County that would affect us?

A: Yes. We participate in a weekly call with LACDPH. Our ability to bring students back to campus and resume normal operations this fall depends on how well vaccinations roll out and how the numbers of positive cases and hospitalizations decrease. The county has stated clearly that even when schools reopen, we should expect to continue the COVID-19 precautions we’ve been following.

Courses and Modalities of Instruction

Q: Can you talk more about summer classes, and will they be remote?

A: Summer courses will be remote. Summer research will be both on-campus and remote, depending on the research needs. If hands-on work is required in labs, shops, or studios, the research will occur on-campus. The majority of our summer session offerings are remote. We are offering 35 courses, some with multiple sections, plus summer math.

Q: Can staff take summer courses or just spring/fall?

A: In terms of staff taking summer courses, let us look into this and get back to you. If you are interested in taking a summer course, please contact Brandon Ice to let him know as soon as possible of your interest.

Q: Will any summer courses be taught in person?

A: Summer 2021 will be online only.

Q: Is the list of courses for Summer Session out yet?

A: Visit Summer Session course list for details.

Q: Will there be internships offered on campus this summer?

A: At this point, we think it is probably unlikely given the ongoing rates of infection in Los Angeles county. We will continue to monitor guidance from the county, and if the situation changes, we will let everyone know as soon as possible.

Employment and Benefits

Q: Should staff anticipate changing job duties or having to work in other areas?

A: We have already done this in some cases, and we would anticipate possibly needing to do this as we progress into the fall. Every Cabinet member will review the needs of their departments carefully to make changes in job duties and responsibilities within their areas.

Q: Is the HMC Community Emergency Aid Fund something staff, students, and faculty in need can apply to or is it intended to support the operating budget? What is the EERF?

A: The Community Emergency Aid Fund provides operational support to the College following the unforeseen expenditures related to the COVID-19 pandemic, specifically, the need to cover unforeseen budget shortfalls caused by the pandemic. The College also has created an Employee Emergency Relief Fund to provide direct support to employees who were furloughed as a result of students not being allowed to return to live on campus.

Q: When students return in the fall, to clarify, will there be a limited number of students, class in person or online or hybrid? Will staff be able to continue working from home, or will we all be expected to return to campus?

A: Until we receive additional guidance from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, we don’t know. We anticipate that most classes will be offered in person and that we will be allowed to have students in residence halls, although occupancy may be limited. With students on campus in residence, there will be a need for many additional faculty and staff to report to campus for work. Please reach out to your area vice president with questions.

Q: If and when faculty and staff are allowed to return to work, will they be given an option to work remotely?

A: Cabinet will be discussing this question in the coming weeks. At the present time, we are still encouraging those employees who don’t have to physically be on campus to continue to work remotely if they can.

Q: Are cuts to the dependent scholarship program being considered?

A: Not as of April 28, 2021.

Q: Will we be bringing back furloughed staff this summer since we’ll have students in the labs?

A: The College is working to identify which of our furloughed employees will need to return to work since we are now allowed to have a limited number of students in residence for the summer.

Q: Will the College accept more voluntary furloughs? If so, what is the process for interested employees?

A: Yes, the College will accept additional voluntary furloughs. For those employees interested in voluntary furloughs, the first step is to speak with your supervisor and then reach out to Dana Nagengast, AVP for human resources at dnagengast@hmc.edu.

Q: If furloughed, can we cash out vacation hours?

A: Furloughed employees are allowed to be paid for accrued time.

Q: If furloughed, can employees collect unemployment?

A: Employees can apply for unemployment and decisions to award unemployment to an individual are made by the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Q: If staff are furloughed, would the College continue to pay benefits?

A: Health benefits (medical, dental and vision), will continue. However, no other benefits, such as dependent scholarship or retirement contributions, will be provided for furloughed staff.

Q: If we go to furloughs, do we have to reapply for positions or do we keep our positions?

A: It is our intent that you would keep your position and that furloughs would be temporary.

Q: At what rate will furloughed staff retain benefits? Will the cost to the employee remain the same per pay period? What happens if the employee does not pay their portion?

A: We would continue to pay the HMC portion. The employee would continue to be responsible for their portion.

Q: How will HMC support people working from home with kids?

A: The College can provide support in different ways, depending on the situation. For staff members, if you can work remotely, the college will continue to support that. If you can’t work remotely and are required to come to campus, we encourage you to work with your supervisor and human resources to identify if flexible work schedules might be a possibility. In addition, the College offers a backup care program with Bright Horizons, which provides the employee with 80 hours of care per academic year. We encourage you to reach out to human resources for assistance in accessing these benefits. If these options have been exhausted or are not possible, we ask that you work with your supervisor or department chair and human resources to look at any other option that might be feasible.

Q: In an email regarding 2021 performance management, given the impact of the pandemic on everyone, did Cabinet consider suspending it this year to alleviate the load on staff?

A: Different from last year, the Board has signaled moving forward with salary increases for faculty and staff. Since performance reviews are a key component in the adjustment of compensation and providing timely feedback to employees is critical and necessary, it is imperative we complete the process.

Q: Has there been a change to retirement contributions?

A: There has been no change. At the present time, the College is continuing its contribution with no interruption.

Q: When will we know the final answer on whether cuts to the College’s retirement contribution for faculty and staff will be necessary?

A: We believe we will not have to make cuts to the retirement contribution.

Q: Can faculty choose to supplement their own retirement accounts though tax deferred annuities to get to 12% contribution?

A: Yes, any employee may do that as long as they do not exceed the maximum contribution limits. There are some exceptions for making additional contributions—for example, if you are over 50, you may make an additional $6,000 in contributions. We are happy to discuss options with you and coordinate with TCCS to make adjustments.

Q: Is the percentage that gets put into retirement from the College fixed or could it be variable on a per employee basis? Some might prefer to take less money home but would rather keep the same level of contributions to their retirement accounts—is that possible?

A: Most likely not. Since we have to amend the retirement plan agreement with TIAA, we will need to make sure we are consistent.

Q: Given the trustees’ decision to freeze salaries for the coming year, will there be a time when a later increase will be large enough to get salaries back to where they would have been?

A: Given that this is a global pandemic that will most likely radically affect incomes around the world, it is unlikely that there is a scenario where we or most other organizations/colleges will be in a position to make up the difference.

Q: Why is there no staff representation in shared governance at the College? Why do students have more of a voice in the running of the College than the staff do?

A: Shared governance with the faculty is fairly common in small liberal arts colleges. In our case, the faculty are primarily responsible for the curriculum and the policies and procedures found in the Faculty Notebook. Students primarily have shared governance in areas around student activities. We continue to seek ways to involve staff members in decision-making at the College where appropriate. If you have additional suggestions, we encourage you to share those with your direct supervisor or any member of the President’s Cabinet.

Q: Would HMC consider implementing a vacation or sick leave bank?

A: The College made the decision back in March to allow any employee to accumulate a negative sick leave balance. If you are sick, we want you to stay home for your own safety as well as for the safety of others in our community. Given we are providing unlimited paid leave for illness right now, we don’t believe creating a bank is necessary.

Q: Under Section 2802 of the California Labor Code, employees should be reimbursed for Wi-Fi if they are expected to work from home. Will Harvey Mudd cover the cost of this?

A: Due to evolving government guidance, it is necessary for the College to implement a COVID-19 Telecommuting Policy beginning December 2020, which includes a taxable allowance to help cover costs associated with cell phone, internet, utilities and the use of non-HMC owned peripherals, such as printers and other devices. If you did not complete the COVID-19 Telecommuting Agreement, please do so. If you are required to work remotely and you don’t have appropriate internet access to do so, we encourage you to contact your supervisor to determine what alternative work arrangements might be made. For any further questions, please contact Human Resources.

Health and Safety

Q: If antibody testing becomes available, will HMC purchase the kits so we can be tested and return to work?

A: The College is working with Student Health Services to provide testing to essential employees who are required to come to campus on a regular basis. Additional information is available in the College’s COVID-19 Testing Policy.

Q: How will contact tracing happen? Is there a publicly available set of guidelines for contact tracing if and when an individual tests positive?

A: The College follows the guidelines from the CDC for close contacts. For COVID-19, a close contact is defined as anyone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 48 hours before the person began feeling sick until the time the patient was isolated. Right now, the general idea is that there will be two complementary approaches. One will be an app that people have on their phones. The other is to involve individuals to assist with tracing—those will most likely be people working with TCCS or possibly in Student Health Services with the addition of some students hired from CGU’s School of Community and Global Health who have been trained. There also will be individuals on each campus who have received training to assist. We will share additional information as plans solidify.

Q: Will Covid-19 testing be required for students who were vaccinated? How about for students who were vaccinated more than three months before the fall semester begins?

A: We anticipate that people with two vaccination doses or one Johnson & Johnson dose will not need to be tested, but CDC advice changes rapidly, and we will adjust our practices as needed. It’s also conceivable that people will need to have booster shots. If boosters are needed, we anticipate that SHS will be able to help provide these.

Q: Will the college test waste water as part of surveillance?

A: We investigated this possibility and there isn’t enough separation of water from the residence halls to make it feasible to identify a specific building as having an issue. The County is satisfied with twice weekly testing, especially for this fall.

Q: Can you comment on the LA county DPH / CDC guidance that recently vaccinated individuals don’t need to be tested or quarantined in the event of exposure?

A: We asked the county for clarification on that guidance. If exposure is >2 weeks after final dose and <3 months after, then the guidance does not require quarantine/testing for fully vaccinated individuals who are exposed to the virus. In all other cases, quarantine and testing are still recommended for exposed individuals.

Q: What are the plans for COVID-19 testing? Will it be mandatory and how often?

A: We plan to regularly test faculty and staff who are required to be on campus. Additional information is available in the College’s COVID-19 Testing Policy.

Q: Will COVID-19 testing be available on campus?

A: Yes, through Student Health Services for asymptomatic individuals. Testing will be free to students, as well as to those faculty and staff who are deemed essential workers. All students who live on campus or at the HMC-sponsored Arrow Vista Apartments will be required to be tested twice weekly. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should contact their health care provider to discuss whether testing is necessary. Faculty and staff who are experiencing symptoms should NOT report to campus for work and should contact their direct supervisor.

Q: Will Student Health Services charge a fee for COVID-19 testing?

A: Student Health Services will not charge students to test for COVID-19.

Q: Students are assigned dates in their communities to receive their vaccinations. Will faculty work with students to reschedule exams if there is a conflict with vaccine appointments or illness arising from vaccine side effects?

A: We encourage students to reach out to instructors or the academic deans to discuss and resolve any potential conflicts with exams. We are strongly encouraging students to receive the vaccines as soon as they are able.

Q: Our family is fully vaccinated, so can we help with move-in?

A: We are allowing up to two individuals, whether friends or family, to help with move-in during both summer and fall. At present, the campus is largely closed. In the fall, our Dining Services will still have limitations, and we’ll have to keep to 6 feet of distancing, so we are limiting visitors as much as possible.

Q: How should my student notify the campus about their vaccination record?

A: They should upload their vaccination card to the Student Health Services portal. Students should follow the instructions to upload their cards. Please upload these as soon as they have completed the vaccination.

Q: For the SHS portal, can we just upload a picture of our vaccine card?

A: Yes, there are instructions on the portal on how to upload your completed vaccination card. Vaccines will be available from SHS for students who are not able to get them at home.

Q: There was the condition that the exposed student must have been vaccinated in the past three months, then it was dropped. Will we get a definitive answer of how long a strong immune response lasts after vaccination?

A: Until the science is clearer on how long the vaccines remain effective, we can’t answer that question. We continue to update our policies and procedures as we receive updated guidance from public health officials at the county, state and federal level.

Q: If my daughter can be vaccinated in our home state, will that be acceptable?

A: Absolutely. We encourage any student who is able to be vaccinated in their home state to do so as soon as possible.

Q: Can we do special housing accommodations for students who are vaccinated?

A: We are not planning to offer that at this time because of HIPAA.

Q: Are you mandating vaccination to students if they want to live on campus?

A: Yes, although there are exceptions for those with certain disabilities or who object for religious reasons.

Q: If we do require vaccination for fall, will we still need to do twice weekly PCR testing?

A: The current advice is that even if someone has received vaccinations and it is two weeks after the second shot, they should still be tested. That may change, and if so, we will review our requirements and adjust as warranted. We still expect everyone will follow all required safety protocols (masks, social distance, hand hygiene, etc.)

Q: Will we be providing the vaccine on campus or through Student Health Services?

A: Student Health Services was approved to be a vaccination site, but we have only received a very limited number of vaccine doses. With the new partnership between the California and Blue Cross, we expect the prioritization to shift to larger-scale vaccination sites. Visit COVID-19 Vaccination Resources for more information.

Q: The human resources vaccination policy email requested that we provide proof along with details. Why is it necessary for the College to know which vaccine I received for the College to keep track of employee vaccinations?

A: We are predominantly interested in learning whether employees have received the vaccine so we can plan for what additional measures may be required once we are allowed to return to campus.

Q: If we are vaccinated, will we still need to be tested before going to work?

A: Yes, we will still require regular testing for students, faculty and staff living and working on campus based on the advice of public health experts.

Please refer to Dining Facilities and Protocols.

Q: Will there be dining hall options for fall?

A: Yes. However, for the fall semester, students will only be able to dine in their home campus dining hall, in large part because we still expect there will be limits on the number of people allowed to eat inside and we want to make sure all of our students can get something to eat in a timely manner in between classes. All the 5Cs are following this rule.

Q: Is there a plan to have grab-and-go options from the Hoch in the mornings?

A: We don’t know yet, but we will look into it.

Q: Will the Shanahan Cafe be open for normal hours during fall?

A: Yes.

Q: Will Mudd still require masks in fall 2021? Safety protocols in 2021?

A: We will require masks throughout the spring semester and during on-campus summer research; decisions about safety protocols for the fall semester will depend on the availability of vaccines and rates of community transmission.

Q: What are the College guidelines for masks/face coverings?

A: Essential employees who have been asked to come to campus for work, along with a small number of faculty members and others, must wear masks/face coverings when they are on campus. This is in keeping with recommendations from public health officials in order to protect people from the spread of COVID-19. Employees and students may wear their own masks/face coverings or if they need one, they should contact Theresa Lauer in facilities and maintenance. For additional details and requirements, visit the College’s Guide for Faculty, Staff and Student Employees Returning to Work.

Q: What are the expectations about wearing a mask when you are in your office?

A: If you work in an individual office, no more than one person should be in the same room unless the required 6 feet of distancing can be consistently maintained. If more than one person is in a room, masks/face coverings should be worn at all times. If you are the only person in your office with the door closed, you may remove your face covering. The College is investigating the possibility of providing face shields for those who need an alternative to the mask/face covering.

Q: When will the LAC gym be open to staff?

A: Because of the closure of the Platt Campus Center due to construction, we have moved DSA staff to the Linde Activities Center temporarily. We do not anticipate opening the LAC for recreation this summer given the need for storage and physical distancing of essential staff housed in the LAC. We will update everyone once the situation changes.

Q: If I live with someone who is immunosuppressed, will I be required or even able to go back to work?

A: It depends on the facts and circumstances. We’ll handle it on a person-by-person basis. We encourage you to contact your direct supervisor, the VP for your area or to the Office of Human Resources to discuss your specific situation.

Q: Have any staff, faculty, students or family members tested positive?

A: Yes. Announcements of results will be posted at On-Campus COVID-19 Testing and Positivity Rates. It’s important to note that patient confidentiality requirements will not permit us to tell people the name of a person who tests positive, merely to inform people that someone they may have been in contact with has tested positive for COVID-19.

Q: Will staff and faculty have to use their own sick time to quarantine if there is a positive test on campus?

A: If you are sick, we ask that you do not come to campus, alert your supervisor as soon as possible, and you record your time away from campus as sick time. The response to the question of what to do if someone on campus has tested positive is nuanced. Just because someone tests positive on campus does not necessarily mean that employees should quarantine themselves and not report to work. The response depends on whether an employee has been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Close contact is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as “someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic clients, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.” If you believe you have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, and you are otherwise healthy and not showing symptoms, you should speak to your supervisor, who as necessary, will put you in touch with HR so they can walk you through an assessment of whether quarantine is advised by HMC.

Q: On a safety level for all our employees what threat level do you think we are at if we start coming back to campus full-time/part-time?

A: Provided everyone is following the appropriate safety measures (face coverings, regular hand washing, maintaining physical distancing, etc.) the threat level should be low. Anyone who is not feeling well should not come to campus and should instead contact their immediate supervisor.

Q: What do we do about faculty or staff who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus and do not feel it is safe to be on campus? Could some people continue to work remotely even if others do not?

A: It depends on the facts and circumstances. We encourage staff and faculty members to speak with their supervisor, department chair, with Dean of Faculty Lisa Sullivan, or Dana Nagengast in the Office of Human Resources. Staff may reach out to their direct supervisors, to the vice president over their particular division, or to the Office of Human Resources. Since faculty and staff members’ concerns and needs may vary greatly, we can better respond once we know more about a person’s specific circumstances and needs.

Q: How confident can non-essential staff feel they’ll be allowed to work from home due to either having a pre-existing condition or living with family members that do?

A: The June 18 LA County Department of Public Health Order recommends that employers offer telework or other accommodations to those age 65 or older and all employees of any age who have active or unstable pre-existing health conditions. Therefore, if an employee has a pre-existing condition and if your presence is not required on campus and you can work remotely, the College will allow you to continue to telecommute. Remote working arrangements will be approved by your direct supervisor and area vice president. If your presence is required on campus and you cannot work remotely, you can currently take advantage of enhanced paid sick leave benefits under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which provides 80-hours of emergency paid sick leave (or equivalent for PT employees) if you are unable to work or telework due to qualifying reasons. These benefits are available during the period of time that the College employee count is below 500.

However, if you are living with a family member that has a pre-existing condition and if your presence is not required on campus and you can work remotely, the College will allow you to continue to telecommute. If your presence is required on campus and you cannot work remotely, please reach out to your supervisor, who will coordinate with HR, to discuss options, including ADA reasonable accommodations to meet your unique situation. This will be handled on a case by case basis, considering the various facts and circumstances for each employee.

Q: If we have a pre-existing condition that makes us more susceptible to COVID, will we be required to provide a doctor’s note?

A: Each situation is unique, and we will evaluate each situation based on the individual facts and circumstances. However, the following is our general response. The College has a policy and practice to require doctor’s notices when someone is sick and cannot come to work. Understanding the unique times we are in, including the difficulty of obtaining non-emergency medical care, when the CA stay at home order was enacted in mid-March, the College temporarily suspended the requirement that one provide a notice when someone was sick for more than three days. Since March, most, if not all medical providers began providing tele-med services that could be quickly scheduled. Recently some medical providers have begun providing in-person care. The following is the College’s approach regarding medical notes from a physician regarding pre-existing condition that makes us more susceptible to COVID:

  • For individuals telecommuting, the College will not require a doctor’s certification that you suffer from a pre-existing condition that makes you more susceptible to COVID-19.
  • For employees deemed to be on-campus essential employees, the College will require a doctor’s certification that you suffer from a preexisting condition that makes you more susceptible to COVID.

Q: Should staff with asthma be on campus?

A: We encourage staff with health concerns to reach out to Human Resources to discuss their individual situations as each situation is unique and we will evaluate each situation based on the individual facts and circumstances.

Misc

Q: Will we still have a large budget reduction for 2021–2022 in our departments?

A: It depends on whether we are allowed to have students in residence this fall and if so, how many students will be allowed to live on campus. In the “business-as-usual scenario,” we don’t anticipate any cuts. If we are limited in the number of students who can live on campus, we anticipate some cuts will be required.

Q: We’ve discussed the importance of ongoing reduction of spending; would it be helpful if we cut back on conference registrations?

A: Generally, we are referring to spending reductions realized in the operating budget, not from savings of grant support. There is the possibility that some grants would allow for operating purchases that could offset an operating budget expense. If there is this level of flexibility and you need to purchase something you would have had to purchase anyway, it could be helpful, but again, it depends on how the grant is written.

Q: How can the individual arms of academic affairs help by reviewing budgets and considering potential cuts?

A: We are activating the Department Chairs Committee to think about budget scenarios, and we will be meeting with that group to dig into that more deeply.

Q: Does any of the College’s endowment principle carry a stipulation that it may be withdrawn to cover emergencies or unforeseen hardships to the college?

A: The majority of funds in the College’s endowment are restricted—much of that by the original donors—so we cannot spend it on other things and the process to modify that would be lengthy. There is a portion of the endowment that the board controls and that can be designated. In many cases, these funds are being designated by the board for specific purposes such as to contribute to financial aid or to cover faculty salaries. Even if we changed those designations, we would still face a negative impact in areas where we would need continued support. It is important that we preserve intergenerational equity, ensuring that financial aid and other critical resources will be available for future generations of students, faculty and staff vs. addressing the current financial crisis by making short-term endowment payout changes that could have outsized impacts on future generations Mudders.

Q: Talk about the opening and the use of the McGregor Building

A: This building is amazing. There are some videos to look at on our website. Much of the furniture is in place. We expect the Makerspace to be set up this summer; student stewards will be working this summer to set it up and write documentation on how to use the equipment. Computer Science faculty members will be moving into their offices this summer as well. We are not expecting to allow others to be in the building before fall, but we expect the building to be very popular with our community as well as with off-campus majors and students.

Q: Has the College looked at purchasing cameras and white boards for classrooms so that we can videotape our lectures in case we have some students who cannot be on campus in the fall due to health reasons?

A: We’ve been looking into what it might take to equip rooms with video cameras, but so far it is quite expensive. As we gain greater clarity about the number of students who should be able to be in person this fall, we will be in a better position to plan what courses might need flexibility and to ensure that wherever possible, faculty are able to teach via a single modality. If we need to, we’ll pull together again a cross-constituency Planning Committee at the beginning of the summer.

Q: We received a message that the College would no longer pay for the Piazza service. Why were faculty not consulted on this decision?

A: It is our understanding that the service is still available, albeit in a contribution-supported model. We decided not to purchase a site license at this time, given the College’s current budget crisis, and instead, are waiting until we can do a more thorough review of all site licenses in consultation with faculty this summer.

Equipment (Laptops, iPads, Software)

  • The laptop cart program has been suspended for the academic year 2020–2021.
  • The laptops from the laptop carts will be placed in the loaner program for semester long loans to students.
  • No justification is required for a student to request a loan.

Support

  • The Help Desk will continue to function as it did after we left campus in spring 2020.
  • Remote support will be provided during help desk opening hours.
  • No one will be physically present at the Help Desk in Sprague.
  • If equipment needs to be handled physically by CIS staff, drop off and pick up arrangements will be made. CIS staff will sanitize equipment before and after working on it.

Printing Protocols

  • Printing will not be required for submission of class work.
  • Other printing is strongly discouraged.
  • The Academic Planning Contingency Committee is working on a way to ensure that lab notebooks are not passed around.
  • No networked shared printers will be operational. This is to avoid transmission of infection (people gather at shared printers; printers are difficult to sanitize on a regular basis.).
  • Administrative and academic departments are strongly encouraged not to use shared printers and are responsible for cleaning them if they do.

Q: Why are we dividing the town hall meetings between faculty, staff and students? If we are one community, why not have them with everyone together?

A: The only reasons we’ve separated the groups so far is because the situations and many of the concerns are different for faculty and staff. We felt it was more efficient to have sessions with the different groups separately, so we could focus on the concerns specific to each community group. There is no reason we couldn’t have a joint session if everyone preferred that. If you feel that we should have a joint session, we encourage you to reach out to your direct supervisor or any member of the Cabinet.

Helpful Resources