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Returning to Campus
- A. As information changes weekly and daily, plans for the future continue to evolve. One communication goal is to have more details before June 1. Communications will continue before and after then, primarily in the website FAQs and virtual town hall meetings.
- A. Yes, there is now a MassArt Continuity Task Force, launched on May 21. The President and Vice Presidents have been consulting with working groups in their areas and each other since spring break. Please see the announcement on decision-making that was sent during the first weeks after access to campus was limited. Now, these working groups have evolved into a more formal structure as the MassArt Continuity Task Force.
- A. MassArt cannot make any decisions alone. Federal, state and local health and safety recommendations and mandates (from authorities including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) guide all of our discussions concerning all aspects of returning to campus. Those personnel who are authorized to be on campus now are currently adhering to public health requirements.
- A. MassArt is in regular communication with the City of Boston Mayor's office, including the Office of Health and Human Services led by Marty Martinez, the COF, the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) and other local colleges.
- The most recent recommendation for state higher education institutions, for example in Connecticut, is to have a COVID-19 or Health and Safety Officer on campus. We have the services of Mike Malmberg, Director of Environmental Health and Safety for the Colleges of the Fenway (COF), who has been working with all the COF schools since March on pandemic response and recovery initiatives.
- A. Yes, Howie Larosee and Mike Malmberg are addressing these issues, guided by public health directives from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the MA Department of Public Health (DPH).
- A. We will make efforts to address individual concerns about returning to campus, when the time comes.
- A. Parking in the city of Boston is being considered as a city-wide issue. MassArt is collaborating with other local entities to provide additional spaces.
- A. The Fall planning is very iterative, due to (1) the enormity of the task to reconsider our entire curricular delivery and operations, and (2) the quickly-evolving public health information. When this process started, people felt more at ease being mindful of student and faculty desire to have access to facilities. The Provost gave every department a list of potential restrictions and requested that percentages of remote and on-campus instruction be provided for their classes. All academic departments provided multiple scenarios with those percentages, including being primarily remote. Note that there are groups working on this beyond Academic Affairs, including Student Development, Administration and Finance, and Human Resources.
- A. All University Committee (AUC) has created a summer committee to review academic policy changes.
- A. Online training, resources, and peer mentoring were offered this term. More workshops and resources will be offered during the summer.
- A. Although the majority of students and faculty members have their own device to work remotely, there are some who do not have their own device, and others who do not have the appropriate device for certain computing. Digital equity is at the core of Fall planning and multiple solutions are being considered.
- A. Any tuition changes will be considered once Fall plans are finalized.
- A. The President and Vice Presidents, in consultation with supervisors in their areas, are prioritizing cost reductions towards maintaining our educational mission and its sustainability in this severe economic crisis. Some of our measures will be required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts leadership. We are working continually with the Executive Office of Education (EOE), the Department of Higher Education (DHE), and federal and state representatives concerning all of these matters. We know that the federal representatives are currently working on additional funding, but whether this funding will address our needs by Fall is an open question. The Massachusetts legislature is determining its own budgeting schedule, including the use of rainy day funds, and will likely operate with a series of 1/12 (or monthly) budgets for the beginning of FY21, starting on July 1, 2020. The Department of Education has also hired a firm to assess the financial position of each state university and community college in order to identify resource needs and the most significant risks for FY21.