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COVID-19 Update: MassArt Suspension of Campus Activity

MassArt Aerial View with Covid-19 Update

Dear MassArt Community, 

Yesterday, Governor Baker declared a state of emergency in Massachusetts following the announcement by health officials that Massachusetts now has 51 new cases of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the state’s total of positive tests to 92.

We must do everything we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus among members of our community, by slowing its transmission course through “social distancing” recommended by the  Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.  

Our priority is the safety and well-being of all of our campus community. We also want to be a good neighbor to our friends in the surrounding communities of Boston, including the nearby medical institutions that are working diligently to serve the Boston community.  

In light of Governor Baker’s declaration and in consultation with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and our peers at state universities and the Colleges of the Fenway, we have made the following decisions: 

We will suspend all campus activity for the week of March 16-March 22. The reasons for this suspension are: 1) to help mitigate the spread of the virus, 2) to enable our Facilities team to complete a thorough deep-cleaning of a cleared campus, and 3) to provide time to plan for alternate modes of instruction if needed in the weeks ahead. Further updates for the week of March 23 will be sent on or before Wednesday, March 18.  


  • All academic instruction will be suspended starting Monday, March 16, with the current working assumption that it will resume on Monday, March 23. Given the nature of our curriculum, we need to make decisions week by week concerning access to our facilities
  • All access to College facilities for students, faculty, and staff will end at 5:00pm on Friday, March 13. MassArt ID card-key access will be deactivated at this time. 
  • All students are asked not to come to campus, as there will be no classes or studio access
  • All employees -- faculty and staff (full time, part time and contract) and student workers -- are asked not to come to campus, and will be paid at their normal rates during this period. If you have any questions, please contact Human Resources staff Valerie Gilliard ( or 617.879.7909) or Kathryn Oram ( or 617.879.7908).    
    • All faculty are asked not to come to campus, to suspend instruction, and to await further instruction from Provost Pinder in the days to come
    • All staff are asked not to come to campus and to work remotely, in consultation with their supervisors



Unless specifically authorized, students will not be allowed access to the residence halls after 12:00pm on Friday, March 13, 2020. With the exception of International Students, all students should begin making immediate plans to remain home or travel home from where they are currently located. Full guidance for resident students is detailed in this letter from the Housing Office in Student Development.


MassArt Cafeteria and Peets will be closed from March 16-22. 

  • Beatty Cafe Hours
    Monday-Friday: 8:00am - 6:30pm
    Saturday & Sunday: 10:00am - 3:00pm
  • C-Store Hours
    Monday-Friday: 5:00pm - 10:00pm
    Saturday & Sunda: 2:30pm - 8:00pm

Students will be allowed access to the studios to work or to pick up materials only until 5:00pm on Friday, March 13. 

Update from Provost Pinder from March 14, 2020:

The Safety of Your Studio Work
We've received questions related to the nature of the planned deep-cleaning and the protection of personal items in studios and classroom spaces. We want to respond directly to this, as it will likely be a concern shared by many of you. Please rest assured, the cleaning measures are taking into account the presence of design and artworks in these spaces, and will treat them with care and attention. We worked with Studio Managers in all of the departments to identify "no clean zones", where students' works/materials might be at risk and/or technology/equipment might be damaged . The cleaning work will be done primarily in high-touch and high-traffic areas, and in some cases will only entail floors, chairs, and those table/desk surfaces that have been cleared off. 

There have also been related questions about when people will have access to studios to collect or check on their belongings. This is a question that will take a bit longer for us to answer, as leadership works to determine the best course of action for the College. An update will be sent on or before Wednesday (3/18), as indicated in the initial closing announcement from the President's office. 

Your Classes and Your Grades
Faculty will be taking these unforeseen curricular disruptions into consideration and your semester completion is a priority. Please look for communications from faculty, your department and the college on how your class will continue after March 22.


To update prior guidance, please be advised that any member of our community who returns to the U.S. from a region or through an airport considered to have a CDC Level 3 or CDC Level 2 Travel Health Notice will be required to stay away from the MassArt campus for a full 14 days. Also be advised, as this outbreak continues to spread, there may be more countries added to the CDC list, so please stay informed.


  • The All School Show will be delayed by one week to begin on Monday, March 23
  • The MassArt Art Museum (MAAM) will be closed from Thursday, March 12 through Tuesday, March 24.
  • All on-campus events will be cancelled March 16-March 22.
  • At this time, we plan to hold Commencement on Friday, May 22 as scheduled. We will continue to monitor the situation as time progresses, and inform you immediately if those plans change.

I am well aware that this situation raises many questions and likely causes anxiety.  If you are experiencing anxiety at this time, our Counseling and Wellness Center has provided this resource for you. 

We will continue to confer about the wisest course of action for the MassArt community and will keep you updated in a timely manner. Please continue to visit and your MassArt email for future updates as well as previous campus communications and resources.

Take care of yourself in the days to come, 


David P. Nelson