Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update - March 13

Like everyone in our community, we have been closely following the latest news regarding the spread of the novel coronavirus. We know this is an anxious and trying time for many individuals – not only here at Simmons, but across the globe.

Earlier this week, we announced that Simmons University was extending spring break by one week. After careful deliberation and full consideration of how, in these unprecedented circumstances, we will ensure students achieve their academic objectives for the year, we are making these additional announcements today:

  • All undergraduate and graduate campus-based classes will meet remotely for the remainder of the semester, and will resume on Monday, March 23, 2020 after our extended Spring Break. Students will hear more details about their classes next week.

    All online graduate courses will run on their originally published schedules.

    Faculty will receive further information from Provost Katie Conboy following this message.
     
  • All residence halls will close and students are expected to move out no later than March 23. Exceptions to remain in the dorms will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Our Residence Life team will follow this email with a communication to students and their families about retrieving belongings and how to initiate an exception request.

    We are currently working on a policy on housing and dining refunds and credits. Our first priority is to ensure a safe move out for students, and we will communicate additional information as soon as we have it. Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.
     
  • Athletic events are cancelled for the rest of the semester. The Holmes Sports Center will also be closed for the rest of the semester.
     
  • In-person campus events are cancelled for the remainder of the semester. When possible, these events will become virtual or be rescheduled for the future. See a listing of updated events at Simmons.
     
  • Smaller in-person gatherings or meetings — including campus tours and information sessions — are strongly discouraged for now; any exceptions must be approved by a University Strategy Team (UST) member.

    Commencement is still a possibility, but it is a possibility we will have to evaluate later.
     
  • Though our dorms will be closed, the University remains open for business. Staff should plan to work on campus or remotely. As we communicated earlier this week, we are encouraging managers to be flexible and to allow for remote working as much as possible when employees request it, regardless of whether the employee is an exempt or hourly employee. If you want to work remotely, please complete the Remote Work Agreement Form. Dining services for on-site employees will be offered in a limited fashion. Staff should work with their teammates to encourage adequate coverage and business continuity.
     
  • The travel ban for all Simmons-supported travel – domestic and international – that we put in place earlier this week remains in effect.

Senior leaders at Simmons, along with the Campus Preparedness Committee (CPC) and the Emergency Management Council are continuing to monitor the latest developments. We are working with our partners and closely following the advice and directives issued by local, state and federal health officials to ensure that Simmons follows recommended best practices and mandates.

This continues to be a challenging period, and we want to thank you for your flexibility, patience, spirit and generosity during this time. We will continue to provide additional updates as we have them through emails and our website. You can also email questions to [email protected].

Helen Drinan
President, Simmons University