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Spring 2021

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COVID-19 Impact and Decision Making at MassArt

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These past two weeks have been alarming and unprecedented as the entire world addresses the constantly evolving situation caused by COVID-19. We thank you for all of your efforts helping to make so much happen so quickly as the college addresses the needs of our students during this challenging time.

As everyone, MassArt leadership has been making daily, sometimes hourly, decisions regarding our operations and everyone’s safety. We have reacted to very fluid circumstances based on information we receive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Higher Education, the Council of Presidents, the Colleges of the Fenway, the Rapid Response Team and the Governor.

We acknowledge that we have been too preoccupied with the urgency of this situation we are facing each day to share our decision-making process. We’d like to do that now with these FAQs. 

Q. Who is making decisions?
A. The President, Provost/Senior Vice President, Vice President of Administrative and Finance, Vice President of Student Development, Vice President of Institutional Advancement, Chief of Staff, Executive Director of Marketing and Communication, and General Counsel meet at 4:45pm every weekday to discuss, report out, and make decisions about issues as they arise. Together, we draft communications so that we are all as consistent as possible across our areas.

Q. Why aren’t more community members consulted for these decisions?
A. Many community members are consulted. Each vice president also meets regularly with their direct reports who are also proactively troubleshooting and planning in their areas. Their feedback is presented at each daily meeting. For example, the provost communicates with department chairs multiple times a day. Student development staff are meeting with students regularly to get student input, including weekly SGA meetings, to help inform decisions.

Q. Why does information change?
A. As you can see from the daily news, we are in a very dynamic and uncertain landscape. Our decisions are fluid and must change based on what information we are given by the various entities listed above. Making long-term plans right now is essentially impossible.

Q. Whom should I contact if I have a question or concern?
A. Contact your immediate supervisor. You can also email and

Thank you again for all your hard work during these challenging times. We appreciate your understanding and flexibility as we continue to make important decisions for the well-being of MassArt. 

David Nelson               Kymberly Pinder
President                     Provost/Senior Vice President