by Jeffrey Dayton-Johnson

Dear Middlebury Institute Staff,

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to everyone for your quick response and flexibility this week as the COVID-19 situation unfolds. We are dealing with extraordinary circumstances, at the Institute—and the world—and how the staff have taken the lead to rally us as a community, showing remarkable resourcefulness, positivity, and professionalism, is deeply heartening. Thank you so much.

Some of you have expressed your interest in increased social distancing measures up to and including working remotely. At this time, the campus remains open, and staff are not expected to telecommute. Human Resources is working on a set of guidelines on how to work remotely/telecommute that should be available to you on Monday.

 A few thoughts:

It might be a good idea to start envisioning what resources you might need, or arrangements you might make to work remotely if the situation calls for it. Here are some resources to help you get started:

  • Set up Zoom: Here are helpful instructions from DLINQ
  • Set up Jabber to forward your work phone to your computer and/or smartphone: Check out these instructions from ITS
  • Set up your laptop to access shared drive files remotely at
  • Familiarize yourself with resources for working remotely: Here are instructions from ITS
  • Make sure you have completed the multi-factor authentication (MFA) process here

If you are working in the office, we encourage you to establish a routine that will help keep you healthy, including wiping down your workspace with disinfecting wipes (don’t forget door handles, light switches, and your phone!) and washing your hands frequently with soap. 

If you are feeling ill, we ask you to stay home and use Combined Time Off (CTO) or Sick Leave Reserve (SLR) to cover your time away from the office.

If you have underlying health issues or are especially at-risk for any reason, please contact your supervisor to make special arrangements.

You can always use Zoom for meetings, even with others who are on campus. All group meetings should be conducted virtually.

If you are feeling stressed or anxious about the COVID-19 situation, don’t forget we have an Employee Assistance Program that you can take advantage of.

Graduate assistants will be allowed to work or teach remotely, with supervision, within the United States. Students, regardless of citizenship, who have departed the United States will not be allowed to work remotely. If you currently supervise graduate students, please connect with them and find out if they are able or wish to work remotely, and where they are physically located. More information on work studies will be sent out soon.


  • Campus Access: With social distancing being of utmost importance in helping curb the spread of COVID-19, the Institute will close all common areas effective 6pm on Friday, March 13. This includes the Samson Center, Samson Center Reading Room, Holland Center, Library, computer labs, classrooms, and other locations where groups can gather. They will remain closed for the rest of the semester. Please note that we are not shutting down the campus, nor are we shutting down operations. We are closing common areas on campus and moving instruction to remote platforms. 
  • Emergency Contact Info: We ask that you update your emergency contact information in Banner. You can do this by logging into BannerWeb.
  • Latest Updates and FAQs: For the most up-to-date information related to our campus response to COVID-19, please visit the new COVID-19 web pages

 In-Process Decisions

  • May Commencement: At this point, we are unsure how spring Commencement will be handled. We need to figure out how to best manage the logistics of graduation while making it a meaningful way to honor our graduates. We hope to have an answer by April 1. Please stay tuned: more communication will go out soon.
  • Summer Programming: It is too soon to make any decisions regarding summer programming.  


  • Instruction: Beginning March 23, all classes will be held remotely. There is no plan to resume in-person classes this semester.
  • Events and Group Meetings: All Institute-sanctioned, in-person events and group meetings (both on and off-campus) have been canceled or postponed. Considerations are under way to determine which events and meetings can be held remotely.
  • Visitors: Effective immediately, no visitors, including prospective students, alumni, speakers, job applicants, etc., will be permitted on campus. To the extent possible, visits and meetings will need to be conducted online.
  • Health and Wellness: It is especially important that you take good care of yourself at this time and remember the EFAP services that are available.
  • Staff Town HallVP Jeff Dayton-Johnson and the Coronavirus Response Team will host a town hall on Monday, March 16,  from 11am-12pm for staff to learn more about the Institute’s measures to promote social distancing and help curb the spread of this virus on our campus. This will also be an opportunity for you to ask questions and share your concerns. Email Barbara Burke if you would like to submit your questions in advance, at The town hall will take place on ZOOM via this link.

Be sure to keep in close communication with your manager to communicate your concerns and wishes. There may be a time when we are all asked to work from home, but that time has not arrived yet.

Thanks to you all,