After careful consideration we have made the difficult decision to cancel all study abroad for the fall 2020 semester. This decision applies to the Middlebury Schools Abroad as well as study abroad on externally sponsored programs.
These past weeks, seniors have been on my mind. Many have written to me with news of their alternative plans on the April occasions where they usually gather—Earth Day, Passover, Easter, or the celebration of spring. (Thank you for writing and keep doing so!) I also spoke with one senior, Kenshin Cho, about his experience of “alternative” life on Middlebury’s campus in this extraordinary time. Kenshin is the Student Government Association treasurer, and we discussed the SGA’s inspired decision to donate the remainder of its funds this year to help with our efforts towards wage continuity. You can see and hear our conversation here.
As we work to ensure academic continuity in this period of great disruption, we strive to be as adaptable and responsive as possible. In considering changes to our grading policies for the spring semester, we started out by surveying the community so we could understand your perspectives on the issue. More than 500 of you shared your thoughts. We thank you and want to say, we heard yo
As we all do our part to help limit the spread of COVID-19, it has become increasingly clear that our spring Commencement celebration cannot take place as planned, in-person, on Saturday, May 16. Our celebrations will instead be adapted to be a series of virtual events. We would also like to invite all members of the spring 2020 graduating class, and their families, to participate in a future ceremony of their choice. At any future ceremony in which 2020 graduates participate, they will be celebrated and recognized as members of this class.
I know it seems like a barrage of information has been coming at you from all directions this past week. We’ve all had to make fast, stressful, and unexpected adjustments to our personal and professional lives.
This email contains information on important processes and resources we have in place to assist students who may need extra support, who are of concern (such as high absenteeism or in crisis), and who may need accommodations.
We continue to process the impacts of social distancing on our operations. Our recent decisions mean that many individuals are now working remotely, and others, while working on campus, are working in new ways that further social distancing. In light of these changes and given our intent to ensure pay continuity for our existing staff for as long as possible, we do not believe this is the time to add new employees to our workforce.
We are isolated now. The Vermont campus is emptier than it was. As I got out of my car on Tuesday to retrieve things from my office, I heard bells. Bells? The Carillon? I thought there must be something happening at Mead. But no, there couldn’t be. And then I realized: George Matthew is playing to inspire us, to orient us, to keep us together. Indeed, nothing was happening at Mead Chapel. And yet everything was.